There is an internet typhoon of arguments and smug derision about the AR-15 and other assault “style” rifles like the Sig MCX used in Orlando.  The latest stories indicate that many in the gay and lesbian communities are buying these very rifles in record numbers for self protection.  

Last Wednesday morning, West Hollywood California woke to find posters featuring a rainbow version of the Gadsden Flag featuring a rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread on me”. The flags also had the hashtag #ShootBack.  I welcome the LGBTQ communites to our civil rights movement and pledge my support for them and our rights.

I won’t rehash the arguments for responsible gun ownership nor refute those who believe the state should have a monopoly on violence.  I would like to ask one simple question.

I preface my question with these facts. Nearly every police department in America has officers who carry AR-15 rifles or machine guns unavailable to civilians such as the M-4 Carbine.  Our Congress has its very  own police department armed with machine guns.

Capitol Police Officer Photo courtesy of
Capitol Police Officer Photo courtesy of

A Presidential candidate stated that “weapons of war have no place on our streets” as she walked our streets literally surrounded by a Secret Service Detail armed with actual fully automatic weapons of war.

If police need machine guns to protect themselves, is it unreasonable that I am able to purchase a self loading rifle designed 50 years ago which uses a minor caliber varmint cartridge to protect my home and my family?

The Constitution is very clear on this matter.  Our system of government was designed by geniuses to be operated by morons.  Government can not possibly protect everyone every where.  Our Constitution affirms the natural, some would say God given, right to self defense and guarantees access to effective implements for self protection.

Gun rights are the most basic civil rights.  Even if you have no interest in guns or self preservation, gun rights are a barometer of freedom.  Countries with no gun rights are on a short path to totalitarian government and the elimination of all other civil rights.  This story has been repeated many times through history. America is a unique and shining example to the world.  Our effective response to terror and crime is a population who takes responsibility for their own protection.

I wouldn’t argue that politicians and police don’t need rifles to protect themselves.  I only ask that same consideration for my family. Common sense gun control?  Criminalize behavior not objects.

Terrorists won’t be deterred by laws.  The killers in Paris and Mumbai obtained machine guns overseas and illegally imported them into countries with draconian gun control.  There are millions of AK-47s on the world market for around $500 each.

Restrictions and regulations only effect they law abiding who pose no threat. Persons convicted of a felony (crimes carrying a sentence of one year or more) are prohibited by law from owning a gun or voting. Any law requiring a felon to report or register a gun violates his fifth amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. Felons cannot be compelled to register or report their guns. Why pass laws which don’t apply to criminals?

If something must be done, some law passed, here is my suggestion. Add a substantial mandatory sentence enhancement for the commission of a felony using a gun.  No legal gun owner will oppose this, the NRA will endorse it and criminals will be deterred from the use of guns. I would support the death penalty for the use of a gun in a violent felony, but that might not be politically feasible, so let’s say 10 years added to the sentence for the crime.

No one should live in fear.  The U.S. Constitution guarantees we don’t have to.

Featured photo courtesy of

This article was originally published on The Arms Guide and written by Mark Miller