Fallacies of the Assault Weapons Ban
Violent crime is a growing problem in our country. Politicians are always looking for new laws to impose on their people in order to combat the problem. Unfortunately, some of these laws are written by individuals who do not possess a thorough knowledge of the topic they are attempting to regulate. One example of these laws is the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that was in place from 1994-2004. This law made it illegal to produce or purchase a firearm that had certain cosmetic features which had no effect of the lethality of the firearm when used as a weapon. The politicians had essentially banned firearms that they deemed looked scary. Now there is a push for a renewed Federal Assault Weapons Ban. It is imperative the people know that this infringement on our Second Amendment rights is constructed around banning firearms based on how they look instead of how effective they are as weapons. Fallacies of the Assault Weapons Ban
There are many political issues in the world that incite strong emotional reactions from people from all walks of life. These issues can turn the tide of a political campaign because of the emotions involved with them. Quite often, the most emotion inspiring issues are related to individual rights and public safety. A major issue that is constantly debated by opposing interest groups is gun control. This is a topic that creates a firestorm of debate between people all over the country. On one side, there are the gun owners who believe the Second Amendment to the constitution is absolute and that citizens of the United States should be permitted to own any firearms they want. On the other side, there are gun prohibition groups who believe that all firearms should be banned. Both of these points of view are the extreme ends of the spectrum. Most people tend to be in favor of reasonable restrictions on the ownership of firearms. But what is reasonable? There are many examples of reasonable gun control; however, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 was not a reasonable form of gun control. The voters realized this. After 10 years of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban being in place, it was allowed to quietly expire. But now, the gun prohibition groups are pushing hard to create a new, stricter assault weapons ban. This should not be allowed to happen. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was not a reasonable form of gun control because it banned firearms based on their cosmetic appearance instead of how lethal they are. This ban was based on unfounded fears of criminals using assault weapons to commit horrendous crimes and failed to actually remove firearms that are equally powerful from the streets of America. Most importantly, this ban violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
They Look Scary
Until the early 1990’s, there was no legal definition of what constituted an assault weapon. The only definition was contained within the United States Defense Intelligence Agency’s book titled Small Arms Identification and Operation Guide. This book states that assault weapons are "short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachinegun and rifle cartridges." (Morgan and Kopel, 1991). The definition of an assault weapon, when it comes to the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, is any semi-automatic which accepts detachable magazines and possesses more than two of the following features: folding or telescoping buttstock, pistol grip, bayonet mount, threaded barrel, flash hider, or a grenade launcher (Koper, 2004). These definitions are obviously very different from each other. The Defense Intelligence Agency’s definition describes a weapon which is capable of firing either fully automatic or semi-automatic and then goes on to describe how powerful the weapon is. On the other hand, the legal definition of an assault weapon merely describes them based on cosmetic features that...
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