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3. Rupert Murdoch: "When will politicians find the courage to ban automatic weapons?"
Speaking of Australians and Twitter, media magnate and longtime gun control advocate Rupert Murdoch took to the short-message system to blurt:
Terrible news today. When will politicians find the courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy.
Perhaps Murdoch's focus was distracted by the ongoing ethics charges against various personnel in his global media empire or maybe he just doesn't care about details. As Mediaite's Josh Feldman points out, none of the weapons reported to have been used in the Sandy Hook shooting was automatic. In fact, according to gun-control-promoting Mother Jones, none of the weapons used in mass killings at least since 1982 have been automatic guns.
Feldman could have also pointed out that it's already illegal for Americans to own fully automatic weapons (more commonly called machine guns) that were made after 1986. (According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives [ATF], an automatic weapon allows a shooter to fire more than one round with a single trigger pull). Of the 250,000 or so legally registered machine guns kicking around, many are at shooting ranges or in the hands of dealers. The only way that citizens can legally own such weapons made before 1986 is by going through an extensive approval process run by ATF.
Not only has machine gun ownership has been strictly controlled since 1934, the use of fully automatic weapons - whether legal or illegal - in criminal activity is vanishingly small. So getting rid of the few machine guns still in legal circulation would have just about zero effect on anything.
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