Crime

How Do We Know an 'Assault Weapon' Ban Would Not Have Stopped Adam Lanza? Because It Didn't.

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Although Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has prompted renewed calls for reinstating the federal "assault weapon" ban, we know for a fact that such a law would not have stopped Adam Lanza or made his attack less deadly, because it didn't. The rifle he used, a .223-caliber Bushmaster M4 carbine, was legal under Connecticut's "assault weapon" ban, which is similar to the federal law that expired in 2004. Both laws, in addition to listing specifically prohibited models, cover semiautomatic rifles that accept detachable magazines and have at least two out of five features: 1) a folding or telescoping stock, 2) a pistol grip, 3) a bayonet mount, 4) a grenade launcher, and 5) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor. The configuration of the rifle used by Lanza, which his mother legally purchased and possessed in Connecticut, evidently was not covered by that definition. A Huffington Post article blames "loopholes": 

Some gun-control advocates have voiced concerns that companies like Bushmaster are able to exploit loopholes in state versions of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which outlawed the sale of 19 types of military-style assault rifles. At the time, weapons like the Uzi and the Mac 10 were widely used in inner-city gang crime. The federal law lapsed in 2004 but many states have passed their own bans in the interim.

The loopholes in the law are evident in Connecticut, which has a state assault weapons ban modeled closely on the lapsed 1994 federal ban, said Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The Connecticut law bans certain assault weapon models that combine multiple features, such as a pistol grip and a barrel shroud, which increase a gun's lethality.

"What's happened is the gun makers figured out how to take their existing assault weapon models, modify them just a bit and bam, they can sell," Everitt said. "If it has a grenade launcher and barrel shroud, you take the grenade launcher off and then you can sell it. If it has a pistol grip and some other banned feature, you drop one of them."

What may be needed is a longer list of banned or forbidden gun models and single gun features that would render more assault weapons illegal to sell, Everitt said.

But the term assault weapon was invented by the anti-gun lobby as a way of blurring the distinction between military-style semiautomatics, which fire once per trigger pull, and selective-fire assault rifles, which can be set to fire continuously (a distinction that President Obama, who wants to bring back the "assault weapon" ban, either does not grasp or deliberately obscures). Since that neologism has no meaning independent of the laws that define it, there is little sense in saying the laws should be changed to cover more "assault weapons." Guns are not "assault weapons" until legislators arbitrarily decide they are.

Speaking of which, a bill introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) takes the approach suggested by Ladd Everitt, making any one of those five features, plus a detachable magazine, enough to qualify a rifle as an "assault weapon." Her legislation also prohibits the transfer of "any assault weapon with a large capacity ammunition feeding device," but (like the earlier ban) it apparently does not apply to firearms produced before the bill takes effect. If it did, it would transform millions of law-abiding Americans into felons overnight. But since it doesn't, it would not have much of an impact on the types of guns available to murderous lunatics, even assuming that any of the features singled out by McCarthy makes a practical difference in mass shootings.

New York Times reporter Erica Goode notes that the rifle used by Lanza is modeled after the Colt AR-15, a civilian version of the M16, and that guns of this type are "the most popular rifle in America," with an estimated 3.3 million to 3.5 million sold since 1986. According to a 2011 survey of gun dealers by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 49 percent of AR-15-style rifles were purchased for target shooting, 23 percent for hunting, and 28 percent for personal protection. These supposed "weapons of war" clearly have legitimate uses, which far outnumber criminal ones. Goode notes that rifles of any kind were used in less than 3 percent of homicides last year.

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  1. The most dangerous weapon in a small area like a theater or a class room is a shotgun. There is only one level of dead. If your plan is to just kill unarmed people, a lot of weapons will do the job.

    1. Then we need to close the shotgun loophole. Why would anyone need a gun that launches up to 15 9mm bullets with a single pull of the trigger?

      1. Why would anyone need a gun that launches up to 15 9mm bullets with a single pull of the trigger?

        Now you’re just making shit up.

        1. What projectiles does a 3″ 12 gauge OO shell contain?

          1. I had to look it up, more like 15 .33 caliber round lead balls.

            1. I’ll spot you the 5/100ths of an inch.

            2. First, Lead pellets and 9mm bullets are two completely different things.

              Second, in answer to you question (Why would anyone need a gun that launches up to 15 9mm bullets with a single pull of the trigger?): To kill people. Whether you like it or not, killing people is what guns are for.

              1. They aren’t that different. The pellets in 00 buck are .32 in diameter, weigh ~54 grains, and leave the muzzle at around 1300 fps. A typical 9 mm bullet is .356 (?) in diameter and weighs anywhere from 100 to 147 grains, and leaves the muzzle anywhere from 1000 to 1400 fps, depending on weight, barrel length, etc… From the stats, you’d expect the kinetic energy of each pellet of buck to have 1/2 to 1/3 rd that of the 9mm bullet. So, it’s an exaggeration to say that 15 9mm bullets are being launched with each pull of the trigger. But not much of one, and if SIV’d written .32 bullets instead of 9mm, he’d be awfully close to being right.

                There are many things people do with guns besides kill people. Frankly, statements like, “killing people is what guns are for,” are trollish and ignorant, not that we lack either in this forum. I’ve never killed or even threatened anyone with a firearm, yet have used guns throughout my life. Even the 00 buck load we’re discussing, was originally meant for hunting deer, hence the name. It sucks at that, which is why people went to rifled slugs instead, but it had a hunting use.

                1. Just to elaborate on why anyone would need a shot gun, its decent home protection especially for those who aren’t all that gun savvy. I was taught as a teen that if anything ever happened, to lay on the floor and aim for legs. With buckshot its pretty much a guaranteed hit regardless of how tight/loose the spray pattern is.

                  Never needed them, wouldn’t even know they’re there. Once every 6 months or so we’ll clean them and maybe once every 2 we’ll go out to a range and shoot them off.

                  In this area, there are home invasions. Another reason some people have them is for hunting (buck shot).

      2. And will no one think of the *birds*?!

    2. They’re probably going to come after semiautomatic shotguns too. Those Saiga shotguns with the drum magazine in particular.

      The biggest “drawback” of an ordinary shotgun for a school shooter is the low capacity. (thankfully)

      1. Given the choice, I’d take being in an enclosed environment with a maniac with a beta mag over one with a ammo-tube-expanded remington 870 with 9 rounds of 3″ 00 buckshot.

        1. Particularly since many large magazines have the bad habit of jamming, per Loughner. How’s reliability on drum-fed Saigas?

      2. Drum fed shotguns are already heavily controlled. Remember that the NFA classifies any device with a bore of more than half an inch as a destructive device. There is an exception for “sporting shotguns”, but the precent is pretty clear that shotguns with drum magazines aren’t covered by it.

    3. No, there’s dead and mostly dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.

      1. Is that to go through their clothes and look for loose change?

        1. After a moment of silence.

          And, yes, there is a difference between being clinically dead (your heart stops) and being biologically dead (your brain stops).

