Friday, May 16, 2003

The Brady Campaign to prevent Gun Violence & the Million Mom March are demanding Bush to actively support the Assault Weapons Ban's renewal.
It is amusing to see their justification for continuing the ban. Of course they mention having the support of major police organization, which are typically anti-gun, as well as throwing in the obligatory phrases such as "police will be outgunned" & "our children will be at further risk".

But let's move on to what they are citing as truths.

"The facts:
Assault weapon bans work. In 1989, when President Bush stopped the import of certain assault rifles, the number of imported assault rifles traced to crime dropped by 45 percent in one year. After the 1994 ban, there were 18 percent fewer assault weapons traced to crime in the first eight months of 1995 than were traced in the same period in 1994."

Hmmm, I wonder if that had anything at all to do with the overall crime rates dropping? & I wonder why they only mention the first 8 months of 1995 instead of the whole year? Perhaps the whole year, like the whole truth would be harmful to their position. Odds are it is a direct comparison to the one year before & after the ban's enactment, but still it's misleading as the ban only affected weapons manufactured after the date of enactment & there were & still are plenty of post ban guns available, albeit at higher prices.

"Assault weapons are not just "ugly guns." Semi-automatic assault weapons are designed to maximize death and injury from a very rapid rate of fire. Assault weapons are designed to accommodate silencers and with military features such as grenade launchers, folding stocks, flash suppressors, barrel shrouds and bayonets which are all ludicrously unsuited for civilian use. In contrast, semi-automatic hunting rifles are designed to be fired from the shoulder and depend on the accurate shooting of one bullet at a time."

Then why does the Assault Weapons Ban deal mainly with cosmetic features? Flash suppressors don't come in handy unless you're firing at night in an otherwise dark (i.e. non-urban) area. Sound suppressors are already illegal to own without a federal permit & in any event they do absolutely no good for projectiles that travel over the speed of sound (around 1100 fett per second) which is the ammunition used in virtually every 'assault rifle' & most pistols. barrel shrouds are a totally cosmetic feature, unless you have just fired all your ammunition & intend to use your bayonet, then it keeps the hot barrel from burning your hands. But bayonettings have never been a problem in this country so I still fail to see why they are concerned by them. They've never, ever to my knowledge been used in a crime in this country. Ditto for grenade launchers. They're useful for firing flares but grenades for them are heavily regulated & have never to my knowledge been used in a crime in this country. Folding stocks are a great assett for storing a rifle or carbine in a small space. But except in emergencies firing one with the folding stock folded is not a good idea. First of all accuracy is difficult to non-existant when firing in such a manner, second recoil is much more pronounced & in some cases painful. So the last statement is false as 'assault weapons', or at least those defined as such by the '94 ban are designed to be fired from the shoulder & depend on accurately firing one shot at a time. Then again .50 BMG rifles are designed to be fired from the shoulder ( if your prone) & depend on accurately firing one shot at a time. That doesn't seem to keep them from being the targets of proposed bans though.

"Assault weapons were used…
To kill five children and wound 29 others in a Stockton, California schoolyard in 1989. The AK-47 held 75 - that's right, 75 - bullets.
To kill eight people and wound six others at a San Francisco law firm in 1993. Two TEC-9's with 50-round magazines were used in the massacre.
To kill two CIA employees and wound three others outside the CIA's Langley, Virginia headquarters in 1993.
To kill four ATF special agents and wound 16 others at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, when the officers were attempting to serve warrants on the cult in 1993.

Hmmm, what do the all of these have in common? 'assault rifles'? nope - they were acts committed in violation of the law. Murder is illegal, as is enforcing an unconstitutional law via a questionable search warrant & instigating a ifrefight to serve said warrant but even setting aside the BATF's actions against the Davidians there is something else misleading here: 2 of the 4 BATF agents at Waco were killed by friendly fire, as was the wounding of several BATF agents. They didn't have 'assault weapons' though, they had submachine guns.
But the BATF & Waco aside, a ban on 'assault weapons' would not have deterred any of these crimes. In fact Columbine High School was shot up by two kids & at least one of the weapons used by these deranged punks was a TEC-9 if memory serves. & the shootings at Columbine occured several years after the ban's enactment.

In short they use flawed but emotionally appealing arguments to justify their position. You would think that they would increase their knowledge of firearms a little seeing as how they try to explain why one is more dangerous than the other. Perhaps they do know more than they let on, or perhaps they just never bothered to look past the appearances of certain weapons. Deceit from these people is nothing new, nor is ignorance.

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