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The justifications to keep these weapons available are fictional and flawed. And the supporters for maintaining them should be called out.

As our country, and the Congress, lurches tentatively towards some sort of even modest gun control, apparently the ban on assault weapons is dead.  Of all the possible proposals, this one would seem to be the most logical and perhaps the easiest to accept and pass. But it turns out it is the toughest; and the reasons have no rational basis.

So, why is the assault weapon ban so aggressively opposed? There are two main reasons.  The first is the assumed protection of the Second Amendment, along with the “fear” that if assault weapons are banned, it would be the first step in “taking away our arms” and a loss of a constitutional right.  The second is the paranoid fear the NRA has been able to perpetuate (especially among its members) about having an armed populace to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government who may subvert our liberties.

Starting with the constitutional issue, no national leader – of any political stripe – has ever suggested banning arms entirely, and virtually all respect the constitutional right for citizens to own a variety of arms for hunting, sporting activities, and even self protection in specific cases. The problem with harking back to the Second as an uninhibited “right” is that it does not confer that right without limitation; and further, it was written at a time when both the societal and weaponry environment was far different.

America in 1789 (when the Second was first drafted) had a population of about 2.5 million, not including slaves or Native Americans.  Less than 1 percent of our population today. It was a rural country – the largest city was Philadelphia with 40,000 inhabitants. There were no tightly packed urban communities like say the south side of Chicago. The rural inhabitants, while mostly farmers, also used their arms to shoot game – not as today’s sportsmen do, but to put food on the table. And the reference to a “well regulated militia” clearly was related to the fact that we had just fought a brutal war of independence, with a tiny standing army, and a dependence on multiple state militias.

As far as literally interpreting the Amendment as the “bible” for ownership of assault weapons, the fact is the Second is subject to vague interpretation. Indeed, since it was adopted in 1791, it has been the subject of over 31 Federal court cases of various kinds. Six in U.S. District Courts; 19 in U.S. Courts of Appeals; and 6 which ended up in the Supreme Court. To describe the outcomes of these cases alone proves the confusion surrounding the Second Amendment – but suffice it to say, it in no way “blesses” the ownership of any weapon… of any kind… by anybody.

Which brings us to the raison d’être given to own such weapons; the protection of our citizenry from a ruthless government. To begin with, our Democracy has lasted for over 200 years, through a variety of traumas from a civil war, to the 20th century resignation of a president. Through it all we have persisted, and have never in our history been threatened by an omnipotent dictator. The allusion to such an event is a straw man and pure fantasy, and the thought of protecting ourselves with assault weapons (or even greater firepower) is frankly absurd.  The result of such a turn of events would put the populace against the greatest armed forces the world has ever known.  And, the ownership of even assault weapons would be useless.  Arming ourselves to the hilt is not only dangerous for our society, but meaningless. We do better using the ballot box as our preferred weapon.

Further, extending this logic (protection from a potentially tyrannical government), then we should allow even greater firepower for the people – weapons capable of putting up a better fight. Would the NRA promote this as part of their logic? Looked on this way, the whole concept of a heavily armed populace prepared for battle, in today’s world, is irrational.

The reality is, assault weapons – military weapons to be clear – are designed for one mission: kill people! Is that what we, as a society, really want?  A proliferation of weapons designed to kill people?  And using the cover of the Second Amendment provides no better defense for allowing military-style assault weapons to be sold and owned. The Second still provides the constitutional right of citizens to own guns; just not guns of all kinds, by anyone regardless of mental stability or other stipulations.  The constitution is in fact a living document (with 27 amendments) so it must be relevant to America not in the 17th Century, but as our nation is in the 21st Century.

No, the logic being used to perpetuate the purchase and ownership of military-style assault weapons of fallacious and flawed.  To be a safer more secure nation, it is essential that we ban the ownership of assault weapons as a crucial part of our proposed gun control legislation.

Originally posted to myles spicer on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:31 AM PDT.

