Return of the Scary Gun Ban

By streiff Posted in Comments (12) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Diane Feinstein has announced she will introduce legislation reinstating the Violence Policy Center's brainchild, the assault weapon ban that expired on 13 September 2004.

Good luck.

Read on.

After the conventional wisdom that the Congress could not fail to extend the assault weapon ban was proven wrong, the idiot polity proceded to replace at least four right-thinking Senators with red state gun nuts. In addition to a solid pro-Second Amendment majority in the Senate the House leadership has said the bill will never be considered in the House. At a minimum, Feinstein faces an uphill battle with the hill being the political equivalent of the north face of the Eiger.

The sunsetting of the assault weapon ban was one of the most sensible acts Congress has taken in a long while. It was one of many feel-good laws passed during the Clinton regime that were either voided by the Courts (e.g., US v. Lopez) or, like the scary gun ban, made a mockery of the law. In fact, this law may be the only law ever passed that outlawed something no one can really describe.

The official criteria for an assault weapon is a rifle that has two of the following features:

    --Folding or telescopic stock

    --Pistol grip protruding conspicuously beneath the stock

    --Bayonet mount

    --Flash suppressor or threaded barrel

    --Grenade launcher

For a pistol to fall under the ban it must have a detachable magazine and two of the following features:

    --Magazine that attaches outside of the pistol grip

    --Threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer

    --Shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned

    --Manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded

    --Semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm

In execution, the law was not of much use for anything other than amusing a couple of engineers over a weekend. For instance, a semi-automatic version of the AK-47 becomes completely legal if you remove the bayonet stud and flash suppressor. Many scary weapons were made legal by simply replacing the original stock and pistol grip with a solid stock tapped for the thumb, like in this photo [note: I know this particular weapon is not considered an assault weapon it was the only photo of the style of stock I could find]. These photos demonstrate how the excellent FN/FAL can be changed from illegal to legal.

The ease with which the law could be circumvented has long been a source of suspicion. Were the VPC and the Brady Center so stupid? Or was the law deliberately designed to fail so as to serve as a point of departure for an even more stringent law? I've always been a firm believer in eschewing malice when stupidity will suffice as an explanation, but this level of stupidity is troubling.

So we wish Feinstein well in pursuit of her great white whale, we look forward to Mad Howard opining on a redmeat, and Red State, "guns, God, and gays issue and we hope Denny Hastert lets this bill out for a vote in October 2006.

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Return of the Scary Gun Ban 12 Comments (0 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

I'm pretty sure that the FBI just released statistics showing drive-by bayonetings at an all time low. That's not something to scoff at, you know.

Within 30 seconds of such an announcement, the CA GOP should have a posting on its (nonexistent) blog with quick talking points against the measure.

Within 12 hours, the CA GOP should have a new entry on its (nonexistent) webpage "Feinstein's Flubs" explaining why this is stupid and linking to other sites (like that discuss the issue.

By the next working day, the CA GOP should have a press release posted on their sorry "Press Releases" webpage.

That same working day, the CA GOP should have a posting on their wimpy "Talking Points" webpage that goes into more depth, with better organization, than the earlier posts to the (nonexistent) blog.

I can dream.

Noone (except kooks and revolutionaries) needs posession of assault guns.  This nation is one of the most violent on the planet.  Get them OFF the streets or give me some REALLY good reason for allowing them other than the tired old "guaranteed by the Constitution.  

I need them. Prove I don't.

But before you do, tell me what an assault weapon is.

you neglected to provide any rationale for needing an assault guy except a selfish "I need them".  Do you need an atomic device as well?

Yes by Thomas

You want to take them. Prove I don't need them.

Bonus: You still haven't defined what an assault weapon is.

mechanically indistinguishable from any other rifle, then no one needs a rifle.

That is your real point isn't it?

that frighten you?  We could ban them too.

The ones I find most frightening, like these various bullet-launchers you mention, are the ones that sneak up on decent unsuspecting human beings, hurl themselves into their hands. override all individual sense of decency, community, humanity, restraint and turn people into murderous autonomous monsters.

We all know that gun-wielding murderous human beings  are not the least bit reaponsible for actions performed by weapons resting in their hands.

They are victems, too.

It is the gun; then the ammo; then the shop from which the gun was sold; then the gun manufacturer - all are far more responsible for a gun's actions than the criminal hand operating it.

Let's incarcerate the guns!  Yeah.  That's the ticket.

Every informed American is aware of the criminal tendencies of . . . .guns, and their cohort in crime:  Ammunition.

We have every reason to believe that a gun placed upon a stool on a stage in an auditorium, and ammo placed upon another stool 10 feet away, will find some means to come together for the purpose of slaughtering the audience.  Same theoroy applies to the streets.

Related experiments have been underway for YEARS - generations, even.  Generations of researchers have grown old and expired waiting for a gun and a bullet to find a way to merge into a murderous combination.  Still, they come - convinced of the purity and truth of their convictions; certain that circumstances will one day validate their views.

Once, a researcher - a kook, of course -  had the temerity to suggest that these inanimate objects would rest inertly apart forever until a third element intervened; - like a human; one with criminal intent.

Of course that researcher was ostracised by his colleagues then condemned as a heretic by the politically correct element.

His thesis, they complained, resulted in adding an innocent human to the equation and ascribing to him/her actions normally identified with criminal conduct.

Humans armed with weapons and criminal intent, they argued, were NOT criminals.  They were VICTEMS.  So the researcher and his thesis were discarded by the more enlightened elements of society.

Is this pretty much they way you gun control wonks see the thing going down?

I need my guns.  I want 'em.

Explain to me again why I shouldn't have them - please.

I am NOT a gun ban advocate.  I believe in the right of every American to own guns ( as many as he/she wants and can afford).  I AM, howver, VERY opposed to automatic assault weapons of the type to be used in combat operations to KILL PEOPLE.  Enough said.

Perhaps because it is rationale like yours that make them so dangerous for the rest of us.

Non gun owner here. I dislike gun control advocates the same way I dislike people who ban books. The Constitution is all or nothing. You cannot pick and choose parts to accept and others to ignore.

Do I need a gun, assault or otherwise? I dunno, maybe. My choice.

Do I need free speech? I dunno, maybe I'll never need it but its nice to know its there.

that I have owbed pistols, rifles and shotguns my entire life.  In fact, my entire family have, and (wait for it) . . . . we have yet to shoot anyone.

Seems we kooks and revolutionaries just aren't living down to your paranoid expectations - eh?


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