          1. You are only dead when you are never going to be alive again.

      2. Have Andre The Giant carry you around?

  2. The Connecticut law bans certain assault weapon models that combine multiple features, such as a pistol grip and a barrel shroud, which increase a gun’s lethality.

    Fuckin’ magic those barrel shrouds.

    1. Yeah, that was a ‘wait, what!?’ moment for me. Further proof that the people who want to ban something generally know the least about it.

      1. “Shroud”. Sounds scary. Isn’t that what *mummies* are wrapped in?

        1. No, those were bandages. You’re thinking about Jesus, The Shroud of Turin.

          Barrel Shroud of Turin! WWJGD? What Would Jesus Gun Do?

          1. Never run out of fishes ammo?

          2. Jesus wasn’t a mummy?

      2. Not to mention the “bayonet lug” distinction.

        1. Are “grenade launchers” legal? Are the grenades that go in them? Has anyone in the US ever committed a crime with a grenade launcher? Or is that part of the assault weapons ban just another example of paranoia and hallucination on the part of gun controllers?

          1. The satndard military grenade launchers and grenades are 40mm. I believe that civilians can purchase a 37mm version that shoots flares, smoke grenades, etc. I may be wrong, those may be LE only but I don’t think that’s the case. I think some LE use 37mm flash bang grenades with those launchers.

            1. standard

            2. I think they mean “go over the end of the barrel and fire a blank (or catch a bullet if it’s one of the newer ones) to make it go” rifle grenades, not necessarily what will go in an M203.

              So, realistically, it’s a completely pointless objection. I don’t know if any companies in North America make them (I think the Europeans might, at least they used to) since the 40mm is much more effective. In any case, they’re practically unavailable in this country, they can’t be aimed all that well and they would bring even more law enforcement heat than just using a scary looking rifle to shoot someone. BATFE and the FBI would go crazy if someone started using rifle grenades.

    2. The popular pro-choice line about how if you’re not a man you aren’t allowed to have an opinion on abortion is really stupid, but it would be significantly less so for the pro-RKBA crowd to say that if you actually believe something this stupid, you have no business having any opinion at all on gun control.

      1. Yeah, that was a WHAT. THE. FUCK. moment for me, too. ‘Bayonet lugs! We have to do something to stop the bayonettings going on in our society!’

      2. How is that pro-choice perspective stupid? I don’t think many people would actually say “you aren’t allowed to have an opinion.” That strikes me as a straw man.

        There’s a difference between having an opinion, and commanding people (who are in a situation you could, by definition, never be) what they must do or not do.

    3. Someone’s gonna have to explain to me how either of those features increase lethality.

      1. It’s simple, Adam. They increase scariness, and hence lethality.

    4. Don’t they make it easier to fire faster without overheating the barrel?

      Not that a school shooter would care about ruining his barrel.

      1. Referring to the shroud, not the grip.

        1. Towelie has a solution for the lack of a “shroud”…we used to wrap the barrel in a….TOWEL! This when we’d go on our “get rid of all the old ammo as fast as we can” shooting sprees in the sand pits. The barrels got fucking HOT.

          No “shroud”? Bed, Bath and Beyond has you covered.

          PS So make sure you ban towels, too.

          1. No officer, this is not an assault weapon. I just stored it in a laundry hamper and the towel got stuck on it.

          2. which reminds me, a wet towel is even better which gets me thinking of making a radiator for my gun instead of a shroud. I’ll make millions.

      2. No, they’re merely a safety device to prevent the operator from getting burns.

        And it really, really doesn’t take much to get a barrel hot enough to give you first degree burns. I’ve done it with a bolt action, which have one of the slowest fire rates of any repeating rifle.

        1. Ah, I see. There’s some other sort of barrel mod which prevents overheating, isn’t there?

          1. Hand guards, both plastic and wooden, have been used for a long time.

            You may be thinking of fluting, though, which is only marginally about preventing overheating (the extra surface area it provides does allow heat to dissipate faster, but not that much). It’s more to reduce weight while still keeping the barrel rigid, which prevents inaccuracy as the barrel heats up. The barrel can still become very hot to the touch.

            1. Also, some of the older machine guns were water-cooled. You don’t really see that anymore, though.

              1. Firing from an open bolt, a la early blowback SMGs, might help cut heat down too. I wonder if it was done to help prevent cooking off?

                However, the practical reality is, if you’re using a machine gun, the barrel’s going to get hot, and you’re going to need to eventually change it, if you want to hit anything far away. I wonder how they do it on tank mounted machine guns, like the coax M240, that fire a gazillion number of rounds, yet I don’t believe have the ability to change barrels during operation?

                1. I’d imagine that the coax M240 has SOME mechanism in place. Also, when you have a great big 150mm gun to use sitting right next to it, as well as a .50 and another M240 up to, it probably isn’t used all that often.

                  Open bolts do help prevent cook-offs. They’re also much easier to make, having a fixed firing pin and a much simpler mechanism. It’s why you don’t see semi-auto open bolts anymore; the ATF disallowed them because they’re relatively simple to convert to full auto.

                  1. *up top

                    1. *some mechanism in place to change barrels. An edit button, an edit button, my kingdom for an edit button.

                  2. My friend has an SKS which sometimes converts itself into a full auto when the firing pin gets stuck. So we don’t use the 30 rd magazine too often with that.

                    1. Better get that fixed. ATF might decide you made it go full auto on purpose. They did that to a guy a couple years ago.

          2. That’s called a barrel-jacket which is full of water :-P… you may recognize them from pictures of an old heavy machine gun from WWI.

      3. You have to be throwing some serious lead overheat your barrell to damage point. Far more than any of these mass shootings did.

      4. Any barrel gets too hot to handle with bare hands, a hot barrel isn’t overheating.

        And it’s not overheating the barrel that’s the problem, it’s when the chamber is so hot the gun becomes a true automatic 🙂 To dispose of excess heat, you can either pass air over the barrel, or use a thicker barrel. The thicker barrel works has a larger surface area for radiative and convective cooling.

        A simple example is the M2 .50 cal on a helicopter vs. the M2HB (heavy barrel) on ground vehicles; the aircraft’s guns can have a lighter barrel because of better airflow.

    5. The Connecticut law bans certain assault weapon models that combine multiple features, such as a pistol grip and a barrel shroud, which…

      …”make guns look ‘scary’ to ignoramuses, so when politicians ‘ban’ these things, they leave the impression amongst their idiotic citizenry that they’ve done something substantive and meaningful when in fact all they’ve done is dress up the same old guns in less ergonomic furniture…”

    6. According to a speech I saw Diane Feinstein give during the origianal AW ban debate, the pistol grip makes the rifle more lethel because it makes it easier to fire from the hip, because everyone knows that firing from the hip is much more lethel that you know using the god damn sights. Interesting fact, I’m not even sure that is the dumbest thing Diane Feinstein has ever said.

    7. Well, there is a secret “built-in” pistol in the pistol grip which makes it doubleplus lethal … or did Big Brother not tell you of this yet?

