Anti-gunners need to chill on assault weapon ban

Anti-gunners need to chill on assault weapon ban
AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

So-called assault weapons are treated as if they’re the worst things in the world. Millions of them exist in private hands in this country and, at most, a few of them are used for horrific purposes each year.

Yet many want to enact assault weapon bans despite this simple fact.

It seems, for example, some are working toward that end right now.

America has heard it hundreds of times, including this week after shootings in Colorado and Virginia: The president wants to sign into law a ban on high-powered guns that have the capacity to kill many people very quickly.

“The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. Just sick,” Biden said. “I’m going to try to get rid of assault weapons.”

After the mass killing on November 19 at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, he said in a statement: “When will we decide we’ve had enough? … We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off America’s streets.”

When Biden and other lawmakers talk about “assault weapons,” they are using an inexact term to describe a group of high-powered guns or semi-automatic long rifles, like an AR-15, that can fire 30 rounds fast without reloading. By comparison, New York Police Department officers carry a handgun that shoots about half that much.

Not exactly true.

NYPD officers are issued the Glock 19. While Glocks don’t come with a 30-round magazine as standard, they can be had, which means they can lay down the exact same number of rounds quickly.

It may seem like a minor quibble, but it matters since it also shows just how ridiculous this focus on AR-15s and similar rifles actually is.

Moving on…

A weapons ban is far off in a closely divided Congress. But Biden and the Democrats have become increasingly emboldened in pushing for stronger gun controls — and doing so with no clear electoral consequences.

Just over half of voters want to see nationwide gun policy made more strict, according to AP VoteCast, an extensive survey of more than 94,000 voters nationwide conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago. About 3 in 10 want gun policy kept as is. Only 14% prefer looser gun laws.

And those voters need to cool their jets.

You see, what’s not mentioned anywhere in this article is the impact the Bruen decision has had and will have on gun control efforts. In that decision, a new test was laid out that any gun control proposal has to satisfy in order to be considered constitutional.

Basically, it has to have some analog to a law in effect during the time of the Founding Fathers. The closest anyone has come is anti-Bowie knife regulations, which really are too late to be useful for an assault weapon ban.

So while anti-gunners are routinely sure of the righteousness of their cause, they should take a moment and wait and see what the Supreme Court ultimately rules on assault weapon bans. It’s really only a matter of time before they take up such a case.

And, as things currently stand, they’re not going to like what happens.