27 November 2013

Gun Control For Everyone: Assault Weapons and Common Sense

In this country, there is an overwhelming willingness to accept certain overly simplistic views and ideas based on media and claims of certain special interest groups. For example, some gun control propents would have you believe that the republican party won't allow gun control reform. While some other groups would have you believe that the government is coming to take away your guns.

Neither of those things are true. As the gun control debate is continually reignited, an assault weapon ban is continuously brought up. It seems simple to various people, "Let's just ban those scary looking Army guns..." Of course it isn't that simple:

Let's Ban Assault Weapons and Hi-Cap Mags
Didn’t we try that already?
If you read through section 110101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which I can’t recommend on the possibility it actually causes cancer, you’ll find a clusterfuck of regulations banning certain guns on the basis that they looked scary, or something like that, as well as magazines that held over ten rounds. Please note the ban did not extend to weapons and magazines that were sold before the ban, because, as I've discussed before, tracing the guns already on the market would be impossible. 

A number of rifles were banned by name. A few banned by name included Colt’s AR-15, Beretta’s AR70 and Norinco’s… everything, because obviously the government hates Norinco. Additionally, it became a crime to own, transfer(unless the gun existed before the ban of course) or manufacture a rifle that had a detachable magazine and any two of the following items, a folding stock, a pistol grip, flash suppressor, bayonet mount, and a grenade launcher.

If the authors of the bill could even pick a rifle out of a series of flashcards featuring tanks, kittens, rainbows and catapults, they certainly had no idea which parts of a gun actually make the gun go pew-pew. Allowing for the fact that grenades are notoriously difficult to come by on the civilian market, every one of those items were purely cosmetic, in that they didn’t affect the actual mechanics of a rifle. 

Presumably they paid an NRA member to write a bunch of gun part names on scraps of paper and pulled them randomly out of someone’s ass and wondered why the NRA guy was giggling uncontrollably in the corner. Writing NRA Guy off an obvious nut job, they called it good and sent the bill on for a vote, patted themselves on the back and sat back to watch the gun violence rates fall.

The Act was set to expire in ten years and in 2004 it expired. This can only be explained by the fact no one cared about the safety of the American public anymore, or possibly someone asked the NRA guy why he was still laughing. 

It’s also possible that someone actually read the thing and said, “Hey guys?
What the fuck are we trying to do here again? Do you have to have the bayonet attached to the bayonet mount…or? Why are we allowed to have grenade launchers again?”

Then some other guy piped in with, “You know, you can still buy these things, right? Right on gunbroker.com, perfectly legal, if abhorrently expensive. And… uh… for $50 you can buy a 30 round magazine for most guns. You guys knew that, right?”

Since everyone was probably already hammered, we can only assume someone said, “Fuck this shit, it’s time for the hookers and blow,” and gave up trying to renew or even understand the thing. 

And so, while it may seem perfectly logical to people that really have no knowledge of firearms, the truth is, there really is no such thing as an assault rifle, no matter how scary they look. 

Tomorrow we'll take a look at the impossibility of regulating the sale of guns to people labeled "Bat-shit Crazy."

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