Assault Weapon Ban

The Useful Illogic of 'Assault Weapon' Bans

Their arbitrariness lets them pass constitutional muster while paving the way for broader gun control

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After Omar Mateen used a Sig Sauer MCX rifle in an attack on an Orlando nightclub that left 49 people dead, USA Today urged Congress to "ban assault weapons now." The paper's editorial board said such firearms must be prohibited because they are "accurate and quick, firing with just the twitch of a finger." 

Like most people who want to ban "assault weapons," including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, USA Today's editorialists do not know what they are. They assume the category is defined by features that make guns especially lethal in the hands of mass murderers. It isn't.

On Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear two cases challenging "assault weapon" bans enacted by New York and Connecticut after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Both laws ban semiautomatic rifles that accept detachable magazines if they have one or more "military-style" features.

New York's list of prohibited features includes folding or telescoping stocks, thumbhole stocks, pistol grips, second handgrips or protruding grips that can be held by the nontrigger hand, bayonet mounts, threaded barrels, flash suppressors, muzzle brakes, and grenade launchers. Connecticut's list is similar, but it excludes bayonet mounts, muzzle brakes, and threaded barrels.

An expanded version of the federal "assault weapon" ban that expired in 2004, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), takes a similar approach. Its list of forbidden rifle features includes rocket launchers and barrel shrouds along with pistol grips, forward grips, folding or telescoping stocks, and threaded barrels, but it omits bayonet mounts, muzzle brakes, and flash suppressors.

As you can see, the definition of "assault weapon" is pretty arbitrary. With the exception of grenade and rocket launchers, which require illegal "destructive devices" to be of any use, these features have little or nothing to do with a gun's deadliness in the context of a mass shooting.

Contrary to what USA Today implies, "assault weapons" are not uniquely accurate, they fire no faster than any other semiautomatic, and they are not unusual in "firing with just the twitch of a finger," which any gun with a trigger will do. Nor are they distinguished by especially large rounds, by especially high muzzle energy, or by the ability to accept detachable magazines, which many guns that are not considered "assault weapons" can do.

In fact, one of the main reasons the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit gave for ruling that the New York and Connecticut "assault weapon" bans do not violate the Second Amendment was that law-abiding gun owners have plenty of equally satisfactory alternatives. So do mass shooters, who overwhelmingly prefer handguns to the military-style rifles that are supposedly their "weapon of choice."

The appeals court nevertheless deferred to the judgment of state legislators, arguing that the constitutional cost of doing so was slight. Unlike the local handgun bans overturned by the Supreme Court, the 2nd Circuit said, "the statutes at issue do not ban 'an entire class of arms,'" which "makes the restrictions substantially less burdensome."

The appeals court reached that conclusion with help from the plaintiffs challenging the laws, who argued that "there is no class of firearms known as 'semiautomatic assault weapons'—a descriptor they call purely political in nature." In other words, "assault weapon" bans are constitutional not in spite of their arbitrariness but because of it.

The Washington Post, which has been editorializing in support of "assault weapon" bans for more than two decades, also sees an advantage to their lack of logic. After Congress enacted the federal ban in 1994, the Post called the law "mainly symbolic," saying "its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control."

The mechanism for achieving "broader gun control" is the recognition that "assault weapons" account for a tiny share of gun homicides and that many other firearms are just as deadly—points that advocates of a ban are keen to obscure for the time being.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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134 responses to “The Useful Illogic of 'Assault Weapon' Bans

  1. Well, you haven’t seen a mass shooting with a grenade launcher yet, hmmmm?

    It’s solving problems already!

    I want to see an over-under flame thrower option, just to watch people scream and try to ban it.

    1. Silly me for assuming grenade launchers were already illegal to purchase since I’ve never seen one for sale.

      1. You can get a 37mm “smoke grenade” launcher for an AR-15 that looks pretty identical to the M203 40mm grenade launcher issued for the M16 series rifles.

        http://www.americanspecialtyam…..chers.html

        1. Oh my god. Just think: if Omar had been allowed to legally buy a grenade launcher mount, and got a legal smoke grade launcher, he could have filled Pulse with smoke, allowing everyone to escape.

          Thank god that didn’t happen.

          1. Smoking? In a club? In front of everyone? That’s horrible, just the idea, we don’t want to encourage our kids to smoke. I say keep the ban on smoke grenades.

            1. The FDA is going to ban vape launchers any day now.

      2. The thing that the banners always seem to ignore is that the reason you don’t see the grenade launchers for sale is because there is simply insufficient demand for them to make violating that law a viable business.

