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Posted: 9/16/2004 11:52:58 AM EDT
I'm currently attending a small college run by the Seventh-Day Adventist church. Recently someone made this post on a forum that is used by a large number of students (and a few recent alumni) of the school. After posting a response, I got the following email:

Hey man

I don’t know you or anything, but I just wanted to tell you I thought your
post on the assault weapons ban on Nilosplace was brilliant. Logically
airtight and very well worded... nicely done.

I'd like to see if my editors at the Accent will run a modified copy on the
Op/Ed page. Think you can make a consolidated (250-300 words or so) version
and email it to the Accent's mailbox? (accent@southern.edu)

If you don’t have time or whatever, I understand, but I'd like to see your
point of view in print and we will pay you enough for a glorious meal at
taco bell for your trouble


I'm still trying to get things cut down to 300 words (I've got it down from 1000+ words to 434). Any suggestions on what I should cut out of this in order to get it published? The school paper is read by about 2000 people, and I'm hoping that I can convince them that the AWB does not need to be reinstated.

Currently this is what I have:

At midnight on Monday, September 14, the 1994 Crime Bill, also called the Assault Weapon Ban, expired. Many people and news organizations have claimed that we will now have AK-47 rifles and Uzi submachine guns flooding onto the streets, wave after wave of drug-related shootings, and that 8 year olds will be carrying machineguns to school. Thankfully, none of this is true.

First off, automatic firearms have been restricted by federal law since the 1930s after the widespread use of the “tommy gun”. A federal law passed in 1986 made it illegal to sell newly produced automatic weapons to civilians. For a civilian, buying a legal, pre-1986 automatic firearm will cost between $9,000 and $50,000, and requires a background check that takes approximately four months.

All that the recent law did (prior to sunsetting) was to ban semi-automatic firearms that had certain “evil” features, such as a threaded barrel or an adjustable stock or weighted to much, or a host of other features that former President Clinton thought were bad.

Many people claim that the banned semi-automatic firearms have no legitimate sporting use, even though semi-automatic pistols and rifles have become popular for target competitions by the NRA, DCM/CMP, and IPSC, in addition to being used to hunt small game.

The claim that guns cause violence is also without foundation. I shot once a week on a smallbore rifle team for approximately three years, and I have never saw an argument at a gun range. In general, most firearm owners are polite, law abiding individuals.

Yes, semi-automatic firearms are capable of killing people, as are hunting rifles, skeet shotguns, and even a Daisy BB gun. But then so is a pocket knife, letter opener, baseball bat, rock, fallen tree branch, and many other objects. In fact, most hunting rifles are far more powerful than most semi-automatic rifles. If you want to kill someone, you can do it without a firearm.

Where I’m from, just getting a handgun license costs around $200 and takes over a month, and includes sending your fingerprints to the FBI. It's possible to get a firearm illegally, but it's also illegal to shoot someone with it, or to rob a bank with it, or to threaten someone with it. If a person will not respect a law banning murder, why would you expect them to follow a law banning a certain type of gun?

Firearms do not causes of crime. Crime is caused by a sinful desire to do something evil, not by a mechanical object, not by a few pieces of steel, aluminum, and plastic, but by a person.

Link Posted: 9/16/2004 11:57:20 AM EDT
Heres a response I just posted on another thread to some junior college journalist who had written a article bashing the expiration of the AWB.

Sandi, I am writing this in the hope that you are not a partisan who will listen to facts that fly in the face of your very poorly written article. I am going to assume that you have no idea what the 2nd amendment was written for. It was not written to guarantee that people could hunt. It was written so that the American people could defend themselves from tyranny either through a despotic government (liberal?) or from invasion by a hostile country. It was written so that the American people could have combat weapons not shotguns, deer rifles or any other hunting type of weapon. The next thing is that it has always been possible to buy "assault rifles" this ban did not prevent anyone from buying a AK47 or AR15 or whatever they wanted. What it did was say you couldn’t have one with a flash hider, bayonet lug or telescoping butstock on it. So they have been sold for the last 10 yrs without these scary accessories on it! The AWB only banned cosmetic features on some type of weapons. It also banned the current selling of high capacity magazines to civilians. But the truth was that there has been hundred of thousands of these mags that are still on the market today that were made before the AWB came into effect that anybody could buy at anytime. The only thing the AWB did was punish law abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional rights. In case you haven't noticed, criminals BREAK LAWS they don’t care what kind of laws there are because they BREAK THEM. So the AWB had absolutely no effect on any criminals what so ever all they did was punish law abiding gun owners. It also has been pointed out repeatedly that it had absolutely no effect on preventing any kind of crime involving "assault weapons". And finally there is a huge difference between a fully automatic rifle where you pull the trigger once and it discharges a whole mag at once and a semiautomatic where you have to pull the trigger for every single round. The general populace has never been able to buy a fully automatic weapon without a special federal permit and license and still cannot with the AWB's demise. The AWB had nothing to do with banning fully automatic weapons they were already banned! So in conclusion Sandi I hope you are a FAIR minded person who will write further about this in a honest, fair and factually correct follow up story.

Hope this helps.
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