The Reasons Why Assault Weapons Should Not Be Banned Or Restricted

Apr 21, 2018 · 11 min read

A summary of the reasons people give for protecting the general public’s ability to purchase unregistered military-style weapons with large-capacity magazines.

By David Grace (

Based on comments I’ve received on my columns dealing with assault weapons and the Second Amendment, I’ve put together a list of the reasons for opposition to regulations that would require that:

  • All gun purchasers would have to pass a background check including not being on the no-fly list
  • All gun purchasers would have to be at least twenty-one years of age
  • All gun purchasers would have to take and pass a gun safety course
  • All firearms would have to be very difficult or impossible to convert to fully automatic operation
  • All magazines would be limited to ten rounds or less

Here are the reasons people have given for opposing the adoption of any, leastwise all, of the above proposed rules:

If The American Government Turns Into A Totalitarian Regime We Will Need The Citizenry To Be Armed With Unregistered Military-Style Weapons In Order To Mount An Armed Revolt That Can Defeat That Oppressive Government And Regain Our Constitutional Rights

There are three possible scenarios here:

  • Against the will of a majority of the population a coup takes over the government, suspends the Constitution and free elections, then embarks on a program of totalitarian activities.
  • With the support of a strong majority of the population an elected government suspends the Constitution and free elections, then embarks on a popular program of totalitarian activities.
  • The Constitution and free elections are not suspended but some segment of the population disagrees with the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding a law which they consider to be a violation of their fundamental constitutional rights.

A Coup Establishes An Unpopular Totalitarian Government

We have to start with the fact that the Constitution was adopted approximately 225 years ago and there has never been even a hint of such a thing happening or being able to happen here. We also have to recognize how incredibly tiny the chance is that such an event could get past all the checks and balances built into both our system of government and our culture itself.

For most people this is just crazy talk, but assuming for the sake of argument that this is a reasonable fear instead of a nut-job paranoid delusion, the first thing we have to recognize is that we have city police, county police, state police, federal police, fifty state militias and a national army, all composed of citizens who oppose such a coup, and all of whom are well trained and armed.

If this was an unpopular take-over, these already armed and trained members of law-enforcement and the military would be there to fight it. Such a coup would have no chance against them.

Having some untrained civilians with AR-15s in their closets would be both unnecessary and ineffective.

This is a bad argument for insisting that civilians must be able to buy unregistered military-style weapons.

The Voters Elect A Popular Totalitarian Government

Hitler took over Germany with the overwhelming consent of the German people. They supported his genocide. If a similar person somehow gained power in America with the support of the overwhelming majority of the American people, then, similarly, the overwhelming majority of the local, state and federal police, National Guards and the U.S. Army would support him as well.

Ignoring for a moment how completely nuts this idea is, you have to realize that civilians with small arms would stand no chance, zero, of overthrowing a government backed by the willing cooperation of most of the members of local, state and federal law enforcement, the National Guards of the fifty states, and the U.S. Army.

Civilians with AR 15s would be no match for the .50 caliber machine guns, RPGs, tanks, grenades, etc. of the American military.

Having some untrained people with AR-15s in their closets will be of no practical use whatsoever in overthrowing such a government.

This is a bad argument for insisting that civilians must be able to buy unregistered military-style weapons.

We Have An Elected Government That Passes A Law That Some People Think Takes Away One Of Their Fundamental Freedoms But Is Nevertheless Held To Be Constitutional

Some people who oppose assault-weapon restrictions want to have those weapons so that they can mount an armed insurrection against an elected U.S. government that passes a law that the Supreme Court upholds as constitutional but which law these people think takes away some fundamental freedom.

The people who want these weapons so that they can mount such an armed revolt are terrorists.

The people who think this way staffed the Weather Underground, the Baader-Meinhoff Gang, the Taliban, the Symbionese Liberation Army, Boko Haram . . . , the list goes on and on.

If you think that an elected U.S. government has enacted a law that takes away your freedom then you have the right to challenge that law in the courts. If you fail in the courts, you have the right to defeat that law at the ballot box. You have the right to try to win elections.

You do not have a right to try to win gun battles.

There are too many terrorists in the world already without arming more people who think that they have a right to mount an armed rebellion against an elected U.S. government when they end up on the losing side of an election or when the courts disagree with their interpretation of the Constitution.

