Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How Mother Jones makes my case against the assault weapons ban

Nota Bene: Given the sensitive nature of the subject, I want to reiterate my blog's disclaimer that this is a personal blog and not to be associated with my employer or imply their endorsement. Thanks, JPB

As we anticipate the coming fight over whether or not Congress should reinstitute the nationwide Assault Weapons Ban, I'd like to thank Mother Jones for making my case for me: no.

Now, in recent months—well before the tragedy at Newtown—a few folks at MoJo had been reporting on mass shootings and their recent frequency. They started collecting data on the numerous shootings over the past 30 years or so and recently put it all in a very convenient spreadsheet. If you click on the “weapon categories” tab, it breaks down the number and types of weapons used in each attack. What I found interesting is that assault weapons, the floated focus of the President's gun proposal, are used in a minority of the mass shootings. In addition, there were nearly as many used in mass casualty events during the 10 years of the last assault weapons ban (13) as there were in the 12 years previous (14). Since the expiration of the AWB in 2004, there have been 8 assault weapons used in mass shootings.

So, what we have is national legislation aimed at 35 weapons that were used in 25 instances over 31 years in a nation that contains approximately 300 million guns. What's more, the last time this ban went into effect, it failed to stop the acquisition and use of over a third of all assault weapons used in mass shootings since 1982. This legislation is likely to be wholly impotent to stop mass violence—the catalyst for this legislation.

In no other arena of public policy, save perhaps drug policy, would such inefficacy be so proudly touted as meaningful. And perhaps most frustrating, there is going to be so much self-righteous ink spilled all over this absolutely worthless legislation that, even if passed, will have no meaningful effect on gun violence. What a miserable waste of time and energy is on the immediate horizon. 

Welcome to D.C.'s latest dog and pony show.

bellum medicamenti delenda est

36 comments:

Justin said...

Would a comprehensive assault weapons ban create a future with no mass killings? No. No reasonable mind on either side of the debate would argue this.

Would a comprehensive assault weapons ban combined with stricter regulation of assault weapon sales make it incrementally more difficult for a person to carry out a mass killing? Yes. This is simply the inverse of the absolute I posited to start. Of course it would. We currently ban hand grenades and bazookas. No mass killings are included on that list which involve the use of hand grenades and bazookas. Maybe bans actually do work! Numbers don't lie.

Perhaps your argument is that even though banning assault weapons would cause some reduction in mass killings, it makes bad policy because it carries with it substantial social costs that outweigh the minimal good such a ban would accomplish. I'd again refer to the fact that we currently ban grenades and bazookas (and fighter jets and nuclear weapons, etc...). Certainly some people wish they could have those things and are saddened when the government tells them they cannot. Certainly our ability to create citizen armies capable of standing up to the government depend on the availability of those things. Do you advocate that bans on grenades and bazookas and f-16s and nuclear weapons should be lifted? If not, please explain the criteria with which you draw the line between an acceptable weapon and unacceptable. Why a grenade should be banned and an assault weapon should not. If you believe that hand-grenades and bazookas should be not be banned, than our respective views of law and government are so divergent that further discussion is probably unproductive.

Maybe the argument is that an assault weapons ban in this climate won't be well crafted and well be rendered ineffectual because we have a dysfunctional legislative system. That is a criticism of our political process that that begs for an alternate recommendation, but it does not really make for a persuasive argument about whether an assault weapons ban is a worthy goal. After all, if we could get some agreement that it is a worthy goal, then the task of accomplishing that goal becomes much easier.

If it is not already clear, I believe assault weapons should be banned. Rifles/Shotguns with no automatic capability and less than 12 round capacity protected by 2nd amendment, handguns up to the states.

Eric Hanneken said...

Justin: I need clarification. What does "automatic capability" mean? Does it mean the ability to fire multiple rounds with one trigger pull?

John said...

