One 'Assault Weapon' Banner Says Barrel Shrouds Are Sometimes OK; Another Doesn't Know What They Are


The closer you look at the list of exempted firearms in the "assault weapon" ban that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced last week, the less sense it makes. To begin with, the list, which accounts for 95 of the bill's 121 pages, consists mostly of guns, such as bolt-action rifles and pump-action shotguns, that are not semiautomatic and therefore could not possibly qualify as "assault weapons" under Feinstein's definition. This part of the list is, as the National Rifle Association says, nothing but "window dressing" aimed at impressing us with Feinstein's generosity. It is like banning red cars with manual transmissions, then listing every car that is not banned because it is a different color or has an automatic transmission.

The list of exempted firearms does include some semiautomatic rifles that would otherwise be deemed "assault weapons" by Feinstein's criteria. The other day I noted that the Iver Johnson M-1 carbine is exempted as long as it does not have an adjustable stock, even though it has a barrel shroud, another one of Feinstein's forbidden features. More generally, Feinstein exempts all "M-1 Carbines with [a] standard fixed stock" (just one of the list's many redundancies). She also exempts Ruger Mini-14 models, as long as they have fixed stocks. That means she would allow the manufacture and sale of semiautomatic rifles that accept detachable magazines and have several of the "military characteristics" that are otherwise prohibited.

Leaving aside the fanciful "grenade launcher or rocket launcher," an M1 could have a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel, and a forward grip yet still be OK in Feinstein's book. It could even have the dreaded pistol grip with an after-market modification. The version of the Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rifle with an adjustable stock would be banned, but the other versions would remain legal, even though they have barrel shrouds. And if Ruger introduced a Mini-14 that looked like this but with a fixed stock, apparently that would be permitted as well.

Feinstein, for whatever reason, clearly does not like adjustable stocks. But since she implicitly concedes in her list of exempted firearms that barrel shrouds and the other proscribed features don't really matter, why include them in the definition of assault weapon? Even if you accept Feinstein's arbitrary distinctions based on functionally unimportant features, there is no apparent method to her madness.

Video bonus: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), who wants to ban barrel shrouds, admits to Tucker Carlson she does not know what they are.

That interview inspired this (via Robert Woolley):

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  1. gunz r scary

  2. Barrel shroud bonus: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), who wants to ban them, admits to Tucker Carlson she does not know what they are.

    “We have to ban them to know what they are!” (corollary of “We have to pass it to know what’s in it!”)

    1. She has a new hit video where she says professionals agree unanimously that women would be better off with a rifle for home defense instead of an AR-15. Guest-starring is Pers Morgan, who thinks women want to protect themselves with an AR-15 so they can murder their attackers.

      1. Who’s checking green cards around this place these days?

  3. There used to be bylines back when Postrel was editor?

    Feinstein doesn’t like adjustable stocks because they imply individuals ought to be able to control things without some third party (preferably the govt) telling them what to do. Adjust your stock today, decide government takes too much of your tax dollars tomorrow!

    1. I see “Jacob Sullum” right at the top under the headline…

  4. I love how people who have probably never even shot a gun in their life are tripping over themselves trying to articulate meaningful arguments about what should or shouldn’t be on a gun.

    That’s like asking someone who has never been on a boat in the ocean or a lake to start making laws about what safety features a boat should have.

    1. Meaningful arguments? So far all I’ve seen are irrational appeals to emotion.

      1. And you never will, seeing as all the arguments against these rifles is based in ignorance and emotion.

    2. Ideally, a boat should have a framework (preferably union made, fair trade) that reaches down to the lake or ocean bottom and holds up the boat. Lives are too precious to trust “buoyancy” to protect them.

      1. Likewise, we should not entrust the lives of our fellow citizens, our CHILDREN, to mere physics theories like Bernoulli’s Principle. No, we need FACTS to protect them, PROVEN facts, not theories!

