Jerrold Nadler
Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., appears at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on assault weapons on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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By  Larry Keane

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing called “Protecting America from Assault Weapons.” If it wasn’t obvious from the title of the hearing, this Democrat-controlled committee took the opportunity to host a circus of gun control propaganda under the barely veiled guise of a congressional hearing.

While the details and dramatic flair varied, each Democrat on the panel used their questioning time to promote a handful of gun control myths:

  1. Assault weapons exist in the form of very popular semi-automatic rifles;
  2. These popular firearms are a uniquely deadly threat to communities and law enforcement officers and should be banned; and
  3. The ban of 1994-2004 was effective.

Define It Correctly

Let’s take these one by one. What the gun control advocates have cleverly rebranded “assault weapons,” are actually modern sporting rifles. Millions of these have been in common, civilian use since the 1960s. They aren’t referring to automatic military rifles.

They are instead referring to a semi-automatic firearm that fire just one bullet with each pull of the trigger (versus a fully automatic firearm — machine gun — which continues to shoot until the trigger is released). Specifically, gun control advocates incorrectly define an “assault weapon” as a semi-automatic firearm that can accept a detachable magazine and has two or more of the following cosmetic features (it is these cosmetic features that distinguish the firearm from other “non-assault weapons.”)

Secondly, modern sporting rifles are rarely misused by criminals, despite at least 16 million modern sporting rifles (MSRs) being in private ownership in the United States. According to the FBI’s latest crime data, in 2017 there were just over 15,000 homicides.

Rifles of any kind, MSRs or other types of rifles, were used in only 3 percent of homicides. More people were killed by hands or feet. In fact, knives, hands, feet and other non-gun weapons represent a full third of all homicides in 2017 – ten times the number of rifle homicides.

Ownership Up, Crime Down

Finally, there is broad agreement that the 1994 ban on certain semi-automatic rifles based on cosmetic features did nothing to prevent or reduce violent crimes. Violent crime has fortunately trended downward since the early 1990’s, both during and after the ban was in place. A comprehensive study by the Centers for Disease Control — hardly a pro-gun entity — looked at the full panoply of gun control measures — including the “assault weapons ban” — and concluded that none could be proven to reduce crime.

A man in the audience is removed after disrupting a House Judiciary Committee hearing on assault weapons on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Of course, the gun control advocates on the panel argue that the ban wasn’t effective because the evil gun industry deliberately and “aggressively” evaded the ban by designing guns to circumvent the ban.

In short – bans on modern sporting rifles do nothing to address the very real problems in our country. They don’t reduce crime. They don’t reduce suicides. They don’t reduce accidents, or mass shooting tragedies. Bans don’t work because it’s only a ban for those who follow the law.

The Judiciary Committee heard from Dianna Muller, a former police officer and professional 3-gun competition shooter. She’s also the founder of DC Project, a group of women firearms ownership advocate from across the country. “Please don’t legislate the 150 million people just like me into being criminals,” she told the committee.

It’s great that the Judiciary Committee took the time to talk about how to make our communities safer. And we applaud the members of the committee who accurately described the problems at hand and the legitimate, legal uses of these common firearms across the country. Unfortunately, starting from the very title of the hearing, this time was wasted.

The firearms and ammunition industry shares the goal of pursuing real solutionsSM for safer communities. That’s why we work to address the actual root problems behind the criminal misuse of firearms through our programs such as Project ChildSafe®, Don’t Lie for the Other GuyTM, Operation Secure Store®, and FixNICS®.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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    • Same clowns also as most has been around the last 20-30 yrs….But I think it’s about time we make Fossil fuel out of them!

