September 11, 2004
Assault weapons

I find the case that the assault weapons ban is not good public policy to be a reasonably persuasive one. For the most part, I'm more concerned with measures to make it harder for felons to buy guns than with measures to define what kind of guns can be bought. That said, from a political perspective, this is pretty darned persuasive, too.

A Texas Poll conducted last month by the Scripps Research Center in Abilene showed that 80 percent of Texans want the 1994 assault weapons ban renewed, and 82 percent believe restrictions on gun sales should remain the same or increase.

That's 80% of people in Texas, a state where, you know, people are rather fond of guns. The assault weapons ban may not be good public policy, but I don't really see how it's harmful public policy. You want to stand on your principles against those numbers, you go right ahead. I've got more important things to fight for.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 11, 2004 to National news | TrackBack

We were discussing a case under the ban last week in my criminal law class (in Fort Worth, but most of us are from Dallas). I was surprised that people got almost as exercised over that as they did over the sexual assault case we talked about the week before. But just as you say - I was even more surprised by the fact that the vast majority of the members of the class - the outspoken ones, anyway - seemed to be in favor of strict enforcement of the ban. (We were discussing a different question than "should the ban be renewed?" so it doesn't go directly to that, but I expected it to be closer to 50/50; as it was, I was one of the two people in a class of 45 who seemed critical of the ban.)

I line up right behind you on this one - I don't like the ban, because I don't think it does anything useful, and I'm very tired of hearing empty talk about how the ban is saving lives, but it doesn't really seem important to me either way.

Posted by: kodi on September 11, 2004 1:14 PM

I think that most people think of so-called "assault weapons" as being 'machine guns', which isn't what they are. Those are already banned. No limit on that one.

But I will note that there are situations in which even a machine gun would be more properly called a 'defense weapon'. 'Assualt weapon' is a propaganda term. A weapon is a tool. It is used or misused by the person wielding it. A few men took down two towers by wielding box cutters and using them to take over more effective weapons three years ago. We haven't banned box cutters or airplanes yet.

Posted by: Kathy K on September 12, 2004 7:34 PM

A few men took down two towers by wielding box cutters and using them to take over more effective weapons three years ago. We haven't banned box cutters or airplanes yet.

I will note that we have banned box cutters on airplanes, albeit along with a host of far unlikelier hijacking weapons such as fingernail files and clippers.

But the main point is that both box cutters and airplanes have substantial uses in our society that don't involve killing people. I daresay I can't think of a single use of large-capacity automatic weapons that doesn't involve killing large numbers of people in a short time.

I'm sorry, but in the United States, even the police don't need the capability to kill large numbers of people quickly. Not even in an age of terrorism.

On the other hand, imagine nineteen terrorists simultaneously going postal in shopping malls with these "defense" (gimme a break - "defense" from what?) weapons.

If you gun lovers are going to convince anyone, you'll have to do a lot better than the above comments.

Posted by: Mathwiz on September 15, 2004 5:26 PM

Ok, first of all, the 'Assault Weapons' Ban was a stupid law in the first place. Can anyone tell me what the defenition of a 'Criminal' is. It is someone who 'BREAKS THE LAW'!! So why would a criminal listen to the LAW, when he BREAKS THE LAW??

And secondly, According to the second ammendment, we have the RIGHT to bear arms. I don't care if little kids are getting their hands on them. Parents should be more cautious of where they leave them. If they get a gun, they should take some responsibility and get a gun cabinet, or a locking chest, or some other way to keep the weapons out of their kids hands.

And thirdly, If a 'enemy' country decides to parachute their troops down in the country, how are you going to defend yourself, THROW ROCKS AT THEM!! No, that is when you get your gun and shoot them while they are parachuting down into your town, casuse I am pretty sure that they are gonna have guns, and they won't be 'afraid' to use them.

I apologize for my bluntness but it all makes no sense to me, why have a law that applys strictly to criminals, when criminals, by nature, break the law??

And another thing, PEOPLE, YOU NEED TO GROW SOME NUTS AND DEFEND YOURSELF, THE ATTITUDE OF ALL THE PEOPLE ON THE PLANES FROM THE SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS, except for one, WAS 'Oh, someone will save us, BULL S***! GROW SOME NUTS AND DEFEND YOURSELF, WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT, SAVEING THE HUNDRED PEOPLE ON THE PLANE OR THE HUNDRED THOUSAND IN THE TOWERS, WE WERE CONTEMPLATING ON BLOWING THIER A** OUT OF THE SKY. If someone had boxcutter, MAN, WHAT THE H*** ARE YOU GONNA DO WITH A BOX CUTTER, here's my mail sir. sure, he could hurt you, but, do you think that he would be able to slit your throat, if you are legs length away with your foot in his groin. Still, if he slit your wrist, do you think that would kill you instantly, just put your cell phone in your sock, and *Poof* instant defense.

