It’s a given today that we’re concerned with gun violence, and rightly so. I voluntarily teach, and my wife is concerned about me being in a school. What a tragedy; she never worried about me being in one of the petrochemical plants.

So, here’s my take on the situation — and my offer of a solution.

1. The National Rifle Association idea (of the Second Amendment) that we need guns and a militia to protect us from a bad government is really kind of stupid. The government has fighter airplanes, tanks, guided missiles, etc. Just what are we supposed to do with guns?

2. The idea that we should be allowed to buy and use anything we want is a little much, too. One might say that an assault rifle is no different than a 1,000 horse-power Corvette; both are way more than we need and both can kill. True, but one is manufactured for fun use and the other (assault weapon) is manufactured to kill as many humans as possible in the shortest period of time.

3. So what about the idea of defense? First of all, an assault rifle isn’t a defense weapon; if it were, policemen would wear them. It’s an offense weapon; too bulky for any practical quick defense use.

4. So, how about more guns so everybody could shoot the next killer? Remember, the assault rifle is too bulky to carry, so we’re talking pistols here. Only a movie hero, John Wayne, Batman or the like would stand ground with a pistol against an assault rifle.

In real life, even they would look for a hiding place; not about to stick their head out to shoot the bad guy with an assault rifle aimed at them. I’m betting that in the public shootings like in Las Vegas there were individuals carrying pistols; didn’t hear of any of them using their pistols to stop the bad guy did you?

So what is the solution?

1. Let’s all accept that assault rifles (outside of war use) are at best only good for fun, fast shooting at stationary targets; not humans and not even game animals.

2. Assault rifles in the wrong hands (which we will never be able to control) are too dangerous for individual ownership; we already control ownership of tanks, war airplanes, cruise missiles, etc. We must draw the line here on assault rifles, the same as we already have with these other assault weapons. Buy them back.

3. And now that no one can legally own one, but still wants to shoot one, do this: Allow private and public gun clubs and gun ranges to buy, keep and control all sorts of assault weapons. You want to shoot one, join a club and do it safely and sensibly.

By the way, the definition of an assault rifle is any rapid fire gun (designed and sold for military use) and/or that has a load capacity of more than nine rounds of ammunition.

Harvey Cappel lives in Texas City.


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(33) comments

Paul Hyatt

Definition of an assault rifle:

noun: assault rifle; plural noun: assault rifles

a rapid-fire, magazine-fed automatic rifle designed for infantry use. When you put a definition up, you might want to check your facts which by the way are wrong. Ignorance of history seems to be your strong suit as you do not understand why the 2nd Amendment was put into place. It was to protect from enemies from both outside and within. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand. Please do your self a favor and actually "read" the Constitution and maybe even study why much of it was put in there.

Gary Miller

Assault rifles ( AKA full automatic) were outlawed years ago. Liberals are trying to outlaw guns that have never been "assault rifles". Anything that could be used to kill a liberal after the big power grab is what they want to ban. Liberals are what the Founders were afraid we would someday need protection from.

Carlos Ponce

We hear from Democrat presidential candidates and the Liberal media the phrase "buy back". Only an original seller can "buy it back". Since the government didn't sell it to you how can it "buy it back"? Is the phrase "buy back" a widely used gaffe or plain stupidity? Actually they are afraid to use the phrase for what they really mean - CONFISCATE then reimburse.

Bailey Jones

Ban assault (style) weapons!!! Congratulations, you've solved 1% of our homicide problem. Well done!

I've said it before - Americans don't kill each other because they own guns. They own guns because they kill each other. You can't cure the illness by treating the symptoms.

Doug Sivyer

Baily, you view is very narrow minded. The last time I checked mental illness did not massacred anyone in nations that have gun controls outlawing these weapons. There are still mentally ill people in those nations just as there are here, and there always will be. So are you suggesting the solution is to hide behind the mental illness cloak throwing up our hands up saying "oh well" nothing can be done. A helpful solution as proven in other countries is to eliminate access to these weapons. While it will not solve the remaining gun violence we experience daily in this nation it is a start and one that makes perfect sense. Perhaps if your child or loved one is mowed down by one of these automatic weapons of war you may change your position.

