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Banning ‘Assault Weapons’ Is Not the Answer (Well-intentioned, but ineffective)
National Review ^ | 12/18/2012 | The Editors

Posted on 12/18/2012 5:27:59 AM PST by SeekAndFind

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, numerous Democrats have called for legislation banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Unfortunately, such bans are empty gestures, certain to offend many law-abiding citizens but highly unlikely to reduce gun violence.

Simply put, so-called “assault weapons” are nowhere near the root of the American violence problem. According to FBI data, of the two-thirds of murders that involve firearms, about 69 percent involve handguns rather than rifles or shotguns of any kind. Most estimates place the contribution of assault weapons to gun crime at around 1 or 2 percent. These numbers should not be surprising: Rifles are difficult to conceal, and a criminal who decides to use a rifle has little reason to prefer an assault weapon over any other semiautomatic option. Contrary to popular myth, assault weapons fire only once for each pull of the trigger; they are not machine guns.

The features that define assault weapons — such as a folding stock or a pistol grip — may look militaristic, but they provide little advantage to someone intent on killing innocent civilians. Adam Lanza used a variant of the AR-15, but he could have achieved the same result with any number of guns commonly employed in hunting and self-defense. As yet there are no reports that Lanza’s Bushmaster .223 was outfitted in such a way as to fall under Connecticut’s assault-weapons ban (or under the national ban that expired in 2004), and .223 ammo is not unusually powerful; to the contrary, most deer hunters use larger calibers, and many of them are required to do so by state laws.

Further, statistical research has failed to turn up evidence that the federal ban that expired in 2004 did any good. Columbine occurred while the ban was in effect.

A limit on magazine capacity (which was also part of the federal ban) is by far the more plausible of the proposed measures, seeing that Gabrielle Giffords’s shooter was tackled while reloading his gun. However, other shooters (such as those at Columbine and Virginia Tech) have had no problem reloading, and still others (such as those at the Aurora movie theater and possibly the Oregon mall) have experienced jams while using high-capacity magazines. The net effect of such legislation would almost certainly be statistically indistinguishable from zero.

Both of these measures raise Second Amendment concerns as well. It is difficult to claim there is a legitimate reason to ban assault weapons, given the above-explained irrelevance of the distinction. And reviving the 1994 ban’s ten-round cap on magazine capacity would outlaw the standard versions of popular guns such as the Glock 17, which is likely a violation of the Second Amendment interpretation laid out in Heller and McDonald.

The Left would like to take this tragedy as an opportunity to reform our laws in such a way as to make public shootings significantly less likely. This is a noble goal. Bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will not accomplish it.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: assaultweapons; banglist; guncontrol; guns; sandyhookgundefense; secondamendment

1 posted on 12/18/2012 5:28:07 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

You don’t have to ban them. You just have to coerce retailers not to sell them.


2 posted on 12/18/2012 5:35:29 AM PST by ILS21R (Everything is a conspiracy. No? You're living in one.)
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To: ILS21R

If major stores don’t want the money, fine. There’s endless dealers that will make up the sales.


3 posted on 12/18/2012 5:36:34 AM PST by Monty22002
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To: SeekAndFind

Make it less expensive and easier to obtain weapons and ammunition. Try to convince all Americans to arm themselves. Make carry laws easier. THEN we’ll begin to get a handle on the gun problems. Since it’s always the crazy people who do the killing, instead of having to supply two personal references, just the family doctor reference should suffice.


4 posted on 12/18/2012 5:37:17 AM PST by New Jersey Realist (America: home of the free because of the brave)
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To: SeekAndFind

“well intentioned” my foot (or other body part)...

The commies intend to subjugate the citizens of this country, and banning firearms must happen to achieve that goal.

And the sheeperals who follow them are more despicable than this. They support policies without thinking, simply to support their own sense of advocacy-based righteousness.