    • The truth of the matter has nothing to do with gun bans or protecting people from bullets. It has nothing to do with what type of firearms are being sold in America or keeping guns away from disturbed people who should be hospitalized, anyway.
      Democrats want Power! Power over you and me and every single person on Earth. That is what this whole damn thing is about. George Soros and his buddies are making plans to rule the whole damn world. They don’t care who hàs guns as long as we shoot each other and not them. Its all pa4t of their plotting and manipulateing and tricking and fooling and losing. I guess they think that if they have more money then anyone else they mußt be smarter and better able to rule then some elected person.
      I know lots of folks read this and automatically think tin foil hat conspiracy guy, but stop and think about it. Who puts up the money that pays for all the crap going on in our country and Europe, too. Dig deep, see who funds the company’s and who funds the so called independent outfits that just happen to provide funds to elect people like Clinton and all the Demborders and one Go look where the money starts out from. I’ll give you s hint. Try George Soros and his New World Order buddies. They are socialist bastards who want open borders and one party rule, their party with them at the top. It makes me sick to think how deep they control democrats with their money. Your Grand Mother was right. Money is the root of all evil.

      • According to my BIble, “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil”.

        My mother used to tell me that “money was the root of all evil” too. Now we both know the TRUTH! Separating TRUTH from lies is THE IMPORTANT FACTOR that too many AMERICANS and ALL OF THE POLITICIANS are guilty of. The American citizens do it by ignorance while the politicians do it on purpose!

  1. “The ban of 1994-2004 WAS EFFECTIVE.”
    “Of course, the gun control advocates on the panel argue that the ban WASN’T EFFECTIVE because the evil gun industry deliberately and “aggressively” evaded the ban by designing guns to circumvent the ban.”

    So which is it? Effective or not? The answer is it doesn’t matter (to them). They will say anything to get their way.

    • It was very effective in selling a lot more guns. Hell, if Trump were to say I’m considering an assault weapons ban a million new AR-15s will be purchased by the public.

    • Effective they say – how so? IIRC something on the order of FORTY people were actually successfully prosecuted during the 10 years the ‘bill’ was in effect. Yep, really effective indeed.

    • It’s fascinating to watch compliance with a law become an “attempt to circumvent”. The all-knowing lawmakers decided that bayonet lugs and flash hiders were dangerous and had to go. The gunmakers complied and they went away. Now they’re outraged because they got what they wanted. There’s no pleasing some people.

    • The ban was effective. Between 1994 and 2004, no new rifle with a bayonet lug was sold to civilians. I defy you to name one massed bayonet charge on American streets during that time frame. New rifles also weren’t sold with grenade launchers. I dare you to name one American rifle grenade attack during the ban. QED, the ban worked.

      • Your logic, Sir, is impeccable.

        I recall the hundreds of examples of drive-by bayonetings that happened in the 1970s and 1980s, and rifle-grenade attacks were a near-weekly occurrence in some major metropolitan areas during that dark era of our history.

        Remember the hue and cry from law enforcement in those perilous times of Yore, when unwary police officers were being gunned down because they could not see the muzzle flashes from deadly weapons fitted with flash hiders?

        Worst of all, consider the vast numbers of casualties caused by things in the back that went up, pistol grips, and barrel shrouds!

        Oh, I’d HATE to go back to those times; We are SO much safer now, I can’t even.

        • “Oh, I’d HATE to go back to those times; We are SO much safer now, I can’t even.”

          Nicely done. Even I didn’t need the sarc symbol (is there one for pure ridicule?)

  2. Stop using the term “modern sporting rifle.” It’s disingenuous and it legitimizes fuddery, i.e. the notion that only weapons with “sporting purpose” are appropriate for civilian ownership. The fact that AR-15s etc. can be used for sport does not make them sporting rifles, nor does their sporting purpose legitimize them. Everyone can tell that “MSR” carries the scent of bovine excrement.

    • Some variants truly are “modern sporting rifles” if configured and used that way. A 5.56 or .300 BLK may be argued as a PDW, but a 6.5 CM is pretty much designed and intended for long distance hunting. Aside from the fact that any gun can be used in a pinch for almost any purpose (whether efficiently or not), there is now a wide spectrum of ARs out there, and many are MSRs.

      • I think RUGER nailed the term with their AR556 MPR. Multi Purpose Rifle. Mine in 556/223 is a handy coyote rifle in a Fuddish sort of way, with its 3×9 Leupold. It could serve nicely as a defensive rifle with an LPVO.

