Cosmetic changes do not alter dangers
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 8:44 am

To the Editor:

Sheriff Kevin Wells is incorrect in stating that it is merely “cosmetics” that classify assault firearms. The article titled “Despite SAFE Act, Police Not Hunting For Assault Rifles” was printed in the May 7-13 edition.

I beg to differ. Assault firearms are tools designed to kill/maim people, quickly and in large numbers. These firearms are as different from hunting rifles as daggers and stilletos are from hunting and kitchen knives.

Daggers and stilletos are designed as tools to be used against other human beings to inflict fatal injuries and these weapons are against the law to possess in NY State, while hunting/kitchen knives also can be wielded to inflict mortal wounds on people, they are legal to own because they are tools not designed for use on people. Ditto possessing swords vs. machetes. Swords with a sharpened blade - illegal. Machete - legal.

Assault firearms are what the folks brought to confront the Feds and protect Clive Bundy’s free-loading cattle from evil government confiscation. There were no hunting rifles that I noticed being carried.

Assault firearms are the weapons of choice for police agencies at all levels. If Sheriff Taylor was in his office in Mayberry today, those “hunting rifles” on the racks would be gone and replaced by military style assault weapons. When will the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deptartment go back to old-school firearms since it is only a matter of cosmetics?

Because if assault weapon’s “cosmetics” differentiate assault firearms from hunting rifles, then why the need for police, militia types and home-protectors to own and use these weapons if a simple old-school hunting rifle/12 gauge shotgun will do the trick? Assault weapons are the weapons of choice. If it is a matter of simple “cosmetics” then folks are getting duped and paying lots of good money for “fake” knock-offs of military assault weapons, even with a bayonet lug.

Yes, a .22 rifle designed to look like an AR-15 is all about the cosmetic appearance and under the SAFE Act these weapons are not regulated or required to be registered. Nor is .22 rimfire ammo restricted or regulated.

Frank J. Thies

Potsdam