        There just isn’t much use to either a criminal or law abiding citizen in having one. Sure, they might make a cool but expensive and impractical and dangerous toy to use at a range but they are useless for self defense because the damage they cause is too indiscriminate and for criminals, outside of the occasional mass shooter or terrorist no criminal in his right mind would use a grenade launcher and risk the kind of heat from the cops that would bring on their heads

        1. The main reason why you don’t see many grenade launchers for sale is due to the lack of useful ammo. The reason why there isn’t any useful ammo for sale is because each explosive round would require the same paperwork and $200 tax stamp (for each round!).

          1. What they are the most fun for is to buy special purpose fireworks made to be launched out of them for the fourth of july. You take your AR outside with launcher attached, with no magazine, and no ammo in chamber, even gunlocked bolt open. Now you have a purpose built fireworks launcher for which they actually sell fireworks.

    2. Interestingly enough, here in Colorado I can’t buy a 30-round magazine, but I can legally build a flamethrower.

      It’s on my “to-do” list. I mean, if I’m over *here,* and I want to set something on fire that’s over *there,* what the hell else am I going to use?

      1. Rocket propelled ordinance. It’s the only way to be sure

        1. Gyrojet?

          There was a gun where the firing pin was in the tip of the bullet? was that Gyrojet or something else?

          1. Yup, it was!

            Once trigger is pressed, it releases the hammer, which rotates back and hits the nose of a rocket, pushing it toward the stationary firing pin. Primer in the base of a rocket ignites the rocket charge, and sends the projectile accelerating down the “barrel” tube. This movement cocks the hammer and also frees the space for next rocket to rise from magazine into firing position.

      2. Toss matches at it? /gungrabber

        1. But not from a book with more than seven matches in it. Nobody needs eight or more matches.

      3. Orbital bombardment lasers.

        What are you, a caveman?

      4. That is interesting. I do need a rifle here, but a flame thrower might be more fun.

          1. From the website:

            Yes. Flamethrowers are federally unregulated tools and not considered a firearm by the BATF. No need for any NFA tax stamps, licensing or even an FFL dealer. It’s the purchaser’s responsibility to ascertain that ownership and or use does not violate any state or local laws or regulations.

    3. Funny thing is, killing people is illegal. Let make a law making killing people illegal, that would solve all our mass shooting problems.

  2. Seems logical to me.

    1. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, now, is it.

  3. So what does this law seek to ban?

    “Stuff.”

    Can you clarify? I don’t want to break the law.

    “WHY DO YOU SUPPORT MURDERERS?!?!?!?”

  4. Arbitrary and capricious is good no Way?

    1. is good now?

      What the hell’s going on with my spell check?

      1. Yes.

  5. Camel, nose, tent. Some assembly required.

    So they ban those evil looking black guns, and nothing changes. Of course their next step would be to ban ever more manner and appearance of weapons.

    These people have no other goal than the ultimate goal.

    1. I agree. I think the real reason they’re going after AR15s is their popularity, not lethality. They think if they ban them, they’ll eliminate most peoples weapon of choice.

      1. They’re hitting rifles because they (and Nixon) lost the battle against handguns, which was always the most obvious pressure point for gc advocates to attack in the first place.

        If they continue to lose on rifles, they’ll return to handguns or move on to shotguns. But they’re never going to stop until they either get their way or die off as a political movement.

        1. Wait, I’m confused. Crazy Uncle Joe said I can and should use my pump action Mossberg 12 ga. to scare people away. I thought shotguns were administration approved. I’m so confused.

          All this talk about the exceptional lethality of the AR, sheesh. Shoot a watermelon with a 5.56 round, then 12 ga deer slug. Now imagine a body, it’s horrifying to think about.

          1. You mock, but this is what they actually think! Even people who absolutely know better.

            The Today Show was on the other morning and their stock “anti-assault-weapon” piece started out with a description of the AR-15: “It is powerful, and precise.” and a favorite of mass shooters.

            I rolled my eyes and said, “yeah, a .22 is soooo powerful!”, making fun of their description of the .223 round as particularly powerful and the ar-15 as particularly accurate. Which got a pretty angry reaction out of the wife, who should know better. When I told her that her dad’s deer rifle was way more powerful and precise than the ar-15, she ticked off several other features…. like how fast it could fire or how many rounds it could hold. When I told her that her dad’s hunting rifles were all more powerful than an AR-15, most were semi-automatic like the AR-15 and had detachable magazines that could be upgraded to higher capacity…

            Well, you just don’t need a gun like the AR-15…..

