Response to Taverner (Original post)
Sun Dec 23, 2012, 07:42 PM
Recursion (50,688 posts)
25. *shrug* In 1994 we banned assault weapons at extreme political cost
Which is to say, we banned new manufacture and import of a class of firearms that nearly nobody owns and that nearly nobody uses in crimes (and, again, if you support the AWB it's very likely you are completely misunderstanding what it did). Even with assault weapons banned, the weapon Lanza used was 100% legal to manufacture and import (though you had to have X number of parts be manufactured in the US).
Again, this was achieved at ruinous political cost, and all it did was require that his rifle not have a bayonet lug.
Seriously making mass shootings difficult (which, remember, are exceedingly rare and probably not what we should be basing gun policy on, vs. the vast majority of gun homicides that use handguns) would require banning semi-automatics with detachable magazines. That's over a hundred and fifty million guns in private hands today, as well as nearly all new sales. So what would a ban do? Prevent new sale and manufacture but leave current ownership alone? (Wouldn't do much good.) Ditto but prevent any further transfers? (Doubtful that would stand up in court.) Require a turn-in? (Fifth amendment problem if we don't compensate, incredibly expensive if we do, and subject to the problem that the people who comply will be for the most part the people we don't need to worry about.) This issue is precisely the nexus of 2nd amendment (keeping and bearing arms) and 5th amendment rights (not losing property without compensation), and those are two that even conservative judges have shown broad deference to.
Look at the political fallout of banning bayonet lugs in 1994 (not to mention the unintended consequence of making the AR-15 and SKS incredibly popular). Now imagine we were actually banning guns people used, and imagine what would happen.
I predict we'll get a renewed assault weapons ban which will be as pointless as the first: once again we will be spared the scourge of mass bayonetings or murders by rifle-mounted grenade launchers.
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|Jim Warren||Dec 2012||#14|
|Lizzie Poppet||Dec 2012||#18|
*shrug* In 1994 we banned assault weapons at extreme political cost
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