Feinstein: Assault Weapons Ban Bill

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CAC1001
Do you recognize any differences between guns intended for different purposes? You are taking an obviously nonsensical absolutist position that says that all guns are identical when they clearly are not.
Guns are pieces of machinery that are designed to let a person kill something. There is no difference between a "weapon of war" and a "hunting rifle," unless one is talking machine guns. Otherwise, a gun is a gun.

Fair enough, but since none of the mass-murders of the type that happened a couple of weeks ago used either sniper weapons or tactics, that's not an issue I am interested in discussing here. In fact I'd say it is so rare as to be irrelevant (uncommon example: DC Sniper). The intent is to give them an appropriate name. You've taken a position that the gun type doesn't exist but that clearly is not true. The differences are real and you've even accidentally cited several. Let me be clear:

Do you acknowledge that the guns typically used for hunting and the guns typically used by infantry are different guns?
Nope. Guns used for hunting and guns used for infantry are historically the same weapon and in modern times can easily be the same weapon. Manufacturers design certain rifles today that are only intended to be used for hunting, such as certain bolt-action rifles as infantry do not use bolt-actions in modern times except as a sniper rifle, but if you took one of these modern bolt-action hunting rifles back to World War I or before, there is no reason it could not be adopted as a military gun. Just the same, there is no reason why modern infantry rifles cannot be adopted for hunting purposes.

Shotguns, for example, are used across-the-board, in everything from hunting, to home defense, to military, to law enforcement, to sport shooting.

Again, then name is not really an important issue. The issue is that the guns are a type of gun that civilians should not have. If you want to call them "scary looking guns", fine: we can just ban "scary looking guns". Do you agree or is this all just a word game to you?
What specifically is it about them that makes them guns that civilians shouldn't have? Because they are high-powered guns? They aren't. Because they are automatic fire capability? They don't. Because they have some special enhanced ability to kill? They don't. They aren't even a "type" of gun, just a random name given to whatever the gun control proponents think looks menacing enough.

Regardless of what the founders intended, in the modern age it is not possible for a lightly-armed populace to overthrow a the government of a developed nation.Overthrowing such a government requires military-grade weapons like heavy machine guns, mortars and attack helicopters. So we are left with two choices: allow unrestricted access to weapons of all sorts or make restrictions that ignore the issue of fighting against the government.

No.

The Free Syrian Army may have limited resources, but it still has anti-aircraft missiles, artillery and armor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Syrian_Army

And it isn't a coincidence that they better they do, the more military-like their weaponry gets.
As said, I believe a lightly-armed populace could overthrow the government of a modern nation for the reasons I stated (Syrian example, Chinese government watching its people closely). And yes, the better they do, they capture the weapons the military is using. The same would probably happen in this country if such a resistance against such a government ever broke out and the resistance was winning.

But that said, even if we theorize that your opinion is correct and the idea of arms ownership for resistance to a tyrannical government is completely obsolete now, and one just would want guns for self-defense and/or hunting, I still see no reason why one should not be allowed to own these guns. There is nothing special about them in comparison to any other type of gun one can buy.

We do not allow unrestricted access to weapons of all sorts. The guns people can buy are regulated by thousands of laws as is, automatic fire weapons are outlawed for the most part, and other military weapons are flat-out outlawed.

Silly Americans. No guns. No gun crime. A punch in the nose every now and then is worth much more then losing your family. Just get rid of the guns. As if anyone is going to attack you with 6 billion nuclear weapons....

MarneMath
Here is the issue I really don't understand. Why should the gun regulation only be stopped at full automatic? What makes a full auto so much more dangerous than an Ar-15 with 30 round quick release mag, ACOG, with hollow point rounds?

Pythagorean
Gold Member
because the country's divided nearly in half and little wins are perceived as meaningful for one group.

Evo
Mentor
because the country's divided nearly in half and little wins are perceived as meaningful for one group.
and because completely outlawing guns in this country would be impossible at this time, but limiting the types of guns and making it harder to get guns is a realistic goal.

jtbell
Mentor
Also known in another context as "bending the curve."