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

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Military-style assault weapons are

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36%27 votes

| 73 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Are you talking a general AWB or the one that (10+ / 0-)

    didn't pass, recently?

    Feinstein's AWB was a really dumb start, and now the momentum has been lost to the point that it seems background check expansion is in danger. Seems likely that it would've been better to start with the background checks and gone from there, or pull some particular aspects of proposed AWB's that demonstrably or at least steadfastly logically would've mattered (not ermagherd pistol grip).

    And yay, now there's upteenhundred more AR-15's in the hands of a bunch of people that just hate Obama more than they care about owning a varmint rifle.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:59:22 AM PDT

    •  They need to have a bill (3+ / 0-)

      very strict one at that, sitting on the shelf. Because between now and 2016, we will have not one but many mass murders with all this new "gun crazy" put guns everywhere mentality.

      I am patient, it's not a matter of if.

      GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

      by KingGeorgetheTurd on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:06:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the thing that makes me crazy. (7+ / 0-)

      So much time and energy has been spent trying to ban pistol grips and bayonet lugs, we've lost the momentum on actual, substantive changes like background checks, trafficking, and straw purchases. (And yes, magazine capacity.) Short-sightedness trumps progress, and in the end we get "none of the above".

      "The President is trying to make it tough on members of Congress. It's just sick." -- John Boehner (R-WATB)

      by OldSoldier99 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:14:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually the opposite is true (8+ / 0-)

        The strategy of the NRA is not to "accept" any restrictions -- they intend to nibble away at each little part of any bill. That is happening as we speak.  That is what they did with assault weapons (and to be clear, magazine size is another component of assault-style weapons, and should be restricted as well I agree).

        But the logic of not having assault weapons roaming the streets is so strong, I think we must at least allow a vote on it in the Senate -- and not let Reid succomb to NRA pressure.

        We can still get the best outcome available if that amendment to the bill is voted down.

        •  Do you see how it helped the NRA though (4+ / 0-)

          This recent AWB? I think swift action on magazine sizes, carry restrictions, background checks, etc would've been successful AND knocked the wind out of the NRA. But no, pistol grips.

          I see what you did there.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:34:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I completely agree on the need to allow a vote. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          EdMass, Kickemout, Cedwyn

          I think Reid is showing his habitual spinelessness on this issue.

          For me, one of the main problems with attempts to ban "assault weapons" is the focus on all the scary-looking stuff with no real understanding of the mechanics. It seems like a panic reflex, with no real though being given as to what's really meant. Badly thought-out legislation makes for badly-implemented laws. The previous AWB was a shining example.

          "The President is trying to make it tough on members of Congress. It's just sick." -- John Boehner (R-WATB)

          by OldSoldier99 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:39:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          That may be wishful thinking.

          While that may work out for the best in terms of dealing with gun violence, letting the NRA cut a deal after defeating signature gun control legislation pushed heavily by Democrats is a worst case scenario.  Rather than taking the chance to kill the gun issue once and for all with a universal background check system that robustly protects the rights of gun owners, we've picked an unnecessary fight going into 2014.  

          When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

          by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:07:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  won't matter (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WakeUpNeo

            Trust me...the NRA is going to aggressively oppose even the slightest restriction no matter what. They said they would support background checks, then qualified that, then opposed them etc.

            Getting some sort of gun control that is close to meaningless just gives them time before another bill would likely come up -- then the will oppose that. We all know that it is the gun manufacturers behind the NRA and they do not give a damn about a safer America -- they just want to sell product.

            I would go for the whole enchilada right now; and if that fails, sure we can go to Plan B, but why give in so quickly???

            •  Trust you? (0+ / 0-)

              Do you have some sort of inside track into the NRA leadership's thinking and plans?  And if the NRA can evolve its position one way, why can't it evolve it the other?  Especially if allowed to do so in a time and fashion of their choosing?

              Whatever you think about gun manufacturers, do you think that industry isn't cognizant of the fact that they're facing off against a single man whose company made more last year than their entire industry combined?  Do you think gun makers relish in living from ban crisis to ban crisis?  We're talking about an industry with thin margins, lots of moms and pops, and a reluctance to grow to meet demand.  

