Washington State Senators attempt to justify "assault weapon ban"…

And Fail. A snippet:

Many semi-automatic assault rifles on the market today can be easily converted to fully automatic operation with minor after-market modifications, and are often purchased with that purpose in mind.

A less obvious point is that, when it comes to taking life, semi-automatic weapons are as lethal as fully automatic weapons, which were banned in the 1930s because police were being gunned down by gangsters.

My reply:

Re: letter to the editor entitled “Police Chiefs Call for State Ban” by Sen Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Sen Adam Kline, published on January 12, 2010

The lettter to the editor submitted by Senators Kohl-Welles and Kline was premised upon two points, both of which are fallacious.

They claimed that “many semi-automatic assault rifles…can be easily converted to fully automatic operation with minor after-market modifications”. This is a myth. Converting a semi-automatic rifle to a machine gun requires machining and tooling that is simply beyond the capability of your average street thug. It is notable that the Senators don’t support their contention with facts or statistics. This is hardly the pervasive problem that they imply and does not justify a wholesale ban of the most popular utility and target rifles in the United States.

The Senators’ second point engages in a bit of “bait and switch” trickery. The legislation that they support would ban only “semi-automatic assault weapons”. In their second point, they change the subject from “assault weapons” to all semi-automatic firearms. In doing so, they patently admit the classification of a firearm as an “assault weapon” is irrelevant. The proposed law arbitrarily targets firearms based solely upon aesthetics. Further reinforcing this point, the statistic they provide of 40 police officers killed by semi-automatic weapons over the last four years includes (and, most likely, is made up primarily of) semi-automatic weapons that would be wholly unaffected by the proposed ban. The good Senators are apparently well aware of this, thus the change of subject from the limited one of the “semi-automatic assault weapons” that the proposed legislation targets to the broad inclusion of all semi-automatic firearms.

Which leads to the obvious question: If the proposed legislation is actually justified and supported by facts and reason, why are the proponents of it forced to rely on Hollywood created myths and misdirection to rationalize it?

It probably won’t be printed, which is why I’m providing it here.

3 thoughts on “Washington State Senators attempt to justify "assault weapon ban"…

  1. We can't expect them to throw away a perfectly good argument, just because its based on lies…

    What's next? Holding people responsible for crimes instead of inanimate objects?… That's just crazy talk.

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