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    Here begins your journey into the mind of everybody's favorite asian, and I don't mean Jet Li.
What follows is the somewhat inane, mostly irrelevant, and self-important ramblings of a man on the brink of madness.
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Friday, August 12, 2005
 Fear and Ignorance in Columbus    [L]

From NBC news in Columbus:
Columbus City Council Votes To Ban Assault Vehicles
Three Other Ohio Cities Already Have Ban

POSTED: 10:47 pm EDT July 11, 2005
UPDATED: 1:09 am EDT July 12, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After plenty of debate from both sides of the assault vehicle ban issue the actual vote wasn’t even close Monday night, NBC 4 reported.

Columbus City Council voted unanimously to ban manual or automatic assault vehicles from civilians in the city.

Councilman Mike Mentel, the bill's sponsor, said it's about protecting those who protect us.

Opponents say any vehicle can kill a policeman and laws requiring registration lead to government control.

The ban does make a provision for ownership by car collectors, sport drivers and those who already own them.

Columbus now joins Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo in banning assault vehicles.
Of course, they really said "weapons" in place of "vehicles" - but my point on the absurdity of it all remains the same. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban did nothing to restrict or reduce the lethality of any firearm - it simply made various (and arbitrary) cosmetic features illegal.

The usual rhetoric is heard here: "But it's for the police officers' safety!"
Which is a load of crock - because just about any rifle ever made is capable of defeating body armor. So, unless they get around to banning all rifles, this does nothing to protect the officers. Let's go back in time, shall we?

Like the much ballyhooed Assault Weapons Ban of the 90s, Columbus' new law will most likely do very little in the way of preventing crime. In fact, most reports on that era seem to indicate that it had none, or even negative effects on the crime rate. (I'm being a lazy blogger and not sourcing most of this, but rest assured a bit of google-work will take you far). The Clinton AWB banned cosmetic features - it did not restrict any real functional features. These features were actually still legal - it was the combination of 2 or more that caused the entire weapon to be considered illegal. Did that really change anything? Did it protect the police or the victims any better? No - rifle bullets were still capable of piercing armored clothing.

So what do people think when they hear "assault weapon"? Invariably, they end up thinking of a fully-automatic weapon (that is, firearms that fire more than 1 round with a single pull of the trigger) - and yet the AWB has nothing to do with fully-automatic weapons. That restriction was set in 1934 with the National Firearms Act (NFA). Notice that I said restriction. It is fully legal for a private citizen to own a fully-automatic gun - you just have to go through a Federal Body Cavity Search in order to get one - they go through your background with a fine-toothed comb. I wonder how it compares to a Top Secret background investigation? Anyway, once you get approved, you then have to pay the exorbitant amount of $ for the weapon, due to the low supply and low demand, and then a $200 tax that goes to the BATFE. Nonetheless, I would giggle like a schoolgirl if I got a fully automatic supressed 9mm MP5. In fact, if I got one, I would actually dress up in a schoolgirl outfit.

Regardless of the much-exaggerated and much-misattributed powers of the "assault weapon" (or alternatively, a "high-powered assault weapon"), do you know how many crimes were committed with "assault weapons" (not the exact technical definition, but rather the folklorish one)? Very few - and that is not because of the ban - even the periods before and after the ban, very few crimes were committed with any fully-automatic weapon. The vast majority of crime committed with firearms dealt with handguns, shotguns, and semi-automatic rifles.

