In New Jersey, where Constitutional rights go to die, an effort is (as usual) afoot to ban .50 caliber rifles. The bill, A-2116 would (for whatever baffling reason) even ban modern, inline muzzleloaders of .50 caliber or more (in other words, the most popular hunting muzzleloaders). The primary sponsor is New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15th district), and he justifies it rather . . . oddly.
Gusciora said his measure (A-2116) gained increased significance after six men were charged in May 2007 with planning an assault on Fort Dix with the goal of "killing as many soldiers as possible," using military-grade weapons, like mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and AK-47s.Let me get this straight--their plan was to use weapons "like mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and AK-47s," so we need to ban an utterly unrelated type of firearm? Never mind--I think I get it--mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and true (fully-automatic) AK-47s are already illegal (or so heavily regulated as makes no difference), but .50 caliber rifles, like this muzzleloader:
(looks scary, doesn't it?) haven't been banned yet, so what are we waiting for?
"In a post-9/11 society, there is simply no reason for .50-caliber weapons to be available for civilian use," said Gusciora (D-Mercer). "With the continued rise in gang violence across the state and the fact that New Jersey possesses numerous chemical plants and rail yards vulnerable to attack by .50-caliber weapons, we have a serious responsibility to stop these inherently deadly weapons from falling into the wrong hands."Keep in mind, rifles chambered for the .50 BMG cartridge have been available on the civilian market in the U.S. for over twenty years now. Care to guess how many aircraft have been destroyed by people using them in this country? How many rail tank cars? Bulk fuel or dangerous chemical storage tanks? How many people killed? As it turns out, the number in every case is the same, and I'll give you a hint: it starts with a "z," and ends with an "ero."
According to Gusciora, .50-caliber assault rifles are prized for their long-range accuracy capacity to disable or destroy parked aircraft, armored personnel carriers, rail tank cars, bulk fuel storage, and concrete bunkers in war zones.
That number also happens to describe the amount of merit in legislation like A-2116.