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Resurrecting The Clinton Gun Ban

Resurrecting The Clinton Gun Ban

It’s now unanimous: All three Democratic presidential contenders—Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley—are all officially on public record calling for a federal ban on a broad class of semi-automatic firearms that they call “assault weapons.” 

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., introduced in Congress the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015, which would ban the manufacture of AR-15s and similar firearms. At press time, about 90 Democrats, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., had signed onto the legislation as co-sponsors. 

The questions that every gun owner, and everyone who cares about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, must confront right now are these: 

  1. Why do these Democrats want to ban firearms that are used in only a tiny proportion of murders, while ignoring the firearms—handguns—that are most commonly used by violent criminals? 
  2. Why do these Democrats seek to deceive the American people about “assault weapons,” their capabilities and their exceedingly rare use in violent crimes? 
  3. If they’re willing to ban an entire class of firearms that they know will have no detectable impact on violent crime, then what are these Democrats’ true motives and objectives? Just what do they have in mind? 

Whatever the answers to these questions might be, one fact is chillingly clear: 

Whether or not you own a semi-automatic firearm of any kind, if you want to own any firearm for any lawful reason—or even if you just want to protect that freedom for future generations—these Democrats’ anti-gun agenda should make you think, very clearly and very carefully, and about what it is they seek to achieve, and what you and future generations stand to lose in the bargain. 

Because this entire “assault weapons” hysteria is based on lies. 

So let’s go through them, one by one.

First, since semi-automatic so-called “assault weapons” are used in such a tiny proportion of crime, banning those firearms wouldn’t affect violent crime rates—even if criminals did obey gun bans. 

According to the FBI, less than 2.4 percent of all murders are committed with rifles of any kind—and so-called “assault weapons” are a small subset of that number. 

So it’s not surprising that even the Justice Department had to admit that Bill Clinton’s 1994 gun ban didn’t accomplish a damn thing. “The public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons ... can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.” — Violence Policy Center founder Josh Sugarmann

As even The New York Times had to acknowledge, that study concluded, “Should [the assault weapons ban] be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” 

So after a decade of doing nothing, that ban was allowed to “sunset” in September 2004. 

It’s a shame we have to hear the same lies today from the media and political class that we heard 11 years ago—and a decade before that—about America’s best-selling rifle. And it’s an outrage that we have to keep exposing their lies about semi-automatic firearms with the truth decade after decade. But as it’s been said, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. 

So let’s set the record straight for the umpteenth time: The firearms that these Democrats want to ban are not more powerful than other firearms. They’re not machine guns. They can’t “spray bullets.” They’re not the “weapons of choice for criminals.” They’re not used in the majority of crimes—in fact, they’re relatively rarely used in crimes. And regardless of what they look like, the firearms they want to ban are no different from any other firearm in America. 

“Assault weapons” are not more powerful or deadly than any other firearms. In fact, the cartridges they typically shoot—the .223 Remington or 5.56x45 mm, for example—are less powerful than the deer rifles millions of hunters use every year. Indeed, some states ban the .223 for deer hunting because it’s not considered to be powerful enough.

So-called “assault weapons” are not the “weapons of choice of criminals,” as the Democrats claim, either. About 20 times as many murders are committed by violent criminals using handguns than with rifles of any kind. But Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley and their Democratic enablers know that a ban on handguns would never fly today, since so many Americans own handguns. According to Gallup polls, just one in four Americans support a ban on handguns—and the last time a majority supported such a ban was nearly 50 years ago. One big reason why is because over the past 25 years, as the number of lawfully owned handguns has risen greatly in this country and dozens of states have restored the Right to Carry, violent crime rates have fallen to the lowest levels in 40 years.

So why do Hillary and company try to demonize and outlaw semi-automatic so-called “assault weapons”? In a word, the answer is cosmetics. To people who don’t know much about firearms, semi-automatic so-called “assault weapons” look scary. The AR-15, the semi-auto Kalashnikov, and the rest of the firearms they display for the cameras at their misleading and dishonest press events look like machine guns

And that’s the whole point. 

