By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –

In crafting her masterpiece 2013 bill to ban “assault weapons”, Senator Dianne Feinstein explained the failure of the 1994 version to the fact that manufacturers were able to circumvent the intent of that bill by making cosmetic changes to the weapons, including replacing pistol grips with “thumbhole” stocks.

The term “cosmetic” is unfortunately the core of Senator Feinstein’s bill, since the banned weapons are simply semi-automatic firearms which bear at least one “cosmetic” feature described in the bill.

Feinstein-assault

Let’s examine some of these features in detail.  “Semi-automatic” firearms can be easily converted into fully-automatic operation to be classified as “assault weapons” if:

  • the gun’s barrel is completely or partially enclosed in a shroud to allow the operator to hold the barrel without being burned,
  • it has a pistol grip, including a thumb-hole grip in the stock,
  • it has a folding, collapsible or adjustable stock,
  • it has a pistol grip on the forearm,
  • it has a flash suppressor, muzzle brake or threaded barrel,
  • it has a bayonet lug,
  • it has a grenade launcher (or rocket launcher??).

What is a true Assault Weapon:

The military classifies assault weapons as fully-automatic rifles or carbines (will fire continuously as long as the trigger is depressed), with short barrels (OAL about 36″), firing an intermediate power cartridge (between pistols and battle rifles or machine guns). They are used for close quarter combat (< 100 yards). The ammunition is smaller and lighter than traditional battle weapons so that the soldier can carry more rounds. Civilians can only own fully-automatic arms, under the 1934 National Firearms Act, which were manufactured before 1986, with permission of the Treasury Department, subject to an extensive background check. Assault weapons are the primary weapon issued to troops, since the nature of battle has evolved from trench warfare into close quarter skirmishes.

While it is illegal under Federal law to possess the parts necessary to convert a semi-automatic weapon to fully-automatic capability (also called “selective fire”), all semi-automatic weapons manufactured since 1986 are modified so that these parts cannot be simply “dropped in”.  Penalties for violating this law are severe, and rigorously enforced. Violations are extremely rare, and even inadvertent alterations or breakdowns resulting in multiple fire are prosecuted.

Following is an examination of six assault weapon characteristics that the government is seeking to misrepresent,  so that the American people are fooled into believing that everyday guns used for hunting, target practice and competitions are assault weapons that have no use except for mass killings.

1. Barrel Shroud
All rifles have some way to protect the shooter from being burned by the barrel, which becomes too hot to touch after 5 rounds or so. At a minimum, there is a long stock or forearm for support by the non-firing hand.  Shrouds over the barrel of a semi-automatic rifle are mainly used to cover the the gas tube (AR and AK) or reciprocating mechanism (M1 Garand and M14). Senator Feinstein and others think the shroud is there to grasp the hot barrel in safety, like Rambo in the movies, while firing from waist level. Movies are movies, and things done for dramatic effect are seldom derived from real life. In short, the barrel shroud is functional, but does not affect the way the rifle is held or operated.

2. Pistol Grip
Pistol grips are a common feature of military assault rifles, which tend to have a high, straight stock which does not lend itself to a conventional grip or posture. Since these weapons have very little recoil, it’s not necessary for the soldier to hold the stock to his cheek and shoulder, rather shoot from an heads-up position. That too is largely an accommodation to modern close-quarter battle.

AR style rifles, used by the US military, have a buffer tube which extends nearly a foot from the rear of the receiver, which dictates how the weapon is configured. The buffer tube contains the recoil spring, and cannot be removed. The shoulder stock slips over the buffer tube. Stocks with a pistol grip can be fitted to conventional weapons too, largely for appearance. People like to wear camouflage clothing too, but that doesn’t make them terrorists (or shouldn’t, despite liberal propaganda).

3. Folding or Collapsible Stock
A military rifle has to fit all soldiers reasonably well, both short and tall, winter and summer, with and without body armor. The minimum overall length under the 1934 law is 26″ (30″ in the Feinstein bill), which is not exactly concealable. A typical sporting rifle is adjustable over a 2″ range, from 34″ to 36″ overall, still outside even the Senator’s specifications. Civilians come in all sizes and shapes too, perhaps more diverse than young soldiers fit for battle. Folding stocks cannot reduce the overall length below 26″, a restriction which has existed since 1934.

