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I took my two young girls to watch an early, child-friendly fireworks show in downtown Pittsburgh this evening – a lovely affair that was punctuated by a question from my six-year-old daughter:

"Abba, can we buy firecrackers?"

"No."

"Why not?" she pressed.

"Because they're dangerous," I responded, the smoke still visible from the display we'd just witnessed, "and most people don't know how to handle them safely."

She absorbed the answer, considered its logic and nodded. "Okay. That makes sense."

The truth is, in Pennsylvania, I can theoretically buy bottle rockets and cherry bombs and any other consumer firework I desire, so long as I obtain a display permit from my local municipality. Meaning: if the city approves me as a display location for the community.

In other words: it's illegal for me to own them without a difficult-to-obtain permit.

An assault rifle, on the other hand? Hell, I can buy that online or in any store with nothing more than a driver's license. No permit required.

And so, what am I to say to my daughter if (or, rather, when) she asks whether or not I can buy a military-grade assault weapon?

Seriously, what do I say? Because the Second Amendment says so? Because the right to form a regulated militia means weapons of war for everyone? Because shut up freedom?

The logic fails.

When it comes to guns, it always has. And unless we change, it always will.


Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 07:33 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, DKos Pennsylvania, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Heyyy Don't You Know (9+ / 0-)

    someone could get their EYE put out with a bottle rocket?!!

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 07:40:31 PM PST

  •  Tell her that some men long long ago , (14+ / 0-)

    men who were ok with some people being slaves ,
    thought that they needed guns so that they themselves could be free ,
    made some rules that said anybody but the slaves and natives could have any gun they wanted .
    See they were afraid that without their guns their freedom to hold down others might be taken away and that would make them sad , or sadder than they already were .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 07:55:20 PM PST

  •  How many more children and young adults are we (9+ / 0-)

    willing to sacrifice for this "right" that the NRA, the bought politicians, and the stacked courts have created from what is, at best, a confusing statement regarding militias?  How many more 35k plus annual gun deaths will we put up with (including thousands of children every single year) before we stand up and make something happen that will bring common sense national regulations like licensing, training, and registration?

    Sadly, too many.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:06:11 PM PST

    •  I'm not "willing" . (4+ / 0-)

      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

      by indycam on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:30:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yesterday you had gun deaths at 30 thousand... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annecros

      today it has magically gone up to 35 thousand. I suppose you think the murder rate is still rising? I don't think that you will ever contribute to the conversation without at least attempting some form of accuracy.

      •  The NRA stopped accurate stat collection by gov... (6+ / 0-)

        and "Gun deaths" can include or exclude some categories (Suicide, accidents or count or exclude some that are indeterminate) and different non-govt. groups and individuals come up with different estimates... So cutting funding for our government from doing oversight and record keeping on just gun related deaths now allows "all guns forever" fans to pooh pooh reasonable statistics from other sources... very convenient.

        And as to conflicting totals... does the difference between 30k and 35k means that if it is "only" 30k there is no problem maybe?... or that if the numbers are not virtually 100% accurate by whoever's seal of approval and is required to count every single gun death to a degree far beyond usually accepted reliable stats for other medical causes of death by accident or intent... then we can discount them entirely... A very NRA way to tackle the issue.

        Confusing, blocking, blinding, distraction and denial work very well for a special interest group to get their way. The same sorts of things used successfully for years by the Tobacco lobby and more recently by the Climate change deniers. The current NRA board and leadership is a bird of that sort of feather.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:27:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup, they sure block the data and then they (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre, Sharon Wraight

          attack the available data as inaccurate because it does not have good statistical research, which they continue to block to make sure that as little research is conducted as possible.

          If you look at Wiki Answers:

          In 2011, the latest figure available from the Centers for Disease Control,

          ...

          Total: At least 31940 people died from gun injuries in 2011.

          ...