Pythagorean
Gold Member
...but limiting the types of guns and making it harder to get guns is a realistic goal.
Well, that's what one side of the argument, an example of perceiving a small win was meaningful. The other side of the argument is that it's not a realistic goal.

I think most evidence points to what you've said, but I don't really know so I was trying to remain neutral until some relevant evidence is produced. I remember it (banning guns) went well for Australia.

Evo
Mentor
Well, that's what one side of the argument, an example of perceiving a small win was meaningful. The other side of the argument is that it's not a realistic goal.

I think most evidence points to what you've said, but I don't really know so I was trying to remain neutral until some relevant evidence is produced. I remember it (banning guns) went well for Australia.
Australia didn't have the powerful NRA lobby in all of its politicians pockets, pulling their strings.

Pythagorean
Gold Member
I mean I believe gun crime actually went down (i.e. Australia is a valid example for gun ban working).

CAC1001
Australia also had a smaller proportion of their population owning guns then the United States, and their overall population is a lot smaller than the U.S.'s (22.6 million versus about 300 million).

Australia didn't have the powerful NRA lobby in all of its politicians pockets, pulling their strings.
One thing to remember about the NRA though is that it gets its influence from all the people that support it. It is not a lobbyist of the gun industry as many think, as gun manufacturing is too small an industry to have the kind of influence in Washington that the NRA has. So I'd say the difference is really that Australia didn't/doesn't have a large number of citizens who care about gun rights the way the U.S. does.

Evo
Mentor
Australia also had a smaller proportion of their population owning guns then the United States, and their overall population is a lot smaller than the U.S.'s (22.6 million versus about 300 million).

One thing to remember about the NRA though is that it gets its influence from all the people that support it. It is not a lobbyist of the gun industry as many think, as gun manufacturing is too small an industry to have the kind of influence in Washington that the NRA has. So I'd say the difference is really that Australia didn't/doesn't have a large number of citizens who care about gun rights the way the U.S. does.
But not that many americans actually own guns, gun owners are in the minority opposed to non-gun owners. I have a hard time believing that the majority of Americans are not against guns, as in I believe that the "polls" are not real.

"There is a myth pushed by the gun industry, the NRA and the trade associations for gun makers that gun ownership is up," he said. "[That] there are more gun owners, when the opposite is true, gun ownership is declining."
http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/31/politics/gun-ownership-declining/index.html

According to the last gallup poll, only 30% of American adults claimed to own a gun.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/20098/gun-ownership-use-america.aspx

The support the NRA claims is not there. I believe that if it was left up to the American public, no politicians or gun lobbies involved, we would ban guns.

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Are you people crazy? No guns at all. Supermarkets provide food. America's army kicks everyones arse. If a criminal comes at you with a knife, just swing a baseball bat. That's what we do in Australia. NRA? When will you Americans wake up and recognise that you are not a democracy. You are a cash-ocracy. The middleclass is so sleepy in the US. The middleclass in Australia runs the country not the rich, we are a democracy. Try and get a free gun law passed in Australia and you go on the terrorist list...

CAC1001
But not that many americans actually own guns, gun owners are in the minority opposed to non-gun owners. I have a hard time believing that the majority of Americans are not against guns, as in I believe that the "polls" are not real.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/31/politics/gun-ownership-declining/index.html

According to the last gallup poll, only 30% of American adults claimed to own a gun.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/20098/gun-ownership-use-america.aspx
IMO, if they were, I think we wouldn't have any problems with passing more restrictive gun laws and the NRA wouldn't have the influence it has (had?). Also according to Gallup, support for a hand gun ban is at an all-time low: http://www.gallup.com/poll/150341/record-low-favor-handgun-ban.aspx More are against than for an Assault Weapons Ban, albeit by a small margin: http://www.gallup.com/poll/159569/americans-stricter-gun-laws-oppose-bans.aspx However, a majority support background checks and 62% are for banning magazines of more then ten rounds.