    • Agreed. When they play the “weapons of war” card, point out that civilians have always had access to “weapons of war”.
      Musket: Weapon of war.
      Black powder revolver? Weapon of war.
      Lever action? Bolt action? Weapon of war.
      Shotgun? Sleepy Uncle Joe apparently missed the day in history class when the Germans considered American usage of shotguns in WW1 excessively cruel.

    • Nearly all firearms of all types have their roots in military arms. If they were not directly invented first for military use and later adapted for civilian use, then some elements of their design came from military weapons.

  3. Here is a more lengthy analysis:

    Summary –
    1. Dems don’t want to reduce crime
    2. Only Repubs discussed Guns and Mags for defensive purposes
    3. Dems want to ban (yes, ban) all semi-auto rifles
    4. Dems want to ban all center-fire rifles
    5. Dems want to ban firearms using detachable mags
    6. Dems want to ban guns other than muskets
    7. Dems want to ban all firearms
    8. Anti-gunners want to include all firearms under NFA

      • “How long would a Form 4 take to process if every firearm were a sbs sbr etc? Like fifty years??”

        The ride is the punishment, and you would be an unindicted (for awhile) felon until each of your guns receives a permission slip.

    • “8. Anti-gunners want to include all firearms under NFA”

      Re-open the machine gun registry and I’ll seriously consider it… 🙂

      • “Re-open the machine gun registry and I’ll seriously consider it…”

        Registry is already “open”. Anything new the government wants controlled by NFA will be accepted.

    • This is a “dog catching the car” list. As in, if the democrats actually managed to get these things passed into law, they would be quite dismayed to find out just how dangerous it turns out to be when you catch the car.

      • “…they would be quite dismayed to find out just how dangerous it turns out to be when you catch the car.”

        The people who are responsible, if the laws are ever passed and signed, have no concern over catching the car; they won’t be part of the raiding teams.

  4. All this assault rifle vs. MSR is just semantics. In the ’70s and ’80s the firearms community referred to semiautomatic versions of military rifles as assault rifles. It was a common term in periodicals, books and bullshit sessions in any gun store. Then the antis began to use the term and they became MSRs. I remember when an idiot shot up a subway in NYC with a Ruger 9mm pistol. He was subdued and disarmed by passengers as he attempted to reload. Dan Rather reported on the incident. I’ll never forget him saying, “…and once again the favorite weapon of terrorists and drug dealers everywhere. The assault gun.” Guys, let’s just call them what they are; rifles. Just rifles.

    • Except “assault” rifle is grammatically incorrect. Assault as a word is a verb ( I will assault you) or a noun (after assaulting you, I am guilty of assault). It is NOT an adjective

      • Indy, I agree. It’s not an adjective. Verb or noun, depending on context, is correct. However, that was not the point of my comment. My point is the common usage of the term of “assault rifle” then and now. Tell you what. Let’s call them “repeating rifles.” It’s an accurate description and includes them with every other action type except single shots.

        • Somebody really needs to ask the almighty Greta Thunberg the answer to these questions. Then all the world will finally have the one true perfect answer.

        • @Redacted,

          She’d need to consult her script first. You know, the one her handlers clearly prepared for her last week.

          I was irritated by her at first, but after learning about her background and Asperger’s, I now feel sorry for her for being used, and irritated at her parents for allowing/pushing it.

        • I’m with you brother. They’re just rifles. It just annoys the hell out of me when ppl throw around this nonsense assault rifle phrase. It makes every English speaking person dumber to have to hear it and makes me think that they should be sitting in English class instead of skipping school to attend a climate rally

        • “When these cretins finish going after “Assault” rifles will they go after “A-pepper” rifles?”

          They have openly declared the intent to ban all semi-auto firearms,as in make them all contraband after a certain date, which makes owners instant felons. After the semi-auto, they will come after any firearm capable of containing more than one round without reloading. The mantra of “weapons of war” is the new avenue.

          Regardless of the accuracy, or utility, of the term “assault weapon”, “weapons of war” is a more compelling rallying cry. POTG cannot argue that virtually every firearm type wasn’t initially a weapon of war: cannon, rifle, handgun, grenade launcher, mortar, etc.

