Ban All Semiautomatic Firearms

Combat Handguns magazine thinks highly of this single-action, snub-nosed .22 magnum revolver from North American Arms. "Manufactured from stainless steel," the reviewer says, "the single-action revolver sports a short 1.12-inch barrel for deep-cover concealment." Needless to say, single-action revolvers are also available in many other calibers.North American Arms

Rand Corp’s Benjamin Bahney writes today about my favorite solution to the problem of mass shootings:

Recent history shows that mass killings in the U.S. don’t follow a single script. But there is one common element shared by many of these tragedies: legal access to semiautomatic guns. Domestic terrorists such as the mass shooters in Thousand Oaks, Pittsburgh and Parkland, Fla., come from different demographic backgrounds and have different characteristics….But all three killers used semiautomatic guns, which research has shown are more lethal on average in terrorist attacks than explosives or other weapons….A prohibition on sales of particularly lethal semiautomatics, such as the 1994 assault weapon ban, and on related assault weapon technologies (bump stocks, high-capacity clips and fast-clip replacement mechanisms), would make it much harder for terrorists to obtain their most effective means of killing.

Sadly, Bahney loses his nerve toward the end, implying that we should ban only “particularly lethal” semiautomatics. By contrast, I would ban all semiautomatics. That would leave the gun owners of America with three types of weapons they could legally own:

  • Single-action revolvers
  • Shotguns
  • Bolt-action/pump-action rifles

That’s plenty for self-defense and for hunting, but pretty slim pickings for mass murder. Problem solved.

But don’t worry, gun nuts. This will never happen and I have zero power to make it happen. It’s just a suggestion to gun control advocates that they should think bigger. No one outside of the military or law enforcement really needs the high-speed shooting of a semiautomatic. What they need is low-speed shooting and better training.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.