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Intellectual Dishonesty Within Assault Rifle Ban

The very sad fact is that most Americans have little to no clue or a radically misinformed idea of what an assault rifle is.

Recently President Obama signed twenty three executive orders intended to push his long-expected gun control agenda into action. Yes, the Constitution does grant Presidents certain privileges within the realm of executive action/orders. However the majority of Constitutionalists find it very difficult to believe any Founding Father ever intended or imagined that those privileges would be so broadly and intentionally used to admittedly circumvent the separation of powers and checks and balances that make up the very soul of our democracy. So regardless of where you stand on gun control, please take a moment to consider the unintended future consequences that always result from the pressing of such boundaries, especially when dealing with “Constitutional rights”.

With that said… When it comes to gun control and the specific issue of banning so-called assault rifles, the very sad fact is that most Americans have little to no clue or a radically misinformed idea of what an assault rifle is, and how it differs from other politically correct or acceptable firearms. Having held a Federal Firearms License for over twenty years, a dealership in Southern California and working with and through the prior Clinton Assault Weapons Act, I hope this plain English explanation of the core realities, away from the politics of either side, will help everyone to settle down and come to a reasonable compromise beneficial to the entire country.

To begin with, the biggest misconception is that an assault rifle as portrayed within gun control bills is, what the movies refer to as a “machine gun”, or fully automatic firing military rifle. Wrong!

The simple definition of fully automatic fire or full-auto (aka “rock & roll”) is:  the mechanical ability to continuously fire (or cycle) a firearm until the magazine is empty and no cartridges remain.  Whereas, semi-automatic or semi-auto fire is:  the mechanical ability to fire (or cycle) a single cartridge, expel the empty shell and reload another cartridge, but requires the trigger be released and pulled (cycled) again before the weapon will fire the next round.

In the case of the Obama and Feinstein bans, all the rifles named by make, model, cosmetic and/or accessorized appearance, are in fact “SEMI-auto rifles”.  Any mention or listing of full-auto firearms within such a bill is as redundant as it is disingenuous, because the civilian possession of all full-auto firing weapons is already STRICTLY controlled within every State, and by the Federal Government.  PERIOD!

The next largest misconception is that what a rifle cosmetically looks like, or by way of the after-market accessories attached to it, can/will fundamentally change the original mechanical operation of the rifle.  Factually nothing could be further than the truth.  Any claim or expectation that the banning of any firearm solely based upon its cosmetic design, or that said feature could ever realistically have any effect on crime of any kind, is at the least intellectually dishonest.  At worst, it is a total fraud!  Here’s why:(Please note photo figures A through M as you read)

Under both Obama and Feinstein’s ban, semi-auto rifle figure-A would remain legal to buy and possess.  However rifle figure-B would be banned solely due to its accessorized cosmetic appearance, even though both are the exact same make and model, internally mechanically identical, have the same barrel length, take the same ten shot magazine and have the exact same rate of fire. Somehow, it is professed that the cosmetic difference between the two has an effect on criminal behavior. Which is like saying a woman is more likely to cheat on her partner if she possesses a Gucci rather than a Prada handbag.

Now here’s an interesting fact: under the Obama proposed ban rifle figure-C which is presently legal to own would remain legal. And like its cousin figure-B, rifle figure-D would become restricted from purchase or ownership under the Obama ban. However under the Feinstein ban BOTH versions of this rifle (figures-C & D) would be banned by named make and model. Apparently madam Senator believes “We The People” are simply too irresponsible to own or possess either configuration, where President Obama at the least gives us the benefit of the doubt. Go figure.

To further drive the point, lever-action rifle figure-E under both the Obama and Feinstein bans would be legal. However rifle figure-F, even though it has been accessorized with the same ban-specified adjustable stock, tactical foregrip and muzzle accessories as both banned rifles (figures-B & D) above, (because lever-action rifles that can be manually cycled as fast as semi-auto rifles are not included in the ban, and even exempted) under both the Obama and Feinstein bans, both rifles (figures-E & F) would remain ABSOLUTELY LEGAL!

Now what if other products were sought to be banned under the same standards as so-called assault rifles?  Where Motorcycle figure-G would be legal. Per the standards as set by the Obama/Feinstein bans, Chopper figure-H would become illegal to own or possess. And once again, VW Bug figure-I would be legal. And Dune Buggy figure-J would be banned & illegal. Everyone beginning to see the pattern here?