  3. I’m not a big gun guy, but I’ve started going to the range in the past year. I shoot pistols and sometimes a shotgun. I’ve never shot a rifle (except a .22, as a kid). This article says the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. Question to the commentariat: is the AR-15 an acceptable gun for hunting? I was looking at getting a rifle, but figured a bolt-action rifle (a la Deer Hunter) was more appropriate. But the AR-15 is pretty cool looking.

    1. Yeah. They make a nasty wound. Most people I know who deer hunt use a .270. That is sort of the classic deer rifle. It depends a bit on where you live. In the South the deer are not very big. The further north you go the bigger they get. So if you are in Minnesota or maybe in the Rockies were you could go Elk hunting as well, you might want something bigger. I don’t see why an AR 15 wouldn’t take down a deer at up to 300 meters.

      1. I would think a self-confessed ‘not a big gun guy’ might want to start with something heavier, especially if you are out west.

        Here in Georgia, the .223 is legal and suitable, but where I live, I can hunt deer from my back porch with a rock. I don’t even have to throw the rock, I just wait for a deer to stroll by and I can thump ’em upside the head.

        1. I live in urban Washington DC and could hunt deer with a ball bat. They are just pests these days.

          And yeah, unless you are one hell of a shot, better just to get the trusty .270 or maybe a 30/30 if you are somewhere where there is a lot of brush.

          1. They walk down the middle of my street in Fairfax w/ impunity. i’m next to a park, but still.

            and this devolves rapidly into the neighborhood fighting over what to do about. Birth control, bow hunts, nothing. last year there was a carcass for a few weeks on the side of the main road that the neighborhood is next to. had to be hit by a car, and it was weeks before the county or VDOT got around to it. somebody’s going to hit one and get killed.

            1. You’re going to pay for does to have birth control but not Sandra Fluke?

              1. not me. but my neighbors apparently would sign up for that.

              2. If I could do so by shooting her with a sterilant capsule, I might consider it.

        2. I’ve noticed that there are a LOT fewer squirrels in Pittsburgh these days compared to when I moved here a few years ago. I have a theory to explain it but it’s fairly sad if true.

          1. My guess would be the rise of the urban fox. You see foxes and coyotes in places where you didn’t used to. And they eat squirrels.

            1. we have those too. and people, of course, feed them.

      2. Poke a decent hole in the vitals and yes a .223 caliber bullet will (eventually) kill a deer.

        But possibly not before the deer has run off a hundred or so yards and hunkered down in a thicket where you will never find it. The crows and coyotes will thank you later though.

        A .223 bullet is also relatively light, so will exhibit a fair amount of bullet drop, and also drift if wind is present. Being of smaller mass it also more rapidly loses kinetic energy when compared with a heavier projectile launched at similar initial energy level.

        In other words, it is ok for wounding humans at intermediate to long range, but not reliable for rapidly killing a deer – which is physically tougher than you or I will ever be.

        Works great on anything coyote sized or smaller. Many States specify minimum legal caliber for use on big game, and often .223 does not meet the requirement.

    2. Check your state laws. The rules on what you can hunt with vary so strangely from state to state I hesitate to make any blanket pronouncements.

      Oh, wait, you’re in Cali, aren’t you? Then you can only buy some bastardized fucked up version of an AR, anyway.

      1. Yeah in Ohio I dont think you can use a rifle at all for deer except for muzzleloaders. Shotgun and handgun. I think in some states you have to be at .30 so a 223 would not be sufficient. I think for hunting most people consider 223 to be a varmit gun.

        1. What could the reasoning be for the ban on rifles for deer?

          1. Very urbanized environment, Zeb. If you miss with a modern center-fire rifle, the bullet’s still going to several miles if it doesn’t hit anything along the way. This annoys the neighbors.

            Buckshot or a blunt rifled slug or muzzle loader ball/Minie ball, won’t go as far. (A mile or so, IIRC) Plus, it’s not like you’re taking that many 300 yd shots on deer (for which you would like the flatting-shooting calibers) in Ohio.

            1. Exactly. Ohio is flat and highly populated so they’re worries about over travel on a miss.

            2. Note: this also applies to using any kind of rifle for self-defense in an urban environment. Any typical hunting rifle will shoot through many types of wall in your neighborhood.

              1. Oddly, properly chosen examples of 5.56 ammunition will actually penetrate less than many handgun bullets. Your point is true for most hunting bullets, however. And it’s a good rule of thumb that anything that will penetrate enough in an assailant to stop them, will also zip right through multiple walls of your home and the home next door.

    3. If you want to hunt FIRST GRADERS!

      They are quite popular for varmint shooting.

    4. The average weight of a deer is two hundred pounds. Don’t see why something that is lethal to a two hundred pound human couldn’t take down a two hundred pound deer.

      1. I would prefer a .30-06 or .308 over the .223, though.

      2. There is a concern about clean kills, I think. Plus there are a lot of old school hunting folks who really do think that they can trade away the rights of people like me and the gun grabbers will let them keep their deer rifles and bird guns.

        We call them Fudds.

      3. I’ve heard that ungulates have a “sturdier build” than humans, unrelated to weight.

        1. Cows maybe. Deer are slender.

        2. I think it’s more that the human nervous system is more susceptible to shock, especially from loss of blood.

      4. The M-16/M-4 family is designed to wound rather than kill. A wounded enemy hurts morale and ties up enemy resources.

        1. The M-16/M-4 family is designed to wound rather than kill. A wounded enemy hurts morale and ties up enemy resources.

          This is not true.

        2. How? Is this more of the “tumbling” bullshit?

          Somehow, after six years in the army and I don’t know how many ranges, every time I’ve fired at a target (and, of course, looking at the targets of everyone else), the holes have been a simple little circle. If the bullets were somehow “wobbling” or “tumbling,” you’d think just *once* I would have seen a non-circular hole.

          The M16 / M4 use standard 5.56 x 45mm NATO rounds, and the US issues M855 “ball” rounds that have a hardened steel tip. Being designed for lightly armored targets, against flesh and bone, the M855 over-penetrates, that is, it tends to go straight through the target.

          I’m pretty sure that it’s getting a fucking hole in you that causes wounds and hurts your morale, but then I’m not a conspiracy theorist.

          1. I’m no expert, but my understanding is that given high enough velocity (first few hundred feet of flight) the slug will tumble after it enters flesh. My days of hunting with .223 were long enough ago that I don’t recall what the wounds looked like.

      5. Go to the nearest mall and latch on to the next 200 pound human you meet.

        Now go try that with a deer.

        You’ll figure it out quickly.

    5. Anybody else ever watch that show on Discovery, Yukon Men?

      http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/yukon-men

      The beaver trapper guy, he always seems to go hunting with an AR-15.

      I think he’s worried about bears too, though.

      1. Never seen it but “varmints” are fur bearing animals.

        1. I found video of him showing it.

          It looks like an old M-16, and that’s the gun I always see him carrying around. It seems to be his preferred gun for hunting throughout the show.

          Check it out.

          http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-sh…..ection.htm

          It has a 30 round clip. He says he has it sited for 250 yards.

          Obama would take it away from him because it’s an “assault weapon” for sure. And if you watch the show for any length of time, you figure out pretty quick that he’s probably the first guy you want as your next door neighbor.

