It Begins

November 18, 2008

Assault Weapons Ban Bill  introduced in the House…by four Republicans (one of whom, Chris Shays, has already been thrown out on his ass, good riddance).

Here’s part of the text, boldface mine:

(b) DEFINITION OF SEMIAUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPON- Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding after paragraph (29) the following:
‘(30) The term ‘semiautomatic assault weapon’ means–
  •  
      ‘(i) Norinco, Mitchell, and Poly Technologies Avtomat Kalashnikovs (all models);
      ‘(ii) Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil;
      ‘(iii) Beretta Ar70 (SC-70);
      ‘(iv) Colt AR-15;
      ‘(v) Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, and FNC;
      ‘(vi) SWD M-10, M-11, M-11/9, and M-12;
      ‘(vii) Steyr AUG;
      ‘(viii) INTRATEC TEC-9, TEC-DC9 and TEC-22; and
      ‘(ix) revolving cylinder shotguns, such as (or similar to) the Street Sweeper and Striker 12;
      ‘(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
      ‘(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
      ‘(iii) a bayonet mount;
      ‘(iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and
      ‘(v) a grenade launcher;
      ‘(i) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;
      ‘(ii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;
      ‘(iii) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned;
      ‘(iv) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and
      ‘(v) a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; and
      ‘(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
      ‘(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
      ‘(iii) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds; and
      ‘(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.’.
  • ‘(A) any of the firearms, or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as–
    ‘(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of–
    ‘(C) a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of–
    ‘(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of–

I didn’t understand this the last time this bill rolled around, because I didn’t understand guns (as the sponsors of this bill surely don’t), but this bill is simply designed to ban guns arbitrarily based on appearance, not on what they actually do. Part A is literally banning rifles of any caliber based strictly on manufacturer. Here’s an example. This is a Ruger Mini-14. This  is an AR-15. They look different, don’t they? They’re not–they shoot the EXACT SAME round (.223). The Ruger Mini 14 is perfectly legal under the AWB (as long as you don’t add an eeeevil high-capacity magazine to it), and the AR-15 is illegal. The Ruger Mini 14 is sometimes called a ranch rifle or a “varminter.” It’s designed to kill coyotes and bobcats and the like. In many states it’s illegal to deer hunt with an AR-15/Mini-14–not because it’s a devastating, eeeeevil caliber—but because it’s not powerful enough to be sporting. Yep, the dreaded AR-15 is suitable for pest control on the ranch. Telescoping stocks, bayonet lugs–this is the basis on which whole classes of firearms are to be banned.

These four RINOs started it, and Mr. Obama has said he wants to make the ban permanent.

So, why not? If you can have a Mini-14 that shoots the same round, it’s okay if the government bans eeeevil black rifles, right? You don’t really NEED a 20-round magazine. What are you going to do with all those guns, anyway? It’s not okay. Some people golf, and have hundreds of clubs. Some people have thousands of books. Some people juggle geese (/Hoban Washburn). Some people like to go out in the woods or to the range and spend a productive afternoon running a couple of hundred rounds through their AR-15s. Some people own several, or more. It’s not the government’s business what law-abiding people do. Indeed, only the latter is enshrined in the Bill of Rights–“the right of The People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

It’s time to stand up. Liberty is eroded this way–one tiny step at a time. This time it’s a ban on scary-looking firearms. Maybe it will be something you love next. Maybe when it issomething you love, people won’t be able to stand up for you. Call, fax, and e-mail your members of Congress. Do it now. Be on record as standig up for liberty.

Hey 52, help your brothers out. Hugs and kisses, 48.

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One Response to “It Begins”

  1. Independent of the specific law at hand, I think laws enumerating lists of banned items (or, for that matter, approved items) are generally poor lawmaking. In the case of the ban, it’s not hard to imagine an item being developed in the future that matches the spirit of your criteria without matching the letter, and thus not getting banned (if that was your goal); similarly, a new item might be vastly superior to those specifically approved, but never get adopted because expanding the law would be too much of a pain. (On the latter, I’m thinking of a recentish proposal regarding light bulbs in CA that would have stuck them with current CFLs when some better lighting technology came along).

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