5 posted on 12/18/2012 5:41:22 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind

I say mass shootings have gone up because liberals keep advertising gun control which lets the shooter know nobody is going to shoot back, so I say the time is now to ban all liberals. How many more have to die before we finally decide to ban them?


6 posted on 12/18/2012 5:43:06 AM PST by GrandJediMasterYoda (Someday our schools we will teach the difference between "lose" and "loose")
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To: New Jersey Realist

Want to get rid of half these problems? Make the sale of body armor to private citizens illegal.

Many of these whackos who go on shooting rampages are wearing body armor. Not saying this was the case, however we have seen it in the past.

Just an opinion.


7 posted on 12/18/2012 5:44:48 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (You cant bring something to its knees that refuses to stand on its own)
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To: ILS21R

Dick’s announced they are pulling assault weapons. More for the smaller shops.


8 posted on 12/18/2012 5:47:48 AM PST by sarasota
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To: EQAndyBuzz
Why, when they plan to kill themselves anyway?
9 posted on 12/18/2012 5:47:56 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: SeekAndFind

10 posted on 12/18/2012 5:48:27 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Many of these whackos are REPORTED TO BE wearing body armor.
It usually turns out to be a tactical vest.


11 posted on 12/18/2012 5:49:17 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: EQAndyBuzz
"Make the sale of body armor to private citizens illegal."

Don't want to ban guns but want to ban clothing? Body armor is strictly defensive. I wan the ability to protect my family when the bullets really start flying. No...you can't hide behind me.

12 posted on 12/18/2012 5:51:45 AM PST by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Actually in the cases where it is initially reported that the perp is armored, it is rare that it ends up being true.

In any case, the crimes are usually committed in ‘gun free’ zones so nobody is going to shoot back anyway.

About the only case of body armor being significant was in that LA bank robbery a while back where those guys were armored head to toe.

Though I do know a lot of EMTs who would be rather incensed that you want to endanger their lives by banning body armor.


13 posted on 12/18/2012 6:01:13 AM PST by drbuzzard (All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.)
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To: SeekAndFind

People always bring up the British Bobbies as an example of law enforcement not needing guns. The reason that they didn’t need guns was that virtually everyone else was armed and citizens defended themselves with personal firearms. There was no reason for the constabulary to carry weapons. Their job was to document crimes and identify perpetrators.


14 posted on 12/18/2012 6:02:49 AM PST by BuffaloJack (Children, pets, and slaves get taken care of. Free Men take care of themselves.)
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To: MrB

What is the definition of politicizing a tragedy? When the solution does not solve the problem. Its what liberals do!

Here is a legislative proposal:
Let the teachers at each school decide if they want to arm. Couple this with school vouchers so parents can decide if they want their kids going to an armed school or gun free school. If teachers do not want to arm then parents should be allowed to volunteer.

Great platform for 2014!


15 posted on 12/18/2012 6:04:05 AM PST by joshua c (Please dont feed the liberals)
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To: SeekAndFind

“This is a noble goal.”

...will we ever cut the sh*&!? There is nothing “noble” or “well intentioned” about the left. Stop trying to work with them The sooner we call them for what they are, the sooner we’ll get our republic back!


16 posted on 12/18/2012 6:08:52 AM PST by albie
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To: drbuzzard

“Though I do know a lot of EMTs who would be rather incensed that you want to endanger their lives by banning body armor.”

I would think EMT’s would get it through their job. I am taling about walking into a store, show or going online and buying it.


17 posted on 12/18/2012 6:09:32 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (You cant bring something to its knees that refuses to stand on its own)
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To: ILS21R
You don’t have to ban them. You just have to coerce retailers not to sell them.

Good luck gun grabbers in convincing that tough as nails Vietnam Vet who owns my friendly local gun store and always dresses in fatigues and marches around the store with a pistol on his side to stop selling anything. I pity you if you even try, heck he scares me!