          1. You said the four letter C word, Ken.

            No, not that one.

              1. aaaargh you said it again!

      2. A .223 against a bear? I wouldn’t bet my life on that.

        1. You’re probably right about that.

      3. If he is, a .223 is definitely not enough gun unless you have time to see the bear coming and put several holes in it.

    6. Get yourself a bolt action 30-06.

      1. Well a good reason to go 308 over 06 is the availabity of cheap ammo. Go to any gun show and you’ll find 308 ammo at every table. Not so with 06. You do pick up a little ballistic wise with N 06 but probably not signifiant for most shooter skill levels. If

    7. The answer to this is some knowledge about the 2nd Amendment.
      The AR-15 can be an effective varmit rifle and with a few changes it can be surprisingly accurate. On the other hand, it isn’t designed for hunting, but rather for the real reason for the 2nd Amendment.
      They are both designed for Dunphy and are a way of heeding Jefferson, Adams and others about the perils of tyranical givernment. Only then can you appreciate the value of the AR and AK style weapons, replete with bayonet lug, muzzle shroud AND APG launch fixture.

        1. What an awesome number!

    8. With the right ammunition (62gr. or heavier expanding bullets, not FMJ), it makes a fine deer rifle. I wouldn’t use it for out west hunting mulies, but for closer-range blacktail and whitetail deer hunting it works just fine.

      They also make good varmint rifles, particularly for coyote.

      1. This of course implies it’s chambered in .223/5.56 NATO.

        Get one chambered in 6.8SPC, or 6.5 Grendel, both of which are designed to have a bit more power and longer range, and they’ll work just fine for any deer hunting.

    9. Okay, now you’re on the list.

    10. Question to the commentariat: is the AR-15 an acceptable gun for hunting?

      A .223 is, IMO, on the very low end of an acceptable caliber for deer hunting. An AR-15 can be plenty accurate, and you’d have to check state law on calibers, magazines, etc., but sure, why not?

      I wouldn’t use it, but if you want to, hey, who am I to say no to somebody with an assault rifle?

    11. I wouldn’t use a .223 on deer. Doesn’t mean that people don’t, and that it’s worked for them, but I find the round to be marginal for a clean one shot kill. If you are going to use a .223 where legal, I’d recommend premium, heavy bullets, 77 grain if your barrel can spin them, and keep shots close. The minimum I’d suggest using on deer though would be something in the 6mm or .243 Winchester range.

      Deer, for what it’s worth, are going to be built more heavily than your average, non-NFL player, merely because of the rigors of their life. It takes more penetration therefore, to get through the deer than it does a person, particularly if you are shooting them at long range. The last thing I’d want when shooting a deer is the typically desired .223 bullet terminal behavior, where it breaks off at the cannelure, with accompanying poor weight retention and degraded penetration.

    12. I killed my first deer with an AR-15, but it was not a clean shot. I’d take a bolt-action 30-06 over that thing any day.

      It is pretty sweet looking, though.

    13. I used to deer hunt with a Mini-14 (.223). It worked fine, but I’d still recommend something larger – 30-06 is about right.

  4. “Since that neologism has no meaning independent of the laws that define it, there is little sense in saying the laws should be changed to cover more “assault weapons.”

    It’s just like after 9/11 and the anthrax attack.

    The solution to the anthrax attack was invading Iraq or whatever it was the Bush Administration already had in mind anyway.

    Obama is using “assault weapons” here like Bush used “WMD”.

    That is all.

    1. So does this mean we have to invade Iraq again?

      Shit!

      1. this time it will be different!

        1. But it’s always a bait and switch.

          Wasn’t it Rahm Emmanuel who said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”?

  5. Assault Scary looking weapons ban

    ftfy

    1. How could anybody be against banning “assault” weapons?

      And how could anybody be “anti-Life” or “anti-Choice”?

      It’s all marketing. And calling them “assault weapons” probably just makes them all that more attractive to crazies, too.

      1. Equaaaaaaaaaaaality!

      2. It’s all the fault of the Krauts. They called their assault rifle StG 44, which is literally (!) Sturmgewehr 44. i.e. “storm (or assault) rifle (model of 19)44”.

        1. Germans have all the best names for weapons. Anything in German sounds dangerous.

          Stuka!! Panzer! Stielhandgranate!!

          Also, fried chicken.

          1. Fallschirmj?ger — paratroopers. or literally parachute-hunter.

            1. So they’re the original “Jager Meisters”, amirite?

              1. No, “Jagers” or scouts/snipers have been around a lot longer.

        2. You know who named it the Sturmgewehr?

          Actually, does this mean we can Godwin all discussions of politicians designating things “assault weapons?”

    2. Every weapon should be required to have a picture of Hello Kitty on it.

      1. They should only sell these

        1. Nope — digital camo is scary, and will be illegal soon.

      2. Then we’d be accused of trying to market to children.

  6. I really think that a lot of people believe that “assault weapon” means machine gun.

    1. Nah, the definition is alot fuzzier than that. When asked they cant tell you what it means.

      1. Like all things liberal, it comes down to feelings. An assault weapon is one that makes them feel scared. They can’t say that because that would be honest, and lefties seem to have an aversion to honesty. So they try to codify what makes a gun look scary, and then call it an assault weapon because anyone who disagrees can be accused of supporting assault.

    2. That’s exactly what it means. Slate had hundreds of commenters saying that “semiautomatic” meant the AR-15 could fire 6 rounds per second.

      1. Yes, for sure. Assault weapon=machine gun=semiautomatic, with full commutative properties.

        1. I have a semiautomatic stapler sitting on my desk right now.

        1. Of course I am impressed, but I think I’m more amazed that he fried six, reloaded, and fired six more in 2.99 seconds.

          1. Oh, yes. Better ban speedloaders, too.

      2. It might be able to if a robot were operating it. I guess it depends on how much time it takes to extract and feed each cycle.

        1. The scare line for the theater shooting in Colorado was “200 rounds per minute!” which is a paltry 3.33 rounds per second. So they doubled it this time.

          It’s sort of like rape statistics. If the trend continues, in 5 years 120% of women will have been raped.

          1. in 5 years 120% of women will have been raped.

            That sounds like a challenge.

          2. You don’t expect to rape a woman only once.

            1. I thought all hetrosexual sex involved the rape of the woman.

              1. Occasionally it involves the rape of a man.

      3. That is why we are
        A society who is
        Especially doomed.

      4. What’s funny, is that 6 rds. per second isn’t all that fast for a practiced shooter with an AR. it certainly doesn’t take a machine gun.

        But yes, gun control advocates started using the term ‘assault weapon’ in a deliberate effort to confuse self-loading rifles with machine guns. Apart from being technically incorrect, it’s an attempt to argue in bad faith.

    3. Thanks. We’ve worked hard to make that dream a reality. – The New York Times

    4. I also think that due to movies and even gang documentaries, most people think that fully automatic weapons are used everyday in drive by shootings. The hood is full of fully automatic gunfire every night. I’ve talked to more than a couple people who thought me completely uninformed for not “admitting” that particular “fact”. They assume that it is common knowledge. It’s tough to argue with the average person because they think they’re informed on this stuff when in fact their just brainwashed. They know just enough to be dangerous. They think seeing a three minute news segment on some issue makes them an expert.

