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Majority Of Americans Oppose Ban On So-Called ‘Assault Weapons’ According To New Poll

Assault Weapons

In another sign of just how difficult a task gun control advocates face in advancing their policies, a new poll from ABC News and The Washington Post shows that a majority of Americans oppose banning so-called ‘assault weapons,‘ which actually constitutes something of a change in a position that has held rather solid on polling for the past twenty years:

A majority of Americans oppose banning assault weapons for the first time in more than 20 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls, with the public expressing vast doubt that the authorities can prevent “lone wolf” terrorist attacks and a substantial sense that armed citizens can help.

Just 45 percent in this national survey favor an assault weapons ban, down 11 percentage points from an ABC/Post poll in 2013 and down from a peak of 80 percent in 1994. Fifty-three percent oppose such a ban, the most on record.

Indeed, while the division is a close one, Americans by 47-42 percent think that encouraging more people to carry guns legally is a better response to terrorism than enacting stricter gun control laws. Divisions across groups are vast, underscoring the nation’s gulf on gun issues

As this chart shows, this is a decided change on the question from where the public divide has stood in the past, especially twenty years ago when Congress passed a law that banned certain classes of weapons that was in effect for ten years, but which Congress failed to renew in 2004:

Assault Weapons Ban Graph

Not surprisingly, there are significant demographic differences on the question of an ‘assault weapons’ ban, along with some groups where the change in position is arguably surprising:

The increase in opposition to banning assault weapons since 2013 peaks in some groups — up 18 points among strong conservatives, 17 points among higher-income earners and 16 points in the generally more liberal Northeast. But it’s a broadly based trend. Many groups have moved from majority support for an assault weapons ban two years ago to majority opposition now: whites, 30- to 64-year-olds, suburbanites, political independents, moderates, residents of the West and Midwest, anyone without a post-graduate degree and those in $100,000-plus households.

These trends leave just seven basic demographic groups in which majorities still support banning assault weapons: women, Northeasterners, seniors, post-graduates, liberals, Democrats and blacks.

Differences among groups are extensive. Barely more than a third of men favor banning assault weapons, compared with more than half of women (35 percent vs. 53 percent). Seniors are most likely to favor banning assault weapons, while – despite their greater liberalism on many other issues – nearly six in 10 young adults oppose it. Opposition is high in rural areas (64 percent) and among those who lack a college degree.

And there are, naturally, sharp political and ideological divisions. Sixty-seven percent of liberals and 61 percent of Democrats favor banning assault weapons. Opposition, on the other hand, takes in 52 percent of moderates, 55 percent of independents, 69 percent of conservatives and 70 percent of Republicans. Opposition peaks, at 79 percent, among strong conservatives.

(emphasis mine)

ABC’s coverage of the poll ties the public’s change on position on this issue to its attitude about terrorist attacks in the wake of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and there is indeed some apparent correlation between the numbers on these questions. Overall, the poll finds that 77% of respondents are skeptical about the government’s ability to prevent “lone-wolf” terrorist attacks, while only 22% express confidence in the government’s ability to stop those kinds of attacks. There’s somewhat more confidence in the government’s ability to stop large-scale organized attacks, although it falls short of a majority with only 43% of respondents saying that there are confident of the government’s ability to do so. Perhaps most significantly, a sizable plurality of the Americans, forty-two percent in this poll, have personal fears about being a victim in a terrorist attack, similar to the 49% that expressed that fear in a recent Gallup poll. Additionally, among those who doubt the government’s ability to prevent lone-wolf attacks, some 57% oppose an ‘assault weapons’ ban and 77% say that ‘encouraging more people to carry guns legally’ as a better way to fight terrorism than stricter gun control. Not surprisingly, these numbers are reversed among those who are largely confident in the government’s ability to stop terror attacks.

