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DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Retired » Retired Forums » 2016 Postmortem (Forum) » Are we tilting at windmil... » Reply #43

Response to NCTraveler (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 30, 2016, 06:37 PM

43. Here is where those proposals go off the rails.

From the link:

As senator, she co-sponsored and voted for legislation that would close the gun show loophole, voted against the dangerous immunity protections for gun dealers and manufacturers, and co-sponsored legislation to extend and reinstate the assault weapons ban.


"the assault weapons ban" - This is *the* single biggest blooper that the party has has made on guns in the last 25 years, and they have made many. Here's why: "assault weapon" is scare-speak for the most popular civilian rifles in U.S. homes, as well as the most popular target rifles in both sanctioned competition and informal target shooting. They are rarely misused (all rifles combined account for less than 300 murders annually out of 13,500), but are immensely popular. A ballpark guess is that twice as many Americans own "assault weapons" as hunt. They are not automatic weapons; they are Title 1 civilian non-automatics, mostly small-caliber.

The other issue is that bans on "high-capacity magazines"----usually meaning anything over 10 rounds, but sometimes as few as 7 or 5---are often sneaked into "assault weapon" legislation as well. To see why this is considered extremist, consider that the very first Winchesters ever made in the 1860s held 15 rounds, the most popular civilian rifles in U.S. homes hold 20 to 30, and most full-sized 9mm pistols hold 15 to 20. You are talking 60 *million* owners of probably half a billion magazines, nationwide. And you are telling those 60 million people that you consider them morally equivalent to violent felons (the NY SAFE Act makes possession of a loaded 13-round magazine a Class D violent felony, comparable to second-degree rape or luring a child, and even with those penalties Cuomo and Bloomberg only got 5-10% compliance). If you want to motivate millions of people to vote against you, tell them you'll throw them in prison with murderers and rapists unless they let you take away their civil liberties. You may not see it that way, but that's how it comes across.

"The gun show loophole" - there is no loophole; the Gun Control Act of 1968 applies just as strongly to gun shows as it does to storefronts. The real issue here is whether or not to institute background checks on private sales, or whether to criminalize private transfers altogether. There are ways to do the former without harassing lawful ownership, but most recent proposals at the state level have been aimed at the second, and that generates pushback. This isn't the biggest issue, though.

"voted against the dangerous immunity protections for gun dealers and manufacturers" - Sanders thought Clinton's position on this was a terrible idea, and explained why. But this isn't the biggest issue, either.

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