          Whether we like it or not, JQP is not up for having weapons of war in the hands of non-military/police. And not really sympathetic to the notion that honest citizens should ever be contemplating turning privately owned firearms against their government.

    • GF – I’ll grant you that the term was frequently misused – but that does NOT make it correct – semantically nor legally. “assault rifle” – originally “sturmgewehr” as dubbed by adolf – has a specific military and legal definition. Improper use of terminology does make it accurate. Much like using “clip” and “magazine” interchangeably does not make that misuse correct.

      • Gomez, let’s get things correct. Hitler did not approve of the “sturmgewher.” He wanted the Kahr 98 k and the MP-40. That’s why it had the designation MP-44. To hide the actual weapons development from Hitler. As a veteran of WWI he didn’t like the concept of a mid-range cartridge. Can’t blame him. I prefer full power rifle cartridges myself. Keep 5.56 and 7.62 R in the battery, well, because. The term “assault rifle” (in English) has been around since at least the ’70s. Many books in my library from that time that use the term. Even battle rifles were mistakenly referred to as assault rifles.

  5. What always seems to get lost or left out is the reason why our founding fathers gave us a Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights spells out the citizens rights which are non-negotiable and were put there to spell out the limits on government . Therefore, any ” laws ” passed by Congress that restrict or infringe, limit those listed in the Bill of Rights are unconstitutional and illegal. An illegal law is just ink on paper and has no legal standing. If the Supreme Court actually did their jobs and were not political hacks, these unconstitutional ” laws ” would be struck down completely. One of our founding fathers stated that the system that they gave us would only function correctly if we elected moral people. There’s the problem.

  6. Thus the statists have successfully shifted the argument from “shall not be infringed” to justifying this or that. It is no longer the Bill of Rights but rather the Bill of Needs vs compelling government interests.

    Heaven help us all.


  7. The greatest con ever pulled on American sheople. For feelz & votes. And they escort the truthsayer out the door , they make me sick to my stomach. any vote for a Democrat = a vote for Liberty lost

  8. The firearms and ammunition industry shares the goal of pursuing real solutionsSM for safer communities. That’s why we work to address the actual root problems behind the criminal misuse of firearms through our programs such as Project ChildSafe®, Don’t Lie for the Other GuyTM, Operation Secure Store®, and FixNICS®.

    Half measures that don’t get to the heart of the matter. All theu do is embolden the enemies of freedom. Either the 2A is a civil right or it isn’t. We need to promote 2A absolutism. The enemy has been chipping away at the 2A for decades and now believes they can go for the kill and do away with it entirely.

    • “We need to promote 2A absolutism.”

      Compelling government interest, tradition and history are a tough to beat combination. They come under the single umbrella of “common sense”.

      Our major difficulty is crafting an “absolutism” that isn’t quite, and the exceptions suit us. Of course, with the very first exception, we are no longer talking “absolutism” . Which leaves us just as imprecise in our terms as the gun-grabbers. This is not a simple matter to package and sell.

      • If you get in to a discussion with a gun-grabber, every time you make a point, follow it up with “It’s just common sense, ya know.” Drives them crazy.

        • “…follow it up with “It’s just common sense, ya know.” Drives them crazy.”

          Thanks for the idea. Can’t wait for next conversation with Brother-In-Law.

  9. The elephant in the room that people seem to overlook is not only Democrats are pushing for these infringement’s. Republicans are doing the same thing. Unless all of us liberty and freedom loving Americans stand and showed them their ”jobs“ will not be secure if they continue down this path.
    Just my opinion of course.

  10. I got a good laugh in when you tried to slip in the ridiculous notion that the term ‘assault weapon’ is a clever rebranding of ‘Modern Sporting Rifle’, as though nobody remembers that that term was coined less than ten years ago, i.e. 15 years after the AWB took effect. Talk about trying to rewrite history. Why do you feel the need to lie?

    • Nazi Germany coined the term Sturmgewehr (assault rifle) because it sounded scary for propaganda purposes. Democrats are using the same type of Nazi propaganda by calling it assault weapon. Instead of trying to scare their enemies, like the Nazis were, dems are trying to scare their voters into voting for them.

