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Old 09-11-2019, 01:46 PM
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Cool NYT Assault Weapon Ban Infographic


https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...apons-ban.html

Not going to comment on the content but it is informative and very well laid out.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:30 PM
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It's mostly focused on California laws, but kudos to them, they got most of the technical aspects of it right.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:13 AM
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Very light on details, but not too bad.

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semiautomatic assault rifles were “essentially indistinguishable” from machine guns.
Foolish claim. Semi-auto and machine guns are very distinguishable.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:18 AM
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I guess the whole thing is just worthless fake information then, huh.

I don't think he was talking about how they look or the particulars of what comprises various mechanisms. I'm pretty sure he was talking about how they spit bullets out at a high rate.

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Old 09-12-2019, 01:33 AM
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N/M

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Old 09-12-2019, 08:26 AM
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Very light on details, but not too bad.


Foolish claim. Semi-auto and machine guns are very distinguishable.
That wasn't asserted by the article. It was a quote from a court decision.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:15 AM
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I had not heard of binary triggers before. Clearly a way to subvert the law and a good example of the problem facing lawmakers.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:35 AM
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That's a pretty good explainer.

I think the easiest way to pass a law that reduces the lethality of readily available guns would be to outlaw anything that can fire X bullets in Y seconds, values of X and Y to be determined. Certainly 30 rounds in 3.4 seconds seems bannable without getting into the weeds of gun anatomy or running afoul of the constitution as interpreted in the Heller decision.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:55 AM
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Weren't the military versions of the AR-15 made to fire two round bursts instead of full auto?
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:18 AM
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That's a pretty good explainer.

I think the easiest way to pass a law that reduces the lethality of readily available guns would be to outlaw anything that can fire X bullets in Y seconds, values of X and Y to be determined. Certainly 30 rounds in 3.4 seconds seems bannable without getting into the weeds of gun anatomy or running afoul of the constitution as interpreted in the Heller decision.
The 'Assault Gun Ban' of the 90's just basically said, the rational part of it, you couldn't sell large capacity box magazine semi-automatic rifles. Lots of people say colloquially 'that's unconstitutional' but it was never found so nor have any state laws like it been found so. For the all the discussion of constitutional aspect of 'assault gun' restrictions it's not clear it's actually an obstacle. Lack of votes is the obstacle.

The irrational part was, and is, the bans on stuff like pistol grips and bayonet lugs. I've never been able to figure any sense in that, things which have a minuscule if any effect on the lethality of guns in the situation most feared, mass shootings. Focusing on 'high powered' makes some rational sense but is still mainly political/emotional since the cartridge fired by the most common 'assault weapons', 5.56mm NATO, isn't particularly powerful. It's powerful enough to not only kill people but shoot through at least certain kinds of obstacles and body armor. But the main reason those small caliber rounds were adopted for military use was for soldiers to carry many more rounds for a given total weight of gun and ammo as say compared to 7.62 NATO, since the gun would also be heavier as well as each round. Lots of larger caliber rifle cartridges are more powerful than 5.56mm.

The central public policy issue is rate of fire. Although it might be how many rounds can be fired in a couple/several minutes, or how long the pauses would be to reload. It wouldn't necessarily be just the number of seconds it takes to empty the gun once. It doesn't seem many mass shooters have been stopped from reloading at least once (or switching guns...there is no easy blanket solution on hardware side of things). Likewise though limiting semi-automatic rifles might be more politically practical than restricting pistols, it's also not clear mass shooters would be significantly hampered if they had to use (actually also semi-automatic, but which have always been referred to as) automatic pistols with high capacity magazines. Those only help the defense at the margin where potential victims can get behind cover that will stop pistol but not rifle bullets, a handful of cases where shooters have fired at people not close enough to easily hit with a pistol, and that standard police body armor provides better protection from pistols once the police arrive.

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Old 09-13-2019, 10:29 AM
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The irrational part was, and is, the bans on stuff like pistol grips and bayonet lugs. I've never been able to figure any sense in that, things which have a minuscule if any effect on the lethality of guns in the situation most feared, mass shootings. Focusing on 'high powered' makes some rational sense but is still mainly political/emotional since the cartridge fired by the most common 'assault weapons', 5.56mm NATO, isn't particularly powerful. It's powerful enough to not only kill people but shoot through at least certain kinds of obstacles and body armor. But the main reason those small caliber rounds were adopted for military use was for soldiers to carry many more rounds for a given total weight of gun and ammo as say compared to 7.62 NATO, since the gun would also be heavier as well as each round. Lots of larger caliber rifle cartridges are more powerful than 5.56mm.
I believe that there was interest in banning scary looking guns. Hence a ban on pistol grips and bayonet lugs.