"Rifles/Shotguns with no automatic capability and less than 12 round capacity protected by 2nd amendment"

Every "assault weapon" you want banned would fall into this category. Only the magazine size would be affected.

ksmith said...

That spreadsheet is inaccurate. They claim 1 shotgun & 3 assault weapons were used in Columbine, but in reality, it was 2 shotguns, 1 rifle, 1 assault weapon. That brings the total down to 33.

I didn't bother to check all the data, but would anybody be shocked to find other problems?

Anonymous said...

They're actually counting any rifle as an "assault weapon", including the bolt-action hunting rifle used in the 2006 Amish school shooting and the .22 rifle found in the trunk after the 2003 Lockheed Martin shooting.

Also note that they are counting all weapons found on the scene, not the ones actually *used* by the killer.

Patrick Henry said...

Justin- you starting off point is completely illogical. You can't inverse that like that. It fails basic logic. If you can't see that, its unproductive to discuss the issue any further.

James Reis said...

The basis of the liberals argument for gun control is about saving lives, especially the lives of children. Given this, why have they supported the killing of over 52,000,000 unborn children since 1973?

I think the easy and most accurate answer is that they don't care about saving lives, they only care about control. The ability to control something they don't agree with, something they have no knowledge of. The ability to control my life, to control what I can own, even though I have always been a law abiding citizen and have never used my firearms to injure or kill anyone.

I think liberals have underestimated the resolve that gun owners have towards their right to keep and bear arms. This underestimation will not go well for either side as hundreds of thousands of these owners have vowed to not give up these weapons to the government if a ban is passed into law.

No one thinks that we could fight a face to face battle against the US military but that would not be needed. Look at the guerrilla warfare techniques used in various 3rd world countries throughout the world. Having it's members integrated into the local communities, any attempt to destroy them will cause innocent civilians to be killed, further strengthening the legitimacy of the revolt. Furthermore, once politicians, law enforcement and and their families who support the war against the citizens become targets for retribution, the support for this war will wither and die.

I am hoping it does not become necessary for these events to transpire but as the call of the liberals for disarmament of it's peoples becomes more strident, the likelihood increases.

James Reis said...

The basis of the liberals argument for gun control is about saving lives, especially the lives of children. Given this, why have they supported the killing of over 52,000,000 unborn children since 1973?

I think the easy and most accurate answer is that they don't care about saving lives, they only care about control. The ability to control something they don't agree with, something they have no knowledge of. The ability to control my life, to control what I can own, even though I have always been a law abiding citizen and have never used my firearms to injure or kill anyone.

I think liberals have underestimated the resolve that gun owners have towards their right to keep and bear arms. This underestimation will not go well for either side as hundreds of thousands of these owners have vowed to not give up these weapons to the government if a ban is passed into law.

No one thinks that we could fight a face to face battle against the US military but that would not be needed. Look at the guerrilla warfare techniques used in various 3rd world countries throughout the world. Having it's members integrated into the local communities, any attempt to destroy them will cause innocent civilians to be killed, further strengthening the legitimacy of the revolt. Furthermore, once politicians, law enforcement and and their families who support the war against the citizens become targets for retribution, the support for this war will wither and die.

I am hoping it does not become necessary for these events to transpire but as the call of the liberals for disarmament of it's peoples becomes more strident, the likelihood increases.

James Reis said...

The basis of the liberals argument for gun control is about saving lives, especially the lives of children. Given this, why have they supported the killing of over 52,000,000 unborn children since 1973?

I think the easy and most accurate answer is that they don't care about saving lives, they only care about control. The ability to control something they don't agree with, something they have no knowledge of. The ability to control my life, to control what I can own, even though I have always been a law abiding citizen and have never used my firearms to injure or kill anyone.

I think liberals have underestimated the resolve that gun owners have towards their right to keep and bear arms. This underestimation will not go well for either side as hundreds of thousands of these owners have vowed to not give up these weapons to the government if a ban is passed into law.

