Assault Weapon Ban

'Assault Weapons,' Explained

How a scary name for an arbitrary group of firearms distorts the gun control debate

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James Huberty, a 41-year-old survivalist who had recently lost his job as a security guard, spent the morning of July 18, 1984, at the San Diego Zoo with his wife, Etna, and their two daughters. The family ate lunch at a McDonald's restaurant in the Clairemont neighborhood before returning to their home in San Ysidro. After Etna lay down to rest, Huberty approached her and said, "I want to kiss you goodbye." When she asked him where he was going, he said he was "hunting humans."

Just before 4 p.m., Huberty drove his black Mercury Marquis sedan to a San Ysidro McDonald's, where he used three guns—a Browning 9mm pistol, a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun, and an Uzi 9mm semi-automatic carbine—to shoot 40 people. Twenty-one of them died, including an 8-month-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. Seventy-eight minutes after the shooting began, a police sniper killed Huberty with a single shot to the chest.

California Assemblyman Art Agnos, a San Francisco Democrat who would later serve as that city's mayor, cited the San Ysidro massacre as an argument for his 1985 bill banning what he called "assault weapons"—semi-automatic versions of military firearms, such as the Uzi used by Huberty. Unlike the rifles that soldiers carry, which are capable of automatic or burst fire (i.e., holding down the trigger fires either a continuous stream or a short series of rounds), these civilian models fire just one round per trigger pull. But Agnos thought they should be regulated as strictly as machine guns, which ordinary civilians cannot legally possess in California without a permit that is essentially impossible to obtain.

"The only use for assault weapons is to shoot people," Agnos told the Assembly Public Safety Committee in June 1985. San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara concurred. "These are weapons of war," he said. "They are made to kill people, and they are all over California. There is no legitimate use for these. Nobody hunts deer with them."

Thus began a long-running public policy fraud that was revived once again after the attack that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14. "From Aurora to Sandy Hook, San Bernardino to Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs to Parkland, one common thread that runs through mass shootings is the use of AR-15 military-style assault weapons," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) said a week after the Parkland massacre. "These weapons are designed to kill the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time, and we need to get these weapons of war off our streets."

"The weapons' menacing looks," one influential activist wrote, "coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons…can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."

Although "assault weapons" fire no faster than any other semi-automatic, such as a Glock 19 pistol or a Ruger 10/22 hunting rifle, politicians routinely conflate them with machine guns, which have not been legally produced for civilians in the United States since 1986. Prohibitionists like Feinstein argue that "assault weapons" are good for nothing but mass shootings and gang warfare, despite the fact that only a tiny percentage of these guns are ever used to commit crimes. They say these firearms are "weapons of choice" for mass shooters, who are in fact much more likely to use handguns, and claim they are uniquely deadly, even though the category is defined based on features that make little or no difference in the hands of a murderer.

Josh Sugarmann, founder and executive director of the Violence Policy Center, laid out this strategy of misdirection and obfuscation in a 1988 report on "Assault Weapons and Accessories in America." Sugarmann observed that "the weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."

He added that because "few people can envision a practical use for these guns," the public should be more inclined to support a ban on "assault weapons" than a ban on handguns. While handguns are by far the most common kind of firearm used to commit crimes, they are also the most popular choice for self-defense. Proscribing "assault weapons" therefore sounds more reasonable.

This approach has been intermittently effective. In CBS News polls since 1995, public support for banning "assault weapons" has ranged from 44 percent to 70 percent. Quinnipiac University polls since 2013 have consistently found majority support for a nationwide "assault weapon" ban, peaking at 67 percent in a survey conducted a few days after the Parkland shooting. The perpetrator of that attack, Nikolas Cruz, used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle, which is similar to the Colt AR-15, a semi-automatic version of the M16 carried by U.S. soldiers.

Politicians, like voters, tend to see mass shootings as evidence in favor of banning military-style rifles. Although Agnos' bill was rejected by the California Assembly in 1985, the legislature approved a similar ban in 1989. That was the year a 24-year-old drifter named Patrick Purdy used a Norinco Type 56S rifle, a semi-automatic version of a Chinese gun modeled after the AK-47, in an attack that killed five children at a Stockton elementary school. Since then, six other states—Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York—have followed California's example, often enacting or broadening bans after mass shootings. In 1994, Congress passed a federal "assault weapon" ban sponsored by Feinstein.

Joanna Andreasson

The federal law, which expired in 2004, banned production and sale of 18 firearm brands or models by name, along with "copies or duplicates" of them. The law also covered guns meeting specified criteria. Any semi-automatic rifle that accepted detachable magazines, for example, was deemed an "assault weapon" if it had two or more of five listed features: a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a grenade launcher, or a "flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor."

There is little evidence that the "assault weapon" ban had an impact on gun deaths. "We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence," University of Pennsylvania criminologist Christopher Koper and two co-authors wrote in a 2004 report commissioned by the National Institute of Justice. "There has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence, based on indicators like the percentage of gun crimes resulting in death or the share of gunfire incidents resulting in injury." They concluded that "should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement."

Casting about for evidence that the law accomplished something, Feinstein cites research by Louis Klarevas, a global affairs lecturer at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. In his 2016 book Rampage Nation, Klarevas attributes a 37 percent drop in mass shooting deaths between 1994 and 2004 to the "assault weapon" ban. But as the journalist Jon Stokes pointed out in the Los Angeles Times last March, the decline cited by Klarevas involves crimes that were committed mostly with weapons unaffected by the ban. Furthermore, the decrease disappears if you use the most widely accepted definition of a mass shooting, which requires four or more deaths, rather than Klarevas' cutoff of six. In other words, the drop is apparent only if you ignore mass shootings with four or five deaths.

It is hardly surprising that Feinstein's ban does not seem to have had a significant impact on public safety. To begin with, the targeted firearms were used in only 2 percent or so of gun crimes before the law passed, according to most studies. Feinstein claimed guns covered by the revised ban she introduced in 2013 were involved in "at least" 385 murders from 2004 through 2011, a period when the FBI counted more than 76,000 gun homicides. That means "assault weapons" were used in something like 0.5 percent of gun homicides during that period.

Joanna Andreasson

According to the FBI, rifles of all kinds (not just the ones Feinstein wants to ban) accounted for just 3 percent of firearm homicides in 2016, while handguns accounted for 65 percent. The rest of the firearms were listed as shotguns (2.4 percent), "other guns" (1.7 percent), and unspecified (28 percent).

Contrary to the impression left by press coverage highlighting scary-looking rifles, handguns are also the most common choice for mass shooters. A Mother Jones review of mass shootings from 1982 through 2012 found that 66 percent of the weapons were handguns, while just 14 percent would qualify as "assault weapons" under the definition used in Feinstein's 2013 bill.

As of mid-March, according to the updated Mother Jones database, the share of mass shooters' weapons covered by Feinstein's bill had risen to 26 percent. But that change was mostly due to the 22 military-style rifles that police found in the hotel suite and adjacent room from which Stephen Paddock fired on a crowd of country music fans in Las Vegas last October. No other modern mass shooting has involved anywhere near that many guns, and police have not said how many of them Paddock actually fired. Excluding that outlier, "assault weapons" accounted for 19 percent of firearms used in mass shootings, which in turn represent a tiny share of gun homicides—0.6 percent in 2016.

No one could have reasonably expected that the 1994 ban would eliminate even the small subset of gun crimes committed with the weapons it covered, since the law exempted firearms people already owned. By Koper's estimate, that grandfather clause left more than 1.5 million "assault weapons" in circulation.

After the law expired, sales of previously banned rifles exploded. Based on production and import data from 1990 through 2016, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group, estimates that Americans own more than 16 million guns that politicians would deem "assault weapons," which the industry prefers to call "modern sporting rifles." Feinstein's proposed ban, like the 1994 law, would not apply to those firearms. If grandfathered guns undermined the original ban, that problem is more than 10 times as big today.

Even if the 1994 ban had made all of the targeted guns disappear, there would have been plenty of equally lethal alternatives available to mass murderers or gang members. Gun control advocates frequently complained that firearm manufacturers got around the law by making minor, functionally unimportant changes to their products. Bushmaster, for instance, introduced the XM-15 rifle, a ban-compliant version of the AR-15. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence notes that it was "functionally equivalent in all relevant respects to its banned cousin." But if companies could legally produce guns that were just as deadly as the ones covered by the ban, that was an indictment of the law, not the manufacturers who complied with it.

The supposedly improved ban that Feinstein is pushing now casts a wider net but suffers from the same basic flaw: It defines the prohibited guns based on features with little or no functional significance in the context of mass shootings or other violent crimes. The bill covers "157 dangerous military-style assault weapons" by name (up from 18) and defines the targeted firearms more broadly. Semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines qualify if they have one or more (rather than two) of six (up from five) specified characteristics.

