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Assault Weapons Ban

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the put-a-cap-in-someone-today dept.

Politics 386

An anonymous reader writes "With all the Constitutional arguments that appear on /., perhaps some readers might be interested in this BBC Article about the expiration of the Clinton assault weapons ban. Both presidential candidates have spoken in favor of it, but no one is willing to vote to keep it."

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One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (4, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215355)

See, the best part about paying for Slashdot is that I see articles like this coming and have time to don my aesbestos underoos.

This is one of those issues which wouldn't be complicated if we could sit down and work out a reasonable comprimise, but of course that's not how we work in America anymore. Gotta stick with either-or's, and the other side are a bunch of wackos or nutcases. But, even though I know it's gonna get my ass flamed, I'll take a swing at it. I'm not scared. I got my aesbestos underoos on.

Obviously guns don't cause people to shoot each other, there are more complex reasons for it. That said, however, it's the access to high-capacity weapons (like the ones that were banned) that enables these folks to go out and kill half their highschool. Preventing gun makers from building these guns obviously makes it tougher for people to get them, which is a Good Thing -- nobody has a legitimate reason for owning a 30 round clip.

But the GOP are all a bunch of whores to the NRA, who don't let reason creep in on their paranoia about pinko lefties coming to take away their guns and kick over their stills or whatever. They, combined with a few people on the extreme left who don't think people ought to be able to hunt or whatever, combine to paralyze the whole damn debate.

But then we're down to the apparently unresolvable gun control back and forth. But that's okay, 'cause I got my fireproof underoos. Flame away.

F1rst (0, Offtopic)

temojen (678985) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215377)

Godwin's Law!

Nobody has a legitimate reason for 2 GB of RAM (1)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215422)

for home use. The manufacture of new RAM and the disposal of old causes pollution, which kills people. Therefore, make it illegal to own more than 640 KB.

Re:Nobody has a legitimate reason for 2 GB of RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10215509)

What job do you need to do with 30 bullets that couldn't be accomplished with six?

Re:Nobody has a legitimate reason for 2 GB of RAM (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215552)

Hunt 7 rabbits.

Hunter? Gun collector? (1)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215587)

But that's beside the point. Since when do you need to justify owning a piece of metal?

Re:Nobody has a legitimate reason for 2 GB of RAM (1)

DrFrob (568991) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215535)

Living will eventually kill you. Make it illegal to live.

It's easy to take things to the rediculous extreme, in which case they're rediculous and irrelevant

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (2, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215456)

but the GOP are all a bunch of whores to the NRA
Remember debate class? Name calling is not allowed in Flight Club.

Anyways, two points I felt to make that a lot of people forget is that this ban only bans large gun clips, and certain models of guns. There are many guns with exactly the same features that are legal.

Second point is that its only been illigal to make new guns, not illigal to own or even sell an existing gun. Though these gun prices have gone way up and are generally bought by collectors, and people very serious about their guns :)

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (5, Insightful)

Phillup (317168) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216514)

Second point is that its only been illigal to make new guns, not illigal to own or even sell an existing gun.

Yep.

I never really felt the need to own a gun. But, when both the house and senate passed this bill (1994) I went out and bougt a shitload of the subject material before it got signed into law.

I felt that as soon as my government started limiting guns was about the time I needed to get real interested in owning some.

So now... the only guns I own... are assault weapons, purchased as a direct result of this laws passage.

Go figure.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10215561)

Awwww...you started off soooo good. Then you broke down into spouting rethoric against the GPO, dead kids, and a baseless "Good Thing" claim.

I am not GOP
I am not a member of the NRA
I don't hunt

Not only should the Assult Ban be lifted, I should be able to buy a tank if I so wish. The Constitution didn't give the right of arms so that we could protect ourselves from rabid dear, steat thugs, or cheating wives...it was so we could protect ourselves from the tyranny of an oppressive government.

And a couple dozen dead kids is an acceptable loss for my freedom. A shame our society has become to pussified to fight to keep it.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (2, Interesting)

bretharder (771353) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215779)

"The Constitution didn't give the right of arms so that we could protect ourselves from rabid dear, steat thugs, or cheating wives...it was so we could protect ourselves from the tyranny of an oppressive government."

I agree, but...
What happens when Bill Gates buys a million tanks and sends them all at Linux users?

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216541)

What happens when Bill Gates buys a million tanks and sends them all at Linux users?

Linux users are not "an oppressive government."

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (2, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215948)

I don't own a gun, have no desire to do so, and I *still* think that bans on civilian gun ownership are stupid.

The function of the Second Amendment, which is to avoid totalitarian regimes hated by the populace, is provided to me even if I *don't* own a gun, as long as enough civilians own weapons comparable to those provided to the military.

Note that I don't want civilians to own *bombs*. The idea is to provide rough equality between a soldier and civilian -- in a fight, one soldier == roughly one civilian. Bombs mean that whoever strikes first can have a massive disproportionate advantage. Guns act as a moderating factor, bombs as a destablilizing factor.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216260)

SOrry, its not an either or thing. If you think weapons should be freely ownable, I should be able to own a nuclear bomb. The constitution doesn't forbid it, after all.

If you can ban bombs, you can ban types of guns. There's no constitutional prefernce to one type of weapon over the other.

Personally, I think civilians owning guns is not permitted by the constitution, and that militia means a state army. But I do think this is an area where compromises can be reached.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (5, Interesting)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216389)

SOrry, its not an either or thing. If you think weapons should be freely ownable, I should be able to own a nuclear bomb. The constitution doesn't forbid it, after all.

That's absurd. The Constitution was written in a time when nuclear bombs didn't *exist*. The game thory associated with the weapons of the times -- soldiers have rifles, citizens have rifles -- made guns a moderating influence. The game factors associated with nuclear bombs is *wildly* different from that associated with guns.

