Friday, April 17, 2009

Assault Weapons Ban - Back on the Agenda

CNN reports on the comments President Obama made in Mexico yesterday.

Speaking alongside Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Obama said he has "not backed off at all" on a campaign pledge to try to restore the ban. It was instituted under President Clinton and allowed to lapse by President George W. Bush.

"I continue to believe that we can respect and honor the Second Amendment right in our Constitution -- the rights of sportsmen and hunters and homeowners that want to keep their families safe -- to lawfully bear arms, while dealing with assault weapons that, as we know here in Mexico, are used to fuel violence," Obama said.


Sorry, but didn't Holder just tell us that it was all on the back burner? What could explain such mixed messages? Do you think the President is saying what the Mexicans want to hear while in Mexico and saying what we (some of us, anyway) want to hear while at home?

Perhaps the messages are not so contradictory. In Mexico, Obama made no reference to a timetable. Maybe the economy and other issues will continue to take precedence, like Holder said. This commitment from the President is reassuring at least in knowing that the whole idea is not abandoned.

Mr. Calderón had some interesting things to say too.

Calderón said that the link between Mexican drug violence and the U.S. ban on 19 types of military-style semi-automatic rifles -- which lapsed in 2004 -- is clear.

"From the moment the the prohibition on the sale of assault weapons was lifted a few years ago, we have seen an increase in the power of organized crime in Mexico," Calderón said.

He said that more than 16,000 assault weapons have been seized in the crackdown on drug traffickers, with almost 9 in 10 coming from the United States.


The famous 90% comes up again. The last time Helmke used that figure, the whole gun-toting world went wild with accusations of lying and deceit. It turned out he was quoting the ATF. I wonder where the president of Mexico got the same figure and why he's announcing it to the world. Maybe he's doing so because it's accurate.

Another interesting thing was mentioned. The lapsed assault weapons ban would ban "19 types of military-style semi-automatic rifles." That sounds extremely specific and very clear. So, what was all that talk about anti-gun people not knowing the difference between fully-automatic and semi-automatic? What was all that ridicule about people who didn't know what a "gun shroud" was?

To me it sounds like much of what the pro-gun crowd have been throwing into the mix is diversion and confusion. The Assault Weapons Ban, contrary to what they would make you believe, is a clearly written piece of legislation that had a greatly beneficial effect on the U.S. and its nearest neighbor, Mexico. The real problem that gun folks have with it is, I imagine, that it might take away some of their favorite toys.

What's your opinion? Among those 19 prohibited weapons are there any which are necessary for self protection or for hunting? When something like that goes into effect, what happens to all the assault weapons already in the hands of private citizens? What happens to all the ones in gun shops right now?

Please feel free to leave a comment.

35 comments:

  1. "19 types of military-style semi-automatic rifles." That sounds extremely specific and very clear."

    It does until you ask them to define that term, and explain what makes that gun worthy of a ban, while others can be overlooked.

    (Hint, it's just the tip of the Iceberg. Like you, Mike, Helmke wants to ban ALL guns)

    "What's your opinion? Among those 19 prohibited weapons are there any which are necessary for self protection or for hunting?"

    Better yet, Mike. Give me ONE firearm on that list of 19 (No list given? Wonder why?) that ISN'T useful for self protection or hunting!

    "The Assault Weapons Ban, contrary to what they would make you believe, is a clearly written piece of legislation that had a greatly beneficial effect on the U.S. and its nearest neighbor, Mexico."

    Care to prove that? I won't hold my breath.

    A Romanian WASR-10 Kalashnikov rifle is selling for close to $900 right now, when back in June of last year the going rate was $350. You can't buy a new AR-15 from any maker without putting your name on a 6month waiting list. Gunshop handgun cases are more picked over than I'd ever seen before. Certain small-frame conceal-carry guns are impossible to find and often command waiting lists, or being sold above list price.

    Obama can try to push a ban, but America is speaking pretty loud about the 2nd Amendment.

    So Mikey, if you want to be a real "Tough Guy" you'll answer this one question.

    What is a "Military-Style Assault Weapon" specifically, and what about that definition makes them worthy of a ban, while firearms not meeting that definition are acceptable for lawful civilian Americans to own and operate?

    Just for clarity, the above question is NOT rhetorical!

    I will be awaiting your answer.

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  2. MikeB,

    What was the effective of the Assault Weapon Ban?

    Can you show any evidence that it was effective in reducing crime?