If you think people who lose Supreme Court cases have the right to mount an armed rebellion against the U.S. government then that’s the best possible reason for not letting you have military-style weapons. The belief that people have the right to overturn a government by the force of arms because they don’t like a law adopted by an elected government and upheld by the Supreme Court is the foundation principle of every terrorist organization.

If that’s how you think then you are a terrorist and you should never be allowed to have a military-style weapon.

I would also remind you that for most of our history black people were not allowed to vote. They were governed by laws which they had no say in making. Those laws were upheld by courts that blatantly ignored their rights.

If they had believed as you do, they would have been justified in mounting an armed insurrection against the governments of Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, etc.

If you’re correct that people whose rights are taken away by the government have a right to mount an armed rebellion, then you would have supported such an armed race war in the United States.

Do you think that African-Americans would have been right to start a second Civil War in the 1950s and 1960s?

Would you have been out there cheering, “Yeah, shoot those white bastards who didn’t let you vote or eat in restaurants or ride in the front of the bus”?

I don’t think you would be.

I think you would have been out there calling all those black people shooting up police stations criminals and murderers.

Lucky for you, lucky for us, Martin Luther King knew better than you do.

If The Country Is Invaded By A Foreign Power We Will Need People Armed With Military-Style Weapons To Defeat The Invaders.

So, the Russians or Chinese or whatever have invaded the United States and you think that some civilians with small arms are going to stop them when they have already defeated both the U.S. Army and the National Guards of the fifty states? Really?

They’ve got RPGs, .50 caliber machine guns, grenades, armed choppers and they’ve conquered the U.S. Army and the National Guard but you and your buddies armed with some AR-15s are going to magically save the day when the Army and the National Guard with all their training and military weapons have failed?

News Flash: Red Dawn was not real.

Owning Military-Style Weapons Is A Basic Human Right

Is it really a fundamental human right to own devices whose only purpose is to kill other human beings?

We should think long and hard about the mind set of someone who claims that it’s a basic human right, akin to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, to carry devices whose sole and only purpose is to kill other human beings.

I think that people who believe that have no right to call themselves Christians.

These New Gun Laws Wouldn’t Have Stopped Many Of The Mass Shootings So There Is No Point In Enacting Such Rules In The First Place.

“Existing background checks did not prevent [insert shooter’s name here] from getting the gun(s) he used to kill all those people so, therefore, there is no point in making everyone who wants to buy a gun pass a background check.”

“Background checks won’t catch every person who might become a mass shooter so there’s no point in having all gun buyers pass a background check.”

This is equivalent to saying:

“Existing laws that require drivers must pass a test before they can get a driver’s licence did not prevent [Insert Name Here] from getting a driver’s license and then causing a terrible crash. Therefore, there is no point in making everyone pass a driving test and get a driver’s license before they can legally drive a car.”

That is not a good argument for abolishing driver’s tests and driver’s licenses nor is it a good argument for not requiring people who want to own a gun from being trained how to properly and safely use the gun.

No Matter What Rules Are In Place, Any Determined Shooter Can Still Find A Way To Get A Gun So There Is No Point In Requiring Background Checks.

“There are plenty of ways that a determined, would-be mass shooter can illegally get a gun so therefore there is no point in making everyone who wants to buy a gun pass a background check.”

“Criminals will always find a way to buy a gun illegally so we may as well just let criminals and mentally-ill people buy whatever guns they want and save all the inconvenience of those pesky background checks.”

This is equivalent to saying:

“There are laws against convicted drunk drivers keeping their driver’s licenses but alcoholics who want to drive will just drive without a license anyway so there is no point in denying a driver’s license to a convicted drunk driver.”

Does that convince anyone that convicted drunk drivers should be allowed to keep their driver’s licenses?

The basic argument here is: “The law against [some crime] didn’t stop this particular person from committing this crime so therefore there is no point in having that law at all.”

“The law against murder didn’t stop this killer so we may as well repeal the law against murder” is as dumb an argument as “The law against crazy people having guns did not stop this crazy person from getting a gun so we may as well not have a law that denies crazy people the right to have a gun.”


Adopting Any Gun Restrictions Will Result In Helping The People Who Hate Guns Pass Ever More Severe Restrictions Until They Have Succeeded In Completely Banning All Firearms.