The support the NRA claims is not there. The support the NRA claims is not there. I believe that if it was left up to the American public, no politicians or gun lobbies involved, we would ban guns.
Well a real-world experiment with it is likely going to occur soon when Feinstein introduces her "Assault Weapons Ban." But as far as I can tell, groups like the NRA are the American public. Gun manufacturing is a $12 billion a year industry: http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/default.aspx?indid=662 That's too small to have any kind of real lobbying power. Exxon-Mobil, as one company for example, had revenues in 2011 of about$483 billion. Wal-Mart, one of the top lobbyists in Washington, had around $450 billion. Industries like that, that's real lobbying power. Last edited by a moderator: Evo Mentor IMO, if they were, I think we wouldn't have any problems with passing more restrictive gun laws and the NRA wouldn't have the influence it has (had?). Well a real-world experiment with it is likely going to occur soon when Feinstein introduces her "Assault Weapons Ban." Not really, politicians fear the NRA and gun groups, as was cited in the article I linked. There won't be a popular vote by the people. CAC1001 Not really, politicians fear the NRA and gun groups, as was cited in the article I linked. There won't be a popular vote by the people. One thing to also remember is that even if the popular vote was for banning guns, that still isn't supposed to be allowed as it is considered that the Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms (I know you'd say it should be amended in that sense, but just saying regarding the current way it's written). Read what I posted about fewer people owning guns, but those fewer people own more guns and while deaths due to crime have decreased, deaths by guns have increased. What does that tell you? More guns = more deaths, in the hands of fewer people. That's a fact. I don't worry about so much about people owning guns that do not own them out of fear, it's the people that own them out of fear that scares me. If you own a gun because you think you need protection in a safe neighborhood, you shouldn't own a gun, IMO. I would like a complete psychological evaluation required before anyone could buy a gun. I think 90% of the people wanting a gun would be denied because they are buying guns for the wrong reason and can't be trusted to be responsible gun owners. I'm going to need evidence showing less people own firearms. Not proportions but people total, I suspect the number is steadily riseing. In terms of total deaths, you already wrote it's not an issue statistically. Also you're equateing suicides and accidental discharges with homocides, they aren't. The only gun deaths worth looking at are murders. I own firearms for the same reason you own home owners insurance and a fire extinguisher. I don't think you are in a position to say 90% of gun owners shouldn't be able to own guns, I actually think that's a completely absurd statement. I do suspect it reflects the general mindset of the people behind things like this latest AWB legislation(which has no chance of passing in its current form) and shows what their longterm goals are. It's unfortunate many aren't more honest in public debate. Not really, politicians fear the NRA and gun groups, as was cited in the article I linked. There won't be a popular vote by the people. They fear the NRA because people consider their gun ownership as important and politicians against it will not be voted for. We place gun ownership as one of our main voteing issues. This AWB bill has caused a huge number of gun purchases over the last few weeks. Everyone is out of stock, one of the popular gun websites sold out of a years supply of magazines within 2 days. All the manufactuers are working 24/7 now to meet demand. It will be kind of ironic when this bill fails and millions of additional guns will have entered circulation because of it. Last edited: russ_watters Mentor Guns are pieces of machinery that are designed to let a person kill something. There is no difference between a "weapon of war" and a "hunting rifle," unless one is talking machine guns. Otherwise, a gun is a gun. Nope. Guns used for hunting and guns used for infantry are historically the same weapon and in modern times can easily be the same weapon. Manufacturers design certain rifles today that are only intended to be used for hunting, such as certain bolt-action rifles as infantry do not use bolt-actions in modern times except as a sniper rifle, but if you took one of these modern bolt-action hunting rifles back to World War I or before, there is no reason it could not be adopted as a military gun. Just the same, there is no reason why modern infantry rifles cannot be adopted for hunting purposes. Ugh. We're going around in circles and there are three problems here: 1. You've forgotten what you are arguing about. You're arguing against the name "assault weapon" so providing examples of weapons that are military type but aren't assault weapons is actually arguing against your point. 2. You say "a gun is a gun" except when they aren't and provide examples of where they aren't the same! In particular, a sniper rifle, who's feature list includes things that make it better for hunting than for shooting up a room full of kids. Again, you are arguing against your point there, but more importantly the point that "a gun is a gun" is false at face value and you know it because you've provided some of the examples! I linked the wiki article on assault weapons and the article includes a list of distinguishing features. You showed a sniper rifle with different features. These features are real. They exist. You can't make them go away by parroting over and over again that they don't exist. 3. Taken separately, you've accepted all the facts but then disagree when they are all put together. All together: Sniper type rifles are better suited for hunting and assault rifles are better suited for shooting up a room full of kids. That's why the shooters chose them. That's why they should not be allowed to have them. We do not allow unrestricted access to weapons of all sorts. Right. Guns are all the same except ones that aren't and ones that are more dangerous are banned and you know all of this and agree that it should be that way. Except "assault rifles". Last edited: Astronuc Staff Emeritus Science Advisor One thing to remember about the NRA though is that it gets its influence from all the people that support it. It is not a lobbyist of the gun industry as many think, as gun manufacturing is too small an industry to have the kind of influence in Washington that the NRA has. So I'd say the difference is really that Australia didn't/doesn't have a large number of citizens who care about gun rights the way the U.S. does. Apparently the gun manufacturing industry does provide the NRA with financial support. http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/guns-and-dollars/there-are-more-guns-fewer-gun-owners The Violence Policy Center has estimated that since 2005, gun manufacturers have contributed up to$38.9 million to the NRA. Those numbers, however, are based on publicly listed “sponsorship” levels on NRA fundraising pamphlets. The real figures could be much bigger. Like Crossroads GPS or Americans for Prosperity, or the Sierra Club for that matter, the NRA does not disclose any donor information even though it spends millions on federal elections.