Ask Josh Sugarmann, who founded the anti-gun Violence Policy Center and popularized the term “assault weapon.” As Sugarmann wrote in 1988: 

“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

But here’s the truth: Whether they’re gas-operated, like the AR-15 rifle ... or recoil-operated, like the Browning Auto-5 shotgun ... or blowback-operated, like the Ruger rimfire pistols or 10/22 rifle … they all fire one shot—and only one shot—each time the trigger is pulled. So they can’t “spray bullets” as Clinton and the others like to claim. 

Regardless of what they look like, they are not, and never will be, machine guns. Real machine guns were highly restricted by the National Firearms Act of 1934, and remain that way today. 

What’s more, after the original Clinton gun ban expired in 2004, AR-15s and similar semi-automatics became the hottest-selling rifles in America. According to the congressional newspaper The Hill, there are currently an estimated 8 to 9 million of these guns in the United States. 

So ask yourself: Will Hillary and company be satisfied with a simple ban on the manufacture or transfer of existing semi-automatic rifles? Or once their ban proves fruitless, will they seek to eradicate the rifles already in private ownership? 

On Oct. 16, Hillary gave us a glimpse of the brave new world she envisions for America, when she compared our nation to Australia, which banned, confiscated and destroyed at least 640,000 semi-auto and pump-action rifles and shotguns in 1996. “I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level if that could be arranged,” Clinton said of the forced confiscation and destruction program. 

Think about what all this means in context.

They’re not doing it for pragmatic reasons, because as the FBI’s statistics show, and the Justice Department’s study proves, banning so-called “assault weapons” won’t make anyone safer. 

And they’re not doing it for political reasons, because as history shows, it won’t help them win elections—just the opposite. In fact, an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday found that public support for banning so-called “assault weapons” had dropped to the lowest levels in 20 years.

So they’re not idiots—they’re ideologues. And they’re not dishonest, so much as they are deluded“I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level, if it could be arranged.” — Hillary Clinton on Australia’s forced gun confiscation and destruction

They’re apparently so consumed by their hatred of firearms and the freedom to own them that they’re willing to sacrifice not only the American people’s ability to defend themselves, but also their own political careers, on the radical and frankly superstitious belief that “guns are bad.”

They don’t care if their gun bans don’t work to reduce crime. They don’t care if their gun bans end up disarming good people and leaving them defenseless against God-knows-what. As the old adages goes, “They’ve got theirs”—and to hell with everyone else. 

In other words, in the final analysis, they want to wage some kind of Holy War against the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and they’re willing to fall on their swords to fight it. 

And that might be the most frightening fact of all. 

Think about where it leads: If Clinton and her fellow Democrats succeed in banning an entire class of firearms that are neither more powerful, nor more dangerous, nor more prevalent in the commission of crimes than any other firearm—what’s to prevent them from banning all firearms under equally empty and insidious means? 

What’s to prevent them from subsequently banning all handguns by claiming—truthfully, for a change—that handguns are used in crime more than any other type of firearm? 

What’s to prevent them from banning shotguns as terrifying “hand cannons whose projectiles are untraceable to investigators”? 

What’s to prevent them from banning deer rifles as “ultra-powerful sniper weapons based on military rifles and capable of killing from a mile away”? 

Once they’ve banned firearms for no good reason, finding better “reasons” to ban guns gets easier and easier as the slippery slope steepens. And once they get groups of gun owners fighting among themselves over whose guns are “legitimate,” whose guns are constitutionally protected, and whose guns go over the transom—they’ve got us right where they want us in their divide-and-conquer strategy.

Use Your Power!

If you want to help defend your rights and defeat these anti-gun zealots in the crucial elections next November, get informed and get involved now, because your freedom needs your help. To find out how you can fight back as a part of NRA’s Grassroots Network, click here.

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