I've mentioned the drive in Maryland to ban so-called "assault weapons" a couple times (here and here) before. I've already quoted one statement made by the bill's sponsor, but it's so comically ridiculous I can't help pointing it out again. This is how Senator Mike Lenett justifies his jihad against the Constitution.
"These weapons are particularly ill-suited to hunting or target-shooting, but remarkably well-suited to killing a lot of people in a hurry," said Lenett, who is the bill's chief sponsor and mentioned the sniper slayings in 2002 that left seven Maryland residents dead as one reason why such a law is needed.Got that? Being "assault weapons," they're ill-suited to target shooting. What makes a particular rifle a bad choice for a target shooter? Incacurracy--to be good for target shooting, a rifle needs to be able to . . . hit the target. Lenett apparently buys wholeheartedly into the myth that "assault weapons" are only meant to be "spray fired from the hip" (oddly enough, when I was trained to use a real M-16 assault rifle, my drill sergeants would have made my life a nightmare if I had tried to "spray fire from the hip"), and are thus incapable of decent accuracy. Then he goes blithely along to point to the use of such a rifle in the "sniper" shootings in the DC area in 2002 as more evidence that these rifles are "bad." But how can a rifle that's not accurate enough for target shooting or hunting be an effective sniper's weapon? Senator Lenett is apparently more than a little confused--perhaps the residents of his district (the people he claims to represent) need to educate him.
The Brady Bunch apparently saw an opportunity here, and started an all-out media blitz, including a radio ad campaign. Here's an excerpt from the transcript from the ad.
State Senator James Brochin from the Baltimore area is the key vote needed now to pass this bill.They certainly went to a lot of trouble to concentrate on one state senator, didn't they? I'm not sure how they identified Brochin as they're best bet to get the bill out of committee, but they sure wanted to buy a lot of pressure to bring to bear on him.
Please call Senator Brochin at 410-841-3648. Ask him to support Senate Bill 43 to ban assault rifles. Make sure your voice is heard. That number again: 410-841-3648.
Well, apparently the people of Maryland don't harbor as much anti-gun sentiment as Helmke and his minions had hoped, because clearly there were not enough phone calls to sway Senator Brochin. Brochin voted against the bill, leaving it with too few votes to get out of committee. It is now quite likely to die a richly deserved death. Senator Brochin had a few words of his own, after the vote.
"The only people we target in this bill are law-abiding citizens who use these guns for target shooting or competitions," Brochin said. "I wish gun control worked, but it doesn't make any sense."Since the Bradys so kindly provided a phone number at which to reach Senator Brochin, it would probably be a good idea to call him and thank him for his defense of the rights of Maryland residents.
UPDATE: The Bradys aren't happy. Kind of amusing that the most they can threaten Senators Brochin and Stone with is a pledge to fight their reelections--in November 2010.