18 posted on 12/18/2012 6:28:13 AM PST by apillar
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To: GrandJediMasterYoda; All

19 posted on 12/18/2012 6:30:29 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Well Intentioned? Taking guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens cannot by definition be “well intentioned”.

How about “well intentioned” removal of the defectives? Does that ring a bell? One seemed to follow the other in 1939 Germany!

Somebody needs to look at the real agenda here and not let the left define the argument.


20 posted on 12/18/2012 6:36:06 AM PST by Steamburg (The contents of your wallet is the only language Politicians understand.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Great data - thank you for posting it.

America does not have a "gun problem".

We have moral, behavioral and cultural problems.

21 posted on 12/18/2012 6:37:03 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (Cogito, ergo armatum sum.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It is not even well intentioned.
Gun Control is about CONTROL. These people don’t care about victims or they wouldn’t create self-defense free zones for nutballs to commit massacres in. They just don’t want YOU have the means for self defense.


22 posted on 12/18/2012 6:39:56 AM PST by Little Ray (Get back to work. Your urban masters need their EBTs refilled.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“And reviving the 1994 ban’s ten-round cap on magazine capacity would outlaw the standard versions of popular guns such as the Glock 17, which is likely a violation of the Second Amendment interpretation laid out in Heller and McDonald. “

People forget that the Assault weapon ban IS STILL IN EFFECT IN CT. Thoase who say the AWB would have prevented this are morons.


23 posted on 12/18/2012 6:53:09 AM PST by Brooklyn Attitude (Obama being re-elected is the political equivalent of OJ being found not guilty.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“And reviving the 1994 ban’s ten-round cap on magazine capacity would outlaw the standard versions of popular guns such as the Glock 17, which is likely a violation of the Second Amendment interpretation laid out in Heller and McDonald. “

People forget that the Assault weapon ban IS STILL IN EFFECT IN CT. Those who say the AWB would have prevented this are morons.


24 posted on 12/18/2012 6:53:25 AM PST by Brooklyn Attitude (Obama being re-elected is the political equivalent of OJ being found not guilty.)
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To: ILS21R

“You don’t have to ban them. You just have to coerce retailers not to sell them.”

By, say, issuing an executive order for the BATFE to stop processing all paperwork, including FFL renewals.

Oh, sure, the FFLs will sue, but that can be dragged out in the courts until they go under for want of revenue.


25 posted on 12/18/2012 6:53:59 AM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Well as it has been pointed out that you’re bringing up something which isn’t relevant in most cases, I have to wonder why you are still pursuing it?

Let’s be honest here, why should we trade a restriction on guns for a restriction on body armor? I mean do you think body armor somehow convinces people that they are invincible and thus go out and do crimes? That’s no more plausible than guns making people commit murder.


26 posted on 12/18/2012 7:16:20 AM PST by drbuzzard (All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.)
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To: SeekAndFind
I have owned black guns since 1970. I have never harmed a single life form with any of them... except for an armadillo or three. MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE.

LLS

27 posted on 12/18/2012 7:41:34 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (A child is born in Bethlehem KING of KINGS)
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To: SeekAndFind

Open the mental institutions! Take the psychos out of the general public!


28 posted on 12/18/2012 8:39:24 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Reopen the mental institutions! Damn the ACLU!)
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To: New Jersey Realist
Try to convince all Americans to arm themselves. Make carry laws easier. THEN we’ll begin to get a handle on the gun problems.

That might be messy for a little while, but those who succeed at anger management would live in a more peaceful and polite society after that.

29 posted on 12/18/2012 8:44:45 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: SeekAndFind
This is what the 2012 nominee as the Republican Presidential candidate had to say about guns.

Mitt Romney: ““These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.””

30 posted on 12/18/2012 8:57:21 AM PST by ansel12 (Romney--guns not for recreation or self-defense"sole purpose of hunting down and killing people".)
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To: Brooklyn Attitude

Besides which, the federal AWB didn’t ban high capacity magazines - it only banned manufacturing or importing new ones.


