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Hear me out as I offer a different perspective on the "assault weapons" ban, the constitutional challenges the ban is likely to face and Senator Feinstein's generally excellent but still problematic proposal. By way of introduction, I am not a constitutional scholar, but I am a former U.S. government attorney who advised the government on legislative matters, including issues regarding the right to carry firearms, and litigated a number of cases for the government involving new legislation and other legal issues not previously addressed by the courts.  I offer here a very brief summary of my views on the constitutional issues and a more detailed analysis of the Feinstein proposal which can be found below the orange scroll.  

After extensive thought and research, I have reached the following conclusions:

*Despite the poor reasoning of their opinions, (with the exception of the dissents of my old law professor, Justice Breyer), the SCOTUS decisions in D.C. v. Heller (addressing how the Second Amendment impacts Federal gun control authority) and McDonald v. Chicago (relating to state gun control authority) have settled the argument that there is a individual right to keep firearms.

*No right, including the right to keep and bear arms, is absolute and without limitation.

*The constitutional debate needs to shift to what limitations are permissible instead of the existence of the right.

*It is quite possible that SCOTUS may find that “assault weapons” are not “dangerous and unusual weapons” which dicta in Heller and McDonald indicated can be banned. The issue turns on how the legislation defines assault weapons.  

*Generally, U.S. courts apply a strict scrutiny standard when a fundamental constitutional right is infringed.

*There are strong arguments that a lesser standard should apply (see Justice Breyer’s dissent in Heller) which should be used in defending any ban that may be passed. Nonetheless, the legislation should be drafted to improve the chances that it will pass a strict scrutiny test.

I have laid out a more detailed summary of my legal reasoning with quotes and references, but decided to leave it out for the sake of brevity.  I will decide whether or not to publish it depending on the response to this diary.

Meteor Blades reported here on the latest proposed assault weapons ban from Senator Feinstein. More details on her proposal can be found on her website here.

I believe that, in general, Senator Feinstein has proposed excellent reforms.  I particularly like the ban on semiautomatic pistols that have detachable magazines and the capacity to attach the magazine at some location outside the pistol grip.  However, my analysis of the issues leads me to believe that some key elements of the Feinstein proposal may not withstand constitutional challenge. Fortunately, the impact of changing those elements can be ameliorated by alternative reforms that are more likely to be found constitutionally permissible, will help strengthen the ban and may help gain the much needed additional votes in Congress. I detail below the changes I would make to strengthen the ability of the legislation to survive challenge.

Hopefully such an alternative approach will be proposed in an effort to pick up the needed votes in the Senate and the House.  I would also hope that in that case, the Daily Kos will put together a petition in support of that alternative approach.

While open to a compelling argument otherwise, I believe that the focus of restrictions on semi-automatic weapons needs to be more on the magazine capacity, where detached magazines attach to the weapon and how the magazines are changed than the other features of the weapons.  Others agree.  See this editorial by Jason Ross wrote in the Washington Post which argues:

Unfortunately, by targeting guns’ form rather than their function, the efficacy of type-specific gun bans is questionable. The enforcement prospects, though, are daunting. There are probably at least 3 million assault-style weapons in American hands. As for semiautomatics in general — shotguns, rifles, pistols — the number is many times that. Buying them back would cost billions. Seizing them would provoke violent clashes as the “come and take it” crowd lived out its wildest fantasies.

The country needs a solution that limits the killing power of civilian weapons across the board — regardless of action type — while keeping enforcement costs and opposition to the new controls to a manageable minimum. Luckily, we already have it: magazine control.

Turning to Senator Feinstein’s proposed legislation, I believe that where the proposal focuses on the form of military style assault weapons, it significantly and unnecessary increases the risk of that the bill will not find the needed support and even if it does, it will fail a constitutional challenge.  Her website indicates that the legislation would ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of:
*All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.
*All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
* All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
* All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
* All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
*157 specifically-named firearms.
I agree with the approach on semiautomatic firearms to ban weapons that accept a detachable magazine and at least one other listed characteristic.  However, the list of disqualifying second characteristics is probably constitutionally overbroad.  It is unlikely that the government would be able to convince a majority of the current court that all of the list of second characteristics are essential to achieving a “compelling government interest” by the “least restrictive means” as required by the strict scrutiny test.  

