Fri, July 19

Letter: When talking rights of gun owners, misinformation is in abundance


Michael Westlund, in a recent guest editorial, expressed his disappointment at the increasingly louder chorus demanding sane gun safety regulations.

While I do support people in my family and many of my friends right to enjoy their guns for sport and hunting I do believe, as Mr. Westlund does, that misinformation exists, but on both sides.

His main contention was that an AK-47 is not an assault weapon. A cursory examination of web sites googling 'AR-47' gave some interesting results. Most sites agreed that an AK-47 IS an assault rifle (not weapon; Mr. Westlund is correct that the term 'assault weapon' apparently is a made-up name).

From the website comes this quote: "The AK-47 is a select-fire assault rifle chambered in 7.62x39mm and is the most widely used assault rifle in the world.

"The AK-47 was really designed and intended to be a point and shoot rifle. Easy functional features include a select fire switch so users can turn it on semi-au to or full-auto, an oversized magazine release and trigger guard, so a gloved trigger finger can fit into it, a side charging handle, and a pistol grip. And, it is also easy to maintain because it breaks down into only a handful of pieces."

I also found a website that attempted to explain that an AK-47 is not an assault weapon. Another website could sell me a 50 round magazine for an AK-47 for $19.95; another offered a conversion guide for $11.95 that would convert an AK-47 to fully automatic.

This disclaimer accompanied the guide: 'Conversion of the AK47 to full auto is illegal without obtaining BATF approval first.' (I'm sure all private gun transactions comply fully with this law.)

Instead of calling out the 'anti-gun' crowd as many gun rights supporters do, they might offer to sit down with those who think there is much room for reasonable discussion on how to reduce the 289 people shot each day in the USA.

Favoring sane gun safety discussion does not mean anyone wants to take your guns away - or eliminate our 2nd amendment.

Bob Burke