            So if you can take someone who grew up around guns, who’s dad and brothers all hunt (kinda religiously) and who eats venison every year after the hunt and convince them that “assault weapons” are specially dangerous within a couple of days… well, the gun ban talk must really be effective.

            1. not to mention, isn’t criticizing a gun for being powerful and precise, a lot like criticizing a computer for being fast and having lots of memory? criticizing a tool for working well is sort of a red flag that your real problem is with those tools existing at all.

      2. I believe that what troubles the gun banners the most is it’s “Appearance” of application to the universal militia of the founders design.
        That dropping the fight against it, is to them a slippery slope into the possible fall of the ban and restriction [err.. taxation and regulation] of the M-16, and beyond possibly to the battle rifle as well. Since the burstfire assault rifles tactical brother is the semi-automatic shotgun.
        Elitist dreams have no place in the Union for an active and healthy Militia as a social force.

  6. They will stop you buying an “assault rifle” but these rules will allow you to buy a more powerful rifle like the M1A in .308

    1. I have the National Match version of the M1A. Very nice piece, and not scary looking, with its walnut stock! Essentially the same as a hunting rifle, except that it does have a little bitty flash suppressor on the muzzle.

      1. I’ve got an M1 garand, those things are awesome.

    2. I have a good friend who is a deep-blue, East Coast urban proggie who grew up in Japan and thinks all guns are eeeeeevil. (It’s amazing we can talk to each other civilly, much less remain good friends, but there you are.)

      When he found out I had not one but two AR-15s, and knowing that I love to hunt, he asked if the AR-15 wasn’t “too powerful” for deer and elk. He was pretty surprised when I pulled my .338 Win Mag out of the rack and informed him that this 4-shot bolt gun was orders of magnitude more powerful than the ARs; almost two and a half tons of energy at the muzzle, as opposed to the AR’s measly 1100 ft/lbs.

      Add to that the fact that Thunder Speaker is accurate past 400 yards. But it’s got a black Bell & Carlson kevlar stock, so I suppose it will end up on some idiot’s “Sniper rifle” list.

      1. I don’t think you need to be an expert on something to have an opinion, but it drives me nuts these guys think a .223 round (not getting into the 300,6.8,6.5 …) are powerfully rounds. It’s absurd really that they will qoute facts and figures but have no real knowledge of what they are talking about.

        Additionally, for most the ranges of the mass killings a lower velocity rifle round tumbling would probably be more deadly. For that matter a semi-auto shotgun loaded with slug and 00 would probably be even worse especially with an extended tube and shooter proficient with the 3 gun type reloaders.

        1. Bear in mind there’s a big difference between “not being an expert” and “utterly clueless.”

      2. Don’t forget the microagrressing little snowflake who said an AR left him bruised and with PTSD. Clueless.

    1. Look, they just want some to play on the iPad that they’ve duct taped to their body pillow, OK?

      1. I wish we could upvote comments. REAL comments, not the Mary Stack-funded kind.

        1. “It gets… lonely on the road.”

    2. There’s got to be a better method of responding to the endless reiteration of “false claims” than to simply reply with the same cookie-cutter “corrections”

      ….e.g. ‘No, there is no such thing as an “assault weapon” and none of the described features actually ‘increase lethality'”

      I know jacob is pointing out that their hyperventilating claims ‘have a purpose’ here. Its an acknowledgement that the systematic obfuscations are actually part of a larger strategy.

      But the problem i see (and which i see repeated elsewhere as well, like in Climate Change discussions, or minimum wage proposals, or any sweeping new regulatory laws)… is that you have an Aggressor side of the debate which Has No Problem Lying, and will never acknowledge when its lies are exposed, or deviate even slightly from its M.O. merely because there are some factual inaccuracies involved…. and a “Defending side” which is obligated to repeat the same “let me correct you here”-dance every single time the mendacious claims are made – all while treating the aggressors with deference and respect, as though their pretended intentions of “reducing mass killings” were actually real, instead of the more obvious desire to simply increase their own power.

      Its like 2 fighters enter a ring, and each side is given entirely different sets of rules.

