We Should Ban Semi-Automatic Firearms

Beretta

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

I’m not generally on the gun control beat, but I’ll repeat my view for the record: semi-automatic weapons should be banned for civilian use. Basically, shotguns, revolvers, and bolt-action rifles would remain legal, and that’s it.

The last time I mentioned this, a bunch of gun folks chimed in to claim I was an idiot. Revolvers are semi-automatic weapons! Ha ha ha. Being the reasonable guy that I am, I was willing to consider them manual load weapons, since it takes human power to advance the cylinder. A true semi-automatic uses the power of expanding gas¹ to chamber a new load. However, if the gun folks consider a double-action revolver to be a semi-automatic, who am I to argue? That just means my list has been revised to include shotguns, single-action revolvers, and bolt action rifles.² In other words, the only legal firearms would be those that require a separate human action to load a new round. There are other details I’d support too, but this is the main thing.

If I were your benevolent dictator, this is what would would happen. But I’m not, and nothing like this will happen in my lifetime. This is why I don’t spend much time writing about guns.

¹Or, in the case of most handguns, recoil force.

²Or pump action or lever action. You get the idea, I’m sure.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate