Last fall, I wrote about an editorial in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (the editorial has long since been removed from the Sun-Sentinel's website, but I have a screen capture of it) about the acquisition by several Florida police agencies of what advocates of forcible citizen disarmament refer to as "assault weapons." The Sun-Sentinel's editorial board was quite supportive of this measure:
People shouldn't be opposed to cops having these weapons.It's the idea of anyone else having such firearms that we're supposed to oppose, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
What people should oppose — strongly — is the guy across the street having one.In itself, of course, this was nothing new--the media has long championed the idea of restricting the people to less effective arms than are available to the "Only Ones." What made this editorial special was the editorial board's verbal sleight of hand when referring to the weapons in question.
Understandably, officers in more South Florida police agencies have been arming themselves — at their own expense — with patrol rifles to be on more even footing with criminals — particularly gangs — they encounter.How did that happen? A minute ago, they were "assault weapons"--now they're "patrol rifles"? Pretty nifty transformation, and you apparently don't even need any gunsmithing skills whatsoever to bring it about--it depends simply on whose hands are holding the weapon.
I don't want to come across as self-aggrandizing, and I really have no idea if my blog post back then had anything to do with this, or not, but that blog post got a fair amount of attention (at least for a little, insignificant blogger like me) on the gun blogosphere, and the Sun-Sentinel pulled that editorial from their archives much more quickly than is their typical practice. They also, as far as I am aware, have never used the term "patrol rifle" since.
My point today is that they still haven't quite gotten out of the mindset that arms that are a horrid menace to society when in the hands of the public magically transform into noble tools for society's protection, when in the hands of the police. From another South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial, about the Fort Lauderdale Police Department's acquisition of rifles, in yesterday's paper:
At least we are getting assault-style weapons into the hands of people who actually should have them.Not "assault weapons," but "assault style weapons." Not as blatant as the "patrol rifles" reference, but we're still expected to believe that an AR-15 in the hands of a private citizen is a scary "assault weapon," but the very same firearm is merely in the "style" of an "assault weapon" when a cop is holding it.
These are the same editors, remember, who claimed that "assault weapons"
. . . have one purpose — to hurt or kill people, namely cops. And the assault weapons ban needs to be reinstated by Congress.So police need a weapon for which the only purpose is "to hurt or kill people, namely cops"?
Oops--silly me--that just applies to bona fide "assault weapons," not "assault style weapons," or (to nostalgically resurrect an old term) "patrol rifles."