      1. sorry, ^ wasn’t intended to be a reply to HM

      2. Yeah, giving them the benefit of the doubt that they mean well but are ignorant is often a mistake.

      3. all while treating the aggressors with deference and respect

        That’s our problem. The right still treats the left as though they’re members of our nation who can be convinced to strike the sort of ideological truce that makes civil/liberal society possible. The left isn’t interested in truces; they’re interested in revolution and vanquishing their enemies, and if that takes telling bald-faced lies, lionizing rapists, or breaking 100,000,000 eggs, they’re not lacking in the will to do it. They also understand that people are by our nature lemmings and will do anything to avoid being punished by authorities, which is why they’ve spent decades monopolizing the media. There’s a reason why wikipedia, reddit, facebook, and every other bullshit nothing site have drifted left: the leftists understand that human beings are tribal, not rational, whereas we sit around explaining why labor theory and thus all of Marxist thought is an incorrect, but understandable, reaction to the realities of chiefly agricultural perspective perspective.

        As long as the right continues to hold out hope that the left can be pacified and that we can strike a lasting truce with them, we’re going to continue to lose ground. To fight that battle, we’re going to need to close the asshole gap and begin taking it to the enemy.

        1. As long as the right continues to hold out hope that the left can be pacified and that we can strike a lasting truce with them, we’re going to continue to lose ground. To fight that battle, we’re going to need to close the asshole gap and begin taking it to the enemy.

          Yeah, that’s more or less what i was getting at. This “reactive” posture has to end.

          You can’t just endlessly ‘parry’ their efforts. They retain their ostensible “moral high ground” because they get to keep pretending that they’re doing what they’re doing because “they just want to help stop violence”. No they don’t. They don’t care about violence at all. They USE other people’s violence as justification to grab more power.

          You need to attack them at the foundation and erode their feigned moral claims.

        2. The right still treats the left as though they’re members of our nation who can be convinced to strike the sort of ideological truce that makes civil/liberal society possible.

          Libertarians, too. Look how many libertarians got suckered into being useful idiots around gay marriage for the gay wing of the proggy movement.

          Don’t. Help. Them.

          Even when they are pushing for a narrow issue that you like, you can be sure that your support is of interest to them solely to drive the wedge in and open the door for more proggy jackboot bullshit.

          Sorry. That’s the way it is, though.

          1. Look how many libertarians got suckered into being useful idiots around gay marriage for the gay wing of the proggy movement.

            At this point, I’m against everything the left advocates purely for the sake of sapping their political power. The sooner they win a battle, the sooner they move on to the next VERY IMPORTANT SOCIAL ISSUE to harass us over, so keeping them slogged down in any mire at all is the best way to defend the remnant until we have the technological means to get the hell away from the cult of the left.

            I was all aboard the ecumenical can’t-we-all-get-along libertarian train until the Trump movement clarified the distance separating the right from the left. Turns out there’s a reason why right-libertarians would strike a truce with Pat Buchanan than subject themselves to another Soave/Fisher article brimming with warmed-over race/gender blather and winking equivocation. Wouldn’t waste time at Reason at all these days if not for the beatings the commentariat delivers to Soave and Dalmia and the fact that right-libertarians are apparently incapable of creating well-moderated forums.

          2. As a libertarian, the one thing that I’ll say about being “suckered” into the gay marriage issue: it’s about money, and equal protection, and nothing else. If a woman can take the larger of the two social security benefits when her husband dies, so should ANY couple. Or, better yet, end Social Security altogether. But don’t label me, or anyone *defending the constitution*, as a useful idiot!

            1. I resented the issue being put to referendums.

              I don’t want to ask gay people for permission to do anything. Why should they have to ask me?

              I certainly don’t think their rights, my rights, or anybody else’s rights should be contingent on a popularity contest.

              But if we’re going to have a vote on other people’s rights over my objections, I guess I’ll vote to respect them.

            2. Cake or jail!

      4. “There’s got to be a better method of responding to the endless reiteration of “false claims” than to simply reply with the same cookie-cutter “corrections”

        How ’bout will of the people?

        Everybody wants a violence free world, but the American people don’t want to take the gun grabber road to get there.

        I want a Bugatti. I’m just not willing to pay the price. And that’s the American people, too.

        Over and over, even in the wake of tragedy, the American people have rejected the gun grabber way.

        Maybe the gun grabbers are the ones who should be thinking up new responses. Our responses seem to be doing great.

        1. They’re just so sure that eventually all the gun rights people will die off so they can eviscerate the Second Amendment, blithely oblivious to the fact that them screaming to eviscerate the Second Amendment just makes fresh generations of gun rights people.

