10/01 VPC’s .50 Caliber Misfire

VPC’s .50 Caliber Misfire
Erich Pratt

The Violence Policy Center’s effort to use the War on Terrorism to justify banning the .50 caliber rifle reveals more about the VPC than it does the threat posed by owners of the rifle.

The VPC has never had a good word to say about any gun. Not surprisingly they have tried to stampede politicians into banning the .50 caliber rifle.

The VPC tried to make it seem as if the firearms industry in the U.S. is in collusion with Osama Bin Laden’s terror network because 25 of these rifles were sold to the world’s most famous terrorist. Of course, when the guns were legally transferred with State Department approval, Bin Laden was a Mujahadin fighting our enemies in the Soviet Union and our government was covertly aiding Bin Laden.

But according to the VPC, if American soldiers encounter a .50 caliber being fired at them in Afghanistan, it will be the fault of American gun manufactures.

The lurid description by the VPC of the power of the .50 caliber overlooks a couple of problems in calling for a ban. Bans are prohibited by the Constitution, and the gun is hardly a favorite tool of the criminal element.

After all, a person has to shell out upwards of $2,000 to buy one of these rifles. The ammunition for it can cost up to $5 per round. And the gun itself is extremely heavy and bulky — a criminal could more easily carry a boat anchor than one of these cumbersome .50 calibers.

Despite the fact that these guns have been around since the mid-1800s, they just aren’t being used in crime. But that should not bother a group that called for the banning of semi-automatic rifles when the data revealed that they were used in fewer murders than are hands and feet.

For the sake of my hands and feet, I hope the VPC never succeeds in banning all the guns. I can just imagine the propaganda they would then put forth on the “senseless violence being perpetrated by hands and feet and the need for sensible appendage control.”

Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America.