Is part of the attraction that weapons resemble military arms?
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:33 PM
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It should be remembered that if it seems like the details of gun ban laws are overly detailed and specific, it’s because the pro-gun side wants it that way. A law that broadly bans “Assault Rifles” will be condemned by the NRA as too vague and therefore unenforceable or unconstitutional or both. The pro-gun crowd forces legislators to list specific designs, specific features and specific designs of features. And as the video demonstrates, this allows clever designers to get around the language of the law with new features and designs.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:56 PM
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I had not heard of binary triggers before. Clearly a way to subvert the law and a good example of the problem facing lawmakers.
I'm not convinced they're actually legal. Their existence seems to hinge on being compliant with an extremely specific interpretation of "one shot per trigger pull." If bump stocks were banned, I don't think it'll be long before these are.

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Weren't the military versions of the AR-15 made to fire two round bursts instead of full auto?
IIRC the settings are safe, single shot, and three round burst. handheld full-auto guns are typically said to be rather hard to control and in military use tend to be mostly for "suppressive fire," i.e. putting lots of lead in the air to keep your enemy from advancing.

I've never had any interest in owning one, certainly not at the cost and hassle to do so.

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Old 09-13-2019, 01:05 PM
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These gunmakers just outwit the lawmakers each time don't they?

Not that I'm in favor of assault weapons, but the lawmakers can't seem to ban something that the gunmakers can't find a way to circumvent.
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:07 PM
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I believe that there was interest in banning scary looking guns. Hence a ban on pistol grips and bayonet lugs.
I've never understood what's so scary about pistol grips on rifles, and most people wouldn't recognize a bayonet lug if it bit them.

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Is part of the attraction that weapons resemble military arms?
Yup. Just peruse a few gun forums and you'll see lots of pictures of people all decked out in pseudo-military gear. They wanna be soldiers without actually having to, you know, be soldiers. Makes 'em feel tough.

Keep in mind that I have owned and operated firearms for 50 years, but I find some of the attitudes and activities of many people who share my hobby to be pretty silly.

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It should be remembered that if it seems like the details of gun ban laws are overly detailed and specific, it’s because the pro-gun side wants it that way. A law that broadly bans “Assault Rifles” will be condemned by the NRA as too vague and therefore unenforceable or unconstitutional or both. The pro-gun crowd forces legislators to list specific designs, specific features and specific designs of features. And as the video demonstrates, this allows clever designers to get around the language of the law with new features and designs.
Laws referencing an object SHOULD be specific. If you pass a law banning something with the caveat that you will describe it later, or not at all, ("I'll know it when I see it.") you will open it up to all kinds of legal challenges in future.
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:11 PM
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I've never understood what's so scary about pistol grips on rifles, and most people wouldn't recognize a bayonet lug if it bit them.
in theory, you can shorten the rifle by removing the buttstock and have a more concealable but still handle-able weapon, but that's illegal as all hell.

harder to do on the AR-15 which uses the butt stock as part of the action; it's built around a tube that the bolt and carrier recoil into as the action cycles.

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Old 09-13-2019, 01:27 PM
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Laws referencing an object SHOULD be specific. If you pass a law banning something with the caveat that you will describe it later, or not at all, ("I'll know it when I see it.") you will open it up to all kinds of legal challenges in future.
I'm not particularly interested in defending gun ownership per se, but I will back you on this quote. This is a lesson we've had reinforced by the issue of breed-specific legislation (BSL) outlawing dog breeds (i.e., pit bull bans).

American Veterinary Medical Association Position on BSL

Quoting just the section relevant to my point:

Quote:
Breed-specific laws can be difficult to enforce, especially when a dog's breed can't easily be determined or if it is of mixed breed.
Frequently, breed-specific legislation focuses on dogs with a certain appearance or physical characteristics, instead of an actual breed. "Pit bulls" are the most frequent targets of breed-specific legislation despite being a general type rather than a breed; other breeds also are sometimes banned, including Rottweilers, Dobermans and boxers. However, it is extremely difficult to determine a dog's breed or breed mix simply by looking at it. A study conducted by Maddie's Fund, a national shelter initiative, showed that even people very familiar with dog breeds cannot reliably determine the primary breed of a mutt, and dogs often are incorrectly classified as "pit bulls". Because identification of a dog's breed with certainty is prohibitively difficult, breed-specific laws are inherently vague and very difficult to enforce.
BSL has frequently been written to "get around" the difficulty of identifying a given dog's breed by permitting law enforcement officers (with no expertise or training) to make a determination of breed based on their own vague impressions of the dog's appearance. It was quite literally a case of "police officers will know it when they see it" written into law.

