Monday, September 13, 2004

Well, the end of the "assault weapons" ban draws near. A typical Clintonian ban which favors style over actual substance.

You see--assault weapons are capable of fully automatic fire. That's the definition. Sorry. But the "assault weapons" ban simply banned a number of firearms based on cosmetics. Fully automatic weapons have been illegal in the states for some years now. There are still some in private possession, since the law against fully automatic weapons was "grandfathered", but the ban on "assault weapons" had no effect since "assault weapons" are no longer legally obtainable in the US. In other words, ban something that's already banned. Typical Clintonian language.

I might also add that although possession of machine guns and assault weapons was permissable for a while as long as the possessor had a Class 3 Federal License, no legally owned machine gun (assault weapon) has ever been used in an illegal act in the US. Yeah, Al Capone used them, but he didn't get them at the local sporting goods store. It's a true fact, inconvenient to Dianne Feinstein who is just full of self righteousness over the expiriation of the ban, but that's our history. No crime has ever been comitted with a legally owned machine gun.

On to the "assault weapons". By definition an assault weapon is a shortened rifle (carbine, perhaps) which is capable full-auto fire. You know what that means. The M-16A2 sort of stretches the definition. It has no full-auto mode, but it has a three round burst mode. In other words every time you pull the trigger it goes full auto, but only for three rounds. Wanna call that an assault weapon? I won't argue, at least not too much.

BUT--A semi-auto rifle IS NOT an assault weapon. With one (stretching it) exception, every characteristic that congress set out as defining an "assault weapon" was purely cosmetic. One characteristic was a bayonette lug. This would enable a bayonette to be attached to the rifle. When is the last time any of us have heard of bayonettes being a huge crime problem??? There are millions of M1 rifles in this country (and they're semi-autos----quake in fear) and many of those owners also own bayonettes. Yet there seems to be no national crime wave involving M1 bayonettes. After that the only possible functional objection to "assault weapons" is magazine capacity. Hmmm. I can't get 30-round magazines anymore, but I can easily buy 50 ten-round magazines. Fire ten rounds, drop the mag, slap another in and resume fire. Not all that inconvenient. Don't know about you, but I can keep up one hell of a rate of fire with ten-round magazines.

They make a point of being able to fire grenades from the muzzles of certain weapons. Holy shit!! Not for literally 50 years now. Rifle-launched grenades were WWII relics by the time we went into Korea. They were totally eliminated by the late 50's in favor of the M79 grenade launcher. Lanching one of those old grenades required an adapter and an M1 Garand, which is still around as it doesn't have the cosmetic features that make it an "assault weapon". Oops--it has bayonette lug, but it's very long, so it can't be an assault weapon despite the fact that its length makes it more lethal with a bayonette.

The ban is based on purely cosmetic features. Not functionality. It's been bullshit from Day 1.

Fact is, "assault weapons" barely register on the scales of what sort of weapons are used in US crimes. They're not a menace on the streets, and never have been. More people are beaten to death each year with toilet seats than are gunned down by assault weapons.

And as far as terrorists, you'd have to live in a fantasy world to think that they're going to shop at Bob's Guns for pretend assault weapons when the Soviets have salted the planet with millions of AK-47s--real assault weapons. Consider, too, that the worst ever act of terrorism utilized box cutters and airliners.

I grow weary. Have to go.

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