  7. It’s a testament to the stupidity of TEAM BLUE that they would allow a Carolyn McCarthy to speak in public! Looks and sounds just like the drunky drunk mick divorcee that all the high school kids in the neighborhood made fun of when I was in HS.

    Helpful Hint: Let Obama flog gun control he sounds less stupid than most of your first teamers.

  8. Has anyone heard a statement from the NRA on this?

    1. They are wisely keeping mum until the hysteria dies down and actual policy and legislation are on the table.

      1. That too.

    2. They’re wisely laying low for the most part until the smoke clears.

    3. I read today that they pulled down their Facebook page because they were getting so many negative comments. Laying low may be smart, but I don’t think this was a good marketing move for them.

      1. How is “laying low” smart?

        It would appear that the unspoken premise in such assertions is that it is dumb to stand up to the gun grabbers.

        1. I don’t know if it is smart. It’s not what I would do if I were them–but then again, neither are most of their strategies. I’m not a big fan of the NRA at all. But it is possible that not issuing a bunch of full-throated 2A defenses right now is smart. But I don’t think actively hiding the way they are by taking their Facebook page down can possibly be a good thing. It looks bad to supporters, detractors, and everyone in between, because it looks like hiding.

        2. You don’t fight the enemy on the enemy’s terms. Jumping into this “conversation” right now would be doing just that.

          1. I agree with the principle that one should not fight the enemy on the enemy’s terms; your application of the principle to the NRA or the Gun Owners of America or any other civil rights organization vehemently defending civil rights, does not compute.

      2. I really hate when NRA goes all pussy. This is why I refuse to join. My dad was a life member. Given what I find to be miscues, I just can’t give them my money.

        Gave to Mich Responsible Gun Owners instead. I know they’re just pressing gun rights.

        1. I’m about ready to stop giving to the NRA. Between their pussiness, their cop boner and their repeated fundraising calls and letters to me after I asked them to stop, I’ve had about enough.

          1. Taking down Facebook page = pussying out?

            1. I don’t know if that’s what Zeb was referring to, but it seems like a very bad decision. Makes them look craven and cowardly. Their response to criticism is to run away from the forum (thereby disappearing the criticism as well). It doesn’t look good.

              1. The NRA has no obligation to provide a forum for criticism of itself. If people were flooding my facebook page with derogatory comments about me I would feel no compunction about deleting them too.

                1. Well, it’s not about feeling compunction, it’s about marketing, and deleting comments critical of your brand is universally considered to be a social media marketing fail. I’m just talking social media 101 stuff here. If you can’t handle critical comments you shouldn’t be on Facebook to begin with; a huge aspect of the medium is losing control over your messaging. You have to be ready to deal with that in an active way because ignoring it or running away will not be perceived well.

          2. The National Association for Gun Rights’ Facebook page is still going…

            1. Yeah, I’m going to look into them and GOA. Some day when I have some money to spare.

          3. I stopped my NRA membership around 1980, when there was a voters’ guide in their magazine that had “yes” or “no” next to a candidates name for supporting the second ammendment. Next to all the Libertarian candidates they had “?”.

  9. No, an assault rifle ban would not have stopped the shooting. But it’s a reasonable start to deterring or perhaps even preventing future tragedies. And that’s all we want, reasonable regulations on these sorts of deadly instruments. The NRA even supports reasonable regulations, for Pete’s sake! ‘Reasonable regulations’, of course, always means ‘more regulations’, regardless of the current regulations and their lack of efficacy.

    Besides, calling for regulations demonstrates our commitment to caring, especially for the children, and isn’t it the thought that counts?

    1. But it’s a reasonable start to deterring or perhaps even preventing future tragedies.

      No it is not. It is not a start towards anything. If you are killing unarmed people in a theater or in a group, you can kill them just as easily with a handgun or a shotgun. So banning assault rifles would do nothing to prevent these tragedies.

      As usual your stupid is showing Patriot.

      1. JOHN! Why do you hate children???

      2. Am I seeing sarcasm where nobody else is? Reread the penultimate and final sentences (or maybe I’m wrong and he’s an idiot).

        1. I agree, AZ – I took his comments as /sarc

          1. How could they otherwise be taken?

        2. I read it as sarcasm too. And it is not Jersey Patriot, John.

        3. I realized the sarc halfway through. Up until ” ‘Reasonable regulations’, of course, always means ‘more regulations'”, I thought he was serious.

          1. As did I. I think we all learned something here, about the true spirit of Christmas.

      3. Even an effective ban on all guns wouldn’t work, because there are tens of millions of guns already out there. They’re going to have to go door to door confiscating them, like they did in New Orleans after Katrina, even though the good people there needed guns to protect themselves then especially.

      4. It is not a start towards anything.

        Sure it is. It’s a start toward banning all guns. For the mundanes, of course. Cops will still need BearCats with .50 cals to issue parking tickets. And not for government employees. Government employees, it should go without saying, are anything but mundane. They are our moral and intellectual superiors so they can be trusted with guns.

    2. Which is why many gun owners consider the NRA to be the biggest gun control organization in America.

      What part of “shall not be infringed” do people not understand?

      1. Pretty much “all of it”, from what I’ve seen.

      2. Well, given their fury at Citizens United, they struggle with the concept of freedom of the press too.

        Concepts are hard… emotions are easy.

      3. I prefer the Second Amendment Foundation. Ever since Wayne LaPierre said the NRA supports ‘reasonable’ gun laws and supported the Brady Bill. NRAwol explains why the NRA sucks.

        1. That group needs a spokesnarwhal.

      4. Kind of like “Congress shall make no law..”. It’s not that hard to understand.

  10. Any recommendations for a handgun? The last week has sort of fast-tracked my desire for a license and some protection.

    1. If you’ve never shot one before and are buying for personal protection I always recommend a J-frame .38 S&W.

      If it is strictly for the home, a shotgun.

      1. Personal. I’ve gone to the range with my gun-nut uncle a few times, and liked his .37 special, but I don’t know how practical that is.

        1. I think you mean 38 special?

          For the defensive carry gun you’re really going to have to handle a few to choose. The gun that feels right in my hand probably won’t in yours, and tbh that’s an absolute necessity. If you have a range nearby where they let you rent that’s probably a good idea.

          1. Herp-derp, yes that is what I meant; obviously, it’s been a while.

            1. If you liked the .38, you may want to consider a .357 revolver. They will also shot .38 ammo. The .357 gives you plenty of stopping power and you can practice with the cheaper .38 ammo. You’ll of course want to practice some with the .357 so you know how it feels. Revolvers are great first guns because they are simple to use and tend to be easier to shoot accurately by novices. You also don’t have to worry about jamming. Just keep it clean. Actully the .38 is a defensive round in itself so if you feel more comfortable shooting that round I say stick with it until your comfortable with the .357 loads. S&W makes a nice .45 caliber revolver as well. That’s a great self-defense round.

