Thursday, February 26, 2009

Assault Weapons Ban - Here We Go

Thanks to Jeralyn at Talk Left I read this story on ABC News.
The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.

"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder told reporters.

Of course for some people, any excuse to bash the President is a good one. I've already heard his being criticized for having said during the campaign that he supports the 2nd Amendment Rights and is now pushing a gun control agenda. Didn't he always qualify his support of gun rights by saying things like we will have "common sense" laws? That's what I remember.

It seems that some of the most vociferous critics among the pro-gun crowd are the same ones who pointed fingers at liberals for criticizing Bush for his various disasters. I'm seeing a lot of that double standard lately. Is that a peculiarly conservative thing?

What do you think about this type of restriction? Would this inconvenience law-abiding gun owners too much? Is their main problem with this the fear that it's just the beginning of gun bans in America? What could be the next to go?

Do you agree with the Attorney General that a ban of this type can fall within the purview of the Heller decision? Do you think the Obama administration plans to go further with additional bans? Do you think they should?

Please leave a comment.


  1. i voted for Obama precisely because i hoped he'd know better than to waste time and effort on stupid, pointless bullshit than this. there's a depression to pull our economy out of, two wars to put an end to, and a bill of rights to wipe bush's shit off of and put pack into force, and Obama thinks this garbage is what he should expend political capital on? he seemed smarter than that during the debates, and if he doesn't wise up enough to pull Holder's leash in and let this idiotic issue drop, he won't get my vote for reelection.

  2. Mike,

    Please tell me in your own words, what exactly the "Assault Weapons Ban" accomplishes?

    Can you do that?

  3. Great post over at Armed and Safe blog.

    Care to read and comment Mike?

  4. Mike,

    Noticed your comments over on Armed and Safe.

    Lead me to think of some other questions that may not be clear.

    As a former Marine, these should be easy.

    What is an "assault" weapon?
    What current firearms on the civilian market meet that definition?

    What "arms" should be included in the fundamental right to keep and bear arms?

  5. Hmm, So he comments on other blogs, but continues to dodge questions here.

    I would say "interesting" but that would be a lie. And I'm not the liar here....

  6. Mike,

    I see a lot of people asking questions of you here, and was afraid someone else reading the post might like the answers.

    An "assault weapon", in the military sense, is a fully automatic weapon capable of spraying a hail of bullets when the trigger is pulled one time.

    When Mr. Holder says "assault weapon" he is NOT talking about these. He is talking about a semi-automatic weapon that fires ONE round each time the trigger is pulled, just like a "regular" hunting rifle, and which just happens to look like some of the weapons used by various military weapons from around the world.

    Mr. Holder is an expert in law enforcement. I'm sure he knows the difference. The fact that he ignores the difference means he is attempting to hide another agenda with such misleading language. He is, after all, a lawyer and quite aware of the power of language.

  7. The spirit of the 2nd Amendment was for the people to have equal or better arms than a standing army (that was only supposed to exist in war time). Therefore anything up to small crew served weapons fits my definition, even if you wish to go with the bastard "militia" interpretation of the amendment.

    There is no such thing as an "assault weapon" unless it's been used in an assault.

    You'd much rather be shot 5 times by a 5.56mm or 7.62x39 than once by my Civil War and before rifles. My .62 caliber matchlock project would rip your fucking arm off with one shot, not put a hole or three in your bicep. Milsurp ammo is mostly FMJ, so it doesn't cause a lot of bleeding and you have a good chance of getting through and through clean wounds compared to any of my rifles I hunt with, from squirrels to ele.

    They can pass whatever they want.

    here in Texas.


    wait for the punch line here mikeb


    ANY infringement is an infringement.

    If you read the context of which the law was written, it was meant exactly as stated above and you can even drop the whole militia bit. I've got about 5,000 pages of scholarship in my wide ranging library that all says "It's an individual right and to a lesser extent a states right to keep arms...and the least of all right to keep and bear arms other than a properly maintained Navy belong to the Federal government."

    Read it and weep.

    Looks like the mikeb skunk still carries the same stripes. Didn't reckon you'd changed but you posted at my friend Kurt's place so I figured I'd have a look.

  8. From a e-friend:

    I've expurgated the relevant part to this discourse at Gun Rights 4 US

    Jared Diamond wrote a book a few years back called “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.” The premise was for the most part trendy Green: Cultures fail because they try to support too many people on the land, causing them to ruin the soil and cut down all the forests, etc. He actually praised the societies of highland New Guinea and others of their ilk for developing “sustainable” agricultural methods.