Vague impressions by untrained people are an AWFUL way to conduct law enforcement and are a big part of the reason these laws have been highly controversial. But it was feared that veterinarians or the legal guardians of dogs might misrepresent a dog's breed to protect their loved one from seizure or death.

That was a legitimate fear -- it turns out people take a dim view of having family members seized and imprisoned or killed, particularly when that activity is the result of fearmongering and political posturing and the victims are innocent. This has held true from the time Jews painted blood on their doors to protect their first-born right up through Anne Frank and even today.

But apparently people think it's a good idea to knowingly write vagueness into a bad law because they know it will be massively resisted.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:06 PM
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Laws referencing an object SHOULD be specific. If you pass a law banning something with the caveat that you will describe it later, or not at all, ("I'll know it when I see it.") you will open it up to all kinds of legal challenges in future.
I completely agree. But the pro-gun faction will take that reasonable view to all sorts of unreasonable extremes. Splitting hairs is a tactic of those opposing bans and subverting regulation. Especially in a society where anything not specifically banned is legal.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:18 PM
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in theory, you can shorten the rifle by removing the buttstock and have a more concealable but still handle-able weapon, but that's illegal as all hell.

harder to do on the AR-15 which uses the butt stock as part of the action; it's built around a tube that the bolt and carrier recoil into as the action cycles.
Clyde Barrow cut off as much of the stock of a BAR as he could.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:19 PM
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IIRC the settings are safe, single shot, and three round burst. handheld full-auto guns are typically said to be rather hard to control and in military use tend to be mostly for "suppressive fire," i.e. putting lots of lead in the air to keep your enemy from advancing.

I've never had any interest in owning one, certainly not at the cost and hassle to do so.
Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:35 PM
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Clyde Barrow cut off as much of the stock of a BAR as he could.
And even then, that gun was huge. I've seen it in a museum and little old me could never lug it around.

How legal were BARs in Clyde's day?
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:55 PM
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And even then, that gun was huge. I've seen it in a museum and little old me could never lug it around.

How legal were BARs in Clyde's day?
I think they were legal at the time, and even after the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) could still have been legal to possess if the owner registered them according to the law.

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Old 09-13-2019, 03:16 PM
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I'm not particularly interested in defending gun ownership per se, but I will back you on this quote. This is a lesson we've had reinforced by the issue of breed-specific legislation (BSL) outlawing dog breeds (i.e., pit bull bans).
I agree laws banning particular types of guns, which are judged to be specially socially negative on average, must focus on what is really viewed as negative about them. A general law banning 'assault weapons' would be entirely ridiculous because that whole term is meaningless outside the civilian gun control debate. Under the military meaning of the term semi-automatic AR15's are not 'assault rifles' (there isn't even military term 'assault weapon'). In fact even the original selective fire (ie semi auto/auto selector switch) AR15 (the weapon later designated M16 by the Army, when adopted by the USAF and in trial quantities by the Army prior to 1964 it carried the military designation AR15) was not an 'assault rifle' under the prevailing military definition. That term was first used in English as a translation of Sturmgewehr, the German term for selective fire rifle firing 'intermediate length full caliber' (.30 cal-ish, 7.92mm nominally in that case) cartridge. The AK-47 followed that pattern. The AR15 was 'small caliber high velocity', a smaller caliber (5.56mm) but cartridge case relatively long for the caliber cartridge, which later became the pattern in most armies.

So if you invent the term 'assault weapon' for gun control purposes, and it is invented for that purpose, not to say it's wrong in invent new terms, you must logically define what it means. And it should be in functional terms. I don't agree that 'the pro-gun side' was the one inserting ideas like defining these guns in meaningless terms like 'flash hider' or 'pistol grip'. Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, or in this case ignorance. And the latter two are the answer why some 'assault weapon' laws focus on cosmetic trivialities on semi-automatic rifles. There's room for the laws to simply be better thought out.

