The Assault Weapons Ban...How Silly W...

The Assault Weapons Ban...How Silly Was It?

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Hugh Victor Thompson III

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#1 Dec 19, 2012
The fabled “assault weapons ban.”

Few laws ever passed have been as idolized — and misunderstood — as Title XI of the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Subtitle A (the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act).

To listen to the Obama administration, the media, or the nominated head of the ATF spin it, the ban made it illegal to purchase machine guns, and outlawed the ownership or use of high-capacity magazines, saving billions, perhaps trillions, of lives.

That mischaracterization is as wrong as it is laughable. The law had nothing to do with machine guns and real military-issue assault rifles, and did nothing to measurably impact violent crime.

The purpose of the law was to ban the sale and importation of certain semi-automatic (one bullet fired per trigger pull) firearms by name, and a wider group of firearms that had an arbitrarily selected list of largely cosmetic features. These features did not affect the rate of fire, accuracy, or range of the firearms impacted. Firearms were determined to be “assault weapons”– a term that was created by the law itself – if it had two or more of the following features:

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

It was a law passed by lawmakers who desired to “do something,” but who didn’t have the expertise or intelligence to pass a law with any real meaning or measurable impact. It resulted in a 10-year timeframe where this …

http://cdn.pjmedia.com/files/2011/06/put8tQI8...

… was an “assault weapon,” but this …

http://cdn.pjmedia.com/files/2011/06/Nsgkcj97...

… was not.

Hugh Victor Thompson III

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#2 Dec 19, 2012
These rifles are identical in every regard except that the rifle on the top has a small bit of metal under the front sight to which a bayonet could attach, and a small vented tube on the end of the barrel that redirects unburned gases.

Both are AR-15-pattern rifles that came off the same assembly line, fire the exact same ammunition, and use the same magazines.

The former was criminalized for ultimately absurd reasons, so that lawmakers could claim they were doing something about gun violence. Both were legal to sell, buy, and possess during the life of the ban.

The story was the same for almost every weapon impacted by the law. The offending cosmetics were removed, and the same weapon was sold under a different model number for the duration of the ban — while the “pre-ban” versions became items of interest and demand merely because of the additional features.

Instead of having having an impact on the reduction of gun crime, the “assault weapon ban” instead became a near-comical example of the law of unintended consequences. Prior to the introduction of the legislation, demand for the firearms that became the subject of the ban was relatively light. The public’s interest was piqued, and sales skyrocketed, directly as a result of the law. These firearms had almost no statistical representation in crimes (which the National Institute of Justice admitted two years later), and interest in them grew both before the ban and after it was enacted. One of the unintended consequences of the law was that these firearms that had had a small role at the fringes of the marketplace were suddenly desired by millions.

The assault weapons ban didn’t reduce the number of military-style semi-automatic firearms. It greatly increased their numbers, their public acceptance, and had the effect of mainstreaming them,“pre-ban” rifles and cosmetically de-enhanced “post-ban” rifles alike. Thanks to the “ban,” AR-15 pattern rifles are now among the most popular rifles in America, and have been mainstreamed even among the change-resistant hunting fraternity as “modern sporting rifles.”

So if the ten-year ban period did not see a substantial reduction in gun crimes committed with the kind of firearms banned, and the expiration of the law in 2004 did not result in a massive upswing in violence even after these firearms achieved mainstream popularity and acceptance, why would the Obama administration be so strongly in favor of advocating for a renewal of the ban?

In every practical respect, the firearms-related provisions of the “assault weapons ban” were an objective failure. But absurd restrictions on firearms weren’t the only part of that legislation that passed only to succumb to an outcome quite different than it’s anti-gun progenitors had in mind.

Along with creating the term “assault weapon,” this Clinton-era law also created the similarly arbitrary term “high-capacity magazine.”