          1. +1

            I didn’t used to care much about the Second Amendment at all!

            I mean, it wasn’t a right I intended to exercise myself. It was something I thought other people should be free to do.

            The more it became an issue, the more I started to care. Now I care a lot. I still don’t have an AR-15, and I never even really thought about wanting one–until the gun grabbers decided they wanted to take them away.

            To me, gun rights are like a canary in a coal mine, too. If we as a society can tolerate people owning guns, then we’re still capable of being a free society. Tolerating other people’s rights even if you don’t like what other people want to do is what living in a free society is all about–and tolerating other people’s gun rights may be the most extreme form of that. If I want to live in an extremely free society, then I need to stand up for people’s gun rights.

            I didn’t used to never think about gay marriage either. Then the government started passing laws and initiatives against it, and it became, wait, WTF are you doing?

        2. “”the American people have rejected the gun grabber way.””

          Some, in some states.

          I think basic stats on gun ownership and increased carry etc. are very encouraging; but i think the narrative around gun-control continues to be driven by opposition, and they become more active and dynamic about their attacks while the pro-gun side relies on the same shopworn, cliche rhetoric.

          I think you’re wrong in assuming that the status quo signals a positive future. All it takes is one or 2 states to flip and you could have a very different senate picture. I could see *every one* of the proposed bills of the other day passing.

          1. It is worth noting that the Anti Gay Marriage side was largely winning the argument- they won tons of elections and several court cases- right up until they lost. And in the span of about 2 years, the field completely flipped.

            The same could happen for guns. It could be all wins for the pro-2nd people, right until a good number of millennials change their preferences. Right now, depending on the question, most people are on board with universal background checks and possibly even an assault weapons ban. Ask the question a different way and the polls change. This tells me that a good 10-20% of the population has no strong feelings about this, and will shift their sentiment as the wind changes.

            This is why I think Ken is wrong that the messaging needs to change. The fact that the GOP is currently trying to compromise is proof that this is a dangerous time for Gun Rights.

            1. “The fact that the GOP is currently trying to compromise is proof that this is a dangerous time for Gun Rights.

              They seem to be doing it with the support of the NRA, as well. It’s the politicians and the gun lobby that’s willing to sell gun rights down the river in the wake of tragedy, but the American people seem to be standing fast. Insofar as what we say keeps the American people steadfast in their support for gun rights, what we’ve been responding seems to be working.

              I do worry about the politicians and the gun lobby selling us out. ObamaCare, for instance, passed despite being unpopular with the American people, and the politicians could do something like that to us with gun legislation, as well.

              Meanwhile, we’ve had assault weapons bans in the past. They let it expire because a critical mass of the American people wanted it to expire What we’re saying to each other about gun rights in response to the gun grabbers is working with the American people. If the politicians go against what the American people want, well I don’t know what to do about that.

      5. ….e.g. ‘No, there is no such thing as an “assault weapon” and none of the described features actually ‘increase lethality'”

        The left has decided they’re no longer “assault weapons” but “assault rifles”.

        1. Which is doubly fucked up because “assault rifle” already has a goddamn meaning, and the AR15 doesn’t fit that definition.

          1. My .300 is a pistol so I guess I am safe.

          2. Doubly fucked up because the term “assault rifle” is the direct translation from the German term coined by none other than Hitler himself. They are quoting Hitler to take our rights away.

      6. Some know they are lying. Others are just ignorant and choose to remain so. And they
        find out what they are supposed to believe from their favorite MSM sources, political party,
        or celebrity. I tried to point out on a FB post the other day that many weapons are semi-automatic
        and these just look scary and was having a semi-productive discussion with a guy when the
        woman whose original post it had been wrote a nasty comment to the effect that she could
        not believe that people would argue so hard over technicalities such as rate of fire and we
        just needed to ban these horrible weapons. Apparently she has been to a firing range and
        seen one fired and observed how “powerful” they are from this one visit. I just gave up and
        put all her posts on hide.

  7. You guys are just being pedantic.
    Guns = Bad
    Guns with adjectives = Super Bad

  8. I don’t want to give anybody ideas, but in an enclosed space and a crowded room, a shotgun may have done even more damage.

    Although, they do make scary shotguns in black–and making it black seems to be an important part of what people think of as an “assault weapon”.

    Oh, and I said a shotgun may have been more effective, but the most effective means of killing more people might have been to simply burn the place down with all those people inside . . .

    Is a gallon of gas an “assault weapon” if it comes out of a black can?