The 'pit bull' case is not really a good analogy because not only is there no scientific evidence that dog breed is a casual factor in dog aggression toward humans, it's entirely nonsensical to assume you can predict the behavior of mixed breed dogs (the overwhelmingly majority of dogs affected by such bans) by which of their component breeds they more closely resemble, or are said to resemble by people who don't know much about dogs, which is the standard case in practice. That's in contrast to rifles where there is an inherent reason to say a semi-automatic rifle with X round standard detachable magazine can fire Y rounds in minute in hands of average shooter (stopping to switch magazines Z times in that period) which has basically zero to do with flash hiders or bayonet lugs. But that ROF is reasonably arguably relevant to the mass shooting problem, if not perhaps *as* relevant to the overall problem as some proponents of such law imagine or pretend to (eg. what about automatic pistols if allowed big magazines, where one person can carry a brace of them). But some rational basis anyway, as opposed to BSL for dogs, which is essentially wholly nonsensical start to finish.

Last edited by Corry El; 09-13-2019 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:24 PM
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I think they were legal at the time, and even after the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) could still have been legal to possess if the owner registered them according to the law.
Except that he stole it from a National Guard armory, as I recall.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:30 PM
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I agree laws banning particular types of guns, which are judged to be specially socially negative on average, must focus on what is really viewed as negative about them. A general law banning 'assault weapons' would be entirely ridiculous because that whole term is meaningless outside the civilian gun control debate. Under the military meaning of the term semi-automatic AR15's are not 'assault rifles' (there isn't even military term 'assault weapon'). In fact even the original selective fire (ie semi auto/auto selector switch) AR15 (the weapon later designated M16 by the Army, when adopted by the USAF and in trial quantities by the Army prior to 1964 it carried the military designation AR15) was not an 'assault rifle' under the prevailing military definition. That term was first used in English as a translation of Sturmgewehr, the German term for selective fire rifle firing 'intermediate length full caliber' (.30 cal-ish, 7.92mm nominally in that case) cartridge. The AK-47 followed that pattern. The AR15 was 'small caliber high velocity', a smaller caliber (5.56mm) but cartridge case relatively long for the caliber cartridge, which later became the pattern in most armies.

So if you invent the term 'assault weapon' for gun control purposes, and it is invented for that purpose, not to say it's wrong in invent new terms, you must logically define what it means. And it should be in functional terms. I don't agree that 'the pro-gun side' was the one inserting ideas like defining these guns in meaningless terms like 'flash hider' or 'pistol grip'. Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, or in this case ignorance. And the latter two are the answer why some 'assault weapon' laws focus on cosmetic trivialities on semi-automatic rifles. There's room for the laws to simply be better thought out.
I haven't seen any proposals that are better thought out, though. I think the popular comparison between the AR-15 and the Mini 14 is pretty apt in pointing out that the AR-15 is not functionally different between anything that would reasonably be considered a hunting rifle, and makes the previous assault rifle ban seem pretty silly. But at the same time, it's hard to look at the arsenal the Mandalay Bay shooter had up in his crows nest and not think, "Jesus Christ, how is this OK?"

I just don't see how you put a limit on that without affecting hunting rifles. You'd have to ban any semi-automatic weapon capable of firing rifle rounds, which would piss off a lot of people. Are there any other reasonable proposals?
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:44 PM
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in theory, you can shorten the rifle by removing the buttstock and have a more concealable but still handle-able weapon, but that's illegal as all hell.
"Illegal as hell" only in California (maybe a couple other states). And even then, there are ways around it. For most of the country, there is nothing illegal about shortening or removing the buttstock of a rifle. It is only illegal to shorten the barrel to less than 16".

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I had not heard of binary triggers before. Clearly a way to subvert the law and a good example of the problem facing lawmakers.
They've been around for quite some time. At least since the late 1990s.

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I'm not convinced they're actually legal. Their existence seems to hinge on being compliant with an extremely specific interpretation of "one shot per trigger pull." If bump stocks were banned, I don't think it'll be long before these are.
They've been legal for longer than bump stocks, though. I think it would take a mass shooting with one before the general public would be informed and enraged enough to pressure the legislature into banning them.
Quote:
IIRC the settings are safe, single shot, and three round burst. handheld full-auto guns are typically said to be rather hard to control and in military use tend to be mostly for "suppressive fire," i.e. putting lots of lead in the air to keep your enemy from advancing.
When the M16 was first issues, it came in SAFE-SEMI-AUTO. Shortly after, it was issued as SAFE-SEMI-BURST (3 Round). We've come full circle in the recent years, as the M4 is once again issued in SAFE-SEMI-AUTO configuration.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:25 PM
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Congratulations on a sane and intelligent gun thread.

