How old should you have to be to legally buy an AR-15?

According to Chris Matthews on the 2/20/2018 episode of his soft-headed MSNBC show Hardball, we should raise the age of eligibility to buy an AR-15 (and one would assume all other semi-automatic rifles) to 21.  This is apparently a great idea; after all, 21 is the age required to buy a handgun from an FFL dealer.  This would arguably keep us safe from minds that aren't fully formed and are subject to impulsive decisions.  However, we have to balance this line of thought with not only the Constitution of the United States, but also Matthews's other stances on policy issues and to whom we should be listening.

Now, to the constitutional issue: This line of thought by Matthews is absolutely ridiculous.  While he and I do agree that one should have to be the same age to buy a rifle and a handgun, we disagree on the age.  If one is old enough to vote, or old enough to serve on a battlefield, one is old enough to have a firearm so long as he hasn't forfeited his right to do so.  We cannot argue that an eighteen-year-old has the mental faculties to vote for his representative or sign a legally binding contract yet at the same time lacks the ability to defend his life with a firearm.  If he has the capacity for the one, he must have the capacity for the other.  Consistency, especially in matters of law and inalienable rights, is required. 

As far as Matthews's own consistency, or lack thereof, there's really nothing new here.  He advocates for banning adults from owning firearms based purely on age, and then, in the next breath, he says we need to listen to a sixteen-year-old's idea on public policy.  Apparently, the only thing that means that your brain is fully developed, at least in Matthews's mind, is that you agree with him.  This idea makes children out of adults at some points and makes adults of them at times purely relative to Chris Matthews's own opinion.  From a man who has advocated for the idea that a child has the maturity and development to tell you he's a member of the opposite sex, this seems to be nothing but glaring hypocrisy at the highest level. 

We shouldn't be surprised, as Matthews and all of his compatriots at MSNBC like to pick and choose their rhetoric in order to gain the best possible emotional response from their audience.  Facts are few and far between when it comes to the talking heads, but one would at least hope for rhetorical consistency.  I guess my desires are merely a castle built on sand, much like Chris Matthews's claim that his show deals in critical thought.

According to Chris Matthews on the 2/20/2018 episode of his soft-headed MSNBC show Hardball, we should raise the age of eligibility to buy an AR-15 (and one would assume all other semi-automatic rifles) to 21.  This is apparently a great idea; after all, 21 is the age required to buy a handgun from an FFL dealer.  This would arguably keep us safe from minds that aren't fully formed and are subject to impulsive decisions.  However, we have to balance this line of thought with not only the Constitution of the United States, but also Matthews's other stances on policy issues and to whom we should be listening.

Now, to the constitutional issue: This line of thought by Matthews is absolutely ridiculous.  While he and I do agree that one should have to be the same age to buy a rifle and a handgun, we disagree on the age.  If one is old enough to vote, or old enough to serve on a battlefield, one is old enough to have a firearm so long as he hasn't forfeited his right to do so.  We cannot argue that an eighteen-year-old has the mental faculties to vote for his representative or sign a legally binding contract yet at the same time lacks the ability to defend his life with a firearm.  If he has the capacity for the one, he must have the capacity for the other.  Consistency, especially in matters of law and inalienable rights, is required. 

As far as Matthews's own consistency, or lack thereof, there's really nothing new here.  He advocates for banning adults from owning firearms based purely on age, and then, in the next breath, he says we need to listen to a sixteen-year-old's idea on public policy.  Apparently, the only thing that means that your brain is fully developed, at least in Matthews's mind, is that you agree with him.  This idea makes children out of adults at some points and makes adults of them at times purely relative to Chris Matthews's own opinion.  From a man who has advocated for the idea that a child has the maturity and development to tell you he's a member of the opposite sex, this seems to be nothing but glaring hypocrisy at the highest level. 

We shouldn't be surprised, as Matthews and all of his compatriots at MSNBC like to pick and choose their rhetoric in order to gain the best possible emotional response from their audience.  Facts are few and far between when it comes to the talking heads, but one would at least hope for rhetorical consistency.  I guess my desires are merely a castle built on sand, much like Chris Matthews's claim that his show deals in critical thought.