America People have become soft if you ask me, and don't think I am against america, because I am an american too. It is the people who think, 'oh, someone will save me' who are ticking me off. Learn to save yourself dammit.

And that is all I have to say on this issue.

Posted by: Vash the Stampede on November 18, 2004 9:30 AM

Thank you. The second amendment is a constitutional right. If we start cutting it apart, then what will protect the rest of the constitution from being overruled. Facts are facts, and to the person who says "On the other hand, imagine nineteen terrorists simultaneously going postal in shopping malls with these "defense" (gimme a break - "defense" from what?) weapons" What about it? You knucklehead, terrorists, drug addicts, chronic offenders of all sorts don't care about any law you post up on a piece of paper. If 3 men break into your house to steal your belongings in order to feed a drug addiction, or whatever crazy reason, which happens EVERYDAY, what will you do? The amount of B&E crimes or property crimes committed with the use of weapons are higher than without. So you let them rape your wife, your children, and/or kill you all. For me, I love the 2nd amendment, because if anyone tries that stuff in my house, they ALL 3 go out in a body bag! I don't how strongly you feel about "gun control" You WILL get just as dead by a criminal who does not adhere to the laws, with or without your bans. I won't. I won't get dead by a guy going postal in a store. And just maybe you'll thank me for killing that sorry SOB when you are lying on the ground next to me urinating yourself and praying this guy will just run away without killing you or your loved ones. I spent the better part of my adult life in the military, and if you think the idea of an enemy force storming your homes and neighborhoods unmatched is farout, then think again. How many enemies of our country live among us? You don't know, but thousands of people come into our country EVERYDAY. Do you really think our empire is going to stand forever? How better to defeat us than infiltrate us and rise up all at once? You may think I've seen too many movies, but I trained urban combat to U.S. troops and that is a fundamental key. Infiltration and suprise attack. That is where our battles have moved and continue to progress. Most countries can't defeat us on the battle field, but in the baseball fields, courthouses, schools, businesses, playgrounds, rush hour traffic, these are the places they will attack next. What is the military going to do? Drop bombs on us all? No! Recall troops from around the world in time to defend us? No! Over 85% of our defending forces are scattered around the world. So maybe you think the LAPD will help you? You remember what THREE, 3, T-H-R-E-E men with AK-47's did to them don't you? So who will come to your rescue? Not me, No sir, I'll be attacking with pots and pans just like everyone else because some very stupid people thought that by taking away our guns the world would be a safer place. You know who will be the heros? The criminals, gang bangers, and mafia. Because they will be the only ones with the fire power, and plenty of it. Yea, imagine that, the law abiding citizens that served in our wars, held public office, worked down at the 5 & Dime, the loan officers, the business men and women of every sort will be left unarmed because they are the ONLY ones who will have obeyed the law and surrendered their weapons. Well, actually I won't be one of them, if you make it against the law for me to keep and bare arms, I'll be an outlaw for the first time in my life. People know they can't just take away our weapons because they would have a civil war, but if you chip away at it slowly, piece by piece then eventually society won't know the difference. You will have raised generations of people that think "guns are bad". People are bad, leave the guns out of it. People have been killing people from the start. You won't stop that, look at our criminal justice system if you want answers. Violent offenders, guns or otherwise, get reduced sentences and put back on the street everyday. You cannot eradicate guns from existence. If we don't make them, other countries will salivate because they know criminals will buy them up like hotcakes. Have we stopped drugs? Besides, the fact that we as citizens DO have guns, is one of the MAIN reasons other countries don't attack us! They know the military aren't the only ones packin' over here. I don't have any use for a machine gun, not since I left the Army. I don't own one, probably never will. Have you seen any .50 cals around your house, or the supermarket? How about any assault rifles? NO?? Because law abiding people who do own them don't advertise it or shoot up your community, and the criminals (who aren't allowed to have them right now as it is) don't bring them out until they are ready to do what they do...crime. So don't thnk by banning a certain type of weapon you aren't doing any harm, because the next bill to be past will DEFINE the "bad" guns as something a little closer to hunting rifles, then shotguns, and pistols. Chip away at that constitutional right and soon, if the liberals have their way, the second amendment will be replaced by the 3rd and the only way people will even know that we had a 2nd is in history class. STOP THE MADNESS! I can kill a man just as dead with my hands if I wanted to and if he wasn't shooting at me. The purpose for firearms is to defend against those that would use them for evil. Not to mention the HUGE heritage and bonding that goes into hunting with your kids and sharing air looms to be passed down. I'm done.

Posted by: The Sarg on November 10, 2005 6:06 PM