To the Editor:
After reading your Opinions pages regularly for several months now, I am truly amazed that so much misinformation is out there about firearms. The most recent opinion in your March 12 issue, “Well-regulated guns” from Mr. Arneberg, put me over the edge.
I don’t mind an informed debate over the Second Amendment, but know your facts before you open your mouth.
Mr. Arneberg’s assertion that there are “two types of guns ...” is not correct.
There are several types of firearms (guns) – single-action, double-action, bolt-action, single-shot, semi-automatic and fully automatic.
Even his definitions of single-action and double-action are totally incorrect. Single-action and double-action apply pretty strictly to pistols. A single-action firearm requires a manual cocking of the hammer and a trigger pull for every shot.
A double-action firearm can be fired simply by pulling the trigger for each shot, but the trigger must be released and then pulled again for subsequent shots. Bolt-action firearms are pretty well understood by most people.
Single-shot firearms are just that – one single shot. They must be reloaded after every shot. Semi-automatic firearms can be pistols, rifles or shotguns. They have multiple rounds loaded into a magazine, and will reload the firearm automatically, after each shot, until the magazine is empty.
Even so, these firearms require a manual pull of the trigger for each round fired. Finally, fully automatic firearms – for the record – are illegal to buy or possess in Illinois, unless you are active military or law enforcement.
Fully automatic firearms are like semi-automatic firearms in two respects – they both automatically reload after each shot, and they both feed rounds from a magazine. The critical difference is that a fully automatic firearm will continue to reload and fire with one trigger pull, as long as the trigger is kept depressed, until the magazine is empty.
In closing, I would caution others who spread misinformation about firearms, know the facts before sending letters or making speeches. Quoting Abraham Lincoln – “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”