While it’s probable that this change in the public’s position on an ‘assault weapons’ ban can be tied to some degree to attitudes about terrorism, it seems clear to me that these numbers are reflective of overall public opinion on gun control issues and a demonstration of just how difficult a job gun control advocates have in advancing their position. Back in October, in the wake of a summer that included the murder of nine people in an historic African-American Church in Charleston, South Carolina and a mass shooting in southern Oregon, polling from Gallup and CNN showed both an increase in the number of Americans that supported allowing people allowing to carry a concealed weapon in public and increased opposition to some forms of gun control that had previously enjoyed public support. Since this was prior to the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, it seems clear that the trend that this poll seems to represent is indicative of something more than that just fear of terrorism. There may be some correlation between public attitudes on these two issues, but it would appear to be mistaken to jump to the conclusion that ABC does in its report that fear of terrorism is what’s driving the apparent change in public opinion. What this suggests is that the recent push by House Democrats to try to revive an ‘assault weapons’ ban, as well as Hillary Clinton’s support for such a measure, while it may be popular inside their own party, is not a position likely to garner much support among Americans as a whole.

In part, the change in public attitudes regarding a ban on ‘assault weapons’ appears to be a recognition that most of the arguments in favor of such a ban are based on mistaken beliefs about the nature of such weapons and the frequency with which they are actually used in acts of criminal violence, mistakes documents in a September 2014 New York Times Sunday Review piece by ProPublica’s Lois Beckett.  Furthermore, it’s been shown many times in the past that a ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ quite simply won’t work. In addition, we’ve learned recently that, contrary to the way the media has seemingly portrayed it, there has actually been a massive decline in gun violence in the United States over the past two decades and that the number of “mass shooting” incidents has been greatly over-stated by activists and reporters.  More importantly, perhaps, it’s been fairly apparent for some time that, even in those areas where Americans do support increased gun control, such as expansion of background checks, it is largely a a low-priority issue for voters,  except for those that are highly committed to the issue on either side of the debate, and in that area the people who are highly committed to gun rights are clearly both more numerous and more politically engaged that those highly committed to gun control. Additionally, beyond the seemingly simple things like background checks, this poll and others seems to make clear that the public as a whole is quite skeptical of broader gun control measures and sympathetic to the idea that people ought to have access to the weapons necessary to defend themselves if they want those weapons. Gun control advocates likely will find these truths uncomfortable, but they are political reality, and unless and until public opinion changes it’s a reality they will have to deal with.

 

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    We’re a nation of over 300 million people and over 300 million guns – it is very hard to go backward from that.

    We have such a strong cult of gun ownership in America. We hold on to a movie fantasy that a well-armed citizen, or group of citizens, can break-up or prevent a random act of terror – such as a workplace or school yard shooting. As long as we are tethered to this strong gun culture we’re going to have periodic mass shootings throughout any year, and there is not much we can (or want) to do about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    Big money in Assault rifles and accessories.

    Plus gun nuts are scared s**tless of the upcoming Hillary presidency.

    Ka-Ching.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  3. grumpy realist says:

    Scared of terrorists. Sigh. Whereas you’re much more likely to die in a collision with a doofus teenager texting and driving.

    Heck, if you’re in a rural district you’re much more likely to die in a car crash with a deer or moose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  4. Jack says:

    @grumpy realist: Of course, you completely disregard all instances of self defense, hunting, and target shooting as a reason for owning these weapons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  5. JKB says:

    A series by Prof. Peter Turchin from 2012 is quite interesting. He proffers that the “Indiscriminate Mass Murders”(IMM) are a warning of the turmoil in society. Much of the turmoils is caused by the increase in intra-elite competition and the trend towards feeling abused. I’d say the latter is enhanced by the grievance culture of the Left. In any case, limiting firearms isn’t a root cause, but can be a defense for those who might be victimized by a IMM.

    Interestingly, the Left in their gun-grabbing fetish have abandoned the “root cause” meme they pushed for the rampant crime of 20-40 years ago in the cities. Then, we were to blame society for making them muggers and killers, now as it is the Leftist agenda that has seemingly driven the increase in IMMs, they seek to blame inanimate objects, such as the firearm.

    Obviously, the populace is discarding the “scary gun” claim and dealing with the reality of the only way to stop a killer with a gun is for a law-abiding citizen have the means to defend themselves and others. Chattanooga drove this home as the police were literally right behind the killer (seconds away) and he was still able to kill 6 before they could stop him.