4. Flash Suppressors
This is a scare word (much like “assault weapon”), for a device whose function is not widely known. The term “suppressor” is used by Senator Feinstein to create confusion with “silencers” used by mobsters. A flash suppressor is a 2″ cylinder that attaches to the end of the barrel with slots on the sides to divert some of the burning gases to the side rather than in the line of sight of the shooter. The flash is still there and easily seen (if you’re looking in that direction), so it’s not a sinister device to hide the location of the shooter.

A muzzle brake works in a similar fashion, but with round holes or narrow slots, so that gases escape with higher velocity and help reduce recoil and the tendency of the muzzle to rise. Muzzle brakes are used on many sporting weapons, and are not an exclusive feature of military firearms. The shotgun in a recent picture of the President “shooting skeet” has a muzzle brake drilled into the barrel itself. That’s why smoke seems to come out of the top of the barrel.

The flash suppressor or muzzle brake can be welded or pinned to the barrel, but is usually threaded so that it can be replaced or removed for cleaning. It is possible to attach a sound suppressor (aka “silencer”) to a threaded barrel, but these devices are strictly regulated under the 1934 NFA, and licensed in the same manner as civilian machine guns and short barreled rifles or shotguns. A majority of the states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, allow civilians to possess NFA weapons and devices. Illinois is not among them. It should be noted that “silencers” don’t actually silence the report, but reduce it to about 100 decibels (the level of a jackhammer 30 feet away), not the “phht” you hear in movies. Sound suppressors are actually legal in most European countries, which otherwise have strict gun controls, to reduce objectionable noise levels from hunting and target shooting.

5. Bayonet Lug
Most military style weapons have a small T-shaped lug near the muzzle which is an attachment point for a bayonet. It doesn’t do much unless you actually attach a bayonet, and a bayonet doesn’t do much unless you are within an arms length of the enemy. A bayonet is nothing more than a knife. Although a lot of people are killed with knives, none outside the battlefield have been attached to rifles at the time. All soldiers train with bayonets, but their use in battle pretty much ended with Chamberlain defending Little Round Top at Gettysburg, 1863.

6. Grenade (Rocket) Launcher
Grenade launchers are nothing more than an empty tube until you load them with a grenade, and lethal grenades are not available for civilian use, even by police. Enthusiasts sometimes attach dummy launchers, or launchers made for Airsoft (compressed gas) rifles, for appearances. Real launchers can be used for tear gas or flash-bang effects by police, and in some states, by civilians. Rockets are never launched from a rifle attachment, and the launchers themselves are hollow tubes. You could launch a rocket from a piece of PVC pipe. In fact, some of the “rocket launchers” which show up at “gun turn-ins” appear to be plastic pipe painted olive green. Scary stuff.

All six of the above “assault” characteristics share the same point, that they are all simply cosmetic, adding nothing to the lethality or effectiveness of the weapon. The same Ruger Mini-14 is classed by Senator Feinstein’s bill as an assault weapon if it has a flash suppressor or a pistol-grip stock, but a “hunting” or “sporting” weapon if it does not. Keep in mind that both fire the same ammunition from the same magazines, and can be fitted into a new stock, without tools, in about a minute. That’s why the good Senator classifies even the empty stock as a scary assault “weapon”, banned under her bill. In a society that prosecutes school children for drawing pictures of guns, or pointing their fingers in play, or pretending to throw a grenade on a playground, the Senator seems to be in her element.

It is clear that Senator Feinstein and several of her colleagues (including President Obama) would like to ban all semi-automatic firearms, but are constrained because of Constitutional issues, including the Heller v DC and McDonald v Chicago decisions by the Supreme Court.

Feinstein is capitalizing on the grief over events in Colorado and Connecticut to blame scary-looking weapons which are “designed to kill a lot of people in a short period of time.” She does this, not because her bill will prevent or even mitigate similar tragedies in the future, but because she sees it as an easy first step to disarming America.

She is pandering to the ignorance and fears of a largely urban society, unfamiliar with guns of any sort, using loaded words like “assault,” “suppressor,” and “automatic (meaning semi-automatic),” to confuse the public. Feinstein is using the term “assault weapons” rather than the 1994 term, “assault rifles,” in order to sneak in regulations banning semi-automatic handguns as well as the more familiar AR-15 and AK-47 long guns. This is a particularly egregious infringement on the Second Amendment as clarified by the Supreme Court, since nearly all of the handguns used for sport and self defense fall in this category.

