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John R. Lott Jr.: Assault Weapons and the Truth - The Obama administration has nominated an...
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE ^ | December 2, 2010 4:00 | John R. Lott Jr.

Posted on 12/02/2010 10:22:22 AM PST by neverdem

Assault Weapons and the Truth
The Obama administration has nominated an anti-gun zealot as the U.S.'s top gun cop.

The Obama administration is moving into high gear in putting gun-control advocates into important government positions. The administration’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), Andrew Traver, should be of particular concern. His attacks on the civilian use of so-called assault weapons raise real questions about his willingness to distort the truth for political purposes. The person nominated to be the nation’s top gun cop shouldn’t use inaccurate descriptions to scare people into supporting gun control.

Mr. Traver is the special agent in charge of the BATFE’s Chicago field division. Therefore, he knows what was covered by the federal assault-weapons ban that sunset in 2004. But in November 2009, NBC interviewed Traver and reported: “Traver says the power and randomness of the heavy caliber, military-style weapons make them so dangerous not only to people, but to police. They’re so powerful, body armor can’t withstand a hit, and they’re so difficult to control, their bullets often get sprayed beyond the intended targets, striking innocent victims even when they’re in their own homes.”

The list of problems with Mr. Traver’s claims is very long. If he really believes that these weapons fire unacceptably “heavy caliber” bullets, he is going to have to ban virtually all rifles. Small-game rifles — guns designed to kill squirrels and rabbits without destroying too much meat — typically fire .22-caliber bullets, which are only slightly smaller than the .223-caliber bullets fired by the M16 (used by the U.S. military since Vietnam) and the newer M4 carbine (used in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars). Deer-hunting rifles fire rounds that are very similar to those used by the AK-47.

Speaking of M16s, M4s, and AK-47s, Traver is correct when he states that the guns covered by the federal assault-weapons ban were “military-style weapons.” But he fails to note that this really just deals with style — the cosmetics of the guns, not how they actually operate. The guns covered by the ban were not the machine guns actually used by the military, but civilian, semi-automatic versions of those guns. The civilian version of the AK-47 may look like the guns used by militaries around the world, but it is different. It fires essentially the same bullets as deer-hunting rifles at the same rapidity (one bullet per pull of the trigger), and does the same damage.

On penetrating body armor, Mr. Traver leaves out one important detail: Rifles in general are often able to penetrate body armor simply because their bullets travel faster than those fired from handguns. The same can be said for going through the walls of houses. But if he had said that deer-hunting rifles can often penetrate walls and lower-level types of body armor, it is unlikely that his comments would have generated the same fear.

Unfortunately, Mr. Traver has done more than make clearly inaccurate claims about so-called “assault weapons.” He has supported banning .50-caliber rifles, regulations that would force many gun shows to close down, the Chicago handgun ban, and repealing the Tiahrt Amendment, which protects sensitive trace data from being misused in frivolous municipal lawsuits against gun makers. He also worked with the Joyce Foundation, which has funded gun-ban groups such as the Violence Policy Center, on the “Gun Violence Reduction Project.”

The fact that Mr. Traver uses the same misleading claims as groups such as the Brady Campaign shouldn’t make it too surprising that gun-control groups are applauding his nomination. Nor is Traver’s nomination very surprising after President Obama appointed two strong anti-self-defense members to the Supreme Court. But Mr. Traver’s nomination is dangerous. Making up claims about guns to demonize them is beyond what is acceptable for someone who wants a position in which he will be regulating American gun ownership.

John R. Lott Jr. is a FOXNews.com contributor, an economist, and the author of More Guns, Less Crime, the third edition of which was recently published by the University of Chicago Press.



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Front Page News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: andrewtraver; assaultweaponsban; awb; banglist; batfe; bootthebatfe; democrats; guncontrol; johnlott; liberalfascism; obama; traver

1 posted on 12/02/2010 10:22:28 AM PST by neverdem
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To: JohnRLott

Excellent summary!


2 posted on 12/02/2010 10:25:28 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

Andrew Traver meet Henry Bowman.


3 posted on 12/02/2010 10:38:54 AM PST by DCBryan1 (FORGET the lawyers...first kill the "journalists". (Die Ritter der Kokosnuss))
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To: neverdem

Will the fat boy move around in the standard-size black SUV or must we buy a front-end loader?


4 posted on 12/02/2010 10:50:36 AM PST by sergeantdave
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To: neverdem

Every time I see “assault weapons” in a news report I go ballistic! If it is semi-automatic it is NOT an assault weapon. Like Lott says, it it nothing more than an hunting rifle.


5 posted on 12/02/2010 10:53:06 AM PST by mc5cents
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To: neverdem

Come and Take It!