    Even keeping the crime level down?

    Remember that most firearm related crimes have been trending down prior to and during the ban.

    So can you show where fewer crimes were committed with those 19 weapons?

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  3. You approved my comment, which means you read it. I'm waiting for your responce to that last question.

    (the other questions in my comment also weren't rhetorical either, but I know supporting a wrong argument isn't your forte, so we'll just start with that last one.

    Man up time, little boy!

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  4. Of course they're "back on the agenda." Aside from political posturing, Obama never actually backed away from his illogical, irrational desire to ban guns that aren't used in crime.

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  5. "What's your opinion? Among those 19 prohibited weapons are there any which are necessary for self protection or for hunting?"

    Mike - The AR-15 is THE MOST POPULAR CIVILIAN RIFLE IN THE COUNTRY. It is also the patrol rifle used by most police in this country.

    If "Assault Weapons" were not suitable for self-defense why would the police carry them in their patrol cars?

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  6. The 9 in 10 number is bogus, based on the BATFE statement about it. It is 9 out of 10 guns that were already suspected of being from the US, and were able to be traced. Guns that were not able to be traced aren't counted, nor are guns that were more likely from other sources and were therefore not submitted.

    But a lie repeated often enough...

    Many anti-gun people, including politicians are not clear on the differences, or don't care--banning some guns is better than banning no guns, and the specifics are only important as far as priorities and politics. (you appear to fall in this category, although you appear to be able to learn) The professionals like Helmke and Sugarman know the differences, but use misdirection to achieve their goals--"We don't want YOUR guns, we want those evil guns that other people have".

    And one of the prime public supporters didn't know what the barrel shroud in her own bill was about. She couldn't articulate why any of the features listed were worse than other guns.

    You still haven't said how restricting any of the features covered in the assault weapons ban will help reduce crime, either here or in Mexico. Can you explain how restricting either bayonet mounts or barrel shrouds reduces crime, or even point to a few isolated cases where a barrel shroud or bayonet mount was relevant to a crime?

    Hunting isn't a protected right nor is it the purpose of the second amendment. The guns that the military and police find useful are the same ones that civilians would find useful for self defense, for the same reasons. The AR-15 with proper ammo is an excellent home defense gun--The proper ammo will fragment when

    If the ban is the same as the last one, existing weapons will be grandfathered, and manufacturers will race to partially make as many banned guns and magazines as possible before the effective date.

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  7. The problem with gun bans is taking away toys it is infringing on amendment rights.

    I am not a gun enthusiast, but I do not support taking away guns just to make us feel safer.

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  8. "The famous 90% comes up again. The last time Helmke used that figure, the whole gun-toting world went wild with accusations of lying and deceit. It turned out he was quoting the ATF."

    And it turns out the ATF figure _was_ being misused, or at least misunderstood. Take a look:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/04/02/myth-percent-guns-mexico-fraction-number-claimed/

    (I know, I know--Fox News. But they're getting their info direct from the ATF, too.)

    90% of all Mecican crime guns _traced_by_the_ATF_ come from the US, but that's just because Mexican authorities only ask them to trace guns they suspect of coming from the US, not all guns used in crimes. This just means the Mexican authorities are good at guessing which guns are US-sourced (reasonable, since so many of the weapons used by the gangs are expensive and tightly regulated here, but dirt cheap and readily available in South America or from Mexican army deserters).

    When you run the numbers against all guns used in crimes in Mexico instead of the number of guns Mexico asks the ATF about, it turns out that only about 17% of them come from the US.

    As for the Assault Weapons Ban, read it for yourself. All the restricted features are either ergonomic (pistol grip, collapsible stock), safety features (barrel shroud), or scary-sounding but irrelevant to real-world public safety (bayonet lug, "grenade launcher"--in this context a sheet metal doodad that holds up a rifle grenade, which is itself subject to extreme legal restrictions).

    The law seeks to ban, say, an AR-15 based on cosmetic and ergonomic features, while leaving untouched other functionally identical civilian semi-automatic firearms like the Ruger Mini-14, among many others. Both fire exactly the same cartridge, use the same semi-automatic action, take removable magazines that can hold anywhere from five to thirty rounds, and are about the same size. The only meaningful difference is that the AR-15 is black and looks military, while the Mini-14 has a wood stock and traditional styling.

    _Some_ support for the AWB is based on ignorance (many, many people still think "assault weapons" are machine guns, and most assume they're more powerful than traditional rifles), but I don't think that accounts for the core of its political backing. It's the point of a wedge--it's a needless burden on gun owners intended to enable future restrictions.