    The rampage shooters see themselves as moralistic punishers striking against deep injustice. In a perceptive opinion at New York Times, Adam Lankford writes, “we should think of many rampage shooters as nonideological suicide terrorists” (I would remove ‘nonideological’ because many such killers in my database were ideologically motivated). He then points out that a common factor in both rampage shooters and suicide terrorists is “a deep sense of victimization and belief that the killer’s life has been ruined by someone else, who has bullied, oppressed or persecuted him.” I would add that this ‘someone else’ does not need to be a person (a point that Lankford acknowledges elsewhere in his opinion). In fact in the case of IMM (with an emphasis on the I), it is usually a group, an organization, an institution, or the whole society that are held responsible by the killer.

    I further argue that the frequency of IMM depends, in the first place, on environmental conditions. As the degree of cooperation in the American society declined over the last four decades, and the degree of intrasocietal competition rose, increasingly large numbers of susceptible individuals were victimized, bullied, and oppressed, and a certain (very small) fraction of them chose to become mass murderers to avenge such injustice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  6. JKB says:

    @grumpy realist:

    And yet, when driving one can keep a lookout and take defensive action to avoid the texting teenager. Similarly, with deer and other wildlife. I routinely drive where deer are present. I watch the sides of the road ahead, as well as the road. I also exercise more caution when mast production or shortage of rain indicate that deer may be migrating more.

    The possessing and carrying a firearm is the same. It is a defensive measure to help reduce the risk from a criminals, IMMs and the odd terrorist. You may thank ISIS for some of this as their compatriots in the US have chosen to attack in random, non-high risk areas. This tells people that they must be ready anywhere, just as a spate of home invasions, as opposed to burglaries, tell homeowners they should go armed even when watching TV in the evening since the threat of sudden attack is ongoing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  7. markm says:

    Aren’t pistols the culprit of the vast majority of shooting deaths?.

    If we were to ban “assault style” weapons, where do we draw the line between those or semi-auto hunting rifles/pistols?.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. J-Dub says:

    You know, I don’t really feel like I need a gun now but if the sh*t hits the fan do I want to be the only person without one? In other words, I would be buying it to protect me from other Americans (probably the Trump supporter types), not some boogey man on the other side of the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. Mu says:

    @markm: Of course, rifles are used in less than 5% of all gun death cases, and that includes all rifles, not only assault rifles.
    But that doesn’t matter, it’s the same case as outlawing “partial birth abortions”. You just need to get the camel’s now under the tent flap by doing something “common sense” to establish the precedent, even if it only affects a minuscule fraction of the total. Once it becomes acceptable to evaluate guns, or abortions, for “ugliness” you opened the whole thing up for grabs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  10. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    And yet, when driving one can keep a lookout and take defensive action to avoid the texting teenager.

    Actually, one can’t. It’s a myth, a psychological quirk, an illusion of control. It’s why so many people are more afraid of flying than of driving, and more afraid of terrorists than of lightning.

    Short of staying off the road entirely, there is simply nothing you can do to avoid (say) a drunk or texter suddenly crossing the centerline and hitting you head-on, or a semi blown by the wind pushing you over a guard rail, or a thousand other driving scenarios that are more likely to happen to you than a terrorist attack. Being a good defensive driver certainly reduces your chances of being the cause of an accident, and somewhat reduces your chances of being an innocent victim — but not by nearly enough to bring it down into the same realm of extreme unlikeliness as “terrorist attack” or “meteor strike”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  11. DrDaveT says:

    Apparently, if Doug were to type the phrase assault weapons with neither scare quotes nor the words “so-called”, he would bleed out through his fingers. And yet, he can refer to (say) Ted Cruz’s economic plan without any such modifiers…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  12. markm says:

    @DrDaveT:

    What makes an “assault weapon” as so called “assault weapon”?.
    (serious question with snarkage)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. JKB says:

    @markm: Aren’t pistols the culprit of the vast majority of shooting deaths?.

    In reality, a pistol, revolver, rifle, assault weapon, et al, have never been the culprit in a shooting death.