Columbus' resolution is a load of schlock - the highlights:
WHEREAS, gun violence continues to be one of the most serious crime problems plaguing America's cities
No, it's only the most serious crime problems in cities with the strictist gun control laws: LA, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Washington D.C.
WHEREAS, the military-style features of assault weapons make them particularly attractive to drug dealers, gangs and other criminals
I'd like to challenge the Columbus city council to find more than a few isolated incidents of the criminal element employing military-style assault weapons. Oh please find me one drug dealer who uses an AR-15 with pistol grip, flash hider, tac-light, and holosight.
WHEREAS, among these military-style features is a well-defined, conspicuously protruding pistol grip that is designed to assist in controlling the weapon during rapid fire or one-handed firing, while the vast majority of sporting firearms employ a more traditional pistol grip built into the wrist of the stock of the firearm since one-handed shooting is not usually employed in hunting or competitive target competitions;
Red state definition of gun control: Being able to shoot what you aim at. I can't see how anything enhancing the controllability of a firearm is a bad thing. Only a liberal would want to make a gun harder and more dangerous to shoot and then cry about the difficulty and danger of using said firearm.
WHEREAS, assault weapons are the weapons of choice for terrorists, as evidenced by a captured al-Qaida training manual instructing members to obtain AK-47's or AK-47 variants legally available in the United States
Note to the ignorant: AK-47s are cheap, easy to maintain, and plentiful. Might as well try banning Bic pens.
WHEREAS, even under the federal assault weapons ban, gun manufacturers were able to circumvent the ban with minor design modifications that resulted in functionally equivalent versions of the same weapons being sold legally to civilians
Ah-hah! They just admitted that all the AWB did was force minor design modifications. Notice that assault weapons (as defined by the AWB) and non-assault weapons are functionally equivalent, minus minor design modifications. So what did that AWB do again? NOTHING.
WHEREAS, in the period of 1998-2001, one in five law enforcement officers slain with a weapon was slain by a criminal using an assault weapon
Easy enough to claim when your definition of "assault weapon" is so broad you could sail the USS Ronald Reagan through while towing Michael Moore.
WHEREAS, assault weapons typically fire ammunition that can penetrate an officer's body armor and kill or severely injure the officer;
Note to the ignorant: virtually every single rifle made in the past 150 years is possible of defeating body armor and kill or severely ingure the wearer.
(E) "Automatic firearm" means any firearm designed or specially adapted to fire a succession of cartridges with a single function of the trigger. "Automatic firearm" also means any semiautomatic firearm designed or specially adapted to fire more than thirty-one cartridges without reloading, other than a firearm chambering only .22 caliber short, long, or long-rifle cartridges.
Heck, there's some Glock magazine that can hold more than 31 rounds - does that mean all glocks are now considered automatic firearms?

Anyway, having devastated their assumptions, let's see what they're actually trying to ban:
(L) "Assault weapon" means any:

(1) Semi-automatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following:
(a) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the receiver of the weapon;
(b) Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;
(c) A folding, telescoping or thumbhole stock;
(d) A shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel; or
(e) A muzzle brake or muzzle compensator;
(1) this is a majority of rifles.
(a) this is an option on a majority of rifles.
(b) this is also an option on a majority of rifles.
(c) yet another popular option.
(d) an even more popular option, and functional to boot (who wants to burn their hands?)
(e) heck, they started including these on guns during the AWB because it was about the only thing that WAS legal!
(2) Semi-automatic pistol with a fixed magazine, or any semi-automatic, centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine, that has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition;
This is 99% (an estimate) of all handguns! Many handguns have interchangeable magazines (1911s, glocks, XDs, sigs) for which there are high-capacity versions available! This legislation would ban virtually everything except for a few single-shot derringers! On a more thorough reading, I realized it says "fixed magazine". I need to do a little more research into it.
(3) Semi-automatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following:
(a) Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip than can be held by the non-trigger hand;
(b) A folding, telescoping or thumbhole stock;
(c) A shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel;
(d) A muzzle brake or muzzle compensator; or
(e) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at any location outside of the pistol grip;
For the most part, this section doesn't apply to many handguns - the only ones that I can think of are the rifles that are cut down to pistol length, such as the AR-15 pistols. But parts (c) and (d) concern me because they could easily be applied to "race guns" (pistols used in competition). Many of those have shrouds on them, and are ported. This isn't to say that I support this section of the legislation in anyway though - it's an encroachment on liberty any way you slice it.
(4) Semi-automatic shotgun that has two or more of the following:
(a) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the receiver of the weapon;
(b) A folding, telescoping or thumbhole stock;
(c) A fixed magazine capacity in excess of five standard two and three quarters inch (2 ¾”), or longer, rounds; or
(d) An ability to accept a detachable magazine;
Again, this definition fits the vast majority of shotguns.

I could go on and on, but I don't want to lose my readers (more than I already have, anyway).

In light of the broad definitions of "assault weapons" and the general insanity of the resolution, what is their ultimate goal? Obviously it is to ban all firearms entirely - and we can see from Washington DC what a complete ban on firearms does:
...the "gun-free" utopia that is Washington D.C. has one of the highest rates of gun violence. In the year 2000, there were 239 murders in the District, and 8,626 violent crimes. Compare this with gun-loving Alaska, who had 27 total murders and 3,554 violent crimes. Per capita, the numbers are even worse. D.C. had 41.8 murders per 100,000 citizens compared to Alaska's 4.3. The "gun free" city of Washington D.C. had more murders per capita than the entire state of Alaska.

