Appearing on FOX NEWS Sunday following retired Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre made the point that an attempt to characterize semi-automatic weapons as some new, emerging danger in the firearms world is ludicrous: "Semi-automatic firearm technology has been around 100 years."
LaPierre is right. The first semi-automatic firearms came out about the same time that automobiles were being introduced. In fact, the Colt 1911, variants of which are currently made by Sig Sauer, Kimber, Smith & Wesson, Wilson Combat, and others, got its name by being adopted by the U.S. military in 1911.
There is nothing new under sun on this one.
LaPierre made this observation as a response this statement by Kelly, earlier in the program:
In 1934 we banned automatic weapons. You know, I argue the semi-automatic assault weapon with a high capacity magazine is just too dangerous to be on the street where criminals and terrorists and the mentally ill can easily get them.
LaPierre seized on this to show that the proposed ban is actually bigger than Kelly intimates. As Feinstein's legislation makes clear, the "assaults weapons" ban would cover 150 specific guns, some of which are pistols and shotguns. In effect, it is a semi-automatic weapons ban.
Next, LaPierre indicated how strange it is to suddenly be focusing on a technology that has been in American hands for a century. And he made it clear that laws against this technology won't hurt criminals, but law abiding citizens:
Semi-automatic technology has been around 100 years. If you limit the American public's access to semi-automatic technology, you limit their ability to survive.
If someone is invading your house...you shouldn't say you can only have five or six shots, you ought to have what you need to protect yourself.