              1. Agreed with all points. One annoying thing is that the only “new” 357 revolvers available for less than $500 these days are either snubbies (rough for accuracy and recoil), single action (slow to use unless you practice a ton), or from iffy manufacturers like Rossi. If you want a new 4″ revolver from a good mfr in 357 you’re going to have to pay through the nose.

                You can get a used one for a decent price, but you have to snap them up quick and be careful about checking them out before purchase.

          2. You gotta handle them to find out what fits your hand.

            Ordered up a sweet little Sig carry gun (9mm) at lunch today. They had it one in .380, and it fit juuust right. They are crazy back-ordered, though; probably won’t get in until next month; apparently, there are zero (0) in stock at importers/distributors.

            Need to give some more thought to the home defense/”tactical” shotgun.

            1. RC, If you’re talking about the P938, and you’re right, the P238 is a sweet package, the local Academy’s in Houston have a few. Gander Mtn had a sale for the P238 with Rosewood grips, and light/laser for $619. Don’t know if the sale’s still going on. I can see the SAO operation being a little tough for a newbie but the P238 I played with shot great. I preferred it to the Kahr 380 we ended up getting, but she liked the Kahr, and she’s the one who’s going to be carrying and shooting the thing…

              Alack, try before you buy. Many ranges have demo days. Most will let you rent a pistol. If the purpose is carry, think about what you can conceal. Think also about reliability and one with a simple manual of arms. I love the baby Glocks—and am trying to get one—but the grips fit weird for a whole lot of people.

              1. If you’re talking about the P938,

                That’s it. Spaced on the model number.

                I may run by the Academy here to see if they have one in stock. I don’t want a laser on a carry gun, but I have no objection to rosewood grips.

                1. Get the gay one in rainbow titanium

            2. “You gotta handle them to find out what fits your hand.”

              I agree with this and you also want to see how it feels on your person. Shop holsters at the same time and try out the rig (holster & gun) wearing clothes you would normally wear out. If you’re not completety comforable with carrying it on your body you’ll be less likely to carry it very often. We can talk calibers all day but a .22 in your pocket beats a .45 sitting at home everytime.

            3. Beretta 84B, my sweet, sweet first pistol, 9mmK. No pistol has ever felt so good and natural in my hand. Double action, Pachmyar grips, doublestacked mag filled with 14 rounds of glazers or BAT, nylon tips don’t jam. It is my highest recommendation as a first pistol.

        2. Revolvers don’t jam and the user interface is really simple. .38sp is good enough for defense. You don’t want to fire a .357 mag indoors without ear protection and hope to hear anything anytime afterwards.

          1. The knock on revolvers is the low capacity and slower reloading. (there are people who are great with speedloaders and can load revolvers as fast as you can put a magazine in a semiauto, but that takes a long time to develop)

            It’s a tradeoff between reliability and capacity. Though modern semiautos from reputable mfrs are very reliable… you have to practice malfunction drills just in case.

            38 or 357 ammo is also significantly more expensive than 9mm.

            1. What ammo isn’t expensive anymore. It’s gotton ridiculas.

      2. No. Do not buy a J-frame anything for your first handgun.

        Small revolvers are difficult to shoot well and terrible to try and learn on.

        For a first pistol, I suggest either a mid-frame 4″ .38spl revolver (Ruger or S&W, no Taurus) or a service-size 9mm double-action automatic.

        Don’t forget to budget for a couple cases of ammo, and a day or two of professional training with a good instructor.

    2. .454 Casull. You’ll want to start with something tractable.

    3. If you’ve never shot a handgun before you should go with a .22 to learn how to use it properly. Less recoil and much, much cheaper ammo (cheaper guns too for the most part).

      Ruger Mk II/Mk III are good, S&W 22A is good, Beretta U22 Neos is good, Browning Buckmark is good. There are probably others that are good. Also Ruger has a bunch of .22s that are in the style of their larger caliber guns, like the LCR22 and SR22.

      1. I don’t think so. I’ve read lots of newspaper articles of gang fights where guys were shot like six or seven times with a .22 and survived. If someone is threatening your wife and kids, you want to put him down with the first shot.

        1. Oh, I should be clear. I didn’t mean you should use the 22 for defense, just to learn how to use a handgun properly, and for cheap practice purposes after you’ve learned. The 22 can kill but won’t reliably stop an attack, which is the goal in a self defense situation.

    4. Agree with Tulpa about having a .22 to learn with. I learned on Colt Challenger semi auto and a Frontier six shooter – GREAT guns.

      Peronally, I have a Glock 17 9mm that I LOVE (it always goes BANG with any kind of ammo) and just picked up a S&W 686 5″ barrel (special model) in .357 Mag/.38 Special. Great wheelgun.

      Recommend finding a range that will rent you a variety of guns – then you can try them and see what you like. That’s how I ended up with both the Glock and S&W (rented them, loved them, bought them).

      1. I second the Glock love here. I own three of them, a 17 and two model 22s. They are inexpensive and reliable.

        Might not be best for concealed carry though because they are a bit large. If I were going to engage in a gun fight (handguns) I would use a Glock model 22.

  11. New York Times reporter Erica Goode notes that the rifle used by Lanza is modeled after the Colt AR-15, a civilian version of the M16, and that guns of this type are “the most popular rifle in America,” with an estimated 3.3 million to 3.5 million sold since 1986.

    I can’t believe that this “type” is more widespread than .22 rifles. Or bolt action .30x caliber rifles either, for that matter.

    1. Ruger 10/22

      Number built over 5 million

      (Granted, it may be not all were sold in the US, but still…)

      1. Isn’t it a law that everyone has to have a Honda 50 (or borrow one from the enighbor kid) and a 10-.22? I believe our 10-,22 has to be about 40 years old – still shoots like a champ. Great gun.

        1. The new Takedown 10/22s are the shit. The thing disassembles in 5 seconds and reassembles just as quickly, and fits in a backpack. I was going to sell my old 10/22 until this stuff happened.

          1. Yeah – I saw those advertised somewhere. Purty cool

          2. Any thoughts on the .17 HMR?

            1. I have no experience with it. I know some people who love it though.

              The ammo is more expensive than 22LR, I think.

              1. I’m on the fence between the 10/22 takedown and the 77/17. I hear great things about the .17 HMR, but it’s hard to beat super cheap ammo. Unless I get a great deal, I’m probably going to have to take whatever 22 rifle I can afford, though

                I’ve mostly borrowed guns in the past, but I really need something of my own so I can hunt enough small game to stay off food stamps, which pretty much makes me a living nightmare for the Dems.

        2. Yeah Honda 50, 3.5 hp open kart, a 10/22 when you are 12 and Red Rider around 8. Problem is everyone hands down the Red Rider and 10/22 for 35 generations because they last forever, people go out and buy a new AR just because 🙂

    2. Your categories include many different “types”. I’d guess the AR-15 is the most popular civilian centerfire rifle of the last few deacdes

      1. Yeah, I’m not sure what they mean by type. They probably aren’t sure either.

        1. I’ve read this in the gun magazines, too – I believe it’s that “AR style” rifles constitute the most new-gun annual sales in the US, regardless of caliber.