    • Ver – the bogus term “assault weapon” has been around longer than that – it was ‘invented’ by josh sugarmann back in the ’80s with the specific intent to confuse and scare people. Look him up if you don’t know who he is and what gun control group he represented.
      And as others have noted – use of that term still achieves his purpose.

      • How interesting that Mr. Assault Weapon “maintains a Class One Federal Firearms License in Washington, DC, which makes it legal for him to transfer and handle firearms.”
        I wonder for what purpose Mr. Gun Banner himself needs a Class One FFL. Maybe to arm the leftist Sturmtruppler when they come to confiscate our Sturmgewehr und Angriffswaffe. P.S., he also calls for the banning of handguns as well.

  11. I’ve been a competitive shooter, collector and NRA firearms safety instructor for over 35 years. I try to find those who are ANTI-GUN and get them to come out to the range. I find that these folks treat firearms the way some people treat snakes and spiders. May never have seen one but they are very afraid of the very concept of a firearm. They see gun violence on the news and on TV and in movies to the point that they are sure that they will be victims. When I take them to the range, we start with a bolt action .22LR, then I will move to a semi-auto .22 (Marlin 60 or Ruger 10/22. Usually they start to actually enjoy shooting the semi-auto at a target and find that it takes more effort / skill then they imagine. After they have acclimated to the semi-auto then I pull out the S&W 15-22. Looks just like an AR-15. This tends to cause some fear, but as soon as they run 10 rounds down range, they see the light. Its all about ugly. IF we have time we do the same with pistols. Some convert to gun owners and most have a much better understanding of the argument.

    • Excellent. That’s exactly the same progression I take with newbies. Bolt-action .22 rifle, then semi-auto .22, then small caliber revolver, then 9mm 1911 (with a single cartridge), then with a full mag, then Glock, then an AR-15, and then (if they’re up to it, and they usually are by this point) clays with a 12-ga. And sometimes a high-powered deer rifle for longer shots.

      Every single newbie I’ve ever taken to the range/desert and put through these paces have said they’ve wanted to go back again for more.

      • Think we all agree, that works fine with people who just have a fear of weapons. The ones we’re concerned about dont have fear, rational or not, they have a genuine hatred for them and the people who own them. Dont waste your breath or your time on them!

        • it is not the guns themselves they hate. if they had them and only them they would be ok with that. what they hate is us liberty loving people having them

        • “it is not the guns themselves they hate. if they had them and only them they would be ok with that.”

          These people are quite happy to create a situation where police and Trump are the only ones with guns.

          “Liberalism is a mental disorder, and it will get us all killed.”
          – M. Savage, talk radio host

        • Shame those people aren’t smart enough to realize, when their party does eventually seize power, THEY are the ones used for forced labor or disposed of if unable to perform it. Especially after they imprison or kill off the rest of us, that’s the problem with not bothering to teach history anymore.

  12. As for the Assault Weapons Ban being effective because “assault weapons” were “banned,” several points. 1) Crime was going down before the ban and continued afterwards. 2) There were 1.5 million “assault weapons” in civilian hands when the “ban” became law. 3) Over 700,000 AR-15s were sold during the ban; they had a fixed stock and no bayonet lug. Check out Mark Overstreet’s article

  13. Re the anti gun circus coming to Capitol Hill , I hadn’t noticed it’s departure. Did I miss something of interest and importance?

  14. It is obvious to me as it probably is to many others that anti-gunners both inside and outside Government want to do away with ‘guns’. I believe that a rational thinking human being capable of recognizing a problem would explore all things which may be affecting that problem instead of focusing on only one cause. It would be wise of Congress to hold hearings and delve into the other reasons for the deaths by shooting. Perhaps they could start off by researching the effects drugs have on society and those doing the shooting, what effects do fatherless families have on the raising of and the mental, ethical, moral development and schooling of children, what aspects of our culture have changed over the past 40-50 years that have had an adverse affect on society, etc, etc. But I do not expect Congress to do anything except cry and whine like little children and cause chaos in Government because they lost the last election.

