2 thoughts on “Washington “Assault Weapon” Ban Bill Shot Down”

  1. I support gun rights, but I’ve always been kind of ambivalent about the assault weapon thing. Gun laws always end up being a Byzantine mess easily circumvented by savvy arms guys, and they often punish relatively innocuous arms that arbitrarily fall under the category of “assault weapons,” like my old folding stock 10-22. Apparently the bill was named after a boy in Seattle who was shot by an SKS, but my immediate thought was that it sounded a lot more like a Seattle problem than an assault weapon problem.

    1. The thing to keep in mind is when they say “assault weapon” what they really mean is “mean looking guns.” Obviously I’m against all forms of gun control but for somebody who isn’t banning “assault weapons” may seem like it’s OK thing but the mess comes from the fact that these weapons simply have a specific look to them.

      For instance the SKS that you mentioned in its standard configuration doesn’t fit the role of an “assault weapon.” It has a fixed 10 round magazine that must be reloaded via stripper clips. “Assault weapons” are often explained as rifles having detachable magazines with a capacity above 10 rounds. Such categorizations often will also claim the bayonet lug is somehow harmful but I have yet to see a single story published in the last half century where somebody was killed by a bayonet attached to a gun.

      Then you have the list of big no-nos. Things like flash suppressors, compensators, barrel shrouds, vertical front grips, etc. doesn’t make the gun any more dangerous. These accessories don’t increase the force exerted by the ammunition fired. But they look scary to some people therefore the logic seems to be they should be banned.

      The reason these laws are ineffective at doing anything isn’t due to savvy arms guys, it’s due to the fact that these laws have no basis outside of a firearm’s looks. For instance my M-14 wasn’t considered an “assault” weapon” during the ban because it lacks a bayonet lug and has a traditional rifle stock. The manufacture of new 20 round magazines was illegal at the time but nothing on the ban list affected the functionality of the rifle itself so they kept being built.

      Likewise my M-14 is functionally equivalent to every semi-automatic rifle that is chambered in .308. Yet politicians would have you believe it’s somehow deadlier if the bayonet lug is attached.

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