10 Gun Myths Debunked

Posted: Mar 20, 2013 8:00 AM

In our April issue of Townhall Magazine, we talk to gun industry experts to dispel 10 firearms myths that have permeated U.S. cultural thinking. Have you heard these myths from your neighbors or coworkers? Now you'll have the knowledge to fight back. Check out an exclusive sneak peek of just a few items that made our list by scrolling down below.

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Excerpted from Townhall Magazine's April cover story, "10 Myths About Guns and Gun Control," by Mark Kakkuri:

Myth #3: Civilians do not need a certain type of gun.

“Need is irrelevant,” says Richard Mann, author of the upcoming book “Handgun Training for Personal Protection” and contributing editor to several firearms magazines. An award-winning pistol shooter, Mann has served in law enforcement and the military and has trained personnel in both in defensive shooting.

“Need?” he asks sardonically. “With speed limits at 70 mph we don’t ‘need’ a car that goes any faster, we don’t need iPads, DVRs or microwave ovens. When we start limiting the rights guaranteed by one amendment based on ‘need,’ they will all soon suffer.”

Beyond Mann’s philosophical point, a practical matter that often arises in firearms discussions is that of ammunition capacity, whether for rifles or pistols. How many rounds, for example, does a civilian need for his or her pistol for a typical self-defense situation?

Civilians have occasional need for high-volume magazines for pistols, such as when thwarting the attack of multiple assailants, says Ayoob, but most self-defense encounters will not require much ammunition.

“However, you’ll never hear anyone who’s been in a gunfight say, ‘I wish I was carrying less ammunition than I was,’” he says.

Ayoob says civilians consider police officers to be the resident experts on firearms and naturally like to do what the officers do in terms of choosing guns: “So if police carry a polymer pistol that holds 16 rounds of .40 such as a Glock 22, that’s what they will think is best. The cops must know what are the best tools to defeat the bad guys in the area.”


Myth #5: An AR-15 is inherently more dangerous than other semi-automatic firearms.

No firearm gets more attention than the ubiquitous AR-15. Although made by multiple manufacturers in a myriad of configurations with scores of accessories, these “black rifles” or “modern sporting rifles” are both praised and condemned and usually the first target of liberal gun control legislation. As such, the myth persists that they’re more dangerous than other semi-automatics.

“Reporters and activists sometimes write this because they don’t know better,” says Mike Bazinet, public affairs director for the Newtown, Conn.-based National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Some activists don’t know better or they may actually want to confuse matters in the public mind in pursuit of their public policy objectives. Rifles of any kind are rarely used in criminal activity.”


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