Countless reports speak about the desire to stem “Gun Violence”, which actually means “gun control” over law abiding citizens. Criminals, after all, don’t care which laws they break, and they’re much harder to catch.

It would be well for our president and legislators to heed these words of our fourth president, James Madison, before passing another round of gun legislation proposed once again by Senator Feinstein (D-CA).  Her legislation, although law of the land in1994, didn’t stem gun violence and was summarily rescinded in 2004.

“A government that does not trust its law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust.” — James Madison 

Initially published at Illinois Review on Friday, February 8, 2o13.

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By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –

As concerned citizens who respect Chris Wallace (photo right), who listen to the Fox News Cable Channel for information and enlightenment, and who honor and respect the 2nd Amendment, we were unnerved by Wallace’s interview this past Sunday morning (Feb. 3rd) with Wayne LaPierre of the NRA. Mr. LaPierre prefers jumping to logical conclusions without the necessary banter that Chris Wallace is accustomed to, but then most of us would not be very articulate or effective when responding to a skilled newsman. Several issues did come up which we would like to address.

As Mr. Wallace pointed out in the Heller v District of Columbia decision invalidating D.C.’s handgun ban on Second Amendment grounds, Justice Scallia indicated that there were limits on what types of weapons were permissible and the manner in which they could be carried.  However Justice Scallia also referred to the Miller decision, United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, 179 (1939) and opined that the second amendment protected weapons which were in common use to protect home and family, traditionally the same weapons they would bring when assembled as a “militia.”

There are at least 30 million semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, classed as *”assault rifles” by Dianne Feinstein and others, in private hands, for sport and self defense.  At least 80% of of the 250 million handguns in private hands are also semi-automatic.  Apart from minor cosmetic differences, there is nothing to distinguish semi-automatic weapons from those Senator Feinstein (and others) seek to ban.  None of the features the Senator would use to define *”assault weapons” adds to their lethality in any way. We see that the term “assault weapon” is a buzz word used to divert attention from the real goal – the disarming of citizens. Since semi-automatic weapons are in common use, it is hard to argue that they are unusual or especially dangerous.

*Assault weapons are considered medium to low power by military standards, so that troops can carry more ammunition for close quarter battle. AR type rifles are not allowed for hunting medium to large game in any state because they are not powerful enough to dispatch game humanely. Ordinary hunting rifles are twice as powerful. Armor piercing ammunition is a misnomer, since all rifle ammunition will penetrate soft armor commonly used by police. Military bullets must not expand or shatter, under the Article III of the1907 Hague Convention .

They can kill, but do not create grievous wounds. Consequently, it takes 6-9 hits from an AR rifle to stop a determined attacker. The Army fires over 120 rounds for each enemy soldier killed – so much for the other mantra, “designed to kill a lot of people very quickly.” In contrast, a hunting rifle is designed to kill in a single shot, by creating a massive wound. That’s why snipers use hunting rifles, not M-16s.

Mr. Wallace suggested that there are many soft targets besides schools which would be better served if there were some form of armed protection.  Don’t public schools deserve particular attention because children are so precious to us, yet so vulnerable?   Many schools do employ active, off-duty or retired policemen to bear arms against a violent intruder. The school which the President’s children attend had armed guards before his daughters arrived, and will undoubtedly continue after he leaves office.

The police can’t protect malls, theaters and similar areas, nor are they obligated to do so, per a decision by the Supreme Court.  All of the mass murders, except for Gabby Giffords incident in Tucson, occurred in so-called “gun free zones.”  To date, 49 states allow some form of concealed carry for private citizens, 39 of which are “shall issue” states. Illinois is the only state without such a provision.  Recently a long-standing ban on concealed weapons was overturned in a federal appeals court, on constitutional grounds, so that Illinois will be required to draft a concealed carry law by May 2013 (which may be appealed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

One thing we have learned about mass killers is that they operate in a fantasy bubble of video game stature, which lasts only as long as they operate unopposed. Once that bubble is popped, by police or an armed citizen, these individuals surrender or commit suicide. None have engaged in a prolonged shootout with armed defenders. The Clackamas Mall shooting in Portland was halted when an ordinary citizen drew down on the offender, who panicked and committed suicide after shooting two people with an “assault rifle.”