    CULPRIT, crim. law. When a prisoner is arraigned, and he pleads not guilty, in the English practice, the clerk, who arraigns him on behalf of the crown, replies that the prisoner is guilty, and that he is ready to prove the accusation; this is done by two monosyllables, cul prit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  14. JKB says:

    @markm: What makes an “assault weapon” as so called “assault weapon”?.

    Depends on the Democrat making up the arbitrary list, but often includes several bits of plastic, such as hand drips, barrel shrouds, and to some Democrat members of Congress, shoulder thingies.

    The term “assault weapon” is actually a made up propaganda term designed to imply assault rifle, which is a lightweight, short-barrelled, select fire rifle used by special forces, commando units and other rapid movement infantry units.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  15. Jack says:

    @markm:

    What makes an “assault weapon” as so called “assault weapon”?.
    (serious question with snarkage)

    Anything Democrats think looks frightening. And includes, it would appear, the leading cause of Democrat bed wetting–a barrel shroud or as Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) liked to call it “the shoulder thing that goes up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  16. Franklin says:

    @JKB: So you’re saying we should reduce competition, right? Capitalism is the cause of the turmoil?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. stonetools says:

    According to an earlier Mataconis post, polls showing 90 percent of Americans favored universal background checks meant nothing, so clearly this poll must similarly be ignored as not reflective of Americans want. Live by the poll, die by the poll.
    Islamic terrorists of late have been using assault rifles to carry out terrorist strikes. It’s likely that if they take advantage of the USA’s ludicrous gun laws to do that a few more times, this poll result will change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  18. stonetools says:

    @markm<

    The term " assault weapon" seems to have been originally popularized by gun manufacturers:

    The popularly held idea that the term ‘assault weapon’ originated with anti-gun activists is wrong. The term was first adopted by manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearms owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.

    Glad to be of service!

    Nowadays, those manufacturers prefer the more Orwellian term “modern sporting rifle” when they aren’t using phallic terms like Bushmaster and “man card”. Dunno if Bushmaster is supposed to indicate that you have a large, uh, snake, or whether it means you are the master of those persons who have bushes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  19. Jack says:

    @stonetools: Shorter Stonetools: We’re not quitters; we’ve embarked on a path of trying to save lives by banning guns; whether or not one ban works, let’s try another and then another until we find something that does because the terrorists are using them!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  20. Boyd says:

    @stonetools: The book you quote doesn’t have any reference to the facts claimed by the author; he just makes a bald, unsupported claim. He does reference links to assault rifles, which are military firearms and different from the Sugarmann-created term assault weapon.

    On the other hand, the Sugarmann quote can be sourced right to the Violence Policy Center’s web site: http://www.vpc.org/studies/awaconc.htm

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

    Okay, that’s a lie. Glad to burst your bubble, but I seriously doubt that you’ll let the facts interfere with your faith.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  21. Boyd says:

    @markm: And they’re “so-called” because it is such a made-up term. There’s no sensible way to define them beyond “they look scary” or some other equally subjective phrase.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  22. JKB says:

    @Franklin: So you’re saying we should reduce competition, right? Capitalism is the cause of the turmoil?

    I’m not saying anything. I just thought it was an interesting hypothesis.

    However, hyper competition by elite for the levers of power is not capitalism. Capitalism has objective criteria to determine winners and losers, known as profit and loss. In addition, true capitalists, as opposed to some businesspersons, benefits from cooperation in meeting the needs and desires of the consuming public.

    But government, university, non-profits, etc. still have competition, but no objective criteria to determine who is providing the better service. Instead, there is cronyism, nepotism, corruption, etc. that essentially ensures the best person for the job won’t get it.

    Never yet has anyone of real worth risen to the top by way of a prescribed program of study and promotion in due course along the established lines. Even in Germany, which has a pious faith in her bureaucrats, the expression, “a perfect functionary,” is used to connote a spineless and ineffectual person, however well intentioned.

    Mises, Ludwig von (2010-12-10). Liberalism (p. 101). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. James P says:

    If a majority of Americans supported banning free speech does that mean it is Constitutional to do so?

    I don’t give a damn if 99.99999999% support banning so-called “assault” weapons. Our fundamental rights and liberties are not subject to the whims of popular vote.