    1. No, I think that would be considered a weapon of mass destruction.

      1. But if the weapons of mass destruction come in a black bag, then I think that ALSO makes them assault weapons.

        Somebody here linked the following a while back:

        http://tinyurl.com/zjf29dn

        Yeah, it’s a Hello Kitty AR-15 kit.

        It’s pink, so it’s not an assault weapon. If you’re gonna catch a gun grabber, you gotta think like a gun grabber.

        1. I think you’re right.

          Gasoline would be an assault weapon of mass destruction.

          This actually makes a fair amount of sense. An assault weapon causes only so much destruction. A weapon of mass destruction (think pressure cooker) only causes so much destruction. An assault weapon of mass destruction would have caused even more destruction.

          1. No, an assault weapon–any assault weapon–is black in color.

            Even if it’s WMD, it’s an assault weapon if it’s scary looking and comes in a black case.

            If I cover an egg in black nail polish and call it a “tactical egg”, the progressives will say it’s an assault weapon.

            1. I meant to type “Gasoline in a black can is an assault weapon of mass destruction”.

              Sorry for the confusion. I’m still trying to master the lingo and “thought” processes of our deranged overlords.

    2. I don’t think there is any question, a 12 gague firing 00 buckshot into a crowd would result in far higher casualty and death counts than a rifle

      1. Maybe. You have to take in rate of fire, rate of reload, and penetration of multiple victims into account.

        1. The FN SLP is supposed to be the gold standard of reliability in semiautomatic shotguns.

          Even after you fire seven rounds in two seconds, you can reload one at a time.

          That’s gotta be high on the wish list for the zombie apocalypse, anyway.

        2. FWIW, this guy gets off ten rounds in under two seconds.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t-1oikABKY

        3. What Sug said. Reloading tube magazines is slow. Pattern spread, even for short barrelled shotguns, is less than you think at indoor ranges.

          Shotguns are the tool of choice, IMO, for handling small groups of people who need killing indoors. For larger groups, they have disadvantages.

          1. They have semi auto shotguns that can accept external magazines just like an AR-15 so reloading just becomes an issue of how many magazines you can/want to carry. For example…

            http://www.dreadnaught-industr…..ngelse.htm

            Also I wasn’t factoring the spread into hitting and killing multiple people with each shot but rather guaranteeing that each shot hit and killed someone.

            Since you aren’t taking the time to aim it is far more likely that 9 bullets spread over a 2 to 3 inch diameter area are going to hit someone in a vital location than a single bullet that is a quarter of an inch wide will and if it does just graze someone well off center of mass then there is good odds that the ones that miss will hit someone else.

            Have someone take one of the shotguns at that site into a crowded environment like a night club and the death toll will be way higher than 50

            1. This may be anecdotal, but I’ve shot the Saiga 12 and an AR-type magazine fed shotgun. Both were horribly unreliable. Also, though you had a larger spread than a .223, the increased recoil of a 12 ga dramatically increased follow up shot time and reduced follow up shot accuracy. I guess that could be mitigated with a lot of range time, though.

              1. “I guess that could be mitigated with a lot of range time, though.”

                Or being in a confined space that’s heavily crowded.

                The point is that banning assault weapons doesn’t make sense. People can do a hell of a lot of damage with a shotgun (which isn’t generally considered an assault weapon) or a can of gasoline.

                1. I see what you’re saying, but even in, or especially in, close quarters you still have to aim the shotgun. I think a lot of people imagine the spread of, say 00 buck, at close range is much larger than it actually is.

                  I would argue that the higher capacity, faster/more accurate follow up, and known reliability would edge out the AR over a shotgun. Especially a shotgun with a tubular magazine.

                  1. Slug at close range would be brutal. Your talking about broken bones and the potential in soft tissue to hit multiple people.

            2. Y’all are forgetting something a shotgun can do that a magazine fed rifle can’t, and that’s load one shot at a time without removing the magazine. Take two bandoleers of 00 buck and top off after every few shots. A good semi auto like a Mossberg 930 or a Remington 1100 would be a nightmare in this situation.

            3. Judge and set of speedloaders. The one important advantage the m-16 has over a shotguns is the called shot. In a serious hostage situation the police managed to get the hostage physically away from the kidnapper. sadly the shooting officer with the shotgun was just a little to far away. The still armed kidnapper went down but so did the hostage both died. The people that the AR and M-16 are the most useful for are those who are trying to prevent causulties.