The forbidden features are somewhat different but still pretty puzzling. Feinstein no longer thinks we need to worry about bayonet mounts, but she is now sounding the alarm about the ominous barrel shroud, a covering that protects the shooter's hand from the heat generated by firing a rifle. She also has added rocket launchers to the equally fanciful grenade launchers as prohibited accessories. Crimes committed with rifle-mounted grenade or rocket launchers are about as common in the United States as crimes committed with rifle-mounted bayonets. Even if someone decided to attach a grenade or rocket launcher to his rifle, he would have a hard time finding something to launch with it, since both grenades and rockets are strictly regulated as "destructive devices" under the National Firearms Act.

"Defining an assault weapon—in legal terms—is not easy," Josh Sugarmann warned back in 1988. "It's not merely a matter of going after guns that are 'black and wicked looking.'" Yet that is basically what Feinstein and likeminded state legislators have done. To give you a sense of how arbitrary Feinstein's distinctions are, her bill specifically exempts the Iver Johnson M1 carbine and the Ruger Mini-14 rifle, but only when they have fixed stocks. Adding a folding or adjustable stock to these rifles transforms them from legitimate firearms into proscribed "assault weapons," even though that change does not make them any more lethal or suitable for mass murder. A folding stock makes a rifle shorter for transport or storage, while an adjustable stock allows a more comfortable fit for shooters of different sizes.

Many supporters of "assault weapon" bans seem confused about what they entail. In a widely mocked 2007 interview on MSNBC, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D–N.Y.), who had introduced a bill that would have banned semi-automatic rifles with barrel shrouds, confessed, "I actually don't know what a barrel shroud is. I'm assuming it's a shoulder thing that goes up." Politicians such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton often say "machine guns" or "automatic weapons" when they are talking about semi-automatic rifles. According to a Reason-Rupe survey conducted around the time that Feinstein introduced her 2013 bill, about two-thirds of Americans mistakenly thought "assault weapons" fire faster than other guns, hold more rounds, or use higher-caliber ammunition. The respondents who harbored these misconceptions were especially likely to say such guns should be banned.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, who had introduced a bill that would have banned semi-automatic rifles with barrel shrouds, confessed, "I actually don't know what a barrel shroud is. I'm assuming it's a shoulder thing that goes up."

People who know better may nevertheless support "assault weapon" bans as a tactic for achieving more stringent gun restrictions down the road. "No one should have any illusions about what was accomplished," The Washington Post editorialized after President Bill Clinton signed the 1994 ban into law. "Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control."

The faulty logic of such legislation actually works to the benefit of those who support "broader gun control." Once people realize that banning these firearms has no measurable effect on violence, they may be primed to accept more ambitious measures. At the same time, if the flimsy arguments in favor of "assault weapon" bans are enough for them to survive judicial review, the Second Amendment barriers to gun control will be eroded.

Federal appeals courts rejected constitutional challenges to the 1994 law, but that was before the Supreme Court ruled, in the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own guns for self-defense in the home. In 2015, the Supreme Court declined to review a decision in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upheld a ban on "assault weapons" imposed by Highland Park, Illinois. Justice Clarence Thomas vigorously objected, noting that the ban covered "many of the most commonly owned semiautomatic firearms." The Supreme Court's overturning of the D.C. handgun ban in 2008, Thomas said, made it clear that the Second Amendment encompasses firearms "commonly used for a lawful purpose." Yet the 7th Circuit had upheld Highland Park's ban based on nothing more than "speculation about the law's potential policy benefits," including the possibility that it "may increase the public's sense of safety."

That highly deferential approach should alarm anyone who values the constitutional right to armed self-defense. "If a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all)," Thomas wrote, "then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing."

NEXT: Brickbat: On Target

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  1. the 7th circuit has its wires crossed

  2. “A folding stock makes a rifle shorter for transport or storage, while an adjustable stock allows a more comfortable fit for shooters of different sizes.”

    So Ms Feinstein is a patriarch loving, woman hating, bigot who opposes features that would assist a woman in defending herself. Throw her out of the democrat party! I bet she has an NRA membership.

  3. Forgot to mention that nobody is going to give them up without passive and active, and maybe an armed resistance. Even in radical socialist states like NY which passed the “SAFE” act requiring registration confiscation will be impossible, as virtually nobody registered their weapons. Many (like me) have, or intend to flee the states high taxes and onerous regulations (including those on firearms) for friendly states. You might get some of NY police to try to confiscate, but in most middle America states no government (outside of a big city) will comply with the Federal mandates.

    1. That won’t stop the incremental long game being played.

  4. The arbitrary nature of the guns banned by the ’94 AWB was a deliberate feature, not a mistake; The goal wasn’t to achieve significant gun control, and certainly not to reduce any category of crime.

    The goal was to legally establish that the federal government could ban guns, based on arbitrary criteria. This might surprise some people, but never before had the federal government asserted the power to ban guns. Even the ’84 FOPA approached its goal indirectly: The NFA had required the payment of a very high tax to purchase listed firearms, attempting to discourage what they knew they had no authority forbid. The ’84 act simply declared that the government would no longer accept payment of that tax, a ban that pretended to be just a tax law change.

    With the ’94 AWB, for the very first time the federal government asserted that it had the power to simply, directly ban a firearm.

    It was never meant to be anything but a foot in the door. But sticking that foot through the door got their leg chewed off in the next election, so they never got the chance to lever the door open further.

    At this point, the most important thing for 2nd amendment rights is getting the Supreme court back in the business of enforcing the 2nd amendment again, which will take the replacement of one or two ‘Justices’. There’s a door which really needs to be slammed shut and nailed into place.

    1. Like a ravenous squirrel, they will find a side window to gnaw through.

  5. I think we can start to lose the argument with the general public when we take the gun grabber’s arguments too literally.

    The main reason why arguments for global warming mitigation have fallen on deaf ears is because the AGW lobby has made their argument almost entirely about science. Unfortunately for them, the question of whether the government should force us to sacrifice our standard of living for the benefit of polar bears, the developing world, and future generations isn’t a scientific question. It’s a question of ethics, personal preferences, etc.–things that can’t be disproven through scientific observations of climate data.

    I’m afraid people’s support for gun grabbing comes from the same place. We can quote all the facts we want, but ultimately we’re talking about people’s willingness to sell their rights short for security–apart from whether “assault weapons” is a meaningful term. There are millions of people in this country who choose not to own a firearm but still value the right to do so. Whether we stop the gun grabbers over the long run probably depends on getting through to that group of people a) that their rights are important even if they choose not to exercise them and b) that it isn’t the guns the gun grabbers are really coming after–it’s our rights.

    1. Mostly its about people being willing to sell *other people’s* rights.
      As Heinlein noted, nobody stands up to demand a law to prevent themselves from smoking or owning a gun.
      The core evil is the will to substitute ones agency for that of another. IOW, slavery.

    2. “the AGW lobby has made their argument almost entirely about science”

      Since there is very little science backing the claims of the AGW lobby, the above is false.

  6. They want, need, this distortion. Otherwise they’d have nothing to go on, and they can use general American’s ignorance about firearms to mystify and demonize anything short of a glock.

    1. Glocks are black and scary, too.

  7. For the sake of discussion…

    Recognizing that ‘assault weapons’ are rifles that ‘look scary’ (however that’s defined), if it could be proven that some number of mass shooters chose such a weapon precisely because of its appearance and would not have gone on their shooting spree if the only guns available were boring looking rifles or pistols, then would a ban of such scary looking rifles be reasonable?

    And as a standard rifle is no less effective for hunting or personal defense than a so called assault weapon, so presumably no one’s rights are being infringed by not being allowed to buy a scary looking rifle.

    Just wondering…

    1. “Recognizing that ‘assault weapons’ are rifles that ‘look scary’ (however that’s defined), if it could be proven that some number of mass shooters chose such a weapon precisely because of its appearance and would not have gone on their shooting spree if the only guns available were boring looking rifles or pistols, then would a ban of such scary looking rifles be reasonable?”

      No. Someone’s opinion or abuse of a right, including the right to self defense, doesn’t justify the restricting or removal of ANYONE else’s rights.

      1. The weapons they mention look awesome to me.

    2. So what happens when somebody wraps a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch in a decal so it looks like a Ruger Mini-14 Tactical?

    3. “then would a ban of such scary looking rifles be reasonable?”

      No. There is no “scary looking” arms exception to what the people can keep and bear.

    4. Interesting hypothetical. If you actually could demonstrate a causal relationship between a weapon’s looks and violent crimes, it might be reasonable as a matter of social policy to ban such weapons. However, it could also still be unconstitutional.

      It is reasonable social policy to ensure that legislative decisions are made by an informed, educated electorate. It is unconstitutional to establish a literacy test to ensure that.

      Regardless, the article above makes it clear that the likelihood of actually being able to prove any such causal relationship between looks and crime to be vanishingly close to zero. People intent on causing mayhem will find a way regardless of what obstacles you put in the way of law-abiding citizens.

  8. If the “weapons of war” argument was at all consistent and honest, the Left would be calling for “military style assault weapons” (not to mention genuine automatic weapons) to be taken from law enforcement agencies.

    1. They should just use the Iraq war’s deaths by firearms to justify taking them away from the military. After all, it’s about saving lives right?

