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Posted: 9/21/2004 5:33:15 PM EST
www.detnews.com/2004/editorial/0409/19/a19-277388.htm



Michigan sets sights on plan for assault weapons ban

Don't gut owners' rights by outlawing firearms, especially since assault weapons already prohibited

By David Felbeck


“Assault weapons” have been banned in the United States for 70 years. This is true even though another ban recently expired.

The 1994 federal ban on “assault weapons” never applied to real assault weapons. If there is any such term to be applied to military hardware, it applies to any firearm capable of full-automatic fire, which means that a single squeeze on the trigger allows multiple rounds to be fired. Such firearms have been prohibited to nonlicensed civilians in the United States since 1934; in Michigan, no civilian can obtain a license.

Instead, the 1994 ban applied to a select group of 19 firearms capable only of semi-automatic fire, which means that a single squeeze on the trigger fires only one round. The firearm reloads automatically, and then a second round can be fired by a second trigger squeeze.

This confusion between full-automatic and semi-automatic firearms has been perpetuated by those whose true goal is the complete elimination of civilian ownership of firearms. And the confusion has been woefully abetted by the media. Who hasn’t watched a TV discussion of this issue while in the background is heard the “brrrpp” of a string of full-automatic fire? The perpetuation of this lie has been deliberate and effective.

So what would be the purpose of such a ban for Michigan? Even if the proposed Michigan bill followed the 1994 federal ban, which it doesn’t, it would be equally useless. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that only 1-2 percent of crimes are committed with firearms covered under the 1994 ban.

The federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a 13-year study of the effectiveness of gun-control laws in reducing crime and concluded that there is insufficient evidence to show that crime is reduced by gun-control laws, including the 1994 ban. This conclusion is all the more remarkable if we consider the CDC’s long-term bias against firearms rights.

So why should Michigan be any different? We have all the evidence we need that firearms in the hands of honest citizens deter crime.

Beginning in 1991, after Florida and several other states (now 38) passed “shall-issue” concealed pistols laws, crime in the United States has dropped 35 percent to a 27-year low. During the same period, Australia and Great Britain moved in the opposite direction by severely restricting private ownership of firearms, and their assaultive crime rates have skyrocketed to all-time highs, now substantially exceeding crime rates in the United States. What more evidence do we need?

I haven’t even discussed the most pervasive factor of all, which is Michigan’s 1963 Constitution, which states that “Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.” Note that this is clearly an individual right and can in no way be distorted into being a collective right.

So what does Michigan’s proposed ban do? For starters, it is a gun-control advocate’s dream because it goes much further than the 1994 federal ban. Among other provisions, this bill:

* Bans the sale or manufacture of any semi-automatic or pump-action rifle or semi-automatic pistol capable of accepting a detachable magazine that holds more than 10 rounds if it has certain features that are deemed unattractive or of military appearance.

* Prohibits the transfer of “assault weapons.” (Note the continued use of this misnomer in the bill, which defines assault weapons as certain semi-automatic firearms.)

* Requires the registration and annual renewal of currently owned “assault weapons” with the state police, with fees set by the police.

* Allows an annual “administrative inspection” of the premises where an assault weapon is stored and lets the state police prepare rules for such storage.

None of these provisions will influence criminal behavior, but all will illegally restrict the rights of honest citizens. This bill should never be allowed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

David Felbeck of Ann Arbor is immediate past president of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 5:46:20 PM EST
AMEN!
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 5:59:25 PM EST
That should be how it's told in all the major newspapers, but the truth will never be told in the post and the times
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:06:51 PM EST
The antis have past AWBs in all of the easy states, now its in the harder ones.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:08:46 PM EST
Wow. Coming from the DFP, I'm impressed.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:18:36 PM EST
I'm suprised David Felbeck is still around. The old guy pretty much ran MCRGO into the ground a couple years ago by back stabbing several of the major volunteers and a founder of the organization. He actually told the last remaining founder of the group that "you don't understand what MCRGO is about and what they are doing" and then proceeded to have him kicked out of the organization. Yeah, that's right he kicked one of the founders out of the organization that he built, that's damn cold.

He knows his gun stuff I'll give him that but personal experience has caused me not to trust a single word the man says.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 7:21:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By archer2:
AMEN!



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