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The 2004 Hunt. Presidential candidates on guns.
NRO ^ | November 18, 2003, 9:11 a.m. | By John R. Lott Jr.

Posted on 11/18/2003 11:55:52 AM PST by .cnI redruM

Democratic presidential candidates have recently taken up a new calling: offering advice to hunters. Governor Howard Dean supports extending the assault-weapons ban next year "because I never met a hunter who needed an AK-47 to shoot a deer." Senator John Kerry offered, "When I go out there and hunt, I'm going out there with a 12-gauge shotgun, not an assault weapon."

Clearly what worries these senators is that people and not deer will be "hunted" with these guns. As Senator Carl Levin noted early this year, allowing the ban to expire will "inevitably lead to a rise in gun crimes." Ratcheting up the fear factor to a new level, Senator Charles Schumer claims the ban is one of "the most effective measures against terrorism that we have." New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy claims: "You want an assault weapon? Go join the Army."

The most-charitable interpretation is that the ban's proponents know nothing about guns. "Assault-weapon ban" conjures up images of machine guns used by the military, which are surely not very useful in hunting deer. Yet, the 1994 federal ban had nothing to do with machine guns, only semiautomatics, which fire one bullet per pull of the trigger. The firing mechanisms in semiautomatic and machine guns are completely different. The entire firing mechanism of a semiautomatic gun has to be gutted and replaced to turn it into a machine gun.

Functionally the banned semiautomatic guns are the same as other non-banned semiautomatic guns, firing the exact same bullets with the same rapidity and producing the exact same damage. The ban arbitrarily outlaws 19 different guns based upon either their name or cosmetic features, such as whether the gun could have a bayonet attached.

With the sniper trial now going in Virginia, the media understandably focuses on the so-called "sniper rifle." Yet, the .223- caliber Bushmaster rifle used in the sniper killings was neither a "sniper" rifle nor an "assault weapon." In fact, it is such a low-powered rifle that most states ban it even for deer hunting precisely because of its low power, too frequently wounding and not killing deer. Ironically, the much-maligned AK-47, only new semiautomatic versions of the gun were banned, uses a .30-caliber bullet that is actually well suited to hunting deer.

The law never had any effect on crime. Banning a few percent of semiautomatic guns when otherwise identical guns are available only changes the brand criminals use. But despite the apocalyptic claims, the law didn't even do that much. Even President Clinton, who signed an "assault-weapon ban" into law, complained in 1998 how easy it had been for gun manufacturers to continue selling the banned guns simply by changing the guns' names or by making the necessary cosmetic changes.

The banned guns were seldom used in the commission of crimes to begin with. A 1995 Clinton administration study found that fewer than one percent of state and federal inmates carried a "military-type" semiautomatic guns (a much broader set of guns than those banned by the law) for crimes they committed during early 1990s before the ban. A similar 1997 survey showed no reduction in this type of crime gun after the ban.

Only two studies have been conducted on the federal law's impact on crime, one of which also examined the state assault-weapons laws. One study was funded by the Clinton administration and examined just the first year the law was in effect. It concluded that the ban's "impact on gun violence has been uncertain."

The second study was done by me and is found in my book The Bias Against Guns. It examines the first four years of the federal law as well as the different state assault-weapon bans. Even after accounting for law enforcement, demographics, poverty, and other factors that affect crime, the laws did not reduce any type of violent crime. In fact, overall violent crime actually rose slightly, by 1.5 percent, but the impact was not statistically significant. The somewhat larger increase in murder rates was significant.

The only clear result of the state bans was to consistently reduce the number of gun shows by about 25 percent. Features such as bayonet mounts on guns may not mean much to criminals, but gun collectors sure seem to like them.

The bans have now been in effect for almost a decade, without any evidence of any benefits. Increased crime is not the biggest danger arising from not extending the law. Politicians who have claimed such dire consequence from these mislabeled "assault weapons" have put their reputations on the line. If the extension fails, a year after that voters will wonder what all the hysteria was about.

Fueled by false images of machine guns and sniper rifles, the debate next year is likely to be very emotional. Let's hope that the politicians at least learn what guns are being banned


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; 2ndamendment; bang; banglist; deanhypocrit; johnlott
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To: mushroom
Classic bait and switch. Bush only promised to sign the gun ban because he knows it will never hit his desk.

Lots of folks have written the same thing. Why not assume that he's speaking his mind?

41 posted on 11/18/2003 1:34:49 PM PST by cruiserman
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To: bc2
the last 10 years has led me to believe that Republicans in Congress do more to support a conservative agenda when they do not have the White House

Agreed. They are better at complaining than actual leadership.

42 posted on 11/18/2003 1:36:45 PM PST by cruiserman
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To: .cnI redruM
New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy claims: "You want an assault weapon? Go join the Army."

Didn't Heinrich Himmler say something similar to this? I believe it was something along the lines of, "If you want to own a gun, join the Waffen SS."