This is exactly the sort of thing reason that the judicial branch is allowed to interpret the Constitution -- to deal with technological advances.

For example, if the military gets the ability to run around with autonomous sniping helicopters and that becomes the main method of exerting military force, then civilians need to be able to have Stingers. That maintains the same balance as was present in the Constitution's authoring period.

Personally, I think civilians owning guns is not permitted by the constitution, and that militia means a state army. But I do think this is an area where compromises can be reached.

It's not a matter of compromise -- it can be *amended* if it's necessary to mean this. Please at least read and consider this [neusysinc.com] -- the framers very clearly referred to an armed citizenry.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (1)

gantzm (212617) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216477)

I don't particulary agree with your assessment of the situation. Let's start with a list of all items starting from revolvers up through battle ships; we will call this list "Friendly Puppy". Now, everything on the "Friendly Puppy" list can be owned and used by free citizens. There are people who own enough land and have enough room that they can go fire howitzers without hurting anybody. Own your own private island? Why not protect it with a battle ship? Fire a couple of 16 inch shells for practice every once in a while and nobody gets hurt. Want to fly a cruise missile around your 50,000 acres? No problem, as long as you do it responsibly.

Now, we have our second list, the "Evil Puppy" list, that contains nuclear weapons. One problem with items on the "Evil Puppy" list is that when you use them you release very dangerous materials into the atmosphere that put everybody on the planet in jeopardy. There is no amount of land you can own that will allow you to safely practice with a nuclear weapon. Even when detonated underground these materials tend to escape. I don't mind my next door neighbour firing his weapons. But, when he is releasing Strontium-90 into the air, that is something completely different.

So in conclusion: Owning a 16 inch gun from a destroyer with enough money and space to fire it - WAY COOL! Poisioning everybody on the planet with nuclear fall out - NO SO COOL!

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10216362)

in a fight, one soldier == roughly one civilian.
Of course, the reality is that there is no such equality. One soldier is worth far more than one civilian who takes up arms. Just look at the casualty figures for, really, every war the US has been involved in since WWII (the last time it faced a really well-trained opponent). A more accurate number might be something like 1 soldier == roughly 10 civilians. Even that might be too optimistic (from the perspective of civvies).

It pains me to argue against this issue when I so badly want an M4A1, but...

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (4, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215589)

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispenable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
-- George Washington, Commanding General of the Continental Army, Father of Our Country and First President of the United States, in his address to 2nd Session of 1st Congress.

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Author of The Declaration of Independence, and President of the United States.

nobody has a legitimate reason for owning a 30 round clip

I personally do not own weapons, don't want to. But I feel a little better knowing that there are those paranoid bastards out in the woods packing fully automatic weapons waiting for the government to get "really evil".

I personally feel as though murder should be decriminalized. Think about how much crime would be reduced and law enforcement's job would be made so much easier.

Now let the flame wars begin...

Not yet. 1st, it is not normal to want to kill someone. Aside from a psychopath that cannot feel empathy or guilt, It is against any human's natural will to kill someone. Its instinct to grab someone who steps out into the road, its not because we were taught this. It goes against instinct to go against self and species preservation.

By legalizing murder, it would keep people in check. Basic reinforcement theory says that learing takes place when the reinforcer (reward or punishment) is near the action. If Johnny kills Billy, and Billy's friends or family think that it was wrong for Johnny to kill Billy. Well, Johnny better watch his back!

I personally feel as though the incidence of murder would actually decrease if it were legal. Just a theory.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (3, Funny)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215774)

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence.

The quotation is a well known fake. The typewriter font it is written in did not exist in Washington's day.

30 round clips (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215591)

You just wait until the armies of the undead come
knocking. You'll be wishing for a belt-feed.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (1)

GR|MLOCK (203716) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215618)

The next time 35 gang members storm your house, try telling me nobody needs that much ammunition in a weapon.

Probably not going to happen, but it's much more likely than my going out and shooting babies if I ever see a 30-round MAGAZINE.

And yes, the proper term is magazine.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10215679)

Probably not going to happen, but it's much more likely than my going out and shooting babies if I ever see a 30-round MAGAZINE.

Can you back that up with statistics? How often to 35 gang members storm houses? It is MUCH less likely then a child getting accidently shot.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (1)

GR|MLOCK (203716) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215744)

Read my post again.

It is much more likely that I, me, the person/mind/soul inhabiting this flesh, will be attacked by 35 gang members than go out and shoot babies.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10215874)

Well, the last time 35 gang members stormed my house, my awesome kung-fu mojo was more than enough to beat their asses. Anyone who can't do it with their own two hands...and two feet...and two elbows and two knees...and their head...and a pair of nunchaku...and a few ninja stars...and a bottle of whiskey and a lighter...and a potted geranium...is a fucking pussy!

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (5, Insightful)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215972)

Perhaps you can explain away New Zealand or Switzerland. As Michael Moore figure out with Bowling for Columbine, it's not the guns.

The idea of citizens controlling the same weaponry as the military has several purposes.

  • Firstly, it creates a strong defensive force for the country in case of invasion. That doesn't seem as likely now as it did then, but I'd rather have it than not have it, kinda like the 3rd Amendment.
  • Secondly, it keeps the government in check by allowing the people the means to hold a revolution if necessary. England regularly rounded up swords in Scotland to keep it under its control (way back when, of course). Stalin did the same thing in many Soviet republics. China does it now. (I've heard they resort to using bombs now instead of guns. Much more safe, right?)
  • Thirdly, there is much evidence in England and Australia that the outlaw of weapons invariably leads to the criminals being the only ones that own them. Their home-invasion rates are also through the roof.