    It’s an interesting premise, but (I submit) hugely flawed. Cultures like the Maya may occasionally collapse due to a failure to develop fertilizers and crop rotation, putting them in dire straits when the inevitable drought or crop blight strikes. It’s even possible a shortage of meat protein in the peasant diet renders them smaller and less effective as warriors.

    But most primitive cultures have collapsed, virtually overnight, because of the arrival of a more warlike neighbor with better weapons and tactics. Cortez did not conquer Mexico with the plow. It didn’t matter whether the Apache and the Navajo (and before them, presumably, the southbound Aztecs) had better agricultural methods than the Anasazi and other relatively peaceful agriculturalists of the Southwest; the warlike newcomers were simply fully willing and better able to raid them, stealing their women and corn. (Why else did they become “cliff dwellers”?)

    It may be that the natives of highland New Guinea do not grow too numerous for their agricultural methods to sustain precisely because they have no modern medicine to extend life spans and reduce infant mortality. They may also have survived because no one with better weapons has yet considered their remote jungle worth taking.

    The Picts fell to the Celts who fell to the Romans who withdrew and left the natives to the mercy of the Saxons, who were invaded by the Danes and eventually conquered by the Normans. Yes, agriculture sustains larger populations and thus larger armies than hunting and gathering, but you may still be better able to grasp such a course of events by studying the development of the spear, the iron sword, the shield wall, the bow and stirruped cavalry than by analyzing crop rotation.

    Watch a cat kill a bird, sometime. If you intervene quickly enough, while the prey is still frantically struggling, you may still be able to set it free. But at some point the victim seems to pass into a kind of trance of resignation. At that point, even if rescued and set free, the bird seems past the point of resistance. It will often die even when its injuries appear non-life-threatening.

    I submit Western culture is entering a similarly strange and suicidal reverie. Eventually, loud and angry foreigners who have grown up hungry will arrive to kill us and take our stuff, as we sit chanting in self-satisfaction at how wise we were to revert to the imagined peaceful lifestyles of our pre-coal, pre-firearm, pre-industrial, short-lived toothless ancestors.

    I used to predict that our women (and young boys, I suppose) would at that point shriek and moan as they are carried off into slavery, asking what has become of the men with guns who were supposed to defend them.
    I may now have to revise that. I may have to add: “assuming they even remember what a gun looked like.”

  9. The expired "assault weapons ban" did two things: It banned standard capacity magazines for many guns, and it restricted a bunch of shit that had nothing to do with crime or abuse.

    How have bayonets and bayonet mounts been abused?

    Threads on the barrel?

    Does it matter if we can own grenade launchers, if grenades are so tightly regulated as to be impossible?

    How is a rifle that is adjustable so both my wife and I can use it properly more prone to abuse?

    Are the direction of handles really a major issue?

    Is it really a problem to redirect the flash of a gun so it doesn't blind the shooter?

    The only way you can support a reenactment of the assault weapons ban is if you don't know shit about what it bans, or if you support anything that makes it harder to own guns legally.

    There is no common sense about it.

    Mike, please take the time to educate yourself about what was banned. I'm guessing that even you won't be able to make a connection between most of the features that were part of the ban and any sort of abuse.

  10. "Do you agree with the Attorney General that a ban of this type can fall within the purview of the Heller decision? Do you think the Obama administration plans to go further with additional bans? Do you think they should?"

    No. Holder is a moron. Most, if not all of the arms banned under typical AWB's would pass Constitutional muster under Heller as they're definitely "in common usage."

    The AR-15, banned under every AWB I've ever seen, is also the most popular civilian rifle in the country, not to mention it's widespread use among police.

    Yes, Obama plans further bans. The man is wholeheartedly opposed to the 2nd Amendment and has NEVER supported it in any way, shape or form. Now that he's in a position of power I expect he'll do what he's always done and continue to ignore it.

  11. Obama is wasting time with this. Hey Nomen, you voted for Obama ... I became a democrat for the first time just so that I could vote against Hillary in the primaries :o)

    And I did vote for Obama even though I am pro gun.

  12. I'll vote with my hunting rifles, as they are more accurate than my "assault weapons".

    Doesn't matter what they say in D.C., as long as I have rifles I have votes.

  13. i couldn't vote in the primaries, didn't get my citizenship in time. if i had, i may have voted for Gravel or Richardson; Obama and Clinton are both too far to the right for my liking, really.

    came time for the main election, Obama was the only candidate remaining who seemed to me to have the slightest ghost of a chance at fixing the economy, returning any of the civil rights we've lost, bringing the troops back, and so on and forth.

    i'm pro-gun enough, but i'm not a single issue voter. i'd prefer to not have to weigh the second amendment against all those other issues... but if it comes to that, the lot of them together might just outweigh the gun thing.

    but only if the candidate of my choice can actually get those other issues fixed. bending on gun rights in return for nothing useful would not make me a happy camper, not at all.