        Therefore we must, for the sake of our children, extend the Framework Requirement legislation that protects our boats and waterways to the skies over our heads. From this day forwards, all aircraft will be required to have a framework that reaches from the aircraft to the ground, to support them in flight or they will be prohibited from use within the United States!

    3. Behold, the people that want to define what you “need” for self defense and limit you to that.

    4. “That’s like asking someone who has never been on a boat in the ocean or a lake to start making laws about what safety features a boat should have.”

      And that doesn’t stop them making stupid laws about boats either.

  5. Aah, some gun porn. Wonder if John and sarc will argue over which gun is more bangable

    1. Dammit, ifh. Now I have to go to the kitchen and get a new glass of water. And a new laptop.

      1. you stock new laptops in your kitchen pantry? You’re way cool

        1. Its those assholes who come in trying to convince you to switch to whatever the new Windows is.

          1. Now that makes sense. Like whichever “expert” decided that MS Word, designed for writers, needed a graphical interface.

    2. I don’t know about the guns, but I bet he’d bang Carolyn McCarthy.

      1. Goddammit! Back to kitchen…

        1. Stop drinking near H&R posts – its dangerous.

          1. Make that “drinking water or non-alcoholic beverages”.

            1. Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide!

      2. BANG? Your gun-nut rhetoric is hurtful.

  6. I love that clip, it tells you all you need to know about these petty hoplophobes.

    1. I love that clip

      Surely you mean magazine.

      1. You sonofabitch.

        1. Don’t you mean *ping*? (as in the sound a clip makes when ejected from an M1)

          1. Now you are just $hit-stirring!

          2. One ping only, Vasili.

            1. “….I would have liked… to have seen…. Montana…”

          3. The Garand is what started this whole mess by having people stuff the clip into the magazine, instead of just charging the mag from a clip and therefore keeping them fully separate and distinguishable.

      2. In honor of the portmanteau “penaltax”, I propose “clipazine”.

        1. There shall be no compromise.

      3. It’s a clip from a video magazine, therefore a magazine clip, and I think it’s a few bullets short of an assault.

      4. And don’t call him Shirley.

    2. It’s not a clip, it’s called a magazine! You obviously missed the giant pedant thread about it the other day.

      1. I made Randian’s iggy list on that one. Yay! One less asshole’s ad-homs and strawmen to deal with.

        1. I …I.. just couldn’t look away from that thread. I followed it all the way down.

          1. I could just picture Randian furiously googling up something to use as a defense. It was hilarious!

            1. I missed it, so I’m gonna start another. See below.


              1. You’re a day late and a dollar short. The moment is gone.

                1. Dangit.

                  See this is what you miss, being all productive and shit.

                  I need to work for the government, like John, then I could post hundreds of comments during the day.

              1. Oh jesus. Yeah, I remember.

                I made the same argument as I do here, but there weren’t all those posts then.

                Randian kinda lost it a bit there, didn’t he?

            2. Nah. You were just both being dicks.

              1. Just took a cursory glance, but I think both sides had good points, and the arguments over it are really part of the process of the evolution of language. People will decide for themselves what word/meaning changes are right/tolerable and what aren’t, and language will(or won’t) change accordingly. The argument you guys had is really just a(n ugly) part of that process.

                1. Personally, I think it matters and like to differentiate between clip and magazine (despite not knowing much about guns). Don’t want to argue over it though.

                  1. Look, even Hitler knew that they’re called magazines.

          2. It was excruciating, yet entertaining. Excrutitaining!

        2. As and aside, my 40th is this year too. I’m hoping that the odds are in my favor and my birthday isn’t the same day as yours.

          1. We’ll find out in six months and two days.

          2. Five I mean.

            1. Phew, you got me by a month.

              1. Let’s just say I blast off my fireworks a day early.

                1. I’ve heard they have creams for that now.

                2. to the disappointment of every women you’ve ever slept with

          3. Or six. It’s Friday. I can’t add.

      2. It may be pedantry to correct someone calling it a ‘clip’, but on the other hand, it’s a machine part. And as such has to have a standard, accepted name.