          Previous years:
          2010 31,328 people
          2009 31,177 people
          2007 31,224 people
          2004 29,569 people

          So even with the incomplete data available it is clear that the trend is up and by all accounts 2012 was much worse and by anybody's projections (e.g. Bloomberg) gun deaths are passing automobile deaths.

          In any case, all these numbers don't even include all the injuries by guns that don't result in deaths - according to Bloomberg article, over 200 people go to the ER every day with gun injuries (i.e. over 70,000 per year!)

          Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

          by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:24:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The FBI has the number of gun related murders (0+ / 0-)

            at a little over 8500 for 2011 with a DOWNWARD trend since at least 2006. I would think that they would know or at least have accurate crime stats.

            I don't know if reducing the number of guns would reduce the number of suicides. If I were planning to go a gun would not be my first choice but, plenty take that route (about 15k) and I DO count these poor unfortunates as gun related deaths.

            Do you have reliable accident data because I have not looked?

            •  Let's get our facts straight (0+ / 0-)

              The # of deaths by a firearm in 2011 was 31,347.

              http://www.cdc.gov/...

              The rate you are talking about is something else entirely.  You're referring to stats as drawn by the FBI Crime rate, which is not related necessarily to the death rate.

              Why is that important?   Because since they determine by the charged crime, a few other factors trigger in:

              * Suicides are not included
              * Non-charged deaths are not included (this includes accidental or ex-post death)
              * Manslaughter offenses, or downcharges are not included
              * Non-charged crimes are not included.

              There is a significant difference between the # of deaths by and the # of charged crimes involving.  

              And while the charged/sought crime rate has diminished, it doesn't mean that the death rate follows right along.  

              Just so that we are not mixing apples and oranges, and so you can understand why the 2011 delta (suicides: 12,340 is the best stat I can find) + the FBI Charged or Convicted Murder rate do not add up to the total #.

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:13:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  as far as I have been able to find the suicide... (0+ / 0-)

                rate was more like 15k. I honestly do not know if any current gun legislation or any proposed would keep any of these people from killing themselves with guns since almost any kind of gun, long or short, would do...this would hardly be my prefered method.

                Regardless, yesterday this person said the rate of DEATH was 35 thousand and RISING and that is. even with generous estimates not true and the number of murders is still declining.

                •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Massconfusion

                  The raw # is 31,347 for 2011, and it will be higher for 2012, closer to 33,500, though that # isn't finalized or even close yet.

                  I think what I'm trying to get at though is that even if you give the suicide # of 15,000, and the number of FBI chased crime at 8,500, that's still a serious difference.

                  The reason for that is because of how they are charged (gun deaths that are ruled manslaughters, take part in a multiple, non-charged, accidents, etc.)

                  So we're just mixing up multiple statistics.  That's all I'm getting at.

                  Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                  by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:00:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I support licensing, training, and registration. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DefendOurConstitution

      I think Canada and the Nordic nations offer great general outlines for sane fire arms policies.

      That said, 55% of the gun deaths in the US are suicides.  Gun laws won't save those lives.

      600 of them are accidents.  Training, and requiring weapons to be properly secured in the home, will make a big dent in those.

      12,600 are homicide deaths.  We can greatly reduce those by keeping guns out of the hands of people who simply shouldn't have them (not just background checks, but making them harder to steal).

      We can virtually eliminate several hundred of those deaths by treating high capacity magazines just like we treat sawed off shotguns.

      If the Federal Government can regulate barrel length without infringing on the 2nd (and the cases have been through the courts) it can certainly regulate magazine capacity.

      The 2nd isn't confusing.  Every reasonable person of good will understands that "well regulated", while it may not allow the Federal Government to simply ban all arms, certainly provides a great deal of lee-way for sensible...you know...regulation.

      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

      by JesseCW on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:56:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong on suicides, suicides were dramatically (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sk4p, Sharon Wraight, diomedes77

        reduced in Australia, for one, when they instituted gun regulations.  Most people committing suicides do it on an impulse and most of those that survive regret it and don't try it again - it is a call for help.

