From the very beginning (about 25 years ago) of the forcible citizen disarmament lobby's campaign to ban so-called "assault weapons," we have been told that the objective has never been to ban all semi-automatic rifles. Instead, we are told, it is only those semi-automatic rifles that are rendered "more lethal," by virtue of their "military features," that must be banned.
As gun rights advocates, we counter this ridiculous fiction with the fact that the purportedly evil, so-called "military features," like flash suppressors, folding stocks, etc., are merely ergonomic refinements and cosmetic changes that do nothing to alter the basic function of the firearm, only to be accused of lying. From the Brady Campaign's "Mass Produced Mayhem":
Assault weapons have distinct features that separate them from sporting firearms. While semiautomatic hunting rifles are designed to be fired from the shoulder and depend upon the accuracy of a precisely aimed projectile, the military features of semiautomatic assault weapons are designed to enhance their capacity to shoot multiple human targets very rapidly.
. . .
This contradicts the National Rifle Association’s (“NRA”) assertion that there are only “cosmetic” differences between the guns affected by the assault weapon ban and other firearms.
Back in September, this column noted that if any of this were true, the Brady Campaign would not have had any interest in supporting California Senate Bill 374, which would have banned all semi-automatic, detachable magazine-fed (or even fixed magazine-fed, if the fixed magazine is capable of holding 11 or more rounds--no "military features" necessary). But the Brady Bunch was enthusiastically on board, describing the California legislature's passage of SB 374 as "one of many state victories that show momentum for sensible gun reform":
SB 374 (Steinberg) - Simplifies California’s assault weapons law by prohibiting future sale of semi-automatic centerfire rifles with exchangeable ammunition magazines that enable rapid reload.
Since then, when even California's rabidly anti-gun Governor Jerry Brown found SB 374 too radically oppressive, thus warranting his veto earlier this month, the Brady Bunch has not bothered to hide their deep disappointment over the tyranny that got away:
Governor Jerry Brown sent conflicting messages to Californians today by vetoing key gun reform policies while signing other measures into law. In particular, the Governor vetoed measures that would have closed dangerous loopholes in California’s assault weapon law (SB 374) . . .
That a major anti-gun group is so transparently and unabashedly contradicting its own position is a point that cannot be made too loudly. That they are now arguing that the most expansive and restrictive "assault weapons" ban in the United States contains "dangerous loopholes" that must be closed with even more draconian gun laws is exactly the slippery slope argument in a nutshell.
Semi-automatic, detachable magazine-fed rifles are probably the best general purpose weapon for defending one's life and liberty. That's why the other side cannot abide our having them.
- 'Look like' an 'assault weapon'?
- 'Assault weapons' bans depend on lies
- So what if they are 'weapons of war'?
- Brady Campaign promoting gun recall as solution to violence is nuts
- The right to keep and bear arms is not based on 'sporting purposes'
- Gun rights: Of rights, needs and 'sporting purposes'
- If ammo needs a 'sporting purpose,' slaying aspiring tyrants must be a 'sport'
- CA proves 'assault weapon' bans have nothing to do with 'military features'