  9. Illinois has an assault weapon ban and yet almost 1,800 people have been shot in Chicago so far this year. Is the solution an assaultier weapons band?

    1. assaultier weapons band

      Great, um, band name.

    2. Chicago is a blue state in the truest sense, so what you’re saying doesn’t make any sense.

      The purpose of gun control is to stop rednecks in red states.

      Get with the program.

      1. I don’t think so. Progs don’t care if some red state rednecks shoot each other. Hells bells, they depend on that sort of thing for pushing their ban. It allows them to ignore the shooting galleries in their own backyards by focusing on people they don’t like.

      2. Everyone knows that the real root of violent crime in America is the unquestioned doctrine of white supremacy.

        1. And patriarchy. Don’t forget the patriarchy.

          1. Who could?
            I love those guys.

    3. You just don’t get it. Indiana is the issue because they have lax gun laws.

    4. It’s racist to suggest that black people shooting black people is a bad thing, or something.

      1. Of course.

        It’s also misogynist to suggest that women should learn to shoot.

        Why should women need to defend themselves? Why can’t men just learn to keep their filthy hands to themselves, you disgusting misogynist?

        Same thing for gay people, you homophobe.

    5. Illinois has no such thing statewide.

      One Illinois County (Cook) and a couple of cities have such a law, but those are grandfathered in with the passage of the concealed carry law which also prohibits cities/counties from passing such laws in the future.

  10. “…he Post called the law “mainly symbolic,” saying “its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control.””

    Ah, yes, that slippery slope we’ve heard so much about but are assured doesn’t exist.

  11. On the accompanying picture: Did someone really show up at a post-Orlando-shooting rally with a “White Supremacy Kills” sign?

    1. Ya, it is Flo rida after all. He was a White-Afghani dincha know? Dam White-Afghani privildeged mofo haters…Man I need to get to my safe space on campus…

    2. Ya, it is Flo rida after all. He was a White-Afghani dincha know? Dam White-Afghani privildeged mofo haters…Man I need to get to my safe space on campus…

    3. Ya, it is Flo rida after all. He was a White-Afghani dincha know? Dam White-Afghani privildeged mofo haters…Man I need to get to my safe space on campus…

    4. Well, they are technically Caucasian.

  12. I have used the same Churchill o\u 3 inch mag 12 gauge for upland birds and waterfowl since 1985. I can reload very fast and I’m sure with enough shells and a large crowd it would do immense damage.I’m not alone when you think of all the long time hunters carrying shotguns and rifles.The ability kill many people only takes the will of the shooter.

  13. In other words, “assault weapon” bans are constitutional not in spite of their arbitrariness but because of it.

    Jesus Christ….how far does a panel of judges have to have their heads shoved in their own assholes to make that kind of idiotic ruling? Applying that logic broadly, the government’s “terrorist watchlist” and denial of due process is a-ok not in spite of its arbitrary nature, but because of it……

    1. What is this ‘do process’ you talk of white man?

    2. You’d almost think that the function of modern legal thought is to rationalize whatever the rationalizers want to rationalize.

      1. Whoa, did the mask slip that far?

  14. They shoot “special” bullets that penetrate tank armor. If you shoot from hip with pistol grip you can hit anything without even aiming. Why does anyone “need” a bayonet on their assault thingy? Flash suppressor make it eaaier to shoot full auto. //Diane Feinsteins retarded vagina

  15. Looks like Orlando shooter Omar Mateen wasn’t dumb enough to be lured into one of those fake FBI plots so they moved on to the next patsy.

    From the article:

    The FBI launched an investigation into Mateen after Sheriff’s Office officials reported the incident to the agency. As part of its investigation, the FBI examined Mateen’s travel history, phone records, acquaintances and even planted a confidential informant in the courthouse to “lure Omar into some kind of act and Omar did not bite,” Mascara said. The FBI concluded Mateen was not a threat after that, Mascara said.

    Got that? Not dumb enough to bite on the fake plot, therefore not a problem!

  16. The logic used by the court here doesn’t pass muster

    Per case law, the 2nd recognises a fundamental right and the standard for review is strict scrutiny

    Saying these AWB’s are not substantial burdens isn’t enough under strict scrutiny

    Generally speaking, strict scrutiny means the state is supposed to have a high burden in establishing why restrictions are necessary

    Even if one accepts that they are not a substantial burden – that is not enough imnsho

    1. I thought the courts were settling on intermediate scrutiny for 2A cases. Because the Constitution is perfectly clear that some rights are more equal than others.