Now with the cosmetic differences, realities (and yes hypocrisy) regarding so-called assault rifles understood, let’s take on the President and Senator’s question of:  “why would anyone want to own a military assault rifle in the first place?”  Really?  OK, then:

  • Why would anyone want a two-hundred mile per hour sports car such as a Jaguar or Ferrari?
  • Why would anyone want a Hustler, Nor-Tech, Donzi or Cigarette speed boat?
  • Why would anyone want a Harley-Davidson bagger, a custom Chopper or Ninja ZX-12R?
  • Why would anyone want a 4WD Jeep, truck or other off-road capable vehicle?
  • Why would anyone want a Class-A Motorhome or luxury travel trailer?
  • Why would anyone want a Cessna, Gulfstream or Lear aircraft?
  • Why would anyone want a designer purse or pair of shoes that cost more than some state’s educational budget?

Such counter questions can go on forever, but the final answer always comes down to the “Freedom of Choice”! So just where in the Constitution does it grant a President, Senator, member of Congress or anyone else the power to decree that one law abiding American’s AR-15 isn’t another person’s car, boat, motorcycle, RV, fashion accessory or other responsibly owned and enjoyed passion?

As to the proposed national restriction for all firearms magazines, the magic number of seven rounds and how Obama and Feinstein came up with it is highly suspect. Presently only a few firearms (mostly handguns) are designed for and sold with seven or less round magazines. Also having taken their lead from the Clinton Assault Weapons Act, several states (like California) enacted their own ten round magazine restrictions. This in turn prompted the firearms industry to voluntarily produce a sizeable variety of ten round mags to meet the market demand. So for states like California where the effects of a national ten round restriction would be negligible, a seven round restriction would without doubt place an unreasonable, immediate and totally punitive burden of cost upon both shooters and the entire firearms industry. And honestly, does anyone really believe that subtracting three rounds from ten will somehow magically bring about the end to gun involved crime and violence as we know it?

This brings us full circle to our final assault rifle misconception. The totally disingenuous argument that our Forefathers and framers of the Constitution could never foresee today’s advancements in firearms technology and rates of fire. Once again, nothing could be further from the truth. For during those first formative years of our country’s evolution, the Musket of the Revolutionary war (figure-K) that required multiple actions to reload and fire three to four shots per minute, was replaced with a “trapdoor” breech conversion (figure-L). And along with its co-developed self-contained cartridge, reloading and firing rates went from three to four shots per minute, easily up to ten or more by even a moderately trained shooter.

Needless to say, with the trapdoor’s various barrel lengths and cosmetic accessories of the day (figure-M), such rifles factually became the “Assault Rifle” of their era. Yet somehow for hundreds of years to follow, no American politician, bureaucrat or want-to-be potentate even considered restricting the civilian possession or legislative banning of any firearm. So any such argument discounting the ability of our Forefathers to see the future is not only historically incorrect, it's insultingly intellectually fraudulent.

