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Had an online discussion this morning about guns, semi-automatics to be precise, and I’ve come to some conclusions.

I wish folks who were against guns didn’t parrot the media and mouth off about semi-automatics being the devil. They aren’t. The people I’m debating have some preconceived notion that semi-auto’s are bad. So my question was, what about revolvers/bolt action/pumps? Do you know that in the right hands they can shoot just as fast, and just as deadly as a semi-automatic?

My shotgun is a semi-automatic. <silence>

My handguns are semi-automatic too. <Guns are bad!>

My AR-15 is a semi-automatic. <OMG these are weapons of mass destruction!!!>

When I mentioned my shotgun, I could tell there was confusion on the other end of the interwebs. They didn’t realize shotguns could be semi-automatic because they don’t realize what they’re arguing against.

If you’re against guns in general, just say so. I get that. You’re ignorant and uneducated on the subject and they scare you. Understandable.

But if you’re against only semi-automatics because of the damage they can do, I suggest you learn exactly what it is you’re against.

When a gun is considered semi-automatic, it’s not more dangerous or more lethal. It doesn’t make the gun suddenly become a man killer. Only a human can provide intent, emotion, and decisions when holding that gun. Semi-automatic is simply a mechanism in how bullets are loaded into the gun after the trigger is squeezed. Another bullet is popped into place. But you still have to fire it by squeezing the trigger. I can pump shells into my pump shotgun one at a time and squeeze the trigger as fast as I can squeezing the trigger of my semi-automatic shotgun yet it’s less convenient when shooting at sporting clays or ducks.

I can squeeze the trigger of a revolver pistol as fast as I can my semi-automatic handgun.

But none of that convenience, none of those mechanisms for getting the next bullet or shell to fire makes me a killer.

In the twenty or so years I’ve been around guns, taught people how to shoot, and organized shooting related events, not one time have I ever had the thought of pulling a gun, or firing one, at another human being. My guns, without human intent, are not dangerous. Only humans are dangerous.

Criminals will always be criminals. The insane and mentally impaired will always be capable of making bad decisions. The psychopaths will find anything they can get their hands on to do mass damage.

As a gun owner, it’s my responsibility to make sure no one can get their hands on my sporting tools. As a parent it’s my responsibility to make sure to monitor my children and if they exhibit mental instability, to remove the guns from the house and get my kid help. It’s my responsibility as a handgun and rifle instructor to teach my students the proper use and safety while handling guns.

But it’s not my job to put criminals in jail for breaking the law. It’s not my job to make better choices or provide better avenues for the mentally impaired.

My job is to use my guns safely, teach others to do so, and enjoy the freedoms of my country. And, if the situation ever presents itself, it’s my job to protect my home and family from the criminals the law hasn’t jailed, the mentally unstable should they be a threat, and put down any psychopaths that aim to do me harm.

Otherwise, as I sit here over morning coffee and stare at my semi-automatic handgun, it provides no one any threat. It’s just a hunk of metal. Incapable of making decisions, flooding itself with emotion, or doing harm. It needs a human to do that.

As the old saying goes, guns do not kill people. People kill people. And some people are just evil. The rest of us aren’t.

A semi-automatic gun of any type isn’t dangerous except in the hands of a killer. And that person has an intent only they can relate to. But he can have any weapon in his hand to do his deed. A bomb. A tank. A drone. A revolver. A knife. A bolt action rifle. Fire. Evil is in this world. We cannot stop it. Banning guns, knives or even pressure cookers won’t stop a killer. They will always find a way.

Learn about what you’re against. Don’t follow or use words you know nothing about. A semi-automatic doesn’t make it easier to kill people. Only a depraved mind does that.