Mark

43 posted on 11/18/2003 1:44:58 PM PST by MarkL (Chiefs 9-1... #$&!@(*#$$%^&@@#!!!!!!)
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To: JoJo Gunn
Is that a Bennelli Super-90 Defender?

Mark
44 posted on 11/18/2003 1:48:10 PM PST by MarkL (Chiefs 9-1... #$&!@(*#$$%^&@@#!!!!!!)
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To: xsrdx
Yeah, but it would sure bring home the venisen, and we all know that's why there's a 2nd Amendment.
45 posted on 11/18/2003 1:49:06 PM PST by .cnI redruM ('Bread and Circuses' ...Fun until you run out of dough.)
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To: MarkL
Hitler used to brag about his gun control policies.
46 posted on 11/18/2003 1:50:30 PM PST by .cnI redruM ('Bread and Circuses' ...Fun until you run out of dough.)
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To: Mr. Mojo
FrankenKerry believes that hunting is the only legitimate use for guns.

But only during "voting season!"

I wonder just how many of the dwarves actually go hunting when there's no photo-op.

Mark

47 posted on 11/18/2003 1:51:01 PM PST by MarkL (Chiefs 9-1... #$&!@(*#$$%^&@@#!!!!!!)
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To: bc2
the last 10 years has led me to believe that Republicans in Congress do more to support a conservative agenda when they do not have the White House. Maybe I am wrong but this is what I see at first glance.

Good grief, what ever lead you to believe that? That you might be wrong, I mean?

48 posted on 11/18/2003 1:58:48 PM PST by LTCJ
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To: LTCJ
Governor Howard Dean supports extending the assault-weapons ban next year "because I never met a hunter who needed an AK-47 to shoot a deer."

SOooooo not true. The first time I went deer hunting I took my SKS which fires the EXACT SAME ROUND as an ak-47. I stood in the middle of a field and a 10 point buck walked out of the woods straight at me. The SKS dropped him in one shot.

I'd take an AK hunting anyday.
49 posted on 11/18/2003 2:01:01 PM PST by Sabretooth (I'm not SabERtooth, Im SabREtooth.)
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To: mushroom
And chances are the ones who are claiming they won't vote for him didn't in the first place since he said it BEFORE the election.

You're right. It's because of millions of voluteers who knew the ones they worked for in the 2002 elections would be the ones who would vote against the AWB.
50 posted on 11/18/2003 2:01:01 PM PST by Shooter 2.5 (Don't punch holes in the lifeboat)
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To: MarkL
I have no idea. I'm not too sharp on guns. Was struck by the message in the visual.
51 posted on 11/18/2003 2:13:02 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population - have them spayed or neutered )
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To: ArrogantBustard
Here's what I think could happen:

The AW 'renewal' bill, having been 'strengthened' by Feinstein, McCarthy and Schumer to include almost everything except Kerry's 12-gauge and Ted Kennedy's car, goes to the Senate (or it may start in the House).

Enough people actually read it and see how sweeping and draconian and full of BS it is and get the word out to the shooting public. A loud howl of protest goes out.

The Pubbie congressmen shove it back in faces of said gun-grabbing hoplophobes saying 'not in this form, no way'.

Gun-grabbers take to the TV screens and microphones screaming about how Pubbies want to 'flood the streets with Uzis, machine guns, sniper rifles and silencers', how letting the bill expire endangers law enforcement, children and cute little bunnies, and how any politician that opposes the ban is lower than dirt.

As a final compromise measure, they resubmit the bill in the original form but which never expires and allows future unlimited addition of newly banned guns. Now this is the time I hope the Pubbies (and Dems who want to keep their jobs) toughen up and say 'no thanks, not in any form'.

Because if they cave and send it to Bush, that will put him in a bad place of his own making.

52 posted on 11/18/2003 2:25:25 PM PST by Sender
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To: Sender
Unfortunately, Bush will put the problem behind him by signing it.
53 posted on 11/18/2003 2:36:39 PM PST by caltrop
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To: MarkL
"Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA. Ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State."

Heinrich Himmler quote.
54 posted on 11/18/2003 3:16:31 PM PST by JSloth
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To: MarkL; JoJo Gunn
Is that a Bennelli Super-90 Defender?

See my #39; she's cradling an M1 Super 90 Tactical with rifle (slug) sights.

55 posted on 11/19/2003 6:29:29 AM PST by xsrdx (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas)
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To: .cnI redruM
"Governor Howard Dean supports extending the assault-weapons ban next year "because I never met a hunter who needed an AK-47 to shoot a deer."

Marxist Dr. Dean - doesn't realize that the 2nd Amendment was not written to ensure that Americans had weapons to hunt Bambi, Daffy Duck or Woody Woodpecker...

It was written to ensure that citizens had the weapons necessary to deter or repulse enemies of the State -- Foreign or Domestic....

Semper Fi

56 posted on 11/20/2003 8:46:14 AM PST by river rat (War works......It brings Peace... Give war a chance to destroy Jihadists...)
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