  14. If you weigh things against the second amendment, Nomen, you are putting yourself in somebody's crosshairs and they'll have a gun and you won't.

    Not a threat. We call that a "Wake Up".

    Funny thing is, by publicly stating that view regarding compromising your principles, you might not get another "Wake Up". Nobody will share your foxhole as you're a OpSec risk.

    Save us the trouble and put your own gun in your mouth and pull the trigger or rethink your worldview radically and demonstrate it.


    My name is on everything I write and they know where I live. I think we had a word for people like you growing up, that'd be "pussy". If you happen to speak Romanian, "cel care fute porcul".

  15. I know that trick question already: "what is an assault weapon." Weer'd provided a video or two describing the problem. The "fully automatic" as opposed to "semi-automatic," the look-alikes, the sensationalism of using terms like military-style, I understand all that, as I'm sure the Attorney General does.

    What we seem to differ on, most of you commenters and I, is whether Eric Holder and the President and the Brady folks are sincerely interested in finding a way to reduce gun violence. I think they're honest, sincere, good people who want what's best for the country as they see it.

  16. "What we seem to differ on, most of you commenters and I, is whether Eric Holder and the President and the Brady folks are sincerely interested in finding a way to reduce gun violence. I think they're honest, sincere, good people who want what's best for the country as they see it."

    If you believe that I'd think you VERY stupid, Mike.

    But notice how you didn't actually address any issues in your comment. Dishonesty and deceit! You've become one of them, Mike.

    Do you have this country's best interest at heart? I'd note you no longer live here, and you use your blog to spread misinformation...

  17. BTW Mike, even the key figureheads of your cause are rallying against Holder and the President.

    Your side got it's back broken yesterday.

    And because you push lies, deceit, and misinformation as your only means to convince others of your evil cause, I can't say I feel bad.

    Actually I feel damn good!

  18. I know you don't usually read my reference materials on my blog (I mean why bother? It's just fools declaring the Earth to be ROUND! That goes against your troglodyte agenda!)

    But you need to read this one:

    It both dovetails with my comment about the gun control movement getting its back broken. but also into your foolish idea that somehow Obama and Holder have any idea what they're talking about, or that they have crime, or the best interest in the nation at heart.

  19. "I think they're honest, sincere, good people who want what's best for the country as they see it."

    If that were true, they wouldn't so blatantly attack the U.S. Constitution.

  20. How on earth does regulating bayonet mounts and the handles on a gun do anything for safety? At best the people involved sincerely believe that gun bans will help, and are worth lying and deceit to accomplish.

  21. From A New Assault Weapons Ban Will Not Reduce Crime In This Country by John Lott

    It is pretty hard to seriously argue that a new so-called “assault weapons” ban would reduce crime in the United States. Even research done for the Clinton Administration couldn’t find that the federal assault weapons ban reduced crime..

    There are no academic studies by economists or criminologist that find the original federal assault weapons ban reduced murder or violent crime generally. There is no evidence that the state assault weapons bans reduced murder or violent crime rates – even some evidence that they caused murder to rise slightly. Since the federal ban sunset in September 2004, murder and overall violent crime rates have remained virtually unchanged.

    In fact, when the assault weapon's ban sunset in September 2004 there was no explosion of murder and bloodshed as gun control advocates feared. Immediately after the law expired murder rates fell and they fell more in the states without state assault weapon bans than the states with them.

    More links on his site....Mike, How about reading all the EVIDENCE. Since you won't accept comparison between other countries, you won't accept evidence from England, you won't accept evidence from different cities.....what evidence will you accept that gun control simply does not work?

  22. in fairness, quoting john lott for evidence is not likely to convince anybody; that man has thoroughly discredited himself by his actions. fortunately nothing really hinges on him and him alone, and there are plenty of other people we can quote instead.

  23. Weer'd, thanks for posting and mentioning the Pelosi comment. I'd like to know more about that? It's mentioned in that site you directed me to, which I didn't find very impressive by the way. But, do you think she was just being spiteful for having been left out of the loop?

    Sevesteen, I can't imagine why bayonets or bayonet mounts would be included. Do you have an idea? Could it be to sensationalize the whole business and prey on the fear and emotions? Although not admirable, that's a fairly standard ploy when trying to convince people, wouldn't you say?