No one thinks that we could fight a face to face battle against the US military but that would not be needed. Look at the guerrilla warfare techniques used in various 3rd world countries throughout the world. Having it's members integrated into the local communities, any attempt to destroy them will cause innocent civilians to be killed, further strengthening the legitimacy of the revolt. Furthermore, once politicians, law enforcement and and their families who support the war against the citizens become targets for retribution, the support for this war will wither and die.

I am hoping it does not become necessary for these events to transpire but as the call of the liberals for disarmament of it's peoples becomes more strident, the likelihood increases.

Anonymous said...

The basis of the liberals argument for gun control is about saving lives, especially the lives of children. Given this, why have they supported the killing of over 52,000,000 unborn children since 1973?

I think the easy and most accurate answer is that they don't care about saving lives, they only care about control. The ability to control something they don't agree with, something they have no knowledge of. The ability to control my life, to control what I can own, even though I have always been a law abiding citizen and have never used my firearms to injure or kill anyone.

I think liberals have underestimated the resolve that gun owners have towards their right to keep and bear arms. This underestimation will not go well for either side as hundreds of thousands of these owners have vowed to not give up these weapons to the government if a ban is passed into law.

No one thinks that we could fight a face to face battle against the US military but that would not be needed. Look at the guerrilla warfare techniques used in various 3rd world countries throughout the world. Having it's members integrated into the local communities, any attempt to destroy them will cause innocent civilians to be killed, further strengthening the legitimacy of the revolt. Furthermore, once politicians, law enforcement and and their families who support the war against the citizens become targets for retribution, the support for this war will wither and die.

I am hoping it does not become necessary for these events to transpire but as the call of the liberals for disarmament of it's peoples becomes more strident, the likelihood increases.

Justin said...

Quick admission: I was not aware of the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon and its relation to the statutory definition of "assault weapon" at the time I made my post. I would probably revise my position to include a ban of semi-automatic long guns with capacities of 6 rounds of more. (six being a relatively arbitrary number)

That said, I don't think my main point is really effected by that bit of ignorance. If the point of John's article was to argue that we need to work on more inclusive definition of "assault weapon" than the Clinton-era law did, I concur. I doubt that was his point.

A ban of all fully automatic rifles will not eliminate mass murders. Adding semi-automatic weapons with more than a 10-round capacity will not eliminate mass murders. (re-loading problem, etc...) For any law passed, a determined criminal will find a way around the law. That doesn't make the law ineffective, however. The point is that each hurdle that is added between the potential mass murderer and the tool he uses for the job will reduce, to some degree, the ease with which mass murders might be committed. That is a worthy goal. Until the costs of implementing those hurdles outweighs the potential benefits, considering weapons bans is worthwhile.

I am not impressed that denying ordinary citizens the chance to own military-style weapons is a great loss to society. These weapons are extremely dangerous. They are made to be extremely deadly. They serve no purpose other than to be deadly. They should be closely regulated. That military weapons should be regulated by the United States government does not seem remotely controversial. Framing the issue to suggest that the proposed assault weapons ban somehow marks a substantial departure from the way this country has been run for the past 100 years seems both irresponsible and intellectually dishonest.

To Patrick -- delete "This is simply the inverse of the absolute I posited to start with." Do you dispute that banning weapons will make it incrementally more difficult to commit a mass murder? Are you really going to take the position that it will make ZERO difference? If so, I suspect there is no common ground between us.

Mr. Reis/Anonymous -- abortion seems a bit far afield so I won't take that bait. But yes -- it appears I have underestimated your resolve. You'd take up arms against your own government instead of relinquish your right to own an AK-47? Why did you not gather the militia when hand grenades were banned? In any event, I hope neither I, nor my wife, nor my two children become one of your human shields if the government asks you to turnover any semi-automatic rifles you own with more than a 10-round capacity. They are really quite lovely people, and it would be distressing for them to be roped into this guerrilla warfare you are considering.

