Gun Control Advocates Focusing on ‘Assault Rifles’. Again? Still.

Some Chicago gangs turning to rifles for added firepower, police say the headline at chicagotribune.com proclaims. As you can probably guess from the word “some” in the title, the anti-gun rights Trib is making a mountain out of a molehill. To wit: this bit of info appearing in the 49th paragraph . . .

Rifle seizures are still rare and didn’t crack the list of the 20 most-seized types of guns in 2014, according to the latest breakdown from the Police Department.

Needless to say, this “alternative fact” didn’t stop The Trib from waving the bloody shirt, chronicling the few examples they could find of gangland shootings where a rifle was the weapon of choice.

The article increases my suspicion that anti-gunners are in retreat. With the ongoing restoration of carry rights in the hinterlands, with the hinterlands rejecting the anti-gun Democratic Party, the antis may be returning to their “assault weapon” hysteria.

During the late 60’s and 70’s, race riots swept the nation. The illegal drug epidemic sparked bloody gang wars, armed conflicts that make Chicago’s current death toll seem like the outlier it is.

The gun control movement was all about pistols. (Lest we forget, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence started life as The National Council to Control Handguns.) The antis used racist fears and the prevalence of cheap “Saturday Night Specials” to justify their campaign to ban handguns (except for the police).

Flash forward to today and political climate has changed radically. Racism has been greatly reduced. Gun rights restoration has been greatly increased. A far more aggressive NRA has also made tremendous inroads, institutionalizing political support for Second Amendment protections.

Bottom line: handgun ownership has been normalized.

Not as much as The People of the Gun would like. Not as much as it should be, or will be in time. But no matter how much support the antis garner for “background checks” or magazine limits, they are losing the all-important culture war.

Handguns are no longer the sole purview of criminals and revolutionaries. The advent of spree killers and terrorists hasn’t stopped the process. If anything it’s added to the average American’s desire to tool-up. With a handgun.

At the same time as handgun sales rose to eclipse rifle sales, AR-style rifle sales have soared. For the antis, AR’s proved an easier target. “No one needs a ‘weapon of war,'” they cried. Look at those spree killers! They’re using AR’s (except when they’re not)!

The argument found fertile ground. The Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act (a.k.a., assault weapon ban) was enacted in 1994. Sunsetted in 2004, it was the last major federal gun control law of our time.

Despite its inclusion in the 2016 Democratic Party platform, the chances of a renewed “assault weapon” ban are currently nil. Not just because Republicans control the legislature and the presidency. Because the AR-15 is now America’s most popular long gun.

Yes, several states have banned “modern sporting rifles.” Yes, the courts have [so far] upheld these bans. But just as handguns have entered the mainstream, so have ARs. And just as handguns have become “normalized” so have AR-15s.

Even if the Supreme Court doesn’t step in to uphold the Second Amendment’s protection against anti-AR state legislation, the cultural battlefield belongs to millions of AR owners. Put another way, the AR-shaped genie isn’t going back in the bottle.

But what else can gun control advocates do but assail “assault weapons”? It’s still an easier target than the now-common handgun. The only target? Not quite; “high-capacity magazines” and “universal background checks” are high on that list. But close enough.

Which is why The Trib has turned its attention to gangland rifle use: to scare voters whose support for gun control is weakening. Will they be successful? Yes and no. But, I suspect, more no than yes.

comments

  1. avatar Nanashi says:

    This is why we need NFA repeal. What’s the media going to say differently if we introduce the bill?

    … And for that matter who cares? Has any scientifically valid study suggested people want machine guns to stay illegal?

    1. avatar Mike Betts says:

      Machine-guns are NOT illegal, at least not on the federal level. Anyone who can pass a lengthy and comprehensive background investigation and pay the NFA fee may own one. Of course, there remains the the mind=boggling cost of purchasing and feeding the thing.

      1. avatar grendal says:

        New manufacture of machine guns is illegal. but hey so is shooting people for no good reason.

        1. avatar Nick says:

          Only for us “civilians”. New manufacture of machine guns is perfectly legal if it’s the government footing the bill. The rest of us are left to squabble over a couple hundred thousand units that are already over 30 years old with a cost on par with silver (pound for pound).

        2. avatar ChiGurh18 says:

          “Government ‘using citizens’ tax dollars’ footing the bill”

          Fixed it.

      2. avatar Stuki Moi says:

        According to that standard, homicide isn’t strictly illegal either. You just have to pass through enough hoops to get in tight enough with some select sub segment of the federal junta, and the occasional innocent guy dead at your hands is a-ok! Or, get a sufficiently politically correct lawyer, and your homicide is suddenly justifiable.

        Assuming government has a legitimate right to regulate things, like guns, that doesn’t give them any right to de facto ban it for most people, by making it excessively cumbersome to comply with the regulations. Think regulations that force you to drive on the right side of the road. They are certainly, on some level, limiting a free man’s freedom, to drive on whichever side of the road he darned well pleases. But they are not limiting it without simultaneously enabling him to exercise an essentially equivalent right at no additional cost.