So to recap…

  • The cosmetic differences between two like rifles has absolutely no effect on function or firepower.
  • The cosmetic differences between two like rifles has absolutely ZERO effect on criminal or psychotic behavior.
  • Whether a semi-auto rifle is accessorized or factory designed to look like a military rifle, it is NOT a “machine gun”.
  • When the Obama/Feinstein ban standards are applied to other products/machines requiring just as much responsibility to own and operate, such bans lose all credibility.
  • And… Gucci handbags are far more dangerous than Prada.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jeffrey Sabatini January 20, 2013 at 01:09 AM
Reading tip: Click on the first photo to enlarge it and see identifying caption(s). Then click on the right advance arrow to scroll through figures A through M while reading text. The Patch blog isn't set up for the format I originally used, and I'd like to thank Guy McCarthy for his assistance getting my thesis posted.
Rich Smith January 20, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Excellent post
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:26 PM
The Facts About Assault Weapons and Crime http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323468604578245803845796068.html?mod=opinion_newsreel A 1997 study on the effect of the 1994 ban on so called “assault weapons” concluded: “The evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude that there was any meaningful effect (i.e., that the effect was different from zero).” A follow up study in 2004 concluded: “We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.” “Yes, the Bushmaster and the AK-47 are ‘military-style weapons.’ But the key word is ‘style’—they are similar to military guns in their cosmetics, not in the way they operate.” “With just a single exception, the attack in Tucson last year, every public shooting in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed since at least 1950 has occurred in a place where citizens are not allowed to carry their own firearms. Had some citizens been armed, they might have been able to stop the killings before the police got to the scene. In the Newtown attack, it took police 20 minutes to arrive at the school after the first calls for help.” “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” John Adams
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Even the MSM’s NYT concedes Obama’s gun control proposals would not have prevented the Sandy Hook murders. “‘a new federal assault weapons ban and background checks of all gun buyers...might have done little to prevent the massacre in Newtown, Conn.’” http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/01/17/NYT-Assault-Weapons-Ban-Expanded-Background-Checks-Would-Not-Have-Prevented-Sandy-Hook
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Obama’s record on private ownership of guns. “Gun rights author and scholar John Lott recounted meeting Barack Obama for the first time while he was a lecturer at University of Chicago. Lott claims Obama said, ‘I don't believe people should be able to own guns.’” See Obama’s record regarding guns including supporting a “ban the sale or transfer of all sorts of semi-automatic weapons” in a 1998 questionnaire when running for IL Senate. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/18/Barack-Obama-I-Don-t-Believe-People-Should-Be-Able-Own-Guns
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:28 PM
“The Obama campaign’s strategy largely follows 2003 surveys produced by Democratic pollster Mark Penn showing that if Democrats didn't show "respect for the 2nd Amendment and support gun safety," voters would presume that they were anti-gun. "The formula for Democrats," according to Penn, "is to say that they support the 2nd Amendment, but that they want tough laws that close loopholes. This is something [Democrats] can run on and win on.” http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,347690,00.html#ixzz2INoSWUFz Obama’s and the Dems’ ultimate goal is banning all private gun ownership in America. They will exploit every tragedy involving guns advance that goal as far as possible while ignoring every instance in which guns protect people and stop crime. If you want to retain your Second Amendment rights, we should oppose them every step of the way. Obama and the Dems will keep pushing toward their ultimate goal until they meet sufficient resistance, and then they will stop until the next tragedy they can exploit. “Never let a good [tragedy] go to waste.”
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:28 PM
With no evidence gun control laws work, why is the Left pushing gun control so hard?
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:31 PM
If you want to keep your Second Amendment rights, I recommend you join me and joining the NRA. www.nra.org The yearly membership is only $35.00, a small price to pay to help defend the Second Amendment. It is also a show of resistance to the Obama regime.
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:34 PM
The historical record is clear. The Founders believed an armed citizenry was essential to the preservation of liberty. The historical record is also clear, dictators want unarmed citizens. The historical record is also clear, tyranny is the human norm and liberty and democracy are the exception and tend not to last. It is not how well trained the citizens are, 100 million armed citizens is a potent determent and hedge against the imposition of tyranny from foreign or domestic sources. There is also the risk of crime. Do you want criminals to know there are no guns in your home or business? There is also the risk of the breakdown of law and order, temporary, medium term or indefinite, from natural disaster, riots, cyber attack, EMP attack, nuclear attack on one or more major cities, bio weapons attack, or economic collapse. For example, during and after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans police deserted leaving the remaining people to protect themselves until the military arrived.
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:36 PM
I have no doubt the Left would like to ban all private ownership of guns. Yet there is no evidence that restricting the rights of law abiding Americans to own guns reduces homicide, crime or mass killings. Please see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html This article shows that while UK homicide rate is less than the US rate, the UK violent crime rate is much higher 2034 to 466. In fact, the violent crime rates for the 10 countries cited, 8 in Europe, Canada and South Africa are all higher than the US rate.
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:37 PM
If you look at international comparisons, more broadly than just the UK and US, the results are more interesting. Please see the following that compare countries and US states. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate The differences in the state homicide rates cannot be explained by gun ownership. In addition please see: http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvinco.html “Using homicide and suicide data from a larger sample of countries, 35, (International Journal of Epidemiology 1998:27:216), Kleck found ‘no significant (at the 5% level) association between gun ownership levels and the total homicide rate in the largest sample of nations available to study this topic. (Associations with the total suicide rate were even weaker.)’ (Targeting Guns, p 254.)” Please also see “Crime Factors According to the FBI” http://www.guncite.com/gcgfbirc.html Guns did not make the list.
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:37 PM
