A note on gun terminology

In response to “A Loaded Topic: Pioneer Valley firearms community is active, but often hidden,” published January 16 – 22, 2020.

I just read this article. It is an interesting way to introduce the topic to your readership which, I think, is reasonably well done. I like the way it puts a human face on gun owners. It would have been nice to more deeply explore the thinking of some of the gun control advocates. It would have been interesting to hear what, specifically, they are trying to accomplish and why they think it would improve matters.

Unfortunately, the article begins with a glaring error: incorrect use of the term “assault rifle.” An assault rifle is a military grade machine gun capable of rapidly firing multiple shots with a single pull of the trigger. The rifles mentioned in the article are clearly NOT assault rifles. They are ordinary semi automatic rifles which are denigrated by anti gunners by arbitrarily branding them as something other than ordinary semi automatic rifles. They have been “assigned” by anti gunners to an artificial category, “assault weapons” based on superficial, cosmetic features which make the appear scary to some people. The common confusion among the general public, and reporter Redington, between machine guns (assault rifles), and ordinary but, to some, scary looking rifles (assault weapons) is the result of a deliberate tactic by anti gunners to create and spread exactly this type of confusion for purposes of propaganda. I hope you will publish a correction for the article’s misuse of the term “assault rifle” when referring to an ordinary, semi automatic rifle. Better yet, why not do an article to expose the deliberate fraud behind the artificial terminology “assault weapon.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The gun used by Police Chief Ken Ouimette was an assault rifle, according to Ouimette, as Redington originally reported. Assault rifles are illegal to own for most Massachusetts residents, with exceptions including police officers, such as Ouimette.

— Richard Kramer, email

Support for Pete Buttigieg

With cheers and wild applause the audience erupts as Pete Buttigieg takes the stage. Overspilling with excitement and hope, the crowd anticipates the phenomenon they have come from near and far to experience. “Thank you so much for being here!” he says with appreciation and warmth. And so it begins.

Our four grandchildren, all age five and under, are the reason we drove two hundred miles to be here. My husband and I, concerned for the consequences our government’s decisions, actions, and inaction will have on their lives, recognize in Pete Buttigieg a rare mix of youth and enlightenment, brilliant eloquence and humility, impeccable character and lived experience, and a genuine calling to serve. We see in him, an opportunity to bring statesman-like virtues and qualities to the White House – the same virtues and qualities of statesmanship enlisted historically when our nation has faced existential threats.

The audience becomes pin-drop silent as Pete Buttigieg begins his opening remarks. There is intense attention given to every word he speaks. His message is unifying and uplifting, He inspires hope. He is talking about our lives — our freedom, our security, our democracy. There is spontaneous applause and explosive approval from the crowd throughout his speech, which transitions to Q&A with, “But… I want this to be a conversation.”

Members of the audience have written questions and dropped them into a fishbowl on the way into the town hall. The community member who introduced Pete earlier is welcomed back to the stage by Pete. She draws a folded index card from the fishbowl. “This question is from Andrea. How do you plan to…” Pete nods, “Ah, great question. Is Andrea here?” as he looks out to find a raised hand, and then makes direct eye contact. His response is compassionate. It is substantial, wise, and brilliantly framed. His delivery is calm, genuinely authentic, and stunningly eloquent. In his precision, we sense a hearty love of and devotion to truth.

There is no topic he has not considered deeply in order to fully understand the impact on Americans now and into the future. For the next 60 minutes, he provides detailed responses explaining complex issues in digestible but edifying terms, laying out logical rationale, bold solutions, and pragmatic pathways forward. We see how his policy plans intersect with one another to dismantle systemic racism, tackle climate change, and help a divided America become whole. On health care, the economy, education, and more, his ideas are bold and innovative. We see a model of dignity, discipline, and excellence on the stage – a pragmatic, progressive change-maker committed to service, guided by tenets of his faith and American values.

Our grandchildren will want to know what actions we took when we were called upon to set our country’s course into the future. We will tell them about our efforts in support of Pete Buttigieg for President.

To learn more about Pete Buttigieg and to sign up to volunteer, visit www.PeteForAmerica.com

— Diane M. Rodriguez, East Longmeadow