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Assault weapons: Empty threats, empty fears, empty definitions

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Assault weapons Empty threats empty fears empty definitions

The coming Democratic Primary has begun in earnest and invariably somebody begins discussing the idea of reinstituting an assault weapons ban. Most recently, Bernie Sanders has entered the fray:

The common refrain is that assault weapons are “designed specifically to kill”, their intended use is for “military purposes”, and they were never meant for private ownership.

But what is an assault weapon exactly? Despite the use of the term by supporters of tougher gun laws and its consistent presence in the news, it is not a term used by almost anyone familiar with military or civilian weapon systems.

Why, you might ask, is the term “assault rifle” not used? After all, the various rifles used by the world’s militaries, such as the M16, M4, SCAR, G36, or FAMAS, are all classified as assault rifles (something avid video gamers even know). So why do we not use the term assault rifle? Because assault rifles are already banned for use by most civilians.

An assault rifle is a modern firearm, typically utilizing a lighter rifle caliber, made of a light (usually synthetic) frame and capable of selective-fire. Selective-fire is the key portion of the assault rifle definition. In order for a firearm to be considered an assault rifle, it must at least have the dual capability of semi-automatic fire (one trigger pull, one shot) and a form of automatic fire (one trigger pull, several shots). Assault rifles are military/paramilitary specific weapons and are not available on the general civilian market.

What is available to most civilians are variants of the Armalite-15, and weapons inspired by it, which have had the selective-fire feature removed. An AR-15 purchased at a local gun store looks, feels, and appears just like it’s military cousin. But because it has had the selective fire options removed it is no more dangerous than any other semi-automatic weapon on the civilian market, including the majority of popular shotguns, pistols, and target shooting rifles. In fact, because the typical AR-15 civilian variant maintains the light .223 caliber, this weapon is in actuality one of the least lethal weapons available to the civilian population. To make it even less effective for civilian use, its design makes it among the least likely to be successfully carried concealed. (The concealment factor is actually the major factor that makes a weapon dangerous in civilian use. The rate of handgun use in firearm violence is astronomically higher than all other firearm categories combined because handguns are so easily concealed).

The AR-15 is often used by mass shooters because it is cheap, widely available, and looks scary. But the actual effectiveness of the weapon is far below other weapons available on the market.
This brings me back to my original question: what is an assault weapon? From the standpoint of actual terminology for weapon systems, there is no such classification as an assault weapon. It is a legal term with loose and variable definitions. And, most pointedly, none of the definitions that have been used make effective sense for the end resolution they seek. Generally speaking, most assault weapons related laws are built around magazine-size and aesthetic appearance.

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The Federal Assault Weapons ban implemented by President Clinton defined, in essence, an assault weapon as anything that looks like a military-style weapon, is semi-automatic, and has a magazine that holds more than 10 bullets. This classification is vague to the extreme. It casts too large of a net to be realistic while simultaneously allowing for too many stark loopholes to be effective in its goals.

For example, a Ruger 10/22 (generally used for small-game hunting and competition shooting) is semi-automatic, designed based on the M1 Carbine from World War II, and easily utilizes magazines that hold up to (and beyond) 30 bullets. While this firearm was not banned under the Federal Assault Weapons ban (it was too prevalent to be realistically removed from the market), it does meet the law’s definition of an assault weapon in nearly every way and yet, despite estimates showing over 6 million 10/22s being sold on the civilian market, I have not been able to find an instance where the weapon has been used successfully in a mass shooting.

Now, compare this to the Savage-Springfield 67H and Savage 311-D Shotguns. Have you heard of these firearms? The Savage-Springfield 67H is a pump-action 12-Gauge shotgun, and the Savage 311-D is a double-barrel break-open shotgun. Neither weapon meets any definition of an assault weapon, in any written law, unless the barrels are sawn off (an easy aftermarket customization which couldn’t be controlled by a ban). Few could recognize these shotguns on sight, few have ever heard of them, and there is not a single law or ban on the table that would keep these shotguns out of the hands of criminals…and yet these are the exact models of shotguns used to devastating effect by the Columbine Shooters.

This is why assault weapons bans are empty threats based on empty fears. They are reactionary attempts to ban prevalent firearms, which could never be fully removed from American society, using empty definitions that do not take into account the actual lethality of different types of firearms. Such bans will solve absolutely nothing and would likely make matters worse. Even more troubling to consider is that when such laws inevitably fail, gun control advocates will cast an even wider net using their existing regulations to make it almost impossible for American citizens to obtain the firearms best suited for their personal defense. Because there is no set definition of what an assault weapon is, the working and legal definition can change. After all, what firearm isn’t “designed to kill” and which firearms do not have the fingerprints of military development somewhere in their pedigree? It is clear that the current call for an Assault Weapons Ban would accomplish nothing but a foot in the door.

 


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Guns and Crime

How the FISA Report will further dampen the Mueller Report

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How the FISA Report will further dampen the Mueller Report

The hopes and dreams of Democrats around the country were systematically shattered over the last few months as the Mueller investigation into Russian hacking of the 2016 election yielded very little fruit. That hasn’t stopped the House Democrats from fishing for more information than the two-year investigation produced in hopes of hanging President Trump with an impeachment.