From I have read, I believe that the biggest gains in public safety to be made are in restricting the magazine capacity and the ability to quickly change magazines.  To the maximum extent practicable and constitutional, I would like to see a ban on the manufacture and import of all semiautomatic weapons that are capable of accepting a magazine with a capacity of more than 10 bullets similar to the proposed ban on handguns with a detachable magazine that is capable of being attached outside the pistol grip. Such a ban would prevent the sale of rifles that could have their rate of fire increased by the magazines that will still be in circulation. Focusing on getting the worst of the weapons off the streets, while studying what additional restrictions are needed, would be the more productive approach. Limiting the characteristic restrictions to those representing the greatest threats and accepting the compromise necessary rather than risking the likelihood that the ban will be ruled unconstitutional offers the best chance of success.  Then as we gained a better understanding of the threats and remedies, additional steps can be taken under the changes I suggest below.      

The first change would be to eliminate from the two characteristic test in the Feinstein proposal the following characteristics.  For semiautomatic rifles, I would eliminate the pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; barrel shroud; and threaded barrel from the characteristic list.  For semiautomatic pistols, I would eliminate the threaded barrel; second pistol grip; and barrel shroud from its list. For semiautomatic shotguns I would eliminate the folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; and forward grip from the list.  I would also eliminate the ban included in the proposed legislation on thumbhole stocks, a type of stock that was created as a workaround to avoid prohibitions on pistol grips.  The list of banned specifically named firearms might also need to be revised to reflect these changes.  

As discussed above, I would add to the list for rifle ban characteristics something similar to the banned pistol characteristic of being capable of accepting a detached magazine outside the pistol grip.  However, I do not know enough about semiautomatic rifles to suggest how to describe such a restriction or even if it is feasible or defensible, but if it proves problematic to describe in the legislation, my next change could be used to address the issue.      

I would create a regulatory scheme to be implemented by the ATF to expand the list of 2,300 specifically named exempt firearms to be included in the bill.  Three years from the date of enactment, I would ban the transfer, sale, manufacture or import of any firearm not on that ATF expanded list of approved semiautomatic weapons regardless of characteristics.  The objective would be to preclude manufacturers from trying to design around the limitations established by the bill by banning weapons that have not been approved by the ATF. Manufacturers and importers would bear the burden of proving their weapons qualified for listing rather than just putting a new design into production and making the ATF bear the burden to proving noncompliance.  ATF would be authorized to exclude any weapon from the list on a finding that the weapon either did not meet the statutorily banned characteristics or otherwise was “unusual or dangerous” under the dicta in Heller and McDonald. This could include weapons having a detachable magazine and one or more of the characteristics which I suggested deleting above from the initial ban characteristics upon an ATF finding that the use of similar weapons in mass shooting or assaults on police officers were disproportional to their numbers in circulation or other finding that the weapon as designed was unuual or dangerous. The exemption process would of course be subject to judicial review.

I would require that guns manufactured after the three year limit be marked to indicate that they have been approved by the ATF. Finally,I would also significantly increase the penalties for violations of federal gun control laws and regulations.  I would keep the rest of Senator Feinstein’s proposals.  

I would also like to see a 15% sales tax on semiautomatic weapons applied to gun manufacturers and importers to provide additional funding for buybacks of weapons not meeting the new standards in order to accelerate the reduction in the threat of these weapons.   However, I recognize that new taxes are highly likely to be dead on arrival and would not help in gaining the necessary votes in Congress.    

Originally posted to Paradigm Change on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:25 PM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Dedicated to recapturing the American Dream by changing the framework of the debate to focus on: Growth, Efficiency, Community, Sustainability and Economic Fairness. Improve constantly and drive out fear - Dr. W. Edwards Deming

    by Paradigm Change on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 02:25:47 PM PST

  •  I don't care as long as there are fewer dead (0+ / 0-)

    Americans.

