Here’s another “striver.”.
“Return of Assault Weapons Feared in U.S.” A Toronto Star piece. I feel a fisk’n coming on!
They go by names that suggest power and danger — the “Streetsweeper,” the TEC-9, the MAK90, the AK-47.
And that’s exactly what these military-style assault weapons bring. The power to kill indiscriminately.
As opposed to, say, the Marlin 336, the Mossberg 500, the Remington 7400, the Browning BAR, the … but you get the idea. It’s not the weapon, it’s the human being behind the trigger.
Now there is fear here that the bullet-spraying semi-automatic weapons are heading back to American streets.
This assumes that they A) were on the “street” in any numbers to begin with, and B) the law had anything to do with them leaving. Neither of which assumption can be proven given the available data.
The gun debate in the United States has moved back to the forefront as a 1994 ban on assault weapons lurches toward an expiry date and it promises to become a pivotal issue in the next presidential election.
U.S. President George W. Bush surprised many when he distanced himself from the powerful National Rifle Association during the 2000 campaign, advocating an extension of the assault-weapon ban that ends in September, 2004.
But there are signs here that Bush now appears to want to have it both ways, tacitly supporting the extension to court suburban support in key states, while doing nothing overtly to stop a move that could see Congress simply avoid a vote on the extension and let it die.
Politics. Ain’t it a bitch?
That would be a powerful nod-and-wink to the firearms lobby, which, by some accounts, poured $1.6 million into the 2000 Bush campaign.
Wow. $1.6 mill? Out of a total of $193,088,650 according to OpenSecrets.org. Boy, I bet they really noticed that slightly less than 1%. And now he rewards them by saying he’d support extension of the ban. What a backstabber, eh?
“Does George W. Bush want to be known as the pro-assault weapon president?” said Joe Sudbay, the public policy director of the Washington-based Violence Policy Center.
No, he wants to be known as Mr. President. He’s a politician.
“He may be trying to have it both ways now, but it will be pretty clear by Sept. 13, 2004. He either supports the extension or he doesn’t … he either extends it or he doesn’t.”
Whoa. Thanks for that stunning piece of logic.
The 1994 law made it illegal to import, manufacture, transfer or possess 19 types of semi-automatic weapons, although the law was “grandfathered,” meaning anyone who legally owned such weapons before that date could retain them.
“Loophole! Loophole!” he screams.
Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican and House of Representatives majority leader, said last week he didn’t believe the extension would come to a vote in the Republican-dominated House. DeLay’s statement drew a surprising rebuke from the Republican Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, showing that the gun ban does not easily cut across Republican-Democrat lines in this country.
While many Democrats are fearful of defeat if they are targeted by the gun lobby in the coming elections, there are many Republicans representing so-called “soccer mom” suburban constituencies who could become electoral toast if they are seen to be backing a measure which would bring the deadly weapons legally back to the streets of America.
That’s the beauty of it. They don’t have to “back a measure.” Just not vote “yes” on any new bill proposed to revoke the sunset.
White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer said last week Bush has not had any change of heart from his 2000 campaign promise. But he offered no explanation as to why Bush has given no presidential muscle to the promise. He has not been shy about stumping the country pushing for his tax-cut proposals, but has said nothing publicly about assault weapons.
“The House does everything the president wants,” New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said. “He wants a dividends tax cut, they do it. He wants one bill or another, they jump. In fact … they say `how high?’ He’s got to walk the walk (on guns). If the president wants this bill to come to his desk, it will. If the president doesn’t, he can have his minions whisper to the House, `kill the bill,’ and he’ll never reach it.”
I think Up-Chuck overestimates just how much Bush can lead the members of the House around. The gun question is an entirely different question to constituents compared to a tax cut. Nobody except a member of the democratic party elite opposes keeping more of their own money.
In 1994, the ban passed the House by a mere two votes, but it has been something less than a rousing success, even the anti-gun lobby concedes.
So LETS RENEW IT! Yeah, that sounds like Democratic logic.
Many weapons manufacturers simply cosmetically changed the specs on the weapons to circumvent the ban, cynically adding “AB” to their model numbers, indicating they were changed “after the ban.”
In 2000, 28,653 died of gunshot wounds in the U.S.; 94 children and teens in Louisiana alone. The gun death rate during that year was 10.4 per 100,000 population.
Down from 34,050 and a rate of 14.84 in 1981. And your point is….?
