Friday, December 28, 2012

Preparing for the Fight

The details of Babs Feinstein's Assault Scary Looking Weapons Ban have been posted to her website, and it's simultaneously interesting and nauseating to look at them.  Essentially she intends to criminalize any semiautomatic rifle that can accept a magazine larger than 10 rounds, except for some .22 caliber rifles.  While I don't want to waste the space quoting her, it's clear that the flying monkeys staffers who prepared this have listened to some of the criticisms of the old AWB.  For example, it has often been pointed out that the wooden-stocked Ruger Ranch Rifle Mini-14 was acceptable while the functionally identical Mini-14 Tactical version was prohibited, so they responded by calling the Mini-14 out by name and declaring it illegal.  The NRA-ILA has extracted some highlights to include here:
  • Expands the definition of “assault weapon” by including:
    • Three very popular rifles: The M1 Carbine (introduced in 1944 and for many years sold by the federal government to individuals involved in marksmanship competition), a model of the Ruger Mini-14, and most or all models of the SKS. 
    • Any “semiautomatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds,” except for tubular-magazine .22s. 
    • Any “semiautomatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches,” any “semiautomatic handgun with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds,” and any semi-automatic handgun that has a threaded barrel. 
  • Requires owners of existing “assault weapons” to register them with the federal government under the National Firearms Act (NFA)The NFA imposes a $200 tax per firearm, and requires an owner to submit photographs and fingerprints to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), to inform the BATFE of the address where the firearm will be kept, and to obtain the BATFE’s permission to transport the firearm across state lines.
Notice in particular that the definition of assault weapons is extended to pistols.  The conclusion here is that for any model pistol that comes from the factory with a magazine that holds over 10 rounds, and there must be a couple of dozen of such models, they become NFA firearms requiring a $200 tax per handgun - and, it's arguable, $200 per magazine - fingerprinting, photo ID, and permission from your local sheriff.

The only technology she appears willing to accept is bolt action rifles with built in magazines holding five or fewer rounds.  I suppose an M1 Garand with its 8 round en bloc clip would be acceptable.  And revolvers.  At least on her web page and the NRA web page, I see no talk about restricting revolvers.  Maybe modern engineers can do something with the old Belgian H.D.H. 20 shot revolver design?
(HDH 20 Shot Revolver - 1895)
There's more.  On her web page, Feinstein lists studies to back up her efforts, and predictably lies about what they say.  For example, she says:
In a Department of Justice study (pdf), Jeffrey Roth and Christopher Koper find that the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was responsible for a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders, holding all other factors equal. They write: “Assault weapons are disproportionately involved in murders with multiple victims, multiple wounds per victim, and police officers as victims.”
The NRA quotes the actual paper:
On her website, Feinstein claims that a study for the DOJ found that the 1994 ban resulted in a 6.7 percent decrease in murders. To the contrary, this is what the study said: “At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders. Our best estimate is that the ban contributed to a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders between 1994 and 1995. . . . However, with only one year of post-ban data, we cannot rule out the possibility that this decrease reflects chance year-to-year variation rather than a true effect of the ban.  Nor can we rule out effects of other features of the 1994 Crime Act or a host of state and local initiatives that took place simultaneously.”
GunFacts (pdf - see page 63) gives more data to back up discussions with antis. 

To paraphrase Greg Gutfeld, listening to Feinstein talk about guns is like listening to a tree talk about algebra. 

Realistically, this could be a negotiating ploy: put up the most outrageous demands she can think of and get what she can.  We need to convince our representatives not to accept anything.  None of these bans will have the desired effects.   Time to get busy contacting your congresscritters - and don't forget your local and state officials either.  The war is not coming, the war has begun.


  1. Graybeard, you'll probably find this article interesting;

    1. Yes, I do. Thought-provoking piece, there.

      Your opening sentence, "the chief intellectual battle zone will be the kitchen table. is striking because I almost said something about conversations over dinner with the gun owners who somehow seem to be buying into the logic that an AWB is fine. The "who needs one?" argument. Take the hunters like that whom you know out to dinner and talk with them.

      I decided that was too long a side road to just mention in this.

  2. "Assault wepon" will also include ANY wepon with a bayonet lug, M-1903s, M-1s, Mausers, Nagants. This has one and only one intent. CIVILIAN DISARMERMENT.

  3. The M1 Carbine

    She can kiss my ass. My favorite was a M2 in Vietnam and I was just looking at buying a M1, and Garand as I had last in military school. I really don't think this going much of anywhere, at least it better not.

    1. There's a school of thought that it's just an "ask for the moon" proposal with no serious expectation anything will happen. Apparently, only the NY Times (alias Pravda) has endorsed it, not even the usual anti-gun groups.