    Not feeling very hopeful.

    •  I do care. Sandy Hook was a wake-up call. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight, SoCalSal

      There is more momentum now then there was before.  It would be a shame to give up without trying for more rational gun policies.

      •  Gun sales increased; i'll believe it when there (0+ / 0-)

        Are less billet ridden Americans. Otherwise all there is is talk & no action.

        •  'Gun sales increased' (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharon Wraight

          Yes, but in recent years, mostly the same stockpiling addicts have suffered each hysterical bout of gun hoarding.
          % households with guns has been dropping, which is the expected response when violent crime continues to drop.

          NRA knows they need 'fresh blood', which is why the firearms business emulates the cigarette business. The firearms business  maintains ad campaigns to recruit children with "fun gun fun", Splatterhouse NRA Convention®, Splatterhouse Target Range®, Splatterhouse Quail Hunting®, etc.

          ♥ Repeal the Capital Gains, Carried Interest & Dividends Entitlements bequeathed to 'more special' taxpayers.

          by in on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:26:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let me give you an example that runs counter (0+ / 0-)

            to your assertion that it is the same stockpiling addicts.  Granted, it is a limited sample and an anecdotal account, however, it comes from an unexpected source.

            Yesterday I was supposed to have received a shipment of ammunition that I ordered back in December (more on this below).  I received notification that the package had been delivered, but it was no where to be found.   Assuming the delivery driver dropped it off at the wrong address, I checked with my neighbor to see if they had received the package.  They had not, but asked what it was and I told them.

            My neighbors do no (yet) own guns.  When I mentioned it being handgun ammunition, my neighbors, both he and his wife said that they were planning on getting their concealed carry permits.  Their reason being all the bullshit going on with the calls for new control.  He then proceeded to get visibly angry while discussing the exceedingly low rate of crime with long guns and "assault weapons" in particular and expressed absolute disgust at what he perceived is being pushed and stated that he believes it to be flat out wrong.

            So, while it is a limited example, it is still an example of a person who does not currently own guns feeling a need to become gun owners in part because others want to tell them they can't.
             

  •  Excellent Diary, But More or Less Moot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north
    Luckily, we already have it: magazine control.
    Will congress retroactively ban high capacity magazines?

    No they will not.

    Thus people who want to harm/kill the maximum number of people in a short amount of time will still be able to do so. they may have to pay a bit more for a high capacity magazine, but that will not be a deterrent.

    Thus we're getting nowhere with the rampage killer problem.

    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:47:38 PM PST

    •  Absolutely true. It bans won't solve a thing (0+ / 0-)

      All the calls for these stupid bans is doing is making hardened enemies for the Democrats.

      •  You Missed My Point (0+ / 0-)

        the point is not that "stupid bans makes enemies for the Democrats" (not a concern for me, since reich wing gun enthusiasts were never supporters of the Dem party in the first place).

        My point is partial bans of high capacity magazine won't solve the rampage killer problem. There has to be a strictly enforced retroactive ban.

        "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

        by Superpole on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 05:59:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't quite get it... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpunk, 43north, OMwordTHRUdaFOG

    Magazines are one method of loading a rifle magazine.  

    Chargers are another and almost as fast:  http://www.youtube.com/...

    Where I could challenge your proposal is that it does nothing about the desire to commit the crime, just the tool used.  

    I have one question:  Why aside from Charles Whitman, did every massacre happen after the late 1970s and early 1980s?  There were more households with guns, there were fewer regulations and these were less rigorously enforced.  Prior to 1934, it was legal to walk into a hardware store, pay $200 and walk out with a fully automatic Thompson Submachine gun.

    I do think what you sugest although I disagree with parts of it would be more likely to pass constitutional muster than some other proposals.  

    Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

    by DavidMS on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:44:55 PM PST

  •  Very informative. Good thoughts. (0+ / 0-)

    Your post was helpful for my understanding of the legal issues.

