New Republic: It’s Time to Regulate ‘Assault Weapons’ the Same Way We Do Machine Guns

Machine Gun Vegas

Machine Gun Vegas (Nick Leghorn for TTAG)

Could shooting ranges [like Machine Gun Vegas] be the future of Bushmasters, of SKS rifles and AR-15s and AR-10s? It seems the thought experiment we need in Second Amendment debates, where pro-gun advocates warn that federal ownership registries and licensing are the sine qua non of government tyranny.

Yet the United States has successfully depleted the supply of machine guns, as well as the ease and attractiveness of their use by criminals, with exactly these measures: a gun database and a thoroughgoing application process. (That said, the left should be as wary as libertarians—perhaps more so these days—of the potential risks that gun registries run as a tool of discrimination and harassment; one need not sympathize, as some on the gun right do, with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians to acknowledge that the ATF has abused its oversight powers before.)

But compared to regulating the types of semiauto rifles that have grown popular in mass shootings, the machine-gun regulatory blueprint also seems quaint today. As gun proponents never tire of pointing out, it’s much easier to define a class of “machine guns” than it is to define “assault weapons.”

One formidable argument for the ineffectiveness of the Clinton era’s ban on assault weapons was that it defined those guns largely by cosmetic modifications or accessorizing—pistol grips, folding stocks, bayonet lugs—so that near-identical guns, with identical ammunition and mechanical capabilities, were exempt from the ban.

Even “machine guns” get redefined as arms technology and tastes evolve. The bumpfire episode shows that before the Las Vegas shooting and the eventual ban of these accessories, the ATF was issuing insurance letters to bumpstock-makers that guaranteed their products were legal “firearm parts” and didn’t qualify as NFA weapons.

A more significant challenge to restricting semiautomatic weapons is that there are simply too many AR- and AK-style firearms in the United States, with ever more being brought to market—far more such weapons than there ever were machine guns in the country.

When machine guns were banned, revulsion against them and the violence they wrought was already a consensus social norm. Because of their cost and the carnage they sowed, they were seen almost exclusively as the province of armies and gangsters. They never became, as the AR-15 has become, an instrument of sport or a revered totem of freedom and self-reliance.

In any case, the thought experiment may actually need to run in reverse: We may need to consider what America would look like if machine guns were more readily available. The explosion in popularity—and the cultural significance—of AR-15s as a civic talisman is also a symptom of a more malignant pro-gun segment of the conservative movement.

Ever since the election of Barack Obama fueled appetites for anti-government conspiracy theories, this new breed of gun fundamentalist has eagerly embraced a belief in “constitutional carry,” an innovative dogma that insists citizens have a Second Amendment right to carry any weaponry anywhere, without training or licensing. Unsurprisingly, in this atmosphere, machine guns—preferred by gangsters, effectively banned by a stroke of Ronald Reagan’s pen, and consistently considered taboo by most Americans—now have more advocates than ever.

– Adam Weinstein in A Shot in Hell: Should Las Vegas’s machine-gun rental industry be the future liberals want for assault weapons?

comments

  1. avatar Ron says:

    “Yet the United States has successfully depleted the supply of machine guns, as well as the ease and attractiveness of their use by criminals…”

    *laughs in open bolt SMG*

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    Why am I not surprised that the bio-terrorist colluding left is supporting civilian disarmament? I think it’s about time we put some “common sense” restrictions on the 1st amendment.

    1. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

      Serge, I’ve felt bad for two weeks. I stole your Swiss warship joke. I feel guilty. Ha ha

    2. avatar Justin says:

      Why stop there? I could argue that there should be a training requirement for voting as well as a background checks on all pain killer type medications. Maybe if some of the “common sense” restrictions were applied to other rights enumerated by the constitution they would change their tune but I highly doubt it, half the time people don’t know what they are voting for or what thier elected officials are actually doing.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        Background checks for alcohol purchases to see if they have committed assault or operated a vehicle while under the influence. We also need to keep a public database of all purchases.

        1. avatar warfab says:

          Federal criminal background check for all alcohol sales. Straw purchases of alcohol strictly prohibited.

        2. avatar Steven says:

          DNA Checks to see if there’s a genetic predisposition towards alcoholism.

      2. avatar Dude says:

        “half the time people don’t know what they are voting for or what thier elected officials are actually doing”

        They may not even realize that they voted at all in places like Virginia, where they did away with voter ID laws.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          They may not realize they voted at all, particularly if they are dead.

      3. avatar strych9 says:

        “Maybe if some of the “common sense” restrictions were applied to other rights enumerated by the constitution they would change their tune…”

        Nah, you gotta find a sacred cow and go after that if you want to make an impression.

        Much as I avoid the overall topic, I suggest a background check and waiting period on abortion. THAT will catch some attention.

        1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          Yep, that’s the way to do it. Go after the “right” that doesn’t exist in the constitution, and watch Leftist heads detonate like multi-stage nuclear weapons.

          I’m a reasonable person, with the stroke of a pen, they can re-open the FA registry.

          Problem solved?

