One Trigger Pull, One Round
By Thomas Kachadurian | April 14, 2018
Predictably, gun-banning advocates have pounced at recent shooting incidents. As always happens, the result of their hysteria is that gun sales have spiked, and donations to the NRA climbed to new heights. Oddly enough, despite this complete activism failure, the shouting mob retain a self-righteous superiority. Satisfied, soon they will move on to their next outrage. We’ve seen this pattern over and over. In that time, more Americans have exercised their Second Amendment rights, new gun ownership is way up, and there have never been more concealed carry permits in our area, in Michigan, and in the country.
A major reason that gun grabbers continually fail in their activism is ignorance. They continue to rage on with spoon-fed talking points, created from pure fantasy. As a public service, I’d like to offer a bit of education to would-be gun protesters. That way, next time someone goes nuts in a gun-free zone, they can at least make sense when they paint their banners and craft their chants. I am no expert on guns, but my personal experience and general familiarity with firearms so vastly exceeds the average gun-grabber’s knowledge that it is my obligation to help. I live to serve.
Lets start with some basic terminology to keep our gun-dreading friends from looking as foolish as Chelsea Handler. While Handler has admitted to being accompanied by armed guards, she insists that people who can’t afford their own security detail should not be permitted to arm themselves. So bold is she in her hypocrisy that on March 28 Handler tweeted, “My armed guards aren’t killing children and don’t have semi-automatic weapons.” If you aren’t rolling on the floor laughing now, you clearly need to learn a few things. If Chelsea Handler’s guards are not carrying semi-automatic weapons they are armed with muskets and dueling pistols. I know Hamilton is popular, but I’m pretty sure celebrity guards haven’t gone full 18th century with their armaments.
Today’s lesson is semi-automatic. With a semi-automatic firearm, after you pull the trigger, the action of the recoil loads the next round. It doesn’t keep firing just because you hold down the trigger. The granddaddy of semi-automatic pistols is the 10-round 45ACP 1911 created by John Browning in the late 19th century. Millions of semi-automatic 1911 pistols have been built, sold, and are still in service. It remains one of the best-selling pistol platforms to this day. They are not big scary-looking guns with accessories hanging off them. It’s hard to swallow the notion that after more than 100 years of use worldwide, suddenly the 1911 is too dangerous. If they were so dangerous, why weren’t schools being shot up with 1911s in the years between 1900 and 1999, the year of the Columbine shooting?
Let’s review. A semi-automatic weapon loads the next round after the shot. To fire a semi-automatic weapon, you must pull and release the trigger, then pull it again to shoot another round. One trigger pull, one bullet. The classic six-shooter in Westerns, while technically not semi-automatic, works the same way. When you pull the trigger, the round is moved into place and fires. When you pull the trigger again, it shoots again. A semi-automatic pistol or rifle has the exact same one-pull, one-bullet shooting function as the revolver, which was first introduced in Germany in the 1500s.
Although the classic American Colt revolver wasn’t invented until 1836, revolvers were available when the Second Amendment was written. The functionality of one trigger pull, one bullet, with the next round immediately available was known by the men who penned the Constitution. When they wrote “ … the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” the arms they were talking about included those that shot one bullet each time the trigger was pulled, without reloading. Unless she has seriously low budget security, Chelsea Handler’s minders probably carry Glock, Sig Sauer, H&K, or other common semi-auto pistols favored by guards and law-enforcement worldwide.
The scary AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle: one trigger pull, one round — the same as the classic M1 Garand from the 1930s. My Beretta 12-gauge shotgun is a semi-automatic rifle. I have it set up for sporting clays where the rules limit me to two shots without reloading, just like a double-barrel shotgun. If I take out the magazine plug, it holds a total of four shells — three in the magazine and one in the chamber. But it’s still one trigger pull, one round. Thousands, maybe millions of Boy Scouts learned to shoot with Ruger 10/22 rifles, the classic semi-automatic 22-caliber plinker. The AR-15, the M1 Garand, semi-auto shotguns, the Ruger 10/22, and many others are semi-auto rifles: one trigger pull, one bullet. The only difference is the AR-15 doesn’t have a lovely walnut stock. Politicians, who count on the ignorance of their constituents, exploit it by scaring them with the appearance of an AR-15, trying to confuse it with its military automatic cousins.
As was demonstrated by all the Democrat voters who confused Aaron Sorkin’s fictional The West Wing with the real U.S. government, the low-information activists think that what they see in the movies is reality. Those weapons spraying bullets on television and in movies look just like AR-15s. The uninformed, who have never touched a gun, think every AR-15 is poised to spew bullets at any second, as on TV — their only experience with firearms. Their ignorance of firearms immediately undermines any credibility they hope to have. They sound like children struggling to understand an adult universe they aren’t ready to enter.
Lets Review. Semi-automatic: one trigger pull, one round.
Thomas Kachadurian is a photographer, designer, and author. He lives on Old Mission with his wife and two children. He is a member and past president of the Traverse Area District Library Board of Trustees.