Regardless of your personal opinion on what the law should be, the highest law of the land says we are a nation of gun owners. It is my belief that the original intent of the 2nd Amendment did not allow for all of the current laws and regulations concerning firearms. I personally have never submitted to a background check and refuse to participate in registration programs.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10216423)

Your thinking may be historically accurate, but it's seriously bad if you try to apply it to modern times. I mean, 200 years ago a bunch of farmers with rifles could stand as a fighting force, but do you have any concept of what a modern military would do to a bunch of guys with guns?

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216573)

Secondly, it keeps the government in check by allowing the people the means to hold a revolution if necessary. England regularly rounded up swords in Scotland to keep it under its control (way back when, of course).


Did you know they also rounded up bagpipes? Bagpipes were a weapon of war [www.nrk.no] .

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (2, Interesting)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215995)

BOTH sides in the assault weapon ban are being totally retardo. The GOP is retardo for obvious reasons--who the hell needs a machine gun? The Dems though are almost as retarded--in that there are plenty of guns just as dangerous as these, the only real objection is that these so called "assault weapons" look like nasty-ass guns you see in movies. Who the hell cares if I have a gun with a bayonette? Is there a great epidemic of criminal bayonette-ings? Sure, these guns are semi-automatic. LOTS of guns are semi-automatic. It's a pretty useful feature--you pull the trigger, a bullet comes out, no extra steps to shoot the next bullet, the loading mechanism ends up reducing some of the recoil--it's very useful.

But in the end, although people who get all worked up over this ban are fools, there are certainly factions that benefit from everyone being worked up. The NRA, of course, because it boosts their membership. The gun manufactuers, because they sell more guns.

But most of all, President Bush is the biggest beneficiary. Look at some of the states where the race is considered close--Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan. Places in which the last four years (or longer) have been economic hell. How could these masochists possibly consider voting for Bush?

There's something you gotta understand about guns. Sure, if you take a poll, most people want to get rid of assault weapons, and probably handguns while your at it. But the side of the country that wants to keep these guns DOESN'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE. Guns are the archetypal single issue voter--completely unlike abortion which has an equal number of single-issue voters on both sides. NO ONE will vote for Kerry just because he opposes assault weapons. And, yes, Bush claims to support the ban, but obviously if he wanted to he could convince Senator Frist to force the issue in the Senate.

So all Bush has to do is make 20% of the country rich by making the other 80% poor, get 31% worked up into a lather over God, guns, and gays, and BANG, Bush has got himself a majority, and a mandate to continue his grand neoconservative experiment.

I suggest to Democrats that you just drop this issue--you'll save far more lives if Kerry can implement his health care reforms than the scant number saved by banning these ridiculous toys.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216117)

Do you realize what a high-capacity magazine is?

It's a metal box.

Any high school metal shop has the tools to make high-capacity magazine.

Re:One, two, three, four, I declare a flame-war! (4, Insightful)

Sevn (12012) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216430)

I'm just REALLY GLAD [gunbroker.com] that these laws have made it NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE [gunbroker.com] for the average citizen to get their hands on ASSAULT WEAPONS [gunbroker.com] . I mean, if people could easily get a HIGH QUALITY, 2 MOA .308 CALIBER WEAPON REALLY CHEAP [gunbroker.com] , or HIGH [gunbroker.com] CAPACITY [gunbroker.com] magazines and ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION [gunbroker.com] anyway, and all of this was COMPLETELY LEGAL, people would think these laws were FUCKING STUPID, ABSOLUTELY POINTLESS, and accomplished ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I know I'd be about pissed if my tax dollars were wasted on a war on a STYLE of weapon that accomplished ABSOLUTELY NOTHING but make people purchase the hunting rifle version of the guns that ONLY LOOKED more dangerous. Especially if YOU COULD BUY THE FUCKING THINGS ANYWAY. Man. I'd be even more pissed if you could do it over the Internet.

Thank You.

Of course the candidates are in favor! (1)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215393)

That's because guns in the hands of the people == less power for government. It's all about the Second Amendment, baby!

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (1)

Anti_Climax (447121) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215448)

More power for you, and I mean that in the figurative sense, does not in any way imply less power for the government. If, for whatever reason, the gubment went sour and there came a time for armed revolt, you having a gun doesn't make it any harder for you to be killed. It just means that you have a possibility of taking a few others with you.

Unfortunately, it's morons with no dicipline, self control or sanity using the extra "power" afforded to them by the second amendment to remove othewise innocent people from this earth.

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215558)

If, for whatever reason, the gubment went sour and there came a time for armed revolt

I know quite a few people who, after living through the last four years of being attacked economically by our own government, economically by our own corporations, and physically by foreign invaders from Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and India; feel that it is LONG PAST time for armed revolt and the only reason that it hasn't happened is because the government is allowed to own tanks and rocket launchers and the best we can do is a puny little assault rifle.

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215680)

That disproportional allowance is patently unconsitutional, and its perpetuation makes a prima facie case that the court system has failed. The foundational laws of the nation are mooted by practice, so that the U.S. is in practice a lawless
system of interconnected potentates weilding what power they can for what ends they will. This internal lawlessness is reflected in a lawless international policy.

Assassination politics is the last, best hope of good government.

If it saved only one life, wouldn't it be worth it (1)

BSDimwit (583028) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215943)

I say no!!!

Sometimes ideals and principals are worth the cost of a few lives. Guns in the hands of criminals should be considered "A Bad Thing," but the only way to keep this from ever happening is to eliminate guns completely...which will never happen. To pass silly laws which only get rid of certain weapons while ignoring all the other ones with similar capabilities is simply a waste of time for Congress. Neither party is willing to take the drastic step I mentioned above, so let's stop blowing smoke up the American public's ass by telling them that they will be "Safer" if this bill gets renewed.