. . .
http://www.thenation.com/blog/171776/does-nra-represent-gun-manufacturers-or-gun-owners#

A perspective from a gun-owner and former NRA member - http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-permalink-4966.html

CAC1001
Ugh. We're going around in circles and there are three problems here:

1. You've forgotten what you are arguing about. You're arguing against the name "assault weapon" so providing examples of weapons that are military type but aren't assault weapons is actually arguing against your point.
My point is that there is no difference between the guns used for hunting and the guns used for infantry (disregarding machine guns).

2. You say "a gun is a gun" except when they aren't and provide examples of where they aren't the same! In particular, a sniper rifle, who's feature list includes things that make it better for hunting than for shooting up a room full of kids. Again, you are arguing against your point there, but more importantly the point that "a gun is a gun" is false at face value and you know it because you've provided some of the examples! I linked the wiki article on assault weapons and the article includes a list of distinguishing features. You showed a sniper rifle with different features. These features are real. They exist. You can't make them go away by parroting over and over again that they don't exist.
What is false about it? So different guns may be more ideal for different purposes. The point is that any gun can be used for any purpose if it will do the job the person is doing. A bolt-action rifle could be used to shoot up a room full of kids, it would just be slower-going for the shooter, but the children would not be able to stop them. And an AR-15 could be used as a sniper rifle, for example the 2002 D.C. sniper used an AR-15.

I say the term "assault weapon" is wrong because it was made up by people with an agenda. It was not created as an official term for firearms. Just because legislators create the term "assault weapon" and then create a list of features designating what constitutes an "assault weapon" does not mean "assault weapon" is an actual type of gun.

3. Taken separately, you've accepted all the facts but then disagree when they are all put together. All together: Sniper type rifles are better suited for hunting and assault rifles are better suited for shooting up a room full of kids. That's why the shooters chose them. That's why they should not be allowed to have them. Right. Guns are all the same except ones that aren't and ones that are more dangerous are banned and you know all of this and agree that it should be that way.