And this pattern repeats itself in every gun-control utopia in the nation. Despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, gun-control supporters continue to place their hope (well-meaning but ultimately wrong) in the canard that gun-control laws will prevent gun crime.

There's a tired cliche, but one that has yet to prove itself false: "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." Yet it is tragically true. The only people who turn in their guns are the law-abiding citizens! No criminal would ever turn in a gun - after all, they are, by definition, not law-abiding citizens. In fact, they have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, by not turning in their guns. And so the subjugation of the lawful citizen by the criminal element marches fearlessly on.

I find that a person's attitudes on gun-control allows me to quickly identify their rational ability. Anybody who can so advocate the supposed benefits of gun-control laws in light of all the data to the contrary has no grip on this reality, and are likely in for a very rude, very tragic, awakening.

Update 08/18/05
A few more tidbits:
(2) Semi-automatic pistol with a fixed magazine, or any semi-automatic, centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine, that has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition;
Ok, it looks like the phrase "fixed magazine" applies to pump/lever action firearms. Other than maybe a handful of .22s, I can't imagine any fixed magazine firearm being capable of holding more than 10 rounds anyway - which renders this section pretty much useless. But either way, it's still an unnecessary encroachment on our liberty.
[This section does not apply] (7) To any person who receives an assault weapon as the result of the lawful distribution of a decedent's property by will or intestate succession, provided that, within ninety days of acquiring possession of the weapon, that person shall either:
(a) Remove the assault weapon from the City of Columbus;
(b) Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable or to permanently make it a device no longer defined as an assault weapon; or
(c) Relinquish the assault weapon to the Columbus Division of Police for destruction.
So, if you have firearms that are registered, and you die, they can't be passed on to your local kin - so follow the PRO's advice and just store (most of) your weapons with somewhere outside of Columbus.
The PRO says:
PRO IS RECOMMENDING that people NOT register their guns, but move them out of the city until this matter is settled in the courts. There is a great deal of confusion about what guns this ban covers. Because a provision in the new law stipulates that guns that are registered cannot be later sold or willed to a gun owners' heirs upon her death, this is essentially a gun "surrender/confiscation" law, as well. It makes no sense to register lawfully owned guns for later surrender to the city with no compensation, so we urge you to move and store your firearms outside the city limits.

Peoples Rights Organization historically has taken legal action in these kinds of matters. We will have an announcement in the coming weeks.

Gun owners in the city are fuming, but most everyone else is indifferent. The only people cheering this move are Mayor Michael Coleman, who continues to promote the fact that he drove away the NRA and its $20 million in economic benefits that the 2007 convention would have brought to the financially beleagured city, and the out-of-state anti-gun groups (Toby Hoover's Toledo-based Coalitition Against Gun Violence; the San Francisco Legal Community Against Violence, which wrote the Columbus ordinance; and the former Handgun Control Inc., now known as the Brady Campaign). Council Member Michael Mentel is staying quiet on the issue, since Council recessed for the month of August.

One lawsuit has already been filed by a Columbus City Council candidate who says the ordinance violates state probate law. Additional suits are expected to be filed. And as stated earlier, PRO will have an announcement in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for more information on this matter.
I must give kudos to the NRA for standing up to Columbus and withdrawing their convention. While I was looking forward to an NRA convention in Columbus, I'd rather have them send a clear message to the city than save a few hours' travel time.

sources and other informative sites:


Doesn't HB347 take care of municipalities making silly laws like this? Perhaps I'm misinformed but I was under the impression that the state law would be the only law concerning firearms in Ohio.

From PRO []
The pre-emption portion of Sub. HB 347 would give sole authority to regulate firearms to Ohio lawmakers, and remove that ability from local municipalities powers under (Ohio) constitutional home rule. During this entire debate, interestingly, Gov. Bob Taft has never commented on pre-emption...he only threatened a veto if lawmakers took away journalist access and tinkered with car-carry requirements that were dictated by the Ohio Highway Patrol, and to a lesser degree, the Ohio FOP.

By Blogger Anthony, at 3/13/2007 08:38:00 PM      

Yup! HB347 goes into effect in approx. 1 hr!

By Blogger Chu, at 3/13/2007 10:55:00 PM      

Anthony, I don't remember what they use, but it seemed pretty comparable to the WWB.

By Blogger Chu, at 3/13/2007 10:55:00 PM      

^^^ speak up ^^^