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Weapons of War, A Look at the Assault Weapon Debate
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Every now and then I just write a bit on one subject or another pertaining to firearms. Here's my latest bit; this forum seemed appropriate for it:

Weapons of war.

"[G]un control measures are not designed to disarm law-abiding citizens or to take away a person’s right to own a gun. Rather, they are implemented to ensure that criminals and others who are statutorily prohibited from possessing firearms are not able to purchase weapons and ammunition with ease, particularly when the purchase is likely to be for an unlawful purpose. I have supported measures to limit the sale, transfer, purchase and manufacture of handguns and semi-automatic weapons. I support the ban on assault weapons, and will do my best to have it reinstated" U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye.

"weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets ... Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence and they’re not using AK-47s. They’re using cheap hand guns" President Barack Obama

We've reached an interesting point in the national debate over gun laws. This point is one where those who seek to implement further measures of gun control, but who are politically vulnerable, argue a very centrist position on the issue while radicals in safe positions politically put forth extremist legislative proposals to complement the moderately argued positions. One only needs to look at the actual text of the new generation of proposed assault weapons bans to realize that the proposed language of the bills are extremist examples of gun control that target those who are extremely law abiding. When such radical measures are all that get introduced it puts the above statements in perspective. The only way for such measures to pass after all is if the public doesn't read them and can be convinced that they are moderate proposals. It's easy to argue that weapons of war shouldn't be on the streets, but it's harder to argue that the current law-abiding owners of them should be treated like convicted sex offenders.

The bills proposed today most certainly do the latter, but you won't hear that mentioned by those who are in support of the measures but who must also tread a knife's edge politically. If you look carefully though you can see and hear the disdain for nearly all gun ownership in the above quotes and from others who argue for more restrictions on the so-called 'assault weapons'. Note the mentioning of handguns as prime sources of urban violence. It's true, in fact, that most gun-violence in the United States is not done with a weapon that can be in any way called an 'assault weapon'; if anything handguns are the weapon of choice for petty criminals because they are simply easier to carry and, more importantly, easier to hide. Yet which weapons ought to be banned? Well, you're more likely to hear 'assault weapons' in response to such a question, as you do above.

The argument above that both those quotes present is that gun owners, despite being law-abiding citizens who are already subject to serious and thorough legal regulations, must be allowed to own guns, but only those kind used in the vast majority of gun crimes. The argument is that those gun owners who are subject to background checks and thorough licensing standards must be banned from owning firearms that are very rarely used in crime. One would think that the argument about a ban on firearms would be over those used most readily in cases of violence, but that simply is not the case today.

Why? Well there's no need for speculation, the very people pushing such bans have already told us why but we tend to forget it. Let me provide a reminder:

"Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons" Josh Sugarmann, author of Every handgun is aimed at you: The case for banning handguns.

The goal of many of gun ban supporters is confusion, which is why when examined carefully the logic of the argument for an 'assault weapon' ban is so obviously conflicted with the facts surrounding gun violence. Practically arguing for a handgun ban makes more sense given what is most commonly used in gun crimes, but the supporters of handgun bans have been losing even that argument for decades. That's why they've changed the nature of the debate, moderated their statements, but kept pushing extreme legislation with the hopes of getting restrictions through.

This is why semi-automatic rifles were termed 'assault weapons' and it is now why those assault weapons are being termed as weapons of war. The term assault weapon isn't scary enough to mask the extremism and logical gaps pushed by those seeking to ban what are, in reality, normal semi-automatic rifles in very common use today by regular Americans. No, these weapons must be labeled as weapons of war, that's the new and supposedly moderate way to express support for an extremist agenda. Those of us who see the truth, however, that these so-called 'weapons of war' are owned for recreation and self-protection and not for war, we must keep fighting to reveal the word games for what they really are. They are masks for an extremist agenda, deliberate attempts at confusing an uniformed public in hopes of gaining their support, and most importantly that they don't even target the weapons that are used in day-to-day street violence in our nation's urban centers.

The nation has woken up to the fact that laws limiting the ownership of firearms by those who take care to follow the law does nothing to stop violence done by those who flaunt the law, this applies to handguns, it applies more readily now to so-called 'assault weapons', and we must work again so that if the new terminology about weapons of war takes hold it applies once more to them as well. The facts and truth about violence and gun ownership rest with our side of the debate, the confusion and fake moderation lies with our opposition.
IronSight, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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