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The Assault Weapons Ban: How Silly Was It? (Part One)
Pajamas Media ^ | July 6, 2011 | Bob Owens

Posted on 07/06/2011 12:45:39 PM PDT by Kaslin

With the Obama admin and a Washington Post editorial calling for its reinstatement — amidst a tie-in to the Gunwalker scandal — it's worth revisiting the boneheaded law.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, February 26, 2009:

As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons.

The fabled “assault weapons ban.”

Few laws ever passed have been as idolized — and misunderstood — as Title XI of the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Subtitle A (the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act).

To listen to the Obama administration, the media, or the nominated head of the ATF spin it, the ban made it illegal to purchase machine guns, and outlawed the ownership or use of high-capacity magazines, saving billions, perhaps trillions, of lives.

That mischaracterization is as wrong as it is laughable. The law had nothing to do with machine guns and real military-issue assault rifles, and did nothing to measurably impact violent crime.

The purpose of the law was to ban the sale and importation of certain semi-automatic (one bullet fired per trigger pull) firearms by name, and a wider group of firearms that had an arbitrarily selected list of largely cosmetic features. These features did not affect the rate of fire, accuracy, or range of the firearms impacted. Firearms were determined to be “assault weapons” — a term that was created by the law itself — if it had two or more of the following features:

Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

  1. Folding or telescoping stock
  2. Pistol grip
  3. Bayonet mount
  4. Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
  5. Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device which enables the launching or firing of rifle grenades)

Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

  1. Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
  2. Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash suppressor, handgrip, or suppressor
  3. Barrel shroud that can be used as a hand-hold
  4. Unloaded weight of 50 oz (1.4 kg) or more
  5. A semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm

Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of the following:

  1. Folding or telescoping stock
  2. Pistol grip
  3. Fixed capacity of more than 5 rounds
  4. Detachable magazine

It was a law passed by lawmakers who desired to “do something,” but who didn’t have the expertise or intelligence to pass a law with any real meaning or measurable impact. It resulted in a 10-year timeframe where this …

… was an “assault weapon,” but this …

… was not.

These rifles are identical in every regard except that the rifle on the top has a small bit of metal under the front sight to which a bayonet could attach, and a small vented tube on the end of the barrel that redirects unburned gases.

Both are AR-15-pattern rifles that came off the same assembly line, fire the exact same ammunition, and use the same magazines.

The former was criminalized for ultimately absurd reasons, so that lawmakers could claim they were doing something about gun violence. Both were legal to sell, buy, and possess during the life of the ban.

The story was the same for almost every weapon impacted by the law. The offending cosmetics were removed, and the same weapon was sold under a different model number for the duration of the ban — while the “pre-ban” versions became items of interest and demand merely because of the additional features.

Instead of having having an impact on the reduction of gun crime, the “assault weapon ban” instead became a near-comical example of the law of unintended consequences. Prior to the introduction of the legislation, demand for the firearms that became the subject of the ban was relatively light. The public’s interest was piqued, and sales skyrocketed, directly as a result of the law. These firearms had almost no statistical representation in crimes (which the National Institute of Justice admitted two years later), and interest in them grew both before the ban and after it was enacted. One of the unintended consequences of the law was that these firearms that had had a small role at the fringes of the marketplace were suddenly desired by millions.

The assault weapons ban didn’t reduce the number of military-style semi-automatic firearms. It greatly increased their numbers, their public acceptance, and had the effect of mainstreaming them, “pre-ban” rifles and cosmetically de-enhanced “post-ban” rifles alike. Thanks to the “ban,” AR-15 pattern rifles are now among the most popular rifles in America, and have been mainstreamed even among the change-resistant hunting fraternity as “modern sporting rifles.”

So if the ten-year ban period did not see a substantial reduction in gun crimes committed with the kind of firearms banned, and the expiration of the law in 2004 did not result in a massive upswing in violence even after these firearms achieved mainstream popularity and acceptance, why would the Obama administration be so strongly in favor of advocating for a renewal of the ban?