        Especially among young people (15-25) the "success" rate of these attempts would drop significantly, nobody knows by how much, but if it is by half that means almost 10k people a year that get another chance.  Just ask their families whether any of those lives saved are "worth it?"

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:38:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's actually not true. The claim has been (0+ / 0-)

          solidly debunked.

          This is a very pro-regulation site.  

          http://www.gunpolicy.org/...

          What you can plainly see is that suicide rates have followed general economic prosperity, diving in a boom economy and rising again as the economy declined.

          There was a huge spike several years after the newer strict regulations were passed.  I certainly wouldn't say the new regulations were to blame for that, but that also means that we can't jump to the conclusion that they brought about the temporary decline.

          Nothing here remotely suggests any decline by half, or close to it.  This is the best case study we've got.

          Here you can see the US suicide rate for some of the same years.  You'll see they're not only very close, but that they track similarly year by year.

          http://www.gunpolicy.org/...

          To solve problems, we need to look at what the data actually tell us.  

          Not make conjectures without basis.

          Some of the nations with the highest suicide rates in the world, btw, allow effectively no civilian access to firearms.

          "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

          by JesseCW on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:54:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Keep quoting NRA friendly data and the accuse me (0+ / 0-)

            of not wanting to open my eyes.

            Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

            by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:04:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Dude, are you familiar with Gun Policy.org? (0+ / 0-)

              You basically just called NARAL Anti-Choice.  You called Sea Shepherd a Pro-Whaling outfit.

              http://www.gunpolicy.org/...

              Gun regulation isn't going to stop the guy who decides to kill himself because he hasn't had a job in three years.

              It damn well can stop him from deciding to go to his old workplace and take a dozen people with him.

              "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

              by JesseCW on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:14:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But it will stop a teenager that takes his/her (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                diomedes77

                father's gun and acts impulsively as teenagers do.  Is it worth saving any of them?

                Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

                by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:22:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, it won't. That teenager will grab a rope or (0+ / 0-)

                  a blade or find a bridge if they're serious.

                  They'll grab a bottle of tylenol if they want to make a cry for help and survive.

                  Statistically, getting rid of guns doesn't change suicide rates.  

                  "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

                  by JesseCW on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:35:12 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Or a really large bag of marshmallows or a pillow (0+ / 0-)

                    and suffocate themselves, right?  All those you mention take a lot more effort and a lot more time, two things that teenagers' patience typically does not allow, but they sure would allow for re-thinking their impulse - even a few minutes may suffice to save some lives.

                    Continuing to spew the NRA talking point that suicides don't count as they could never be stopped is very irresponsible of you.

                    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

                    by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:46:25 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You know what the NRA does? They argue that (0+ / 0-)

                      it's better to base your beliefs on your opinions than on neutral facts.

                      Its followers argue that statistics don't matter, because they can think of all kinds of scenarios where a gun can protect them.  

                      There's more than one group dedicated to making it impossible to have reality based discussions on the topic.

                      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

                      by JesseCW on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:56:25 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  People with serious intent (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DefendOurConstitution

                    To commit suicide will commit suicide.  

                    That said, suicide attempts with weapons that are not a gun are often seen as "cries for help" because their success rate is not nearly the success rate of that with a gun.  

                    Overdoses can be solved and people saved, slit wrists leave people time to get someone to a hospital.

                    A gunshot to the head, however, isn't fixable.

                    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                    by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:57:22 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Are you sure that calling them "assault rifles" is (8+ / 0-)

    not offensive to those among us that worship the 27 word sacred text?  I mean you're offending their idols!  These days they are more dogmatic than the Taliban (American or Afghan).

