By Dom Rasso, NRA News Commentator
A popular belief among the American people is that assault weapons are the choice guns for criminals like drug dealers and gang members. It’s all because the media paints this picture of thugs invading homes and busting down doors with AK-47s and other semi-automatic rifles. But is that the reality for the every day criminal? I have my own thoughts on that, but unlike Piers Morgan, I’d rather let an expert on the subject give his perspective.
Meet my friend, Jerry, a SWAT officer in New Jersey who deals with violence on the streets every single day.
Jerry, how often are you dealing with this big scary AK or AR that everyone’s talking about?
Jerry: That’s a good question, because the assault weapon concept is so big in society right now, everybody’s talking about it, it’s all across the news because of these active killer-type situations that are happening.
But those are isolated incidents. We have to look at it and understand that they are isolated incidents that don’t really impact the everyday criminal activity.
That monster that sleeps under the bed, that evil AR-15, it really doesn’t exist in today’s criminal society.
In the twenty-one years of law enforcement that I’ve been doing this, I’ve come across four or five. You know, rarely do we see an AK or an AR-15.
We’re really talking about two, three percent of criminal activity. And that’s including these active killing situations that involve AR-15s and AK-47s. We don’t see them on a daily basis—I rarely see them and I work in a really progressive town.
Dom: So, when I’m overseas and we’re dealing with the violent intent versus the tools that they are using, these bad guys are going to improvise and figure out a way to do harm to the good people. No matter what laws or no matter what things we try to do and implement, the guys are going to figure it out, whether it’s driving an eighteen wheeler into an out station, or it’s building an improvised weapon or an AK or a blade, they’re going to do harm and they’re going to figure it out.
So, when I’m overseas and I’m dealing with that type of scenario and those situations, it’s no different when you talk about the violent intent versus the tools. And it is right here on our own soil.
Jerry: Oh, absolutely. All our laws are based off of culpability. They are all based off, did the actor knowingly or purposely do what he did? No matter what the tool is, whether it’s knife, a blunt striking object, a gun, a car, it’s all the same thing. We have to prove intent in which it was used for. And in today’s society we’re seeing bladed weapons and blunt striking objects, closed fists and beatings long before we see any gun activity.
Dom: Are any of these gun laws being debated right now even relevant to your job?
Jerry: In the end they’ll have no impact on criminal activity at all. None at all.
Where it will create more criminal activity is the average, everyday citizen that gets caught with these guns and high capacity magazines and assault weapons now, that laws that didn’t exist before—they’ll be part of our national crime statistics because they’ll now be the violent criminal that possess these horrible weapons.
And politicians will exploit this by saying, “We’ve made twenty-five percent more gun arrests.” Yeah, they were our citizens. They were the people that had their liberties and freedoms restricted.
Once they put these high capacity magazines and the assault weapon ban back into place, I’ll be locking up the average everyday citizen and will consider those violent crime offenders.
Just the mere possession of the guns they have always owned will make them criminals. So yeah, criminal activity will be rampant at the expense of our citizens.
Dom: It is unbelievable how we let the media corrupt this debate so far away from addressing the real problems we face as a nation. The only way anything is going to change is by getting more guys like Jerry talking about the violent reality they deal with. Because this whole gun debate, isn’t about solving problems. It’s about politics and cable TV ratings. And we’ve got to decide as a nation whether we’d rather ignore reality and let celebrities and political entertainers make decisions for us, or if we are going to go find the truth for ourselves.