The Argument Is:

“Right now anyone and everyone can buy an unregistered assault weapon with a fifty-shot magazine at a gun show. If we allow any restrictions on gun sales that will result in the liberals passing more and more gun regulations and soon all our guns will be taken away from us.”

First, It’s Impossible.

The argument that reasonable restrictions on military-style weapons with large magazines will result in outlawing all guns is not just ridiculous. It’s impossible.

There are about one-hundred-forty million gun owners in the U.S. The chance that American voters will support banning all firearms is completely, totally, zero.

Moreover, even if a majority of all American voters wanted to ban all firearms that would be constitutionally impossible.

Second, It’s A Logically Silly Argument

The idea that reasonable gun restrictions should be opposed because they will result in the adoption of unreasonable gun restrictions is like saying that we shouldn’t license people to drive cars because that would allow the bike people to then pass laws that would ban all private ownership of cars, or we shouldn’t require a doctor’s prescription to buy drugs because that would enable the anti-drug people to get laws passed that would require a prescription for the purchase vitamin C.

It’s like arguing “If we make rape illegal then the next thing you know those women’s rights people will make it illegal to have sex.”

It’s such a really dumb argument that people should be ashamed to make it.

Third, It Actually Hurts The Gun-Supporters’ Cause

The more “gun people” oppose the reasonable regulation of firearms the more power they give the opposition.

The more the gun people insist that people on the no-fly list should still be able to buy unregistered assault rifles, that untrained people should be able to buy unregistered assault rifles, that crazy people should be able to buy unregistered assault rifles, the more they cause the rest of the country to see them not as “gun people” but as “gun nuts.”

The more gun people oppose getting guns out of the hands of young people, crazy people, untrained people, and potential terrorists, the more extreme and unreasonable they appear and the more reasonable the anti-gun people appear, and the more persuasive the anti-gun people’s arguments become.

The stronger the anti-gun people get, the higher the likelihood that they will succeed in getting even more restrictive gun legislation. Opposing reasonable gun regulations increases rather than decreases the likelihood of even more restrictive legislation.

We Should Fix The Mass Shooting Problem With More Security Not More Gun Restrictions

We already don’t have the money to pay our teachers a living wage or supply materials to our students, but we do have the money to hire tens of thousands of armed guards and install and operate tens of thousands of metal detectors in every school in America?

That’s your practical, reasonable, and common sense answer to gun violence?

Then what? Are we going to put guards and metal detectors in every supermarket and department store? What about restaurants? Is every restaurant going to have an armed guard and metal detector?

How about churches? Certainly we don’t want people shot in church. OK, armed guards and metal detectors in every church.

And don’t forget work-place shootings. Is every company going to have to have armed guards and metal detectors at every entrance?

But wait, we haven’t done anything about public sidewalks. What if someone starts shooting up Main Street? Maybe we should have barricades every couple of blocks so that armed guards and metal detectors can weed out all the armed people.

But wait, the NRA wants everyone to be able to carry a loaded gun wherever they go, so none of that will work. What are we supposed to do when the NRA’s endorsed right to carry a loaded gun conflicts with the plan to have armed guards and metal detectors in every school, church, restaurant, business and public place for the specific purpose of weeding out people carrying guns?

Wow, that’s sure a puzzler.

This is all madness.

Common Sense Rules

Sane, non-criminals who’ve been trained how to safely use a firearm should be able to buy and own registered, non-fully-automatic hand guns, hunting rifles and shot guns whose magazines hold ten rounds or less.

Crazy people, criminals, terrorists, minors, and people who haven’t been trained to properly handle a firearm should not be able to own a gun.

If you want to defend the country against invasion, Black Helicopters and totalitarian takeovers, then do the right thing — Join the Second Amendment’s “well-regulated militia”, the National Guard.

My Other Columns On Guns

2nd Amendment People — You Need To Finally Be Honest About Why You Want Unregistered Assault Weapons

Congress Rendered The Second Amendment Obsolete On June 3, 1916

Guns: The NRA Was Right About One Thing & Absolutely Wrong About Everything Else

Congress Will Ban Assault Weapons By 12–31–19 If We All Vote NO On Every GOP Candidate This November — #JustVoteNO

–David Grace (

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Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 17 novels and over 200 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.

David Grace Columns Organized By Topic

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