Anonymous said...

first, there's something illogical about saying "semi-automatic long guns with capacities of 6 rounds of more. (six being a relatively arbitrary number)": why are we running with an arbitrary number? second, considering that you're talking about rifles that can take detachable magazines, there's something a little deceitful about planning to ban rifles based on their "capacity." third, "military-style" remains a little fictional: presumably you're wanting to ban semi-automatic rifles that have never been designed for or used by any military, while excepting rifles that were designed for and used by military forces because they do not meet your arbitrary standards.

Mitter said...

Actually, neither hand grenades, bazooka rockets, nor fighter jets are banned from civilian ownership in the USA.
The grenades and bazooka rockets are classified as "destructive devices" and heavily regulated; but not banned.
The biggest obstacle to the ownership of fighter jets is financial, they are frighteningly expensive to buy and then monstrously expensive to maintain and fly, to say nothing of the hoops needed to jump through to get and keep FAA certification.
Go here: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/military/read.main/54073/

Armed_Liberal_in_MO said...

Look at FBI UCR data. Rifles are used in 2% - 3% of all violent crime. Also, 'assault weapons' include any weapon used in an assault, so broken bottles, knives, hands, feet, tire irons...

My firearms will never be used to assault someone as that is against the law. Mine are used for hunting, sport and to keep this member of teh Irregular Militia under teh Dick Act of 1902 well regulated.

Guav said...

Hand grenades and bazookas are not suitable for sporting purposes or self defense of one's person or home. Rifles, on the other hand, are. Hundreds of thousands of these semi-automatic rifles being discussed are owned by Americans who use them for a variety of legitimate purposes, and are virtually never used in crimes—the portion of crimes using semi-automatic rifles is statistically insignificant.

Guav said...

"I am not impressed that denying ordinary citizens the chance to own military-style weapons is a great loss to society."

Just to be clear, the military version of the AR-15 (a true assault rifle) can fire 800 rounds per minute. The civilian version can fire only about 40-60 aimed shots per minute—one bullet per trigger pull. The same as a hunting rifle (which are more powerful). The same as a handgun (which are more concealable). The same as a revolver, for that matter. The military "style" in this case is one of aesthetics, not functionality.

"These weapons are extremely dangerous."

All weapons are, by nature. Or they wouldn't be weapons.

"They are made to be extremely deadly."

All guns are, not just semi-automatic sporting rifles.

"They serve no purpose other than to be deadly."

Millions of sport shooters across the world (and many Olympians) would disagree with you, but for the sake of argument, I'll pretend you're right. Yes, firearms are deadly and that is the point when it comes to self defense. But the thing about defensive weapons is that the deadlier they are, the less likely you'll actually have to use them. If I confront a burglar in my home with my martial arts, I'll almost certainly have to physically engage him, which makes it more likely that one of us is going to the hospital. Same goes for mace or a stun gun. If I pull out a knife or a machete, the chance of him getting killed goes up, and self-preservation might make him flee. Unless he's armed as well, in which case we're back to square one. But the nice thing about firearms is that the fact that they are so deadly means that quite often, you don't actually HAVE to kill anyone (or even shoot them) in order for them to be used effectively in self defense (recent case in point: http://www.examiner.com/article/rit-student-scares-off-home-intruder-with-ar-15).

The question that needs to be answered is, why, when rifles of ANY kind are used in only 3% of homicides in this country—with handguns being the weapon of choice—are we discussing restrictions on these rifles AT ALL? More people are killed with hands and feet every year than with assault rifles—literally.

Justin said...

Okay, then "heavily regulate" assault weapons like we do hand grenades. The distinction between enforcing a "ban" and enforcing "heavy regulations" can be mighty slim, correct? I did not detail the specific language of any proposed legislation, because I was more interested in a broader point. Is any legislation on gun control worth considering?