That is something we hope to resolve in Part 2.

ALSO READ: The Future of Obama’s Stealth Gun Control.


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: awb; banglist; bhofascism; bloodoftyrants; cwii; democrats; donttreadonme; fubo; govtabuse; guncontrol; gunregistration; hicapmags; liberals; molonlabe; nobama2012; obama; obamatruthfile; shallnotbeinfringed; tyranny

1 posted on 07/06/2011 12:45:43 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

The true stupidity is that, assuming you even accept the gun controller’s premises, weapons like “assault weapons” were only used in a tiny percentage of crimes.
The “Assault Weapon Ban” was about putting on a show and conditioning gun owners to accept more restrictions and frop through more hoops - to raise the description on the frog another degree.


2 posted on 07/06/2011 12:58:35 PM PDT by Little Ray (Best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Kaslin
How Silly Was It?

It was way beyond silly, it was absurd.

3 posted on 07/06/2011 1:01:53 PM PDT by Spirochete (Sic transit gloria mundi)
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To: Kaslin
“Assault weapons” were banned for 10 years.

It has now been almost 8 years since AWB sunset in 1994.

There has been absolutely no increase in crime due to the sunset of the AWB. In fact, crime has decreased since that time.

There was a huge surge in purchases of “Assault Weapons” when Obama took office. Once again, no increase in crime due to the rise in gun ownership.

And people seem to be keeping the guns they bought.

4 posted on 07/06/2011 1:05:16 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Kaslin
“Assault weapons” were banned for 10 years.

It has now been almost 8 years since AWB sunset in 1994.

There has been absolutely no increase in crime due to the sunset of the AWB. In fact, crime has decreased since that time.

There was a huge surge in purchases of “Assault Weapons” when Obama took office. Once again, no increase in crime due to the rise in gun ownership.

And people seem to be keeping the guns they bought.

5 posted on 07/06/2011 1:05:29 PM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Kaslin

Note that the “...was not” pic features a full-sized mag which was just as “banned” (to wit, pre-’94 ones were legal) as the “...was” AW.

Not a biggie, as there were a gazillion “pre-ban” ones available.

The 10-round mag limit spawned the “subcompact” and big-bore (a la .50 Beowulf) markets, whole new categories of must-have arms.


6 posted on 07/06/2011 1:06:40 PM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: rdcbn
...It has now been almost 8 years since AWB sunset in 1994

Yes, and I have been a busy little beaver since then. They can stop me again from buying these things, I guess, but they'll have to come and get what I already got.

7 posted on 07/06/2011 1:08:37 PM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Kaslin
It wasn't silly. It was the standard Liberal tactic of incrementalism.

The list of prohibited arms was intended to grow year after year until they had them all.

They knew what they were doing.

8 posted on 07/06/2011 1:33:14 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." - Bertrand de Jouvenel des Ursins)
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To: Little Ray
Then the liberals cried about how rifle companies were violating the intent of the law by removing things like bayonet mounts and making their guns legal.

Just how many drive-by bayonettings were prevented by the law?

9 posted on 07/06/2011 1:44:06 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Tea Party extremism is a badge of honor.)
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To: Kaslin
So if the ten-year ban period did not see a substantial reduction in gun crimes committed with the kind of firearms banned, and the expiration of the law in 2004 did not result in a massive upswing in violence even after these firearms achieved mainstream popularity and acceptance, why would the Obama administration be so strongly in favor of advocating for a renewal of the ban?

It's not about crime. It's about how effective these guns would be in suppressing riots and mob violence against the middle class.

10 posted on 07/06/2011 1:54:05 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
And speaking of unintended consequences — look at how well things have worked out in California with Roberti-Roos AWB of 1989. The people at the California DoJ keep adding and subtracting what's covered and what isn't so no one knows for certain (DoJ, law enforcement, or gun owners). The law is just another harassment device for government to keep the peasants docile, afraid, and subservient to its whims.
11 posted on 07/06/2011 1:59:24 PM PDT by MasterGunner01 (To err is human; to forgive is not our policy. -- SEAL Team SIX)
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To: KarlInOhio

Not to mention, how many rifle grenades or grenade launchers have actually been used in crimes?