“Universal Background Checks” is a wedge issue, lumped with much less popular measures to “sweeten” the deal, in order to divide second amendment advocates. Most of us are in favor of expanded background checks in gun shows, for example, but opposed to a renewed “assault weapon” ban or magazine restrictions. The much touted 40% figure refers to gun sales outside of traditional gun stores. Most gun shows already require background checks, as do private sales involving Federal Firearm licensees, and are executed expeditiously.  If you back off transfers between close family members or inheritances, only about 6% of gun sales occur without checks. In other words, the demand for universal checks is a solution looking for a problem.

The Administration has not publicly addressed the problem of where criminals get their guns. According to FBI statistics, 54% of all violent crimes are committed by youths in the age range of 15 to 18. Based on interviews with prisoners, 40% of guns used in crimes come from relatives (who should know better), 40% from “street vendors”, 11% are stolen, about 7% are legally purchased (including straw buyers) and less than 2% come from gun shows and flea markets.

While he was in the Illinois Senate, President Obama voted against charging juvenile gun offenders IN SCHOOLS as adults. Cheese and wine get better with age. I’m not so sure about criminals.

According to reputable estimates (criminologist Gary Kleck and professor John Lott), private citizens use firearms to avert up to 2.6 million violent crimes each year. Most are not reported for various reasons, such as no shots fired, or the defender was not entitled to possess a firearm (e.g., Chicago and NYC). Contrary to left-wing propaganda, a gun owner is 50 times more likely to be saved by a gun than harmed by one.

The Administration hopes for more success with legislation to limit the size of magazines, but this will have little effect on crime and a great affect on legal gun owners.  30 round magazines are standard issue for our troops, and are commonly discarded rather than reloaded – literally tons of them are on the market. At least 100 million are in common use. 86% of all handguns are sold by the manufacturers with magazines exceeding 10 round capacity, which would add another 500 million or so to the tally. Banning them outright would have negligible effect on illegal users. Criminals will get them anyway from the vast number in existence.  More important, most gun crimes involve fewer than three shots fired, including the carnage on Chicago streets.

Although semi-automatic rifles may not be the first choice for self defense in most cases, they are the ideal choice when civil order breaks down. A semi-automatic rifle is needed for defense against multiple or armed assailants, along with the largest practical magazines.  Typical examples are the days following tornado and hurricane damage, widespread power outages and perhaps wild fires, where communication and transportation are disrupted.

Gangs of 3 or more broke into occupied homes following Hurricane Sandy, where citizens were largely defenseless due to draconian gun laws in the Northeast.

A woman in Georgia successfully defended herself and children from an ex-convict who broke into her home, armed with a crowbar. Armed with a .38 revolver, she fired 6 times, striking the invader 5 times. He was able to return to his car and drive a mile before crashing into a tree, where he was arrested by police. This demonstrates that guns aren’t nearly as effective in the real world as in movies or the liberal press. Had he been armed with a firearm, or had there been more than one assailant, the woman and her children might easily have been killed.

There was little looting in Florida following Hugo, because survivors protected their homes and lives with rifles and handguns. Under Florida law, which facilitates defense of one’s home, looters had best move to California or New York.

Korea Town was spared during the Rodney King riots in LA because business owners confronted the mobs with semi-automatic “assault rifles.” The same businesses were looted and burned a decade earlier during the Watts riots.

Police systematically confiscated weapons from New Orleans residents following Katrina, leaving them helpless. Under present California law, the business owners and citizens would be nearly helpless against mobs.

As member of Congress are pondering their reaction to Obama’s gun plans, rallies are being held to protest Barack Obama’s gun agenda and record-setting gun purchases are taking place.  States are also taking action by proposing legislation that would pull the rug out from under Obama’s agenda by specifying that unconstitutional rules, regulations, or executive orders won’t be allowed.

It is clear to many Americans that Obama’s agenda is not to limit gun violence, but instead a ploy that has long been sought by Democrats to disarm the American people by taking away as many guns as possible from even law-abiding citizen.

As Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, “The Second Amendment of the Constitution is a basic right of free people land cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president.”

Although Rahm Emanuel was speaking about the economy when in 2008, as President Obama’s new chief of staff he told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” this mantra aptly applies to President Obama’s use of the New Town school massacre to, in the long run, impose a weapon’s ban (gun grab) such as exists in England.