My point is that placing additional hurdles between mass killers and the types of weapons they use to commit mass killing is a net benefit to a society that wishes to have less mass killings. Laws that create these hurdles will not prevent all future mass killings, but the potential costs (in terms of personal liberty and dollars) of such laws are insignificant.

As for the statistics re: the ineffectiveness of the prior assault weapons ban -- can anything be gleaned from such a small data set? Mass killings are exceedingly rare in terms of their frequency in proportion to the billions of people in our country. The prior assault weapons ban was exceedingly limited in its scope. When we are dealing with a sample set of less than 50 incidents over a ten-year time period, I'd suggest that the numbers do not provide much guidance as to the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of the ban. This type of legislation takes time.

In the absence of statistical proof, we are left with a conceptual question. Are assault weapons the sort of thing governments should regulate. Assault weapons are not reasonably used for personal protection. They are not necessary for hunting. They will not prevent government tyranny. (The genie is out of the bottle on that one. I don't think our government is too concerned about being toppled by James Reis and his buddies. Guerrilla warfare in 3d world countries is one thing, but this is america we're talking about. our citizenry is just a touch out of fighting shape, if you know what I mean.)

Assault weapons are made to kill masses of people. If your view of "personal liberty" prohibits the government from regulating the ownership of devices made for the exclusive purposed of killing mass amounts of people, then I'd suggest you have a fairly radical view of liberty. If the government cannot regulate the ownership of assault weapons, what can it regulate?

If we can agree that regulation of weapons is and should be within the powers of the government, then lets start to discuss what reasonable legislation would look like (i.e. -- argue about why a 6 round limit is inappropriate and a 12 round is) and stop turning the debate into a cultural war. Discussion about what a reasonable law should look like seems a lot more productive than simply refusing to consider any type of legislation whatsoever.

Marko Kloos said...

The point is that it's not reasonable. It's technically pointless--magazines can be changed by a skilled shooter in a second or two (the VT shooter had a backpack full of magazines)--and it will do nothing to keep them out of the hands of people who want them. You're talking about a sheet metal box with a spring in it. There are tens of millions of them in private possession. The attempt at a prohibition will be a useless waste of scarce resources that can be used better otherwise.

And if these devices are made for the "exclusive purpose of killing mass amounts of people", why does the police have them? (Theirs are true machine guns, even--capable of burst fire, which the civiilian models aren't.) And why does the proposed ban--as every such ban before it--exempt law enforcement?

Cops are the experts when it comes to defending innocents against criminals. If they think that the semi-automatic rifle with high-capacity magazines is the best possible tool for that job, then it damn sure is the best possible tool for me as well. If anything, I need high-capacity magazines even more. Someone kicks down my door at night, all I have is the rifle in my hands. I won't have a bag of spare magazines, a bullet-proof vest, or a radio to summon a dozen more of my similarly armed friends at top speed.

Guav said...

"Okay, then "heavily regulate" assault weapons like we do hand grenades."

Why? WHY?
Why "heavily regulate" a class of firearms that ARE NOT commonly used to kill people ion the United States? You have a solution in search of a problem, it seems.

"My point is that placing additional hurdles between mass killers and the types of weapons they use to commit mass killing is a net benefit to a society that wishes to have less mass killings."

And my point is that placing additional hurdles between millions of honest citizens and effective self defense or shooting sports in the off chance that it MIGHT possibly prevent an instance of a mass shooting, which themselves are exceptionally rare in the first place, is absolutely absurd. That's how bad laws get passed.

Furthermore, I think part of the reason you keep going on about "assault weapons" is because quite frankly, you have no idea what you're talking about. At the beginning of this conversation you thought we were talking about machine guns. You do not seem to be well versed in the technical or functional details of the weapons being discussed, which unfortunately, matters a great deal when discussing what regulating these arms could reasonably hope to accomplish, or what farther reaching impact it will have on average gun owners.

"Assault weapons are not reasonably used for personal protection. They are not necessary for hunting."

