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There are staunch defenders of the Second Amendment who will not consider even the slightest restrictions on ownership of weapons of any kind. They argue the amendment clearly allows citizens to own weapons, even those designed for the modern battlefield.

When the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791 as part of what we call the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, the intent appears to have been to have on call a citizen militia in time of war. In those days, the most advanced firearm available was the single shot rifled musket, which was primarily a hunting weapon that was considered a terrorist weapon by some generals because of its accuracy and range.

The founding fathers could not have envisioned the advancements in weaponry that exist today. The revolving pistol was still decades in the future when the Second Amendment was adopted, and the repeating rifle, as a military weapon, did not see use on a battlefield for another 70 years, during the Civil War.

Since then, weapons development has been revolutionized with rifles that fire automatically. Civilian versions are sold that fire semi automatically, but are nearly as devastating in their lethality. The modern battlefield small arm is designed to kill, and unlike many military arms of the past, they have no real sporting application. military rifle is the M 16 and its variants, including the M 4 carbine. It is a selective fire rifle that fires a .223 caliber bullet. troops a weapon to match the AK 47 used by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces.

Stoner’s family said recently that their father would not have approved of the weapon being sold on the civilian market, noting that he never owned one himself. His children and grandchildren said he would have been horrified by the mass shootings that have taken place using the civilian version, commonly known as the AR 15.

Gen. forces in Afghanistan, said he has seen first hand the damage the M 4 carbine does on the battlefield.

“If you’ve been on the battlefield you’ve probably carried the M 4 carbine,” McChrystal said in a 2013 interview. “It does terrible damage. It’s supposed to. I don’t want them on our streets. I don’t want them in our schools. I think we need to have a very serious look at why we would even consider having guns like that out there.”

A Sig Sauer MCX, similar in function and design to the AR 15, was used in the Orlando nightclub massacre more than a week ago where 49 people were killed. An AR 15 was used in the Sandy Hook slaughter, where 20 6 and 7 year old children and their teachers lost their lives. Other similar rifles have been used in mass shootings.

Expanded background checks, and the money necessary to make them effective, would help stem the slaughter. There are a number of loopholes and exemptions that need to be closed.

But the real discussion has to be on the weapons themselves. Modern, military style weapons have no useful application outside the hands of the military and, in some cases, law enforcement. The militia envisioned in the Second Amendment has not existed in this country for a century, and is not likely to return.
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