  9. The faulty logic of such legislation actually works to the benefit of those who support “broader gun control.”

    If you get what you want by lies and deception, what’s “faulty” about the logic?

    And the larger problem is that logic is being dismissed as a tool of the patriarchy, of white privilege, of cultural imperialism. If it’s my opinion that the shoulder thing that goes up makes a gun more dangerous, who are you to deny me my right to my opinion? You’re a fascist so you need to shut up is what that means. How dare you suggest that your precious reason and logic and facts and evidence are more dispositive of the debate than my feelings and opinions?

    We’re being driven back to a pre-rational age by these “other ways of knowing” people who have the luxury of being fools thanks to the progress human beings have made under the dominance of rationality – for most of humanity for most of history, being this damn stupid would result in starvation, enslavement, or being eaten by wolves. But these people aren’t stupid, they just want to change the rules of civilization and social order for their own benefit. “We must trust the witch doctor!” says the witch doctor.

  10. This piece, along with most others, never mentions caliber when “assault rifles” are the subject: The variants of AK47 and AR15 are available in 22LR.

    1. If we start talking about details that minute, we’ve already lost the war on the 2nd.

      1. Yup. Refer the gun grabbers to the 2nd Amendment and that there are zero government infringements allowed.

  11. So we’re beginning the week with a massive Hihnfection, huh. Christ.

  12. Amendment II
    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.

    You don’t need court cases to uphold the 2nd Amendment. You just need to demand that the limitation on government to infringe on the right to keep and bear Arms be enforced.

    No background checks. No limits on machine guns, grenades, tanks, ships, airplanes, pistols, swords, knives, and any other weapon that can be created.

    1. There also needs to be a severe penalty ENFORCED upon any government official infringing on someone’s rights.

      1. How do you enforce penalties on the people who enforce penalties?

        1. 18 USC ? 241 – Conspiracy against rights

          18 USC ? 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law

        2. 18 USC ? 241 – Conspiracy against rights

          18 USC ? 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law

        3. 42 USC ?1983

          1. I’m serious. And listing laws means nothing to me, especially because laws mean nothing if nobody will enforce them.

            What about requirements that police departments give information to the FBI? Few departments actually follow this law, and nothing else happens.

            Do you prosecute every member of Congress who votes for a bill that violates the 2A, or a president who signs it, or the Supreme Nazgul who say it’s kosher?

            If so, who prosecutes?

            What if those who are supposed to prosecute decide they don’t want to?

            1. You sue the government in federal court. You don’t need a district attorney or US attorney to prosecute violations of your civil rights. Average people can do it.

              1. What’ve the penalties been to actual government officials in those cases?

                1. Once the government loses qualified immunity, they usually settle.

              2. And when the judge laughs in your face, as they seem to do when you question the authority of the government based upon some arcane parchment, then what?

                1. You laugh at the judge and explain how their jobs are created from that same arcane parchment, so if they are not going to abide by the the law there is no need for them.

                  Then appeal the court decision. Judges hate to be reversed by higher courts and publicly shown to be the traitorous shits they tend to be.

                2. I never understood why people are so scared of police and judges.

                  Treat these bureaucrats like the authoritarian hacks that they tend to be.

                  1. I never understood why people are so scared of police and judges.

                    Oh I dunno. I’m scared of police because they do whatever they want, they get their way with violence, they always get their way, they lie, they file false reports, they are always believed by people who know they lie, and they never see any consequences for their actions.

                    Judges have total immunity, so they totally do whatever they want. Cops are officers of the court who do the bidding of the judges.

                    So yeah. I’m scared to death of these motherfuckers. Because in their world might makes right, and they have might.

                    1. As someone who stands up to police, judges, and other bureaucrats on a regular basis I can tell you they are more scared of you.

                      Ever drive through a DUI checkpoint with only rolling your window down enough to hand the police a laminated card with the Constitution on it? I have.

                      Ever drive through a drivers license checkpoint, never roll your window down, and holding up a laminated card of the 4th Amendment? I have.

                      Ever walk out of court while the judge is lecturing you about civil law while the judge is simultaneously violating the Constitution and case law? I have.

                      You might even die standing up for yourself and your rights. Freedom is not free.

                    2. In how many of those cases were you subsequently arrested?

                      You might even die standing up for yourself and your rights.

                      Then my daughter is an orphan because her mom is a deadbeat. I can’t do that.

                  2. Well, it ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS comes down to the question “Quis Custodiet Ipsoes Custodies”, doesn’t it?

        4. I’m not saying it’d be easy or fool proof.

          I’d have an elected position similar to how we elect Federal Senators. 2 per state, let’s call them Federal Sheriff’s. Each may appoint 30 officers. They’d have no limit on jurisdiction and may only arrest/prosecute someone employed directly or contracted by government.

          1. That won’t be abused by political parties to get revenge when the new team comes into power. No way.

            1. They’d be elected officials only allowed to hunt government. It wouldn’t be perfect, but I think it’d be better than the circle jerk we have right now.

    2. The “bear” part of the Amendment, meaning “to carry” limits the amendment’s protections to small arms. I think you and I debated this before and I even linked to an interview with Scalia saying as much.

      Yes, yes, I know all the arguments about private cannons in the militia, etc. However, we should not need the Second Amendment to protect private ownership of such larger weapons of war, just as in a theoretically just world we shouldn’t even need a Second Amendment to protect the right to own a gun. Besides the very price of those things will keep anybody but rich collectors from owning them, just like it is now for the NFA legal full-auto guns like you see at the Knob Creek shoot.

      But let’s be true to the actual words of the amendment, for if we are going to be absolutist about things, be correct in our absolutism.

      1. What about the “keep” part? You can keep things that are bigger than can be carried. With that pesky “and” in there, it looks like it means both small arms that can be carried and large arms that can be kept.

        1. What a tortured interpretation of the English language and a normal plain text understanding of things.

          The “keep and bear” has always been read together as one clause as applied to a militia soldier carrying his own gun into service. To have your interpretation, it would have to have been written as “keep or bear.”

          1. Nothing says that “and” means “at the same time.”

          2. “Or” in the English language usually means exclusive. This or that, but not both. So “keep or bear” would mean you can keep things you can’t carry or have things you can carry, but not both.

          3. Gun grabbers torture any constitutional language that defies their narrative that all guns should be banned.

            Background checks on weapons and ammo, limits on ships, grenades, tanks, swords, knives are all unconstitutional.

            1. Background checks on weapons and ammo, limits on ships, grenades, tanks, swords, knives are all unconstitutional.

              Yep. Even nukes. If Bill Gates wants a nuke, and is willing to put up the coin to get one, then he should be able to.

              1. Yup, even nukes.

                Good luck with that. Bill Gates will surely get hundreds of thousands of people to voluntarily work to produce a nuclear weapon to “protect himself” from Americans. Yeah sure.

                BTW. I get to sue Bill Gates if his radiation enrichment facility causes radiation to cross my property and injure me.

                “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Bill Gates is building a nuclear weapon and irradiated me. I am suing for $50 Billion dollars”.

              2. Another logical conclusion of your nuke comment is chemical and biological weapons. Real nasty stuff and available in the 18th Century.

                Smallpox was used as a weapon to decimate native tribes in the Americas.

                Poison as a chemical weapon was used to kill people.

                If you hurt or murder someone using chemical and/or biological agents, you are liable for civil and/or criminal penalties.

            2. Yes, but it doesn’t say “or” now does it. It says “keep and bear” in the context of a single militia soldier taking his arm to militia service. The 2nd Amendment protects an individual right, but under your line of reasoning, the amendment protects both an individual right to keep and bear arms but also a collective right to crew served weapons? Pick a side, buddy.

              And I am most certainly not a gun grabber, and for what it’s worth, I resent being called such just because I don’t support your particular interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, one entirely unsupported by both a textual analysis of the amendment, but also a historical understanding of what it was actually protecting.

              1. Kalak, you are just wrong. I know YOU WANT the 2nd Amendment to limit weapons but it does not.

                Colonialists and early Americans brought every available weapon to bear against the British: Cannons, ships, swords, rifles, pistols, grenades, explosives, etc.

              2. It says “keep and bear” in the context of a single militia soldier taking his arm to militia service.

                *scans 2A*

                Nope. Don’t see person there. I see “people.”

                Pick a side, buddy.

                Nope. I don’t pick sides. I poke holes.

                I resent being called such just because I don’t support your particular interpretation of the 2nd Amendment

                Reread my comments. I never said nor implied that you were.

                1. You can the 2A see and see “people”….comes to the conclusion that it protects a collective right. Only in the context (there’s that word again) of the other amendments can you come to the conclusion that the 2A protects and individual right. Further, without the same understanding about context, you can also easily come to the conclusion that the 2A only protected weapons in use at the time of the founding, because the 1st Amendment only mentions press and speech specifically. Taking things your way, speech on the internet would not be protected.

                  You think you’re poking holes, just really you’re just showing your lack of knowledge on the subject matter.

                  My comment about being a “gun grabber” was to love1789. Sorry you mixed it up.

              3. TRTKABA is not limited to a “militia soldier”, but is an individual right the people held before the advent of the BOR. “…[I]t has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.”

