By Alan Gottlieb

The anti-gun media elite just don’t get it. The problem isn’t repeating rifles. The problem is repeating criminals. To focus on so-called “assault firearms” is a diversion we can ill afford.

Anti-Semitic racist hatemonger Buford Furrow was arrested and convicted of second-degree assault with a knife in Washington state. But instead of having to serve his full term, he was released to commit his rampage on what amounted to unsupervised probation.

This despite his Aryan Nations ties and his admission that he wanted to go shoot up a shopping mall. That’s enough to make Jew and non-Jew alike go out and buy an “assault weapon” for self-protection.

Passing another gun-control or gun-ban law will not stop future Buford Furrows from committing violent hateful acts. But it will prevent people like Michael Pressley, of Atlanta, from protecting themselves. On the same day of Furrow’s cowardly act, Pressley used a gun to defend his life from dangerous attackers, shooting one who had a lengthy criminal record that included burglary, aggravated assault and possession of stolen goods and drugs.

Stories of self-defense, like this one, get no attention in the anti-gun national media, because they shoot holes in their editorial agenda. If it were up to USA TODAY, every gun over a foot long would be defined as an “assault rifle” and every gun under a foot long would be defined as a “Saturday night special.” All would be banned.

The argument, “we don’t need that kind of gun” is spurious. If applied to anything else in America, it would be ridiculed. Certainly no one needs a car with a high-capacity horsepower engine capable of speeds to 150 miles per hour. But we have the right of choice.

We have the right to read books others don’t like. We have the right to listen to any radio program we choose. We have the right to dress the way we want. We also have the right to own firearms of our choice.

Next time you’re told you don’t need something, remember it’s the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Needs.