    I’ll bet 50% +1 would probably like to ban Islam – does that mean we can or are there certain fundamental rights which are not subject to majority sentiment?

    THe fact that a majority supports banning these guns (which I dispute) is irrelevant. It means NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING.

    You libs are always yammering on about Obamacare being the law of the land and Roe v. Wade being settled law. Well the Second Amendment is the law of the land and Heller and McDonald are settled law.

    DEAL WITH IT!

    I don’t give a damn what the majority thinks – I have my fundamental rights. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  24. al-Ameda says:

    @James P:

    I don’t give a damn what the majority thinks – I have my fundamental rights. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    I believe that ‘well regulated’ is still in the Second Amendment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  25. stonetools says:

    @Boyd:

    You’re right. Its a made up term. Made up by gun manufacturers.

    Gun Experts Say There is No Such Thing as a Civilian Assault Weapon

    The NRA, the gun industry, the gun press, and other pro-gun “experts” today claim that there is no such thing as a civilian assault weapon. But before the guns came under fire, these same experts enthusiastically described these civilian versions of military weapons as “assault rifles,” “assault pistols,” and “military assault” weapons. For example:

    In 1982, Guns & Ammo published a book titled Assault Rifles, advertising “Complete Data On The Best Semi-Automatics.”[1] In 1988 Guns & Ammo handgun expert Jan Libourel defined an “assault pistol” simply as, “A high-capacity semi-automatic firearm styled like a submachine gun but having a pistol-length barrel and lacking a buttstock.”[2]
    Gun magazines also specifically praised the spray fire features of civilian assault weapons. For example, a 1989 Guns & Ammo review of the “Partisan Avenger .45 Assault Pistol” noted that when the gun “is fired rapidly from the hip, its swivelling front grip makes for easy and comfortable control of the recoil,” and that the “forward pistol grip extension of this powerful assault pistol not only helps point it instinctively at the target but goes a long way to controlling the effects of recoil….”[3] Guns & Ammo also found point shooting from the hip to be “surprisingly easy” with the HK 94 9mm Carbine.[4] A 1990 review in the NRA’s American Rifleman of the Sites Spectre HC Pistol said, “A gun like the Spectre is primarily intended for hip-firing….”[5] The same magazine’s 1993 review of the Steyr Mannlicher SPP Pistol reported, “Where the SPP really shines is in firing from the hip….”[6]
    A cottage industry of accessory suppliers sprang up, all of which targeted ads soliciting owners of civilian “assault weapons.” [7]
    The gun industry deliberately used the military character of semi-automatic “assault weapons” and the lethality-enhancing utility of their distinctive characteristics as selling points. The German company Heckler & Koch, for example, published ads in 1984 calling their civilian guns “assault rifles” and stressing their military lineage. “The HK 91 Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle from Heckler & Koch…was derived directly from the G3,” a German army weapon, said one ad.[8] Another ad that year described the HK 94 Carbine as “a direct offspring of HK’s renowned family of MP5 submachine guns.”[9] A 1989 Intratec ad said the company’s TEC-9 “clearly stands out among high capacity assault-type pistols.”[10] And in 1982 Magnum Research advertised that the Galil rifle system to which it had import rights “outperformed every other assault rifle.”[11]

    So from 1982, gun manufacturers were calling these weapons “assault rifles”, “assault weapons”, “assault pistols” and “semi-automatic assault rifles” as part of their ad copy, before Sugarmann used the term. That should shut you up, but I know that gun cultists have a rigid mythology that can’t be refuted by such realities as time flowing in one direction, so carry on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  26. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    I’m not in favor of gun bans, but I know that you are programmed to spew out “gun ban bad!” like a wind up toy or computer macro any time this stuff comes up, so continue with with your programming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  27. grumpy realist says:

    @Jack: And when did I say that? I’m in fact much happier if people buy guns to hunt for food and for reasonable self-defense. Buying a gun so you can strut around with it near a mosque just simply Because You Can? No. I consider that a case of arrogant stupidity and aggression.. Similarly for people who do target shooting in their suburban backyards or shooting into the air.