                Held:
                1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
                (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that itconnotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.
                (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.

                1. I never said the amendment only protected a “militia soldier,” just that “keep and bear” means that the amendment protects only arms capable of being carried, because in context the Founders wanted to protect individual ownership of arms for militia soldiers carrying their own guns to service. Love1789 and others are saying that “bear” doesn’t mean “carry.”

                  1. Again, with the understanding that militia service is not necessary for the individual right to own a gun, but the context of militia service is essential to understanding the “bear arms” means carry.

        2. “To keep and bear arms”.

          The 2 different verbs refer to the same noun.

          So you must be able to bear them or they can’t be arms.

          This is a very simple English sentence.

          Additionally, no one spoke at the time of “keeping a cannon (or a warship)” (as in “keep arms in their house”).

          The Founders knew English, they revered words, and labored over what they said.

          It is an insult to them that some pretend they were so stupid that they couldn’t write an amendment to protect “the sword and every terrible implement of war”. They could have, but they didn’t.

          That pro-rights people try to twist it in the right to bear cannon or warships is embarrassing.

      2. Arms include every weapon available and ammo to use those weapons.

        “Bear” means to carry. Another premodern definition was to “use”The army brought weapons to bear on the enemy

        Carry never implies that a person has to carry the weapon but that Arms can be carried by a gun carriage or ship or are the weapons themselves.

        1. The work “bear” in that context of the written words of the Amendment is used right next to the word “keep.”

          You’re torturing the English language to pretend it means “to aim at the enemy” when it was written with the idea of a militia soldier carrying his gun to service. So the amendment could read, in your mind, “…the right of the people to own weapons and aim them shall not be infringed.” That doesn’t pass even any sort of reasonable think through, let alone a historical understanding of the history of the Amendment.

          You’re out in left field there buddy.

          1. When you cannot read a few words in the Constitution for what they are, YOU are torturing the words.

            Bearing does not require aim at the enemy. You can bear your weapon toward a tree or shooting range.

            You gun grabbers are so out there, you cannot even see that more and more Americans are getting states to end gun control.

            1. Holy cow, you’re as bad as Hiln. You know that right? You’re saying the “bear” in the 2nd Amendment protects the right to aim your gun rather than carry it about. Are you aware, that if the liberals in the various courts read the right that way, they would say that there is no right to concealed carry or open carry?

              Think about it. If “bear” in the 2nd Amendment meant to aim rather than carry on your person, a 5-4 SCOTUS decision could say that there is no constitutional protections to concealed carry. Rather, freedom has been expanded by the 7th Circuit in Illinois, the last state to get concealed carry, because the court there said that “bear” meant carry, and that there must be some provision for “bearing arms.”

              1. Luckily, you get to keep, own, carry, aim, clean, practice with, sell, buy, trade, gift away, receive, pick up, lay down, and much much more with Arms.

                Any judge is suspect who tries to find a way to infringe on the right to keep and bear Arms. There are zero government exceptions to this People’s right. None.

                1. Well, love1789, you’re not engaging in an honest appraisal of reality as it stands. Lots of judges everywhere do infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, as do legislatures and various executives. Saying it shouldn’t be so doesn’t make it so.

                  Furthermore, if you were caught, say with a shotgun that was 17 1/2″ in barrel length that a federal agent sold you to entrap you (even if we both think such restrictions are unconstitutional), pulling out your pocket constitution and telling the ATF agent putting cuffs on you wouldn’t be much help, nor would it as the judge denied you bail, nor would it help with the prosecutor who would railroad you into a prison sentence.

            2. No.

              To “keep” arms, and to “bear” arms.

              The 2 verbs refer to the very same noun.

              So, the arm which one can “keep” also has to be one that you can “bear”.

              The founders had plenty of words to use if they wanted to write an amendment protecting any and all weapons.

              That said, all fire”arms” are arms. The question is when does a weapon cease being a firearm and become a machine gun or cannon.

              A cannon is clearly not an arm.

              What about a tripod mounted .30-06 machine gun? Fires the same round as the bolt-action deer rifle. So, why is it not an arm?

              Closer to home – the M16. Only difference between it and an AR15 is the full auto capacity.

              Why is it not an arm? I can’t think of a good reason that it is not.

        2. Heller:

          At the time of the founding, as now, to “bear” meant to “carry.” See Johnson 161; Webster; T. Sheridan, A Complete Dictionary of the English Language (1796); 2 Oxford English Dictionary 20 (2d ed. 1989) (hereinafter Oxford). When used with “arms,” however, the term has a meaning that refers to carrying for a particular purpose?confrontation. In Muscarello v. United States, 524 U. S. 125 (1998), in the course of analyzing the meaning of “carries a firearm” in a federal criminal statute, Justice Ginsburg wrote that “[s]urely a most familiar meaning is, as the Constitution’s Second Amendment ? indicate[s]: ‘wear, bear, or carry ? upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose ? of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ ” Id., at 143 (dissenting opinion) (quoting Black’s Law Dictionary 214 (6th ed. 1998)). We think that Justice Ginsburg accurately captured the natural meaning of “bear arms.” Although the phrase implies that the carrying of the weapon is for the purpose of “offensive or defensive action,” it in no way connotes participation in a structured military organization.

        3. Heller:

          Before addressing the verbs “keep” and “bear,” we interpret their object: “Arms.” The 18th-century meaning is no different from the meaning today. The 1773 edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defined “arms” as “weapons of offence, or armour of defence.” 1 Dictionary of the English Language 107 (4th ed.) (hereinafter Johnson). Timothy Cunningham’s important 1771 legal dictionary defined “arms” as “any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.” 1 A New and Complete Law Dictionary (1771); see also N. Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) (reprinted 1989) (hereinafter Webster) (similar).

          The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity.

      3. You bring a cannon to “Bear.” A cannon is an “Arm.”

        The founders just got done fighting a war, why would they limit what kinds of weapons they would be allowed to use in the next one? The Bill of Rights were written to limit government not the people.

        1. The Bill of Rights were written to limit government not the people.

          Yet those who are tasked with executing and interpreting it are the very same people the document is intended to limit. They don’t want to be limited. They want absolute power. So they will creatively interpret plain words to mean the exact opposite in order to keep and increase their power.

          1. “The Bill of Rights were written to limit government not the people.”

            Side note, should that be “was” or “were”?

        2. No.

          To “keep” arms, and to “bear” arms.

          The 2 verbs refer to the very same noun.

          So, the arm which one can “keep” also has to be one that you can “bear”.

          The founders had plenty of words to use if they wanted to write an amendment protecting any and all weapons.

          That said, all fire”arms” are arms. The question is when does a weapon cease being a firearm and become a machine gun or cannon.

          A cannon is clearly not an arm.

          What about a tripod mounted .30-06 machine gun? Fires the same round as the bolt-action deer rifle. So, why is it not an arm?

          Closer to home – the M16. Only difference between it and an AR15 is the full auto capacity.

          Why is it not an arm? I can’t think of a good reason that it is not.

        3. No.

          To “keep” arms, and to “bear” arms.

          The 2 verbs refer to the very same noun.

          So, the arm which one can “keep” also has to be one that you can “bear”.

          The founders had plenty of words to use if they wanted to write an amendment protecting any and all weapons.

          That said, all fire”arms” are arms. The question is when does a weapon cease being a firearm and become a machine gun or cannon.

          A cannon is clearly not an arm.

          What about a tripod mounted .30-06 machine gun? Fires the same round as the bolt-action deer rifle. So, why is it not an arm?

          Closer to home – the M16. Only difference between it and an AR15 is the full auto capacity.

          Why is it not an arm? I can’t think of a good reason that it is not.

        4. No.

          To “keep” arms, and to “bear” arms.

          The 2 verbs refer to the very same noun.

          So, the arm which one can “keep” also has to be one that you can “bear”.

          The founders had plenty of words to use if they wanted to write an amendment protecting any and all weapons.

          That said, all fire”arms” are arms. The question is when does a weapon cease being a firearm and become a machine gun or cannon.

          A cannon is clearly not an arm.

          What about a tripod mounted .30-06 machine gun? Fires the same round as the bolt-action deer rifle. So, why is it not an arm?

          Closer to home – the M16. Only difference between it and an AR15 is the full auto capacity.

          Why is it not an arm? I can’t think of a good reason that it is not.

        5. No.

          To “keep” arms, and to “bear” arms.

          The 2 verbs refer to the very same noun.

          So, the arm which one can “keep” also has to be one that you can “bear”.

          The founders had plenty of words to use if they wanted to write an amendment protecting any and all weapons.

          That said, all fire”arms” are arms. The question is when does a weapon cease being a firearm and become a machine gun or cannon.

          A cannon is clearly not an arm.

          What about a tripod mounted .30-06 machine gun? Fires the same round as the bolt-action deer rifle. So, why is it not an arm?

          Closer to home – the M16. Only difference between it and an AR15 is the full auto capacity.

          Why is it not an arm? I can’t think of a good reason that it is not.