        2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          Clarification – I’m talking FA, three-position “giggle-switch”, here…

        3. avatar Frank says:

          Nice!
          I sent that idea to the President, Senators and Congressman.
          Nothing will happen except I will be added to another list.
          Or an asterisk will be added and I will get a visit from some stooge enforcers.

      4. avatar bill knight says:

        Better yet apply “common sense” regulations and restrictions on non-Constitutionally protected actions and items, then watch the squawling! Could you imagine if cigarettes were as difficult to buy as firearms? How about alcohol?

    3. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      I have to know was he trained and licensed to write this article.

      ED:That’s actually a horrible idea. Jerks like him would use that to force out all other views. It’s bad enough Google Youtube etc. do that too.

      1. avatar arc says:

        [sarc] Why not go full retard? On top of requiring a license to make printed speech and broadcast, we should pull a China/Korea and require an internet license that prints your ID next to every little thing a person a posts. It would cut down on the trolls but a few would still slip through the cracks.

        public wifi is public health hazard!

        [/sarc]

        1. avatar Eremeya says:

          In China, you are required to either have a password on your wifi or require all users to log in with/ personally identifying information. This is almost always a phone number (which you are required to use your ID to get and now a facial scan).

    4. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Having children is the privilege that seems to be causing the most damage. Shitty parenting is responsible for most of the violence and negatively productive citizenry in the country.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Any welfare handouts should require sterilization. *Permanent* sterilization.

  3. avatar John Bryan says:

    Wow, where to start with this rhetorical mess…the unfounded in reality assumptions the author posits makes it hard to even figure out what he’s trying to say. “Assault weapon” ammo? What the heck is that? That the AW ban was based on the appearance of the firearms outlawed is news? Just a bad tangle of obfuscation, half truths and loaded language. If this is what passes for thoughtful discourse on the New Republic’s printed page or website then I’m well justified continuing to ignore it.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      John Bryan,

      It never crosses a Progressive author’s mind whether his/her writing/speech is coherent and accurate. Instead, Progressive proponents simply vomit words, trying to cover as many emotional talking points as possible, in order to resonate with a reader/listener and secure the reader’s/listener’s support.

      Sadly, that tactic is EXTREMELY effective which is why Progressives often dominate politics. Conservative and Libertarian advocates would be wise to direct the majority of their writing/speech to emotional talking points as well, as long as their appeals to emotion are based in fact and timeless standards of right-versus-wrong.

      Saying it another way, this is basic salesmanship. It doesn’t matter how right/good your product/service (or in this case argument) is if you cannot immediately pique someone’s interest and immediately get them leaning in favor of your direction. This is where Conservatives/Libertarians often fail miserably.

      1. avatar John Bryan says:

        U_S –

        There isn’t water hot enough or soap strong enough for the shower I’d have to take after using the verbiage used by statist/fascist/leftist twits. Thankfully my place is no longer on the frontlines of the culture war – I’m happily retired and much more focused on hobbies, travel and family. My only contributions now are with the checkbook and ballot box 😉

  4. avatar bryan1980 says:

    Machine guns shouldn’t have been restricted, either. Who cares about “public revulsion”? The Constitution doesn’t have to pass that test!

    1. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

      Freedom be scary, yo!

      1. avatar Hillbilly says:

        Especially to the commenters on this site. Most people are terrified of true freedom. Reading how much people here advocate for the Governement to run peoples lives, especially those they don’t agree with is very telling.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Puh-leeze! Can we remember that machine guns were *not* restricted, everyone everywhere understood that would be unconstitutional, violating 2A. EVERYONE understood that. Some thought, maybe, if they cheated and lied well enough, they could slip through a *TAX* on machine guns and other icky weapons. So here comes a tax of 3-4 times the price of the item purchased, which also buys a foothold in the weapons registry game, the first goal of every would-be tyrant, both then and now. Are we sly, or what!!??

    3. avatar Someone says:

      There is a way to legally ban machineguns. (It was used for banning sale, import and production of alcohol. And then again, to cancel the ban.) Forcing an exorbitant tax and registration and then disabling the mechanism to follow the law, pay the tax and register, is not it. That’s stinky foul cheating.

      If machine guns (or semi auto rifles for that matter) are so hated by the American public, it shouldn’t be a problem to pass a constitutional amendment banning them. In other words – put up or shut up, gun grabber!

  5. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’m still pissed at Ronnie for signing that crap. And Hughes for sneaking it in that bill.
    Bills/laws/resolutions, etc., should be singular in their focus.
    No pork, no special interests, no bridges to nowhere.
    Why the f#$k does Hawaii have an interestate freeway? Pork.

    1. avatar Road guy says:

      Hawaii has an interstate because it needs a highway.

      Being called an interstate just means it complies with the national highway standards set forth in the interstate highway act.

      God forbid we have a way to move tanks/ equipment and men around our outpost in the Pacific..