    I know that sounds paranoid from your perspective, but you've seen this in action before: the "assault weapons" ban is the anti-gun equivalent of the "partial birth abortion" ban. "Partial birth" abortions were functionally identical to any other abortions; the fetus ended up exactly as dead. And the ban didn't prevent the same people from getting abortions at the same point in the pregnancy; it just took away one of their choices of _how_ to do it. The law was never intended to do anything useful itself, but was pushed misrepresented because a ban on an easily demonized _kind_ of abortion could be used to enable future restrictions.

    There's nothing unusual about these tactics--political groups use incrementalism all the time. If you can't get enough consensus to ban the thing you want to get rid of, you pile restrictions on it piecemeal until it's as hard to get as possible. "Assault weapons" are no worse than traditionally-styled rifles the same way "partial birth" abortion was no worse than any other late-term abortion. The point of bans is simply that these types can easily be made to _feel_ worse.

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  9. Oy--these things never look so long when they're in the composition window.

    Sorry to drop a freakin' novel on you.

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  10. Weer'd said, "What is a "Military-Style Assault Weapon" specifically, and what about that definition makes them worthy of a ban, while firearms not meeting that definition are acceptable for lawful civilian Americans to own and operate?Is this the one you're going on and on about? What do you think, Weer'd, that this question is so intelligent and devestating to my position that if I dare to try to answer it, I'll crash and burn? Sometimes I wonder about you, my friend.

    Here's the deal. You left out the part of the phrase that said "19 types." This is exactly where you and your friends have been trying to mislead. You keep repeating this question in different ways, but always leaving out the "19 types." Your way, it's some vague difficult to define description of what should be banned, something you've all compared to "the scary ones." This is a silly attempt to make us seem silly.

    The real deal is "19 types," which I suppose are named in a list. Is AR-15 one of 'em, do you think? Is AK-47?

    What Michael pointed out makes good sense to me. Why are some weapons banned when others which are very similar are not? Now that's a good question.

    So, why don't you stop wasting your time with trick questions and taking things out of context and all that? Read Sevesteen; read the new commenter, Michael. Those guys present good arguments.

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  11. D-D-D-D-D-D-D-DODGE!!!!

    Didn't even attempt to answer my question Mike, but you welcomed me to read the other comments that point out the foolishness of the AWB.

    So are you proclaiming the AWB and Obama's thoughts on renewing it to be futile and stupid?

    If No, you'd best answer my question:
    What is a "Military-Style Assault Weapon" specifically, and what about that definition makes them worthy of a ban, while firearms not meeting that definition are acceptable for lawful civilian Americans to own and operate?

    If you support President Obama's plans then you should be able to answer it. It's not a trick question at all, seeing as Obama has called for a ban, and you in the past have called for a ban.

    Tell me why!

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  12. How do you define if a gun is one of those 19 types?

    If I engrave AK-48, does that make it a different gun? If I remake it using inch dimensions instead of metric so no parts are interchangeable, but the features and operating principles are the same, is that the same gun? How about a gun with the exact same features, but entirely different internally?

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  13. "How do you define if a gun is one of those 19 types?"

    Better yet, where is this list! 19 gun names are quick and easy to type up. Where is it?

    Still Dodging, I see Mike.

    Do you support the ban, or not?

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  14. Seriously, Mike. That wasn't rhetorical, nor was it a "trick" question.

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  15. Weer'd, I've told you before, I don't dodge questions. Your continually saying that must be some attempt to exaggerate the quality of your questions. They're not that sharp, really. Sometimes my answer is simply "I don't know." You try to orchestrate this whole question and answer session in such a way that for me to say that proves that I don't know anything. But, truthfully, I never claimed to be an expert. My not knowing something doesn't prove anything.

    I don't know what the 19 are, or what they should be. Maybe the list should be 50 items long.

    Generally, I would favor partial bans because they might result in a diminishment of weapons in America, which I see as part of the solution.

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  16. Generally, I would favor partial bans because they might result in a diminishment of weapons in America, which I see as part of the solution.I don't understand the logic here, unless it is merely a step towards a total ban. A partial ban is meaningless as long as there is a functional substitute.