The fact that you are apparently unaware that these weapons are EXCEPTIONALLY good for self defense, and ARE used in hunting applications further shows your ignorance on the topic. And please understand that I do not mean that in an insulting way.

I'm not James Reis, and I'm not turning this into a cultural war. For what it's worth, I'm a liberal.

Anonymous said...

Justin:

The only flaw with your logic is that the incidents of defensive gun use where lives are saved substantially outweigh lives lost to "assault weapon" or other gun crime in the US. By making it harder for law abiding citizens to get their hands on firearms, you are denying them the beneficial use/ability to defend themselves. You may make it harder for a mass shooter to get his hands on guns, but you net more lives lost as a result.

Marko Kloos said...

""Assault weapons are not reasonably used for personal protection."

The Department of Homeland Security just ordered 7,000 of them. Of course, when they want to use them, they're "personal defense weapons". (The ones they ordered are even fully-automatic machine guns, not semi-automatic rifles available to civilians.)

The Federal government seems to think that these kinds of rifles are IDEAL for personal protection, otherwise they'd be ordering something else to fit the "personal defense" role.



http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/27/homeland-security-seeking-7000-assault-weapons-per/

Anonymous said...

Of course all this assumes that a killer like the one in Newton would call off his planned murder spree if firearms of whatever type are not available. That’s a foolish assumption. He would merely find another way. A garden sprayer full of gasoline and a book of matches would be as effective and every bit as horrific- after all, he had decided to murder helpless children. What do mass murderers do in countries where any type of firearm is restricted or unobtainable? Car bombs, toxic gas, etc. Toxic gasses are easily made from common household cleaning agents, and are far more deadly than any gun I can own. Banning this or that is no more effective than treating a symptom of a deadly illness, because the disease is still out there. You have to do a little root cause analysis and find the common denominator- then ban that.

What I find most stunning is that you should KNOW the politicians are aware of the stats (so-called assault weapons use in crime) and they are trying to do something that will NOT prevent future mass killings! So what are we to learn from that? That the politicians are using the dead children to push an agenda they already had, and only needed some catalyst to give momentum to. That’s truly despicable.

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to ask everyone who is pro semi-automatic ban(that is what it is, NOT an "AWB")...

Hows that war on drugs coming along?

JayeRandom said...

Justin, the problem is that what you are envisioning as a "hurdle" (high, difficult to get over) is in reality more akin to a small speed bump. It offers no protection, and poses no obstacle. It will amplify the existing black market in firearms, with a concomitant increase in organized crime and violence. Do you suppose the War on Drugs to have been a resounding success?

Eainsdad said...

This is directed at ALL of the gun grabbers.
1. If you don't like guns, don't buy them. Don't use the police for protection as they have large capacity handguns and large capacity select fire weapons available to them and on their person when they answer your call. Don't depend on Homeland Security for anything; they just put in a requisition for 7000 of these 'horrible magical doomsday' weapons. Don't check with the national parks service or the national weather service for safety information; they just bought HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of hollow point bullets for handguns.
2. Incrementally increasing the difficulty for an insane person to kill a dozen people is not a reason to subject hundreds of thousands of people to arrest and to felony conviction and even the threat of lethal force used against them by the police (that again have the high capacity pistols and assault weapons in their cars when they come to your house).
3. We keep saying it and you liberals keep ignoring it: Mental health policy as established by progressive governmental actions are the direct cause of the problems with mass killings seen today. Change your minds about the problem and actually fix the root cause. Crazy people and evil people have been around as long as history. Attila the Hun did not use assault weapons to kill millions of people. Vlad Dracul did not use assault weapons to kill tens of thousands of his countrymen. Cain did not use an assault weapon to kill Abel. The emperor of (insert any country prior to 1845 that had an emperor) did not use assault weapons to subjugate and slaughter the innocent.

Eainsdad said...