For someone to assert that there is "no legitimate need" for a 30 round clip is simply missing the point of what freedom is. Certainly, I am not saying that we as citizens of a "Free Country" are free to do what we please no matter who it hurts, but when has simply owning a gun hurt anyone. There are already a myriad of laws making it a crime to shoot, kill, and even threaten people with said gun. If for no other reason than it is fun to shoot off 30 rounds in one second I think we should be able to own and legally use what ever gun we choose.

Sure, I feel bad for the victims of gun crimes, but making all the legal users suffer for the failings of a very small minority known as criminals, just doesn't seem all that American to me.

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (2, Insightful)

GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215632)

Yes, because rebellion against the US government has been so fscking effective.

Lets see:
Shay's Rebellion
Whiskey Rebellion
Fries's Rebellion
Nat Turner's Southampton Rebellion
John Brown's attack @ Harper's Ferry
Civil War
Waco

Come on people, owning a machine gun doesn't mean crap when the other guy has smart bombs.
The whole idea that we should own guns to keep our own government from opprssing us is just wishful thinking, quit dreaming of Rambo and crack a law book.

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215727)

John F. Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy.

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (1)

NegativeK (547688) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215892)

Come on people, owning a machine gun doesn't mean crap when the other guy has smart bombs. The whole idea that we should own guns to keep our own government from opprssing us is just wishful thinking, quit dreaming of Rambo and crack a law book.

You're assuming that arms are the only way to fight a rebellion. All of those examples except for the Civil War were small minded, and the Civil War was too segregated to be effective.
If people really wanted to rebel, they'd have to have very large numbers, be willing to take huge losses, and be spread out about the country. The end result wouldn't be trying to take out the tanks, it'd be to try and demoralize our brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers, sons, and daughters who would fight against the rebellion inside of those tanks. Your trigger finger itches less when you're about to put a shell in a family member's home.

The _only_ way to succeed with violence would be to make the entire country too hot to handle politically and emotionally for our current government. We're nowhere near that in terms of an oppressive/unpopular government or a distressed/pissed off populace.

So, all in all, assault weapons wouldn't help in a rebellion. Riots and Tianimen Square style protest are what it'd take against our US of A.

P.S.: Even though the series is sword and sorcery, Terry Goodkind's Faith of the Fallen from the Sword of Truth series covers this pretty well.

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215898)

The Civil War?

I mean, they didn't win, but it was a near thing.

And just how many smart bombs do you think are around? Smart bombs are for targeting specific targets, and we don't have that many. They don't do anything against an overwhelming angry populace. I guess you could use nuclear weapons, but that's the kind of last-ditch effort that you'd have to be insane to use.

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10215900)

The sunset of the AWB would not allow anyone any more access to a machine gun than they have now. The AWB did not ban machine guns.

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10216012)

"Come on people, owning a machine gun doesn't mean crap when the other guy has smart bombs."

Tell that to the insurgents in Iraq. They seem to be fighting a decent holding action. Smart bombs are fine when you do not care about collateral damage. Still you eventually have to take and hold the ground. That is when the real fighting starts. That is where wars are won and lost.

Back on topic though, I rweally get tired of reporters who have no clue what they are talking about trying to influence my opinion. If I hear one more "assault weapon" called an "automatic weapon" I think I will have an aneurysm. Automatic weapons are machine guns and are legal if you have a federal weapons dealers license. The weapons this law covers are semiautomatic. Also some moron on the new in the voice over of a Kerry rally refered to the shotgun the candidate was holding as a rifle. It was a shotgun. I could see that from across the room looking at a portable TV. What kind of reporting is that?

Re:Of course the candidates are in favor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10216079)

Also some moron on the new in the voice over of a Kerry rally refered to the shotgun the candidate was holding as a rifle. It was a shotgun. I could see that from across the room looking at a portable TV. What kind of reporting is that?

It was the kind of reporting that someone does when they're not a pedantic twit and their point is not what kind of gun the man is holding, but the fact that he has a gun. Way to go eagle-eyes! Your gun-spotting skillz are amazing, and yet so very not the point.

"assault" weapons (4, Informative)

jwriney (16598) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215425)

Let's see how long this takes to get modded into the toilet.

It's funny that the article mentions that this law bans "military-style" weapons, because "style" is mostly what this law is about.

From the Beeb article - "The move means that ordinary citizens will be allowed to keep heavy assault weapons in their homes."

Bzzt, wrong, thanks for playing.

Take a look at this page for some interesting info.

http://www.ont.com/users/kolya/ [ont.com]

--riney

The ban didn't affect crime (4, Insightful)

JohnnyX (11429) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215465)

Commentators from both sides of the gun control debate have gone on record as saying that the Assault Weapons Ban didn't have an effect on crime. Certain guns were banned because of how they looked (folding stock, pistol grip, etc.), not because of how they functioned (all the banned guns fire the same caliber of bullets and at the same speed as ordinary hunting rifles). In addition, large rifles are not weapons of choice for committing crimes. Criminals prefer handguns.

The ban is sunsetting because it didn't really do any good and nobody is willing to risk their political career on renewing it. Even if it did come to a vote, I'm not sure Kerry would risk the swing state votes by voting to renew it. Bush would probably be forced to eat his words when it comes to signing it.

The whole thing is one great political football. The assault weapons I'm worried about are those that are being used on both sides of our failed war in Iraq [badnarik.org] , not the ones sitting in a gun collector's safe.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...common-sense...

Re:The ban didn't affect crime (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215484)

I'm ready to bet that there will be a public shooting ala columbine soon with an assault rifle. Wanna bet 100$ that it will happen in the US within one year of the lift?

Re:The ban didn't affect crime (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215735)

Are you implying that it will happen because of the lift? Because anyone can go buy a $300 AK-47 or $800 AR-15 today. 30 round clips go for about $8. What changes when the assualt weapons ban lifts? Maybe they might have a bayonet on them or something?