    Look–a gun is something that is used to kill people. Is it really that crazy to make certain that people when they get their hands on them use them RESPONSIBLY?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  28. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Ahem. Yeah, you’ll be “protected” all right.

    So you think the father and daughter killed here could have saved themselves had they just been more cautious?

    I’d rather put the fault on the dumb idiot who was texting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @DrDaveT: I had to guffaw when I read JKB’s comments about protecting himself from deer by keeping a look at the side of the road. No you can’t, silly. Not 100%. It’s not the deer that you see coming from the side that’s going to cause the problem. It’s the deer coming right after him that’s going to crash through your windshield EVEN IF YOU ARE STOPPED.

    And let’s not talk about animals like moose…at least with a deer you have a chance of surviving the accident.

    (One of the reasons Volvo has a “moose test”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  30. stonetools says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Look–a gun is something that is used to kill people. Is it really that crazy to make certain that people when they get their hands on them use them RESPONSIBLY?

    According to gun cultists, yep. Any move to limit access to guns only to people who would use them responsibly is treated by gun cultists as the act of a raving lunatic intent on confiscating all guns and imposing Marxist Muslim Nazi dictatorship on us all.
    At this point, people are responding out of both tribal loyalty and fear, not reason. If there are more terrorist strikes using assault rifles, then people are going to reluctantly come to treat assault rifles exactly as we treat bombs and explosive materials-as dangerous and deadly weapons should be limited to people who are properly screened and trained.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  31. markm says:

    @stonetools:

    The term ” assault weapon” seems to have been originally popularized by gun manufacturers

    Glad to be of service!

    ….I didn’t ask for the origin of the term…..

    If we are talking about getting our ban on and we want to ban a specific weapon, shouldn’t we be able to define that specific weapon so as to not accidentally ban other weapons that are NOT “so called” assault weapons?.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. bill says:

    @markm: you’re right, and there’s not much talk about how gun related deaths are down nearly 50% since the early 90’s.
    “assault” rifles scare the effeminate liberal crowd as they seem to despise the military or any type of authority that’s armed. assault rifles are essentially just “military looking” rifles -scary.
    and the dramatic fashion when they say “semi-automatic” is really something- it means it just shoots one bullet at a time (like any pistol/rifle) vs. “automatic” (which are illegal)
    but don’t start making sense in here- the denial is staggering. and don’t bring up the “who’s killing who” thing either, that’s racist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB:

    In reality, a pistol, revolver, rifle, assault weapon, et al, have never been the culprit in a shooting death.

    Which is the old “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” thing. If you read reports of gun accidents you’ll often find phrasing like the gun discharged, the gun fell to the floor and fired, the gun went off while the owner was cleaning it, and so on. And there seems to be something about waistbands that makes guns prone to discharging on their own. Apparently in some circumstances guns do kill people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  34. gVOR08 says:

    @stonetools: I like to use the term “pretend assault rifle”. I think it captures the mindset of the owners.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  35. Boyd says:

    @stonetools: Thanks for the link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. markm says:

    @gVOR08:

    How do we define this “pretend assault rifle”.
    If we are going to have a discussion about banning these weapons (plus call people names), we should be able to define what is and what isn’t a “so called assault weapon or a doo-doo headed poopy faced pretend assault rifle.

    No?.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  37. Mu says:

    If CA’s “assault rifle” ban has shown one thing is that people will engineer their way around it. You might end up with something that would embarrass a Star Wars prop designer, but the functionality will be back. Definition just doesn’t matter. Even if you outlaw all semi-automatic rifles, straight-pull repeater with a shot-a-second capability have been around since before WWI. I bet you could even come up with a pump-action operation for an AR-15.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  38. grumpy realist says:

    @Mu: Plus the fact is that people can be just as idiotic with an ordinary gun as with an assault rifle.

    Maybe we should go back to allowing only the firearms that were available at the time the Constitution was signed. And stop manufacturing bullets. Let people make their own out of lead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. markm says:

    …..it appears that everyone has taken their ball and gone home. Only 38 comments in an OTB gun thread. What the heck?!?!?.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0