That's what you object to? Really?
In a perceptive column on the recent lockdown of East Carolina University after someone mistook an umbrella for a gun and called the law, I wrote that campus cops secured the school and determined that the umbrella wasn't loaded.
Some logic-bereft readers interpreted the column as an anti-gun screed. Responded one: "The term 'assault rifle' is used entirely too much by the antigun liberal media. Assault weapons, by definition, are fully automatic. The weapons shown in the photo are not."
Whaddya want to call them, pal? Muffins?
Another reader, who was also probably taking a break from lusting after the centerfold picture in Guns & Ammo magazine, chimed in, "I'd be willing to bet the calls ... about the assault rifle came from people who have NEVER seen an assault rifle."
Just between you and me, nowhere in my evenhanded piece did I refer to the weapons the ECU cops in the photo on our front page were carrying as "assault weapons." I didn't even say they had weapons. But who's going to try to correct a gun lover once he gets on a roll?
Not I, because anybody who'd get their Fruit of the Looms in a bunch over that probably has a cache of those bad boys at the crib.
Most of us without a political agenda would probably conclude that any weapon "by definition" is an assault weapon - or at least could be. A Glock, a flintlock musket, even a frozen leg of lamb - if you bop somebody upside the head with it - all qualify as assault weapons when you get right down to it.
Of course, gun lovers and fanatics brook no dissent when it comes to protecting their right to bear arms. Over the years, even the most common-sense proposed legislation to regulate guns has been met with yelps of protest.
Speaking of common sense, some place where it may not be on display is on Garner's Town Council, which is expected to vote tonight to change a law that currently prohibits guns in public parks. The council, apparently wanting to bestow an early Christmas present on residents who pack, wants to change the law so that, beginning Dec. 3, they can carry their concealed weapon into parks. Fa la la la la la la la. All I can say is Santa had better be quiet when he flies over Garner next month.
A stupid new state law gives you the right to carry concealed weapons into parks, but it also gives cities and towns the authority to ban them from recreational facilities such as playgrounds, athletic fields and public pools. If they want to.
Guns are just what we need at sporting events. If you've ever seen a bunch of frustrated jocks reliving their high school glory days from 30 years ago or, worse, parents deriving their sense of worth by how well their young 'uns perform at T-ball - you know that allowing guns into that volatile mix stinks.
Trust me: the phrase "Kill the ump" could take on a literal meaning.
Now that's what you call an assault - on good sense.
Tell Barry Saunders what you think at 919-836-2811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.