By Larry Keane
Professional movers make a note. When Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) eventually vacates her office on Capitol Hill, it’s going to be an easy lift.
She recently compared the weight of an AR-15 to something really scary and simple to visualize for those who are easily frightened. Since no one really likes moving, it must have been natural to compare them to moving boxes.
“I held an AR-15 in my hand. I wish I hadn’t,” Rep. Jackson Lee said. “It is as heavy as 10 boxes that you might be moving.”
Moving Boxes? Really?
Those are some mighty light moving boxes, given the average AR-15 weighs in at between seven and nine pounds. But don’t fret yet, she made her description super scary for the uninitiated.
“And the bullet that is utilized, a .50 caliber, these kinds of bullets need to be licensed and do not need to be on the street,” she added.
Social media was quick to show her the difference between the two bullets.
The scariest part of her attempt to demonize the rifle of which she obviously knows little is that she’s a leading voice calling for the ban on these commonly-owned rifles. She’s an original co-sponsor of H.R. 1296, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 and sits on the House Judiciary Committee, through which all gun legislation must flow.
We know we’re just the firearms industry trade association, but we know a thing or two about firearms. The AR-15 is most commonly chambered in a .223 caliber or 5.56mm bullet. The .50 caliber bullet is a full half-inch diameter. It’s the difference of driving a sports car and Mack truck. One is much, much heavier.
Hyperbole Helps Gun Control
We shouldn’t be surprised. This isn’t a new tactic. New York Daily News Gersh Kuntzman fired an AR-15 for an objective report to inform those who aren’t familiar with the rifle. The headline read, literally, “It’s horrifying, menacing and very very loud.” So loud, he described it this way, “It felt to me like a bazooka — and sounded like a cannon.”
Of course, there’s case of Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling who gave an AR-15 lesson to CNN’s Gary Tuchman. The general, in all his military experience, described the semiautomatic as “full semiautomatic.” Cringeworthy, yes, since the general made a career of the martial arts, including the use of firearms in warfare. He certainly should know the difference between an automatic firearm like a machine gun and a semiautomatic rifle that fires one bullet for each squeeze of the trigger.
The American public deserves better than half-truths, made-up farcical facts and duplicitous claims.
This is a serious debate. The National Shooting Sports Foundation comes to the table with actual facts and Real SolutionsSM.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.