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the slippery slope of gun control

I would like to take a moment today to extend my sincere thanks to the legislatures of both New York State and Connecticut for proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that "gun control" is, in truth and fact, a slippery slope.

Anti-rights cultists come absolutely unhinged every time you mention the possibility of "gun control" itself being a slippery slope, and tend to immediately decry such mutterings as prima facie logical fallacies; it is true that the slippery slope can be a logical fallacy, but when you are seeing those trees whipping by your head, reality has to step in. Unfortunately, that reality is the slippery slope has been greased since at least 1934 and we pro-rights activists have been steadily losing ground in the name of "compromise" since at least then, if not beforehand.

The "gun control" extremists have always wanted more, more, more… First it was the National Firearms Act, then it was the Gun Control Act of 1968, then it was the Lautenberg Amendment, then the Brady Law, then the Assault Weapon Ban, then… then… then… Oh, we pro-rights activists have certainly made headway in the past few years, but even with all of the thousands of firearm-related laws on the books, there are still useful idiots clamoring for more! More! More!

Slippery slopes stop being fallacies when you can point to the obvious pattern.

Which brings us up to the modern examples. The state of New York already had an assault weapon ban – any rifle that could accept removable magazines and had two "military" features was prohibited. New York already had a "high-capacity" magazine ban, where "high-capacity" was arbitrarily and capriciously defined as "more than 10 rounds". New York already required all firearm dealers and gun shows to perform background checks on all firearm transactions. New York already had licensing requirements to own firearms.

In other words, New York already had a large number of the "common sense", "reasonable" "gun control" measures most anti-rights cultists out there want. They should be happy with that, right?

Wrong. Consider S2230-2013: Licensure, suspension and revocation of firearm licenses, which just passed the New York Senate [update] and was just signed by Governor Cuomo into law [/update]. It is a long read, but the low points are:

  • The two-feature aspect of the NY assault weapon ban is tossed and replaced with a one-feature test.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic rifles that can accept a removable magazine and have at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a second handgrip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor / muzzle brake (they spelled it "break" in the legislation, amusingly enough) / muzzle compensator / threaded barrel, grenade launcher.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic shotguns that has at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a thumbhole stock, a second hand grip, a fixed magazine in excess of seven rounds, an ability to accept detachable magazines.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" must be registered with the state within one year of the effective date, and registration is subject to "a review of disqualifiers by the State Police."
  • If they are not registered, possession of such "assault weapons" is a crime.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" may only be sold to dealers or out-of-state.
  • All magazines that can hold more than 7 rounds are banned.
  • This ban includes previously-"grandfathered" magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
  • Magazines that can hold more than 7 but not more than 10 rounds are "grandfathered", but may only hold 7 rounds.
  • All ammunition sales must be processed through firearm dealers.
  • All ammunition sales must include an NCIS check on the purchaser.
  • All ammunition sales must be recorded and logged.
  • All firearm ownership permits must be renewed every five years (some counties had permits that never expired).
  • All private sales of firearms must be executed through a firearm dealer.

And, like I said, those are just the low points.

So, let us see here… it is still possible to own an AR-15 in the Empire State, but it would have to have an unthreaded bull barrel, some kind of non-pistol-grip grip, and a fixed stock, and you can only feed it 7 rounds or less. Amusingly, though, an M1A without any kind of muzzle attachment would be 100% legal, despite throwing a larger bullet farther and with more energy; but that is about the only funny thing to be found.

At least 75% of modern semi-automatic handguns are functionally banned. What is that? They only banned handguns with certain features? Well, that is great… except they also banned all new magazines over 7 rounds of capacity, which means your Glock or XD or S&W is only useful for as long as its magazines last – the only <10 round magazines I am aware of are for single-stack firearms that already do not have capacities in excess of 10 rounds. Oh, I am (fairly) sure that enterprising companies will step in and start producing 7-round double-stack magazines for common firearm platforms, but let us consider something for a moment.