        Also, there is another part for firearms already called a clip.

        Would you want your mechanic ordering parts for your car using the accepted terminology, or with whatever slang Joe Biden calls them?

        1. Oh no, don’t try to pull me into your sick games.


            1. Fuck. That. I’m not some unbearable douche with the insane need to be right about everything.


                1. THEN WHY ARE YOU ON THE INTERNET?

                  I find myself driven by this sick need to experience the absolute worst of humanity. Like diving into a dumpster filled with month old puke.

              2. I’m not some unbearable douche with the insane need to be right about everything.

                I thought there was something different about you.

                This is a douches only site, sorry.

                1. This is a douches only site, sorry.

                  Yeah! We catch our flies with vinegar (and water)!

                  1. Jesus, your’e a cunt.

                    -Ken Schultz

                    1. What did Jesus ever do to Ken? True, his burritos aren’t very good, but his work with the shrubbery is exquisite.

          2. Does the clip vs. magazine argument fly in the same rarified air of pizza, circumcision, abortion, IP, Linux, the Civil War, immigration, and “blowback”?

            1. Pizza circumcision? What is that, peeling the crust off?

              1. Pizza circumcision? What is that, peeling the crust off?


            2. It goes with Pizza and circumcision (and maybe the Civil War), since it really doesn’t matter. The others sort of matter, even if it is pointless to argue about them.

              1. I want my pizza circumcised by legal immigrant Union soldiers who program in Linux, thus insuring no blowback!

                1. Oh god… yet another person who doesn’t understand the difference between insure and ensure.

                  I…. I’m just going to have to ignore everything else you say… ever, since obviously you are ignorant of the English language.

                2. Come on, dude. Any idiot knows that Linux is an operating system, not a programming language.

                  1. Linux is not an O/S… it’s a kernel.

                    1. Damnit. I’ve been out pedanted. I even thought of that. I guess the lesson is whenever being deliberately pedantic, don’t hold back.

                    2. At first, I thought being an asshole pedant would be fun, make me look cool to the other commenters, but now I just can’t stop! Everywhere I look, I see misplaced hyphens, the wrong homonyms and mislabeled objects. And… I … can’t… stop… pointing them out! /Sob

      3. So epic I wept in remembrance of the bitter glory from flame wars of years gone by.

        1. Best one ever, hands down was when someone said something like “there’s no I in team, but there is an m and an e”.

          This^ somehow aroused such semantic passions within the HnR community that the scars from the wounds of that battle persist to this day.

          What followed was over a hundred posts of some of the most vicious arguing I’ve seen.

          Can’t find the thread, but it was epic.

          I think it was john and heller as the main two, with other people chiming in.

          1. I don’t recall that one, but given the circumstances, I can see why bringing out the heavy artillery would have been necessary.

            1. I’m looking for it, but ever since the comment section redo I can’t find shit.

              1. but ever since the comment section redo I can’t find shit.

                Check your underwear.

            2. Because you are a fucking moron, that’s why!!!!!


              1. Check your privilege.

                I’m going to wally world to see if they have any ammo, dammit.

                Because I’m down to like 2000 rounds.

                Need something to load these damn clips with.

                1. Here you go!


          2. “Ain’t no ‘we,’ either” should’ve covered it.

      4. I’d like to take credit for lighting the fuse on that particular giant pedant thread.

        You’re welcome.

        1. You did internet asshattery a great service that day, R C. I salute you.

  7. We have to pass the ban to find out what’s not in it.

  8. They don’t care if the bill makes sense or not. All they care about is that the bill will establish a mechanism for the government to arbitrarily ban whichever guns they see fit. They’ll build on that in the future.

  9. She says, “I think it’s a shoulder thing that goes up.” Anyone know what she actually thinks she’s talking about?

    1. A strap maybe? Could be she’s talking about extendable stocks. I wouldn’t put it past her to not even know WHERE a barrel shroud would go.