    If we are serious about this we need to realize that new gun safety regulations are a flashpoint for controversy (to state the obvious) and the political will for big changes is not there.

    We have an opportunity but we need to be strategic and recognize that its an incremental approach that will get us more rational gun regulations or we risk having the whole effort die in an ideological fight.  I'm not particularly happy about it but that seems to be the reality.

    This is not the time to swing for the fences.  

  •  Mostly agree. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:19:38 PM PST

  •  Who should be exempt from your construct? n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  I agree with Senator Feinstein . . . . (0+ / 0-)

      on the rest of her proposed reforms.  Her proposal exempts assault weapons used by military, law enforcement, and retired law enforcement.  Does that answer your question or did I miss something?

      Dedicated to recapturing the American Dream by changing the framework of the debate to focus on: Growth, Efficiency, Community, Sustainability and Economic Fairness. Improve constantly and drive out fear - Dr. W. Edwards Deming

      by Paradigm Change on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:10:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tips for actual rational thought! But.... (6+ / 0-)

    I believe magazine capacity is not a path to the possibly compelling interest of fewer people injured.

    For one, it's the combination of magazine length, human dexterity, and the laws of physics governing springs.

    ---Length: The longer magazines are not nearly as easily concealed as the standard magazines. If the compelling interest is considered to involve concealing a magazine or number of magazines while en route to a chosen malicious event location, then a ban on those longer magazines effectively aids the aspiring killer in choosing the more easily concealable smaller magazines. Yay, with friends like DiFi who needs enemies?

    ---Dexterity: The longer magazines used by loughner in tuscon are physically more cumbersome than the standard size that are provided with the pistol. Let's first ignore all of those fringe super-fast pistoleros on youtube and imagine the normal dexterity of johnny q nobody....  Standard size magazines for a pistol are generally small enough to be manipulated with the base plate at the heel of the hand with the index or middle finger running up the front, with the tip of that finger resting on the nose of the top cartridge. This is the recommended way to grip a magazine as you pull it from a belt holder, because normal dexterity is enough to allow you to take that index or middle finger and touch it to the edge of your pistol hand, which aligns the magazine with the slot, at which time you just push up with the heel of your hand. The size of the standard magazine is quite conducive to allowing a magazine change to be performed without ever looking at the gun or the magazine. Meaning, you never take your eyes off of your surroundings.
    Loughner, however, had a long stick magazine, too long to hold in the recommended manner. You grip that more like a baseball bat, meaning you have to take your eyes off your surroundings to guide the top of the magazine to the grip slot and maybe rotate it as well. Loughner with standard size mags would have seen those two guys advancing on him from the instant they broke cover. Loughner with overlarge magazines was focusing on his hands. The ban again effectively aids an aspiring killer to choose the magazines that are more easily manipulated by human hands, resulting in the exact opposite outcome from what was intended. With friends like DiFi, who needs enemies?

    ---Physics: The long magazines are much more prone to malfunction. The spring inside the standard magazine is designed to be able to provide an amount of upward pressure on the 'stack' (the pile of ammo inside the mag) that is both more than the minimum and less than the maximum.
    Too little spring pressure and when the action cycles the next cartridge will not have risen into place, and the action will close on an empty chamber. Imagine a cop who's gun went 'click' on an empty chamber because the magazine spring was too weak. So, the spring must provide that minimum amount of pressure for the entire range of the magazine, from full to empty. It is at empty that the little plastic 'follower' rises and typically locks the action open.
    Too much spring pressure and when the action cycles, the next cartridge is being pressed into the lips that hold the rounds inside... Being pressed into the feed lips forcefully enough to create too much friction for proper cycling. What you get then is the action closing at a slower enough speed that the nose of the next round doesn't enter the chamber with enough alignment to complete properly - think "Jet landing on runway diagonally".
    What these requirements mean for the overlong magazines is that a spring cannot be manufactured that reliably meets both that minimum and maximum benchmark for the entire range of the magazine from empty to full. The guy in the movie theater in aurora had one of those oversized magazines, and it jammed. The ban again effectively aids the aspiring killer toward choosing the magazines that are highly reliable, once again resulting in the exact opposite of the intended compelling interest. With friends like DiFi, who needs enemies?

