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Zer Netmouse
July 21st, 2012
11:01 am

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Why does Congress make laws that expire?

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From:spacecrab
Date:July 22nd, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
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Maybe the ban wasn't a weird experiment. I assume you've read Terry Karney on the subject. He's in your camp, DDB.

But I'm in the camp that asks why we need more of those things to be sold to the general public. Will you concede that there may be other ways to challenge a government monopoly on the things -- that we don't really want them used in house-to-house situations, and that police and soldiers are human beings with individual consciences? If it ever came to one of the scenarios some people envision, my belief is that we'd be better off opposing tyranny in ways other than a civilian-populated civil war.

I'll never forget the GD concert in Bolinas where Jerry was warned that someone in the audience was armed and intended to shoot him.

He got up on stage and performed.

("When I awoke, the dire wolf, six hundred pounds of sin,
Was grinning at my window, all I said was come on in.
Don't murder me, I beg of you, don't murder me.
Please, don't murder me.

The wolf came in, I got my cards, we sat down for a
game.
I cut my deck to the queen of spades, but the cards
were all the same.
Don't murder me, I beg of you, don't murder me.

Please, don't murder me.")
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From:netmouse
Date:July 23rd, 2012 04:27 am (UTC)
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That's a really interesting illustration, and emotionally affecting story.

I too am not sure I see the sense in describing banning semi-automatic assault weapons as a "weird experiment."

The recent power grabs of the executive branch do concern me, but I would rather see us have peaceful demonstrations like the ones in Nigeria where the women shamed Chevron into changing its policies by going en masse to the oil rigs and threatening to take all their clothes off than to get into escalating threats of violence.
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From:dd_b
Date:July 23rd, 2012 06:43 am (UTC)
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I'm pretty sure that the general public's knowledge about "these things" (meaning Evil Black Rifles) is really really bad -- full of untruths and misinformation and confusion. Perhaps yours is also.

First, "assault rifle" is a technical term in military arms. It means a smaller, sub-caliber rifle that supports full-auto firing ("machine gun"); the term is used to distinguish it from a "main battle rifle", which is larger caliber and more powerful, and not necessarily capable of full-auto.

None of the things banned by the 1994 "Assault Weapons Ban" were in fact assault rifles. None. Not one.

The ban focused largely on cosmetic features of absolutely no significance to criminal use -- like flash suppressors, for example, and bayonet lugs. Whether there was a pistol grip, or a pierced stock. Completely weird things that really truly made no difference to the potential of the rifle. (What they did do is ban importation of military-surplus arms, good practical weapons often available cheap.)

(The ban also blocked sales of larger capacity magazines. I see why people think that's significant, so we'll set that aside from this rant about the parts of the bill that were stupid and irrelevant.)

The most popular Evil Black Rifle design is the old Colt AR-15. These are most commonly chambered in .223 Remington (very very similar to the military 5.56x45 NATO round used in the M-16 assault rifle). So, this is a "high-power military rifle", right?

Well, not exactly. The .223 round is not legal for deer hunting in most states -- it's not powerful enough to give you quick humane kills reliably. It's less powerful than the venerable .30-30.

In comparison to mainstream hunting rounds like .270 or .30-06, it's many times less powerful.

The .223 actually is useful for home defense. With the proper ammo it's less likely to go through walls than most pistol rounds, but it's a considerably faster "stopper" (when somebody attacks you, shooting him in a way that kill him 5 minutes later is useless; shooting him in a way that stops the attack right now is useful). And it's easily equipped with laser and/or holographic sights and lights and things that are useful in combat in the dark or in close quarters.

The reason the "Assault Weapons Ban" raised such loud opposition is that it was stupid, and blocked cheap useful guns that many people were interested in. (Plus the magazine thing, people also opposed that, but that doesn't look the same kind of stupid.) It raised to some huge status as super-especially dangerous a class of rifle that was actually much LESS powerful than common ordinary hunting rifles. Basically, it was bullshit.

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From:spacecrab
Date:July 23rd, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
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David:

I read your first sentence accusing people who might be in favor of limiting public sale of semi-automatic weapons of being stupidly afraid of an Evil Rifle.

That's it for me. I don't care much what you wrote after saying that, this time. I'll be frank with you, I've always felt a personal dislike for projectile weapons. Your sanity on the subject has, in the past, been a good exemplar to convince me that in the hands of trained, caring civilians, sometimes projectile weapons may be a deterrent to violence.

But you're never going to convince me to vote for you to be allowed to own and train with semi-automatic weapons if you start out by painting anyone opposed to their sale in the public marketplace as a superstitious fool. You haven't proved to me (sneaking a peak at what you said after your insult) that you need these things to defend your castle. You haven't convinced me that putting them in the hands of civilians instead of a regulated police force is a good idea. I don't think I need you to protect me from the use of semi-automatic weapons in criminal hands.

I anticipate one of your main arguments is along the lines that the world cannot and will not ever agree to a mutual de-escalation of the arms race. But I think the world just might.

If you want to enjoy the things for recreational purposes, I'm in favor of organized government controlling the distribution and renting them to you. Then you can check the thing back in. I'll take my chances with police forces and branches of the military going rogue -- by paying for better police and soldiers, who have an appreciation of the trust invested in them when they're given access to and training with those kinds of weapons,

For me, sense on this subject radiates from Teresa's posts and comments about Castle laws on Making Light.

Have a good day and see ya. If the people where we next meet have voted that concealed projectile weapons are legal, I'd rather that you hold one than anyone else I know.
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From:dd_b
Date:July 23rd, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
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Writing is hard. My suggestion that perhaps your information was faulty was specifically added to raise that as a question -- that is, to remove the presumption that your information was faulty; to make it a possibility, not a certainty. Apparently that worked backwards on you (or maybe it was something else), but in any case, I apologize for that.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 24th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)

Well, my information was certainly faulty

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I seem to have temporarily forgotten there's no law or rule requiring the names (or nicknames) of laws to be accurate. I appreciate the clarification.

There's further discussion about firearm laws over on Tom Smith's LJ that you both might find interesting.
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