Skip to comments.Mayor to push for ban on military weapons
Posted on 12/22/2006 8:46:39 AM PST by kiriath_jearim
NEW BEDFORD Mayor Scott W. Lang is asking the city's legislative delegation to push for a statewide ban on the sale of military-style weapons including the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle used by a gunman last week to kill two employees and himself at the Foxy Lady SouthCoast.
"I'd like our local delegation to sponsor a bill that takes that type of weapon out of civilian hands ... any type of military weapon," he said. "This is not an appropriate weapon for a civilian to have.
"It's a killing tool. ... It's a weapon that's used to destroy an opposition army. We don't need a battlefield in the middle of our city."
The announcement came as the Foxy Lady opened its doors last night with free food and admissions passes. Mayor Lang said he is still in the process of talking to local legislators, but he expects "an enthusiastic response" to his proposed ban.
He also noted he has strong ties with federal legislators from the area and may discuss the idea of a ban with them.
Both the mayor and Police Chief Ronald E. Teachman have noted that officers were outgunned at the Foxy Lady standoff, with only their sidearms and a single-service rifle.
The AR-15 "has firepower that police do not have available to them, except in extraordinary circumstances," Mayor Lang said.
The AR-15 is the commercial version of the military M-16, and is legal for licensed gun owners to buy.
Although it lacks some of the M-16's capabilities, plans to modify the AR-15 so it matches its military cousin can be found on the Internet.
Although California has banned the AR-15, it is still legal to own and carry in other states.
Scott C. Medeiros, 35, the Foxy Lady gunman, had a Class A license that allowed him to purchase and carry an AR-15, according to police in Freetown, where Mr. Medeiros lived and maintained his firearms permit. The AR-15 was also used by John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, the 2002 Beltway snipers.
Marc Folco, award-winning outdoors columnist and author of The Standard-Times' Open Season column, voiced early opposition to Mayor Lang's proposal. He and other gun ownership advocates are meeting with the mayor today, he said.
"The gun itself isn't evil," Mr. Folco said. "It's an inanimate object."
He said the key is keeping guns out of the wrong hands, but conceded that, in the case of Mr. Medeiros, "They did seem like the right hands. There was nothing to tell police otherwise. I think he just snapped."
But he added his belief that the gunman would have been able to do as much damage even without the semiautomatic rifle.
"If (Mr. Medeiros) didn't get an AR-15, he could have used anything to cause that mayhem. He could have made a bomb."
Mr. Folco said he does not own any military-style weapons himself.
"I don't like them," he said. "I would never buy them. But I do believe that people have a right to buy them for target shooting or collecting purposes."
Mayor Lang said he is a supporter of the Second Amendment, but added, "Let's apply some common sense to the Second Amendment and modern technology. Why not a bazooka? Why not a tank? It doesn't make sense."
This isn't the first time a New Bedford mayor has tried to have gun legislation passed. In 2004, Mayor Lang's predecessor, Frederick M. Kalisz Jr., pushed unsuccessfully for a home-rule petition that would have stiffened the penalties for carrying banned weapons within New Bedford and raised the mandatory minimum sentence for illegally carrying a firearm from one year in a county facility to 21/2 years in state prison.
Mr. Medeiros' rampage at the Foxy Lady began at about 2 a.m. Dec. 12 when he entered the strip club with the rifle and fatally shot two employees over a romantic rivalry.
The first police officers to respond to the scene didn't even get a chance to get out of their cruiser before Mr. Medeiros peppered the car with at least 24 bullets. Both of the officers were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
According to Chief Teachman, the bullets cut through the cruiser door panels "like a hot knife through butter."
Both the chief and Mayor Lang said officers involved in the Foxy Lady standoff were outgunned.
Mr. Medeiros' rifle had a range of "1,000 feet and is deadly accurate," far greater than police-issue handguns, Mayor Lang said. The gunman hit police vehicles that were hundreds of yards away, according to police.
Chief Teachman said police are not typically trained to deal with a weapon such as the AR-15.
"Is society still willing to accept that this level of firearm is readily available?" the chief asked. "This is a legal gun, owned by a legal person, who up until (the Foxy Lady shooting) had done nothing wrong, but because he had this level of firepower at his fingertips, he was able to create a very dangerous situation."
Mayor Lang said he would like to see Massachusetts follow California's example and ban the AR-15. "If it's legal, it's a loophole that's got to be closed," he said.
SWAT teams are currently restricted to paint balls?
I'm pretty sure it has. Certainly civilians own anti tank cannon, .50 BMG M2 machine guns, and .30 caliber machine guns as well. Don't know for certain about an all up tank, but it would shock me to find that no one owned one.