Finkployd

Re:The ban didn't affect crime (1)

missing000 (602285) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215895)

Let's try that again:

anyone [who can pass a full Federal backgound check, be finger-printed, have a cop sign a form, pay a tax of $200, and register with the government] [cmu.edu] can go buy a $300 AK-47 or $800 AR-15 today.

Your wording was a bit misleading I think.

Re:The ban didn't affect crime (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215952)

Wrong Wrong Wrong.

That is ONLY the case if the weapon in question is fully automatic or select fire, NOT semi auto (which the all AR-15's and the vast majority of AKs are).

My wording is right on, I legally bought a $250 SAR-1 (Romanian AK variant) at a gun show a few years back (and sold it for $400 the next year). Only the standard instant check done over that phone by the dealer was required.

Finkployd

Re:The ban didn't affect crime (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216367)

No - he was right. The semi-auto version of the AK47 and AR-15 go for about that price and don't require any special check. The *full* auto version do require the background check and transfer tax. They also cost a bit more on the open market... Some states may have additional restrictions, but from the Fed's standpoint semi-auto only versions are nothing special. (From my experience in Minnesota anyhow) As a side note, the SKS - a semi-automatic version - is a lot more accurate because the chamber is a bit tighter. All fun, however...

Three points (2, Insightful)

thejuggler (610249) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215854)

1. The thing to remember with Columbine is none of the guns used were legally obtained by the kids using them.

2. None of the guns on the ban are fully automatic guns. Those have been illegal since the 1940's.

3. So what if some one shoots a bunch of people with a gun that looks like a hunting rifle or a military style rifle. The results are still the same.

Kill the criminals and stop attacking the guns.

Re:Three points (1)

GR|MLOCK (203716) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216123)

More specifically, ownership of fully automatic weapons has been restricted, registered, and taxed since 1934. If you live in Georgia, are not a criminal, and have a hell of a lot of money, you too can own a fully automatic weapon.

I fully concur on the killing the criminals part of your post.

Bullshit (0)

missing000 (602285) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215700)

CNN [cnn.com] clearly shows that gun crime is way down, even Gun Nuts [guncite.com] agree that the rate of gun crime is way down, and the Justice Department [usdoj.gov] numbers back this up.

Saying the rate would have dropped anyway is disingenuous as it is totally un-provable. We can't say that the bill prevented crime %100, but we can be %99.9 sure that that is the case.

Brady Bill != Assault Weapons Ban (1)

JohnnyX (11429) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215752)

Umm, all your cites are about the Brady Bill. This topic is about the Assault Weapons Ban. They are not the same thing.

Get your facts straight.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...cite checker...

Re:Brady Bill != Assault Weapons Ban (1)

missing000 (602285) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216002)

Try this [geocities.com] link

Re:Brady Bill != Assault Weapons Ban (1)

Oinos (140188) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216295)

Swing and a miss. You're referring to a page where the author is uninformed. The geocities.com part of the URL should have been your first clue.

The Brady Bill (actually called the Brady Act) is a law that regulates HANDGUNS, not assault weapons. Two different laws, two different sets of rules.

Here [cmu.edu] is a more credible link.

Re:Bullshit (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215862)

Ahahahahahaha

Ok first of all the number of crimes that has been commited with these weapons is statistically insignifigant anyway.

Yes really. Aside from a few random gangland drive bys and a couple of high profile cases, nobody uses them for anything other than target practice.

Why? Its a purely logistical matter. Your average 9mm pistol is a) a whole heck of alot cheaper b) a whole heck of alot easier to conceal and c) just as effective for 99.999% of the crimes that people commit with guns.

Nobody walks into a convinience store with an ak-47 looking for the cash. MAYBE they walk into a bank with one, but lets face it, your average bank robber doesn't even use a weapon. All he has to do is walk up to the clerk and hand them a note claiming to have one... no clerk or security every questions the fact that he has one for the safety of themselves and all of their customers.

This has absolutly no bearing on crime rate at all.

-Steve

Terrorism (2, Insightful)

adam mcmaster (697132) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215467)

It seems strange that at a time when preventing terrorism is a priority that they would be willing to let weapons such as these enter circulation...

What? (1)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215755)

Do you REALLY think *terrorists* would purchase their weapons in corner gun store???

Paul B.

Re:What? (1)

adam mcmaster (697132) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215937)

No, but they can obtain them from someone else who did.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10216034)

So...how many people in the US got killed in shootings in the past year? And how many got killed by terrorists? Do you get it yet?

Re:Terrorism (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215756)

Are you under the impression that the assualt weapon ban actually had any effect at all on weapons such as these? It didn't. AK-47s are cheap and legal to purchase, 30 round clips for them go for about $8. What did the assualt weapons ban do? Nothing, it was a totally ineffective, useless law that made no difference.

Finkployd

Re:Terrorism (2, Insightful)

GR|MLOCK (203716) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215802)

No, no, no! I heard on a bulletin board the other day that terrorists are planning drive-by bayonnetings in major population centers.

And the proper term is magazine, not clip. A magazine fully encloses rounds of ammunition and feeds it into the weapon's action. A clip is a piece of metal that holds rounds of ammunition together for easier loading into a weapon's magazine.

Re:Terrorism (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215846)

Clip is easier to type in a hurry :P

Re:Terrorism (1)

dotslash (12419) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216379)

Yeah, but magazines are easier to re-load in a hurry

Re:Terrorism (1)

pr0c (604875) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215844)

Except that laws like this don't keep these weapons out of criminals and/or terrorist hands...

If the ordinary guys have guns (1)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215865)

...then it's the terrorists who'll get shot.

Terorists are going to have shady contacts to acquire guns regardless. Or make them, which isn't too hard if you have facilities for machining metal. So the only real difference will be whether or not you disarm the law-abiding potential victims.

