In a stunning op-ed released Friday, the NY Times finally admitted that “assault weapons” are a made-up political term fabricated by anti-gun Democrats.
Op-ed writer Lois Beckett also admitted that once the term was manufactured and used to outlaw a class of weapons that dishonest anti-gun Democrats had used to con an entire nation, nothing happened.
It was much the same in the early 1990s when Democrats created and then banned a category of guns they called “assault weapons.” America was then suffering from a spike in gun crime and it seemed like a problem threatening everyone. Gun murders each year had been climbing: 11,000, then 13,000, then 17,000.
Democrats decided to push for a ban of what seemed like the most dangerous guns in America: assault weapons, which were presented by the media as the gun of choice for drug dealers and criminals, and which many in law enforcement wanted to get off the streets.
This politically defined category of guns — a selection of rifles, shotguns and handguns with “military-style” features — only figured in about 2 percent of gun crimes nationwide before the ban.
Handguns were used in more than 80 percent of murders each year, but gun control advocates had failed to interest enough of the public in a handgun ban. Handguns were the weapons most likely to kill you, but they were associated by the public with self-defense. (In 2008, the Supreme Court said there was a constitutional right to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense.)
Banning sales of military-style weapons resonated with both legislators and the public: Civilians did not need to own guns designed for use in war zones.
On Sept. 13, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law. It barred the manufacture and sale of new guns with military features and magazines holding more than 10 rounds. But the law allowed those who already owned these guns — an estimated 1.5 million of them — to keep their weapons.
The policy proved costly. Mr. Clinton blamed the ban for Democratic losses in 1994. Crime fell, but when the ban expired, a detailed study found no proof that it had contributed to the decline.
They created and then banned a class of weapons.
“Assault weapons” is a made-up term, used to scare citizens into thinking that military weapons were commonly being sold and used on the streets of the United States. Thanks to a dishonest and incompetent media, millions of Americans thought (and still think) that machine guns could simply be purchased at the local gun store. The reality that the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act outlawed the manufacture of automatic weapons for the civilian market in 1986, was always hushed up.
Yes, it has been 28 years since a single machine gun was manufactured for the American public. There are no assault rifles being sold in the United States. There are only firearms that look like weapons of war, but which lack their ability to fire multiple shots with a single pull of the trigger.
These firearms—AR-15s, AKMs and similar rifles—while incredibly popular with America’s law-abiding gun culture, simply aren’t used in many crimes. This should be surprising, since they are now among the most popular firearms sold in the United States in the past decade. The AR-15, in particular, is the most popular rifle sold in the United States year after year, and there are ten times as many in civilian hands as there are visually similar M4/M16 assault rifles in the entire U.S military.
But career criminals don’t want long guns. They want firearms that are compact and easy to conceal.
The op-ed concludes that violent homicides are primarily a poverty issue disproportionately concentrated among small groups of particularly violent young men, a stunning and rare admission that poverty and the drug trade are the primary problem driving murder, not access to firearms.
Don’t expect this sort of stunning admission of the facts to mark a change in cover from the Times, however. The brief bout of lucidity will quickly fade behind the veil of Alzheimer’s liberalism, and we’ll hear the rest of the deranged gaggle of op-ed writers to quickly fall back into the mantra of “Guns are bad, the NRA is evil, we need more taxes, government, citizen control, etc.”
Still… it’s nice to see that every once in a while a real and honest thought can escape from the morass of Manhattan, however fleeting that honest thought may be.