Assault Weapon’ Banners Assert False Distinctions Because the Real Ones Are Silly

‘Assault Weapon’ Banners Assert False Distinctions Because the Real Ones Are Silly
This arbitrary category of firearms is not distinguished by rate of fire or muzzle velocity.
Jacob Sullum|Mar. 5, 2018 1:00 pm

C-SPAN
The New York Times explains why the Florida Senate rejected a “two-year moratorium on sales of AR-15 semiautomatic rifles” on Saturday: “The votes just aren’t there.” While that is tautologically true whenever a bill fails to gain majority support, the point in this case is that the votes really should be there, given that 62 percent of Florida voters “favored an assault weapons ban” in a recent poll. The implication is that Republican legislators, blinded by ideology and fear of the NRA, are defying the will of the people.

That is one possible explanation. Alternatively, it could be that Republican legislators oppose an “assault weapon” ban because they think it is not worth supporting. The latter interpretation gains credibility when you notice that supporters of such legislation, rather than offering a logical argument in its favor, tend to treat it as self-evidently dictated by “common sense.” When they try to do more that, the best they can offer is misdirection and obfuscation.

Last week, for instance, an article in the Times said AR-15-style rifles are particularly deadly because they are “fed with box magazines” that “can be swapped out quickly, allowing a gunman to fire more than a hundred rounds in minutes.” But that is true of any gun that accepts detachable magazines, including many models that do not qualify as “assault weapons.”

Yesterday the Times reported that “military-style rifles” fire “lightweight, high-speed bullets that can cause grievous bone and soft tissue wounds,” injuries worse than those typically caused by handguns. As one trauma surgeon explains, “the energy imparted to a human body by a high-velocity weapon is exponentially greater” than the energy imparted by a handgun. But that observation is true of rifles in general; it is not unique to so-called assault weapons.

While the .223-caliber round typically fired by AR-15-style rifles does have a relatively high muzzle velocity, other cartridges, fired by guns that are not considered “assault weapons,” equal or surpass it. Furthermore, muzzle velocity is not the only factor in a bullet’s lethality; size also matters, and so-called assault weapons fire smaller rounds than many hunting rifles. Both velocity and mass figure into muzzle energy, a measure of a bullet’s destructive power. As UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh notes, “the .223 rifles that are often labeled ‘assault weapons’ have a much lower muzzle energy than familiar hunting rifles such as the .30-06.”

Iver Johnson

Ruger
More to the point, neither muzzle velocity nor muzzle energy has anything to do with the definition of “assault weapons,” which hinges on military-style features such as folding stocks, pistol grips, and barrel shrouds. And while all so-called assault weapons accept detachable magazines, many guns that accept detachabale magazines do not fall into this arbitrary category because they lack the features that offend politicians like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the federal “assault weapon” ban that expired in 2004 and has been pushing a revised version since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.

To give you a sense of how silly Feinstein’s distinctions are, her bill specifically exempts the Iver Johnson M–1 Carbine (above right, top) and the Ruger Mini-14 (above right, bottom), but only when they have fixed stocks. Adding a folding or adjustable stock to these rifles transforms them from legitimate firearms into proscribed “assault weapons,” even though that change does not make them any more lethal or suitable for mass murder. That’s the sort of nonsensical line drawing that must be defended by any honest and well-informed advocate of a renewed “assault weapon” ban, assuming such a person exists.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist.

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Obama scandalous presidency

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1511282288994657&id=475549362567960

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Mayors breaking the law openly.

Mayor of Oakland CA compromised a legitimate law enforcement operation putting both LEO & private citizen lives at risk. DOJ says they’ll investigate obstruction of justice charges. This reckless politician needs to be charged & held accountable.

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Govt failed

“I want to make this super obvious point,” Loesch said. “The government has proven that they cannot keep you safe. And yet, some people want all of us to disarm. You heard that town hall last night. They cheered the confiscation of firearms. And it was over 5,000 people

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False gun control myths

3 Common GUN CONTROL MYTHS Debunked

thepholosopher (56) in anarchy 3 months ago

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Number 3: “Gun Bans Are Effective in Other Countries.”

When gun control is argued, many try to bring up examples in other countries to suggest that gun control necessarily brings down the crime rate. The problem with this argument is that when people compare countries, they do not compare them proportionately, but instead, frame the situation in a manner that deceives others as to causation.

For example, one of the most commonly referred to countries is Australia as Australia enacted a uniform approach to firearms regulation at the federal level, applying bans across all territories with the Firearms Act of 1996. This act, along with other acts and regulations, essentially banned most firearms for private possession and required those who still had firearms such as simple shotguns and rifles to pass a screening and a waiting period. Self-defense with guns was also essentially banned with this act as the possession of a firearm for self-defense purposes is reason for denial of an Australian firearms permit.

Australia’s denial of the individual right to guns and self-defense might appear at first to be something remarkable as their homicide rate declined to 1 in 100,000 in 2017. However, this statistical significance is diminished when put into context for comparison.

First, Australia’s violent crime rate was already on the decline, with a firearm declination of 3% annually for years before the ban, meaning that other factors were influencing the change.

Second, when comparing Australia to the United States, the population size and nature of legal differences must be accurately accounted for. Australia is a country of about 24 million people. The United States population is over 320 million.

To make an apt comparison for questioning the efficacy of gun control, one must consider that Australia has a smaller total population and uniform federal gun law restrictions, unlike the 50 states. To make a proper analysis, one should compare the states in the U.S. with the most gun freedom with Australia’s population.
If one counts the population in America’s most pro-gun states up to Australian population count, and then compares the homicide rate, a clarity will emerge that demonstrates a negligible difference.