Hugh Victor Thompson III

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#3 Dec 19, 2012
A detachable magazine is a container that holds cartridges for a given firearm, and the number of cartridges typically varied with the size and the purpose of the weapon at hand and the size of the cartridge it fired. Small turn-of-the-century handguns typically carried magazines of just 6-7 cartridges. The standard magazine capacity of many pistols that became popular in the 1980s was 15 rounds or more. The standard capacity of military grade rifles and carbines was 20-30 rounds. As time progressed, firearm designers were finding ways to put a larger number of cartridges in the magazines of their weapons.

When legislators decided that the “assault weapons ban” should also include a restriction on the number of cartridges that any given magazine could hold, they declared that any magazine that held a greater amount of cartridges was a “high capacity” magazine. It didn’t matter to them that many of the firearms in question had as their standard capacity magazines with round counts from 13-30 rounds or more, or that some of these firearms had had such a capacity since before the congressmen and congresswomen writing the law were born.

Congress arbitrarily decided that 10 rounds was “enough” for American citizens, and included provisions that once the law went into effect, any magazine manufactured after the date the law went into effect that had more than ten rounds would be illegal for anything other than law enforcement use.

Like the firearms provisions of the bill, these magazine provisions also had unintended consequences.

As it turns out, firearms magazines are both typically very robust and reliable in design, and incredibly easy to mass manufacture. Once made, they last indefinitely.

Between the time Congress started signaling that they would create a magazine capacity restriction and the implementation of the law, factories worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week churning out millions of nothing but high-capacity magazines, which were stockpiled by manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers in massive warehouses.

As a result,“high capacity magazines” for most common firearms were freely available throughout the life of the ban. As e-commerce came into early maturity during this time period, many high-capacity magazines were more available than they had been before the ban was signed into law.

How?

Congress had neglected to make the possession or sale of high-capacity magazines illegal, and only outlawed the manufacture of new magazines.

The law had another unforeseen result. As companies looked to introduce new models of pistols, they determined that if they were going to be forced to make pistols limited to a magazine capacity of just 10 rounds, it would be advantageous for them to make these new pistols as small as possible for the concealed carry market. The Glock 26 and Kahr K9 were introduced the following year, and were among the first of a new breed of powerful, ultra-concealable handguns known as “subcompacts.” Similar designs from other companies quickly followed.

Objectively, based purely on the numbers, the assault weapons ban increased both the number of and public acceptance of semi-automatic, military-style rifles, and created a new class of powerful, concealable handguns.

Put another way, the assault weapons ban not only put more guns into the market, it encouraged the development of smaller, more powerful, semi-automatic firearms.

Why, then, would the Obama administration want to reintroduce the ban?

Hugh Victor Thompson III

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#4 Dec 19, 2012
Rest assured, if the administration could find broad support for a reinstatement of the expired ban, it would do everything in its power to fix the mistakes of the past.

Instead of banning a list of guns by name or arbitrary cosmetic features or banning just the manufacture of magazines, they would attempt to model their ban on some of the more restrictive state bans, such as those in California, Maryland, and New York, which would no doubt result in more unintended (and sometimes unbearably cute) consequences.

Attempting to impose such a restrictive and prohibitionist law is far harder today in a nation where judicial interpretations favoring individual gun rights are ascendant. It would take a dramatic and drastic turn of events to undermine the growing gun rights movement and to generate the sort of popular support for more national gun control laws.

Such firearms would have to be used, repeatedly and with great affect, to generate massive levels of violence and the media furor needed to revive a flagging gun control movement. It would almost take a massive covert operation delivering thousands of weapons to violent felons to make this even potentially viable.
http://pjmedia.com/blog/assault-weapons-ban/...
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#5 Dec 19, 2012
One thing also being missed here is that Connecticut has among the five strictest gun laws in the nation.

This whole gun debate is stupid.

Even if there were no guns, he would find some other way to kill people if he wanted to bad enough.

