December 20, 2006

The Influence Of Cook

Grayson Hugh had one moderately successful tune. It was called Talk It Over & the vid is here. The song was a decent little R&B tune but Hugh's delivery made it what it was. Some folks will say he sounds a bit like Steve Perry of Journey but the truth is both Hugh & Perry got their style from Sam Cooke. If you've never heard Sam Cooke before (odds are you have even if you didn't realize it was him at the time) here's a very cute vid of some felines Twisting The Night Away (yes Iím trying to get my cat-blogging cred on).

Cooke's influence has been felt across the musical world & apparently it's crossed species as the kitties seem to get it. But let's talk about another Cook whose influence won't be as welcome & hopefully won't be as widespread.

Cook County, Illinois has an "assault weapons" ban. has the text up.

This one is interesting as it bans some things not normally associated with "assault weapons". For instance, muzzle brakes & muzzle compensators are now proscribed on a semi-auto with a detachable magazine. Ditto for a barrel shroud on a rifle.

Now we've seen barrel shrouds mentioned before but only (to my knowledge) on pistols. They do not specify material so I must assume that wood completely or partially encircling the barrel qualifies. To give the full measure of this:

Section 6-1 (a) (1) (D) A shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel

That'd include an M1-A if I'm interpreting this thing right. & since it's Cook County I'm sure they meant to include any & every firearm they could.

They also include fixed magazine pistols & rifles that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammo. That'd include some SKS's that have had after market mags installed. & it'd include tube fed .22's

They include a redundancy with federal law. They prohibit pistols with a folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock. The NFA puts a $200 tax on those. & last I heard Illinois doesn't allow any NFA items.

They also hit semi-auto shotguns with pistol grips sans buttstock, folding, telescoping or thumbhole buttstocks or a more than 5 round capacity. Detachable mags are also a no-no.

& any parts which can turn a nice friendly firearm into an "assault weapon" will land you in trouble even if said part or parts are not attached.

It names a bunch of firearms byname. Curiously the Hi-Point carbine is on there as is the Kel-Tec Sub-Rifle & the Ruger Mini-14.

They also prohibit "large capacity" magazines. They except tube mags for .22's, lever guns & any mag that has been permanently altered to accept no more than 10 rounds. It should be pointed out though that this exception applies only to "large capacity" magazines. If I'm reading this correctly a tube fed .22 semi-auto would still be an "assault weapon" if it held more than 10 rounds.

They don't have a grandfather clause in this one. 90 days after the ordinance goes into effect any proscribed items are contraband & subject to seizure. In addition to having your property seized & destroyed you'd face 6 months in the county lock up & a fine between $500 & $1,000.

Look this is Illinois. & not rural Illinois but gun control central Illinois. I'd advise leaving the state on general principles even if this bullshit hadn't passed. so I'm not bringing this up to point out anything those in Illinois don't already know (i.e. life there sucks for gun owners). I'm trying to highlight the way the "assault weapons" ban idea is changing. It's becoming more inclusive & broader while trimming away the merely cosmetic aspects of previous versions. Bayonet lugs were included in previous ones (the federal being the most prominent example) but since we've pointed out all too often that drive-by bayonetings aren't an issue they've dropped it & moved onto what they see as more significant features (muzzles brakes & barrel shrouds). They're also including things that they haven't before (thumbhole stocks).

In other words they're getting a little smarter in the way they're going about this. The end result is a more streamlined ban yet broader in scope. The only semi-autos I can think of that aren't covered would be the Garand, the SAFN-49, the SKS with the ten round fixed mags, & the VZ 52/57. There'd also be the non-military semi-auto's such as the Remington 7400 & the Browning BAR to name a few. But the ban leaves limited options if you want a centerfire semi-auto in your life. Troubling is the inclusion of the Hi-Point & Kel-Tec. They're ugly of course, but they're not what I'd think of as the typical targets of 'assault weapons" bans.

The Kel-Tec Sub Rifle is mentioned but I assume they mean the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 Rifle. It's not pretty but it doesn't have any of the evil features commonly associated with "assault weapons. The stock doesn't fold (though the entire weapon does but it's not functional when folded), there's no bayonet lug of muzzle attachments, no grenade launchers made for it (that I know of), etc... It has a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action (to borrow foul language from the federal "assault weapons" ban) & can accept "high capacity" magazines but that's it. But looking at Cook County's AWB it does have a "barrel shroud" if you count the upper handguard.

The Hi-Point carbine doesn't even have what could be considered a barrel shroud. & they come with 10 round mags. So I have no idea why they thought this long gun was scary enough to be an "assault weapon" except maybe that it's not expensive.

Again if you're in Illinois get out. Even if you're in a rural area leave if you can. That's not a good place for any gun owner to be. If you're not in Illinois, Cali, Mass, NJ, NY, Denver, Co, Vail, Co or D.C. then watch the bigger metro areas around you to see if anything like the Cook County AWB gets proposed. I'd say this is the new thing to watch for: local AWB's with simpler yet nastier language. It might catch on, it might not but it's worth keeping an eye out for.

Posted by Publicola at December 20, 2006 04:19 AM | TrackBack