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Unexamined Premises

‘Assault’ — The Democrat-Media Complex Strikes Again

December 22nd, 2012 - 5:51 pm

For unbridled bias, ignorance and animus, this Reuters story on firearms has to be read to believed. Let’s start with the headline: 

Gun enthusiasts pack shows to buy assault weapons

In case you’re slow on the uptake, the story contains no fewer than thirteen uses of the word “assault,” all of them used incorrectly. The idea is to get the reader to think that enraged gun nuts all across America are lining up to buy machine guns in order to “assault” a particular target of their ire. And just how does Reuters define an “assault” rifle?

Reuters reporters went to gun shows in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Texas, and found long lines to get in the door, crowds around the dealer booths, a rush to buy assault weapons even at higher prices and some dealers selling out.

The busiest table at the R.K. Gun & Knife show at an exposition center near the Kansas City, Missouri airport was offering assault weap near the entrance.

West Plains, Missouri dealer Keith’s Guns sold out of about 20 AR-15 style assault rifles in a little over an hour, owner Keith Gray sa.

That would be this type of gun, one of the most popular civilian rifles in America.

Reuters continues:

An AR-15 type assault weapon was among the guns authorities believe suspect Adam Lanza stole from his mother to use in the massacre of 20 school children and six adults at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school on December 14.

The killing of innocent children at the school shocked the nation and prompted a number of politicians including President Barack Obama to call for a ban on assault weapons and ammunition clips that allow the rapid firing of multiple bullets.

“Rapid firing of multiples bullets” sounds pretty scary until you realize that rapid fire is, along with accuracy, one of the points of shooting and no gun I know fires more than one bullet at a time.  But such drivel is par for the course for American journalists writing about firearms.

The story now reveals its true agenda:

The killing of innocent children at the school shocked the nation and prompted a number of politicians including President Barack Obama to call for a ban on assault weapons and ammunition clips that allow the rapid firing of multiple bullets.

Rather than tighten gun ownership restrictions, the powerful lobby for gun rights, the National Rifle Association, on Friday called for armed guards at every school…

Assault weapon is a broad term commonly used to refer to semi-automatic or automatic weapons that can fire multiple bullets rapidly. From 1994 to 2004 certain assault weapons and ammunition clips of more than 10 bullets were illegal.

The ban was allowed to expire when Republican George W. Bush was in the White House.

That darn Bush and those damn Republicans want school children to die. But then, what do you expect from a bunch of sexists and racists?

More than 200 people lined up at each of three entrances on Saturday morning to pay the $8 entrance fee to the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, which has an exhibit hall spanning 25 acres. They crowded the aisles of the show and stood two-deep at booths for assault weapons and ammunition clips.

At all three shows the attendees were overwhelmingly white men, with some women and very few ethnic minorities.

The story closes with a sideswipe at the so-called “gun show loophole” (private citizens engaging in private commerce) and then, for the sake of “balance,” finds a fellow who thinks guns aren’t regulated enough:

Bruce Abernathy walked away with an assault rifle after sitting through a 30-minute background check at the Texas show.

“There should be more strict background checks,” said Abernathy, a Dallas resident. He said there should be a 30-day waiting period to buy weapons and a thorough background check that includes five references.

So now you know how the discussion is going to be framed going forward: all rifles are “assault” rifles, and the term will quickly expand to include pistols — because, after all, what duck hunter uses a .357 Magnum? No defensive use of a firearm will be considered legitimate. As Rahm Emanuel famously said, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” No wonder the lines at gun shows and in gun stores across the country last week were so long: folks can see where this movie is going.

In the meantime, for some common-sense, professionally informed expertise on the subject, do yourself a favor and read this. Yes, it’s lengthy, but well worth the time, and it provides all the, um, ammunition a Second Amendment supporter could ever need in debating lefties about gun control. A sample:

The term assault rifle gets bandied around a lot. Politically, the term is a loaded nonsense one that was created back during the Clinton years. It was one of those tricks where you name legislation something catchy, like PATRIOT Act. (another law rammed through while emotions were high and nobody was thinking, go figure).

To gun experts, an assault rifle is a very specific type of weapon which originated (for the most part) in the 1940s. It is a magazine fed, select fire (meaning capable of full auto), intermediate cartridge (as in, actually not that powerful, but I’ll come back to that later) infantry weapon.

The thing is, real assault rifles in the US have been heavily regulated since before they were invented. The thing that the media and politicians like to refer to as assault rifles is basically a catch all term for any gun which looks scary.

I had somebody get all mad at me for pointing this out, because they said that the term had entered common usage. Okay… If you’re going to legislate it, DEFINE IT.

And then comes up that pesky problem. The US banned assault rifles once before for a decade and the law did absolutely nothing. I mean, it was totally, literally pointless. The special commission to study it said that it accomplished absolutely nothing. (except tick a bunch of Americans off, and as a result we bought a TON more guns) And the reason was that since assault weapon is a nonsense term, they just came up with a list of arbitrary features which made a gun into an assault weapon.

Problem was, none of these features actually made the gun functionally any different or somehow more lethal or better from any other run of the mill firearm. Most of the criteria were so silly that they became a huge joke to gun owners, except of course, for that part where many law abiding citizens accidentally became instant felons because one of their guns had some cosmetic feature which was now illegal.

No matter which side of the question you’re on, do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. Reuters should hire Larry Correia, but that would destroy the whole point of their “journalism,” wouldn’t it?

Also read:

A Gun-Crime Proposal (That Might Actually Help)

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