Monday, January 14, 2013

Legislation won't stop crazy

It is astounding to me how uninformed the "debate" over gun control has been so far. Even ignoring whether the Second Amendment is implicated by the proposed "solutions" to gun violence (yeah, I'm using a lot of quotation marks to indicate that I think this is all bullshit), no one seems to be discussing whether any of these "solutions" would actually solve anything.  The fact is, they won't.

The reason for this is simple: criminals don't obey laws. That's what makes them criminals. Ban magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds? There are millions if not billions of 30-round magazines already out there, legally owned. A couple dozen are in my house. Not to mention that these things are just sheet metal and springs -- there are probably only a couple million guys in this country who could make the damn things in their garage.

Ban "assault weapons," however you  moronically decide to define that term? There are millions of them out there. Criminals will find them. They will steal them, buy them illegally or do whatever they have to do to get them if they decide they need them for their crime. Ironically, they usually will want a handgun. Fucking nobody commits a crime with a rifle. More people are killed with hammers and clubs than with rifles. Oh hells bells, you're twice as likely to be beaten to death with someone's bare hands than to be killed with a rifle of any kind, much less a so-called assault rifle. So enough already with the "assault weapon" ban.

But hey, shouldn't we ban really big magazines? No one has explained how having to reload after firing 10 rounds instead of after 30 would prevent some nutbag from shooting up a school, mall, bar mitzvah or whatever. And anyone who has ever switched out magazines on a semi-automatic rifle knows that the time delay involved in using 10-round versus 30-round magazines is negligible. Besides, the guy who shot up the movie theater in Colorado started out with an AR 15 with a double-drum 100-round magazine. It jammed a few rounds in, and he had to switch to the other weapons he had. (I'm not providing a link because I'm getting tired of doing research for libtards who won't believe it anyway.)  That's what huge magazines do -- they jam. Too many bullets, not enough spring strength. It happens with 30-round magazines, too -- my son is a Marine who told me that, in Afghanistan, nobody put 30 rounds in a magazine because they would jam. About 25 or so was the limit to avoid jams. Anybody who has fired one of these weapons knows this.

As for the "assault weapons" ban being proposed -- this article about "assault weapons" generally makes it pretty clear that the term "assault weapons" is meaningless. It did not exist until the 1994 ban was put into place, and the definition turned out to be mostly cosmetic. The ban, called the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, prohibited the sale and manufacture of weapons that met the following description:
(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of–
(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
(iii) a bayonet mount;
(iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and
(v) a grenade launcher;
(C) a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of–
(i) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;
(ii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;
(iii) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned;
(iv) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and
(v) a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; and
(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of–
(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
(iii) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds; and
(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.

 The ban did not really stop the manufacture of any of the targeted weapons. It simply meant that weapons that had a pistol grip, bayonet lug, flash suppressor, detachable magazine and folding stock -- such as the AR15 -- ceased to have some of those features. In the case of the AR15 -- one of the weapons used at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting -- the weapon continued to be manufactured with a pistol grip and detachable magazine, but lost the flash suppressor, bayonet lug and folding stock. Big deal. Connecticut has a ban on "assault weapons" and that did fuck-all to stop whats-his-face from killing his mom, stealing her weapons and killing lots of kids. What law would stop that?

Certainly not the "assault weapon" ban being discussed.  Look at the original version, in 1994. Two years in, a government study concluded the ban had not delivered any measurable impact, stating "public safety benefits of the 1994 ban have not yet been demonstrated."

An update of the 1996 study in 2004 found that the benefits were mixed at best, and analyses of the data in the report, such as this one,  showed that the use of so-called assault weapons in crimes was so rare that it was impossible to tell if the ban had any impact.

So where does this leave us? A ban on particular kinds of weapons is extraordinarily unlikely to pass, and less likely to withstand Constitutional review. It is worth noting that the ban described above -- the one that used to be the law of the land -- left at large the nasty, nasty, evil Winchester 73, which has a fixed magazine capacity of 15 rounds but is a lever-action rifle, not semi-automatic and so not covered. And that is the Winchester 1873, by the way.  This means, of course, you could still put a shit-load of lead into people with a century-old weapon with more rounds than a modern weapon "ought to have" under the law. So fuck off. Nothing in these kind of laws does anything to protect anyone.

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