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the stupidity of assault weapon bans, illustrated

I have two rifles. For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to them as Rifle A:

… and Rifle B:

Both rifles use “military calibers” – Rifle A eats a round adopted by the military in 1963 (the 5.56x45mm NATO) and Rifle B employs one that has been around since 1954 (the 7.62x51mm NATO).

In fact, both rifles are civilian-legal clones of still-serving military hardware – Rifle A is technically the predecessor of the omnipresent M-16, and Rifle B is a copy of the venerable (and repeatedly resurrected) M-14. The only significant differences between my rifles and those employed by the military is that mine are incapable of automatic/burst/repeat fire.

Both rifles are magazine-fed – with their capacities solely limited by your budget, and ranging from a single round to a hundred and beyond.

Both rifles’ magazines are as common as water – and found, and made, in nearly as many places.

Both rifles will shoot as quickly as their operators can pull the trigger – at least until those magazines are depleted.

Both rifles can reliably hit man-sized targets over five football fields away – assuming the user is likewise up to the task.

Both rifles are designed for ease of in-field repairs, adjustments, and modifications – and while Rifle A has far more options in the matters, both can be reduced to their component parts with the simplest of tools.

Both rifles employ nearly identical actions – semi-automatic, gas-operated, rotating bolts.

Both rifles are produced by similar manufacturers – many of which who have had or still held government contracts to manufacture the same.

However, despite all of those similarities, Rifle B shoots a larger bullet (both in terms of diameter and weight – 150 grains versus 62), farther (effective at 1000+ yards, versus 600), and with more energy (2584 ft*lbf versus 1303 ft*lbf).

All this said and done with, one of these rifles was/is banned, and one of them is not. Which is which?

While it is arguably the more dangerous and destructive of the two, if you guessed Rifle B, you would be wrong.

Rifle A was banned under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, and is still banned under the California Assault Weapon Ban, and yet Rifle B was, and is, wholly permissable under both. Why? Well, Rifle A has too many “dangerous” features: detachable magazines in addition to a telescoping stock, a pistol grip, and a threaded barrel (with a flash suppressor attached) – four strikes against it, when only two are needed. Rifle B has none of those features, and is thus allowable under law.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the “Assault Weapon Bans”, in both of their incarnations, were absolutely and completely idiotic. We all know that the cosmetic features banned in the AWB, including the 10-round magazine limit, had no bearing on those firearms’ efficacy or deadliness. We all know that the Assault Weapon Ban had absolutely no discernable impact on crime. We all know that the anti-rights organizations and advocates of America had to lie to get the Ban passed, and lied to try to keep it. We all know that the limitations imposed by both AWBs are easily circumvented.

And we can now show that of two nearly-identical rifles, one was banned under the Assault Weapon Ban, and one was not.

How does that stop crime? How does that keep people safe? Rifle A and Rifle B are operationally, functionally, and effectively identical, and yet one is permissable under these Bans, and one is not. How does that make any sense at all?

Simply put, it does not, and anyone still supporting Assault Weapon Bans in this day and age of unbounded-data-at-our-very-fingertips is either a baldfaced liar, a damned fool, a petty totalitarian, or some combination of all three, and in no position to be deciding on laws and legislations that would unconstitutionally limit millions of Americans’ rights.

15 comments to the stupidity of assault weapon bans, illustrated

  • ZK

    Sadly, it’s not just CA. The AWB is still in-force in Massachusetts (my state) and probably some others, too. Trying to start shooting 3-gun competition is a horrible pain. Pre-ban magazines are somewhat hard to find, and the prices are generally ridiculous. And want to adjust length of pull with a telescoping stock? Nope, illegal.

    It doesn’t seem like there’s any hope for repeal any time soon, either.

  • ZK beat me to it. I’m currently persuing an FAL that is legal because it has a flash hider with the lower holes plugged (making it a muzzle brake) that is soldered to the muzzle threading.

    Too bad, I HATE muzzle brakes because they have a very high risk of damaging the hearing of people beside you at the range. Depending on how I feel I might have the barrel cut and crowned.

    And yeah ZK, dunno if we have any hope SOON, but AWB is one of those laws Alan Gura has his sights set on.

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  • Well, remember that famous quote from Charles Krauthammer on the AWB: “Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.

    I’m sure Dems were saying in their heads “ix-nay on the onfiscation-cay!” but there you go.