        So, it’s regulating, as in making regular. Not as in making banned. Which is a big difference, and an essential difference between a free, yet still governed, society, and an unfree one.

      3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        Concealed carry license in Maryland/New York/New Jersey are NOT illegal!

        By the time the government, any government, piles on enough red tape, restrictions, and “because I said so!” prohibitions, they might as well be illegal, just like machine guns. Machine guns aren’t technically illegal, but as a practical matter they are.

        1. avatar Demo Man says:

          “…they might as well be illegal, just like machine guns.”

          Except for police departments. In Chicago the average flatfoot patrolman can take a voluntary “anti-terrorism” course and qualify to keep an AR in their patrol car and home. Yeah, that’s what we really want in the Windy City, low I.Q. Joe Six-Packs with blue uniforms spraying up the neighborhood “fighting crime.” What happened to the good old twelve gauge?

          The bogeyman to sell this crap idea to the normally anti-gun Chicago City Council at the time was that Osama Bin Laden and cohorts were going to execute an amphibious invasion on North Avenue beach or whatever.

          The police unions love the arms race, it’s a great excuse to convince the old ladys on city councils to approve heavier firepower for the cops, and maybe throw in a decommissioned Hummvee or APC while they’re at it. Ridiculous.

        2. avatar Roymond says:

          ““…they might as well be illegal, just like machine guns.”

          Except for police departments. In Chicago ….”

          Police departments like in Chicago should be illegal.

      4. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        Machine guns are MOSTLY illegal, at least on a federal level.

  2. avatar Florian Geyer says:

    “With the ongoing restoration of carry rights in the hinterlands, with the hinterlands rejecting the anti-gun Democratic Party”

    C’mon, man, pick one.

    “the headline at chicagotribune.com PROCLAIMES”.

    Really, Robert?

  3. avatar Roymond says:

    It’s too easy to find home defense mom and pop stories where handguns saved the innocent for the antis to go to handguns any more. That’s not because of the rational argument, but because with obvious defensive use, the emotional impact of their screams over bad guys with guns has become a fail.

    So they’re left with the only sort of incident with any impact, and that’s mass shootings, especially mass shootings of kids. It isn’t hard to suspect that the reason they fight so loudly against guns in schools is that schools are the only places left where they can harvest an emotional impact, so they WANT schools to be targets — but I seriously doubt they even think that deeply; they just have a mental image of a gun and some kids and it causes hooting and screeching.

    And since handguns have stopped being scary, they have to grasp at things that look scary. They can’t use black men any more, as that’s not PC, so what’s left? The gun itself — especially because mass shootings are hardly a non-white monopoly.

    Truly, I think that’s where their real terror comes from: it used to be possible to blame “those people”, but now those people are the same color they are, and that strikes true panic. There’s no clinging to some sense of superiority, because they’re coming right up against what the Bible has to say, namely that all (regardless of skin color) sin and fall short of the glory of God, so they and their skin color aren’t immune.

    The ironic thing to me about this is that leftists love to point to where people on the right are fearful of whites no longer being the majority, but given how gun control has always been and remains deeply entangled with racism, the panic seems to be from the left — and they can’t possibly admit that to themselves. And as usual, when feelings get suppressed, they come out as anger somewhere else.

    Scream on, fearful lefties. But please try to do it quietly while the rest of us get on with our life, liberty, and pursuing our chosen approach to happiness.

  4. avatar SurfGW says:

    As long as the only people buying assault rifles are rural in areas with few votes or the rare and dedicated urban “gun nuts”, it is a matter of time before assault rifles are banned. Go take someone shooting and keep this from happening

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      Those are not the only people buying modern sporting rifles (please get your terminology straight) and there is plenty of evidence to support this conclusion, namely just plain observation. There is not nearly enough political will in either the House nor the Senate (and forget having a willing executive in the White House) to pass a bill, or even attach an amendment to any bill, banning modern sporting rifles, either.

      As long as we continue to relentlessly hammer home the truth, and take people to the shooting range, it won’t happen any time soon. That, I can promise you.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Using the term “assault rifles\weapons” is clearly wrong when referring to semi-auto only firearms but “modern sporting rifles” is a silly phrase that will never catch on. My AR is not a sporting rifle any more than my pistols are ‘sporting pistols’. It’s not why they were designed and they aren’t specialized to be specific to a sport (even if some sports have been created to be specific to them).

        I just like ‘rifle,’ myself…

      2. avatar Armed peasant says:

        The left is master at word spin. Using their spinster words (eg. Assault Rifle) gives them legitimacy. I try not to use their words. Instead of calling them MSR I call them Self defense Rifles (SDR). Its really a war of words.

  5. avatar I1ULUZ says:

    I would suggest read the story, pay attention to who they interviewed, what is missing in each family, what is common between the families. Then figure out where the fondness of rifles might have come from. The rifles most likely were imported along with the recreational pharmaceuticals the “kids” were providing to the community. Understanding Spanish would be helpful also since some don’t speak English to the reporter.

    1. avatar David Z says:

      You are a racist. Period

  6. avatar sound awake says:

    the reason I have an ar 15:

    for when they come for my ar 15

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