4. I am personally putting forth a petition to lift the bans and regulation against all weapons due to the recent publication of the Department of Homeland Security stating explicitly that that the M16/M4 weapon class is "suitable for personal defense" and only if "capable of select fire" (to translate this means fully automatic weaponry are selected as the best choice for personal defense by OUR OWN DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY).
5. If you have not ever used an AR15 in any capacity then you CANNOT speak to the utility or necessity of the firearm. Period.
This is the most popular rifle class explicitly BECAUSE it is highly useful and easy enough for the entire populace to use. From the ease of cleaning to the modularity that will let my son swap out a .308 setup for hog hunting with a .223 setup for coyote hunting (when we can find ammunition these days) in ten minutes in the area we hunt without special tools or the need to lug around another entire rifle this tool for self defense has proven itself to be useful in saving lives and property.
6. The old saying goes far these days "When seconds count the police are minutes away". I know you can call the police where you are at 0200 hours and have a policeman there to catch the serial killer after your wife and kids with a meat cleaver in 20 seconds or less.
A LARGE percentage of the population live where the police might take a half hour or even several hours to get to them to put chalk outlines around their bodies after the crimes have been committed. Definitely never in time to actually prevent a crime.
7.ASSAULT RIFLES WERE designed to kill large quantities of people. The term of art "assault weapons" has no existence outside of bullshit liberal doublespeak. It simply was made up due to the negative connotations with the correct name for the M16 and AKM which is Assault Rifle.
The AR15 weapon platform is designed to be easy to use, easy to maintain, easy to train with, and easy to modify. It is not designed to "kill lots of people" any more than a school bus is. If it was, it would be select fire (fully automatic) and would fire a larger round.
The Browning Machine Gun was designed to kill lots of people. The German MP40 was designed to kill a lot of people. And it did....Right after the progressives pushed for disarmament for everyone but the police and the military.
I know your liberal arts college was more concerned with preventing the eating of paste glue than with teaching you anything about history but pick up a book once in a while. You progressives sweep in after about twenty years of peace and start talking about the Utopia that would exist if everyone got rid of their nasty implements of self defense. Then after you natter on for a couple of decades and convince enough weak minded people to give up their basic human right to self defense some Uber-progressive steps in and shoots all the undesirables in the name of that Utopia. WE know these things. WE have studied history and know that your dream world of unicorns and rainbows is only fit for preschoolers.

Guav said...

Stop the divisive "liberals are the devil" bullshit. I'm a liberal and I'm a big fan of my Polytech AK. The best way to protect gun rights is to educate progressives and get them on our side of this issue, and casting this as a liberal/conservative battle (when it really shouldn't be) isn't going to help.

Beth said...

Assault weapon= made up catagory of weapon, If I assault you with a baseball bat, it is technicaly an 'assault weapon' , thank you english class.

Assault rifle= SELECTIVE fire weapon (semi auto, burst, automatic fire) heavily regulated for decades, not available at your local gun shop for just anyone to buy. I am only aware of one instance of a legaly owned machine gun being used crimminaly by its owner who was an police reservist , I will try and find the article.

The rifles they want to ban are just that, rifles. The much talked about 'AR" platform rifle is popular for many reasons, if your a vet you are well familiarized and comfortable in its safe use and handling, makes sense you would want one, requires very little adjustment to be comfortable with it.

"Not good for defense" um then why do the police have them?
"you cant hunt with it" um why? If I can hunt with a bolt action or non-military styled rifle of the same caliber then why is it impossible to hunt with the AR? many people do and no they dont dump the standard 30 rd magazine into the target, hunters are smarter then that.

If you have never been around firearms, never had to carry one for defense, then why should you be the one making up the laws? Especially when you have your own armed security because your rich or a politician?

Anonymous said...

We have been educating for the last 15 years! People like Justin dont know what their Facts are and don't seem to care anyway. Why do they "pass" on the Feds having tons of grenades, select fire rifles, etc, but then mention our only right is For sporting purposes ? They hate you! Read a history book. These people get in power and murder millions. It's empiracle truth. Registration, confiscation, extermination.