  • Wildman7316

    I illustrated the silliness of the California Law by having my Son bring me his Ruger 10/22 “as we bought it” but to then bring everything for it in his range box while having an argument about the Law with an In-Law of mine from California. She was arguing that not only should the firearms that actually meet the definition be banned, but so SHOULD ANY THAT COULD. It was then that I brought out my Son’s 10/22 and pointed out that it was a semi-automatic rifle using a removable magazine, but had none of the other characteristics that would put it under the Ban, and asked her if she thought is should be banned. She replied “Of Course Not, Otherwise You Would Have Gotten Back the One You Gave My Son.” (Some of you now know what is coming.) I then told my Son to take his rifle and “Dress It Up”. Using only a screwdriver and an allen wrench He removed the Stock and Barrel and Replaced them with a “Bull Barrel” with a threaded on flash suppressor and put on the “Collapsible Stock” with the Pistol Grip and added a 50 round magazine. I then pointed out to her that the rifle was now illegal in California and lacked only a bayonet lug and rifle grenade adapter to collect the entire set. (To which my Son muttered “Working On It”, I shushed Him, but my heart wasn’t in it.)

  • @Wildman7316 – And an even better note is I doubt even the zippiest of .22 LR blanks would be unable to fire a rifle-grenade (not to mention the 10/22 lacks an action-lock that is required to launch grenades from a military rifle)

    Much like many of the M4 Carbine clones have bayonet lugs that are non-functional because of the lengthened flash-hiders pinned to the barrel to avoid an NFA tax, just because a feature is non-functional does NOT mean it doesn’t count.

    FYI does a flash-hider (or muzzle brake) do anything on a .22 Carbine? My Model 60 sounds like a supressed .22 Pistol when I shoot it, and using subsonics ear protection isn’t needed (tho I do anyway because I’m rarely the only person on the firing line)

    Do .22 Carbines even have the gas pressure at the muzzle to use these features?

  • […] Assault weapons ban stupidity […]

  • @ZK – Right you are, and it is my fault for the omission – I write what I know, and that SOCOM II’s history actually stems from me giving a royal middle finger to the government of Kalifornistan and its stupidity.

    If I had to guess, as Weer’d says, Alan Gura has his eyes on the various states’ Assault Weapon Bans, but I cannot know for certain… I do know, the way things are going, it is just a matter of time :).

    @Weer’d Beard – I have not had the experience of being to either side of that particular rifle when it is lighting off, but I do know that bystanders have expressed… surprise… at the noise coming forth from it :). That said, I cannot imagine that a brake is any necessarily louder than a straight-up bull barrel, while also hopefully (or at least ideally) helping with recoil.

    @the pistolero – Well, hell, not much for hiding the agenda, is he?

    @Wildman7316 – *snort* That is, indeed, the other side of the same coin – you can take any of a number of common-as-rain rifles, and make them wholly unacceptable and banned within California with just the addition of a few irrelevant accessories. I chose this particular tack due to the growing “military-style/use” trend amongst the anti-rights nuts of America that I have noticed – both of these are military arms, and yet only one was banned. So much for that argument.

  • @Linoge – I can express for certain Alan Gura is after AWBs because he TOLD me over beers. That being said I don’t know what the timeline is. I do know California’s shitty-but-not-as-shitty-as-the-one-we-have-in-Massachusetts handgun “safety” roster is #1 on his hit-list. But he said AWBs would be quite easy given that there are companies like Glock, Bushmaster, S&W, Taurus, Magpul, ect ect ect that make a huge portion of their sales from selling “Assault Weapons” or “High Capacity” magazines. According to him, all he needs to do is present corporate sales data to show the number of guns and magazines sold in recent years to private citizens in free states to make a VERY good case of “In Common Use” to those of us behind enemy lines.

    As for Muzzle Brakes, the issue is the brake forms jets of hot gas to stabilize and compensate for recoil. If you are outside the jets the gun may sound quieter than a crowned barrel of the same gun, but if you are in the path of the jets (such as standing directly beside one on the firing line) the force can be VERY powerful and dangerous.

  • Yeah… it is certainly not like he does not have enough various options to concern himself with at the moment. I am sure all of the things we rightfully hate are on the agenda, it is just a matter of what order and timing.

    As for the muzzle brakes, I would imagine that it depends greatly on the design and style of the hardware in question – the SOCOM II’s brake is more designed to feed gasses back into the barrel, in order to keep the action operating properly. Others vent solely along the Z axis. And others, like the M82’s are scant more than really honkin’ huge deflectors.

    Now, if we could just work out a brake wrapped in a suppressor… 😉

  • I’ll just take a plain-jane suppressor. Its a safety feature, you know!

    FYI at the NE Blogger Shoot I was showing somebody one of the various M16s, and I pointed out “This one is safer than most guns…see the Safety on that AR over there has two choices of safety, this one has three!”

    Full-auto, its safer!

  • Dunno… seems if you could combine the recoil-assisting properties of most brakes along with the sound supression of “silencers”, you might just have the ideal screw-on accessory :).

    Hm. I think I remember something out there has four options on it – off, semi-, burst, and full-auto. It must be the safest firearm of all!

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