All of the above can be seen, owned by civilians, which can be seen on a episode of "Mail Call" which I happened upon on "youtube" last night. (Can't find the link as it's blocked from here, but just search on "guns" on youtube).
"SWAT teams are currently restricted to paint balls?"
They'd like us to believe that. As for the mostly uniformed public, they would believe the statements that the liberal mayor made.
Oh, there are privately owned tanks, and at least one I've heard of that is licensed for on-road. But I think the weapons systems have been de-milled.
Why not a tank etc. If memory serves, much of the field artillery and naval guns were privately owned at the time of the Revolutionary war.
Excessive hyperbole alert!
"The AR-15 "has firepower that police do not have available to them, except in extraordinary circumstances,"
Where do they find morons like this?
I've seen one left handed bolt action .270. Course it wasn't out of box, it was made from wood and metal up by a gunsmith friend of mine.
Other then that I've only seen ambi-dex pistols.
Sounds like I need to take my AR-15 out for a spin this weekend . . .
LOL! That's right.
Exactly right. Aside from the historical aspect, that's why I recently bought:
They are really a hoot to shoot!
I am in monumental agreement with you there.
What a maroon. The AR-15 is an OK rifle. As was stated earlier, there are plenty of hunting rifles that are deadlier in terms that they have a greater impact and greater distance. The AR-15 is good for medium range and it is not as long (physically) as a hunting rifle, therefore good for street fighting. A good mix of distance and portability. I think just calling something an 'assault' weapon is misleading.
The NRA has to fight this stuff at every level.
Just about every firearm has a left handed model or doesn't need one since it's probably ambitextrous.
Even an AR-15.
Gun grabbers are increasingly trying to separate the right to keep and bear arms from its constitutional underpinnings. To everyone but liberals and gun grabbers the word militia implies a body organized for military use. The Supreme Court Miller decision of 1939 held that the militia was 'A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.' And further that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."
To begin with, only the national government was represented at the trial. With nobody arguing to the contrary, the court followed standard court procedure and assumed that the law was constitutional until proven otherwise. If both sides were present, the outcome may have been much different.
However, since only one party showed up, the case will stand in the court records as is. As to the militia, Mr. Justice McReynolds related the beliefs of the Founding Fathers when commenting historically about the Second Amendment. He stated that, ". . .The common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the militia- civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.
"The significance attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.
It is clear that the firearms that are most suited for modern-day militia use are those semi automatic military pattern weapons that the yellow press calls "assault weapons". Since nations such as the Swiss trust their citizenry with true selective fire assault rifles, it seems to me that this country ought to be at least able to trust its law-abiding citizenry with the semi automatic version.
Self-defense is a vital corollary benefit of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. But its primary constitutional reason for being is for service in the well-regulated militia which is necessary to the security of a free state. WE must be prepared to maintain that security against even our own forces that are responding to the orders of a tyrannical government, and the only viable way to counter a standing army's qualitative advantage is with a huge quantitative one. Don't let the gun grabbers and their politician allies separate us from the constitutional reason for the right to keep and bear arms. Miltary pattern weapons are precisly the weapons that should be MOST constitutionally protected. Even defenders of the right often neglect the constitutional aspect of it, and concentrate on their near non-existent use in crime.
If we don't constantly emphasize the constitutional reasons for the Second Amendment than we shall surely lose it, because hunting, while a worthy enterprise, is too trivial a reason to maintain it has a constitutional protection. We need to emphasize to our hunting bretheren that maintenance of the second amendment's constitutional rationale serves to protect their rights to continue to own firearms for hunting. The second amendment is literally the final check for the preservation of our republic from the depredations of untrammeled tyranny. We need to constantly remind the people what the militia in the 2nd amendment is REALLY for..... A citizen body organized for military purposes and by extension, logically equipped with weapons of military utility. Just consider that the founders of our nation had just finished defeating the greatest military power on the planet, thanks in no small part to a citizen militia, armed with military weapons such as the smooth bore Brown Bess musket, and often technologically superior rifled muskets. It is the height of absurdity to think that the second amendment in the Bill of Rights is primarily concerned with shooting bunny rabbits.
The second amendment is literally the final check for the preservation of our republic from the depredations of untrammeled tyranny.
Welcome to Massachusetts, where you need to pass an NRA Safety course, submit two references, pass a background check and get the town police chief's permission to carry Mace.
Class A licenses to carry are very hard to get in MA. It's up to the sole discretion of your town's police chief.
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