Bailey Jones

Statistically, my daughter is much more likely to get killed by her husband than some "automatic weapon" toting boogeyman. I don't blame our murder rate on mental illness. I blame it on our culture of violence. If you want to address that - call me.

Paul Sivon

Your comments are the lone rational statements among this usual and predictable heap of posted inane trash. Just a read through the comments provides support that your view is directionally correct.

Wayne D Holt

Very true and as I pointed out in a much earlier column on this topic, you are three times more likely to die in a bicycle accident or choking on food. So called assault rifles are used in less than two percent of American homicides.

So who is fooling whom when it comes to the "common sense" need to eliminate a non-problem on the way to probable gun confiscation?

Figure out a way to make people less willing to kill others, and kill themselves, and you will have solved a good portion of the American violence issue...without gutting the Bill of Rights when you do.

BTW the writer first states that these guns are no match for the tanks, planes and major weapon systems the government has, but later says they should be outlawed for civilian ownership just like the above armaments. Which is it; ineffective toys or serious weapons?

Mary Gillespie

Doug, you don't know what you're talking about. It's next to impossible to buy a fully automatic weapon in the USA. Since 1986, no American has been able to purchase a new machine gun. Those in circulation before that require special permitting to buy.

As for the mentally ill being unable to commit mass murder using firearms, just ask the Norwegian legislature about that. If you were correct, their children would still be alive.

There is NO reason to disarm the law-abiding because a few kooks break the law. It would be like outlawing the ownership of cars because so many careless people kill others while using them irresponsibly.

Except that owning a car isn't a Constitutional right.

Don Schlessinger

"I've said it before - Americans don't kill each other because they own guns. They own guns because they kill each other."

Bailey, statements like yours are keeping rational (your favorite word) discussion from occurring. No one wants to discuss the problem with uninformed idiots that only want to abolish the 2nd amendment.

David Hardee

Well constructed argument. Nothing in this article can be disputed as a total restriction to the right to bear arms. Even a voluntary buyback is acceptable.

Wanting and wishing to eliminate these despicable mass murders by eliminating the assault weapons is the desire of every rational human being. But the elimination of the assault weapons will not fill that desire. Certainly if no assault weapon is available it cannot be the instrument of mass murder. But it is also certain that when mass murder is the intent a method/instrument will be found.

Every lucid and rational human wants the vetting and the ability to obtain an assault weapon by a potential mass murderer made as difficult as possible. Whether these demitted carry an assault weapon or any other deadly instrument identifying those individuals and stymieing them before they act is our ultimate goal. And to accomplish that goal will require the surrendering of much more of our personal liberties and freedoms.

Taking off shoes, allowing body scans, no fluids over 4 ounces, long lines, producing identification and every time we believe our house and every time we enter a public establishment would deftly alert to a person carrying an instrument of mass murder. But those would be surrenders of freedoms. Are we willing to perform these sacrifices?

Big brother “governments” will never get this much control, hopefully! Consequently it is up to little brother “each of us” to become my brother’s keeper. And when a brother “anyone” seems inclined to perpetrate a horrendous event we must snitch. This is again (snitching) a distasteful activity.

The struggle for solution continues!

Ray Taft

“Nothing in this article can be disputed as a total restriction to the right to bear arms.” That’s nonsense.

Leftist- Democrats are aiming to take away 2nd Amendment rights from law-abiding citizens while allowing their thugs and foreign and domestic criminals access to whatever guns they want. And as soon as the leftists take that right away, they’ll take away the rest of our God-given rights too.

That’s what this all about - removing Constitutional protections so that leftists can lord it over citizens. There cannot be any compromises to our guarantees in our Bill of Rights. Zero compromises with the erosion, no matter how slight, of our God-given rights as stated in the original documents, or we’ll eventually loose them all.

Charles Douglas


Gary Miller

Ray> You seem to be a strange person. A thinker that identifies the problem and the solution. I suspect you, if given the power, would offer solutions that worked. As far as I can tell Rudy Guilliany and the NRA are the only ones that have offered real solutions. Stop and frisk was Rudy's but it worked so good liberals used courts to end it. Project Exile, an NRA idea, worked until liberal judges refused to apply it. If you or someone else comes up with the real solution liberals and their judges will ruin it. Disarming law abiding citizens is their only goal.

