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“My own view is that there’s no way to make assault rifle bans effective. It’s an ineffective law, it’s an ineffective goal, it’s an ineffective policy that’s mostly about symbolism and not about substance. The truth is assault weapons are used very infrequently in crimes. I think there is a grand total of about 300 people a year who die from rifles of any sort––assault or otherwise.” – UCLA Professor Adam Winkler in Will Hillary Clinton Take Away Our Guns? [via]


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  1. Very nice of him to admit that. It would be even more honest of him to frame that with the statistic that about 600 people are beaten to death each year, using only bare hands.

  2. “An ineffective policy that’s mostly about symbolism” could describe most gun control measures (and many other gov’t measures). But, just because a policy mostly worthless doesn’t mean it’s not going to get promoted or implemented, especially if it makes the policy supporters feel good about themselves…

    • My exact thought. He’s right that an assault weapon ban is a ridiculous infringement targeting a tiny minority of violence, but that’s hardly the only gun control measure by that description. What about the whole “terrorist watch list” proposal being touted as “just common sense”? How many people have actually been killed since the list’s inception with firearms legally purchased by someone on the list? I’ve found one. ONE. If the media had any integrity they’d be screaming that from the rooftops.

  3. He’s missing the point, like most of the gun community is missing the point. The anti-gunners don’t respond to logic and facts. We cannot win with that approach.

    Here’s the deal: Every single day more people are killed in inner city and domestic violence than the people killed in any mass shooting, but that we are so inured by that “everyday violence” it barely makes the news anymore and most of the populace thinks it happens to other people, not people like them. They think it happens to black and poor people, people they only pretend to care about. They are wrong, but that’s the perception.

    But mass shootings with “assault rifles” at theaters, malls and schools make the news and happen at places middle and upper class people and their families go. Also, it’s not predictable. People who do mass shootings seem “normal” until they “snap.” So the mainstream population chooses to attack the tools used these shootings, hoping that will be a quick fix. They are deluded, but logic and facts will not straighten them out.

    • “We cannot win with that approach.”

      We COULD win with that approach if pro-gun lawmakers had the balls to ridicule Democrats and especially the media on a regular basis. Democrats love to see themselves as ‘the party of science’, but in reality they ignore any data that destroys their argument.

      Unfortunately people the MSM are forced to give airtime to (McConnell, Boehner, and now Ryan) are too cowardly to use that airtime to rip the media/Democrats a new one for their lunacy.

  4. At least we got one to finally admit it. I don’t think that he ever clearly comes out and states he is opposed to a ban though.

  5. He better be careful lest he get the Matt Lauer treatment. The progressive do not tolerate any deviation from the orthodoxy.

  6. And that’s the total deaths, including criminals shot in the act and suicides.

    Just for prospective, a beer flood in 1812 Britain killed more people (8) as a percent of population (~12 million) than criminals with rifles did in the 2015 United States.

    • In Boston, Mass, in 1919, a massive storage tank (50 feet tall, 90 feet in diameter) filled with 2,300,000 U.S. gallons of *molasses* catastrophically failed allowing a 25 foot high wall of the hot sugary syrup (had to be hot so it would flow in piping) to flood the streets of Boston, killing 21 and injuring 150 people.

      Beer, molasses, something is gonna kill ya….

      • WTF was somebody planning to do with a molasses pipeline? That’s amazing. 2.3 million gallons would do up a bunch of pancakes, huh? And already hot!

  7. No. It’s not about symbolism. It IS about substance. That substance is complete civilian disarmament. They have to get rid of the rifles before they can get rid of the handguns.

    Gun control has NOTHING to do with crime control. They know it and we know it. We just need to let the masses know it.

  8. Take a look at this *very* interesting tid-bit in the article:

    “The next president will probably have the chance to appoint a few Supreme Court justices. How would a new court affect gun issues?

    There are quite a few [active] cases dealing with gun issues. If the Supreme Court was prepared to overturn the Heller case [which established that people had the right to own handguns], and declare there was no right to bear arms in the Constitution, they’re gonna have plenty of opportunities to do that. My sense is that the justices are unlikely to overturn Heller. I think there’s a considerable fear among the liberal justices that such a ruling would cause a backlash that would lead to possibly even a constitutional amendment providing even stronger protections.”


    I certainly can see that playing out, since we have very long memories.

    But I can easily also see a liberal SCOTUS framing decisions in ways that play lip-service to the 2A while gutting it in actual application.

    But that’s just my paranoid distrustful of the left side talking…

    • I suppose Progressives might choose to leave U.S. Appellate and Supreme Court rulings in their current state if they suddenly achieved a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court. For one thing, East and West Coast Progressives are somewhat satisfied with their effective bans on concealed carry, modern sporting rifles, and magazine capacities in their entrenched geographic centers. The fact that such things are good-to-go in “flyover country” is not very much of a concern to them.

      Second of all, Progressives thrive on chaos and uncertainty. The current legal landscape is rife with chaos and uncertainty when it comes to firearm laws which allows Progressives to draw things out for several years … and repeat the same laws and challenges over and over across various jurisdictions. That uncertainty means firearms rights proponents are also quite often reluctant to challenge something … which again works in favor of Progressives.

      Having said all that, I have a hard time believing that Progressives would be able to restrain themselves if Hillary wins the election because Democrats are virtually guaranteed to achieve a majority in the House and Senate (on Hillary’s coattails) as in every Presidential election. That would also mean prompt appointments and confirmation of Progressive judges to various federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. After all, Progressives already have their “universal health care” and ginormous, crippling national debt. What else would be a higher priority for Progressives than packing all the federal courts with anti-gun judges?