In addition, there are the crimes that are stopped and lives saved because the good guy or gal had a gun. “According to Dr. Gary Kleck, criminologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee and author of ‘Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America,’ a book used by many in the gun debate, 800,000-2,500,000 crimes are stopped by guns each year. The numbers are from different studies.” http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_crimes_are_stopped_by_gun_owners
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:38 PM
The Left has always wanted to ban private ownership of guns. They wanted to take away the right of law abiding Americans to own guns on Thursday, on Friday, today and tomorrow. The Left will exploit tragedies like Sandy Hook to accomplish that result. Why? “One man with a gun can control 100 without one.” Vladimir Lenin
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 08:38 PM
I commend you to “Conscience, Not Guns,” by Dennis Prager http://www.dennisprager.com/columns.aspx?g=42452f97-f8e4-475f-98c9-0083811664c4&url=conscience-not-guns-n1469001 “My stepson is autistic, and is not capable of attending regular school (much less honors classes) or driving a car, things that Adam Lanza did fully normally. But my stepson is keenly aware of right and wrong, and believes that God punishes people who commit evil.” If Lanza believed “God punishes people who commit evil,” would he have committed the crime?
Jeffrey Sabatini January 20, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Thank you Greg for adding your comments and well sourced information. I can see you are quite passionate on this subject. However, may I respectfully suggest your considering switching to decaf? The goal of my thesis is to remove the political animosity and address the issue head on with common sense, reason, critical thought and above all... Constitutional correctness! {Hey, did I just coin a new term?} Banning one gun over another based on cosmetic design or list of non-functional accessories might "feel good" to a select few, but the cost to the Bill of Rights is just to high. Unfortunately the ones who make the talk shows are the hot heads from both sides who are only widening the gap for their own political gain. This insanity has to end and allow cooler heads to prevail. That especially goes for the shameful exploitation of the children of Sandy Hook! Not because it supposedly provides one side a political advantage over another. Because as all to often seen, it feeds even sicker minds to seek their twisted claim to fame by committing copy cat crimes and God forbid even larger acts of terror. "We The People" need and must demand all the agendas and hate speech END NOW! And on so much more than just guns.
Gregory Brittain January 20, 2013 at 11:43 PM
It is Obama and the Dems engaging in "shameful exploitation of the children of Sandy Hook" to restrict the rights of law abiding Americans to own firearms with proposals that would not have prevented the murders in Sandy Hook. It is Obama and the Dems trying to ban "one gun over another based on cosmetic design or list of non-functional accessories." Those of us who want to defend the Second Amendment are not seeking political gain. It is Obama and the Dems who have chosen a divisive political battle to exploit the children of Sandy Hook. Pointing out what Obama and the Dems are trying to do is not "hate speech."
Jeffrey Sabatini January 21, 2013 at 02:40 PM
My friend, take a moment and re-read my posts. True, the majority of the hate speech comes from the left. But you have to admit there are whack-jobs who shoot off their mouths before engaging their brains ON BOTH SIDES! Pointing fingers and arguing who said what gets "WE the People" NOWHERE! And you can't deny how both pro and anti-gun groups have received multiple millions in donations since Obama even mentioned the words "gun control". For better and sadly for worse our world has changed, and we all need to sit down and come up with realistic ways to recognize and intercede to prevent anything like Sandy Hook from happening again. However the first thing we all must admit is that we can't stop, but only deter such events. The second is that banning guns and violent video games might "feel good" to some, but realistically does NOTHING to address the anger, despair and yes, the evil that would cause someone to commit such heinous acts. And if that means civilian ten round mags or a 100% federal tax deduction for the purchase of a gun safe, then so be it. But such measures will not succeed without collateral measures like internal cut offs so violent video games cannot be played for hours on end, day after day. And instead of doctors asking patients what guns they might possess? How about teachers asking parents how many violent video games they bought or allow their kids to play, that offer bonus points for killing children & raping women? I believe we can do it, we have to!
Bopifas January 22, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Thanks for the post Jeff. This is the best material I have read on this site. I was really moved. You clearly pointed out huge issues in creating legislation to properly ban the targeted types of assault weapons while allowing similar types continue to be sold. Plus, it would seem to create a huge aftermarket modification market so that people could modify non-banned weapons to function and look like banned weapons. It sounds like their could be endless loopholes. I have a couple of a follow-up questions: Where can I find the exact text of Obama's proposed assault rifle ban? Can you link to the original text?
Jeffrey Sabatini January 24, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Hi Bopifas and thanks. Here's the links you asked for. If I'd had a link for Obama's official plan I would have included it. Funny thing how Obama's plan and 23 gun control executive orders just can't seem to find their way to being posted on WhiteHouse.gov , unlike how DiFi's bill is on her site. http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/political/obama-gun-control-speech-transcript-complete-text-of-obamas-gun-proposals-executive-measures http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/obama-gun-control-plan-numbers/story?id=18229809 http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/home BTW... I welcome any invitations to debate gun control verses other decisive positive measures to stop mass violence.
Bopifas January 24, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Hey Jeff, Thanks for the info. I'll read this over. I'm working on forming my opinion about this topic. I own a firearm but not an assault weapon. But just because I don't see a need for one, doesn't mean I want to deny anyone the opportunity to own one.
Gregory Brittain January 24, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Wrong Girl http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a2gCFOtaZPo This Glock commercial illustrates the value of guns for self defense, especially for women. This also illustrates the value of a large clip. In this instance, one man broke into the woman’s apartment. What if there were 2 or more intruders? What if the woman, or what if you, are not well practiced and good shots? What if the Adeline in pumping and your scared and trembling? What if your first shots miss? What if the intruders are armed? How many bullets do you want in your clip?
Phillip January 25, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Jeff- great article. I too am mesmorized by the lack of knowledge displayed by nearly every talking head when it comes to firearms.
Diane Brinkley January 26, 2013 at 02:09 AM
Excellent post. Can you add to this the list of guns DIFI has listed to ban? I have the image but can't upload it. You can find it here: http://www.libertynews.com/2013/01/the-list-of-weapons-banned-by-feinstein/

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