At some point in the past (hell if I know when), New York had no limitation on the size of a firearm’s magazine. Then, on 13SEP94, New York banned the sale of any new magazines that could hold in excess of ten rounds; however, old ones were grandfathered in.

Now New York is arbitrarily banning all of those pre-’94 magazines, even the ones previously grandfathered, but graciously telling you those greater-than-seven-but-less-than-11 round magazines of yours are grandfathered under the new law? Yeah, and how long will that "grandfathering" last until it, too, is arbitrarily legislated out of existence?

And this is all without even touching on the fact that registration has invariably preceded confiscation, even here in the United States.

Oh, you think I am sliding back into the realm of a logical fallacy again? I guess two data points are insufficient for you to be happy, huh? Well, recall that I mentioned Connecticut in the opening line of this post. The ironically-named Constitution State has an assault weapon ban (No, really. I have to wonder how the mother of the Sandy Hook murderer owned hers.), but does not have a "high capacity" magazine ban; they attempted to pass one in 2011, but it got nowhere.

Apparently State Senator Edward Meyer is unhappy with this situation, given 2013 SB 00122 he proposed:

That the general statutes be amended to establish a class C felony offense, except for certain military and law enforcement personnel and certain gun clubs, for (1) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate, transport, possess or use any gun except one made to fire a single round, (2) any person to fire a gun containing more than a single round, (3) any person or organization to receive from another state, territory or country a gun made to fire multiple rounds, or (4) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate or possess a magazine or clip capable of holding more than one round.

Read through that again. It makes it a crime for you, as an average citizen, to own a firearm, of any type, if it can fire more than one round or a magazine if it can hold more than one round. Every semi-automatic firearm of any type, every revolver, and almost every rifle, pistol, and shotgun would be banned by this legislation; no grandfathering, no registration, just outright banned. Granted, this is just a bill at the moment and has a long way to go before becoming a law, but still.

Hell. With. That.

Hell with State Senator Meyer, hell with New York, and hell with any other politician who would propose any other similar legislation.

That little pleasantry dispensed with, however, this is why the "slippery slope" has been, and continues to be, a valid concern when applied to "gun control"; those who would unjustly deprive us of our rights and property are never happy until they are entirely successful, and they will keep chipping away, using different tactics – all in the name of "compromise", mind you – until we are left with nothing at all. First it is 10-round magazines… then seven… then five… then why do you need magazines at all? Then one shot rifles. Then why do you need guns at all?

"Gun control" is and always has been a slippery slope, precisely because those who advocate it want control… not over guns, mind you, but over you.

28 comments to the slippery slope of gun control

  • MAJMike

    All good reasons for me to remain in Texas.

  • Adam

    Well I don’t know about you guys but I’m boycotting New York, which is something considering that most of my extended family still lives there. But I dont care. They went to far.

    I hope that all the firearms companies stop selling to that state like Barrett did to CA. I certainly hope that the companies in NY move their operations.

  • Mussorgsky

    Having been a CT resident most of my life, I could almost always say, “well, at least California is worse…” Now I’m trying like everyone else to find a job out of state. Most people here in their 20s have already left or want to leave, not just because of the politics but the anti-business policies that effectivley but a “no jobs allowed” sign at the state border. The gov’nor passed a tax hike last year that was so large and over-reaching that even state DEMOCRATS publicly said it was wrong and they hoped he’d only be a one-termer.

  • Thank goodness i live in Canada. Bet you never thought you would hear that here.

  • @ MAJMike: Been pushing for that to be our next state, but there are not many places Better Half could get a job she would be happy with there.

    @ Adam: I cannot think of anything off the top of my head I purchase from NY at the moment, so I would, but it would have no impact. That said, I wholeheartedly echo your desires for companies to follow Barrett’s lead, and I likewise sincerely hope companies like Remington and Otis pack up their bags – and their hundreds (thousands?) of jobs – and take them to a state that respects their clientel’s rights a bit more.

    @ Mussorgsky: I spent two years in Connecticut back when I was a child, in and around Groton. That short experience was more than enough to show me that there is absolutely no reason to return, short of visiting LEGO headquarters or being on my way further north.