Justin said...

The primary objective of those who support limitations on the types of weapons private citizens can own is to murder millions.

The Holocaust would not have happened if Jews owned more semi-automatic rifles with greater than a 12-round magazine.

Liberals are looking for opportunities to round-up and shoot undesirables.

Okay. Duly noted. There is a theme of paranoia that runs throughout these comments. I don't think it flatters your arguments.

I actually think regulations on high-capacity semi-automatic weapons are fairly comparable to laws banning possession of heroin. That's an analogy that causes me no heart break. I disagree in more than a few ways with the manner in which we chose to enforce certain drug laws, and I disagree with how drug legislation was written. But banning a relatively unpopular and dangerous drug that has extremely limited beneficial applications? I like it!! No constitutional right to get high, no constitutional right to own a semi-automatic weapon. Good analogy.

Guav said...

Semi-automatic rifles are owned by hundreds of thousands of Americans who use them for home defense, target shooting, and—yes—hunting, with only a small fraction of crimes being committed with them.

Ownership of these weapons is largely benign, often beneficial, and rarely negative. The same simply cannot be said for heroin.

Heroin has only downsides for it's users and the people around them—it has no beneficial applications.

Guav said...

I'd make two more points, Justin:

1. Heroin is a "relatively unpopular" drug. On the other hand, AR-15-platform rifles are among the most popular firearms being sold. The comparison isn't valid.

2. That aside, I don't think heroin should be banned either ... for the same reason I don't think marijuana should be banned ... for the same reason I don't think semi-auto rifles should be banned ... for the same reason I don't think abortion should be banned: Bans do not make things for which there is a demand or use magically disappear—they just create dangerous black markets and strengthen organized crime.

Chris said...

Justin, you seem to lack even the most basic comprehension of how firearms work. This indicates that you are either a very effective troll or simply intentionally ignorant.

1. No semiautomatic weapons? Goodbye all magazine-fed handguns, many revolvers (double-action functions the same as semiautomatic), many shotguns, and many hunting rifles. Private citizens would be left with firearms that had been surpassed technologically at the turn of the last century, over 100 years ago.

2. "High capacity" semiautomatic weapons? Unless you're referring to a semiautomatic firearm with a built-in, nondetachable magazine, there is no such thing. A firearm can either accept a detachable magazine or it can't. Of course, a 30-round magazine is not at all a "high capacity" magazine; it's a standard capacity magazine that comes straight from the factory with every AR15 or variant sold. Further, the vast majority of magazine-fed handguns sold in America today come standard with magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

3. The comparison to heroin is both valid and bogus. Of course it causes you no heartbreak; you've made your opposition to semiautomatic weapons and firearms in general extremely obvious. The comparison is valid because even though it has been illegal for decades, criminals and addicts still sell and use heroin; similarly, banning types of firearms will result in criminals continuing to use and sell them while robbing only law-abiding citizens of firearms. It is bogus because heroin provides no societal benefit. Even if it were legalized, it would provide no social good, apart from eliminating the bad that comes with incarcerating casual users. Conversely, the social utility of firearms is well-known and documented.

Anonymous said...

There is only one outcome to gun control in the US. Civil war. The goal of the left is toatal civilian disarmerment. Wepon control ,in any slightest form, is treason. What part of "shall not be infinged" was'nt clear?

Matthew said...

I only like weapons that don't assault people.

Perry said...

>"Stop the divisive "liberals are the devil" bullshit. I'm a liberal and I'm a big fan of my Polytech AK. The best way to protect gun rights is to educate progressives and get them on our side of this issue, and casting this as a liberal/conservative battle (when it really shouldn't be) isn't going to help."

Thank you Guav. My liberalism and my commitment to the right to private fire-arms ownership are inextricably intertwined.