    2. On a basic English comprehension level, it would also imply she doesn’t know what part of a gun the barrel is, or the meaning of the word “shroud”.

      1. It’s a thing with Jesus’ face on it.

        1. That’s only one particular shroud in Italy. A shroud in a general is a tool of the patriarchy to cover up wimmens.

      2. She could have at least tried “it’s a shroud that goes on the barrel.”

        1. “It takes the shroud off the barrel or it gets the Congressional hearings again.”

          1. Damnit, now I gotta clean my monitor off

          2. *golf clap* that was well done.

      3. “..she doesn’t know what part of a gun the barrel is, or the meaning of the word ‘shroud'”

        Exactly! All you need to know is contained in the term itself. It’s not like Tucker asked her to define a “bolt carrier” or “buffer tube”.

        1. I wonder if she was trying to figure ot out on the spot – connecting “barrel” as some kind of cylindrical shape with a “shroud” and all she could think of was “foreskin”. Then she just got flustered and jumped the track.

    3. “a shoulder thing” would have to be the buttstock or possibly a sling.

      Maybe she means an adjustable stock or a one-point sling? Not sure what she thinks either of those has to do with barrels or shrouds, but whatever.

      1. She makes this motion to along with the statement that makes it like…well, that could be a sling you’re talking about, but other than that, wtf?

    4. I gonna go with sling.

      The pantomime she makes looks like someone putting a gun on their shoulder using a sling.

    5. shoulder rest, maybe?


    6. Maybe she’s thinking of how the stock on a SPAS-12 works.

    7. I always figured she was thinking of pumping a shotgun; her hand movement implies it’s something she saw in a movie where the guy grabs a shotgun and racks it as he heads for action.

  10. I’m at a loss to imagine any reason why Fineswine objects to folding stocks or bayonet mounts. Neither of them makes any difference at all to how a weapon functions as a firearm.


    1. Because banning guns that have those things means that more guns get banned.

    2. Wait for it…Because fuck you, that’s why.

    3. Folding stocks figure into the Canadian definition of a ‘restricted’ firearm as well. I think the original justification was to thwart easily portable firearms (ie on the person), or some such. This is also why restricted firearms require Authorization to Transport form the RCMP.

      Yes, it’s really fucked up here.

      1. That’s not the only reason Canada is fucked up.

    4. Because the Japanese soldiers used bayonets and they were really scary in those old movies.

      1. They bayonetted Forrest Tucker’s Greek pal, making John Wayne kick his ever-lovin’ ass.

  11. “I believe it’s a shoulder thing that goes up…”

    Top. (Wo)Men.

    1. that would be a shrug, I believe.

  12. It seems like a basic grasp of the English language would have enabled her to buffalo enough of a mangled answer to please the MSNBC choir. A “shroud” means it must go around something, right? And she must know what the “barrel” is, right? Right? Oh God, please tell me this member of the Enlightened Ruling Class at least knows what part of a gun “the barrel” refers to.

    I mean, she couldn’t stammer out something like “It’s a device that goes around the barrel of a gun?” Just that probably would have made her seem like Gun Expert of the Year to half the lackwits who watch MSDNC.

    1. Sorry EDG, didn’t read the other comments first. I owe you a Coke (make it two since your comment was funnier, brevity being the soul of wit and all)

  13. I sure wish sponsors of bills had to sit in the hot seat and take questions about what they are trying to push through.

    “Senator Feinstein, could you tell us why you listed a number of bolt-action rifles in your list of exceptions to a ban on certain semi-automatic rifles?”

    “I’m sorry, maybe I should back up. Do you know the difference between a bolt-action and a semi-automatic rifle?”

    “Were you aware that every rifle stock is intended to provide a grip for the shooter’s hand? Since that is so, why do you classify every rifle stock as being a feature that justifies banning the weapon it is attached to?”

    Seriously, the hearings would go on for days.

