09. September 2004 · Comments Off on As The Twilight Approaches, The Liberal Sensation Machine Revs Up · Categories: General, Politics

The liberal media is up-in-arms over the sunseting of the 10 year-old federal “assault weapons” ban, Typical is this WaPo article, which virtually mimics the material supplied by its primary source:

The report by the Consumer Federation of America, which favors greater regulation of the gun industry, concludes that “assault weapons will be more lethal and less expensive” without the ban and argues that police “may be forced to adopt a more militaristic approach” as greater numbers of firearms flood the market.

You’d think it’s the beginning of a new arms race. We may need to call out the National Guard to maintain order.

I have yet to find a gun control advocate that can tell me (without being easily and definitively refuted) what makes an AR-15 “more lethal” than a Ruger Mini-14.

Update: Surprisingly, Fox Butterfield presents a mostly ‘fair and balanced’ article in todays NYTimes. The major exception is one glaring factual error:

One statistic not in dispute is that the weapons are disproportionately involved in the killing of police officers. A Violence Policy Center study found that of the 211 police officers killed in the line of duty from 1998 through 2001, 41 were killed with an assault weapon, many of them post-ban models.

In truth, the VPC has taken a very broad definition of what is an ‘assault weapon’ in arriving at that figure:

The VPC claims 41 of 211 officers dying in 1998-2001 were wounded by assault weapons. In addition to misleading the public about Officer Stem’s death, the VPC has other cases of stretching the truth.

Their list of officer deaths includes 14 cases where they claim assault weapons were used, but the rifles indicated were not on the Federal assault weapons list. In two cases, the rifles were the Ruger Mini-14 rifle, a rifle model specifically excluded by name from the assault weapon list as a sporting firearm (see Appendix A of 18 USC Sec. 922 or Senator Feinstein’s publication http://feinstein.senate.gov/booklets/assault.pdf). In 4 cases the rifles were M-1 carbines and in 8 cases the rifles were SKS carbines. None of these rifles are on lists of assault weapons.

In one case, the primary weapon to down the officer was a shotgun and an assault weapon was used during the thug’s attempt to flee. In four cases the killers used 9 mm handguns classified as assault weapons and these guns are already banned in Maryland.

In one case a rifle was stolen from a police department and used to kill two officers. Bans usually permit police to hold these weapons, so it is deceptive to include this case as an example where a legislative remedy is possible. So, in 20 of the 211 killing or roughly one in 10, killers used assault long guns whose use might have been prevented by a ban. That is, if killers could not devise an effective substitute for the same situation. In all of the remaining 211 cases, the killers did find satisfactory alternative solutions by using 30-30 and other rifles, shotguns and handguns.

A point not addressed by the VPC is that the killers for 26 of the VPC’s 41 officer had prior criminal records sufficiently serious to disqualify them from owning firearms. Two had convictions for previous killings. One in five of the killers of the VPC group of officers was on probation or parole. The idea that a ban would be effective is hard to accept given these criminals were already disqualified from possessing any firearms.

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