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        Road guy, serious question –

        As electric vehicles become more prevalent on public roads, how do they plan on collecting road use money, privacy-invading GPS logs that can also used to issue retroactive speeding tickets? Because that data will be right *there* for the harvesting (among other things)…

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          It is a question being asked in other parts of the world since fuel taxes were used to cover maintenance of the roads (and also mostly for general revenue). With a slowing of the sales of traditional fuel vehicles and increased take up of electric vehicles, where does the money for road maintenance come from?

        2. avatar Someone says:

          In some European countries they measure time between electronic toll stations to calculate the average speed and automatically send ticket if it’s higher than posted speed limit.

    2. avatar Jared says:

      In all fairness, Alaska and Hawaii have an “interstate highway” system because they also pay federal gas taxes.

      Surely it would be wrong to have them pay a national gas tax and not benefit from that money.

      1. avatar Road guy says:

        Quite fair.

        That said if you don’t think national security was the reason Ike pushed for the interstates you’re uneducated, or misinformed.

        1. avatar Reason says:

          Correct. All federal highways were designed to allow transport of tanks and such and the corridor wide enough to be a runway for planes with the bridges and overpasses spaced far enough apart.

    3. avatar arc says:

      Last time I was in Hawaii, it was just called the H3, or State Highway 3, rather than interstate. It hits all the same standards and has some great views. No cops or traffic most of the time so you can go as fast as you want.

    4. avatar 9x39 says:

      Anyone who knew of Ronnie’s history, specifically Cali guv history during the Watts riots, ought to have realized his proclivities to ignoring the Constitution & Bill of Rights. I claim ignorance. I was too young to vote at the time anyway, and 11 yr. old kids don’t need their heads filled with that sort of thing, except in times of impending, or actual war.

      1. avatar Hillbilly says:

        Oh Saint Ronnie loved him some gun control. But since he was a Republican it was ok according to the commenters here. The irony is he asked the NRA to sign the bill and they said yes. Can’t fully fault him for that one. Now open carry in California, especially if you are black well just read the history.

        1. avatar 9x39 says:

          Nailed it. We’ve been stabbed in the back by both, with only a small disparity in the numbers by one party over the other.

          I’m a one issue, William Wallace minded sort of guy these days. Freedom. Absolutely nothing less.

  6. avatar strych9 says:

    “Ever since the election of Barack Obama fueled appetites for anti-government conspiracy theories…”

    Riiiiiight. Because before Obama everyone trusted the government. Especially after they found out about MKUltra, MKDelta, Project Artichoke etc.

    Nothing makes me me want to give up my guns more than the warm, fuzzy feeling I get from the thought of being dosed on 2000μg or more of LSD against my will, or exposed to BZ for unethical testing purposes.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      so that’s what, like, a four way blotter, half a sheet of windowpane and five or six microdots?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Somewhere on the order of four to five hits of what Hunter S. Thompson would have called “high powered blotters acid” at that 2000μg mark.

        My understanding is that the intent was usually to use the equivalent of five hits but that as time went on the dose went up to as much as five times that much. Over time getting dosed was common enough that it was considered an “occupational hazard” for some people at CIA.

        Later they moved on to experimenting with other “super hallucinogens” because the effects of acid were too unpredictable for field use.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          *blotter, not blotters. Apologies to Mr. Thompson.

    2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      Geeze, ‘ARTICHOKE’ sounds like a real horror, some of it included forced opiate addiction, followed by forced withdrawal as a fucking ‘interrogation method’…

      *shudder* 🙁

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Actually some of that stuff is on the “friendly” side.

        A lot of people talk about “mind control” because the concept of a “Manchurian Candidate” is somehow alluring for storytelling. The really nasty shit is where they moved from trying to control someone’s mind to actively trying to permanently destroy someone’s mind.

        Things so obviously immoral that they dared not do any of them within US jurisdiction. That shit gets really sick really, really fast. The actual stated goal being to extract information and leave the person alive but a useless husk, the latter portion not being a “side effect” but rather part of the design.

        1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          “The actual stated goal being to extract information and leave the person alive but a useless husk, the latter portion not being a “side effect” but rather part of the design.”

          So that’s where Tom Clancy got the idea to use a scuba hyperbaric chamber to torture a drug dealer to give up his sources. In the book, ‘Without Remorse’, his technique was to put him under atmosphere pressure in the chamber equal to that of a deep dive, let him get acclimated to it, and when Clark didn’t like the answers he was getting, just open a valve to release the pressure, instantly ‘bending’ him as the dissolved nitrogen boiled out of his bloodstream into his joints. And when he was done with him, put him under even more pressure then suddenly dumped it back to ambient.

          In the book, that was supposed to seriously permanently cripple him and make him go blind. And brain-damage him. Then they dumped him at an ER.

          A useless ‘husk’ of a human.

          A pretty brutal scene. The movie for ‘Without Remorse’ is supposed to be released in few months.

          Clancy was reputed to have very high-level friends in the CIA, FBI, et. cetera, who told him ‘war stories’ of some of the things they did in the past. It’s one of Clancy’s better books, you might enjoy it…

          https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/21/entertainment/michael-b-jordan-without-remorse-trnd/index.html

  7. avatar burley says:

    not one more inch.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      No one is going to comply at this point. Not enough to make a difference.

