John Lott tells National Review Online readers that President Obama displays little knowledge of the facts surrounding firearms.

Some really nonsensical rhetoric has come out of the president’s mouth. He’s said that political opponents of his support allowing “machine guns in bars.” He’s said that “there are neighborhoods where it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable.” He’s said that U.S. homicide rates are ahead of other industralized countries by “like a mile.”

Perhaps some of this is hyperbole. But there’s still more evidence of Obama’s cluelessness.

What has been missed by many is Obama’s January 4 executive order demanding that the Pentagon make firearms less lethal. What Obama doesn’t seem to understand is that the U.S. military has been trying to make firearms less lethal for some time now. The idea is that enemy troops who are merely wounded, not killed, slow down their comrades and greatly limit their maneuverability.

The point of the full-metal-jacket bullet, which is surrounded by a shell of hard metal, is to keep it from expanding on impact, making it less likely to do major damage to internal organs. The bullets used by the military are also designed not to tumble as they go through the body. And that greatly reduces the damage done by the bullet. …

… The bottom line is that the military has already taken a wide range of factors into account in deciding what firearms work best for them. Obama’s orders, in an area that he doesn’t understand, represents the worst type of political judgment substituting for the judgment of military experts.

In light of all the discussion about military-style assault weapons, the ultimate irony in the failure of the president and others to understand different types of weapons is that, if the guns and ammunition used in mass public shootings really had been military weapons, fewer people would likely have been killed.