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07 September 2004 @ 09:28 pm
Hey hey hey hey  
Dear friends,

The national ban on military-style assault weapons will expire on Monday, September 13th, unless President Bush and Congress act now. President Bush promised to renew the ban, but instead he's letting it expire -- he has refused to call on Congress to deliver it for his signature.

For 10 years the assault weapons ban has taken the deadliest weapons off our streets, cutting their use in crimes 66 percent. But beginning Tuesday the 14th, an 18-year-old will once again be able to buy an AK-47 assault rifle in most states.

We can stop this if we speak up now. President Bush and Congress must renew the assault weapons ban, not let it expire. Please join me in demanding it, at:


Thank you.

P.S. Yes of course I wrote this. Do you mock me?

edit: Be sure to read the comments before you jump to sign this petition. I, like many other who receive news from MoveOn, jumped on the opportunity to sign something before I considered both sides.
brandon johnsonpiratezim on September 7th, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC)
haha i live in oklahoma! the chances of such a weapon being used on me, or even near me are so slim, that the idea is preposterous!
destined4nothingdestined4nothin on September 7th, 2004 10:13 pm (UTC)

food for thought, and some interesting debate follows.

Both sides have some merit, but I just find that among liberals, lots of people tend to jump on the anti gun bandwagon without considering both sides.

I also noticed that there is a drop in the amount of these weapons used in crimes, but it would seem that criminals are just using other, more readily obtainable guns. Drops in the overall crime rate being attributed to the ban haven't been well established.

just some stuff to think about...
The Captaincaptainwinkey on September 8th, 2004 12:11 am (UTC)
I don't support the ban, because it's idiotic. However, most people don't know what the ban actually bans, and support it out of fear.

The supporters have silly statistics, as well.

Ok, basically, the weapons that are banned are all semi automatic anyway, and they are banned because they either have
1) Removable flashhiders to someone can attach 'silencers' (nevermind that silencers are heavily illegal andhave been regulated against the 30's)
2) A bayonet mount. OKAY KTHX WHO COMMITS CRIMES WITH BAYONETS WHEN THEY HAVE A GUN. Let's ban guns which have the ability to have flamethrowers duct taped to them, 'Aliens' style. Should cut down on the number of crimes caused by guns with attached flame throwers. And while we're at it, let's ban duct tape, too.
3) A removable flashhider which 'can' mount a "grenade launcher" (ie, screw on grenade). Ok, people are SILLY GOOSES. If anyone wanted to make an explosive rifle grenade that attached to their weapon, they could do so without a threaded flashhider if they so wished. Never mind that explosives are incredibly illegal and dangerous. Any sort of explosive or grenade launcher is already classed as an extremely illegal 'destructive device'.
4) A pistol grip. (How does a pistol grip make guns any more lethal?)
5) A folding or telescoping stock. Sure, a folding or telescoping stock can make a gun a full 3-4 inches shorter, which clearly allows me to hide it under my jacket, 'Heat' style. And, a folding stock makes a gun much more likely to kill lots of people in a crime. Those extra four inches can be really important. Look, if someone wants to conceal a gun, they can easily start chopping parts off or just wear a trenchcoat. Banning a telescoping stock seems to be ignoring a more pressing problem, like people buying and using illegal guns in crimes.

Basically, the law defines assault weapons as those that have "a menacing or military appearance." 'Assault Weapons' is a poorly defined term in reference to the law, and ignores functionality in favor of cosmetic appearances. Quote from the soon-to-be-mentioned website:

"Unlike the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Assault Weapon Ban of 1994 doesn't care about how the weapon actually functions but instead concentrates on cosmetic differences of a questionable benefit in reducing violence (Seen anybody bayoneted in the news lately? How about a drive-by grenade assault?). "

Fully automatic guns have been banned/heavily regulated since the 1930's, and that hasn't changed a bit. What the ban does is regulate a lot of weapons and features that really have little or no bearing on crimes and crime rates. Oddly, the only banned weapons are those that have a 'dangerous appearance'. The actual lethality of the guns is not taken into account.