  8. avatar enuf says:

    In the Las Vegas Massacre, the killer’s use of Bump Stocks saved lives.

    Firing into a large crowd in an enclosed area he fired 1057 rounds, striking 471 people. He managed to miss 55% of the time. The reason he missed so many times was the Bump Stocks, and his own ignorance of firearms. Had he known what he was doing, had he not employed that accuracy destroying toy, he could have fired far fewer rounds and killed a great many more people. His ignorance of firearms caused him to do far less harm than he actually did and the rapid fire and instability of a Bump Stock greatly reduced the carnage.

    1. avatar Road guy says:

      This is an effective argument for what exactly?

      Shit like this is what makes it so hard to convince people gun culture isn’t all crazy people.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        I am well aware of how it sounds to those with anti-gun leanings. I have had this discussion with close friends who are very liberal on most issues, card carrying Democrats in fact. Getting past the “image” and the “visuals” to concentrate and work on facts, causes and effects, is never an easy discussion.

        It can be a successful one however, as my very liberal leaning friends no longer object to my owning AR-15’s (more than one) and a shotgun that takes a bayonet. Along with carrying a concealed handgun, even into their homes.

        But yeah, for the deeply Hoplophobic, for those too far submerged in the cultural statement that firearms are the cause of bad human behaviors, what I wrote will push their emotional buttons and light their emotional fuses.

        As citing facts and inconvenient truths to any deeply partisan person always does.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Roadie, for anyone with sense, it makes a GREAT argument for simple compliance with the Constitution. Despite all the gnashing of teeth in the effort to get your way in goals you had long before Vegas (like, outlaw all things firearm wherever you can find an excuse), this argument makes it obvious that nothing would have been accomplished by the prohibiting of bump stocks prior to Vegas, and nothing has been accomplished by banning them since.

  9. avatar Darkman says:

    These people remind me of an animal we had on the farm back in the early 70’s. For the most part it was a good animal. Unfortunately it developed a bad habit which made it non conducive to farm life. After many attempts to train the offending activity out of it. We came to the conclusion it had to go. Living in a rural area where sustainable farming was the norm. Made it difficult to find a new place for it because of the offending habit. After much discussion amongst the family. The offending animal made the long walk into the deep woods. Never to return. Sometimes the choice is hard. Like Anti 2A zealots their behavior can’t be untrained and isn’t conducive to the Ideals of Freedom. They aren’t a whole lot different than a chicken killing dog.

    1. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

      Was it a rooster? I’ve had lots of problems with roosters

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        By the phrasing, it sounded to me like a farm dog…

    2. avatar anonymous4goodreason says:

      Eloquently put Darkman. Shame you had to put down the dog though. I’d have probably just bought more chickens. Love my dogs! Antis on the other hand…not so much.

  10. avatar Dan W says:

    I agree, machine guns and assault rifles should be treated the exact same. Just gotta repeal the nfa first.

    1. avatar burley says:

      No, we just need to proseecute the Second Amendment as written; and execute any government agent, elected or appointed, who won’t.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Burley, reread. That is basically what he said. Enforcing 2A as written instantly kills NFA. That would also eliminate any questions of bump stocks, since all semis would be select fire within a couple weeks.

  11. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Word salad.

  12. avatar DerryM says:

    As I read Weinstein’s quoted words I saw an implicit chain of progression from semi-auto firearms mechanisms to repeating firearms mechanisms of any sort to any cartridge fed weapon that does not require manually inserting a cartridge after every discharge to the banning of cartridge fed weapons to muzzle loading weapons, then from electric ignition systems to percussion caps to flintlocks to match locks to wheel locks to no firearms at all. {His “logic” could be extended easily to any device that casts a potentially lethal projectile of any kind, that can be cast manually, and more…a reductio ad absurdum of sorts.}

    Possibly, my vivid imagination got away from me…possibly not.

    It is never the device or object or appendage that decides to kill, maim, injure, or threaten…it is the consciousness that wields that device or object or appendage.

    1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      A common trope I’m hearing from the ‘grabbers’ nowadays is that “there are *far* too many guns in America”. I’m convinced they are brainstorming ways they can use to accomplish that goal…

  13. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

    Machine guns actually never wrought any murder, it was the gangsters using them because of the bootlegging because of the ban on alcohol, and the reason they restricted them was not because of a gang gunning down a bunch of innocents but because of one gang gunning down another gang.

    As for this claim about anti-government conspiracy theories under Barack Obama, that’s pretty rich considering how under Bush, all we seemed to hear ad nauseam from the Left was how Bush was trying to make the country a fascist tyranny and was Hitler.

    1. avatar My2cents says:

      Isn’t that what they’re still doing with Trump?

      1. avatar WI Patriot says:

        Without a doubt…

      2. avatar Someone says:

        And as they would do with anybody else who is not a card carrying leftist.

  14. avatar Prndll says:

    Well I have never sympathized with David Koresh. I merely acknowledge that there are those willing to die for a cause they believe in.