Published initially at Illinois Review, Wednesday, February 6, 2013.

The Weak Underbelly of Obama’s Gun Policies

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By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –

President Obama is deliberately ignoring solutions in favor of a long-time “progressive” goal of disarming Americans. Of course, he’s doing the same thing with regard to the economy.  Rather than promote business, he’s doling money out to the states and labor unions. Rather than cut spending, he wants to raise taxes, even though all the wealth of America wouldn’t match his out-of-control spending habits.

Blaming violence on a particular segment of society or region doesn’t lend itself to solutions. Not withstanding, there is a blizzard of propaganda against the NRA and its supporters in Congress which seem perfectly legitimate to anti-gun advocates. It is easier to blame an organization with an easily recognized set of initials than the millions of its members and tens of millions of supporters who write their representatives in Congress in support of their Constitutional rights.

The President made no mention of Chicago’s homicides in his campaign for “gun safety.”  Instead, he’s concentrating on penalizing millions of legitimate gun owners with the objective of “drying up the source of firearms used in crime.”  When serving in the Illinois Assembly Obama’s record was against prosecution of juvenile gun offenders as adults, even for offenses committed in or near schools.

A plausible explanation may be found in the demographics of violent crime in the United States. One has to be very careful sourcing this data, since it is racially charged, hence politically toxic. There are many fringe organizations which attempt to capitalize on this data, and others which are just as eager to play the race card in denouncing the facts. This data comes from the FBI, which maintains strict standards on the collection and reportage of crime data.

We can see at a glance that nearly 50% of violent crimes in 2011 (homicide, assault and robbery) in the nation were committed by black offenders. 54% of violent crimes were committed by offenders 18 years old or less. In terms of population. Blacks compose 12.6% of the US population, and 13.3% of the population is in the age group 10-19 (6.8% are 15-18, most likely to commit serious juvenile crimes). The situation is exacerbated in Chicago and other large cities because there is an unofficial ban on reporting crime by race. The data is nonetheless found in FBI statistics, if you care to look. According to one report, an average of 95% of violent crime in Chicago is committed by blacks and Hispanics, which compose about 66% of the urban population.

Despite similar demographics, New York City has been able to reduce violent crime to a fraction found in other metropolitan areas, largely through aggressive police work and a “stop and frisk” policy, and not though more gun control laws. There is likewise no obvious correlation between gun control and violent crime rates in other large metropolitan cities. New York City has had strict gun control since 1913 in the Sullivan Acts, as do Chicago, Boston, Newark and Los Angeles. Other metropolitan areas, including Miami, Philadelphia, Houston and St. Louis allow private citizens to carry weapons, with training and if they pass strict background checks, mainly because local law is preempted by the state. Now the “stop and frisk” policy is under attack by the ACLU and DOJ for its intrinsically racial implications. Approximately 84% of the stops are conducted in non-white neighborhoods and on non-white subjects. Mayor Bloomberg’s response is that the police concentrate on areas with the most crime.

Despite grim statistics where within selected demographics violent gun crime abounds, when the CDC conducted several studies in the early 90’s in an attempt to connect gun ownership with crime, they were discontinued and defunded because the results were uniformly negative. FBI statistics continue to show little correlation between gun ownership and crime.

These studies fail, in part, because they are looking for minute differences between large numbers. The facts become buried in noise.  If the CDC is authorized to conduct further studies, they should concentrate on where the problems exist. Even mental health data is “noisy,” because only a minute fraction of these patients ever commit violent crimes.

One pitfall to avoid is confusing correlation with causation. Most of the mass shooters have a history of psychotic behavior, largely untreated. The mental health treatment system of the US has been systematically dismantled over the last 30 years. Confinement for professional review has mostly occurred after the crime has been committed. Even recorded episodes do not find their way into the NICS databases.  The political right has it’s difficulties too, trying to correlate violent movies and games with violence on the streets. For the vast majority, these activities are an outlet, primarily for entertainment. At the same time, most of the mass killers are know to like to violent games, but that’s not enough to establish a causal relationship. Everybody with cancer has swallowed saliva at some time.