  24. "Could it be to sensationalize the whole business and prey on the fear and emotions?"

    SOP for gun control advocates.

    "I know that trick question already: "what is an assault weapon."

    Why is it a 'trick question'? Because there is no answer. The use sensationalism and fear-mongering to ban as many guns as they can.

    Glad you agree.

  25. What we seem to differ on, most of you commenters and I, is whether Eric Holder and the President and the Brady folks are sincerely interested in finding a way to reduce gun violence. I think they're honest, sincere, good people who want what's best for the country as they see it.

    if they honestly and sincerely believe that an "assault weapons" ban will in any real way improve the country, then they're ignorant and stupid; fire them --- recall them, impeach them, or whatever --- and get somebody competent to do their jobs instead.

    we've had eight years of incompetent, stupid, and ignorant rule. we can't afford another four. if i'd wanted another administration of cretinous morons, i would've voted republican.

  26. "More links on his site....Mike, How about reading all the EVIDENCE. Since you won't accept comparison between other countries, you won't accept evidence from England, you won't accept evidence from different cities."

    Nope, Bob, he's read the stats and reports. He's accepted the numbers. He KNOWS he's favoring less freedom at the cost of more death.

    My question is why is he supporting that, and choosing to lie?

  27. I can't imagine why bayonets or bayonet mounts would be included. Do you have an idea?

    Several reasons, none having anything to do with misuse.

    The Assault Weapons ban should have been the Scary-looking gun ban--There is no functional difference between an assault weapon and a non-assault weapon. The differences are entirely cosmetic and ergonomic. The people writing the law didn't want to get hunters scared enough to object, so they took most features that hunting rifles lacked and added them to the "evil features" list regardless of any abuse potential.

    Back to analogies--Say we perceive aproblem with sports cars disproportionately getting in accidents. Some idiot politician decides the best way to deal with that is to ban sports cars.

    Most people have a pretty good idea what a sports car is--Mazda Miyata, most Ferraris, but how do you define one legally, without affecting the sedan and minivan crowd so much they won't vote for the changes?

    You wind up with a list of features--Two doors, lack of rear seat, low ground clearance, engine behind the seats, wheels more than 40% of the overall height, spoilers, rear drive, bucket seats with more than 2 adjustments, low coefficient of drag, transmission with 5 or more gears, engine with more than 24 valves...

    Since there are a few sedans and minivans with some of these features, you set a maximum number allowed. You also ban certain cars by name, as well as "any car derived from a racing-specific car".

    After all, who needs a spoiler, or a 6 speed transmission?

  28. Well we could go by the old California definition of "Assault Weapon". The one that had staffers go through a gun catalog and pick out pictures of the scary looking ones, typos and all.

    Or we could use the New Jersey definition that includes Marlin 60's and JC Higgins 29's.

    Or even the one Obama was a co-sponsor of in Illinois that included single shot and Dbl barrel shotguns.

    Or the one that includes Sen. Mccarthy's "barrel shroud".

  29. Yeah, that "barrel shroud," now that I know what it is, would be pretty comprehensive. No wonder the gun control nuts like that one.

    Or how about the "icky" and "scary" ones? That would cover a lot too.

    Serious questions though, does assault weapon = fully automatic? Is the AK--47 fully automatic or not? I read somewhere around here lately that fully automatic = machine gun. Is that right? Couldn't it be a rifle? There was even a video going around showing the fully auto pistol, wasn't there?

  30. Mike, you should know this by now, but I'll bite.

    Semi-auto means the firearm fires one shot with every pull of the trigger and then readies itself for the next pull of the trigger by mechanical means.

    Semi-auto firearms can be handguns, shotguns, rifles, there are even a few semi-auto revolvers(but not many).

    Full-auto means that one pull of the trigger can mean two or more firings of the firearm. There are generally 3 forms of fully-automatic firearms.

    Machine Gun: Generally Belt-fed, in a rifle caliber, and is often crew-served (meaning one man shoots, the other man feeds the gun ammo)
    Assault Rifle: A rifle in an intermediate rifle caliber (most common 5.56X45mm, 7.62X39mm, and 5.45X39mm) and often capable of both semi-auto or full-auto/burst fire.

    Sub Machine Guns. A full-automatic firearm in a pistol caliber. They can be in a carbine configuration, like the M1 Thompson (.45 ACP commonly known as the "Tommy Gun") or the Sten Gun (9x19mm), or they can be in a configuration like a standard pistol, like the Beretta 93R, Glock 18, or the Micro Uzi (generally these guns were considered too unwieldy in full-auto or burst fire that they never saw wide use by police or military) or an intermediate, like the standard Uzi, or the MP5K, where the gun often features a collapsible/folding stock, a medium-length barrel.