    To all those "responsible" gun owners I say: time to show how responsible you are by agreeing to sensible national regulations.  Remember, all illegal guns start in the hands of lawful gun dealers or lawful gun owners before they are laundered into an illegal gun via a private sale (ok, a few are stolen, but that is a pretty small number), and some guns only become "illegal guns" when their lawful gun owner decides to use them to commit a crime.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:33:02 PM PST

  •  Sorry to keep saying this but, you cannot... (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros, ban nock
    Hidden by:
    Sharon Wraight

    buy an ASSAULT RIFLE without a Class III Federal License requiring a Federal backround check, a tax stamp per weapon and about a $10,000.00 minimum per gun purchase price. What you are refering to is a semi automatic rifle. Period.

    The term 'assault weapon' was made up by the anti gun lobby sometime in the early 90s and means little to nothing outside of the so called mind of Diane Feinstein.

    •  Cut it out with the derailment and obsession over (9+ / 0-)

      technical minutiae.  That's just another NRA inspired ploy to distract from the fact that yes we have a gun problem in this country.

      •  I am not an NRA menber not is this minutiae... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annecros

        If you don't know what your asking for you can expect to get nothing. Legislation does not come from a 'wish list' of some kind that says: Ban all Guns! Even DiFi who should have learned her lesson from the last 'assault weapons ban' is still having a hard time figuring this out and she should be an expert by now. Not knowing at least a modicum of information just makes you sound like you don't know what you are talking about.

      •  Not technical minutia (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IreGyre, brasilaaron, ban nock, JesseCW, sk4p

        It is a material error of fact. You can argue for tighter regulation of pit bulls without calling them werewolves. You can argue for tighter regulation of Bushmasters without pretending that they are military grade or using an inflammatory propaganda term.

        It is rejecting reality that derails a discussion.

        So refocus. The diarist has an insightful comparison. Explore it. Guns are deadlier than bottle rockets but also easier for the user to control. Guns can be used to kill as many people as an accident at a large fireworks display. Should we require the equivalent of a pyrotechnician license to own a Bushmaster? To take it out in public? Fair question!

      •  There has to be a clearer, less open to (2+ / 0-)

        interpretation term or description than "assault rifle", or any law that attempts to ban them will run aground on semantics.

        A law based on maximum rates of fire and quantities of ammunition expended in given, relevant units of elapsed time under precisely defined conditions would have a better chance of success.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 12:42:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  can you commit assault with it? (2+ / 0-)

          can you commit assault on multiple people with very little effort?  If yes, it should probably be called an assault weapon.

          •  Again, semantics... (0+ / 0-)

            The legal definition of assault generally differs from what we humans often think of assault. I am not a lawyer, but perhaps the one who wrote this is:

            At Common Law, an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.

            An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal or civil liability. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and Tort Law. There is, however, an additional Criminal Law category of assault consisting of an attempted but unsuccessful Battery.

            Statutory definitions of assault in the various jurisdictions throughout the United States are not substantially different from the common-law definition.

            See the link for the rest of it. By the legal definition, I think a baseball bat would be considered an assault weapon, because you could commit assault with it.

            In the context of lawmaking, simple phrases just get you into trouble.

            Moderation in most things.

            by billmosby on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:26:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  As for the multiple people part of your (0+ / 0-)

            question, that would let baseball bats off the hook. But probably not a 6-shot revolver, depending on who is defining "multiple".

            Moderation in most things.

            by billmosby on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:28:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  NRA activists will continue spewing their talking (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        diomedes77, Miggles

        points no matter what.  Data be dammed, all they care about is their sacred 27-word scripture and their sacred idols.

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:41:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  this is great...I get HRed for pointing out... (0+ / 0-)

        a fact by a person who wants to repeal the Second Ammendment. Very adult.

    •  Try telling that to the parents in Newtown (4+ / 0-)

      or the families of the firemen and police officers in Webster.

    •  BULLSHIT, it is an assault weapon. (8+ / 0-)

      I was taught in my military training to shoot tons of well-aimed rounds and change magazines quickly with it---all the while on semi-automatic. Rarely, did I ever fire my M16A2, M4, or M16A4 in burst mode in training, and I never fired it in burst mode in combat.