    AR15’s are not assault weapons. This is part of what the Clinton’s, the media, and the liberal left have done to this nation.

    Even on the battle field, the only practical use for anything full auto or machine gun is suppressive fire providing cover against an enemy firing back. That doesn’t make it right to ban its possession. I don’t believe it would even be a consideration were it not for the gangster activity of the 1920’s. Which is something in itself that would not have happened without prohibition.

    There is evil in the world. The evil is not the gun. The gun is but one of many tools available to both sides. If that balance of power is not maintained, evil will win. Humanity alone is not strong enough.

  15. avatar WI Patriot says:

    Regulate away, it won’t stop ownership and/or possession of such guns/weapons…
    All “regulating” will do is send the guns/weapons underground, and bolster the black market, but by all means, pass some more “feel good” legislation…

  16. avatar DesertDude says:

    The indiscriminate use of machine guns was a direct result of government heavy-handedness: prohibition. Had prohibition not been enacted, gangsters wouldn’t have slaughtered each other.

    Government intervention ALWAYS results in unforeseen deadly consequences. Just look at this stupid virus lockdown.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Well, that may be a bit ’round the bend, actually. The government resisted the hell out of prohibition, it was forced on them by those citizens demanding it. If the government had delayed allowing the Amendment to be advanced until one more state voted on it, we would have had a Constitutional Convention, wherein the entire Constitution is rewritten. Once the entire nation had installed the Amendment (remember how tough that is!), the government essentially had to stand back and let the disaster happen, resulting in repeal in, what, 13 years or something stupid like that? Which the government did NOT stand in the way of.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      If it wasn’t prohibition it would have been something else.

  17. avatar Texican says:

    Are you sure his name isn’t Billy Madison?

    https://youtu.be/LQCU36pkH7c

  18. avatar CentralVirginian says:

    I like how they mentioned bushmasters separately from AR-15s. I prefer not to have venomous snakes around while I’m handling firearms, unless i have some snakeshot on hand.

    1. avatar Darkman says:

      I specifically bought a Bushmaster because it was considered the original Evil Black Rifle.

  19. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Any one remember what yesterdays date was in our history April 19 th. 1775 was,”The Shot Heard Round The World “,just saying.

    1. avatar Darkman says:

      I brought this up yesterday on this site as well as others. Not 1 story about the most important day in the history of Firearms Rights and Freedom in general for OUR nation. Seems rather sad in these times of assault against the Bill of Rights.
      Keep Your Powder Dry…

  20. avatar possum says:

    my oldest son and I go round and round on the ownership of semi automatics and hi capacity volume of fire. He’s a cop and does not know why I feel the need to process a gunm that can fire 75 rounds without reloading. As we both agree me an my fast shooter will not stop an Abrams tank, or the fact that most dgu’s invoke less then three shots fired. My youngest son, not a cop, can not understand why anyone with the money can not own and use a belt fed bang bang. Has nothing to do with Abrams tank storage but all about, “fck dad, that was fun.” Then I tell him about two ma deuces trying to hit a running turkey, fail. In the end I’d rather have a bolt action rifle that can shoot the eye out of a turkey st four hundred yards then laying lead in hopes of a hit. Do I need a gunm that is full auto, No, should I be prohibited from owning one, absolutely NOT.,,,,,, kinda like cars, the speed limit is 70 why own a car that can run160. Leave Me Alone if I ain’t hurting you

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You told your son about 2 ma deuces trying to hit a running turkey? Did he get a disabling boner? I can buy a damn hot dog if I need something to eat, but that sounds like more fun than most of us old farts could even survive. What a picture in my imagination! And what? $5 a round tearing up the countryside? For a turkey?

    2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “kinda like cars, the speed limit is 70 why own a car that can run160. Leave Me Alone if I ain’t hurting you”

      Preach it, marsupial one… 🙂

    3. avatar Dave G. says:

      possum:
      “Then I tell him about two ma deuces trying to hit a running turkey, fail.”

      I guess I get the joke, but: While I don’t have first-hand knowledge, I read somewhere that ma duces have single-shot capability and (therefore) do not need to spray the countryside while trying to shoot a turkey. Just saying…

  21. avatar MouseGun says:

    I bet this lisping limpdick is one of those people who thinks you can overthrow a hostile regime with Twitter.

  22. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    This fellow seems to think that the primary reason for gun owners wanting to posses guns is for recreation and that if that recreational wish is satisfied they will not oppose confiscation of their weapons. I for one don’t own weapons primarily because I like to shoot. Not even close.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Well, my primary motivation for owning guns (not the only one, but the primary one) was and still is recreation.

      And I am willing to kill people in order to keep my right to have them, if it comes to that. Same as I’m willing to kill anyone who would try to take away my right to make and/or listen to the music I love and/or to read and write whatever I want.

      In some ways, the people who say “it’s just recreation,” like you have no business being upset when they take away something that truly makes you happy, make me even angrier than all the rest.

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        I don’t think I said what it looks like you think I said. And even your response to what you think I said was senseless. It rather seems like you just want to hate people. You deserve that miserable feeling your hate gives you.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          I don’t think I said what YOU think I said. Apologies for not being clear.