              Plan A sucks, is why.  It actually has a pretty severe downside.  Plan B doesn't, and should have been Plan A in the first place.

              When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

              by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 09:47:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No inside track... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WakeUpNeo

                I do not need it. Their actions are clear. They are quite specific about their goals. They have been on talk shows constantly with very clear messages. And I doubt there are very many "mom and pop" gun manufacturers -- most are huge and rely on government contracts for military weapons; and the big box retailers and gun dealers for the civilian product They are a massive lobby, and in my opnion have many legislators in their pocket.

                Much of the paranoia about "government tryanny" and "taking away all our guns" comes from their efforts -- fortunately, even a lot of their members so not approve of all their methods (and madness).

                •  Tea leaves (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  andalusi

                  Here's my read.  The NRA has placed its bets on the Republicans, and it will act in the GOP's best interests.  If that means supporting universal background checks, especially if they can marshall up a substitute to the Democratic bill and get it through the house, then that's that.  Especially if they can do it and eliminate a whole host of gun rights bugaboos at the same time (or at least position themselves for rolling back AWBs and registries at any level of government).  If they can do that and punish Democrats, they will.  

                  There are four big manufacturers.  Ruger is the largest, with 1100 employees and $150 million in annual revenue.  The vast majority of gun manufacturers are small and medium businesses, and almost all are privately owned.  The entire industry is about $6 billion a year; peanuts, considering Bloomberg LP pulled in $7 biliion in a year.  This is the big scary gun lobby we're supposed to hate and despise.

                  When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                  by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 12:21:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  correction (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    WakeUpNeo

                    It is a $12 billion business; and you are correct, there are many small manufacturers. But all this fear of regulation has been a boon to the industry, and they are benfiting from "fear". Moreover, it is not just the manufacturers who can support and pay for a potent lobbying program; the NRA itself has massive funding. Among the largest lobbyists influencing congress, the gun industry is in the top group (right up there with drugs and energy)

                    •  6 billion (0+ / 0-)

                      According to Christian Science Monitor:

                      3. $6 billion
                      The estimated revenue brought in by the US gun and ammunition manufacturing industry in 2012, according to a financial report by the research firm D&B First Research based in Austin, Texas. The major manufacturers include Browning Arms, Freedom Group, Olin, Aliant Tech Systems, Sturm, Ruger & Company, and Smith & Wesson.  The biggest companies are Ruger and Smith & Wesson, which represent about 30 percent of the industry.

                      Obama’s presidency has been a boon for gun makers, prompting industry analyst Jim Barrett to call the President “the best thing that ever happened to the firearms industry,” in an Associated Press interview. According to an October analysis from AP,  Ruger’s sales have increased 86 percent since Obama took office; Smith & Wesson’s have gone up 41 percent.

                      And what happens when the boom dies and you're faced with entire large markets closed off to you?

                      When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                      by Patrick Costighan on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 03:30:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Perhaps you are right (0+ / 0-)

                        I have seenvarious numbers on the size of the industry -- some include ammo and related products. An interesting view is this one "everything you wnat to know about the gun industry"
                        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

                        At any rate, my concern is far less for the viability of the industry than it is for the safety and well being of our society. Many industries have mostly disappeared as our society (and businesses change). Que sera.

                        •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          andalusi

                          In case you forgot what we're talking about, we were discussing the relative power of the gun rights movement and the gun control lobby.  I believe I've just adequately demonstrated that the gun control lobby is significantly better positioned.

                          When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

                          by Patrick Costighan on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 12:56:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldSoldier99

        Disagree on magazine capacity, which I also find a waste of time, but pretty much everything else is right on.

        When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

        by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:04:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's the "assault weapon" canard (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Utahrd, theboz, moderatemajority

      that's derailed this effort.  The "upteenhundred" owners of AR-15's don't believe they have an "assault weapon".  It's a frggin semi-automatic 22 that looks scary.