      Because you make the distinction that an ASSAULT RIFLE must be a select-fire weapon with your bullshit minutia, then these semi-only rifles should be called ASSAULT WEAPONS, and they should be banned.

      No short barrels, no folding stocks, no spring loaded magazines with more than 5 rounds, no easy drop and replace mechanisms for magazines. These restrictions would make a good start for the banning of assault weapons.

      I would like to see the banning of magazine loaded pistols as well. Only revolvers for civilians.

      You can defend yourself perfectly well with revolvers and shotguns, and hunting is better with long rifles anyway.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:18:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you - but I also think Australia (5+ / 0-)

        hit on a great concept.

        I'm not saying we need laws necessarily as strict as theirs, but that they had one very, very good idea.

        We need tiers.

        Revolvers need to be harder to get than shotguns.  You need to meet a higher standard, including involving local law enforcement in the decision.

        Maybe historic magazine fed weapons like the Colt 1911 can be allowed for people who are actually involved in competition shooting with them - provided they meet a very high bar for secure storage of their weapon and have completed a certified training program.

        We can work details once we agree to broad outlines.

        "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

        by JesseCW on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:05:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't disagree with some of your reccomendations (0+ / 0-)

        I am not sure how a folding stock has much to do with how these weapons are used since most don't have them and they are used in less than one percent of all gun violence. I don't see fixed mags or revolvers only for civilians getting passed anytime soon. Hi Cat mags do have to go but since most people are shot with hand guns and I can get a revolver with eight shots, I am not sure how much that would help. Many here are reacting to a mass killing that while terribly tragic is not the way most people die from guns.

    •  Funny, that's how they're advertised by the (6+ / 0-)

      manufacturers.

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:21:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The error within your logic (3+ / 0-)

      Technically, you are using the term as legislatively defined as "assault weapon".

      However, as with most things, the definition is subject to change and can be legally changed per the rules of the senate/house with passage.

      But in relation to what is or constitutes an assault rifle, we have to remember that far too many weapons are easily altered into weapons that would fit several of the tests by which the US Military judges foreign combatants are carrying assault based weaponry.

      Simple changes to several semi-automatic rifles to make them fully automatic turn them into weapons classified by us, when exporting arms to other countries, as classed weapons.

      While we can argue about the rationale of the terms, we also have to understand what is up for grabs.

      In the end, those who want to have all weapons removed are basically making an argument that moves into the hands of the NRA, who will easily dispose of such arguments.

      On the other hand, the sale of ammunition and weaponry that is so easily altered is largely opposed.   These are the fine points that do need to be made.

      You are making the argument "this isn't an assault weapon" based on legal and export definitions.  Despite alterations easily about that make it so.   But you forget the fact that should we decide to determine something is legally classified as an assault weapon, it suddenly -is-.   That is the nature of vocabulary and definitions.

      The operational difference is such that in order to fall under the Title II of the National Firearms Act (1934) and be classed legally that's all that matters is the difference from semi to full.

      So, while you may think you're making a cute point, what you are really doing is pointing out the nature and importance of the law to further define this difference.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:55:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? That's your best argument? (2+ / 0-)

      Make fun of Feinstein and pull something out about whether we are talking about assault this or that?

      You need better talking points.

    •  False. 'Assault rifle' definition incl semi-auto. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, WakeUpNeo

      E.g., Dictionary.com:

      assault rifle: noun
      1. a military rifle capable of both automatic and semiautomatic fire, utilizing an intermediate-power cartridge.
      2. a nonmilitary weapon modeled on the military assault rifle, usually modified to allow only semiautomatic fire.
      Origin: 1970–75
      Merriam-Webster:
      Definition of ASSAULT RIFLE
      : any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use.
      First Known Use of ASSAULT RIFLE: 1972
      American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Ed. ©2000, Updated 2009, quoted in FreeDictionary:
      assault rifle: n. Any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles designed for individual use in combat.
      Etc.

      The phrase was in use by the 1970s (not 1990s).