          1. Again, the Bill of Rights was written to limit the government, not the citizens.

            “Arms” includes any and all weapons.

            They did not specify the type of Arms for a reason. That reason? They literally just got done fighting a war against one of the most powerful militaries the world had ever seen. They understood what it takes to win a war like that and NEWSFLASH, it’s not with whatever weapons the enemy will LET you carry.

            “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. ”

            It’s really clear. It says every weapon or type of weapon, an ARM and it specifically says that the right to keep and bear them shall not be infringed.

            Anyone who start pulling this apart to restrict people’s rights is being disingenuous and probably sucks a lot of authoritarian cock.

            1. If the Founders had wanted to do what you think the 2A does they certainly had the command of the English language to do jus that.

              Instead you want to pretend they were stupid enough to write an amendment that says you have the right to “bear” (carry) a cannon.

              The plain English language is the simply barrier you have to cross.

              And f you too pal. I’m more of a 2A absolutist than you. I just believe the Founders were intelligent and knew exactly what they were doing.

              1. *slow clap* for AZ Guns.

              2. “If the Founders had wanted to do what you think the 2A does they certainly had the command of the English language to do jus that.”

                and… They did!

                “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. ”

                It’s really clear. It says “Arms.”

                ARE THERE ANY SPECIFICATIONS OF ARMS LISTED IN THE 2nd AMENDMENT? NO! Because they knew people would do exactly what you’re trying to do.

                1. Can you carry a cannon Cy. Maybe some small 12 pounders of the era. Your reading is wishful thinking.

                  Let us extend your logic about specificity. The First Amendment *specifically* references the freedom of the press….therefore, should all other written forms of communication should not be protected, because, after all, the first amendment ONLY specifically says “press.”

                  1. I can carry a cannon. But, that really doesn’t have anything to do with this discussion. You’re attempting to limit what you’ll allow people to defend themselves with. I’m not.

                    You’re attempting to apply the same fallacious logic to the 1st amendment. I’m not.

                    The Founders just fought a war with whatever Arms they could get their hands on, because that’s war. They almost lost on a couple occasions. They would’ve lost if Britain weren’t busy in other parts of the world. Some of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were killed for it and had their whole families wiped out.

                    It is extremely unlikely that any of the men present at the creation and ratification of the Constitution of the United States, including the Bill of Rights, had any doubt about the very clear meaning of:

                    “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

                    But maybe, I will concede, there was a Tory in the back secretly hoping everyone would be dumb enough to limit how they would arm themselves for when the British or Spanish invaded US soil.

                    1. Sorry, the burden of proof is on you to show that that the Founders meant “arms” in the 2A to refer to all weapons.

                      At the time, as clearly shown by how they spoke of “arms” they knew when they wrote the 2A that “to keep and bear arms” refers to personal weapons that one would carry.

                      It would have been simple for them to write an amendment that does what you want it to do.

                      They didn’t.

                      But then they revered language too, not just freedom.

                      obtw, the militia clause of the 2A doesn’t do much other than reflect the anti-Federalist’s desires that the militia be the appropriate defense of the country – it doesn’t modify the Constitution in any way nor does it modify the operative clause of the 2A.

                      It was a “consolation prize” to the anti-Federalists who lost every battle over the adoption of the Constitution. We got the Bill of Rights out it, but other than that all the anti-Federalists got was a nod.

                    2. As someone pointed out, the term is Arms and not small arms.

                      Small arms being used to describe weapons that are carried.

                    3. That’s the popular vernacular today.

                      Then, not so much.

                      So far I’ve not seen anyone offer any example of the Founders’ noting that one would “keep” a cannon (in their house for example) or bear a warship.

                      That fact that people owned both cannon, and with the permission of gov’t (a point many don’t note when pointing that out) would put them on ships and act as legal pirates doesn’t make either cannon or warships “arms” as used in the 2A.

                      Context is key.

                      That is the beauty, and curse of the English language.

            2. ps: you may indeed have a right to cannons, tanks, warships etc.

              I’ve never said you don’t, just that the 2A doesn’t protect it.

              That right may be found in the 9A, or in the general fact that the Constitution doesn’t permit the gov’t to restrict your right to them.

              But, you’ll have to make that argument using the 9A, or the Constitution. The 2A is clearly not about those types of weapons.

              1. The Founding Father did not tend to make mistakes with words meaning something they did not intend. The language in the Constitution is very deliberate.

                “Arms” signal all armaments which includes weapons and ammo. Notice that the Founders did not say ammo or munitions? Arms means all weapons and ammo to use for whatever lawful purpose you wanted.

                That main purpose was defending yourself against a tyrannical government who would surely have every modern Arm available to use against citizens.

                1. “Arms” signal all armaments.

                  You make that claim but the simple English sentence belies it.

                  Again, point to contemporary writing of the Founders that suggest that when they said “to keep and BEAR arms” they meant ALL armaments, including weapons that one obviously cannot bear like a cannon or warship.

                  Why didn’t they say “the right to the sword and every terrible implement of war” (you are familiar with that quote I hope) “shall not be infringed”?

                  Now that would be a 2A that does what you want it to do.

                  And it has a ring to it, very catchy. Hard to miss the point then wouldn’t it be?

      4. Heller goes into excruciating detail as to the historic, linguistic, grammatical, judicial, and overall meaning of the words in the 2nd. Whole paragraphs on “keep”, “bear”, “keep and bear”, “arms”, etc.

        1. According to the 9 justices, 4 of whom completely hate the right to keep and bear Arms.

          1. “4 of whom completely hate the right to keep and bear Arms”

            And whom Scalia dissects repeatedly, tearing their minority arguments down over and over in no uncertain terms.

            It says “shall not be infringed” and I’m on-board with that.

            You’re right that “shall not be infringed” is for practical purposes “shall not be infringed unless SCOTUS says it’s ok” and that is something to be worried about.

            In the meantime though, Heller is about as strong a version of defining what is and is not “infringing” AND clearly states that the RTKABA is NOT tied to service in a militia.

            “Held:

            “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

            1. “Held by SCOTUS in DC v Heller 2008:

              “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

              “traditionally lawful purposes” not just “self-defense within the home”

              The DC law banned having an operable gun in the home for self-defense. SCOTUS note only struck that down but ruled 2A supported traditionally lawful purposes.

              Before Heller’08, my home state courts had ruled on the state constitutional protection of the right of the citizens of this state to keep and bear arms to specifically protect self defense in the home and military marksmanship training, but to also include traditional, lawful purposes such as hunting, protecting livestock, recreational shooting, and collection as curio or keepsake.

      5. re: “The “bear” part of the Amendment, meaning “to carry” limits the amendment’s protections to small arms.”

        No, it does not. To bear has multiple meanings both today and at the time the Bill of Rights was written. Those meanings included not only “to carry on one’s person” but also “to carry in one’s vehicle” (cart, etc) and “bring to bear” as in to aim and prepare to use. Your crippled interpretation of the word “bear” does not survive semantic analysis. There is no inherent limit in the wording of the Second Amendment that restricts it to small arms.

        1. No.

          “To bear” may have multiple meanings, but they both refer to carrying arms. You can carry them for personal reasons, like self-defense, or you can “bear arms against” the enemy. Heller discusses this.

          But in English, to bear, and “to bring to bear” do not mean the same thing, not even close to the same thing.

          To bring to bear means to point the weapon at a target.

          To “bear” means to carry.

          English is a marvelous language. It seems that an awful lot of people who don’t want to use it correctly.

  13. May come as a surprise to Hihn:

    U.S. V. Miller: Held that ownership of weapons for preservation of a well-regulated militia unit of the present day are protected.

    McDonald v City of Chicago, at p.1 the Supreme Court said “the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms.

    1. This type of thing is filtered out by his cognitive bias subsystem.

  14. Guns & gun parts not covered by a ban are just as capable and lethal as those that were.
    If you ban certain guns, fewer people will die with THOSE guns.
    Just do not expect overall murder rates to change.

    And I believe the bigger misconception in America is the police have no “duty-to-protect” you.
    SCOTUS has ruled on the subject many times here are three main case Law rulings.
    Warren vs District of Columbia
    Gonzales vs Castle Rock
    DeShaney v. Winnebago County

    1. Cops don’t carry guns to protect the public. They carry guns to protect themselves from the public. We are the enemy.

  15. Seventy-eight minutes after the shooting began, a police sniper killed Huberty with a single shot to the chest.

    78 minutes? Jesus fucking Christ, whatever you Heroes in Blue do, don’t, I don’t know, try to assault the place or do anything to stop the guy that might result in one of you Brave Heroes getting yourselves hurt or killed. I mean, it’s not like it’s your job to try and stop people like this assclown.

  16. Slightly off-kilter: “a Ruger 10/22 hunting rifle.” That description is distracting, because it invites puzzled reactions like this one, even if it’s the gun with the most at-critter shots taken overall (which might be the case).