          I was merely trying to illustrate that even if it were a question of “just a hobby” (which it’s not really), the calculus doesn’t change much.

          NOBODY has the right to pecksniff everybody else’s free choice away — and with regard to personal freedom and individual rights, it makes little difference whether we come to blows over music or books or the neighborhood sewing circle instead of machine guns and “assault weapons.”

  23. avatar kap says:

    IN peace I prefer a scoped bolt action zeroed too 800 Meters, In war many kinds of weapons, 12 gauge #4 buck preferred for near range (25 yards) up close and personnel a kukri or K-Bar. a side arm of .45 ACP, for a a 300 yard gun I like an M2 Carbine. Non Sibi Sed Patraie

  24. avatar JBS says:

    I’m fine except for the mental discomfort when I remember what horrible choices we will have next Nov. Trump is a crackpot bully whose best quality is being obnoxious. Biden is semi-senile and attempting to buy votes by selling off my liberty to own guns. Come November the best thing I can do is cast a write-in vote for Dead Skunk.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You need to locate better news sources. And Biden is full senile as well as being completely communist.

    2. avatar John Bryan says:

      “…Trump is a crackpot bully whose best quality is being obnoxious…” And? Do you truly believe having a president, the chief of the executive branch of our national government, with these attributes is some sort of existential threat to the entire Republic? A little perspective might help ease your mind, not only have we had much (MUCH!) goofier presidents than the current one, the presidency was never meant to have the level of focus and significance it does today. From the Great War till now we’ve allowed Congress to weasel out of their obligations, shifting the focus onto the Chief Executive so the Congress Critters can dodge any accountability. And sadly every step down the slippery slope has been blessed by the US voters. We’ve dug ourselves quite a hole – hopefully we can climb out – or at least stop digging! – and roll back statism/fascism/progressivism before it’s too late.

    3. avatar Nasty Old Fed says:

      I am a very nasty seventy-three year old retired federal law enforcement how some ever do not mistake age for senility I still remember seeing and hearing with my own eyes and ears former Vice President Joseph Robinette “Joe” Biden bragging about committing a crime on television to wit having a Ukrainian investigative prosecutor who was investigating the extremely corrupt Burisma Holdings Limited is a holding company for a group of energy exploration and production companies. What was even funnier was seeing the currant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Christopher Asher Wray wearing metaphorical sackcloth and ashes and pounding his chest and chanting “I screwed up! I screwed up! I really screwed up!”

  25. avatar AlexTheNewYorkEscapee says:

    Written by Adam Weinstein. I’m sure that’s a big shocker. As the young people hyperbolically like to say, “Every… single… time.”

  26. avatar Wiregrass says:

    “an innovative dogma that insists citizens have a Second Amendment right to carry any weaponry anywhere, without training or licensing.”

    Nothing innovative about it. That’s exactly what it says.

    1. avatar Tired of the bs says:

      Right! I don’t see the word except anywhere in the 2A.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Leave it to a progressive leftist to transform 200+ years of American reality into “innovative dogma” with the wave of a magic utopian wand.

      1. avatar PM in Fl. says:

        Apparently if he does not like something then there is no reason for it’s existence, they name streets for people like this…one way.

  27. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    Typical “progressive” approach to gun control – make the use of “assault weapons” an expensive rental experience that only the affluent can afford, effectively disarming the poor.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      As usual.

  28. avatar pcb_duffer says:

    Since Wednesday marks exactly 20 years, I’ll ask a cynical question: If machine guns are bad, why does the government point them at children?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jim_Goldman_and_Elian_Gonzalez.jpg

    1. avatar Nasty Old Fed says:

      I still remember that whole fiasco like it was just yesterday!! Gentle readers I am a very well trained and very experienced for which you read old as dirt and twice as ugly and now retired federal law enforcement officer whenever I read the words D.N.A. test my very sick and very twisted mind flashes back to the administration former of President William Jefferson “Bubba” Clinton who was not impeached for receiving oral sodomy in the Oval Office from cute young intern it was for perjury. The funniest part of the whole fiasco was that the Clinton Impeachment Defense Team sent a begging letter to her farther Dr. Bernard Salomon Lewinsky a Salvadoran-born American physician and medical researcher. Oral sodomy in the Oval Office does that like something out of CLUE to you?

  29. avatar Anymouse says:

    If the spree shooter who used AR-15s had been using M-16s, they would have ineffectively blown through their ammo faster and killed and wounded fewer people. Unless they used them in semiauto mode, in which case it would have been identical.

  30. avatar Mark N. says:

    The author interestingly failed to mention that there are 638,000 registered machine guns in the US. It seems they aren’t running around killing thousands of people every year. Imagine that. Or that there are millions of ARs and AKs that aren’t mowing down John Q. Public and his wife and children either. Hmm.