    I don't know whether you are dodging the questions on banned features, or you don't care, as long as it makes it more difficult for gun owners. I really would like you to explain how any of these features other than ammo capacity are relevant (Link to the Wikipedia article)

    Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

    * Folding or telescoping stock
    * Pistol grip
    * Bayonet mount
    * Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
    * Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device which enables the launching or firing of rifle grenades)

    Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

    * Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
    * Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash suppressor, handgrip, or suppressor
    * Barrel shroud that can be used as a hand-hold
    * Unloaded weight of 50 oz (1.4 kg) or more
    * A semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm

    Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of the following:

    * Folding or telescoping stock
    * Pistol grip
    * Fixed capacity of more than 5 rounds
    * Detachable magazine
    This isn't a trick question--I honestly can't understand how any of these features other than ammo capacity are remotely relevant to anything. I'm concentrating on features, because "by name" is completely useless--The AR-15 was banned "by name", so Colt introduced the nearly identical XM-15 without bayonet lug and barrel threading.

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  17. Sevesteen, I don't think any of those features is relevant. I agree with you also that it makes no sense to ban a gun by name if the manufacturers produce a similar weapon with a different name.

    Diminishing the total number of guns and the total number of gun owners would have a direct impact on gun violence. The reason is because "gun availability" and "gun flow" would be proportionately affected.

    It's certainly conceivable that the AWB, at least as it was written is not the best way to accomplishment the desired diminishment.

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  18. "Weer'd, I've told you before, I don't dodge questions."

    and then you proceed to dodge the question. Ironic, wouldn't you say?

    "It's certainly conceivable that the AWB, at least as it was written is not the best way to accomplishment the desired diminishment."

    Well first up, who exactly "desires" the MikeB magical "diminishment"? It certainly isn't the American people as a whole, as they're buying guns faster than ever before and more people are members of the shooting sports than ever before.

    Polls are showing America is wising up on the gun issue, and the Democrat controlled Congress is repeating those desires. It's a few fring questionably sane people who support "diminishment".

    So if an AWB is not an effective law to archive your backwards goals, do you support it or not?

    BTW, on your next dodge of that question tell me you're not dodging it. It makes me laugh!

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  19. Diminishing the total number of guns and the total number of gun owners would have a direct impact on gun violence. The reason is because "gun availability" and "gun flow" would be proportionately affected.How do you diminish that total number without completely abrogating the rights of every American Mike?

    If what you claim is true, then the solution necessitates getting the "number of guns" as close to 0 as possible. How will you and your ilk do this without throwing the entire BOR out the window?

    Also, you say it would have a direct impact on "gun violence" but what of other violent crime Mike? Is someone killed with a sword, machete, or butcher knife any less dead than someone who was shot?

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  20. "How will you and your ilk do this without throwing the entire BOR out the window?"

    I think Mike wouldn't mind junking the whole Constitution for his plans.

    Even scarier he KNOWS he's wrong, and his plans won't work!

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  21. Sorry to step back so late in the game.

    The "19 types" statement is largely just rhetoric. The old AWB _did_ name a number of specific models of gun that were outlawed, but it was understood at the time that such a list was completely useless. Manufacturers could simply make minor changes and rerelease functionally identical guns as new models (and did; remember hearing anti-gun spokespeople talking about gunmakers "evading" the ban?)--an AR-15 is easily redesigned and released as an XM177.

    A law that said "these guns and anything similar" would be unconstitutionally vague, so anti-gun lawmakers were forced to define the _features_ that made this gun so much deadlier than other common civilian firearms, and that's where they ran into the essential problem with the AWB: there's nothing about an AR-15 or a semi AK-47 that makes it particularly dangerous; it's all about looks.

    That's why the AWB has such unwieldy language and bans such trivial features. Anti-gun lawmakers had a scary image to exploit, and a scary name to hang on it, but once they won the fight they had nothing reasonable to ban.

    Generally, I would favor partial bans because they might result in a diminishment of weapons in America, which I see as part of the solution.I disagree that this is part of the solution, but let's lay that aside for a moment and talk about the first part of the statement, which I think may be based on a false assumption.

    A partial ban won't decrease the number of firearms in America. It will only change the _type_ of firearms in America. Banning "military-looking" carbines like ARs and AKs will just mean that people seeking these low-powered carbines will buy traditionally-styled ones instead of black plastic ones. No actual change in the number of firearms available, or in the effectiveness of those firearms. Ban all low-powered carbines, and people will buy either shotguns (which are many times deadlier at close ranges than ARs and AKs and can be more easily--though illegally--shortened to a concealable length) or hunting rifles (which are also far more powerful than "assault weapons", and have a much longer effective range).