Josh Butler

The Virginia Tech shooter killed 32 people with a Glock 19 and a Walther P22. The Santa Fe shooter murdered 10 with a.38 double action revolver and a pump action shotgun. These assault weapons you speak of are not the problem. Humans are the problem. My point is, as long as there is evil in the world, humans will find ways to kill each other. This won't stop with semi automatic rifles. It won't stop until all guns are banned, which will accomplish nothing besides taking away a citizen's right to protect itself.

Charles Douglas

All shoot, Mr. BUTLER! You did something BETO failed to do! You let the second cat out the bag! See, there were TWO cats in the bag. Beto let one out when he declared BOLDLY, " we are coming for your AK47S and your MR-15s!" You sir just let the other one out explaining that what the Liberals really want is ALL OUR GUNS, and probably any slingshots our kids might have. They are taking it one step at a time. First go after the assault weapons, then go after the Glocks, Berettas, S&Ws, etc.etc.That is their real plan. They cannot stop Chinese drugs which are killing hundreds of Americans everyday, from crossing the Southern border, so how will they stop crooks, criminals, and lawbreakers from getting guns which will surely come pouring across as well? I'm glad someone asked that question, because if the citizens of this country are disarmed, you won't like what is in store next!!! Disarming this country might be easier said than done.[sneaky][angry]

Gary Miller

Josh> Banning guns will not work until EVIL is banned.

Diane Turski

Thank you for a common sense article explaining why assault rifles should be banned from civilian ownership!!

domenico nuckols

I agree!

Susan Smith

Military style assault rifles ARE banned from civilian ownership. Again, know your facts.

Jim Forsythe

Colt will suspend production of AR-15 rifles for civilian sales, saying there's an "adequate supply" of the high-powered weapons already in the market, the famed gun manufacturer said Thursday.

Don Schlessinger

I think the other big manufacturers will have to follow suit. Colt is setting the pace for this one.

Michael Byrd

This is just my opinion but I suspect Colt is likely reacting to the fact that they are a high priced option in a commodity driven market and cannot effectively compete. They emerged from bankruptcy in 2016 and have never fully recovered financially from losing military contracts to FN. Colt used to be the standard for quality in the firearms world but sadly, they appear to be an American gunmaker on their way out.

Carlos Ponce

There is no army in the world that has one of the weapons Bobbie Frank wants to ban as a standard issue armament.

Don Schlessinger

I think Colt realized REPLICA assault rifles might kill the goose.

Michael Byrd

“The government has fighter airplanes, tanks, guided missiles, etc. Just what are we supposed to do with guns?” - You may want to put down the Democrat talking points and try reading some real history books about guerrilla warfare and insurgencies and their effectiveness in the 20th century.

Charles Douglas

[beam][thumbup]..AhhhHaaaa Got that training I see! We know how don't We!

Paul Hyatt

I think it was Ben Franklin who said, "Those who would trade away their rights for a little bit of safety and not worthy of either".... What I do not understand is how so many are so ignorant of what our Constitution says and why it says what it does. What part of "Shall not be infringed" do so many of you not understand???? Most who are blathering about wanting to get rid of the AR-15's do not even understand what an assault rifle is, for if you did you would know that the civilian made AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle.

What people need to remember is that armed citizen's are free citizen's, but disarmed citizen's become slaves to the state.... Don't believe me go to Venezuela and take a look down there. They used to have the right to bear arms, but they lost it about 10 years ago, now only the thugs and the government have weapons and they are on the same side to harass the slaves of Venezuela....Wake up America before we lose our Freedoms....

Don Schlessinger


Gary Miller

Telling a liberal the truth about assault rifles already being illegal for civilian ownership does nothing because they aren't after assault guns. They want to outlaw all guns that can be used to protect us from them. Outlawing them would serve US better. They know the final power grab can't happen as long as we are armed.

Gary Miller

It's been illegal for citizens to own an assault rifle( AKA full automatic) for many years without a special, very expensive licence.

Paul Hyatt

Again facts are something that the MSM and the liberal left do not care about and refuse to let them get in their way of their biased and perverted agenda.... Their lust for absolute power is what this is all about and they can not have absolute power as long as We the People are free people.... Not if but when the demoncrats kill the 2nd Amendment this nation as we know it will be over and never be the same....

mark white

Mr. Cappel, enjoyed your article. Well thought out and sane observations.

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