    @ dave w: Trust me, there are better states. A lot of better states.

  • You will never guess what city Albany is twinned/sister with. The irony will amuse you.

  • Tom

    What really gets me about these new NY gun laws is how lame they are. If you’re caught with a high capacity mag, it’s a class A misdemeanor. They didn’t have the balls to make it a felony. Granted, a class A is like theft or assault or drug possession and you can go to jail. But when they charge someone for homicide or attempted homicide, and the guy had a prohibited mag, that class A is the type of thing to be tossed out in a plea deal. If the criminals actually bothered to read this law, they’d probably laugh at it. Of course, they laugh at just about every law.

  • You idiots that elected Obama will get just what you deserve… Kiss your rights goodbye!

  • I’d like to see them try and pull this shit in the south.

  • It’s the worst gun laws of any states. Watch as crime rates soar!

  • TheDaywalkersDad

    Thank you for this outstanding write up of the current anti gun stupidity. Hopefully it will not end up going nation wide but I believe that we’ll see large parts of this spread. Keep up the good work.

  • Steve Wood

    In the “low points” section:
    – All such existing “assault weapons” must be registered with the state within one year of the effective date, and registration is subject to “a review of disqualifiers by the State Police.”

    I think they may have misspelled another word besides muzzle ‘breaks’. They misspelled ‘Police State’.


  • Armoredsaint21

    I live in NY !!!! KILL ME NOW !!!!

  • @ Armoredsaint21:
    if you have a gun it will probably do that for you, remember 99% of all guns in the home kill an innocent loved one. Source – difi,barry,and cnn

  • the dude


    Move, brah. Wait for a month to see which states remain free(ish).

  • @ dave w: … Oh my. Well, at least the most-common firearm that city produced is still legal in NY. For now.

    @ Tom: The good news, as Better Half pointed out to me, is that given how stupid the punishments are for the law, it is very likely someone with enough time and money will say, “Screw it,” become the test case, and take this idiocy straight to the Supreme Court – after all, a misdemeanor on your record sure as hell beats a felony.

    The bad news is that I can see a court likewise arguing that “since it is only a misdemeanor, it presents no significant detrimental impact to New Yorkers”. I wish I was joking…

    @ Southern Gun Forum & Classifieds: I dare say that no one reading this site voted for Obama. Likewise, given NY’s already patently-idiotic laws, it will be interesting to see how crime is affected… Of course, “no change” will be heralded as a success by the supporters of this ludicrous law.

    @ TheDaywalkersDad: Thanks for the kind words :). Now is the time to contact your representatives – at all levels – and remind them that their continued employment by the government hinges entirely on their rejection of such overreaching crap as this. It still may not stop them, but then we have to follow through on our promise.

    @ Steve Wood: Wow. Wish I had said that. 🙂

    @ Armoredsaint21: Allow me to second the votes to move; you can do better.

    @ the dude: I am waiting to see if TN will follow WY’s lead and pass a law basically telling the federal government to F-off; such law is, of course, ultimately meaningless, but the finger-in-the-eye would send a wonderful message.

  • Mussorgsky wrote:

    The gov’nor passed a tax hike last year that was so large and over-reaching that even state DEMOCRATS publicly said it was wrong and they hoped he’d only be a one-termer.


    How, pray tell, did this “over-reaching, wrong” tax hike make it to the governor’s desk? Or does the Connecticut constitution allow the governor to impose taxes without the involvement of the state legislature?

  • Mussorgsky

    @ John Hardin:
    If you are going to “quote me,” you should at least have the decency to do it correctly. The bill did not have the overwhelming support of the state legislature, so he could have vetoed it. Instead, he signed those tax hikes into law, thereby PASSING that bill. It works quite similarly on the national level.
    As to what’s left of the state constitution, the onky quirk that comes to mind is that every ten years or so the public gets to vote on whether or not we should ammend it, but the vote doesn’t go into how, it just effectively would start a convention or something. It didn’t happen the one time I encountered it on the form, but I always vote yes. What can I say, I’m a bit of a discordian at times.