    AWB or no, handguns will continue to be used in, far and away, more crimes than all other types of guns combined, simply because they're concealable.

    Light carbines like the AR and AK are versatile arms ideally suited for legitimate civilian purposes and (like all long arms) poorly suited to crime. Banning them seems, to me, to have no constructive purpose whatsoever. Bans on classes of guns don't affect rates of crime, suicide, or accidents (which happen with whatever's available, not with any special type of gun); they serve only to make life more difficult for law-abiding gun owners.

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  22. That's an interesting idea that if one certain type of gun were banned, those who might want to buy it would simply buy something that's not banned. That certainly takes the wind out of the sails of the partial ban advocates.

    How do we diminish the total number of weapons "without throwing the entire BOR out the window?"I thought it was the 2nd Amendment we were talking about. Are there other amendments involved in this? Besides, I thought you guys told me even without the 2nd Amendment you would still have the right to arm yourselves? What gives?

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  23. Mike, Because there is no national registry for firearms owners (and technically even in places where there are state residencies) searching and seizing guns would be a direct violation of the 4th Amendment. Also Seizing guns that were legally owned and then subsequently banned is a violation of ex-post facto law, and direct violation of the 6th Amendment.

    Requiring people to register or turn in guns that have been deemed worthy of a ban (without you antis actually supporting that of course. You haven't done it yet!) could also be construed as a violation of the 5th Amendment.

    And that's just for starters I'm sure I could dig further and come up with more.

    Also Mike, the 2nd Amendment doesn't GRANT the right to keep and bear arms (nor does any of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights) it simply points out that the government has NO RIGHT to infringe on our right to keep and bear arms, just the same way that the 1st doesn't grant the right to speech or worship, it simply frobids the infringment thereof.

    And we know how you feel about the 1st as well....

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  24. I think the point is that when you casually undermine one amendment in the BOR, you undermine the authority of all of them. And I generally agree. It's why we tolerate speech that offends us to the core; because we know that preventing the Klansman from spewing hateful stupidity indirectly undermines our own 1A rights, and by extension the rest of our Constitutional protections.

    As fro diminishing the total number of weapons, (even if I agreed that this was a good idea) I don't think it can be done Constitutionally. When people have a fundamental right to something, and they choose to exercise that right to an extent that you're uncomfortable with, you can either make your case and try to persuade people to choose differently, take away the right, or live with the discomfort.

    I'm an atheist, and am extremely uncomfortable with the amount of religion in this country. We face an increasingly complex world full of increasingly complex problems that require very careful, rational thinking with as little emotional bias as possible. To have an electorate that so widely glorifies emotional decisionmaking and the belief in "truth" without evidence is, IMO, destructive and dangerous. But people have a Constitutional right to religion. I can either try to talk them into a mindset I like better, or learn to live with it. Trying to pass a law to diminish the total amount of religion in this country, however constructive I think that might be, isn't acceptable, no matter how much I want it. :\

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  25. If you can ignore one part of the bill of rights without consequence, what keeps you from ignoring the rest?

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  26. Yes Mike, other Amendments would be involved, most notably the 4th.

    How are you going to confiscate my legally owned property without violating both the 2nd and 4th Amendments?

    And remember, ex-post facto laws are still illegal per the Constitution.


    Banning them seems, to me, to have no constructive purpose whatsoeverYup, and the facts bear this out, but for folks who want to ban "icky" assault weapons it's all about blind ideology not reality.

    Anyone with any degree of intellectual honesty could look at FBI UCR crime data and see that banning "assault weapons" is not going to do a damn bit of good.

    For example. Murder in 2007 broken down by weapon.

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_10.html

    2007 FBI UCR Expanded Homicide Data Table 10 (in case my link doesn't work)

    Total murders with a firearm for 2007 were 10,086. Of those a rifle was used in 450. Thats 4.46% of all murders, and remember that's for ALL RIFLES.

    Let's assume "assault weapons" account for 10% of all the rifles used in crime (a very generous assumption) that would mean, so called "assault weapons" were used in LESS THAN ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT OF ALL MURDERS in 2007!

    That's less than half a percent, even when I skew the data in your favor Mike.

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  27. I find MIke W.'s explanation quite convincing, that rifles, even the scary ones are not doing the damage. Sevesteen has made the same point also, I believe.