      1. I apologise

        I am wrong

        Heller ruled out rational basis, and post Heller, most courts are using heightened scrutiny

        It was a 6th circuit appeals case that decided strict scrutiny and I don’t know if that has worked its wAy up past that level

        Ooops

  17. There’s got to be a better method of responding to the endless reiteration of “false claims” than to simply reply with the same cookie-cutter “corrections”

    ….e.g. ‘No, there is no such thing as an “assault weapon” and none of the described features actually ‘increase lethality'”

    I know jacob is pointing out that their hyperventilating claims ‘have a purpose’ here. Its an acknowledgement that the systematic obfuscations are actually part of a larger strategy.

    But the problem i see (and which i see repeated elsewhere as well, like in Climate Change discussions, or minimum wage proposals, or any sweeping new regulatory laws)… is that you have an Aggressor side of the debate which Has No Problem Lying, and will never acknowledge when its lies are exposed, or deviate even slightly from its M.O. merely because there are some factual inaccuracies involved…. and a “Defending side” which is obligated to repeat the same “let me correct you here”-dance every single time the mendacious claims are made – all while treating the aggressors with deference and respect, as though their pretended intentions of “reducing mass killings” were actually real, instead of the more obvious desire to simply increase their own power.

    Its like 2 fighters enter a ring, and each side is given entirely different sets of rules.

    1. Of course in this example, they both agreed to throw the fight about 20 years ago.

    2. Stop “correcting” their “facts”. Or, at least, don’t only correct their facts.

      Call them liars. Humiliate them. Make it fucking personal. Its personal to me, so guess what? Its gonna be personal for you, too.

    3. It’s important to be professional and accurate when discussing anything with an irrational person. “You’re wrong, and here is why.”

      Mateen would not have been prevented from his rampage by any of these proposed new regulations and procedures, here is why. The answer to irrational rage is rational fact.

  18. The hole point is to ban so called “assault weapons” and then when that doesn’t accomplish anything they’ll come back with “Well, obviously the assault weapons ban didn’t go far enough, so we have to ban more firearms.”

    1. +1 Road To Single Payer.

  19. There is no ignorant agenda here at all. The stupidity of the politicians is a given but they certainly have had this very conversation:

    ” …at least if we call them assault weapons, people will think we are targeting a specifically destructive weapon.
    Hopefully they will buy into it and then we can discuss how to limit ammo purchases like they do in the BHS. Once we can do a few no-knock raids on people with a lot of ammo, we can then start the process of making examples of those few people so that the rest of the people with nice enough lives will start giving up their guns.”

    “agreed?” “Aye!”. “Let’s go to lunch. McCain bought last time when Feinstein got hammered. I think it is schumer and Ryan’s turn.” “as long as Reid buys the hookers this time. I’ve seen enough of Pelosi’s ugly ass.”

  20. you have an Aggressor side of the debate which Has No Problem Lying, and will never acknowledge when its lies are exposed, or deviate even slightly from its M.O. merely because there are some factual inaccuracies involved

    “Your refusal to compromise is inexplicable. We merely want to establish a sensible regulatory framework we all can live with. NOW SHUT UP AND DO WHAT WE WANT!”:

    1. “Your refusal to stop lying is inexplicable. We merely want to establish the facts about guns and gun owners that we all recognize. NOW PISS OFF, YOU LYING JACKBOOTED MORON!”

  21. Dean is right . I am wrong

    Heller did not determine strict scrutiny

    A 6th circuit of appeals did, so thats not THE LAW yet (as far as I know)

    Heller ruled out rational basis, and post hellwr most courts have used heightened scrutiny

    My bad

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  23. “Broader gun control” will require an enormous investment in body-bags.

  24. According to a Mother Jones tally of mass shootings since 1982, which includes “seemingly indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed,” the vast majority of guns used in these attacks (83 percent) do not qualify as “assault weapons,” an arbitrary category defined by military-style features such as folding stocks, pistol grips, and flash suppressors. Handguns were far more common, accounting for two-thirds of the weapons. If anything, handguns are the “weapons of choice” for mass shootings (as they are for other types of gun violence).

    https://reason.com/blog/2016/06…..the-weapon

  25. “Useful illogic” is quite logical for politicians. It’s the only thing the illogical electorate can grasp.

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  29. “Useful illogic” is quite logical for politicians. It’s the only thing the illogical electorate can grasp.
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