Things have been pretty busy lately for the past few weeks. In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, many have reacted hastily to suggest that a more strict renewal of the “assault” weapons ban should be put in place with no chance of expiration. But what exactly does this cover and what would it accomplish? This video illustrates why the term “assault weapon” is misleading:
The clip of the officer that was edited in was made shortly after the Stockton shooting in California. After all these years the media and the public at large is still confused about basic terminology. So far as I know, the term “assault weapon” first entered the language of the debate in the 1990’s when the Brady Campaign decided it would be a useful way to confuse the public at large. The label conjures up an image of a fully-automatic weapon that continues to fire rounds as long as the trigger remains depressed. This is not what the previous or prospective ban covers at all; those sorts of weapons have been illegal since the mid-30’s.
“Assault” looks like it will continue to be an adjective placed on whatever politicians at large feel like banning at any given time. Perhaps we will see a call for bans on “assault pistols” in the next decade or two? Now more food for thought:
In particular I think the fact highlighted at 1:45 in the video is pretty telling when it comes to calls for bans on magazines holding more than ten rounds. What is that supposed to accomplish given that a two-second delay is meaningless for someone who need not worry about other people shooting back?
And last but not least, we have the issue of just how lethal these “assault” weapons (whatever that means at this point) actually are. This next video is dated but still makes an important point…
…that important point is the fact that the cartridge used by the firearm in question is more relevant to it’s firepower than the actual gun itself. In any shooting that involves victims within a confined room it makes little difference if an AR-style firearm is used or a Glock 19. Shooters can easily hit vital organs at that such short distances if they are psychopathic enough to do so.
The common talking point that comes up from everyone in support of gun prohibition is that no one “needs” whatever these “assault” weapons are supposed to be. In that case, who defines need? Are we supposed to ban the ownership of everything but food and water or is this vague standard supposed to be used more arbitrarily?
Needless to say, these types of weapons are not the choice of criminals at large. As highlighted in one of the videos above, less than 2% of all crimes are committed with them. If anything this administration is simply trying to put another useless law on the books that affects millions of legitimate gun owners who are a risk to no one while doing nothing to save lives. Perhaps we should focus on drone control instead?