    • Good question. As a surgeon who treats many children I have become alarmed at what a high proportion of children are being prescribed drugs with black box warnings which include “may lead to suicide, …may lead to aggressive behavior…”

  15. If these clowns want a demonstration of the 2nd so badly there are millions who would oblige them. Of course, if they were true Americans honoring their oaths of office they would be looking for ways to make the 2nd work while at the same time keeping people safer.

  16. Quite often, firearms owners are their own worst enemies.

    The duck hunters don’t like the AR-15 “black rifles” so they see no problem if attempts are made to ban them.

    The traditional rifle owners don’t like machine guns, so they have no problem with them being legislated out of existence.

    Some pistol owners see nothing wrong with certain long guns being outlawed just as some rifle owners would have no problem seeing pistols banned.

    You see, anti-gunners want them all. They will chip away a little at a time until their goal of civilian disarmament is complete.

    They have an excuse for banning every firearm.

    Scoped bolt-action rifles are defined by anti-gunners as “sniper rifles” because they are “too accurate”.

    Magazine-fed weapons are suspect because of high (actually normal) magazine capacity.

    Handguns are suspect because they are “easily concealable”.

    The gun grabbers want them all and have made (flimsy and suspect) excuses for banning every type of firearm. They don’t care how long it takes. and will use incrementalism to their advantage.

    Friends, ALL firearms advocates must “hang together” and realize that an assault on ANY means of firearms ownership and self-defense is an assault on ALL forms of firearms ownership and self-defense.

    There is absolutely NO ROOM for complacency among ANY Second Amendment supporters. An attack on one is an attack on ALL…

    ALL firearms laws are unconstitutional on their face.

    Imagine the hue and cry if “reasonable” restrictions were placed on First Amendment activities, especially with the “mainstream media”.

    The Second Amendment is clear–what part of “shall not be infringed” do politicians and the media not understand…of course, they understand full well…it’s part of their communist agenda…

    Even the NRA bears some responsibility for capitulation on matters concerning firearms.

    The NRA failed when it allowed the National Firearms Act of 1934 to stand without offering opposition, the 1968 Gun Control Act, the NICS “instant check” system, the “no new machine gun for civilians” ban in 1986, the so-called “assault weapons” ban in 1994, and other infringements of the Second Amendment.

    Let’s face it. What better way to increase membership than to “allow” infringements to be enacted and then push for a new membership drive. Yes, the NRA has done good, but its spirit of “compromise” will only lead to one thing…confiscation.

    If the NRA is truly the premier “gun rights” organization, it must reject ALL compromise…

  17. A turd is a turd by what ever name you call it. Dems or repub same thing they are all politions. It doesn’t matter, it’s too late. Say the wrong word that 20 years ago was universaly known and was all right, make a hand gester that ment ok, wear your hair wrong and all that brands you as a racist. I still remember a time when a racist was a young lad who drove fast. Nobody got any sense or sense of humor. No matter what or how something is said somebody got to feel offended. Might as well take the guns, in 20 more years the whole world gonna be killing one another with rocks or bare hands anyway.

  18. Holy hell, go back and watch the anti-gunner in the back row (above the “C” in the C-SPAN logo) as Amy Swearer state’s FACTS. This is a classic example of a close minded moron who refuses to let facts control their views. The stringy haired woman acts like a child hearing something they don’t like.

  19. I’m life long Republican. I voted for Republicans when I finished my enlistment in the Naval Amphibious Forces. I will now vote against any Republican that advocates Gun Control!

  20. FredK…It is the radical left who pushes all that anti-gun rethoric. They actually don’t care who gets shot. their final goal is”complete control over the populace. And that is called “communism. So, the first thing they have to rid of, is the guns. Vote in a “democrap” you have voted in a communist, Wake up, America, before it is too late.

  21. I will never give up my guns the Democrats just want to take our guns so the government can control the American people and we can not fight back if guns are so dangerous why do all their bodyguards have them so they are allowed to be protected but we the people are not allowed to protect ourselves and with the corruption in our government it would be stupid to allow our government to take our guns we may at some point have to fight against our government to take be our country from the corrupt government and I will not be defenseless and bow down to our government we pay them they work for us will never bow down to them they can either do their job or get out of office and by fired like anyone else that has a job but does not do their work


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