Despite statistics that prove otherwise, this Administration has displayed a great reluctance to enforcing existing law, preferring to pass new (ineffective) ones.  Already Attorney General Holder is beginning to implement Obama’s twenty-three Executive Orders on gun control proposed earlier in January, having taken the first steps on Friday, January 25.

As it now stands law enforcement is not able to perform a NICS check when transferring, returning, or selling firearms that have been seized or recovered. Presently NICS background checks serve as a followup to the affidavit signed under threat of perjury when purchasing a firearm (Form 4473). The proposal (Order 1) being brought forth by the Obama Justice Department gives local law-enforcement agencies access to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) gun-sale database.  Furthermore, instead of removing stored records after ten years, records of denied weapons sales would now need to be preserved indefinitely. It is a short step to retain all records, establishing a de facto national gun registration system contrary to existing law.

The President has already issued an order to collect this data for sales of multiple “assault” rifles in the Southwest. He is not shy about bypassing Congress, established law and The Constitution in this regard.

Published initially at Illinois Review on Monday, January 28.   Permalink

 

 

Emotions vs. facts

December 21, 2012

The following is a “truism” if there ever were one. Bad things do happen, they have in the past, and they always will.

Too often, as in the hideous situation that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT., emotions rule over facts and demand that a feel good solution must quickly follow to counter the uneasiness and the impact of an evil deed imposed upon society as a whole. As such, the Newtown elementary school mass murder has predictably brought to the fore the ignorance of gun control advocates who perceive the situation as a crisis that must not go to waste.

Thomas Sowell had this to say in his commentary, Invincible Ignorance, on December 18: http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2012/12/18/sowell-invincible-ignorance/?subscriber=1

The key fallacy of so-called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available. If gun control zealots had any respect for facts, they would have discovered this long ago, because there have been too many factual studies over the years to leave any serious doubt about gun control laws being not merely futile but counterproductive.

Places and times with the strongest gun control laws have often been places and times with high murder rates. Washington, D.C., is a classic example, but just one among many. When it comes to the rate of gun ownership, that is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.

In the wake of the Newtown shooting, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a leading gun control advocate in Congress, is planning to introduce a bill re-instating the federal ban on “assault weapons” on the first day of the new Congress in January. An assault ban was enacted under President Bill Clinton in 1994, but it was allowed to lapse a decade later when determined ineffective. http://visiontoamerica.com/13310/feinstein-to-introduce-assault-weapons-ban-at-start-of-next-congress/

As it turns out Harry Reid (D-NV), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — hypocrites all! — have carried guns for their protection. This is amazing as Feinstein is leading the charge on tougher gun laws, while Harry Reid will bring up her bill for a vote at some point. Feinstein justified her need to carry a gun for protection to take out a target before it could take her out! Not only does Schumer carry a handgun, the NYC Police Department provides armed escorts for him. http://www.federalobserver.com/archive.php?aid=1010, http://www.therightscoop.com/turns-out-that-both-harry-reid-and-diane-feinstein-have-carried-guns-for-their-protection/

Many individuals believe that fast legislative action is called for to prevent another Newtown horrific shooting spree, not understanding that firearms are the safest, most effective way to protect oneself against criminal activity, which is why American police officers carry guns rather than going unarmed or merely carrying knives. While mass shooting rose between the 19960’s and the 1990’s, they actually dropped in the 2000’s. Mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/associated-press-story-believe-it-or-not-mass-killings-are-not-on-the-rise-they-are-on-the-decline/

Accordingly, many individual likewise believe the media spin that assault weapon must be banned because they are well suited and purchased for mass killing, although none of the guns used by the Adam Lanza under Connecticut law was an assault weapon. (If truth be told, an assault weapons can be any object that is used to cause harm, even a spoon).

Assault weapons bans are useless because they concentrate on the cosmetics of a gun (how it looks). What many call an “assault weapon” functions like every other normal firearm — they fire only one bullet each time the trigger is pressed. Today most hand guns are semi-automatic, as are many long guns, including the best-selling rifle today, the AR-15, the model used in the Newtown shooting.

The witch hunt against law-abiding and peaceful gun owners is neither noble or effective. It’s insane! Famed author Joyce Carol Oates, took to Twitter to blame the entire membership of the NRA for one evil-doer’s massacre. She then accused any politician who supported the NRA of “felony homicide.” michellemalkin.com/2012/11/19/the-post-newtown-witch-hunt/