The Violence Policy Center released a study last week indicating that 41 of 211 law enforcement officers gunned down in the line of duty between Jan. 1, 1998, and Dec. 31, 2001 — almost one in five — were felled by assault weapons.
A report which I illustrated misidentified 19 of the 41 weapons as “assault rifles.” Five of the 19 were “banned” handguns, but the other 14 weapons identified as “assault rifles” weren’t on the “banned” list either by description or name at all. As I said in my earlier piece:
Four (4) with M1 Carbines, eight (8) with SKS rifles, two (2) with Mini-14’s, three (3) M-11’s, and two (2) TEC-9’s. First, the M1, SKS, and Mini-14’s are not and have not been classified as “assault weapons” – no lethal pistol grip on those guns. They look like “nice” semi-automatic rifles because they have the pretty non-lethal wood stocks, rather than the ugly, lethal plastic and metal ones. The M-11 and the TEC-9 are not rifles, they’re handguns. That’s NINETEEN (19) of the 41. And, if these guns were created “solely to kill people,” what of the other 170 officer deaths? They were killed with weapons designed to tickle people?
Now, according to this site between the years of 1998 and 2001 (inclusive) there were 229 officer deaths by firearm, not 211. And according to this table the number of police deaths, at least for the last couple of decades (and excluding the 72 killed in the Twin Towers in 2001) has been apparently unaffected by the relative explosion in the mid 1980’s of “assault weapons” (as defined by the law) into the general populace. They’re trying to make it sound like the presence of “assault weapons” has somehow added 41 deaths that otherwise would not have occurred. The evidence does not support this. But that’s the conclusion you’re supposed to draw. “Ban ’em, and these cops would have lived!”
This piece is much the same.
During a three-week reign of terror last October, the Washington snipers used a modified Bushmaster assault rifle, an XM15 M4 A3. The company’s sales have soared since 1994.
And, as I have pointed out elsewhere, the “Washington snipers” fired a single shot at each victim. They could just as well have used a target rifle. Their choice of weapon was irrelevant.
The teens behind the 1999 Columbine massacre used modified TEC-9s.
No, according to the Denver Post, only Kliebold had a Tec-9. And aren’t you forgetting the SAWED-OFF SHOTGUNS BOTH OF THEM CARRIED? Not to mention the fact that they were also carrying “a backpack and a duffel bag filled with bombs.” And you’re worried about a TEC-9?
“There’s not a dime’s worth of difference in the performance characteristics between the guns on the banned list and the guns not on the banned list,” said NRA executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre.
Hey, they didn’t misquote him!
Anti-gun advocates want an even tougher ban to replace the 1994 law, but, right now, there is little hope in Washington the law will be improved. It is more a question of a dogged fight to keep the status quo.
It didn’t work, so LET’S DO IT AGAIN ONLY HARDER!
Bryan Miller of Philadelphia knows something about fight and he doesn’t buy the conventional Washington spin.
Miller joined the advocacy group CeaseFire PA after his brother, an FBI agent, was slain at District of Columbia police headquarters in 1994. It was a case of mistaken identity. The gunman, carrying a concealed TEC-9, was looking for the head of homicide. Mike Miller was in the “cold case” squad.
“He went the wrong way … but somebody was going to die, anyway,” Miller said. Since then, Miller has worked tirelessly to control guns in his country.
“…but somebody was going to die, anyway.” Yup. And he could have used a non-banned Browning Hi-power. Or a sawed-off shotgun. His choice of a Tec-9 was immaterial. Someone was going to die.
“Tirelessly to control guns in his country?” More like “tirelessly to disarm the victims.” Nothing these people want will prevent someone intent on killing from doing so. Gun control is not crime control. It didn’t work in England, and it can’t work here.
“These guns are ugly,” he said in an interview.
WE HAVE A WINNER!
That’s it exactly. They’re ugly, scary-looking guns, so we must ban them! Pitchforks! Torches! Kill the monster! Kill the monster!
“We have tapes of those kids firing away in Columbine. We have families of victims and people like me who have lost loved ones to these guns.
“We have lots of support. And we are just getting started.”
My condolences. Seriously. But you and the families didn’t lose their friends and loved ones to “those guns.” You lost them to the bastards pulling the triggers. And until you figure that out, you’ve got a helluva lot of people on my side opposing you.