Re:Terrorism (1)

wibs (696528) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215901)

A good point, but I don't think terrorists have shopped for their rifles at the local sporting goods store in a long time. And as for being a reasonable preventative measure, for a fairly reasonable price I could get a submachine gun within 3 days, regardless of the ban. Keep in mind that I'm little more than a humble computer geek. If you know the right people, laws cease to be a preventative measure and are only good for punishing people who get caught. But a criminal never intends to get caught, so really the law becomes fairly irrelevant.

That said, I'm a pretty law-abiding guy and it just seems like common sense that the more hurdles you have between a criminal and a gun designed to kill large numbers of people in a small amount of time, the better.

Re:Terrorism (1)

bahamutirc (648840) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215926)

Were any guns used in the 9/11 attacks? Thank you.

Re:Terrorism (1)

adam mcmaster (697132) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216003)

Not as far as I'm aware, but they could be used in the next attack.

Anyway, I'm not actually for or against this ban, I just think the people in charge should think about their priorities some more.

Re:Terrorism (1)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216439)

I think now is the best time to let these back into circulation. The terrorists on 9/11 weren't using these... they were using box cutters to gain access to planes... so maybe what we should ban are planes... and box cutters...

Finally! (0, Troll)

Flaming_cows (798162) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215473)

Now I can go hunt deer with an AK-47!

Re:Finally! (3, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215816)

You could always deer hunt with an AK-47 (and variants), they are perfectly legal under the ban. Were you under the mistaken impression that the assualt weapons ban was actually effective at anything and not just political fluff with no substance?

Re:Finally! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10216420)

Down boy! Just because you can respond to every attempt to be humorous with an overly-earnest attempt to create a "teachable moment" doesn't mean you have to.

Re:Finally! (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216549)

Down boy! Just because you can respond to every attempt to be humorous with an overly-earnest attempt to create a "teachable moment" doesn't mean you have to.

MUST....EDUCATE.....SLASHDOTTERS.........

Wow, the BBC is really.... uninformed. (2, Informative)

Thag (8436) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215555)

The Clinton ban did not ban "assault weapons," unless you use the term to mean "anything I want to call an assault weapon." It SPECIFICALLY does not ban "AK-47, Kalashnikov and Uzi rifles."

In the US, automatic weapons are covered by the National Firearms Act of 1935, and can be owned by any citizen who can pass the background checks, demonstrate the ability to store them securely and pay the licensing fees. And then pay the exorbinant prices a machinegun commands on today's market, and pay for a private range membership to fire it at, and pay for all that ammo you would use up.

In practical terms, the Clinton ban's main effect was to limit civilian handguns to 10-round magazines. And even then, preban magazines are still widely available for many models of handguns, and law enforcement officers can buy whatever they want.

Jon Acheson

Re:Wow, the BBC is really.... uninformed. (1)

GR|MLOCK (203716) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215652)

That would have been the NFA of 1934, but good info nonetheless.

Also, you should mention that full-auto weapons can be owned in states that have not banned them outright.

The BBC is well known for having a "liberal" bias (1)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216298)

...which is hardly suprising given their status as a nationalized company funded via a TV tax, and their mandate to be "better for you" than commercial TV.

I believe the USA equivalent is "PBS"? They aren't known for their love of guns either.

Good riddance to bad law (4, Insightful)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215579)

I can't wait to see this die, and I wish sunsetting would be used for all our laws.

The so-called "Assault Weapon Ban" was nothing more than a feel-good measure that had nothing to do with crime or safety. All it did manage to do was annoy and/or piss-off people who buy or own guns. No appreciable benefit to any constituency, and a big downside to a rather sizeable constituency. It is no wonder that most politicians don't want to touch this issue, and Bush knew full well that it would never end up on his desk. If you ignore the Democrats in "safe States" like California, who can soapbox on this issue all day without consequences, it is a "third-rail" issue everywhere else whether you are a Democrat or a Republican.

The 1994 Congressional blood bath pretty much assures that gun control won't be touched again for a long time.

Crucial point (4, Informative)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215650)

Semi-Automatic: One pull of the trigger, one round fired
Burst/Select Fire: One pull of the trigger fires 2-5 rounds, the MP5N and M16A2 IIRC uses a three round burst
Fully Automatic: One pull of the trigger fires the gun until the trigger is released or it runs out of ammo.

The article linked is incorrect that the AK-47 (and other fully automatic and select fire weapons ie M16, L85, M60, Uzi's, FNFAL, AK-74 and their chinese ripoffs , HK G36, G21, G11, and G53 series rifles, Glock 17 pistols) were banned as a result of the Assault Weapons Ban, it is actully banned under the 1934 National Firearms Act. To posses these weapons today, you must have a Class III Federal Firearms Licence, which includes a massive federal background check, and pay $150 tax per weapon.

The assualt weapons only covers weapons that look different than a traditional deer rifle, there is no functional difference between a AR-15 (semi auto version of the M16) and a Deer rifle you could buy at walmart, they fire the same ammo (.223 Remington Magnum), as fast as you can pull the trigger.

Re:Crucial point (4, Informative)

photon317 (208409) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215911)


Your post is very informative for the relatively uninformed, but I have to point out that it is the Glock 18 pistol which is Full-Auto and thus illegal in the US due to the National Firearms Act (and still will be after the clinton gun ban expires). The Glock 17 is a the 18's semi-auto cousin, they look about the same and have interchangeable magazines, but the 17 is not full auto, and it a commonly owned pistol in the US. Glock specifically made slight changes in the dimensions of the parts in the 17 and 18 so that the parts aren't even interchangeable (for the most part).

For lots more info along the lines of the parent post, try the info you can link from www.awbansunset.com, which is a site dedicated to stopping all the mis-information the anti-gun crowd (and many of its unwitting supporters) spread.

Re:Crucial point (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215959)

Thanks, I knew it was a 1x glock chambered in 9mm.

