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Posted: 9/10/2004 3:14:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 5:01:01 PM EDT by GiggleSmith]
Nuke this moron!

And with that I apologize to the mentally retarded.

Another Anti Speaks Its Little Mind

Posted on Fri, Sep. 10, 2004

Editorial | Sunset for Weapons Ban

An assault on safety

Would the National Rifle Association dismiss the brutal slaying of three Birmingham, Ala., police officers this summer with a military assault rifle as "nothing more than a sad footnote in America's history?"

That's actually the NRA's description of the 10-year-old federal assault-weapons ban.

In urging Congress to do something appalling - allow the ban to expire as of Monday - the NRA vowed to "pull out all the stops... to ensure [that] this ban... becomes nothing more than a sad footnote in America's history."

The story of the ban is sad, but not in the way the NRA implies.

Gun deaths have decreased since the ban was enacted. If the ban has been less than completely effective, it's only because of loopholes with which its enemies marred it. Copycat versions of the gun models explicitly banned in the law have proliferated.

Just ask the families of those three cops whether they would have wanted the Chinese-made SKS rifle they were shot with to be among the weapons covered by the 1994 weapons ban. Ask the same of countless other law-enforcement colleagues placed at risk by the loopholes that permitted sale of this and other killing machines.

While you're at it, ask any cop on the beat how he'll feel if Congress permits even the law's modest protection against assault weapons to lapse altogether.

Does the word shame come to mind? Does it hold any meaning for our representatives in Washington?
Congress should not permit the assault-weapons ban to expire - NRA scare tactics or no. Moreover, it should extend and expand the ban to include so-called after-market weapons specially designed to skirt the '94 law.

Any other result is dereliction of duty and a moral failure.

A Congress that was truly concerned with making this nation safer from all forms of violence would do something else as well. It would mandate background checks on all firearms customers at gun shows where, today, a gun trafficker can pick up highly lethal weapons at will.

In the spring, Congress found time to consider the disgraceful special-interest protection from lawsuits for gun makers. When the Senate amended the measure to include renewal of the assault-weapons ban, the House balked.

As recently as this week, President Bush's aides said he "supports the reauthorization of the current assault-weapons ban." As issues such as the Medicare prescription benefit show, Republicans on Capitol Hill rarely deny their President anything he really wants, no matter what their doubts. Yet they defy with impunity his supposed wishes on the weapons ban. They must know his words are intended not for them, but for voters in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, where the idea of extending the ban polls very well.

In this tight race, every choice has a political dimension. But this issue is not just political. It is a matter of life and death - for law enforcement, for people in communities plagued by drug-related crime.

If Congress lets the ban expire, it will be showing just how little it cares about such people.

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