"As busy as the gun lobby is in promoting macho myths about self-defense -- stand your ground and outshoot the bad guys -- it is no less dedicated to spinning myths for lawmakers to use as excuses to avoid enacting laws to deal with the shooting sprees that regularly afflict the nation. This was clear at the opening Senate hearing on gun controls this week, where Judiciary Committee members seemed to have largely swallowed gun lobby propaganda that the evidence shows the original 10-year ban on assault weapons was ineffective.... The false statistics comfort members of Congress who fear the gun lobby or their more conservative constituents, or both, and are blocking a new and stronger ban on assault weapons proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein."
NY Times Editorial, "The Moment for Action on Gun Control, January 15, 2013:
"Some lawmakers are already talking about focusing on the background checks and bowing to gun lobby's opposition to an assault weapons ban. That shouldn't stop the administration and its allies from demanding that all these provisions be passed immediately. With the deaths of Newtown's children still so fresh, the public will be repulsed by lawmakers who stand aside and do nothing."
"But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.
It turns out that big, scary military rifles don't kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.
In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.
Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell, though rates of gun homicide in the United States are still much higher than those in other developed nations. A Pew survey conducted after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., found that 56 percent of Americans believed wrongly that the rate of gun crime was higher than it was 20 years ago."
"He says nearly 100 percent say they are buying them for defensive purposes. "They're buying AR-15s, home defense shotguns, handguns, personal defense handguns something for conceal carry." said King."
Story here. Among the comments was "Quit looking for ways to skirt the law," when what they had done was to conform to it. And in the process show how meaningless it is.
Neither they nor any inventors of AW bans realize how the separate pistol grip came about -- it's an artifact of the design. Recoil comes along a line that centers on the barrel -- that's where the action and reaction occur. The standard rifle design had the buttstock and thus the shooter's shoulder several inches below the line of the barrel. This created some muzzle flip, but it was tolerable when firing shots one at a time. In full auto, it was not tolerable.
The solution, starting I believe with the German MP-44, was to move the barrel lower, putting the gas tube on top, and to raise the buttstock up to where it was just below the line of the barrel.
But that if the area where the trigger hand grips is raised that far, the position become ergonomically awkward, if not impossible. Hence the pistol grip, separate from the buttstock.
Maybe it's right when it says that that some Californians can't be trusted with assault rifles.
Sheesh. Leaving a loaded rifle unattended on an elementary school playground.
At the Clinton Presidential Library, I made an interesting find. It's a long pdf, but go to pdf page 23, paragraph 13. It is a draft affidavit for the then-ATF director. The rest of the file is devoted to a Clinton-era proposal to respond to those who continued to manufacture "assault firearms" by deleting banned features: the proposal would have used executive powers over imports, to ban their importation, and to suspend import permits that had been issued. The affidavit was probably for use against a court challenge to this, and it's faxed from the ATF General Counsel's Office.
Paragraph 13 would have read "[?? Immediate action with respect to the importation of the sporterized versions of semiautomatic assault-type rifles is necessary since these weapons may be used in crime and are a threat to public safety. [CRIME USE EXAMPLES??]"
The next document in the pdf is a court decision upholding a suspension of imports.
On pdf page 72 is a memo to Elena Kagan and Rahm Emmanuel. The author says that there's a difference between this situation and when Bush I banned some imports. Back then "more than a million assault rifles had been approved for import, and many were recovered at crime scenes." Now, "With respect to the Uzi, not a one has come in..."
Next to it is written in "ATF cannot find examples & this paragraph will be deleted."
The affidavit is, incidentally, dated in October 1997, three years after the "ban" went into effect and the "sporterized" guns started being made.
Under her ban, retired LEOs would be allowed to purchase AWs. A perfectly decent non-LEO would be unable to buy one, but this fellow would be able to. As a friend pointed out, when an LEO becomes too mentally unstable to serve, he's given a disability retirement.
Story here. Legislation commonly has botch-ups, but when the emphasis is on passing it hastily, before people return to thinking clearly, the odds begin to approach certainty.
"How Mother Jones makes my case against the assault weapons ban". Interesting data.
DHS is inviting sales offers for 7,000 5.56 mm rifles, with 30 round magazines, calling them "personal defense weapons" rather than "assault rifles." Oh, and they must have folding stock, flash suppressors, and be select fire. (See Section C of the proposal).
Hat tip to reader David McCleary ...