    Google images can help you if you don't know what these guns look like.

    BTW all of these guns can be converted to semi-auto-only for civilian sale, but the "intermediate" configuration is still controlled by the NFA because they constitute a short-barreled rifle and/or and "Any other Weapon"

  31. An assault rifle is a term that was used to describe a rifle that shot ammunition between the power of earlier rifle and pistol rounds, and was switch-selectable between fully automatic "machine gun" fire and semiautomatic "single shot" fire. The AK-47 and M16 were considered assault rifles. The M14 is switch-selectable, but shoots full-power ammunition and is therefore not considered an assault rifle. Because of the full power ammunition, few soldiers could control it in full-auto fire.

    Assault weapon is a term deliberately chosen to be confused with assault rifle. It doesn't apply to true assault rifles or any other machine gun--those are covered by separate and far stricter regulations. The definition of assault weapon varies--Cynically I'd like to say it is whatever guns the speaker doesn't like and won't fit in another pejorative category. Essentially a semi-automatic gun with a replaceable box magazine that looks military.

    The true AK47 is fully automatic. The AK47 you see sold legally in the US is a semiautomatic only variation, requiring substantial modification to be capable of full-automatic fire. This is very like the difference between the AR-15 and the M-16

  32. So, why don't we help those poor ignorant folks who are writing such bad legislation to get it right? As Bob asked, "What "arms" should be included in the fundamental right to keep and bear arms?"

  33. So, why don't we help those poor ignorant folks who are writing such bad legislation to get it right?

    that is, in fact, no small part of what the NRA does with its time and money. i understand they will accept membership applications from outside the USA.

  34. What arms shouldn't be included?

    The problem is that the clear common meaning of the second amendment doesn't allow much in the way of restrictions--It allows weapons that make even me uncomfortable. I'm less comfortable with redefining the constitution to suit.

    The weapons issued to an individual soldier for use against individuals are clearly protected. That includes pistols, up to medium machine guns, rifles and short barreled rifles, shotguns and sawed-off shotguns. All have been issued and used effectively by individuals in the military.

    I'm not comfortable with unrestricted ownership of grenades, although I don't see how they are not covered by the second. I'd rather allow them than twist the constitution.

  35. "I'm not comfortable with unrestricted ownership of grenades"

    They're the easiest damn thing in the universe to make, so while they are illigal without BATFE permission, they might as well be considered "Unrestricted" as anybody who got better than a C in Highschool chemistry, and has internet access can make some pretty decent ones.

  36. Weer'd

    I'd love to get to the point where there is a political point in arguing about legal grenade ownership--Grenades, mortars and crew served weapons are where the line begins to get fuzzy to me. I don't actually know my positions on those--We have so far to go before it matters, I'll spend my time thinking about how to get to that point before I worry about whether we should get past it.

  37. Of all the gun laws in America, I openly support the Brady Bill, and the Gun Control Act (Both could stand a few amendment and editing, but overall they're good laws)

    The NFA I have very mixed feelings about. But I can safely say of all the ineffectual gun laws in America to be repealed, NFA will likely be the very last.

    So it's not even a discussion topic at this point...especially with flat-earth deceitful bastards like Mike B, Paul Helmke and company around.

  38. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to enable the citizenry to overthrow (yes, by force) a tyrannical government. It was not promulgated to protect target shooter, hunters, or for self-protection although these are all positive side-effects.

    Allowing the government to dictate which weapons are appropriate to violently overthrowing itself is 100% cuckoo. Allowing the government to dictate which persons are permitted to violently overthrowing the government is equally cuckoo.

    Yes, I should be able to keep and bear any weapon for any lawful purpose including overthrowing the government.

  39. "deceitful bastards like Mike B." How far are you planning to go with the insults, Weer'd? Don't you think there's something wrong with a guy coming over to another guy's blog and saying shit like that?

  40. Mike,

    Do you think there is something wrong with a person calling his blog guest criminals and enablers of criminals as you have repeatedly called us?

    Every time you say we are responsible for the violence committed by hoodlums, you are insulting us.

    Every time you continue to spread lies, you enable those that want to take away our rights.

    Why do you continue to call for the extinction of OUR RIGHTS and not expect us to get a teensy little perturbed?

  41. Not wrong at all.

    I DO see it as VERY wrong on every level for an agenda you KNOW is wrong, and you KNOW kills people.

    How do you justify such behavior?