    Why then don't the "gun banners" (and I don't put myself in that group, in spite of what some of you keep saying), but why don't they try to ban certain types of handguns that do most of the damage?

    Do you think they feel it's the best strategy to start out small and build up?

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  28. Why then don't the "gun banners"...try to ban certain types of handguns that do most of the damage?

    Do you think they feel it's the best strategy to start out small and build up?


    That's explicitly their strategy. Check out this post by Eugene Volokh, in which he cites a 1988 memo straight from the anti-gun Violence Policy Center's website. In particular, they say:

    Although handguns claim more than 20,000 lives a year, the issue of handgun restriction consistently remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and public...[They go on to speculate oon reasons for this, conspicuously omitting "millions of law-abiding Americans own handguns and would like to keep them...]Assault weapons — just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms — are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons....Again, it's the "partial-birth abortion" ban of guns. A mundane but easily demonized variant on something that generally has public support. Americans don't _want_ a ban on guns or on handguns, but bans on "assault weapons", "cop-killer bullets", "saturday night specials", and so on are stepping stones to forcing a ban on them anyway.

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  29. Here's the direct link to the VPC's page:

    http://www.vpc.org/studies/awaconc.htm..."assault weapons are quickly becoming the leading topic of America's gun control debate and will most likely remain the leading gun control issue for the near future. Such a shift will not only damage America's gun lobby, but strengthen the handgun restriction lobby for the following reasons:"

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  30. Michael said most of what I would have. (Michael: Do you have a blog somewhere?)

    We seem to have convinced you (MikeB) that the assault weapons ban is essentially useless, unless the goal is to restrict whatever is possible to restrict.

    If you examine other anti-gun proposals carefully, you will see a lot of the same sorts of issues. There will be a scary-sounding sound-bite title. There will be claims of "protecting our children/police". The actual proposal will go far beyond what the title would suggest.
    There will usually be divide and conquer tactics--"What kind of hunting needs a machine gun?"

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  31. "Why then don't the "gun banners" (and I don't put myself in that group, in spite of what some of you keep saying), but why don't they try to ban certain types of handguns that do most of the damage?"

    Well the big #1 is that there isn't any "certain type" of handgun that is doing the most damage. Criminals don't have their pick of guns, they get what they can steal or buy on the black market.

    In 1994 when the federal assault weapons ban was passed the most common crime guns were small .22 and .25 pistols (all sub 10-rounds in capacity) because they were cheap and pleantiful, so a lot of people had them, so they were the most common guns stolen and used in crimes.

    Now most of those companies have gone out of buisness so different guns are showing up (but the cheap .25s are still out there), still I've read about pleanty of crimes being committed with guns like the Ruger Mk series of guns, a .22 pistol used for target practice and training.

    Essentially the only way to "stop" (quotes used because it simply won't work, and has been proven to not work in both the gun market as well as other things prohibited anywhere from drugs to auto engines that don't meet EPA emission standards) is that handguns are also the #1 guns that save lives.

    You can attempt to mitigate that all you want, but it won't make it any less true.

    Also you'd have to amend the US Constitution as the 2nd Amendment has been ruled to protect handguns.

    The bottom line, we have damn good laws protecting theft, illigal sale, illigal posession, and violent crime. Couple that with an armed populace that chooses not to be victims of these thugs (and thugs who relize that shoplifting and jacking car sterios is a safer occupation than armed robbery when they start looking down the muzzle of a gun) will do the most good for society.

    Even better such things are WELL PROVEN.

    Mitigate it all you want, Mike, won't make it any less true, or your laughable claims any more untrue.

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  32. (Michael: Do you have a blog somewhere?)

    Nothing more than an old Livejournal account I can't afford the time to update.

    I spend far too much time on other projects and arguing on _other_ people's blogs to maintain one of my own. ;)

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  33. "I find MIke W.'s explanation quite convincing, that rifles, even the scary ones are not doing the damage."

    Glad to hear it Mike. It always seemed insane to me to see this rabid push to ban "Assault Weapons" when they're used in a fraction of a percent of the violent crime in this country.

    I realized long ago that the anti-gunners pushing such legislation do not care about truth or facts. They care only about banning guns anyway they can and right now "Assault Weapons" are the ones they choose to demonize in an attempt to make that happen.

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  34. "but why don't they try to ban certain types of handguns that do most of the damage?"

    Let's assume that such a ban would actually work. Wouldn't those committing crimes with those handguns simply use another type of handgun (or switch to long guns, knives etc.?)

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