My article as originally published in American Thinker:
I came into this world circa 1990 via Sturm, Ruger & Co. – a strapping young Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. Soon thereafter, I was sent to California and eventually was adopted by a very kind gun-loving family. I was fortunate enough to spend a good number of hours at the shooting range over the years, but after carefully observing the performance of some of the more popular centerfire rifles – the military-looking ones – I realized I wanted to be more than just an ordinary “Ranch Rifle.”
I’ve always felt inadequate bench-resting next to my like-caliber AR-15-style friends because of their awesome military-style looks. But don’t let my somewhat innocuous appearance fool you – regardless of my own insecurities, I’m able to do nearly everything they can do. I chamber the very same .223 (5.56mm NATO) rounds, accept high-capacity magazines and sport the same semi-automatic action (pull my trigger once, and I fire one round, eject the casing, and chamber a new round to lie in wait for a second trigger pull) as do my AR-15 type friends.
The bottom line: pesky varmints (I don’t have enough power to lawfully take deer in most states) and armed criminals intending to do harm would be unable to tell the difference between myself and one of my more ferocious-looking military-style counterparts.
I understand I’ll always be a Ruger Mini-14 at heart; it’s in my DNA. And I know I should be proud of who I am. After all, I’m styled in the likeness of the combat-proven M-14. But I still want a modern upgrade so I’ll look more like one of the cool guns that get all the attention at gun ranges. Even some of my younger Mini-14 siblings now have an amazing “tactical” look. Fortunately, there does exist a massive aftermarket dedicated to making it easy for guns like me to facilitate this type of transformation.
My owner did some research, and as it turns out, transforming me from a boring “Ranch Rifle” into a military-looking weapon would be a fairly easy endeavor. But due to California’s discriminatory gun laws, making such changes would cause me to then be labeled an “assault rifle.” My AR-15-style buddies already have to endure this discrimination (wrong-headedly, since actual military rifles are either full-auto or semi/tri-burst). So suddenly, based purely upon my looks, it would be illegal for me to continue residing in the state I currently call home.
Some people think my friends and I are evil, but let’s be honest here: I am just a tool. It is humans who are either willing, or not, to commit an act of evil against their fellow man. And considering that a common car was the weapon of choice used recently in Las Vegas to deliberately ram into a crowd, killing one and injuring thirty-seven more, it’s clear that there are any number of tools that can be used to cause mass carnage at the hands of what I would call “assault humans.” And indiscriminately outlawing certain unpopular paint colors for automobiles would do nothing to prevent this from being repeated in the future.
I may merely be a wannabe “assault rifle,” but if I had some advice for you humans, it would be to stop electing useless tools like Lieutenant Governor (and governor wannabe) Gavin Newsom, who, like many politicians and members of the media, has little understanding of how I and other guns actually function. He and others continue to promote more useless laws to restrict guns that are rarely used in crimes and in the end only hamper the rights of law-abiding humans.
Worse yet, while Newsom attempts to make it more difficult for the law-abiding to protect themselves and their families using firearms such as myself, he supports sanctuary cities, which provide shelter for law-breaking humans who occasionally end up committing horrific crimes such as rape and even murder.