Why not? (-1, Troll)

chrispyman (710460) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215659)

I'm really suprised that Congress would let such an important law lapse. There should be made a distinction between sport/protection weapons and high powered ones that could only be used for wrong. Don't get me wrong, we should keep our right to bear arms, but we shouldn't allow anyone to be able to get a high powered rifle just as we don't allow people to make their own nukes.

Re:Why not? (1)

GR|MLOCK (203716) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215764)

Don't get me wrong, we should keep our right to drive on the highway, but we shouldn't allow anyone to be able to go 100 miles per hour just as we don't allow people to roll down the highways in tanks or giant bulldozers.

Re:Why not? (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215793)

Important law? My friend. the assualt weapons law has to be the least important law on the books. It does nothing of substance. It has been a complete and total failure.

Finkployd

Nothing to do with each other (2, Informative)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215796)

Your post has NOTHING to do with the assault weapons ban. The guns banned as assault weapons are mostly LESS powerful than common hunting guns. In fact for many common hunting activities the guns banned are not powerful enough.

All this ban does is prohibit some cosmetic things. No bayonet mount on your gun for instance. How does a bayonet on a gun make it less acceptable in your eyes?

Why do you think we have the 2nd Amendment? (5, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215817)

Why do you think we *have* the Second Amendment, crispyman?

It has nothing to do with sport weapons.

It is, very simply, to avoid oppressive regimes from ever dominating the citizenry by disarming them.

A gun that could only shoot non-humans would have absolutely nothing to do with the spirit of the Second Amendment. Gun rights were guaranteed specifically so that *people* could be shot as a last ditch resort.

I have no interest in ever owning a gun -- the benefits provided by the Second Amendment are present as long as enough citizenry own guns. However, I strongly support allowing citizenry access to assault weapons.

Note that guns simply guarantee Hobbsian "rough equality" between people and soldiers -- if soldiers have assault rifles, people also need assault rifles. I do *not* support allowing people to have weapons that allow massive amplification of killing power above that of a soldier as long as they strike first -- like bombs and the like. Assault weapons? Sure, I'd say that it's pretty much essential to allow people to have assault weapons.

Take a look at Switzerland -- they have almost no limitations on the weapons civilians can have. You want a howitzer, you can have one. And if you're a male and above a certain age, you *must* own a rifle -- you're considered part of the militia. As a result (even aside from the fact that Switzerland has never been invaded) Switzerland has a low gun crime rate, much lower than the United States. It's hard to glamorize a tool that everyone has (e.g. you could stick someone in the eye with a pen, but everyone has a pen and it isn't very exciting). Furthermore, it's a dissusasive factor to someone who might consider committing a crime if most people are walking around with weapons. Sure, maybe you can pull out your gun and hold up a bank, but you're nothing special -- it'd be like doing so with a knife when everyone else has knives. Or with your bare hands when everyone else has bare hands -- you're going to be hurt by similarly-armed people.

I could *maybe* even see gun laws banning handguns. But never assault rifles. Assault weapons are the core of the Second Amendment.

Re:Why do you think we have the 2nd Amendment? (1)

thejuggler (610249) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215970)

Great points on all accounts. I do disagree with banning hand guns. The second amedment does not specify the types of guns we are allowed keep and bear becuase the types of guns available have changed of the course of our history.

Re:Why not? (1)

bahamutirc (648840) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215880)

How can you compare a gun to a nuclear bomb?

Right to keep and bear arms.... (5, Informative)

Daemin (232340) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215711)

The reasoning behind granting everyone the unrestricted right to keep and bare arms was that a well armed populace is harder to oppress then an unarmed populous. I.e. he government should not have an excessive advantage over the populous in the amount of force at its disposal.

Carrying this to its logical conclusion, citizens should be allowed to posses all the weapons the government is allowed to; if they cannot, there is no way a popular revolt could succeed. The government, with its tanks and other large weapons, could easily roll over any revolt by citizens.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to James Madison,

"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of the government."

No, you do not need an assault weapon for hunting. But you do need it for personal defense against an oppressive government. That is the justification for allowing them to be possessed.

Aside from that, how am I going to kick the ass of a foreign army, marauding zombies, or invading aliens if I don't have a handy, insanely large supply of firepower?

Re:Right to keep and bear arms.... (2, Funny)

wibs (696528) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216228)

how am I going to kick the ass of a foreign army, marauding zombies, or invading aliens if I don't have a handy, insanely large supply of firepower?

Not with an Uzi, that's for sure. Everyone knows that nothing beats the good ol' American-ness of a shotgun blasting everything that moves. Especially zombies.

Assault Weapons Ban (1)

emotionus (657937) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215815)

I saw an interesting piece about the ban today in the time. Basically, the ban is worthless. Guns, very much similar to "banned" guns can still be had. Usual difference is a non-pistol grip, no flash suppressor (replaced by a muzzle), or even having a collapsing stock pinned so it can no longer collapse (like the Washington belt-way sniper used).

Re:Assault Weapons Ban (1)

Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215999)

Don't forget a bayonet mount... all the truly evil criminals have bayonets on their assault rifles, so they were banned, too.

The only part of the assault weapons ban that could have had any real impact on gun crime was the limitation of size of clips/magazines that can be made or imported into the U.S. Now when someone goes schizo and buys a gun to start shooting everyone in sight, (s)he can only take out 10 people before he has to stop and reload - unless he's willing to spend the extra bucks to buy a pre-ban clip, and if you're going to commit cop-assisted-suicide, you might as well spend it all, right?

Everything else was about the "appearance" of the weapon and they banned everything that looked "scary" or "evil".

Dirty little police secret (2, Informative)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215831)

The law banned manufacture of large capacity magazines, except for sale to police. So in many towns, police traded in their old guns and large mags for new, and their old large mags went into the secondary market. Go to a gun store and ask to see the selection of large mags, if you don't believe me. There's a glut.