      Not every dictionary includes this definition, but reputable ones do. This is all that is needed for any of us to use the phrase in reference to semi-automatic rifles, especially those modeled after military versions.

      Repeatedly trying to redefine the meaning of a word (or phrase) that is commonly accepted by our DailyKos community (and most progressives), and appears in standard dictionaries, for your own agenda, is a discourse that is disruptive and damaging to the community. (See e.g. Roger Ailes' attempts to redefine 'liberal' or 'socialist'.) This is not worthy of debate; it should be deleted from the discussion.

      'Assault rifles' as commonly used in the context of gun-violence debates can indeed refer to semi-automatic rifle. This is not a point that is meaningfully debatable (see the dictionaries cited).

      Btw, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) is someone whom the vast majority of DailyKos supports, in her moves to reduce gun-violence.

      Join us at RASA: Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment. (Repeal will not ban guns, just help regulate them.)

      by Sharon Wraight on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:58:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so that's your logic for HRing me? (0+ / 0-)

        I can find as many definitions to disprove (starting with Wikis and going onward) so because of a difference in research texts I should be HRed? Thanks. Anyone with a little gun expirence will tell you the difference but, instead of looking for only proof to fit your thesis why not look at all of the evidence.  Oh, I know, because you want to repeal the Second Ammendment.

      •  BTW, Meriam Webster is incorrect in that... (0+ / 0-)

        the deffinition of 'assault rifle' can be traced back to 1944 or so with the invention of the strumgewehr.

  •  Someone finally asked... (7+ / 0-)

    my Ron Paul friend on what he thought about people owning things like Uzis and grenades.

    If an individual wants to have an uzi and grenades around for the hell of it, that's fine... Beautiful freedom would be every individual having the right to decide how they want to defend themselves. Not how the government deems you should protect yourself. Because if they were so right in ME not needing these things, then why do THEY need them? Hmm.

    Dude saying ban an AR-15 is not taking account REALITY. Reality is that guns are made up off different pieces of metal. AKs are illegal in California, but they're SUPER easy to buy all the parts and make...

    Let's ban weed. That will make people stop using it. Clearly BANNING things (of course, by coercion) doesn't make society a better OR safer place....

    What if I want 100 AR-15's in my house because I feel like that is personally what would make me safer? The fundamental principle is who are YOU to tell me how I can and can't defend myself? ;-)

    See?  It's "beautiful freedom" for every American to own an arsenal of grenades and machine guns... if they want to.  FREEDOM!!!

    (Actually, why do I have this image of him yelling "WOLVERINES!!!" after saying that?)

    So I already know that were I to ask him about your situation with bottle rockets, his libertarian response would be to get rid of any permits for those as well, and just let anyone and everyone own bottle rockets.  Because, you know, "freedom".  If Rudy Giuliani was basically just "noun, verb, 9/11", then these Ron Paul fans are little more than "noun, verb, freedom".  Or "noun, verb, liberty".

  •  that's a lie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros

    because a "military grade" assault rifle by definition is illegal for a civilian to own, because more than one bullet is fired each time you pull the trigger.

    •  I don't speak for the whole gun rights movement (0+ / 0-)

      but "assault rifle" or "m-16" or "ar-15" or "military style weapon" would all be close enough and I wouldn't quibble.

      but "military grade assault weapon" has specific, misleading connotations.

    •  Actually, no (2+ / 0-)

      In fact, there are several weapons that per calliber and per-use are also classified as assault weapons or illegal to export under the 1934 National Firearms Act.

      However, in this case, because several of the semi-automatic weapons are easily altered with cheap-to-buy kits (available over the internet easily), many of them are sold in one format with a clear knowledge that they can be made into fully automatic or, in some cases burst automatic (a non-fully automatic but one that operates in 4/6 shots per trigger pull).  

      Because these kits are so widely available, and the weapon manufacturers have made no feasible change to prevent their use in the last decade or so, they are basically complicit in making such kits a viable post option for the end user.

