The press has been reporting that the Newtown shooter was carrying a .223-caliber rifle. “Marlow Stern,” of Twitter, tweeted the following image along with the accompanying text: “Suspect used .223 caliber rifle. This is a picture of a .223 rifle. This is legal.”
Okay, but… so what? .223 is just the size of the bullet. Here’s another .223 rifle:
What’s the difference between the bottom two and the top one? Mostly it’s the wooden stocks — you have to admit that liberals love wood accenting. But I doubt very seriously that the person who tweeted the first picture could identify one functional characteristic that makes the AR-type rifle more dangerous than the pretty wood ones. It just… looks scary. So we post pictures of it and everybody gets to feel good for a minute talking about how crazy it is that a civilian could have such a scary-looking weapon, without asking ourselves whether it would really make a difference in anyone’s life if we banned AR’s. This is not serious gun control debate. It’s just a tribal ritual. It’s good for bonding, but not much else.
UPDATE: And I should learn something about how to make webpages. Sorry about the wonky image problem — should be fixed now.