Here's a website which has a little background on the ban itself and what kind of weapons it bans:

As you can see in the 'challenge', there's not much of a difference between the lethality of legal guns and illegal. Except, of course, the confusion and silliness involved here.
The Captaincaptainwinkey on September 8th, 2004 12:12 am (UTC)
Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
Some anti gun people would advocate that all guns should be taken off the streets and out of our citizen's hands. And, of course, a bill that bans a lot of them in one fell swoop can't possibly be a bad thing.

The ban is clearly designed to take the 'scarier looking' weapons off our streets, since politicians seem to be scared of weapons that look scary. Because being scared makes them feel bad inside.

Let's use logic for a change, mkay? If you're going to try to regulate 'dangerous' guns, which are already heavily regulated, try regulating guns which are actually 'dangerous', instead of those which 'can' mount a bayonet or 'grenade launcher'. Or, dear lord, those that have a *detachable magazine*.

And, yes, if I want to go buy an 'ak47 rifle', after the ban expires, I'll be able to. Finally. Of course, since the only real legal kind to manufacture or purchase is semi-automatic, I'll have to just get one of those. As much as movies have us believe to the contrary, fully automatic assault rifles are nearly impossible to get legally, and with good reason.

Scare tactics such as trying to get people to get the ban by playing on their fear of extremely destructive weapons as seen in movies are silly and despicable. I swear, a lot of political groups try to get people to behave like zealous monkeys, rather than thinking, feeling human beings.

My two euro-cents.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on September 8th, 2004 12:49 am (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
Sounds good to me, you've convinced me. I personally know nothing about guns, which is probably the same for those at MoveOn - they seem to be just strictly anti-2nd-amendment.

I'd like to see what some of my Green Party friends have to say about this matter, though. They'd probably be much more educated and a lot less vague about statistics and history than MoveOn.
Simeon: Infrastructagtmadcat on September 8th, 2004 03:19 am (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
I'm a green party friend! Even though I'm acctually a democrat, 'cause then I get to vote in their primaries...

I'm very pro 2nd amendment, but I'm also very pro gun control. The 2nd amendments states, I think word-for-word: "A well-regulated militia being essential to the safety of the nation, the right to bear arms shall not be [denyed? abrdged? something like that...)" so, I think that, especially with the Patriot act and the Bush administration and all that, which quite frankly scare me, I'd like to have the security of a local militia, consisting soley of Marin county residents, and we could have a big bunker and tanks and helicopters and the like. And guns. Lots of guns. But we'd only get to use them for training, or if the U.S. invades California. And people deemed not insane or criminal could take their gun home with them, provided they didn't use it unless the shit hits the fan.

I could go on for much longer, but I'm tired. You get the idea.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on September 8th, 2004 12:57 am (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
One thing I do like about MoveOn's wording is that crime using those weapons has decreased 66%. That is not to say, of course, that overall gun violence has lowered due to the ban. What I got from that (I might be wrong) is that people are just resorting to other guns to kill people.
The Captaincaptainwinkey on September 8th, 2004 05:37 am (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
From the statistics I've seen, that's pretty much it. It's hard to use banned weapons in crime if they're banned. What are the statistics about the number of stabbing and blunt trauma crimes in the UK? ;)

Statistics are often misused and overemphasized in political literature, and compiled from odd osources. if I remember correctly, this one just took into account a sampling of some of the guns that some police siezed after crimes and from criminals, and concluded that about 66% less of the guns were siezed in connection with crimes.
INSERT INFORMATION HEREparadoxx181 on September 8th, 2004 11:41 am (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
yes but with those other guns you cant walk into a office building or movie theather and mow everyone in the theater down, and the cops who respond, and the paramedics, and the news teams.... you get the idea.
The Captaincaptainwinkey on September 8th, 2004 12:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
Actually, you can quite easily, except the guns don't look as badass and militaristic. Thus, you look like much less of a badass while doing it, and have less leverage when negotiating with the police hostage specialists.
INSERT INFORMATION HEREparadoxx181 on September 8th, 2004 08:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
well, true. you'd need to buy a conversion kit or do some tinkering of your own to make it fully auto.