    Could you hunt certain things with a 10/22? Yes — squirrels, possums, rats, rabbits …

    But it’s not a great example of a “hunting rifle,” because despite its sometimes use for that, its specialty is being general-purpose. This sounds a bit like “a Volkswagen Beetle race car.” Possible? Sure — there’s Herbie the Love Bug, and successors in interest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPgv_9DDnns

  17. all guns are assault weapons thats no reason to ban them

  18. People who know better may nevertheless support “assault weapon” bans as a tactic for achieving more stringent gun restrictions down the road.

    No. Shit.

  19. The right to arms, because it is a derivative of the right to self defense, which is a derivative of the right to life, is not subject to cost/benefit analysis.

    There is simply no ground upon which the gov’t can prohibit me the possession of a semi-auto fire”arm”.

    ALL fire”arms” are arms.

  20. These guns are designed with the purpose of killing as many humans as possible in the shortest time. The history is written and well known. I do not want to live on a hair trigger ready for the shooting to start, neither should children in school. Weapons that are able to inflict maximum casualties in the shortest amount of time should be either banned or licensed after background checks, training, and a strict certification program.

    This is especially true with the AR-15. When you shoot an AR-15 you feel its power but it’s not so powerful to throw you back and make you lose your ability to fire another round accurately. The fact it’s not fully automatic is not much of a hindrance. In fact, semi-auto is the way to take out the maximum number of people. The AR-15 trades caliber size for an increase in the round to round accuracy. It’s not like a heavy hunting rifle that will throw you off target once you shoot. The lighter caliber also allows twice the amount of ammunition to be carried! So a human killing machine it is. Perhaps not as good on a bear hunt but we can see even in semi-automatic mode it can take out a lot of people. Perhaps in the next big shooting, we will see a coordinated event with multiple shooters blocking exits and trying to take out everyone in a school. Well, they have their weapon. It’s only a matter of time.

    1. Nope. The 2nd Amendment 100% prohibits the illegal schemes you are mentioning.

      Feel free to garner enough support to change the Constitution.

    2. It’s for the children? Check.
      I’m scared, blah, blah, but ma feelz!? Check.
      Appeal to sucking government cock? Check.

      Ignorance of firearms? Check.
      Diving into details to somehow legitimize slaver mentality? Check.
      Reinforcing scary stuff? Check.

    3. If schools were not ‘gun free zones’ then those who ignore the rules wouldn’t choose them as places to shoot up. You don’t see mass shootings at places where people aren’t prohibited from being armed.

      1. You don’t see as many. I’m sure there are outliers. There always are.

    4. Weapons that are able to inflict maximum casualties in the shortest amount of time should be either banned or licensed after background checks, training, and a strict certification program.

      So, if I want to inflict maximum casualties in the shortest amount of time it’s OK as long as I don’t use a gun without a license? What if I want to inflict the maximum amount of casualties with a firearm but am OK with it being over a more protracted period, would I still need a license?

      Also, should I be concerned about poisoning too quickly without a license as well or should I just stick with the slower-acting, harder-to-detect poisons like dimethylmercury, tetrodotoxin, and polonium?

    5. Well, if the AR-15 is truly protected by the 2nd amendment, what about the Squad Automatic Weapon? They are a lot of fun and you can rent one on the range in Utah. RPGs? Why not? Why should the line be drawn there? Also, why not have random armed people around when the President is making a speech? I think that could solve all our problems.

      1. People already have open access to thousands of different kinds of explosives in ridiculous quantities. We literally drive fuel bombs around. We let kids pump GALLONS of gasoline into our cars. The list of horrifying things that human beings can do if they get a wild hair up their ass is far longer than I have time in my day to write down.

        When open and concealed carry were being considered, there weren’t enough articles out there talking about the future rage killings and OK corral moments that were going to plague our society, it never happened.

        There are over 360,000,000 citizens in the US. Most of them can/could do a lot of damage no matter how many weapons you ban or how many different ways you try to make murder more illegal.

        Using fear as a dictator for policy making and voting makes you nothing more than a pawn to those who peddle fear.

        The 2nd was written by revolutionaries whom knew that one day they may need to revolt again and they sure as hell weren’t going to limit what they would allow themselves to fight off an oppressor with. They wrote “arms.” Not “small arms.” Not “whatever arms the government allows.” Not “whatever arms people don’t fear.”

        “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

        It’s pretty fucking clear.

      2. Used to be that you could buy dynamite in any hardware store until your fellow leftists started bombing sprees in the late ’60s. Gun violence is empirically lower now than it was 25 years ago, but let’s say for the sake of argument that it’s worse. What’s the real problem, the availability of the tool, or the various sicknesses of mass society that lead segments of the population to commit wanton mayhem?

      3. You raise a good question.

        Why can full auto rifles, “M16’s and the like” to quote Scalia, be banned (essentially thru the NFA etal)?

        They are clearly fire”arms”, and Heller quotes a definition that says ALL firearms are arms.

        Why is the M16, Tommy gun or Uzi not protected?

        They are clearly arms, and they are clearly arms that would be useful in a militia. Also, quite effective self-defense weapons.

        On another note, I find it humorous that I have bought true “weapons of war” direct from the US Gov’t (well, thru the CMO of course) – M1 Garands and M1 Carbines.

        And for my money, the Garand is a far more dangerous weapon than the AR15.

    6. “These guns are designed with the purpose of killing as many humans as possible in the shortest time.”

      Then millions of people have been using them wrong.

      Personally, I’ve fired hundreds of rounds through each of my AR-15-style rifles, and *never* once fired them at a living creature, let alone a human.

      And now you’re telling me I’ve been using the weapon outside of its designed for purpose?

      1. I’ve fired thousands of rounds through M-2, M-16, M-60 and M-249 without killing anyone. They all must have been defective.

    7. ha ha ha!

      “When you shoot an AR-15 you feel its power but it’s not so powerful to throw you back and make you lose your ability to fire another round accurately.”

      No, I don’t “feel its power”. But you are right, it shoots a lesser powered INTERMEDIATE rifle round so it is a great weapon for women or others with less strength like the old.

      But as to it being a superior killing machine that is absolute bunk.

      It is no more dangerous, and arguably less dangerous than the US military “battle rifles” of WWI or II, like the Springfield 03 (bolt-action .30-06) or M1 Garand (semi-auto .30-06).

      Hit for hit you’ll have more kills with the .30-06. But I don’t have any trouble keeping those on target either.

      Do you really believe all that fantasy you gave us?

  21. Every argument the left presents to criticize the AR makes it the very embodiment of the weapon the 2nd intends the citizenry necessarily equip itself against the tyrannical government it was intended to confront.

  22. After decades of arguing the same things over and over with new generations of gun-grabbing statists, hoplophobes, and know-nothings, I have finally settled upon one I can live with, a gentle compormise.

    I call it the “No. F_ck off.” protocol.

    Got stats saying I need to give up my guns? “No. F_ck off.”

    Got your latest creative interpretation of some SCOTUS utterance? “No. F_ck off.”

    Got an emotional appeal after the latest crime I yet again had nothing to do with? “No. F_ck off.”

    Saying the gummint’s gonna come take them anyway, so I better give them up while I still can? “No. F_ck off.”

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Also, typos happen, and I don’t seem to be able to edit. “No. F_ck off.”

      1. You can spell out “fuck”. Chances are your students will not see your posts.

        1. My remaining vestigial manners forbid it.

          1. The manners of the Vestigial Virgins brought great honour on the Roman state.

  23. First, stop calling tactical rifles, ” assault weapons”. They are not because they do not fit the definition of an assault weapon based on military standards or terminology. I also want to point out that ARs have a legitimate hunting purpose and it is not deer. Throughout the south and southwest, there are herds of feral hogs. In Texas it is estimated there are almost 2 million feral hogs which cause upwards of $400 million in damage annually to crops. They are such a problem, the state considers them a nuisance and allows them to be hunted all year. Only an idiot with a death wish hunts hogs with a bolt action rifle. Hogs hide in thick brush, can run up to 30 mph and have 4-6 inch tucks which can tear you open. If they were to rip open an artery in your leg, you will die in minutes.

  24. Also, the entire point of the Bill of Rights, not just the 2nd amendment is to limit the power of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, not the people. What I find so fascinating is how those “experts” on the 2nd amendment never consider the result if they applied the same concept to the other amendments. Those opposed to capital punishment for decades have argued it violates the 8th amendment. However, at the time of its ratification, the only forms of execution available were hanging, firing squad or beheading. Using the same logic, any other form of execution is banned because it did not exist at t the time. Those seeking to ban firearms always want to tell us what the term militia means. They often say we have the National Guard and the 2nd amendment means only they are allowed to have firearms. This is perhaps the most idiotic claim I hear made by gun grabbers. First the NG is controlled by Federal Government in conjunction with state governments. Regardless, of who gives the orders, they all come from government. How do they people protect themselves from government intrusion if they have to look to that same government to protect them? That in itself is moronic. All the modern debate about guns, the role of government and our rights begins at the same place, the beginning of the 20th century with TDR who sought to change the role of government in our lives. It expanded further under FDR and has continued to expand until we find ourselves where we are now.

    1. It’s not worth the effort. We have multiple generations that were raised and are being raised as obedient serfs. You can try to reason with them until you’re blue in the face, it won’t change a thing.