  31. avatar Gideon Rockwell says:

    There is no such thing as an assault weapon. Every Sporting arm began life in one form or another as a military arm, which was modified to fit civilian sporting use. Sportsmen and the military demand the same durability qualities in their arms because they move through similar terrain and are exposed to common elements. The AR Carbine has got to be the most popular utility arm to hit the market since the Model 94 Winchester. In the original 5.56 caliber it is an arm that anyone in the family can shoot due to it’s low recoil and adjustable stock. I believe after doing some research the AR Carbine in the relatively new 350 Legend solidifies it’s place as the 21st century successor to the Model 94. In it you have a hard hitting 200 to 250 yard firearm capable of easily taking varmints, hogs and deer, all the while providing a viable defensive arm. The ammo tracks in price right along with the 5.56. If you live way out in the tall and uncut or along the dangerous southern border it is well worth consideration. Just one thing Magpul guys we need a 30 round and a drum for the 350 Legend please.

  32. avatar strych9 says:

    It also occurs to me that this article hits a few points.

    They want to deplete the supply of firearms. At least they’re kinda honest about that.

    But, one wonders if they realize that this kind of thing undercuts other gun control arguments. For example, if the 2A was never historically understood as an individual right then why was Congress so careful to go after reviled gangster guns and not the handguns that were in the original drafts of the NFA?

    Maybe they figured that people who thought the 2A was an individual thing might sue and, given the SCOTUS attitude at the time the Congresscritters figured that was a fight the government would lose?

    1. avatar enuf says:

      My own take on it is that when a person is hoplophobic, they are also idiots on the topic of firearms. They went after scary black rifles because they were most sacred by scary black rifles. Compared to the six shooter wheel guns they were visually and emotionally familiar with from movies and TV shows, those handguns did not seem so scary. But scary black rifles they only see in TV shows and movies in a particular light.

      They react then to the visuals, not the functional workings. Fully ignorant that many semi-auto guns of the distant past (1890 to 1910 era) with wood stocks and popular with hunters and cops and prison guards were always just as deadly and often more “high-powered” than scary black .22 caliber rifles of today.

      I’d love to own a vintage Remington Model 8 in .35 Remington. Along with the 15, 20 and possibly 30 round magazines that were sold in police supply catalogs, A beautiful sporting arm that would totally flummox the hoplophobes in that it (and others like it) are quite “High-powered” but do not look “high-powered” totally on their own visual/emotional cues.

      Yeah, wish we still had a Remington of that quality!

    2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “It also occurs to me that this article hits a few points.

      They want to deplete the supply of firearms. At least they’re kinda honest about that.”

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that as well, over the last year or so.

      Just for grins, I just tossed “too many guns in America” into Google, and look what the first hits are :

      “Shaun King: There Are Too Many Guns In America”

      “Admit the problem: Too many guns are available to anyone in …”

      “Don Mohler: We Just Have Too Many Guns – Maryland Matters”

      ” America is infected with a virus of ‘too many guns in the wrong hands’: OPINION.”

      “Too many guns and too little respect for human life”

      “Does America have too many guns? – Quora”

      “There Are Too Many Guns in America – Free Press of …”

      “… would do much more than put a modest dent in the problem, and for a simple reason: there are just too many guns floating around. In total, Americans possess …”

      “Inside The Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns | GQ”

      “There are too many guns in America. Americans own more …”

      “Slipknot’s Corey Taylor: ‘There Are Too Many F-cking Guns in …”

      “Bernie Sanders campaign manager: There’s too many guns on the streets of America …”

      “America: Too many guns, too little will to change. Newtown, Connecticut, joins a rollcall of towns whose names become synonymous with violent …”

      Kinda interesting the similarity in phrasing, don’t you think? Almost like they were told to say that…

      The only problem is proving the obvious we all know, that more guns, means less violent crime.

  33. NO matter how many restrictions you place on “assault style weapons” the BAD GUY WILL HAVE THEM, THEY WILL EITHER STEAL THEM OR MAKE THEM and what is worse use them on a now defenseless public. And with a registry have a place to steal them and a government keeping tabs on us all.

  34. avatar Hannibal says:

    It’s hard to know without thoroughly looking into the issue but I bet if machineguns were owned to the extent that “assault rifles” (semi-automatic rifles with a detachable magazine) are owned today, those laws would never have gotten off the ground.

  35. avatar Paladin says:

    They empty the prisons in the name of humanity because of a flu bug, but close down gun stores so people can’t buy the protection from the scourge the politicians unleash!
    Notice all the large democrat state and cities are the sewer vomit of this country! Vote red or this country is dead! Vote for convention of states!
    Carry every day!🇺🇸👍

  36. avatar RGS says:

    You want to regulate/ban assault weapons? Sure makes sense, assault weapons kill 150,000,000 Americans (according to Joe Biden). Now to define what an assault weapon is. Let’s start easy, the AR-15, AK-47, and similar style guns, you know the ones that look scary. Tomorrow, we’ll modify the description to cover pump action shotguns and semiautomatic pistols. The next day, lever action rifles, bolt action rifles, and revolvers. We keep refining the description until all that are left are squirt guns, but don’t worry, we’ll get those next month.