      One would think the diarist as a "USAF Vet" would know the difference.  Haven't seen a SEAL with an AR-15 lately.

      "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

      by EdMass on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:29:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure that (4+ / 0-)

    the police are gonna like having all of their guns taken away...

    Your end of the Constitution is sinking.

    by happymisanthropy on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:09:08 AM PDT

    •  Wrong (8+ / 0-)

      No bill has even come close to suggesting the "police" would not be able to have assualt-style weapons. In fact it is generally the police who support a ban on these weapons by ordinary citizens...they are the ones most at risk when they have to confront some nut who has them along with hundreds of bullets to reload.

      •  Gee, and here I thought (5+ / 0-)

        that handguns were the major firearms used to commit crime...why haven't "the police who support a ban on these weapons by ordinary citizens" sought a ban on handguns?

        Oh, maybe, "ordinary citizens" don't commit crimes?

        As noted above,  "Feinstein's AWB was a really dumb start".

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:48:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  why not? (3+ / 0-)
        No bill has even come close to suggesting the "police" would not be able to have assualt-style weapons.
        How do you reconcile that with the diary's title?
        RETAINING ASSAULT WEAPONS HAS NO RATIONAL BASIS
        What you really mean is that retaining assault weapons in the hands of the peasant class has no rational basis, while retaining assault weapons in the hands of the samurai class does have a rational basis.

        However, I reject the idea that we should have a samurai class with rights superior to the people they supposedly serve and protect.  

        Even if we ultimately decide to make exceptions for the samurai class in our laws, it should never go without saying that they will get an exception to every law that is passed.

        And no, police officers in the US will never support a law that prevents them from keeping private semiautomatic arms at home or bearing semiautomatic arms when they are off duty.

        Your end of the Constitution is sinking.

        by happymisanthropy on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:07:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        Why do the police need them?

        When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

        by Patrick Costighan on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:17:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rich people's bodyguards (4+ / 0-)

    They almost always use handguns.  An AR 15 would not be useful to them.

    That's the key to successful gun legislation:

    Guns that the security guards at Bob Costas' studio use can't be banned and guns that rich people's bodyguards use can't be banned.

  •  Part of the problem is the term and definition of (3+ / 0-)

    "assault weapon"
    Defining it by it's physical characteristics or features leaves too many loopholes that the gunloons WILL exploit to defeat it.
    Defining by function is what's needed.
    The salient function is the ability to kill many people in a short period of time without pause.
    154 bullets in less than 5 minutes and that included walking from one room to another.
    That's the criteria that should be specified. Who cares if it has a grip or a bayonet or folding stock, those things matter much less that the kill rate and ammunition capacity.
    But it hardly matters how the bills are written, the NRA and their fellow travelers are steadily pushing back the laws:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    and making it easier for criminals and disturbed people to gain access.
    Any kind of gun law in Congress is being blocked. It doesn't matter that substantial majorities want tighter regulation, stronger background checks, limits on lethality and capacity, the gunloons and their MIC backers/beneficiaries dominate the legislative agenda.
    And they are doing it in the sickest way possible: they play on the fears and delusions of the gunloons, pumping up their paranoia and feeding their fantasies of macho heroism, playing on racism and decades of propaganda against the "other".

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 10:03:43 AM PDT

    •  RE AR-15 (3+ / 0-)

      Others have noted it may not be an "assault" weapon. It was first designed for the military to KILL PEOPLE. Recent civilian variations still have a 20-30 round magazine with up to 60 possible. Why do we have them in people's houses? For what purpose?

      •  Wrong, sort of. (4+ / 0-)

        The AR-15 was designed in 1963 as the semi-auto civilian use version of the M-16 that Colt bought the design of from Armalite.  Armalite did call their design the 'AR-15' but it was never brought to market.

        The design was made to be a lighter combat rifle that was chambered in the NATO 5.56 round as opposed to the .308 round that the M-14 was chambered in.  The weight of the M-14 and three magazines of ammunition is the same as two M-16s and ten magazines, so the weight savings allowed soldiers to be more manuverable.

