It would seem that the current selection of Democratic presidential candidates all share a profound obsession with ‘gun control’, and in particular the desire to ban anything they can remotely classify as an “assault weapon”. This is a much over used and inaccurate definition that gets unjustifiably applied to almost any rifle that is an auto-loader, commonly often including the cosmetic features of the dreaded ‘black rifle’ with attributes such as a pistol grip and adjustable or folding stock.
Of course these candidates are not alone with their obsession, as many states seek the same goal – such as the recent ban attempts in Virginia have demonstrated. It has to be wondered where is the logic as to why a majority of gun owners should be penalized for the sins of the very few, other than simply achieving the means to effect a wide spread disarmament policy.
If as is estimated some 45 million gun owners possess so called “assault” rifles, and applying a ‘guestimated’ evil-use figure of one in every 1,000,000 owners (0.000001%) we might have, say, a hypothetical figure of as many as 45 potential mass murderers – an unlikely high number. Result – many millions of legitimate owner’s rights would be infringed upon – and yet, the potential availability of such firearms thoughout the criminal underworld would remain unchanged.
Being facetious, consider this – if a popular make of SUV for example was used to maliciously drive into a crowd resulting in multiple deaths and injuries – would that be reason enough to ban said make of vehicle? Of course not but the principle would seem little different from that proposed for “assault” weapon bans – penalize the overwhelming majority of good people’s rights.
From Washington Times:
One of the avenues the candidates are all pursuing is to ban certain types of gun, which they have labelled as ‘Assault’ Weapons. This despite the fact that the federal ‘Assault’ Weapons ban of 1994-2004 showed no benefits and, on a thorough examination of the data, may even have increased the criminal use of such weapons. Any such policies would not affect automatic weapons, which are very tightly controlled at federal level. Instead they seem to be centered on AR-15 style rifles, despite the fact that rifles tend to be used in less than 5 percent of all criminal shootings, and would do nothing to limit criminal access to the handguns which feature in over 95 percent of shootings.
And a ban, which would affect around 1,000,000 Virginians and over 45,000,000 Americans by requiring surrender, confiscation and/or registration, is not limited to AR-15 style weapons (and one must wonder if they choose the features of such weapons because they incorrectly believe that AR stands for either Assault Rifle or perhaps Army Rifle instead of the Armalite Rifle company who originally designed it specifically for hunting) but any rifle with any single one of a number of similar features. Such a ban would therefore affect vastly more than just AR-15 style rifles.
In the wake of horrifying mass shootings such as the Virginia Beach and Virginia Tech shootings such a ban might seem reasonable to many, but in addition to the points made above, it would also fail to address additional substantial legal problems. For example the Supreme Court has ruled on more than one occasion that Second Amendment protections extend to weapons “in common use for lawful purposes.” With the sheer quantity of AR-15 style firearms involved, this most popular of rifle styles can certainly be considered to be “in common use for lawful purposes.” So what is the point in proposing policies which may be neither constitutionally permissible nor enforceable?
If major outright bans of “assault” weapons are successful, what might be the consequences? Firstly, we would see widespread criminalization of majority legitimate gun owners and secondly, the very strong possibility of multiple incarcerations and even potential deaths from ‘no-knock’ warrents being implemented. It is not the object that needs attention, rather it is the evil people who should be identified (with due process), along with major reduction of the prolific numbers of gun-free-zones.