  37. avatar sarky says:

    And WHO get to define what an assault weapon is??? As far as I am concerned, there is only ONE entity that is qualified to define the term, and that is the Military! Not some dumb assed politician, not some politicians stooge, and most certainly not some activist group who doesn’t know shit about firearms!

  38. avatar Nasty Old Fed says:

    I do not want to be mean about this but I still own six assorted sub-machine guns a M.A.C. 10 in .45 A.C.P. with a suppressor, a M.A.C. 11 in 380 A.C.P. a Thompson in .45 A.C.P. a H&K MP-5 and a Uzi both 9mm Luger and I am sad to say that I had to sell my trusty M-60 in 7.62mm N.A.T.O. because I too old to carry it any more.

  39. Since Assault Rifles are capable of fully automatic fire, they are machine guns and therefore already regulated in the same way as other machine guns.

  40. avatar Derek Cadarn says:

    Proving yet again that the Left knows nothing about firearms. To be considered an assault weapon selective firefighting full auto fire must be a function of the weapon. Therefore assault weapons are already covered by existing law. Please note that those laws are unConstitutional.

    1. avatar GomeznSA says:

      Derek – sigh – there is no ‘legal’ nor military definition of “assault weapon”. There is a military definition for “assault RIFLE” (coined by adolf). Using the antis ‘favorite’ term plays into their hands. That term is being misused on a daily basis and is a major contributor to the confusion among non-gun savvy folks. That is what it was intended to do when joshsugarmann invented it back in the mid ’80s

  41. avatar Karl Verger says:

    It is time to put some common sense restriction on the Press.

  42. avatar Uncle Fink says:

    This cartoon says it all:
    https://i.imgur.com/KPeDV5A.jpg

  43. avatar Richard B Jones says:

    “When machine guns were banned, revulsion against them and the violence they wrought was already a consensus social norm. Because of their cost and the carnage they sowed, they were seen almost exclusively as the province of armies and gangsters.”

    Here’s a good history: https://whowhatwhy.org/2019/03/07/how-america-fell-out-of-love-with-machine-guns/

  44. avatar Paladin says:

    Let’s put the same restrictions on their 1st amendment rights as the do on the 2nd! Permit needed, prints, local as well as federal approval, no speech zones with felony charges. Training and competence testing, drug and mental evaluation! After all it does not say “shall not be infringed “

  45. avatar Mr. J says:

    The author is a true idiot who fails to understand something absolutely FUNDAMENTAL:

    The TYPE of firearm has no bearing on the INTENT of the user to commit a crime with it.

    If that were the case, then the dominant types of weapons used in the commission of crimes would be illegally converted machineguns.

    The reality is that if a person can be trusted with any gun, then that person can be trusted with any OTHER gun. And, if a person can not be trusted with any given gun, then he can’t be trusted with absolutely ANY gun at all.

    There is no such thing as a gun that, because it is a certain type, in a certain category, convinces you that you should commit a crime with it.

    The author is also factually incorrect about his assertion that regulation has depleted the supply of available REAL machineguns. In actual fact the number of those in existence in the civilian market has simply not changed to any appreciable degree since the restriction on further manufacture of them was enacted as of the May 1986 ban on them as part of the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act, via the Hughes Amendment, which was wrongly added to that act via a deliberately mis-heard voice vote while Charlie Rangel was presiding over that late night house session. The amendment failed, OBVIOUSLY, on a voice vote, but Rangel “heard” it pass by voice vote which was just another fraudulent action committed by a thoroughly corrupt liberal democrat.

    If you wish to pay the higher price tag, and file the forms, and pay the 200 dollar tax stamp, you, too, can have a real machinegun, LEGALLY, (in most states) if you also pass the background check.

    In actual fact, the correct answer is to get rid of all laws regulating the TYPE of firearms you have. Machineguns should not be regulated, nor should any other NFA category.

    Because…it doesn’t matter what you HAVE. ALL that matters is what you do with it.

    A violent criminal with a revolver is a greater threat than a law abiding and responsible citizen with his own armory full of machineguns. That’s a fact.

    It’s not the gun. It’s the person who has it that is what you should be looking at.

    In actual fact, when you look at the political leanings of those who have been arrested and convicted for crimes of violence, you’ll find that the large majority of them are left leaning and if they have an actual party affiliation, they’re usually democrats.

    So, in order to reduce gun crime, all we need to do is ban democrats from possessing, using, or having any contact with firearms. The democdratic mindset is irresponsible and unreasoning and they would be best served by letting responsible, forward thinking conservatives protect them.

  46. avatar anonymous4goodreason says:

    Not really a good history. Seems like spin to me. I wasn’t around at the time but since the violence was largely occurring in Chicago I find it difficult to believe that revulsion was the “consensus social norm”. This is a perfect example of the victors writing the history. Even if the premise is true and revulsion was the “consensus social norm”, the constitution forbids such laws as “infringement”. This is not a democracy, just in case you need to be reminded.

    1. avatar anonymous4goodreason says:

      My previous reply was to Richard B Jones. Don’t know how it ended up here? TTAG?

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