        I have one in my house, loaded with home defense ammunition in case I need to defend myself, my son and my wife from a home invastion.  Yes, I do understand that the chance of someone breaking into my house while we are home is far less than the chance that they would if we were not at home.  Considering that we have been broken into, I am not taking any further chances.

        We have fire extingushers in our car, our kitchen and our basement for the same reason.

        If you live next door to the police station, maybe you'd feel differently.  In my neighborhood, it takes the police about the same amount of time to respond as the Newtown police do, 15 to 20 minutes.

        Bowers v. DeVito "...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered."
        Director of Merchandising - the Liberal Gun Club
        Interim Chairman - Democratic Gun Owners' Caucus of Missouri

        by ErikO on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:33:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have to wonder why we're still talking about it (5+ / 0-)

    The ban legislation is for all practical purposes dead.  If any attempt is made to sneak it in the back door, it will undoubtedly be struck down in the Senate.  Then it would have to get past the House.

    As other's have said, the chance to enact any sort of real reform was squandered on this piece of pie in the sky bullshit.

    The continued push for restrictions is not building support.  It is strengthening the opposition and the beginning of the coming backlash is just starting to be felt.  Slate on Friday had a pretty good article on the effects of the push and what it is bringing.

    •  Daydreams of feavered minds. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moderatemajority

      Bowers v. DeVito "...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered."
      Director of Merchandising - the Liberal Gun Club
      Interim Chairman - Democratic Gun Owners' Caucus of Missouri

      by ErikO on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:33:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not quite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      Diane Feinstein claims she will introduce an amendment when the Senate bill comes up for a vote. You are probably right, but I would still like to see a vote, and some public pressure generated for getting these weapons (and all with magazines over 10 rounds) off the street.

  •  Response part 1 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ErikO, Patrick Costighan
    Which brings us to the raison d’être given to own such weapons; the protection of our citizenry from a ruthless government. To begin with, our Democracy has lasted for over 200 years, through a variety of traumas from a civil war, to the 20th century resignation of a president. Through it all we have persisted, and have never in our history been threatened by an omnipotent dictator. The allusion to such an event is a straw man and pure fantasy, and the thought of protecting ourselves with assault weapons (or even greater firepower) is frankly absurd.  The result of such a turn of events would put the populace against the greatest armed forces the world has ever known.  And, the ownership of even assault weapons would be useless.  Arming ourselves to the hilt is not only dangerous for our society, but meaningless. We do better using the ballot box as our preferred weapon.
    If the country with better quality of arms/weapons always wins please try to explain the Vietnam War. Oh yes, that's what I thought. The principal basis of the 2nd Amendment was an ultimate check against government tyranny and just because it hasn't happend doesn't mean that that right has eroded. There is no expiration date on constitutional rights.

    Throughout my entire public career I have followed the personal philosophy that I am a free man, an American, a public servant, and a member of my party, in that order always and only." -- LBJ

    by moderatemajority on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:02:16 PM PDT

  •  Response Part 2 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ErikO, FrankRose, Patrick Costighan
    The reality is, assault weapons – military weapons to be clear – are designed for one mission: kill people! Is that what we, as a society, really want?
    For the lesser folk that you look down on that don't live in mansions, gated communities, or the protected neighborhoods of the elite, a gun is a form of self-protection.

    This 81 year old was about to robbed and attacked by some young strapping aggressive thug and he was able to defend himself with a firearm. Hopefully the town gives him a medal.
    http://www.examiner.com/...

    Throughout my entire public career I have followed the personal philosophy that I am a free man, an American, a public servant, and a member of my party, in that order always and only." -- LBJ

    by moderatemajority on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:06:16 PM PDT

  •  Response part 3 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ErikO, FrankRose, Patrick Costighan

    What permeates the entire discussion is that there is something called an "assault weapon" that is legally distinct and is also congruent to a military weapon. First of all, a great share of military-grade weapons are fully automatic weapons which have been strictly regulated and effective banned since the 1930's.