This guy was a nut and no amount of laws can protect you from nuts.
Spookishere F trolls

Taylor, MI

#6 Dec 19, 2012
Enzyte Bob wrote:
One thing also being missed here is that Connecticut has among the five strictest gun laws in the nation.
This whole gun debate is stupid.
Even if there were no guns, he would find some other way to kill people if he wanted to bad enough.
This guy was a nut and no amount of laws can protect you from nuts.
Just wait until one of these nuts has a successful fire bomb made from a propane tank or a cooler filler with gasoline( or E85 for the environmental terrorists). Will those calling for gun bans be happy when 50 survive but have faces hands etc that are like melted plastic call for bans on propane tanks? Gas cans or coolers?
Duke for Mayor

Akron, OH

#7 Dec 19, 2012
Spookishere F trolls wrote:
<quoted text>
Just wait until one of these nuts has a successful fire bomb made from a propane tank or a cooler filler with gasoline( or E85 for the environmental terrorists). Will those calling for gun bans be happy when 50 survive but have faces hands etc that are like melted plastic call for bans on propane tanks? Gas cans or coolers?
Then just get it over with already. Start enriching uranium in your basement.

woof
Oliver Twist

Springfield, OH

#8 Dec 19, 2012
Enzyte Bob wrote:
One thing also being missed here is that Connecticut has among the five strictest gun laws in the nation.
This whole gun debate is stupid.
Even if there were no guns, he would find some other way to kill people if he wanted to bad enough.
This guy was a nut and no amount of laws can protect you from nuts.
Same thing in Obama's home town of Liberal run Chicago which has very strict gun laws.

Hood rats have turned that city into a blood bath, helped by the fact that it is so hard for law abiding people to obtain firearms to fight back against the Hood Rats.

You always have freaks like Charles Mason in 1969 who killed Sharon Tate while pregnant or the Son of Sam murders in New York. You will always have freaks.

"Those who sacrifice freedom for security end up with neither."

“Where did I put my tiara?”

Since: Dec 11

Columbus, OH

#9 Dec 19, 2012
Georgie-admittedly did not read your posted article. No one, no one needs an assault weapon.
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#10 Dec 19, 2012
Oliver Twist wrote:
<quoted text>
Same thing in Obama's home town of Liberal run Chicago which has very strict gun laws.
Hood rats have turned that city into a blood bath, helped by the fact that it is so hard for law abiding people to obtain firearms to fight back against the Hood Rats.
You always have freaks like Charles Mason in 1969 who killed Sharon Tate while pregnant or the Son of Sam murders in New York. You will always have freaks.
"Those who sacrifice freedom for security end up with neither."
-As I mentioned before, Kehoe bombed an elementary school in Michigan killing 38 students .... in 1927.

-Another big school shooting happened in the 1950's.

-Columbine.

-Chardon.

I'm not willing to admit there is a problem unless someone can show me statistically that this kind of thing is happening now more than before (adjusted for population).

Nothing you can do about these nuts the way we live today.

If there is a problem after someone does the statistics, then the problem is almost going to have to revolve around parenting and the broken family situation in this country. Instead of gun control laws maybe what we need is parenting classes. We also need to not be ashamed to be judgemental.

Hugh Victor Thompson III

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#11 Dec 19, 2012
GlitterSucks wrote:
Georgie-admittedly did not read your posted article. No one, no one needs an assault weapon.
You need to read the article.
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#12 Dec 19, 2012
GlitterSucks wrote:
Georgie-admittedly did not read your posted article. No one, no one needs an assault weapon.
Except for the fact that the kid wasn't using an assault weapon in the attacks.

Why would you ban something not even used in the attack?

This is just pablum they throw out to people to make them feel like something is being done when in reality, NOTHING can be done.

I will say one thing, the NUTS all seem to be brilliant people. The more brilliant you are, the more NUTS you tend to be. Makes me wonder about the kids in places like Columbus Academy. For safety's sake, put them in schools with a lot of dumbasses.
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#13 Dec 19, 2012
Another thing I thought of is maybe this is what happens when you push kids too much. Maybe that's why all these bright kids are the ones who seem to be snapping all over the place. Maybe kids should be allowed to be kids as opposed to bombarding them with homework and activities all the time.
Spookishere F trolls

Taylor, MI

#14 Dec 19, 2012
GlitterSucks wrote:
Georgie-admittedly did not read your posted article. No one, no one needs an assault weapon.
The past ban did nothing about assualt weapons just ones that looked like them. Prior to that infringement on the 2nd Amendment the definition of an assualt weapon was one that could be selected between semi-auto automatic or multiple round burst.