      And before anyone claims that Progressives would first try to pass various laws to make various firearms illegal, they would be wise to install anti-gun judges to ensure that the courts would uphold challenges to their subsequent unconstitutional bans. Furthermore, there would be less controversy surrounding confirmation of those appointed justices if there were no new sweeping bans on the books.

      • “Democrats are virtually guaranteed to achieve a majority in the House and Senate (on Hillary’s coattails) as in every Presidential election.”

        Current projections show that’s likely not gonna happen. The House is considered safe, and the Senate may be as well, at least as far as overriding a presidential veto.

        She won’t have a free hand like Obama did to cram down ObamaCare…

        • Not only that, but statistically, a strong “coattail” effect is not that common. There have only been a handful of modern presidential elections that have shown that pattern.

          Often, if it looks like one presidential candidate is going to beat the snot out of the other one, there’s a counter-balancing effect that starts to show up, where people in the middle vote for the opposite party in down-ballot elections in an effort to keep a landslide winner in check. Only the die-hards of each party really want to see one-party rule; most Americans prefer divided government as a (perceived, though not always actual) check on political power.

    • constitutional amendment providing even stronger protections.”

      Here’s a possibility: “Any officeholder or newsman who proposes to restrict any citizen’s access to any sort of weapon may be executed at will by any armed citizen, at any time, in any place, for the rest of his or her life.”

  9. I second Quasimofo’s earlier comment …

    “It’s an ineffective law, it’s an ineffective goal, it’s an ineffective policy that’s mostly about symbolism and not about substance.”

    This applies to much of, if not most government activity.

  10. I don’t trust Adam Winkler any further than I can spit, and this statement is simply a means to an end. Perhaps it’s his way of saying the gun grabbers need to focus on a singular strategy like UBCs or the terrorist watch list or magazine limits. Take yer pick.

    There is a mountain of data, much of it compiled and summarized by our own government agencies, to prove the 1994 AWB accomplished squat. And any serious attempt at a new ban in Congress would crash headfirst into that data.

    Today there are also many, many more owners of semi-auto rifles than there were in 1994, and the outcry would be much, much louder.

    • Curtis in IL,

      “And any serious attempt at a new ban in Congress would crash headfirst into that data.”

      We just talked about this in the last two days: facts (data) are irrelevant to Progressives because they decide what to do based on altruism, fantasy, and emotion.

      “Today there are also many, many more owners of semi-auto rifles than there were in 1994, and the outcry would be much, much louder.”

      I don’t think Progressives would care about any outcry, either. They certainly have shown no concern for any outcry in California or New York.

      • I was alluding to the fact that “outcriers” vote. In 1994, I had no idea what an “assault weapon” was, legally or otherwise. The law didn’t affect me directly and I honestly don’t even know how my Congressman at the time voted on it.

        Today, I know better, and so do millions of owners of rifles that were once contraband. And I’ll be watching my elected representatives very, very closely.

        You correctly assert that in certain states, gun owners are still outnumbered by urban hoplophobes.

  11. As a group, Progressives do not tolerate disloyalty in their ranks, especially when the act of disloyalty is admitting that the Progressive talking points are lies. Progressives are a vindictive people and they are becoming increasingly violent. I wonder if he will manage to keep his job after this…or if he will want to keep his job after the first of many bricks hit him.

    • Are progressives as vindictive as gun owners when they find out a certain “gun writer” is voting for Hildebeast?

    • Winkler is a tenured law school professor. Ther eis no risk he will lose his day job. He acts as an expert witness on the side with respect to hand gun control laws, and especially concealed carry virtual bans. There is no indication that he has changed his mind on those issues, and his assistance in these matter s will continue to be sought.

  12. Smart people doing their own research and not listening to Progressive propaganda will come to the same conclusion that gun control is a hoax… as I have.

  13. A couple of clarifications: Statutorily defined “assault weapons” are not limited to rifles. Rifles, shotguns, AND handguns can qualify as “assault weapons,” depending on their features, but the features are inconsistent. You can have bayonet lug on a shotgun or a handgun (even an long pistol with an arm brace) but not a rifle. You can have a threaded barrel on a shotgun, but not a handgun or rifle. A handgun is subject to a maximum weight limit, but a shotgun or rifle isn’t.

    Also, the anti-gunners are distinguishing between assault weapons and magazine capacity. They are figuring out that vertical grips and barrel shrouds don’t mean squat, but limiting magazines is a great way to impair self-defense capabilities.

    It is true that they won’t “take away your guns” in the most technical sense: grandfathering and magazine bans are the tools they plan to use to impair 2nd amendment rights.

      • From the Wikipedia article on the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban:

        Criteria of an assault weapon
        Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

        Folding or telescoping stock
        Pistol grip
        Bayonet mount
        Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
        Grenade launcher mount

        Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

        Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
        Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash suppressor, handgrip, or suppressor
        Barrel shroud safety feature that prevents burns to the operator
        Unloaded weight of 50 oz (1.4 kg) or more
        A semi-automatic version of a fully automatic firearm.

        Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of the following:

        Folding or telescoping stock
        Pistol grip
        Detachable magazine.

  14. Winkler is still a gun grabber, just a more radical gun grabber than you think he is.

    He concluded that banning a subset of guns is unproductive, which is his argument for banning all guns. All of them. By whatever means necessary.


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