  25. As my son the astro-physicist says, the only true things are those you can prove with math.

    So, as Sullum recounts in his article, the data we have, messy as they are, show no statistical correlation of black guns with significant numbers of murders OR events.

    Now just to annoy any progressives who might be scanning these comments, you know what does correlate with murders? Black people. (Looking at percent racial populations by state and murder rates.) So maybe we should ban black people, or perhaps more PC, assault people. We could define 5 or 6 criteria, but we would still know the target is blacks.

  26. Murders by unarmed assailants using “personal weapons” (hands, feet, etc) have run 500 to 800 per year by the FBI Uniform Crime Reports UCR based on police reports to the FBI. That’s twice as many per year than by assailants using rifles of all types (and murders with military-style rifles are a subset of murders with rifles).

    If military style rifles can be banned when they are used in a tiny fraction of murders, why should not hand, feet, and other “personal weapons” be banned when they are used to kill far more people than fall victim to “assault weapons”? When will the voices start intoning, “if it saves one life” and “think of the children”?

  27. It appears to me that we, as a nation, have outsmarted ourselves in the area of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” or anything bordering on the reasonable expectation of “self-defense”, by becoming so entrenched in defending the 2nd amendment, and so obsessed with the idea of “bigger (or faster) means better” when it comes to “self-defense” weaponry. I think we’ve already out-weaponed ourselves.

    When the 2nd amendment, a law intended to provide for our protection, instead weaponizes our own population against itself, “good” guys and “bad” guys, alike, (which are which?) the point of it begins to get very, very lost.

    Its obvious to me, or anyone who’s paying even a little bit of attention, the we are facing broad political divides, and the ever-increasing stress of modern-day living, and fractured families or support systems. Individuals have little to look to in the way of psychological help and, for many, to be able to survive in a highly capitalist, and equally highly-taxed society.

    Example (true story): An armed robbery took place in my apartment building on Easter Sunday, 2018. I watched it happen in my apartment building stairwell, through the peep-hole in my apartment door (a metal security door with no less than 4 locking mechanisms.)

    Con’t

    1. Con’t

      One black male wearing a black hoodie and jeans held a gun against another black male (same height/size) also wearing a black hoodie and exercise shorts, demanded his wallet and continued to hold what looked like a Glock on the victim, insisting he “lay down”. Your guess is as good as mine what he intended to do if the guy laid down, but, nevertheless….The victim refused to lay down. Everyone in the building could hear the argument taking place in the stairwell. I’m guessing several tenants own guns, but no one volunteered to come to the victim’s rescue. At this point I yelled out (from behind my door) “I’m calling the cops!”, and did so.

      As I was on the phone with the police, I described the scene, and the armed robber ran from the building. The dispatched continued to ask me details, who was wearing what, holding what, etc. Most nerve-wracking thing I’ve had to do in my life was try to sort out bad guy from good guy with proper description. My hoodie-wearing victim-neighbor was holding a cell phone in one hand, and I reported this to try to prevent his being shot by police. The police arrived in amazing speed, but were hesitant to enter the stairwell of the building, fearing they might encounter the gunman, if still inside.

      Con’t

      1. Con’t

        I don’t know if you’ve ever considered this, but confronting an armed criminal in a stairwell is not the best of circumstances, so I entirely understand the police officer’s hesitancy in entering the building (kind of like at Parkland, if you’ll remember…). The gunman, as mentioned earlier, had already exited the building and parking lot, and has yet to be found. My neighbor was unharmed, thank god.

        Also in our favor, is that no shots were fired – as there are several families with children living in the building and the walls are not bullet-proof.

        My point is, my neighbor did not have his own gun out and ready at the time he was ambushed in the stairwell by the gunman. No other neighbor, gun or no gun, wanted to confront the gunman, and even the police were hesitant to engage under the circumstances. When a criminal is already gun-out and ready, he’s got the upper hand.

        The problem with our current gun laws is that criminals DO find it easy to arm themselves. While I keep hearing about “all the gun-laws” we already have, none seem to be doing the job well enough.

        1. con’t

          If you think owning a gun, even a semi-automatic, or whatever, makes you safe, think again. It’s the one prepared to do the shooting, and who is focused on doing harm, who has the advantage, not the “good guys”, and not the police. I’m actually glad the gunman escaped the scene that evening. I feel sure that even with the police on scene, innocent people would have been at serious risk had he been encountered.

          It may be true that if guns were outlawed, only criminals would have guns (and police, I presume) , but at least it would be easier to recognize the criminals. As for worrying about the “erosion of 2nd amendment rights”, I think we have to move away from fears of “give ’em and inch and they’ll take a mile…” I think if we don’t start giving up our own “inches” on reasonable terms, the mile of road left won’t be safe to travel.

          And yes, military-style weapons are a good place to start. At least don’t give criminals more fire-power than necessary.

          You can intellectualize and debate all you want to over the 2nd amendment, but real solutions are needed. Things have gotten way too far out of hand, and you aren’t here with your gun to protect me.

          Thanks for listening.

          1. PS — I’m a single white female.

            1. Day before yesterday a white mom fatally shot an armed robber and got on national teevee. The jerk goosestepped off the street into some pedestrians on the sidewalk holding a revolver and making hostile noises. One of the women he advanced on, an off-duty policewoman, shot him thrice through the heart point-blank, permanently incapacitating the perp. She then kicked his gun out or reach and retrieved it with no collateral damage. Here’s the story and embedded vid: https://preview.tinyurl.com/ycrhbjwd

              1. Hank, this story doesn’t impress me at all in defense of “2nd amendment” (perceived) rights. The man was likely mentally ill which makes him a great example of why we need more restrictive gun control. A guy like him shouldn’t have a gun to start with.

                The whole reason it made the news is because the fact that someone was on the scene, trained. armed, and ready to defend, makes it an unusual occurrence. But lets hold that one instance up against the 4 drive-by killings that occurred this past Saturday in my hometown, and the criminals are still winning.

          2. “When a criminal is already gun-out and ready, he’s got the upper hand.”

            Well that’s news.

            “If you think owning a gun, even a semi-automatic, or whatever, makes you safe, think again. It’s the one prepared to do the shooting, and who is focused on doing harm, who has the advantage, not the “good guys”, and not the police.”

            uh, yeah, except for the fact that hundreds and hundreds of times a year people do actually shoot in self-defense. The criminal doesn’t always win, even when he has the upper hand.

            “It may be true that if guns were outlawed, only criminals would have guns (and police, I presume) , but at least it would be easier to recognize the criminals.”

            Yeah, and all those thousands of people just mentioned above. Guess what, all victims now, many of them dead.

            You realize you’ve just advocated for people to be at the mercy of violent people.

            That’s morally abhorrent.

            So, no, not interested.

            And that’s right, I’m not here with a gun to protect you.

            And guess what, if I was there and had the chance you can forget it.

            Someone who wants people to be helpless victims deserves to be one.

            1. Nope. What I’m really in favor of is stricter gun regulation. (Did you even read what I wrote?) The more we weaponize criminals, the more we have to weaponize ourselves, and that just leads to more gun violence, period. Let’s take your mindset for example. You already wish me dead. Thanks for proving my point about political diversity. I win. Your words.

              1. Yes, I read what you wrote, and responded to it.

                You didn’t read what I wrote.

                Are you Hihn’s twin?

                1. I did read what you wrote, and I understand your fears, however, the reality is that we are all already at the mercy of violent people when we have to spend our days being afraid and arming ourselves to the teeth to “protect” ourselves from them. They’ve already won. While I’m sure it does happen occasionally that people to succeed in defending themselves with firearms as a means of self-defense, it happens even more often that innocent people are shot and killed by criminals, and even by accident, as happens all the time. Throw in suicide statistcs — and we have ourselves a daily “mass shooting” happening in the US. (It is so much easier to act on suicidal tendency when you know you have a quick and easy way out in the form of a gun.)

                  So, again, in conclusion, we do ourselves more harm than good to create a situation where we have an overly-weaponized society. We are enabling the criminals and the “grim reaper” through intentional violence, unintended accident, and suicide, more successfully than we are defending ourselves. I can show you plenty of statistics on this if you like….

                  1. No, estimates run as high as 2.5 MILLION defensive gun uses per year. And that number is confirmed by the CDC.

                    Criminal use of guns is far, far, below that.

                    You can “show” me all the statistics you like. Problem is they are all crap if they come from the gun control side.

                    Read this guy – medium (dot) com/ @bjcampbell/the-gun-solution-f9339609b3b8 (this is the last of his several part series, go thru all of them).

                    1. Now, note that he is proposing a “gun control” scheme that I absolutely reject (what he calls a license to purchase), but he does in his series absolutely destroy, using “statistics”, every single gun control argument there is.

                      But as to being at the “mercy of violent people”. I’m not.

                      I’m also not foolish about this issue, nor do I have any “fears” (other than rational ones – unlike most panty-wetting hoplophobes).

                      I know I have very little chance of being the victim of a violent crime. Why, because I don’t do drugs (not that there is anything wrong with that), no hang around people that do, nor do I hang around with criminals. And I don’t live in the inner city progressive utopia’s like Chicago.