Besides if the economy tanks we citizens that have produced and saved will need them to defend our supplies from the filthy democratics including the union goons known as cops.
Big Johnson

Springfield, OH

#15 Dec 19, 2012
GlitterSucks wrote:
Georgie-admittedly did not read your posted article. No one, no one needs an assault weapon.
Read BEFORE you comment you vapid c nt! Everyone just got a little more stupid reading your brain dead post.

Hugh Victor Thompson III

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#16 Dec 19, 2012
Enzyte Bob wrote:
Another thing I thought of is maybe this is what happens when you push kids too much. Maybe that's why all these bright kids are the ones who seem to be snapping all over the place. Maybe kids should be allowed to be kids as opposed to bombarding them with homework and activities all the time.
It could have a lot to do with this:

The War Against Boys
How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men
http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/s/sommers-...

“Where did I put my tiara?”

Since: Dec 11

Columbus, OH

#17 Dec 19, 2012
Hugh Victor Thompson III wrote:
<quoted text>You need to read the article.
Did. Visceral response. If we only had the answer.

“Where did I put my tiara?”

Since: Dec 11

Columbus, OH

#18 Dec 19, 2012
Big Johnson wrote:
<quoted text>
Read BEFORE you comment you vapid c nt! Everyone just got a little more stupid reading your brain dead post.
Sorry that you shoot blanks, if you can even find a hole in the wall to pleasure yourself. On second thought, thank goodness, Rosy and Kleenex are your only friend as opposed to offspring.
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#19 Dec 19, 2012
Hugh Victor Thompson III wrote:
<quoted text>It could have a lot to do with this:
The War Against Boys
How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men
http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/s/sommers-...
The proper way to analyze this is first to see if these attacks are more common statistically than they once were. That is the starting point.

If the answer is no, then I doubt you can do much about it except to fortify schools like you would prisons. But that still leaves grocery stores ... the last couple of grocery store attacks have been at Kroger properties (Smith' and Dillon's).

If the answer is yes, it would almost have to be a combination of dysfunctional families, bad parenting, mother working out of the home and a whole host of other things that have changed in the last 50 years.

Like I told you guys before, I have a unique vantage point being from an ethnic background which allows me to see things differently than you guys do. I don't have a lot of dysfunction around me because people around me largely live consistently with the old ways, we have tight families AND children are always placed on a pedestal. We are far from perfect, but the cultural dichotomy is very vivid from my vantage point.

I don't know if they provide any answers or if it's just as simple as lonely awkward kids desensitized by video games.
Duke for Mayor

Akron, OH

#20 Dec 19, 2012
Enzyte Bob wrote:
Another thing I thought of is maybe this is what happens when you push kids too much. Maybe that's why all these bright kids are the ones who seem to be snapping all over the place. Maybe kids should be allowed to be kids as opposed to bombarding them with homework and activities all the time.
I think you're in the ball park Bob.

A couple of major factors that have changed over the past fifty years are also contributing to the likelihood of these incidents occurring, in my opinion.

First is the increasing likelihood that kids are being raised in single parent homes, especially where families are living close to the poverty line.

Second, kids today are exposed to a lot of influences through social, news, and entertainment media during developmental stages of their lives when they simply aren't mature enough to process those influences.

And because homes with one parent raising the kids full time are no longer the norm, the likelihood that kids are exposed to those influences at too young an age without parental supervision is heightened.

I don't know what you do about it. But you can't force people to get, or remain married just for the sake of their children, I know that much. And its not the kids' fault. They pretty much mirror their own behavior based upon what they are taught, from a very early age.

Kids need help, mentoring, role models, security. Someone to show them the world does need to be so insane. Simple acts of love and compassion, on a daily basis, go a long, long, way.

Someone to teach them empathy, in a world rife with lethal ninja forces who attack and kill for no reason, other than the act of killing.

woof

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