I’ve already expressed myself on the absurdity of both the Bob Costas anti-gun remarks and the Jason Whitlock column that inspired it, but something the NBC broadcaster said here indicates that he really has no idea what he’s talking about:
Here’s where I stand: I do not want to see the second amendment repealed. . . . People should be allowed to own guns for their own protection. Obviously, those who are hunters. . . . Access to guns is too easy in some cases. I don’t see any reason a citizen should be able to arm himself in some states in ways only police or military should — to have a virtual militia (bought by) mail order or gun shows. Why do you need a semi automatic weapon? What possible use is there?
Super-scary “semi-automatic” weapons are those that require a separate pull of the trigger to fire each round — just like a completely non “semi-automatic” weapon like a revolver. The words “semi-automatic” refers to the fact that the gun is ready to shoot again immediately after firing a round: The spent casing is ejected, a new round loaded and the hammer re-cocked — as opposed to, say, a single-action revolver, whose spent cartridges must be manually emptied and whose hammer must be cocked before each shot.
In other words, a semi-automatic handgun is what most people would call a “gun,” like the indispensable Colt M1911. As for what possible use such firearms could be, Costas could benefit from a little research.