      Simple functional or structural changes could be made at any point that would stop or prevent many kits from being used, and that is a known factor, but yet the manufactures have made no effort to do so.

      Just as it goes.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:59:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is a popular misconception (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        These parts do exist (as replacement parts for the existing, legal, $30,000 machine guns), but their installation requires some very illegal machining. Anybody who could do this machining could make a machine gun from scratch if they really wanted to.

        •  Foolish argument (0+ / 0-)

          "It requires illegal machining".  

          Of course, any alteration to a weapon that makes it illegal requires "illegal machining".

          That's not the point, you do realize you're pointing out that the parts and components to make up such a conversion kit, parts aimed at the M-16 (same family as the AR-15) are sold frequently in common conversion kits complete with easy to follow instructions:

          http://www.scribd.com/...

          "Anyone who can do this can build their own machine gun" is a rubbish argument.

          People with basic ability to follow a manual with pre-built parts and basic mechanical skill can follow that.   Building your own weapon is a whole different level, as significantly more precision would be required and you would need to factor your own ammo, sites, etc.   No, the assertion that those anyone who can convert a weapon is someone who can build their own is very, very wrong.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:49:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that manual (0+ / 0-)

            Assumes you have a full auto sear, drop in sear or lightning link already which is registered like a machine gun. Aka nfa paperwork, $30,000 entry fee.

            I reiterate that modern semiautomatic guns cannot be really converted to machine guns because the ATF does not allow them to be sold.

            •  Foolish (0+ / 0-)

              Again, as I've pointed out in numerous other blogs as others have, you can buy the entire kit, sear and all impliments available at numerous websites and gunshows, cash takes it home.

              You're implying that people grab the manual and have to go to the manufacturer and tell them "i'm going to do this".  

              Crime log history proves you remarkably wrong on this point.  

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:16:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no you can't (0+ / 0-)

                full auto sears are NFA controlled.

                can you find two specific crimes ever committed with illegally modified guns and not guns that are smuggled in?

                According to the ATF, if a gun can be converted to a machine gun with less effort than "8 hours by a skilled machinist" it is a machine gun and therefore illegal.

                Do people do illegal things? Yes. Can you convert an AR-15 to automatic by drilling a hole and dropping a part from a catalog into it. No.

    •  It's not a lie. It's a technically inaccurate (2+ / 0-)

      statement.

      There's a LOT of room between those two things.

      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

      by JesseCW on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:06:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could you operate one of these there? (0+ / 0-)

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 12:32:36 AM PST

  •  Not Assault Rifles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution

    Slaughter Weapons. Mass murder in a can.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:52:43 AM PST

  •  Bottle rockets for self-defense! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution

    (Spoiler alert:  snark warning)

    I can hear it now: Clamoring for the "constitutional right" to keep and bear explosive ordnance.  Then we move on into the debate of HE (no need for a meatgrinder when you want to make saugage) or Incendiary (kill it and cook it simultaneously) from the crazyperson wing of the hunting lobby.  LaPierre will argue the patriotism behind allowing 'Murricans to own and openly display large-calibre artillery systems (myself, I'm holding out for an Archer 155 spg, thus making all those assault-rifle whackos just as obsolete as their whacko assault rifles).  That scrawny little Bushmaster's not worth anything when it can be picked off from 30km away, y'know....

    I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

    by Liberal Panzer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:23:45 AM PST

    •  The onlky thing that stops a bad guy with a bottle (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sk4p, tmservo433

      rocket is a good guy with a bottle rocket!

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:47:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Roman Candle (0+ / 0-)

        Next thing you know, we're upping the ante and people are shooting Roman Candles at each other.   It's all fun and games until someone burns a house down ;)

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:16:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks to The Troubadour for exposing the absurd (0+ / 0-)

    regime we live in that makes it tough to get a bottle rocket (and it should be as they are dangerous) when very few annual injuries/deaths result from the bottle rockets, and yet close to 100,000 injuries/deaths result from firearms (over 30k deaths plus over 200 daily that go to ER because of gunshot wounds gets us easily past 100k) and we do nothing about it (at least nothing sensible that can have an impact like NATIONAL screening/licensing/training/registration for ALL firearms).