          That’s how I understand it.

          1. Yes, there’s a big difference between “most popular” and “majority” which I’m sure the NYT is happy to blur. It’s more a result of there being many more variations on other kinds of rifles.

  12. The worst thing I’m reading from comments online elsewhere–well, pretty much everywhere else online…

    Is the argument that the Second Amendment only applies to a state militia. I’ll admit to being biased on this, but when I read the text:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    The way I read that statement, it’s much more radical than anybody in the mainstream reads it. I think it’s saying that people have a right to bear arms because they have a right to organize themselves into a militia and overthrow the government when necessary–and that right is vital to the security of a free state.

    1. Re: Ken Shultz,

      I think it’s saying that people have a right to bear arms because they have a right to organize themselves into a militia and overthrow the government when necessary–and that right is vital to the security of a free state.

      You get the cigar, sir.

      That is exactly the way it is written: BECAUSE people need to practice shooting and drilling to be a better militia that can keep the state (the LOCAL state) free, THEN the right to keep and bear arms is to be protected.

      1. Yeah, the word “regulated” is used in the sense of “regular”.

        For evidence of that use of the word, see Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper #29, which I’ll quote:

        “To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.”

        “This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”

        http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_29.html

        So, the way I read this, there are two points:

        1) “Well-regulated” means they know how to use their guns.

        2) The concern is the ability of everyday people to be able to defend their rights against an intruding army of the federal government.

    2. It’s also against SCOTUS precedent.

    3. Just remind them we’ve already hashed out this argument, and they lost. Both Heller and McDonald affirmed the individual right to own firearms.

      1. Honestly, after the individual mandate fail, I no longer have much faith in the courts to defend our rights.

        The Court has failed massively in the past (see Dred Scott), and I suppose it will fail again in the future.

        1. I’m not sure they’re stupid enough to try and overturn Heller. That would be a line in the sand that could quite literally cause an armed rebellion. Maybe if Obama packs the court, they’d be that stupid, but I don’t see the current court doing it, even after what Roberts did.

          1. Honestly, I was of age during the militia movement of the early ’90s, and I think we’d need to see something like that again before we got to armed insurrection.

            I’m not sure people are as assertive about their rights as they used to be. …especially the younger generation now.

            Obama has already pushed pretty hard, and the biggest reaction we got was the Tea Party. That’s basically fizzled now. I don’t know how we get to more radical than the Tea Party from where we are now.

            Trying to take our guns away might do it, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I guess I’ve lost a lot of faith in my fellow Americans over the past 11 years, too.

          2. They wouldn’t have to – they can regular interstate commerce and that is how they would handle any bans. By far the easiest end-run around the 2nd amendment.

        2. You guys are again blowing the individual mandate thing out of proportion.

          Roberts’ decision was not nearly as bad as it could have been. It didn’t expand the commerce clause at all, which was the real danger. Read the liberal wing’s concurrence.

          And of course that case wasn’t a civil rights issue.

          1. Roberts’ decision was not nearly as bad as it could have been.

            In some ways, it was worse.

            It enshrined a new level of extreme judicial deference, arrogated the authority to amend statutes to SCOTUS when necessary to make them Constitutional, and mapped out a way for Congress to do anything it wants just by attaching a penalty collected by the IRS to it.

            Was it worse than the concurrence? Maybe.

            1. mapped out a way for Congress to do anything it wants just by attaching a penalty collected by the IRS to it.

              Aside from violations of the Bill of Rights, that was already the case before the decision. Hence the tax stamps on NFA weapons (1934), the original marijuana tax (1914), etc. That was hardly an innovation, indeed it was the usual way of doing business for Congress before Wickard made it largely superfluous.

              No one denies that if Congress had simply called the mandate a tax that it would have been totally constitutional.

          2. And of course that case wasn’t a civil rights issue.

            In what way was it not a civil rights issue?

            Im pretty sure slavery falls under civil rights.

      2. Those were before they had 20 dead children to prostitute for their own ends. You think the Nazgul don’t read newspapers?

    4. Here’s a good primer on the right to keep and bear arms.

      http://www.virginiainstitute.o….._const.php

    5. “Is the argument that the Second Amendment only applies to a state militia.

      1. Damn cutoff. Abridged version: “Yes, they like to ignore that pesky comma that comes after “free state”.

  13. First reports were inaccurate! Of course, the solution is to have robots monitor Twitter and delete offending comments.

    Problem solved!

    (I miss being able to parody these turds.)

    1. Orwell Bot! Summarize SugarFree’s link for me!

      Building a Better Truth Machine

      *Orwell Bot explodes*

  14. A government founded by the winners of the American Revolutionary War, and constrained by the Second Amendment, has no business banning ANY firearms of military usefulness. The whole point of the Second Amendment was to leave the people armed and able to resist government tyranny. It had nothing to do with armed self defense against ordinary criminals (although that is a basic human right which ought to be respected), or with hunting, or with target shooting, or with collecting.

    And infringing on the rights of the people to arm themselves, right after a stunning reminder that the world can be a dangerous place, shows a complete lack of respect for the safety and liberty of the citizens.

    1. DINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDING!

      You are, of course, correct sir. And well stated. Bravo.

  15. …the term assault weapon was invented by the anti-gun lobby as a way of blurring the distinction between military-style semiautomatics, which fire once per trigger pull, and selective-fire assault rifles, which can be set to fire continuously…

    One irony about this is that automatic fire is generally suppressive, not necessarily meant to hit anything, but to get people to keep their heads down.

    1. The term used by a Marine I know is “accuracy by volume”.

      When I said that made it sound like hitting anybody on full auto was basically a matter of luck, he agreed.

      1. Precisely why adjustments were made to the M-16 to incorporate 3 shot bursts, rather than full auto.

      2. Are you implying that Hollywood has been lying to us all these years?

        1. Nat at all, the one I was issued was full auto. Later iterations offered a selector that included the burst. This was done because full auto is a notorious waste of ammo, particularly a concern when you’re in a fix and who knows how long you have to make your supply last, and your adrenaline level short wires your brain.
          First weapon issued was an Ithica shotgun, particularly effective in an overgrown rubber plantation.

      3. Depending on the exact engagement, during the Vietnam conflict, U.S. forces expended an average of 20,000 to 100,000 rounds of ammo for every confirmed hit on an enemy combatant.

        In order to hit 27 people at that standard of accuracy, someone would need to fire at least 54,000 rounds of ammunition, and even then, most of the hits would only wound, not kill. Hope the spree killer brought a few wheelbarrows, because that weight of ammo is so far beyond man-portable it would make a good comedy movie scene to see someone trying to anyway.

  16. Contributor Sheldon Richman has a novel take on the 2nd amendment’s wording. He thinks it grammatically calls for the right of people to be armed in order to keep the militia well-regulated. That is, an unregulated militia (out of control, violating rights, etc.) can only be regulated if faced with armed citizens who can control its depredations.