    Assault weapon is a political term with no clear definition.

    Throughout my entire public career I have followed the personal philosophy that I am a free man, an American, a public servant, and a member of my party, in that order always and only." -- LBJ

    by moderatemajority on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:08:10 PM PDT

    •  Also, that would mean that (2+ / 0-)

      the 1911 thaqt holds few enough rounds to remain leagle in New York State after their state SAFE law went in would be banned federally since it 'resembles' a military firearm.  ;)

      Bowers v. DeVito "...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered."
      Director of Merchandising - the Liberal Gun Club
      Interim Chairman - Democratic Gun Owners' Caucus of Missouri

      by ErikO on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:35:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ban military ammunition for civilian use. (0+ / 0-)

        Allow only Geneva agreement jacketed bullets and require that the caliber be distinctly different from what the military and Law Enforcement is issued.

        Anyone who has his heart set on 5.56x45 ammo can just join the well regulated militia, with the proviso that once enlisted it's until age 50. Like the much quoted Swiss. They have recalled all ammunition in the last few years, except for special designated rapid reaction units, even before, every Swiss reservist had 50 rounds in a sealed container.

    •  You make a point, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      my definition is a weapon designed for the military, that is automatic or could be semi-automatic, with a magazine
      that holds over 10 rounds; but an even simpler definition is a gun that is specifically designed to KILL PEOPLE. YOu do not need 20 rounds fired even semi  automatically, to kill a duck.

  •  Thank you, myles spicer. (0+ / 0-)

    Your second paragraph nails the subject.

    This is exactly why certain parties are so scared shitless about any possibility of effective registration and regulation.

    And as you say, their fears and panic are totally irrational.

  •  I'll tell you what IS good logic (0+ / 0-)

    Labeling an AR-15 a "military-style" firearm or an "assault weapon." That makes it sound so much more dangerous and threatening than other firearms! So much easier to gain support from Americans who don't know much about guns when you ask them to ban these, just these because you know, they're" military-style" and "assault weapons."

    That is actually a very logical and clever strategy. Of course, it also an extremely dishonest one, but honestly, a number of people making it aren't even intentionally lying at this point. Quitre a few of the people who make such arguments have simply been duped and are clueless about the deceptiveness of this argument.

    Virtually every firearm is a "military--style" firearm, you see. From muskets to bolt-actions to semiautomatics, the most common cartridges and rifles of a given time and place owe a lot to what the military used a few years before. There's a reason the .30-06 cartridge became the favored US hunting round for so long: the US Army used that round in the M1 Garand in WWII and the Korean War. That's part of the reason the AR-15 platform is so popular today, too: the US Army currently uses 5.56 (basically the same as the .223 an AR-15 shoots) in its standard-issue rifles (which are not AR-15s, incidentally).

    And the other big deception is the creation of the term "assault weapon." It's meant to sound dangerous and to confuse people with the term assault rifle, which is a very different thing (an assault rifle by definition is a selective fire rifle, i.e., can fire on full auto rather than just semiauto). Even the news media gets it wrong most of the time. And if you want to pin down what the term assault weapon means, good luck. The definition is purely made up by legislature and different states have different ideas of what it means. My state is even considering labeling all rifles that can take a magazine and are semiautomatic as assault weapons, even .22 plinkers.

    They are genius terms and a fantastic example of how one side of an issue can be successful simply by inventing the right terminology and trying to force the debate around their weasel words.

    That most gun owners are keenly aware of the misinformation just makes it more delicious, I suspect. We can be painted as unreasonable because who, after all, would want the public to walk around with full auto military weapons? And we can be painted as trying to deflect from the real issues when we point out how terminally flawed the terms in use happen to be.

    So as I wrote, this is clever logic on the part of those against gun rights. Recently I've been reading discussions about doing away with the term "gun control," too. Can't wait to see what new colorful term is chosen.

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