Friday, January 18, 2013

What the Hellis an "Assault Weapon"?

The best article that I have read on why "assault weapon" is a stupid term. 

Making the case for a new and improved "assault weapon" ban, the White House predictably complains that "manufacturers were able to circumvent the [1994] prohibition with cosmetic modifications to their weapons." As I have said before, what President Obama describes as circumvention was actually compliance, because the definition of "assault weapon" hinged on those "cosmetic" features. In other words, the law targeted guns based on features, such as bayonet mounts and threaded barrels, with little or no practical utility in the hands of mass murderers (or ordinary criminals). The same is true of New York's brand-new "assault weapon" ban, which benefited from more than two decades of experience with "circumvention" (starting with California's 1989 law), and it will be true of whatever new definition Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) proposes. The underlying problem is that there is no essential, objectively identifiable "assaultness" that makes these arbitrarily chosen weapons especially threatening. They are not even the weapons of choice for mass shooters, who prefer ordinary handguns.

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