In Australia, across 24 million people, there is approximately 1 homicide per 100,000. Counting up approximately 24 million people from the most gun friendly populations of New Hampshire, Vermont, North Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, Maine, Oregon, and Arizona, the homicide rate is approximately 1.6 per 100,000, a negligible difference in what is a vastly different legislative scheme for gun control.

With this in mind, it should be clear why the mainstream media frames nationwide comparisons to make it appear that gun control laws are the magic bullet to stopping homicides: they don’t want to look carefully at the states with more gun freedom.

For further understanding in comparing Australia’s gun laws to the U.S., look at the states in the U.S. with the most gun control: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and Rhode Island. Taken together, these states have an average of 3.78 homicides per 100,000 people. From this information, we can infer that gun control laws are not themselves the core attribute that makes murder rates go up or down.

Rather, what we see is that dense populations afflicted by localities that prohibit gun ownership and self-defense can be a possible factor in the equation.

And, looking closer to localities, this holds true when narrowing in where the higher murder rates are coming from.
In 2014, the Crime Prevention Research Center reported that just 1% of the counties in the United States with 19% of the population held 37% of the murders. In fact, half of the murders in the U.S. came from only 2% of counties, and these counties are in localities with some of the greatest gun restrictions like in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Chicago.

By this information, the homicide rate is more closely correlated with urban clustering and with gun and self-defense bans by those urban localities.

So, when people try to compare the whole of the United States to other countries, remind them to not compare apples and oranges.

Number Two: “Homicide Can Be Stopped by Banning Assault Rifles.”

People often try to suggest that a certain type of gun should be banned because it seems scary without looking at other types of accepted harms. For example, many try to suggest that certain guns that are black and have scopes should be banned because they can shoot a lot of people. These guns are often incorrectly labelled as “assault rifles,” when they are just semi-automatic rifles. “Assault” means selective-fire with the ability to go automatic, and automatics have been generally illegal to make and purchase in the U.S. since 1986.

So people often argue to ban semi-automatic rifles in the Armalite Rifle style, AR for short, without any meaningful analysis as to what guns are used for crime. According to the FBI’s statistics, handguns are used for murder some 8,000 times per year while rifles are used in less than 300 instances. In other words, rifles are used only 3 percent the amount of times handguns are used. The FBI’s classification of “rifle” doesn’t differentiate between an AR-styled rifle and a brown hunting rifle, so it’s likely that the percent is even lower in reality for AR-styled rifles.

Even clubs, hammers, and body parts are used more often for murders than rifles, with blunt objects totaling 428 murders in 2013 and hands and feet used 687 times.

So when looking at what people are arguing to ban, one ought to consider the fact that there are far more weapons that can be used to murder than rifles, and banning rifles will not stop people being murdered through other instrumentalities.

Number 1: “The Second Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Individuals and Modern Guns.”

Some try to say that the second amendment doesn’t apply to individuals owning modern guns because the founding fathers didn’t foresee it. Hypocritically, these same people argue this using their freedom of speech via the internet, which also didn’t exist at America’s founding.

The reality is that the second amendment was always about the individual right of self-defense, which has already been settled case law from the United States Supreme Court Cases of D.C. versus Heller and from McDonald versus Chicago.
Justice Scalia noted about the second Amendment in Heller that: “It was clearly an individual right, having nothing whatever to do with service in a militia…on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.”

Justice Alito noted in the McDonald case that gun rights were fundamentally about resisting government, saying:

“As we noted in Heller, King George III’s attempt to disarm the colonists in the 1760’s and 1770’s provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep and bear arms.

This understanding persisted in the years immediately following the ratification of the Bill of Rights. In addition to the four States that had adopted Second Amendment analogues before ratification, nine more States adopted state constitutional provisions protecting an individual right to keep and bear arms between 1789 and 1820.

Unless considerations of stare decisis counsel otherwise, a provision of the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the Federal Government and the States. We therefore hold that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller.”

With this in mind, it is important to see that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental human right, one that must be held first and foremost as a defense against government. As the right to bear arms must be maintained with the ability to resist government, military grade weapons cannot be peremptorily kept out of the hands of individuals as it is violative of their fundamental rights.

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Feb 16, 2018 – 09:57 PM EST
Black voter registration effort launched at ‘Black Panther’ screenings

BY AVERY ANAPOL 51,557
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An activist group has launched a voter registration effort aimed at black voters at screenings of the “Black Panther” movie nationwide.

Members of the Electoral Justice Project, an offshoot of the Movement for Black Lives, are seeking to motivate black voters and increase political engagement with the #WakandaTheVote campaign, the website Blavity reported.

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Wakanda is the fictional African nation featured in the long-anticipated Marvel film “Black Panther.”

Kayla Reed, Jessica Byrd and Rukia Lumumba founded the Electoral Justice Project last year, and told Blavity that the movement has been effective “because we meet our communities where they are, whether that’s in the streets, at the city council meeting, or in the movie theater.”

“This weekend we wanted to meet our people in Wakanda,” Byrd and Reed told Blavity. “We know that for some it’s a superhero world, but we know that the world we deserve is still waiting to be built — and we want to build it.”

The project’s website notes that volunteers will be wearing “Wakanda inspired outfits” to help moviegoers register to vote.

Byrd and Reed told Blavity that they plan to further their efforts ahead of the 2018 midterm elections by holding a campaign manager institute called the “Electoral Justice League,” and to have “thousands of conversations” with black voters about upcoming elections.

“We want to take every opportunity to engage our communities in the conversation of electoral justice,” they said.

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Poland being villanized

Poland’s government says the law is needed to protect Poland from being slandered for crimes committed by Nazi Germans that took place during the 1939-45 occupation and to make the wartime suffering of Poles clear to the world. Poland lost six million citizens during the war, half of them Jews.

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