The whole thing was about appearances, and giving people the warn fuzzies. Did you know the law banned bayonet lugs on the muzzle? Sure, I'm real concerned about being STABBED when someone's pointing a gun at me.

Ever felt threatened by a folding stock? Banned.
Anything that looks like a milspec gun? Banned.

The EXACT SAME barrel, ammo, receiver, trigger action, etc? Not banned.

A law for soccer moms..... (1, Troll)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215833)

Of course no one will touch renewing this law. It was a law for soccer moms and for gun control advocates who wanted a foot in the door to confiscating and banning all guns. None of the gun laws we have on the books are Constitutional. And if any of them ever got tried in the Supreme Court, they would be blotted off the books.

This was one of the worst laws because it robbed people of the full functionality of a class of weapon specifically protected by the Second Amendment, did nothing to affect crime, unreasonably increased costs to manufacturers, and it left the option open for greater encroachment upon our rights.

As Patrick Henry said, "The great object is that every man be armed." You can't be a good American unless you choose to arm yourself. The Second Amendment is the cornerstone upon which all our other rights rest.

Stop the Politics! (1)

CanSpice (300894) | more than 10 years ago | (#10215856)

If you've tried to stop Politics stories from showing up on your Slashdot front page by checking the appropriate boxes in your Preference page, you may still find them showing up. This is because of a bug in Slash [sourceforge.net] that's been outstanding since July, when CmdrTaco said it'd be back "soon enough". If you're tired of seeing Politics stories go leave a comment in hopes that this bug will be fixed before we go mad!

And they worry about terrorism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10215908)

So the US government is worried about terrorism but isn't worried about extremely destructive assault weapons being sold to any loony that wants to have one? That realy makes sense.

If guns are outlawed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10216015)

If guns are outlawed then only outlaws will have guns and then the cops can immediately open fire on anyone they see with a gun because they'll know for certain that he's a bad guy! Sounds good to me!

The AWB is not about Assault Weapons. (3, Informative)

CryptoEngineer (755293) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216043)

Assault Weapons are submachineguns, which usually fire relatively low power cartridges. They are fully automatic - if you pull the trigger back, they'll fire until the magazine is empty. They are used for close-in assaults - clearing buildings, etc.

The AWB does not ban these - they are covered under an earlier law which does not expire (they can still be owned under certain onerous conditions).

The AWB, despite its name, actually covers semi-automatic rifles which resemble to certain assault rifles. Semis fire only one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, in the same way that a policeman's pistol or a cowboy's revolver does. They are not assault weapons since they cannot be fired in automatic mode. The AWB lists guns resembling certain assault weapons, or which have more than a certain number of specific features, such as a bayonet lug, a pistol grip, a flash hider, or a telescoping stock.

The AWB bans semi-automatic rifles which look scary, ignoring the fact that the average deer rifle is far more powerful and has better range.

I own an AR15 [bushmaster.com] which I use in CMP [odcmp.org] target matches. While this rifle fires essentially the same round as our soldiers are using in Iraq, in many places I could not even use it to hunt deer legally, since its too feeble a round. Something like this [remington.com] packs a much bigger punch. Of course, there is no talk of banning this rifle, since it does not look scary.

A good analogy to the AWB would be if the legislature decided to attack dangerous driving by banning fuzzy dice and chrome exhausts. It might make some people feel better, but actually attacks the wrong target. (The right target is the criminal, not the gun.)

The (so-called) "Assault Weapons Ban" is a very silly law which did not ban Assault Weapons, or detectably reduce crime. I'm glad its dying. I'm not going out to buy any of the 'scary features' for my rifle - it's fine as it is. But I will like having the ability to do so if I wanted - that's what freedom is all about.

Good riddance (4, Insightful)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216479)

This has been a very ill-conceived and widely misunderstood law, and I will be glad to see it go.

The affected weapons are mostly ones that outwardly resemble military firearms, while having nowhere near the firepower. Rather than firing bursts of ammunition like their fully-automatic counterparts, the so-called assault rifles fire one shot at a time, with less powerful ammunition than a hunting rifle. Pistols affected by this law generally had outward designs similar to fully-automatic submachine guns, but had only the same caliber and rate of fire as an ordinary handgun - with much bulkier size and weight.

A criminal would be an idiot to choose a firearm from the affected class of firearms. They would use an ordinary handgun, or if they really sought something more powerful as defenders of the legislation claim, they would smuggle in some firearms that actually WERE military grade instead of just superficially looking like it.

In practice, the only people affected by the law have been legitimate gun collectors, who disagree with the law but struggle to comply with it. What shape grips constitute a "conspicuous pistol grip"? When the law requires a barrel attachment to be "permanently affixed", do you weld it, super-glue it on, pin it, use lock-tight? Interpret the subjective phrases differently than someone at the ATF, and you become a felon.

The other major provision was a limitation on ammunition magazines ("clips") to 10 rounds. Much like 640k of memory, this might seem to be enough for anybody. But, given that those who are most in the know about defending oneself in life and death situations (police, military, federal agents, etc.) generally carry larger magazines than this themselves, even with superior training to worry less about missing their target, perhaps there is something to be said for having a couple extra rounds just in case.

The other flaw with the 10 round limit is that it was based on the arbitrary assumption that no civilian would ever need more than this to protect themself, but provided no guarantee to back this up. Why did the law not include language guaranteeing that before any civilian had fired the 10th shot in a life-and-death situation, police would had arrived on the scene and taken their attacker into custody?

Other effects (1)

raider_red (156642) | more than 10 years ago | (#10216480)

This is great. I can finally get some 17-round magazines for my Glock at a reasonable price.

The ban never really affected anything. Guns were either modified to be legal under the ban, (and functionally identical) or the costs of pre-bans was driven through the roof.
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