July 22, 2004

All AWB Refutation - All The Time

Another person is arguing for a renewal of the "assault weapons" ban. The following wa sintended to be left in said blogger comments, but I figured I'd post it here to A: avoid hitting a word limit in her comments section & B: let you (& the blogge rin question as well) continue the discussion here if you'd like. Thanks to Say Uncle for pointing me in her direction, & be sure to check out his post on her advocacy of the AWB.

First of all, what is the moral &/or legal authority for placing a restriction on items I feel are necessary & proper for my purposes?

That's the $64 question.

But getting to some of the comments, not everyone knows the ins & outs of firearms - not even a great number of people who use them. So I am not surprised to find misinformation being portrayed as fact. I'll attempt to correct some of that.

Pistol Grips: Their main purpose is to provide a more natural/ergonomic grip on a firearm. This is to facilitate better aiming & reduce fatigue on the wrist.

It does not aid in "spraying from the hip. In fact this idea of spraying form the hip is ludicrous to anyone who's ever tried it. Beyond ten feet your odds of hitting a target, be it human, animal or paper, are dramatically reduced. Firearms have sights for a reason & while it wouldn't be pleasant I'd much rather face someone twenty yards away who attempted to spray from the hip than someone who took the time to line up the sights properly.

So the pistol grip provision of the AWB is merely a feel-good piece justifiable only to those who don't realize they're being lied to.

Flash Suppressor: This redirects the muzzle flash to the sides & bottom as opposed to straight up. It helps the shooter retain night vision.

It does not hide a shooter when he fires at night. You can still see quite clearly any muzzle flash - it's merely directed away from the shooters eyes.

Barrel Shroud: this keeps the shooter from burning a hand on a hot barrel.

Please see my previous comments on firing from the hip as to why this is also a non-issue in terms of criminal use.

Bayonet lug: You attach a bayonet to the rifle via this piece of metal.

Now this is one thing that can make a rifle more lethal. However given the complete absence of bayonets attached to rifles in crime in the U.S. I see no pragmatic purpose for this prohibition. I do see it damping the military usefulness of certain rifles as well as hurting their collector value though.

The Grenade Launcher part of the ban is just like the bayonet part: yes, a grenade launcher can increase the lethality f a rifle, but only if one has rifle grenades 9heavily regulated since 1934) & the intent to use them. I've never read about a rifle grenade being used in U.S. crime, so I do not see any logic to banning them.

Threaded barrel to accommodate a sound suppressor (silencer is an inaccurate term): Sound suppressors are unconstitutionally regulated by the NFA of '34, so banning threads that will accommodate them is redundant.

Sound Suppressors do serve a very useful function in that they quiet a firearms report so that it won't damage a person's ears. Well, as long as the projectile is subsonic that is. There'd probably be a few hundred thousand serious shooters in the U.S. who would have benefited by having sound suppressors w/o paying an unconstitutional tax or submitting to unconstitutional approval before purchasing them, so again pragmatically I don't find the inclusion to prohibit the mere threads for their use compelling.

Folding stocks: stocks that are designed to collapse, making the rifle more compact.

Again, see the spray from the hip paragraphs above. The best purpose for folding stocks is to make the rifle easier to store. Telescoping stocks however can be adjusted to better fit shooters of a different size than average. But because of ignorance this was included as an "evil feature".

Normal capacity magazines (high capacity to y'all): they simply are magazines that hold more than ten rounds as designed by the gun manufacturers or after market companies. Most criminal shootings involve a handful of shots, so it has little to no effect on crime. It has impacted many shooting sports which have had to alter their (in some cases) decades old rules to accommodate this useless & aggravating prohibition.

Ever spent all day at the range testing out a new rifle? Let me tell ya, loading a 30 round magazine 3 times is a helluva lot easier than loading a ten round magazine 9 times (especially when you dwell on the fact that it does abso-friggin-lutely nothing to reduce criminal use).

The ban does speak of semi-automatics because it was important to be clear they weren't speaking of automatic weapons. These have been unconstitutionally regulated since '34 & don't fall under the AWB. So the ban does have everything to do with the semi-auto nature of firearms since only semi-auto's are affected by it. But getting more specific, the AWB does not ban any currently existing weapons (at least at the time) it merely bans new manufacture.

As to it touching only features that have criminal uses: BS. Bayonet lugs are an important thing for collectors of military arms, as well as attaching a bayonet should you ever have to act in a martial capacity. You didn't think the 2nd amendment referred to a natural right to target shoot & hunt did you? It was primarily written so that the citizenry could have arms equal to that of the soldier.

Pistol grips & telescoping stocks are damn useful for competitions - the former eases wrist fatigue over long matches & the latter helps adjust the length of the rifle for different events.

Flash suppressors are useful for hunting as well as certain target competitions. It helps you recover for the second shot in low lighting, such as occurs near dusk when you're hunting varmints or large game or when it's overcast early in the morning when many target matches occur.

& those threads... do you think sound suppressors use a special threading? By banning those threads you have just eliminated many popular accessories geared towards target shooters & hunters. Muzzle brakes, which help control recoil, are often threaded on barrels. Well since '94 they've had to redesign the threads cause if 1 sound suppressor uses that thread pattern it's a no-no. Ditto for muzzle weights which help alter the firearms balance for certain shooting sports. & I do believe that as pertains to rifles, the banned threads are those for flash suppressors, not sound suppressors. Then again prior to '94 both devices often used the same thread patterns.

But that's all refuting the specifics of the assumption that sporting use is what should be protected. Again, the Right to Arms is not about hunting or target shooting (although it encompasses both); it's about defending yourself &/or your community from an aggressive force, be it private or government.

As far as majority opinion goes... I'm very thankful we don't live in a democracy. The support for the AWB by a seeming majority is based on a misunderstanding of the AWB, its goals & its effectiveness. Most people think it's about machine guns, or that "assault weapons" are used frequently by gang bangers. Fact is rifles just aren't used that much in crime.

But this overlooks the fact that the federal government (& arguably the states) are forbidden from enacting any prior restraint based gun control. They lack the constitutional authority to do so & then are specifically prohibited from chilling the Right to Arms. The honest approach would be to repeal the 2nd amendment & convince me & others like me that there is no Right to Arms inherent in us all. But that'd happen right after you did the same to the first amendment.

As for a strengthened ban solving the problems of the current AWB - nopers. See it isn't the tool that's the problem - it's the user. If you wish to stop crime then concentrate on educating the people why crime isn't a good idea instead of trying to take away something that I hold dear. Education & citizen policing (i.e. citizens’ arrest, citizen patrols, etc...) will go much farther to stop crime than banning certain types of firearms. Plus you'll have the added bonus of people like me as allies.

BTW, assuming you can convince at least yourself of your answer to my original question, exactly how would you propose banning any & everything in sight? Do you seriously think that people like me will just hand 'em over because of a law we feel is unjust, immoral & unconstitutional? I've always wondered how people who favor banning guns think that part of the plan would work.

Posted by Publicola at July 22, 2004 06:36 AM

Semantics seem to be a key player in irrational legislation these days. "Assault Weopans Ban" and "Patriot Act" for instance. Who could vote against something called the "Liberty for All" provision of anything - no matter how restrictive?

The framing and marketing of regressive laws has become an art form, and one detrimental to natural freedom.

That said - anyone no where to find some plans (open source and free) on manufacturing an efficient sound suppressor for a ruger .22 bull-barrel that might pass a Federal sniff test?


Posted by: Tony at February 18, 2005 07:27 PM
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