i guess we've all agreed that the thing is pretty much useless, but while it does almost nothing i suppose that it is better than absolutly nothing at all.
Simeon: Infrastructagtmadcat on September 8th, 2004 03:12 am (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
Not here in California you can't. Any kind of assault rifle has been perma-banned here.

But we don't want the politicians to feel bad inside, now do we?
The Captaincaptainwinkey on September 8th, 2004 05:42 am (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
Hey, I'm all for laws that make sense. If California's government thinks that it's more important to have safe streets than have assault rifles freely available, then so be it. That sort of a legal balancing act makes sense: "Do we want assault rifles, and the increased violence of inner city crime that seem to go along with their free availability, or not?"

And hey, like I said above, this sort of a law is great on a case by case basis. Makes sense in California, and maybe not so much in Wisconsin. Plus, this sort of a law is clean cut and not confusingly worded in an effort to manipulate the frightened populace.

(An aside: I read both California's and Arizona's respective gun laws some months ago. California's is something on the order of: "You can't do anything without a permit, and it's really hard to get a permit. You're super regulated. Simon says." Meanwhile, Arizona's firearms laws are about 1/10th the length, and the major bullet point is: "It's illegal to fire a firearm from a moving vehicle. Here's a list of moving vehicles... blah blah blah car blah blah blah ATV blah blah blah skateboard.. etc"

Laws usually reflect the societal problems, since they're usually the solution to them. It seems California has just a wee bit more societal problems relating to guns than Arizona does... :D Arizona seems to be GODDAMNIT STOP SHOOTING ROAD SIGNS.)
(Anonymous) on September 8th, 2004 03:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
wow go steve! You know it's not that hard to get a gun in cali but if you want a permit to conceal it thats a bitch . But here's the thing I don't think I lot of people understand , if you are going to brake the law you are going to brake it.You are no longer concerned with what's legal and whats not (you'r a criminal) . The only thing this ban does is inspire people to go out and look for some other big scary intimidating gun to rob and or shoot people with . Next thing you know people will be strapping there pocket knifes to there smith and weston and trying to stab some body with it .Gun's don't kill people , people kill people and gun with out someone pulling the trigger is just a gun an object with no malice . That's like saying hammers kill people so we should ban them , people just use gun's b/c it's easyer . If we took away all the gun's people would still be killing each other . Any body ever thought of punishing people who do bad things . Prisons are not the answer maybe cruel and unusual punishment is . I know people want guns off the streets so they feel safe and (less ) people will die but at the same time Steve is right this ban sucks and it makes no sence . I think the reason people pick up gun's is b/c they have no guts they would rather kill people from a far and run away rather than doing it like a man (or a woman Im not sexist). Uneducated people are usually the ones picking up gun's and killing people how pissed them off.I think people should be educated .. .
Simeonagtmadcat on September 12th, 2004 02:36 am (UTC)
Re: Appended, because I can't make a post over 4300 characters or some such.
Amen! =)
INSERT INFORMATION HEREparadoxx181 on September 8th, 2004 11:40 am (UTC)
oh fark. >_o
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on September 8th, 2004 05:12 pm (UTC)
Well yeah, I agree with Steve - it seems that the only difference between "assault"-type weapons and regular pistols and the like is cosmetic. Semi-automatic means that it reloads, it's not rapid fire. There's no "mowing down" to be had.
Asyasimplycynical on September 8th, 2004 08:17 pm (UTC)
Hey, hey, hey Terra Linda!
Just wanted to add that.
INSERT INFORMATION HEREparadoxx181 on September 8th, 2004 08:36 pm (UTC)
pw0ned XD