    1. I believe that’s the same line of reasoning Penn Jillette proposes in the Bullshit episode that has been posted everywhere the past few days. It’s mistaken in its understanding of what a militia is, but it’s not wise to pick knits when the barbarians are at the gates.

      1. Nits. Edit functions are soooo 2002.

  17. The mother warned his baby sitter to never take your eyes off Adam. If so, why did his mother keep guns that her son could get at easily. Because of the stupidity of the mother now we should ban all hunting guns? And what semi-automatic hand guns, those too? Let’s point the finger at the proper target: the mother!

  18. Make all rifles illegal, he would have used a shotgun.

    Also, everyone remember, .223 is not “high powered” it is the weakest caliber allowed for deer hunting, most deer hunters use bigger guns. The next time someone describes it as high powered, try to slap the stupidity out of them. .223 is low powered, which makes it easy to shoot (less recoil, cheaper bullets), which is why it is popular.

  19. Also, UZI’s were not made illegal by the 1994 assault weapons ban, and they are not legal today now that it lapsed. Using them as an example is just a specious strawman. Like Obama when he brings up AK-47s, which are illegal already (actual AK-47s I mean, you can have a gun that looks like an AK-47 but is, functionally, just a .308 one bullet per trigger pull rifle. Of course aesthetics do not make a gun more dangerous).

  20. More people have been killed throughout history by the misapplication of knowledge found in books than by the misapplication of bullets.

    I propose (tongue firmly in cheek) that we pass a law banning any textbook or reference book that contains information that would allow a person to harm more than two other people at a time if they were to snap and use that knowledge to cause harm. We could allow exceptions to the rule for people who have documentation proving a military or business need to be educated in those topics, but if they ever lose the position of employment that authorized their exemption they will go onto a domestic terrorism watch list, complete with enhanced scrutiny every time they encounter a police officer or go through a TSA checkpoint.

    Just think, the USA could be a third world nation in a single generation.

  21. Switzerland has the lowest crime rate of any civilized country on earth.

    Do they allow guns in Switzerland?

    You betcha – EVERY home in Switzerland has a fully automatic machine gun and semi-automatic hand guns – every home.

    Why? Because they have a militia and not an army so if you are a male between 18 – 40 you are in the military and are required to keep your guns at home.

    Don’t believe me – then check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nf1OgV449g

    When a male turns 40 they leave the militia and keep their SIG 550, machine gun, which is returned to semi-automatic fire; to switch back to fully automatic requires a $59 conversion kit.

    The people of Switzerland are armed to the teeth with machine guns and they have little crime and they don’t go around murdering 6 year-olds- I wonder why????

    Friday was a MASSIVE failure of Obama Big Government – MASSIVE. Instead of Obama blaming a YouTube video he will blame guns for his failure.

    When are citizens going to hold Obama accountable for anything but assassinating OBL?

    We don’t need phony gun-control – we need insane-people control – lock them up……..

    1. When are citizens going to hold Obama accountable for anything but assassinating OBL?

      When Al Gore magically goes back in time and serves as President from 2000-’08, thus robbing them of their scapegoat and only argument.

  22. “But the term assault weapon was invented by the anti-gun lobby”

    This is completely false. The term comes from the German name “Sturmgewehr” or storm rifle developed in 1941. In this case storm has the meaning of assault. The American translation is most closely “assault rifle.” Mikhail Kalashnikov copied much of the mechanics of the German model for the AK-47 and the U.S. subsequently developed the M-16. Therefore, the term assault rifle is an original name that has been around since WWII. Further, it is clearly the “musket” of modern day society. The common and stardard weapon of our time. It is here to stay.

    1. OK, maybe in German the term exists but no English….

  23. For 2011 the FBI reports murders:

    323 with rifles
    496 with blunt objects – hammers, clubs, golf clubs
    728 with fists
    1,692 with knives

    And we need “Assault Weapon” laws?

    Hello……………………

    1. The numbers have been fairly consistent at about 9,500 gun murders per year, in the US. Please post your source. Here is mine. http://www.nationmaster.com/gr…..h-firearms

      1. I think you are missing the point.

        Anyway using your source it lists murders committed by youths as 8000 of the 9200+ murders. Let’s ban youths!

  24. For an article in “Reason” the logic in the article is faulty. The title is How Do We Know an ‘Assault Weapon’ Ban Would Not Have Stopped Adam Lanza? Because It Didn’t, but a more accurate title would be to substitute the word “the” for “an”. It is true that the previous bill, as written, may not have included the weapon used in this assault. That doesn’t mean the some bill couldn’t be written to include it. If a weapon was classified as illegal, many manufacturers would chose to stop making it. Sure, those in circulation would still be available to bad guys, but, through aging, supply and demand and natural attrition, assault weapons would become expensive and accessible only to wealthier criminals with more to lose. If a gun manufacturer were to lose a major market like the US, then they would probably, at least, reduce shifts or close down that production line. So, there is a possible bill that could have made a difference, just not the one as written.
    The second logical error is the acceptance of self reported usage of an item as actual usage.

  25. so, why not craft legislation where assault weapons has a meaningful definition, such as any semi-auto rifle with a mag of more than 5 or 15 rounds? (idk what exactly would make sense.)

    basically, you don’t need these for hunting and you don’t need them for protection. the only time i’m aware of where an ar-15 might’ve been necessary over a shotgun or handgun was the koreans in the LA Riots. should we really legislate towards the most anomalous breakdown of law and order in the last 50 years?

    and if anyone wants to make the “defense against tyranny argument”, i don’t think its entirely ridiculous, but I’d direct you here. http://www.economist.com/blogs…..gun-rights

    as for the whole criminals having guns things, so why disarm law abiders, i’d say two things: 1. its inextricably linked to the war on drugs; take away the huge illicit world where people with some money need protection, you’ll go a long way to solving the problem. 2. where do illegal guns come from? they start out legal, and go where the money is. so for (mostly) white people outside of the problem neighborhoods to wash their hands of crime and say that their guns keep them safe, they’re only seeing one side of the story their lobbying is writing. the same is doubly true for the violence in Mexico.

    feedback appreciated. am i wrong on any facts?

  26. We should definitely ban guns, because banning things makes them go away. It’s worked wonders with drugs and prostitution, and it was a tremendous success when we banned alcohol. Maybe we can ban poverty and sadness while we’re at it. Oh, and cancer – I’d like to see that go away. Heck, why don’t we ban death? Wow, now that I think of it, there’s lots of stuff we can ban that I don’t like – when are our leaders going to get on this?

    1. We need a ban on banning things!

  27. I’m living in Taiwan, where private ownership of guns is illegal. I’m not worried about not having a gun, partly because other people don’t have them and I can physically defend myself, but for the most part because the police can’t carry guns off-duty and the police here aren’t obnoxious assholes like back in the USSA. I think that sanity is a requirement for the job here.

    1. “I’m living in Taiwan, where private ownership of guns is illegal. I’m not worried about not having a gun, partly because other people don’t have them “

      I assume you mean BESIDES the Sex Slavers.

    2. If Taiwan wants to retake mainland China they might want to rethink their gun policy.

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