    It is my considered opinion that fewer people are injured when an aspiring killer makes poor choices, such as choosing gear that is more difficult to use and is more error-prone.

    For two, there are tangible situational needs for magazines that hold more than ten rounds and can be changed quickly.

    Though it's not in the media spotlight, feral hogs are a problem. Destroyers of dozens of acres of crops in a week, they reduce our food supply. Growing to hundreds of pounds, able to have litters of piglets year round. Texas is so overrun with them that they have nearly given up on the idea of being able to bring the invasive specied under control. Let me rephrase that - TEXAS is unable to shoot enough of these things to get control of the problem. And that is after they pulled out all the limitations on killing feral hogs.

    It's called by a number of names. Feral pig / feral swine / wild boar... Yes, they do grow tusks and are omnivores, so they will eat people. Their hides can be more than an inch thick, so it can easily take multiple shots to put one down that is charging you. And they run in herds, called sounders.

    And the problem is growing. Texas hasn't been able to shoot their way into containment, what chance do you think exists in illinois where the gun laws are controlled by chicago?

    And speaking of chicago...
    Friday, three days ago, in a chicago suburb, roger nelson opened his back door to let his dogs out and a pack of coyotes attacked from nearby bushes. The coyotes cleared a 42 inch fence easily and when the man's dogs just escaped the pack, the pack attacked the door in an attempt to force entry.
    Throw South Herbert Road, Riverside, Illinois into google earth and get a look at the quite human-dense area that has a pack of coyotes running around... NO LONGER AFRAID OF HUMANS.
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/...

    Governor of new york Cuomo has recently been on a video loop in the media lamenting about how nobody hunts deer with more than ten bullets. What about the people who aren't hunting deer? What about the pig hunters? What about the coyote hunters? What about the people who aren't hunting those group animals but merely live in an area where those animals also live?

    It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not more gun control, it's people care.

    by JayFromPA on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:16:57 PM PST

    •  The coyotes were chased off by a bb gun (0+ / 0-)

      San Diego County has lots of green space and canyons, so wildlife is plentiful, including coyotes, as described in this article, Living With Coyotes in San Diego.

      We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. -Pres. Obama, 1/21/13

      by SoCalSal on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:24:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lucky him. And san diego is not chicago. (0+ / 0-)

        What if they weren't?  
        What if they were just a bit faster
        or the distance from fence to doorway was a bit shorter
        or the reflexes of the guy were a bit slower
        or one of his dogs turned around in the doorway to try and defend the home
        or it wasn't him at the door but was a small child?

        Can you address all of these other reasonable possibilities that might happen to any of the other millions of other people living in the chicago area? Shall we put bb pistols in all of their hands?

        That those coyotes withdrew from the door after a few non-bloody stings means nothing considering that it was fairly lucky to have ended without any dead pets or injured people.

        It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not more gun control, it's people care.

        by JayFromPA on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:32:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd be fine if those coyotes were shot (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayFromPA

          and killed, though i don't know what the laws and municipal codes here say about that. My earlier comment was too short. I was called away from the computer so posted the link instead of much of a comment. The article I linked to describes the coyote problem in San Diego, that regular attacks are made to pets, sometimes to children and even occasionally to adults.

          Usually we see a lone coyote roaming around, but a pack of them roaming a residential area is even more scary. Those same residential areas used to be natural habitat for coyotes. People can reduce the chance of coyotes in the neighborhood by keeping pets and pet food indoors, and making sure that garbage is in containers. But that takes cooperation by everyone.

          I've got plenty of coyote stories to tell.

          We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. -Pres. Obama, 1/21/13

          by SoCalSal on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:44:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  can't separate form and function (0+ / 0-)

    Also, modding to accept larger mag could be relatively easy.
    As now, those who can mod will sell to criminals, so legislators and agencies must never whitelist moddable models.