But the initial draft of the Department of Justice’s inspector general Michael Horowitz’s report has been given to the Attorney General for classification and markup, meaning the public will soon have access to the sordid details surrounding the Steele Dossier and other measures used to secure FISA warrants against the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Attorney General Andrew McCabe has been recommended for charges after allegedly lying about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation around the same time period. And there’s still the U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into illegal spying on the Trump campaign. All of this combines for a very rocky road ahead for Democrats and former DoJ personnel who may be held accountable for a fruitless investigation trumped up by false claims and shoddy sourcing.

It seems very likely the various “investigations of the investigators” will cause controversy at the very least while possibly leading to charges against multiple people. The seemingly coordinated effort to subvert the Trump campaign and to counter his victory in the then-unlikely scenario in which he wins jibes with the incessant pushing of the collusion narrative by Democrats and mainstream media. It wasn’t that they had anything of substance. They hopes what they had would have substance that would manifest in the Mueller report.

But now the Mueller investigation itself is in jeopardy of losing any remnants of credibility it still has as the premise behind it is being challenged by Attorney General William Barr and the various investigations he has commissioned. Horowitz’s report is the biggest so far, but may only be the tip of the iceberg compared to what Durham may find.

With all of the arrows pointing to foul play by Obama’s DoJ and the Mueller investigation, these reports are likely to unravel all hopes the Democrats have of stopping President Trump before the 2020 election. After he wins, their dreams will be quashed.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Guns and Crime

Child rapist, pornographer captured by ICE, sentenced to 60 years in prison

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Child rapist pornographer captured by ICE sentenced to 60 years in prison

When anti-ICE activists protest Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they aren’t just calling for changes. They’re calling to have the law enforcement agency abolished. Somewhere in their warped perspectives they’ve determined that good is evil and evil is good.

And when they protest ICE, they’re supporting criminals like Jon Anthony Terry, a man who has raped multiple prepubescent children as young as two-years-old and distributed videos and images of his hideous acts to the sick masses who crave this sort of thing. If it weren’t for ICE, Terry would still be on the streets permanently harming children. This is the type of person the anti-ICE protesters support unabashedly.

North Texas man who produced child pornography by raping 4 young children sentenced to 60 years in federal prison

The search warrant described several child pornography files that Terry distributed, and law enforcement intercepted. The videos and images depicted children as young as toddlers engaged in sexually explicit conduct. After agreeing to speak to agents, Terry admitted to sexually abusing one of the children who was currently residing with him. HSI special agents seized several media devices containing incriminating media.

Upon reviewing Terry’s media collection, HSI special agents discovered more than 1,000 videos and images of prepubescent children engaged in sexual acts. Additionally, they uncovered videos and images that Terry himself had produced of four children, including the one Terry had previously admitted to molesting. The children ranged in age from 2 to 10 years old.

If people want to protest a particular practice, they should call on their representatives to address the issue. But calls to abolish an entire law enforcement agency is ignorant at best, intentionally criminal at worst. Those who want ICE abolished either know very little about what ICE actually does or are willing to allow heinous crimes like Terry’s to continue. Without ICE, Terry would still be raping children and sharing videos of his acts with his cronies.

America needs law and order to prevail. That requires law enforcement agencies to stay within legal bounds but to otherwise not have their activities hampered by those who would defend criminals over law abiding citizens.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

Shocking videos highlight heinous violence in Ilhan Omar’s Minneapolis district

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Shocking videos highlight heinous violence in Ilhan Omars Minneapolis district

Murders, rapes, assaults, and other violent crimes have skyrocketed in Minneapolis over the last year. Robberies alone are up over 53% year-over-year, but the real picture is more disturbing than statistics can show. Recent videos demonstrate a severeness in the violence being perpetrated. The criminals running the streets in Minneapolis aren’t just robbing people. They’re beating them senseless and humiliating them in ways that go beyond the simple motive of theft.

One of those videos is making its rounds on social media today. Warning: This brutal assault is difficult to watch:

Meanwhile, their representative in Washington DC, Ilhan Omar, is busy trying to crackdown on ICE, CBP, and other law enforcement agencies. In case you think that’s a misstatement, the freshman Democratic Congresswoman isn’t trying to crack down crime or criminals. She’s trying to crackdown on law enforcement to prevent them from doing their jobs, in some cases calling for entire law enforcement agencies to be abolished. These are the types of policies that lead to the rise in violence her district is seeing today.

But it’s not her fault. She’s a Congresswoman, and it would be disingenuous to try to pin these problems on her. The point isn’t to blame her but instead to blame the far-left policies that resonate through cities like Minneapolis. To seek blame, we need to look at leadership in the city itself, namely Mayor Jacob Frey and the city council. Frey is a progressive Democrat. All but one of the 13 city council members are Democrats with the lone exception being a radical progressive Green Party member.

These are the people to blame for rampant, heinous crimes that continue to put the people of Minneapolis at risk. To stay in power, they bow to the criminals by hampering police, reforming their justice system, and deflecting their problems by claiming the opposition is racist for wanting to bring an end to crime.

Is it possible for Minneapolis citizens to demand better conditions that allow them to walk the downtown streets unscathed? As long as they keep electing radical progressives to lead the city, any such demands will fall on deaf ears.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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