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Posted: 9/27/2004 4:18:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2004 4:22:13 PM EDT by ishoot2live]
This guy should be commended for his accurate and positive story regarding the AWB.

Good riddance to ban on assault weapons


Much has been made of the expiration of the 1994 law banning the manufacture of 19 semi-automatic weapons classified as assault weapons. The law, pushed by former President Clinton through a fiercely divided Congress, promised to rid America of the supposedly favorite weapons of drug dealers, cop killers and hardened criminals.

With the law off the books, gun-control advocates are clamoring for its reinstatement, again trying to convince the public that these guns are inherently dangerous and suitable only for criminal use. That is not the case. Hopefully, Americans will be more skeptical the second time around.

Gun prohibitionists would have you believe all of the following about assault weapons and the recently expired ban -- but none of them is true:

• They are the favorite weapons of hardened criminals. In fact, while gun-trace data are fraught with statistical errors, the available information suggests that assault weapons are used in less than 3 percent of crimes involving firearms. This includes large urban areas, long the hotbeds of drug-related gang violence.

• They are machine guns or easily converted into machine guns. Not so. A true military assault weapon is capable of expending all the cartridges in its magazine with one pull of the trigger; the guns banned by the assault-weapons legislation never operated like that nor could they be easily converted to do so. Further, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is tasked with ensuring that all firearms built or brought into the country cannot be readily converted into a fully automatic-machine gun.

• They are deadlier than other available firearms. Not so. As opposed to the guns of World Wars I and II, modern infantry weapons (both real and those erroneously labeled as such) shoot smaller, lower-powered cartridges than those used by soldiers in earlier wars. Today's military cartridges are no deadlier than your average deer-hunting cartridge. In fact some of the weapons banned under the assault-weapons moniker fired pistol cartridges -- the same ones used in ordinary handguns.

• They serve no useful sporting purpose. Not so. One weapon that was banned by name was the AR-15 rifle, the civilian semi-automatic only version of the military's M-16. Inherently accurate, it had become one of the most popular guns in America -- and continues to be so. It is also one of the most sought-after rifles for serious target competition. Modified with better sights and a heavy target barrel, it is the gun of choice for hundreds of competitors at America's national shooting championships held every year at Camp Perry, Ohio.

• The ban was effective in reducing crime. In fact, it had no meaningful effect in reducing crime. Moreover, the available evidence suggests little correlation between gun prohibitions and their effectiveness in keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals. A recent report by a task force formed by the Centers for Disease Control concluded: ''The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.'' The report reflects the reality that criminals inevitably find a way to get their firearm of choice, usually by theft or illegal ''straw man'' transactions (using someone without a criminal record to purchase the firearm for them).

Gun-control advocates would have you believe that the decrease in gun-related crimes during the past 10 years is all because of the assault-weapons ban. The real reason is the sustained enforcement of laws designed to severely punish criminals using firearms (e.g., Gov. Jeb Bush's 10-20-Life legislation).

The only solution to stem criminal behavior is with continued strict prosecution and long prison sentences-particularly for those caught using a firearm. Then and only then will our streets be safer.

Raúl Mas Canosa is a portfolio manager in Coral Gables.

Good Riddance to AWB

If the above article made you smile, this one will make you SCREAM!
BS AWB Article

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