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:19:10 AM PST

  •  forgive me if I am misinformed... (0+ / 0-)

    but I am assuming you are an Israeli citizen because of your excellent reportage on Israeli affairs.  As such,  I am assuming that you, having been trained in the Israeli military, would know full well the difference between a "military-grade assault rifle", which is by definition capable of fully automatic fire,  and a semi-automatic rifle pimped out to LOOK like a military weapon, but which can only fire one bullet per trigger pull.

    You, as a journalist, can appreciate that accuracy of terminology is critical to the useful transmission of information.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:22:03 AM PST

    •  Ooh! Attack diarist on technicality! Yet his point (0+ / 0-)

      is just as valid.  In any case, there are plenty of cheap kits available to make your "semi-automatic rifle pimped out to LOOK like a military weapon" fire much faster than when it left the factory.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:49:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There 'ya go again, talking common sense... nt (0+ / 0-)

    Join us at RASA: Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment. (Repeal will not ban guns, just help regulate them.)

    by Sharon Wraight on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:25:21 AM PST

  •  From Mike Deeply Entrenched in Oregon City (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    I have translated a letter from Mike, Deeply Entrenched in Oregon City to Mike Malloy on his radio show on December 25th.  It is worth the read.

    Dear Mike,

    The death rate in Romper Room America due directly to the placement and use of Claymore Anti Personnel Mines used as a defensive weapon, ZERO.

    The death rate in Romper Room America due to the use of RPG’s used as a defensive weapon, ZERO.

    The death rate in Romper Room America due to the use of 40 Millimeter grenade launchers used as a defensive weapon, ZERO.

    The death rate in Romper Room America due to the use of 120 Millimeter mortars used as a defensive weapon, ZERO.

    You can continue this list from hand grenades to thermo nuclear bombs, and the answer in most cases will all be ZERO.  Common gnomes are not allowed to possess these weapons because they lack the skills, training, storage facilities, but most of all the need.

    I served 9 years in the Navy Mike, and all those years I was qualified to shoot the 12 gauge, the 45 caliber, and the M14.  I never possessed a weapon until I had documented proof that I had completed the required training & I was either on watch at a range or participating in a security alert.

    I’ve gone out into the woods to plink rounds all for fun & left ever having the Blank scared out of me by nimrods shooting AR’s AK’s & SKS’s without any safety considerations and no control of their weapons.

    So, for all those gun totting wanna be heroes, ask yourself why the Military severely restricts who can carry a weapon and where.  How come military members have to keep on participating and re-qualifying each and every year?  Sometimes, more often, to be able to carry a fire arm.

    If you NRA Asswipes, can muster the courage to answer all these questions, then by all means put cleaning tubes at the head of each classroom so your teacher can clear the chamber.  Pack your kids in body armor and teach the little tikes to dig trenches, fill sand bags and prepare for the worst.  Because if you can carry an AK47 without a restriction, then I say open the Amory and let them have it all.  I’m moving to Antarctica.  I hear its quite Balmy.

    Mike,
    Deeply Entrenched in Oregon City

    "Politics is the entertainment branch of industry"--Frank Zappa

    by Paddy999 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:27:41 AM PST

  •  Haven't you heard-- (0+ / 0-)

    The Troubador?

    Guns are people---too!

    The Onion says----scholars have discovered---the Mayan word for "Apocalypse" in fact---translates more accurately as: "Time of pale obese gun monsters."

    by lyvwyr101 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:41:47 PM PST

  •  heck, a bottle-rocket, used incorrectly, (0+ / 0-)

    could hurt someone! a military-style, semi-automatic weapon, on the other hand......................

    um, never mind!

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