                      And I haven’t for 62 years now. And I’ve never been a victim of violent crime, nor had to even display a gun to ward off crime.

                    2. And I live in AZ, an absolute utopia for gun owners, no permit necessary for even concealed carry. But our murder rate is about 8/100k vs Chicago which is about 18/100k.

                      But I do have a gun with me, everyday (in the car at least since I can’t carry into work with me).

                      Why, same reason I have a fire extinguisher or smoke alarms. I’ve never had a house fire, but better to have those things than not.

                      Same with a gun. If you never need it, no big deal. But if don’t have it and need it, might be the last mistake you make.

                      Oh, and just remember, it doesn’t take a gun to do violence. In most rapes hat occur in the US the assailant doesn’t use a weapon, any weapon. He doesn’t need to because the average man is stronger than the average women. Only a gun gives her a fighting chance.

                      You’ve advocated for disarming people to leave them at the mercy of violent people.

                      You are a morally reprehensible person.

                    3. I am a morally reprehensible person? — Well that is certainly a broad, sweeping condemnation. Do you think that of everyone who doesn’t agree with you, even if you don’t know what their exact position is? And how did you immediately jump to the subject of rape? Because I’m female? Is that where you mind automatically goes when a woman enters the conversation?

                      BTW, I am not someone who would be opposed to basic handguns for the purpose of self-protection, although you and others seem to automatically make that assumption. The only thing I advocate for is tighter gun control — similar to car ownership – requiring licensing, registration and insurance. And yes, I think a certain level of weaponry should be kept out of the hands of the general public, AR-15’s included – if for no other reason than they seem to be far too popular for the purpose of mass shootings. So keep your hand gun — assuming you don’t have a history of serious mental health issues, or have never been convicted of a violent crime. (That bar too high for you?)

                    4. P.S — I’m 58 and have never owned or had any reason to want to own or possess a handgun, much less a semi-automatic weapon of any sort. Nor have I even been subjected to violent crime in spite of living in a large city. Self-defense comes in a lot of forms, but I do not accept carrying such lethal weaponry as the brightest of solutions.

                      AND — As for the statistics you refer to (2.5 million DGU’s/yr) — those statistics are not national, and are broadly viewed as being unconfirmed, and even include situations in which the use of a gun was merely perceived, but not proved necessary — which means there is plenty of room for subjective reasoning as to whether any real gun defense was required to begin with or whether the respondent was even being truthful. That would also explain why the CDC did not publish the results. Too many subjective interpretations to consider.

                    5. Actually, those statistics are “national”.

                      And the CDC not only confirmed (in a later study at the behest of Obama) that Kleck’s work is valid but they hid the fact that their own surveys asked the same question and got the same answers.

                      Everything is subjective to you isn’t it?

                      Well girly, your subjective desires don’t trump mine.

                      If you can ban an AR15 then you can ban any fire”arm”. And when they get to that point you will be right on board with them.

                      So I’m not going down your road.

                    6. The only thing I advocate for is tighter gun control — similar to car ownership – requiring licensing, registration and insurance.

                      Oh, I LOVE when proglydytes bring this up as if it’s some kind of “reasonable” regulation. Yes, let’s treat owning guns just like owning cars. I get a license, registration, and insurance for my guns. In exchange:

                      –The licensing is done with a simple written and operator test (say, similar to CCL or military qualification tests), just like cars, and the license is SHALL ISSUE.
                      –The license is reciprocated in all 50 states, just like cars.
                      –The license renewal is a simple vision test, just like cars.
                      –I don’t need a background check to buy a firearm and can buy them across state lines as long as I pay the state tax and registration fees, just like cars.

                      Let’s treat owning a gun just like we do cars. PLEASE. Doing so would result in the immediate removal of most existing gun control laws.

                    7. No, I think people who advocate that people be defenseless against violent people are morally reprehensible.

                      You are still not reading what I wrote.

                      Your words –

                      “It may be true that if guns were outlawed, only criminals would have guns (and police, I presume) , but at least it would be easier to recognize the criminals. As for worrying about the “erosion of 2nd amendment rights”, I think we have to move away from fears of “give ’em and inch and they’ll take a mile…” I think if we don’t start giving up our own “inches” on reasonable terms, the mile of road left won’t be safe to travel.
                      And yes, military-style weapons are a good place to start. At least don’t give criminals more fire-power than necessary.”

                      Don’t tell me that you don’t want the victims disarmed. You’ll be lying.

                    8. I bring up rape because you need to understand that crime doesn’t just happen with guns.

                      But only guns make the weak able to resist the strong.

                      Any person who thinks that people shouldn’t have the right to be armed is morally reprehensible.

                    9. “Only guns make the weak able to resist the strong?” I take it you are the weak one. Not supporting the proliferation of guns ins society makes me “morally reprehensible”??
                      I am spiritually, morally, socially, and politically strong enough to keep pointing out the fallacy of your arguments. All it takes is a quick trip back to practical reality.

                      How does your position or arguments deal with THIS WEEKS shooting at Sante Fe. And how will they justify the NEXT mass shooting of innocent young children at the NEXT SCHOOL??? Trust me, it won’t take long. Social trends and the impetus that drives them are still very much at work here. But if were are going to get on our “Moral” high horses, then I’d have to point out that the devil takes on many forms, and I seriously doubt that God has decided to take on the form of a gun. Before you have the audacity to keep marching out your so-called “moral” argument – I’d stop off for some very deep soul searching. You might want to take out your shovel and start digging.

                    10. I sleep like a baby at night.

                      But then I understand the concept of right and wrong.

                      You live in a alternate reality.

  28. Mr Sullum again argues cogently from facts. Yet I no more expect his excellent article to succeed in changing looter policies than if it had been published under the title “Jewish Weapons” Explained in National Socialist Germany in 1938. Today’s ‘murrican socialists view all civilians as threats the way their precursor socialists regarded “selfish” Jews as threats. We are fortunate indeed the Second Amendment preserves that one right as we labor to repeal the income tax amendment copied from the communist Manifesto.

  29. Wow. Yet another article explaining the difference between “automatic” and “semi-automatic”. Pistol grip, folding stocks. Go slower we the stupid are so confused.

    What most killings happen with handguns?

    Is that the same as a pistol? Does it matter about the kind?

    Thank you Reason. I get it now.

    If guns were rocket science the world would be very different.

  30. Nearly 400 comments and the goddamned bulk of them is Michael Hihn’s idiocy and other people pointing out Michael Hihn’s idiocy.

    Michael Hihn is an idiot. We get it.

  31. Hihn is actually useful to have around, in one respect: He demonstrates an important point.

    While gun controllers are wrong about a lot of factual matters, both technological and historical, and while demonstrating to the general population that they’re wrong might be useful, don’t ever hope that by proving them wrong, you can change the minds of the gun controllers themselves.

    They’re not reasoning their way to gun control from false premises. They’re reasoning their way to false premises from gun control. Gun control is their immovable starting point, all the ‘mistakes’ and lies are dictated by it.

    Don’t think, when confronted by gun controllers, that you’re dealing with sanity, and just need to get through to them with sweet reason. They’re not susceptible to sweet reason. They can only be defeated, not persuaded.

  32. Hihn,

    Whoever taught you how to read owes you a refund.

  33. Hihn

    If you need any evidence in your malpractice action against your teachers, simply introduce your remarks in this thread. The only question remaining will be the amount of your award.

  34. what should truly frighten people is the use of “assault weapons” to be banned. it is just the “camels nose under the tent” .. every person supporting these bans on “assault weapons” has at one time or another stated that their intent is to take ALL guns away. This same policy is beginning to be applied to the various types of knives that someone may own or carry. In England they are already banning certain knives.
    The same true reason in both of these bans and confiscations is the fact that by far the crimes committed with these weapons are by “protected minorities”. They are not to be prosecuted for their crimes because the convictions would primarily be “protected minorities” so therefore ALL persons should be restricted from owning these selected “assault weapons”.

  35. “Assault weapons ? just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms ? are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons ? anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun ? can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.”
    ?Josh Sugarmann, Executive Director and founder of the gun control group Violence Policy Center (VPC), March 1989

  36. We will not be free until all federal gun laws, including the effective ban on machine guns, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are repealed. Infringe means infringe.

  37. Congratulations to you all, Author first.

    Your logic has succeeded in supporting the deaths of 10 more innocent victims (this week) in Sante Fe. While you legalize and justify, the body count keeps rising.

  38. Perhaps one reason for the popularity for AR-15 type weapons in the hands of killers is the constant barrage of news articles that proclaim it the ultimate killing machine.
    One wonders if the same headlines following a Katana attack would lead to an increase in sword killings.

    1. No actually, the media attention and public opinion did not turn against AR-15’s until their popularity with lunatic gunmen was already strongly evidenced by the most notorious mass shootings. Fortunately, most of us did not even know what an AR-15 was, until those weapons had already succeeded in picking off so many innocent victims. We know now, and anyone who doesn’t know is quickly learning.

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