Anyone who’s studied the literature knows that “assault weapons bans” have no rational basis. They depend on an emotional appeal that requires a profound ignorance of the facts of crime statistics and weapons technology. They also require a media that benefits from promoting mass murder for ratings and political gain. Clayton Cramer exposes the irrationality of “assault weapon” bans in his paper Assault Weapon Bans: Can They Survive Rational Basis Scrutiny? . . .
Clayton Cramer does excellent work in the paper. He puts the facts and statistics in a logical order that’s irrefutable. From the paper:
While most AW bans also have functional definitions of the banned weapons, named list definitions based on manufacturer’s name and model number are a common part of these laws. These are similar to “bills of attainder,” in which legislative acts punish persons by name for alleged crimes instead of specifying a crime and allowing due process by the courts to determine guilt.
While Colt Industries is not a person, and Colt’s AR-15 is not a person, it is clear that a law banning sale of a named product made by Colt, with no similar ban on sales by another manufacturer would effectively deny Colt equal protection of the law. To make these distinctions in an arbitrary manner is contrary to existing case law.
Not only does the named list approach lead to equal protection problems, but it makes it very easy to subvert these laws. As an example of the defective nature of named lists, California’s Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA) banned the Intratec TEC-9 by name. The manufacturer responded by making minor non-functional changes to the gun and giving it a new model number: DC914 (presumably “Designed for California”).
The TEC-9 and TEC-DC9 are otherwise identical.” When the 1994 federal ban took effect listing the TEC-9: “Intratec… manufactured an AB-10 (‘after ban’) model that does not have a threaded barrel or a barrel shroud but is identical to the TEC-9 in other respects, including the ability to accept an ammunition magazine outside the pistol grip.” While the federal AW ban prohibited new manufacture of 32 round magazines, ones made before the new law work in the AB-10.
Cramer only touches the political strategy that motivates the bans. His remarks on the politics involved are clear and correct. But an analysis of the motivations of the politicians involved, and the power structures that allow for the courts to uphold these clearly irrational laws, are beyond the scope of this academic paper.
Gradually, slowly, large numbers of otherwise uninformed people are becoming informed. Once informed on the topic, they stay informed. That’s why the numbers of people opposed to more infringements on the Second Amendment has been growing for 50 years. Use the information in this paper to inform others.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.