6 posted on 12/02/2010 11:00:20 AM PST by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
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To: neverdem

So Traver thinks the public has a right to bear arms as long as they are of smaller caliber and lower rate of feed than the arms that the government uses? That is a distortion of the Second Amendment.


7 posted on 12/02/2010 11:01:27 AM PST by oyez (The difference in genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.)
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To: neverdem

This country, the electorate, is in no mood to be trifled with by some doobie-smoking, anti-gun socialist. I would suggest someone else for the position.

This is a trial baloon for Obama’s gun control, just like Holders’s statements and the instructions that the DoD had to shred used cartridges.

Watch for a new round of gun buying. Looks like Obama is going to retain his title as “Gun Industry’s Salesman of Year”.

My own feeling is that Congress needs to pull the teeth of the BATF. They have become too powerful, particularly with a President who intends to rule by executive order.


8 posted on 12/02/2010 11:05:49 AM PST by texmexis best (`)
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To: texmexis best

IMHO, The BATF is a criminal operation. It should be closed down, and some of them need to be in jail.


9 posted on 12/02/2010 11:11:34 AM PST by basil (It's time to rid the country of "Gun Free Zones" aka "Killing Fields")
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To: basil

The law agrees with you:


US CODE, TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 13, § 241 — Conspiracy against rights

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.



10 posted on 12/02/2010 11:18:36 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: neverdem

MOLON LABE


11 posted on 12/02/2010 11:23:39 AM PST by JamesA (You don't have to be big to stand tall)
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To: neverdem

Add to it that most “assault weapons” can’t pierce some body armor with civilian-available ammunition. Our recent Medal of Honor recipient was hit in the back by an AK-47 round, and it didn’t penetrate his vest.

As for the deer hunting,

The AK-47 uses a common deer caliber, 7.62, but with a short 39mm case. It’s weak, pretty much entry-level for short-range deer hunting, and is not used much for that purpose. Other small rounds with the same power are preferred, such as the 30-30 (far more common) and .243 (shoots much flatter and more accurately).

The .308 and .30-06, what people think of most often with hunting rifles, are FAR more powerful than an AK-47 and can pierce protective vests using civilian-available ammunition.


12 posted on 12/02/2010 11:36:52 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

I load my own .308 and 30-06. 100 gr Speer Plinker
is a fine bullet for 100 yd paper target punching
at the range with minimal bruising. A 168 gr HPBT
is suitable for 1,000 yard “reach out and touch someone”
engagements. Bolt action with good glass on top
is preferred. A proper Harris bipod is a nice
accessory as well.


13 posted on 12/02/2010 11:49:52 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: neverdem

Fits in with having a known tax cheat as his Sec. of the Tresury.


14 posted on 12/02/2010 12:17:20 PM PST by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: neverdem

Fits in with having a known tax cheat as his Sec. of the TreAsury.


15 posted on 12/02/2010 12:17:33 PM PST by a fool in paradise (The establishment clause isn't just against my OWN government establishing state religion in America)
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To: Myrddin

100gr 30-06? Wow, going light. I wonder what kind of muzzle velocity you’re getting, must be quite high.


16 posted on 12/02/2010 12:21:45 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

“100gr 30-06? Wow, going light. I wonder what kind of muzzle velocity you’re getting, must be quite high.”

when I was playing around with some similar light bullet loads in the ‘06, I was getting 3480fps +/- about 70fps. They were pretty inconsistent in velocity. I was using a Sierra 110 gr varmint bullet, though.


17 posted on 12/02/2010 12:56:14 PM PST by Mr Inviso (ACORN=Arrogant Condescending Obama Ruining Nation)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Al Gore's Alcohol Problem

Fed aid in financial crisis went beyond U.S. banks to industry, foreign firms

How Did the GOP Perform With Hispanic Voters In 2010? (Actually, the best it has been since 2004)

The myth of Palin's frontrunner status

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18 posted on 12/02/2010 6:04:29 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: antiRepublicrat
I haven't purchased a device to measure my velocities yet. I would really love to get some range time, but I'm a long way from home right now. My "toys" are at home. I have a Ruger 204 in my collection too. Really high muzzle velocities, very little recoil. Ditto for the 17HMR. I started loading the light 100 gr bullets for .308 and 30-06 when I was shooting them from T/C Encore pistol barrels.
19 posted on 12/02/2010 6:29:13 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping!


20 posted on 12/02/2010 7:47:07 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DCBryan1
Andrew Traver meet Henry Bowman. From your mouth to God's ear. And let's throw in a Cindy Caswell and an Allen Kane to boot.
21 posted on 12/02/2010 8:48:21 PM PST by backwoods-engineer ("The Constitution is not an instrument for government to restrain the people..." -- Patrick Henry)
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