Except "assault rifles".
Assault rifles are automatic fire weapons and are thus already banned. I stated a few posts back that, "There is no difference between a "weapon of war" and a "hunting rifle," unless one is talking machine guns." The weapons the shooters have used are just semi-automatic rifles, although they look menacing. Semi-automatic is what virtually every gun in the country is and goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. Before that, they had lever-actions, which, while you can't fire them as quickly as a semi-auto, you most definitely can still shoot them quickly enough and they are powerful guns. The Aurora shooter for example opened fire with a pump-action shot gun when his AR-15 jammed. Pump-action is not semi-auto, but most definitely can be used to shoot people with.

So if you are arguing that people should not be allowed to own AR-15s, you are essentially arguing that they should not be allowed to own semi-automatics period, which basically means taking people back to 19th century gun technology for the most part. Of course, a mass shooting could still occur with a lever-action or a pump-action, so then are we going to ban those as well?

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CAC1001
Apparently the gun manufacturing industry does provide the NRA with financial support.

Oh I believe the gun industry definitely gives money to the NRA, but I do not believe that the NRA is a front for the gun industry the way the gun control proponents portray it to be, because gun manufacturing is such a small industry. An industry that, as a whole, has only a fraction of the revenues of the larger companies, such as Wal-Mart and General Dynamics and Bank of America and Exxon-Mobil, etc...is not going to have the kind of lobbying ability the NRA has.

I'd be careful going by what the Violence Policy Center claims. You might as well be citing statistics on why gun ownership is good from the NRA.

A perspective from a gun-owner and former NRA member - http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-permalink-4966.html
I'd say that, on at least one of his main points, the guy is a propagandist. Just look at this quote:

The gun industry and the National Rifle Association (NRA) don't want you to know that gun sales have stagnated for years, and their campaigns to legalize concealed carry and fight restrictions on the sales of highly lethal weapons are part of their strategy to boost stagnant gun sales.

Tom Diaz, senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center, argues that this business strategy does a disservice to the sport shooters and hunters who make up the bulk of the NRA's membership, and has resulted in turning the United States into the "last great market" for cheap and highly lethal weapons. Diaz, the author of Making a Killing and the forthcoming No Borders: Transnational Latino Gangs and American Law Enforcement, spoke to the Shepherd about the true motives of the gun industry, how President George Bush allowed assault-style weapons to be imported into the United States, and what President-elect Barack Obama should do about gun violence.

What is a "highly-lethal weapon?" All guns are "highly-lethal" if fired at a person. They mean guns that look scary, that are otherwise no different than any other gun. The very fact he even uses that description blows a hole into his credibility, IMO. Also, so-called "highly-lethal" weapons are not what are used in the majority of gun violence cases: Here is a link to the VPC itself saying this: http://www.vpc.org/studies/unsafe.htm

Regarding President Bush, President Bush said he'd sign a renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban if the Congress would pass it, but the Congress didn't: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/09/politics/09ban.html

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But not that many americans actually own guns, gun owners are in the minority opposed to non-gun owners. I have a hard time believing that the majority of Americans are not against guns, as in I believe that the "polls" are not real.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/31/politics/gun-ownership-declining/index.html

According to the last gallup poll, only 30% of American adults claimed to own a gun.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/20098/gun-ownership-use-america.aspx

Out of date. Here's some more up to date. At 47 percent and with that margin of error, could well be that a majority of Americans own or have access to a firearm.

Also, I agree that the polls may not be entirely trustworthy, but could be in the opposite direction. And we have no information on the non-response rate.

The support the NRA claims is not there. I believe that if it was left up to the American public, no politicians or gun lobbies involved, we would ban guns.
That's an interesting belief, but the fact remains that there is a lobby for gun owners, retailer and manufacturers. There are politicians. And there is no chance in hell that further restrictions will pass in Congress.

I mean I believe gun crime actually went down (i.e. Australia is a valid example for gun ban working).
It did go down, but there is considerable disagreement if the decline followed the Agreement or represents a previous trend.