31 posted on 12/18/2012 9:09:00 AM PST by Bob
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To: drbuzzard

Not pursuing anything. Just stated an opinion.

I am also not convinced that body armor makes someone feel invincible when committing crimes. However if someone is going to commit a crime and I put two center mass, I don’t want him to get up.

What is the practical use of body armor in the civilian sector? The only one I can think of is to protect us when government turns weapons on us. If we ever get to that point, we have bigger problems.


32 posted on 12/18/2012 10:19:54 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (You cant bring something to its knees that refuses to stand on its own)
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To: drbuzzard
Let’s be honest here, why should we trade a restriction on guns for a restriction on body armor? I mean do you think body armor somehow convinces people that they are invincible and thus go out and do crimes? That’s no more plausible than guns making people commit murder.

That makes no sense when most of the mass murderers end up capping themselves anyway (which I wish they would just do first and save everyone all the grief).

33 posted on 12/18/2012 10:44:15 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: EQAndyBuzz
What is the practical use of body armor in the civilian sector? The only one I can think of is to protect us when government turns weapons on us. If we ever get to that point, we have bigger problems.

What? People get shot. Having body armor would save a lot of grief for someone who is likely to be the victim of a holdup.

34 posted on 12/18/2012 12:52:17 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

So if I want to be safer by owning body armor (for whatever reason), that is trumped by your desire to be guaranteed to be able to put someone down with a chest shot? I don’t think so.


35 posted on 12/18/2012 1:58:49 PM PST by drbuzzard (All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.)
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To: SeekAndFind

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded/expandhomicidemain


36 posted on 12/18/2012 5:19:42 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: SeekAndFind


Are you still killing your unborn?

-- GOD


 


Sowing and reaping comes to mind.

37 posted on 12/19/2012 3:08:46 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: neverdem

BOOKMARK


38 posted on 12/19/2012 1:17:43 PM PST by ExSoldier (Stand up and be counted... OR LINE UP AND BE NUMBERED...)
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To: EQAndyBuzz
however we have seen it in the past.

Yeah? Cite your sources for this ridiculous comment. I can think of exactly ONE time where this happened. The South LA Bank Robbery where the bad guys also had full auto AK's. The main issue in that case was poor marksmanship by the cops who couldn't seem to make the head shot for anything. Oh yeah and maybe the shooter in Colorado was gussied up like that but it probably worked against him in restricting his vision to the sides and rear. But heck, I'll buy Body Armor just because there's a chance the bureaucrats in DC might make it illegal.

I can hear it now: You don't need body armor to hunt deer! You sound like them. The Second Amendment ain't about hunting! The framers meant it this way: If the INFANTRY carries it, the people must have it too, but in greater numbers. That's the only way to stay free. Has that thought glanced across your brain?

39 posted on 12/19/2012 1:25:14 PM PST by ExSoldier (Stand up and be counted... OR LINE UP AND BE NUMBERED...)
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To: ExSoldier

“I can hear it now: You don’t need body armor to hunt deer! You sound like them. The Second Amendment ain’t about hunting! The framers meant it this way: If the INFANTRY carries it, the people must have it too, but in greater numbers. That’s the only way to stay free. Has that thought glanced across your brain?”

I think this is what I said:

“What is the practical use of body armor in the civilian sector? The only one I can think of is to protect us when government turns weapons on us. If we ever get to that point, we have bigger problems.”

So, yes. It did glance across my brain and no, I never said anything about hunting so please don’t try to parse my words.

And thank you for validating what I said about seeing it before. Read up on it. There have been quite a few crimes committed by criminals in body armor and body armor is illegal to have in several states.

If a criminal wants body armor, he will get it.


40 posted on 12/19/2012 3:37:01 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz (You can't bring something to its knees that refuses to stand on its own)
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