  • Linoge, you have enjoyed my analysis in the past, so I wanted to direct you to my current analysis of the New York gun control situation. http://myreputo.blogspot.com/2013/01/good-luck-new-york-hope-those-gun-laws.html
    Feel free to link elsewhere and use the graphics at your discretion.

  • Volfram

    @ Reputo: That was an interesting and informative read.

    My roomate is wondering if you could do an analysis on whether the availability of guns has any effect on the ratio of crime success to failure.(for example, when guns are banned, to attempted murders vs. successful murders go up or down?)

  • @ Volfram:
    I’ll see what I can dig up. The problem I see with that question is attempted murders are not tracked. Aggravated assaults are, but they are not all attempted murder (and since only 20% involve a firearm the chance of finding evidence is slim). The best bet to look at is robbery – the NCVS does ask about attempted and successful robberies, so I’ll compile some data from there. Unfortunately, most of the information is probably not going to be available. I seem to remember that the NCVS website only has about 10 years of reports. One of the reasons why murder is always brought up in crime analysis is because it is the easiest to account for (there being a dead body and all) so plenty of reliable studies have been done on data in the last 100 years, and decent information is available for some countries all the way back to the 1200s. But I’ll see what I can muster.

  • @ Mussorgsky: I hate speaking for other people, but I dare say John Hardin’s point is that the governor of New York did not arbitrarily, unilaterally write a bill into law himself. It had to be handed to him by his state legislature, of which those who voted “yea” share the blame for its existence. Blame him for signing it, to be sure, but blame the legislature for giving it to him.

    @ Reputo: Thanks! I had been meaning to link to your “at what cost” series, but now it looks like you are going to get a few posts :). I need to get back into juggling numbers… at least those I understand, rather than people like the NY Legislature…

  • Mussorgsky

    I get the point, but to me it’s him and his party. Usually, the highest ranking elected official of any given party is viewed as the leader, even though that’s not necessarily true given how they are structured. Our gov may not have written the bill, but he certainly pushed for it as the main priority. The state congress may have voted for it, but he was the main political pressure pushing for it. (Well, him, the media, and the unions, but I consider all of those to be all too similar arms of the Democrat Party)
    I was speaking about CT and that specific tax bill, but, yes, both groups (legislature and executive) are to blame in both states for these things. It’s the gov’nor’s fault for pushing for it, but each senator and congress[wo]man is to blame for either lacking a spine, being deficiant in common sense, or being a traitorous swine.

    P.S. I used to live across the river from the sub base there, so I understand why you’d have such a low opinion of our state… The sad thing is that New London county is one of the best and most free areas of the state. Doesn’t say much, I know; this state sucks.

  • Bart

    Dismantling the Constitution and disarming the citizenry is possible, but it won’t be free. It’ll take money, and the government doesn’t have much. This is a point of vulnerability that we would be wise to take advantage of. If we can weaken the confidence of lenders and investors that the people will repay over future generations what current officials borrow in our name, we can withhold the means of our own oppression and prevent our oppressors from using our credit against us. On Facebook, search the Center for Principled Repudiation, and read the manifesto there.

  • Volfram

    @ Reputo: Thanks, it should be interesting if nothing else.

  • @ Mussorgsky: The point, I think, being that the legislature not only could have, but would have been entirely in their rights to tell the governor to pack sand and piss off. They chose not to, which unquestionably speaks to their complicity.

    Ayup… the only high point I recall was Mystic, and from the way the town sounded, it was only good to visit, not live in.

    @ Bart: Unfortunately, our government has enthusiastically embraced the notion of selling our children and their children down the river, so I honestly doubt “money” will be a significant hampering detail to whatever their authoritarian wet dreams are.

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  • Southern Gun Forum & Classifieds


    When I said “You idiots” I didn’t mean anyone from this site, I strictly meant the idiots who voted for Obama.