    ♥ Repeal the Capital Gains, Carried Interest & Dividends Entitlements bequeathed to 'more special' taxpayers.

    by in on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:12:42 PM PST

  •  External magazines (6+ / 0-)

    Paradigm Change:

    As discussed above, I would add to the list for rifle ban characteristics something similar to the banned pistol characteristic of being capable of accepting a detached magazine outside the pistol grip.  However, I do not know enough about semiautomatic rifles to suggest how to describe such a restriction or even if it is feasible or defensible.
    The reason the magazines are outside the pistol grip on rifles is because the cartridges are too big to wrap your hand around. Any rifle firing a decent-sized cartridge cannot fit them into a pistol grip.

    Also note that external magazines on pistols are the norm for Olympic target pistols, so the legislation as written bans new purchases for the US Olympic Pistol Team. The Feinstein legislation is a feel-good measure that is poorly thought out and bans things on arbitrary measures of "scary-looking-ness".

  •  A+ for effort (0+ / 0-)

    I trust you are in contact with DiFi or one of her staffers, cause as proposed her current AWB is untenable over reach.
    At first thought, i assumed it might squeak thru the Senate but Im starting to think it wont even come up for a vote.

    Who is mighty ? One who turns an enemy into a friend !

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:15:01 AM PST

  •  It appears that you have also failed to take into (0+ / 0-)

    account simple engineering and machining skills.  As you are looking at this from the perspective of a lawyer, undoubtedly you see the force of law as being a force that compels and governs peoples actions.  The problem is that this will only apply to those who are willing to be governed by the laws.  Consequently, while you mention things like non removable magazines, etc, did it not occur to you that these things would be easy enough to bypass by anybody with rudimentary to moderate mechanical skills?  

    To which I assume your response would be to declare them criminals and subject them to recourse from law enforcement.  That is all good and well except for the fact that someone whose objective is to commit mass murder isn't going to give a rat's hat about the legality of the stinking magazines.  

    Once again, it goes without saying that there is no law, ban, or restriction that can be passed that will solve the problem.  Those who are hell bent on destruction will ignore every law on the books, without care, without concern, and without mercy.

    •  'simple engineering and machining skills' (0+ / 0-)

      skills that criminals usually lack, else most criminals wouldn't settle for the cr*ppy living standards of  criminals.

      We read the LaPerpian pseudo-argument that gun 'control' laws ('Saturday night specials') force criminals to use effective weapons. because otherwise criminals stupidly hinder or endanger  themselves by choose poor weapons.
      But if criminals are so stupid to use poor weapons, then how are they also smart enough to (cough) 'engineer' (/cough) and fabricate better weapons than  cheap or readily  burglarized weapons?

      LaPerpian irrelevance: criminals ... whose objective is to commit mass murder isn't going to give a rat's hat about the legality of the stinking magazines.
      Hold the presses! Criminals break laws! Rewrite all criminology texts!
      LaPerpian pseudo-logical conclusion: We must  (tragically, sniffle; profitably, giggle) ban all laws because criminals don't obey laws!

      Metaphorically, the LaPerps want to split hairs one way, then split the same hairs the opposite way.
      When handling firearms, common violent criminals are masterful geniuses, but also pathetic numbskulls.
      LaPerps can't decide which is the case.

      Maybe those genius criminal numbskulls have bamboozled LaPerp.

      ♥ Repeal the Capital Gains, Carried Interest & Dividends Entitlements bequeathed to 'more special' taxpayers.

      by in on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:08:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you not aware that most psychopathic killers (0+ / 0-)

        mass murders, and serial killers are highly intelligent and creative individuals.  They are not the same thing as your common street thug.  The street thug gang may not have these skills by themselves but I am certain that they have plenty of access to those that do.

        Mechanical restrictions and safety mechanism imposed by a manufacturer can and would be defeated.  This is not a "LaPerpian pseudo-logical conclusion"

        Once again, the screams of "we need more laws" fail to address the problems.

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