I heard a suggestion on the radio that just as machine guns required an expensive license, a license may be the answer to the "scary gun" problem.

I didn't realize until I saw a guy buying his son a rifle in a gun shop that AR-15s were used for hunting. I hadn't thought the cartridge powerful enough to bring down a deer.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:32 PM
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Congratulations on a sane and intelligent gun thread.

I heard a suggestion on the radio that just as machine guns required an expensive license, a license may be the answer to the "scary gun" problem.

I didn't realize until I saw a guy buying his son a rifle in a gun shop that AR-15s were used for hunting. I hadn't thought the cartridge powerful enough to bring down a deer.
With the right bullet and proper shot placement, yes. I’d rather a .44 Mag rifle, though.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:50 PM
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Congratulations on a sane and intelligent gun thread.

I heard a suggestion on the radio that just as machine guns required an expensive license, a license may be the answer to the "scary gun" problem.

I didn't realize until I saw a guy buying his son a rifle in a gun shop that AR-15s were used for hunting. I hadn't thought the cartridge powerful enough to bring down a deer.
They are super popular for small game and and pests, like feral pigs, jack rabbits, prairie dogs and coyotes.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:18 PM
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They are super popular for small game and and pests, like feral pigs, jack rabbits, prairie dogs and coyotes.
That pretty well takes the tax out. My kid would take one out out to shoot rabbits.
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:37 AM
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I haven't seen any proposals that are better thought out, though. I think the popular comparison between the AR-15 and the Mini 14 is pretty apt in pointing out that the AR-15 is not functionally different between anything that would reasonably be considered a hunting rifle, and makes the previous assault rifle ban seem pretty silly.

I just don't see how you put a limit on that without affecting hunting rifles. You'd have to ban any semi-automatic weapon capable of firing rifle rounds, which would piss off a lot of people. Are there any other reasonable proposals?
Some states now have what are I believe rational* 'assault weapon'** bans. A 100% clear law isn't possible. But if a law specifies semi-auto action, magazine of greater than certain capacity, and perhaps exclusions for very low power (.22 etc) cartridges that's 80/20 wise a reasonably rational law. Mentioning stuff like bayonet lugs just isn't rational that I can see, but some versions of those laws have done that.

As for as hunting, a large proportion of quasi-single issue pro-gun rights voters are not mainly seeking to protect hunting rights. They are mainly seeking to protect self defense rights as they see them. One doesn't have to agree with their opinion, but it's kidding oneself to think it's a lot about hunting. Hunting vis a vis gun control is mainly what pro-gun control people talk about to each other to show they are being reasonable. Sure, some additional opposition to various gun control proposals sometimes comes from people who only use guns to hunt, but most of it is from people who don't see guns only as hunting tools or don't hunt.

Which is true even in the accurate comeback that AR15 clones are actually popular hunting tools. They are popular varmint guns, where it makes no difference if the animal 'has a fair chance', a consideration which anyway is probably exaggerated in game hunting: some actual game hunters care about that, others don't. But anyway people who don't actually care about hunting will often make that comeback. But it's usually not the main reason they are so opposed to new sale bans of such guns, nor is it why confiscation ('mandatory buy back') would lead IMO to an entirely counter productive further decline in social cohesion especially if pushed through on a narrow legislative majority. And that's the only even remotely likely scenario for such measures nationally in the US IMO.

Then the other basic truth is that there's no remotely politically feasible way, in the US, to ban (not just sale) all the guns and accouterments people could 'effectively' use for mass murder. Newly bought AR15 (and similar) with big magazines are only moderately more dangerous against unarmed victims than various other choices (newly bought multiple automatic pistols, illegally obtained rifles, etc).

So the strictly policy/rational goal of 'assault weapon bans' has to be pretty limited, not 'solving the mass shooting problem'. Which doesn't mean don't do it necessarily. It just means any law that can pass will have holes, holes wrt 'assault weapons' (but they don't have to be stupid ones is all), and banning new sale of 'assault weapons' will not 'solve' mass shootings. It might help enough to be worth doing. That IMO can be reasonably debated.

*not meaning necessarily 'ones I agree with' just ones with some consistency between what they purport to do and what they say, unlike 'it you make a gun functionally equivalent to an AR15 but no flash hider etc, it's fine' which some real bans have amounted to.
**a term probably too widely used now to stop using, but it *is* misleading, both the pretense that it has some meaning in military terms which it doesn't, and the suggestion to ignorant people external appearance of guns is important.

Last edited by Corry El; 09-14-2019 at 09:41 AM.
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