12 posted on 07/06/2011 2:13:34 PM PDT by Little Ray (Best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Gaffer

I thought you lost them all in that terrible boating accident?


13 posted on 07/06/2011 2:15:45 PM PDT by Little Ray (Best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Little Ray
Damn! You know? That is right. They were lost at sea. It sucks when you get old and your memory goes. Look on the bright side: there's gonna come a day when my entire DVD/BluRay collection becomes BRAND NEW!
14 posted on 07/06/2011 2:18:01 PM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Spirochete
Let’s call a spade a spade it was the: Scary-Looking Weapon Ban.
15 posted on 07/06/2011 2:28:32 PM PDT by BerserkPatriot (There are no 1st Amendment rights without 2nd Amendment Rights)
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To: Gaffer

I’m already there.

And I really miss the Winchester M-1887 lever action shotgun that went down in Lake Lanier. I was going to make it my “house gun” for possums, ‘coons, coyotes, zombies and other unwanted visitors.


16 posted on 07/06/2011 2:28:43 PM PDT by Little Ray (Best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Kaslin
The People are the government. Anytime leaders forget that and attempt to disarm us or abrogate any other Constitutional rights, they need to be replaced and imprisoned while we elect new leaders.

Questions? You in the back row, Mr. Soros, do you have any questions?

17 posted on 07/06/2011 4:16:10 PM PDT by Chainmail
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To: Chainmail

Hi CM!

Gun threads are safe zones here unless you say something silly about 9mm being better than .45’s. ;)


18 posted on 07/06/2011 4:26:45 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: KarlInOhio
Then the liberals cried about how rifle companies were violating the intent of the law by removing things like bayonet mounts and making their guns legal.

Morons. Pass a law against something, which a rational person would interpret as a signal you don't want them to do it, then complain when they stop doing it. Liberals. Sigh.

19 posted on 07/06/2011 4:29:07 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Whew!

Luckily, I wouldn't think of uttering so base a heresy.. I only own four .45s, two 9mms, one .40, two .38s, one .380, a .32, a .36 Colt, and two .30 Mausers..and a coupla .22s, so what would I know, anyway?

20 posted on 07/06/2011 7:46:03 PM PDT by Chainmail
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To: Chainmail

You need a .38 Super.


21 posted on 07/07/2011 5:49:02 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim
You are absolutely correct; preferably in a nice pre-war commercial 1911A1 or maybe a Colt Lightweight Commander from 1965 or so..

Just need to run that by my wife..

22 posted on 07/07/2011 2:46:15 PM PDT by Chainmail
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To: Chainmail

My current is a LW Commander from 1963, but with a BarSto barrel and night sights.

Moose stag grips from a fellow up in Colorado.

Had a 1953 full size, but it got traded.


23 posted on 07/07/2011 3:56:28 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Slim, you are a lucky man - The LW Commander in that caliber is hard to find and the Bar-Sto barrels are excellent.

I'll just have to keep looking..

I used to have a Browning Hi-Power in .40 S&W and I fitted a Fire Dragon ported .357 SIG barrels to it. Very accurate and quite manageable but I got goofy and sold it to buy something else.

First lesson in life: if you have something that fits and shoots well, Don't Sell It!

24 posted on 07/07/2011 5:18:37 PM PDT by Chainmail
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To: Chainmail

I was thinking the exact thing for a personal defense pistol, using a .40 High Power and having .357 Sig barrels made for it.

I shot a friends Sig 229 with the drop in .357 Sig barrel, and I was impressed.

I have also thought about using a .45 ACP pistol for a .400 Cor-bon weapon, but they are still making the good old 10mm.


25 posted on 07/24/2011 1:23:58 PM PDT by MikeSteelBe (Austrian Hitler was as the Halfrican Hitler does.)
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