    1. The rules would have to allow for questions by non-members though. Otherwise the Q&A sessions would consist of 1) grandstanding by questioner; 2) being real nice to the sponsor in hopes of getting similar return treatment; and 3) entirely misinformed questioning.

  14. Feinstein may not be able to describe an assault weapon, but she knows one when she sees one.

    1. Yeah sure. A 10/22 with a pistol grip plastic stock is an assault weapon and an M1 Garand isn’t.


        But a .22? EVEN DEADLIER

  15. At least NPR was relatively honest the other day when some report said they were hoping that the stirred up emotions in the wake of the school shooting might finally allow the gun grabbers to get their way.

    As in they admitted that it’s all about banning guns and capitalizing on emotions, and not about making people safe.

  16. In NJ, they did the exact opposite and explicitly banned the M1 Carbine. You can still buy an AR, but no M1 Carbine, not even one from the CMP.

    1. Hmm..I wonder if explicitly approved list in Feinstein’s law would supersede the NJ ban.

  17. APCs are a kind of tank.

    1. Or shares of Andarko Petroleum Corp

    2. Having served 22 years in the U.S. Army Armor branch, I must disagree.

      The M113A1 is an APC. It weighs 11 tons, is made of aluminum, has armor plate that is a maximum of 2.5 inches thickness, it protects the passengers agains small artillery fragments, rifle and light machine-gun fire, but it is easily penetrated by most rounds larger than 7.62mm (.30 Cal)

      The M1 TANK is made of Chobham (spaced and laminated with Kevlar backing) Depleted Uranium Armor. It weighs 60 Tons and has a maximum armor thickness of 41.75 inches. The M1 tank has, in battle, sustained hits from 125mm tank main gun rounds without penetration.

      Such a round would travel through the APC like a blow torch going through a cube of butter.

      APCs are NOT Tanks. Both the tank and the APC have tracks to run on, there the similarity ends.

  18. Anytime someone asks you something you don’t know, say=

    “Well, I think the more important thing is…. ”

    Then hit them in the head with a rock and run away.

  19. I want Feinstein to be asked, on the record what the difference between a Mini-14 and an AR-15 is.

    (After all, both are deliberately scaled-down versions of .308-caliber real military weapons, respectively the M-14 and AR-10.

    If one is bad “because military death machine” or whatnot, they other should be as well.

    Hearing her flail around for an explanation as to a notional difference would be … well, amusing if nothing else.)

    1. Similarly, I am waiting for Chuck Schumer to explain the differences between the M1 Garand, and the Remington Model 742?

      Schumer says that the former is dangerous, but accepts the latter as a “sporting arm”.

      But both fire the same round (30.06 Springfield) and both fire in semi-auto mode. The largest difference is that the M1 cannot hold more than 8 rounds in it’s “fixed size”, internal, magazine. Yet the Rem. 742 comes with a detachable magazine, which is comes standard as a 5 round mag, but can be replaced with a 20 round magazine.

  20. A woman can never have enough shoes.
    A libertarian can never have enough guns.
    A libertarian woman…



  21. After hearing the shoulder thing quote, I slapped this together:

  22. I have been somewhat in a state of consternation since first reading Feinsteins list of “good” weapons and “bad” weapons, and totally lost as to her logic. She rants about the danger of a particular firearm and then puts totally illogical and mindless items on her list of prohibition. For example the deadly and dreaded “Bayonet Stud”.

    I have read many accounts of mass shootings, drive bys, street shootings and individual murders, and NEVER have I seen the headline “Mass killing by Bayonet”, or any story line that says “The mass murderer chose a bayonet on a rifle…”

    Feinstein has repeatedly stated that she observed the carnage of a mass killing in the case of the killings of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, and she claims to have seen this up close and personal. The same circumstances as our troops have seen in battle, according to Ms Feinstein. That being in evidence, I submit that based on her erratic behaviors that she needs to be evaluated and treated for PTSD and not allowed to vote on legislation until she has been cleared by a qualified Psychiatrist.

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