Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More Philadelphia 'assault weapon' hysteria

Annette John-Hall, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, asks "Why do we buy the NRA's line?"

Mayor Nutter and Gov. Rendell are taking aim and don't plan to let up.

In the aftermath of the cold-blooded killing of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski with a semiautomatic weapon, they made a written appeal to lawmakers in Harrisburg last week.

Man up - now.

Stand up for the state's law enforcement officers and ban the possession, manufacture, use and importation of assault weapons.
One of the problems with that idea is that most of those Pennsylvania legislators would like to be reelected some day, and voting to ban so-called "assault weapons" is a good way to make sure that doesn't happen in much of the country, most of Pennsylvania included.
This latest action comes on the heels of the mayor, no doubt sick and tired of being sick and tired of Harrisburg's failure to get any traction on gun control, signing five new gun laws that were to take effect immediately.

He had to realize that his defiant stroke of the pen would amount to nothing more than shooting blanks.

Especially since District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham had already advised him that the laws were unconstitutional.

And most especially since one of the perps oh so willing to fire back was the all-powerful National Rifle Association.

Talk about hostage-takers who refuse to negotiate.
So now NRA members are "perps" and hostage takers. As for "refus[ing] to negotiate"--puh-lease--their willingness to negotiate away gun owners' rights (you do remember the NICS "Improvement" Act, don't you, Annette?) is my biggest problem with them.
Sure enough, the NRA wasted no time suing and winning a restraining order against the mayor's regulations, which included a ban on assault weapons.
An effort that was successful precisely because the mayor's "laws" were so clearly in violation of the Pennsylvania constitution (as well as the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, but, hey--everyone else violates that--why not Philadelphia?).
As expected, the NRA continues to cling to the age-old argument that guns are the least of the problem.

"It's the same song-and-dance out of Ramsey, focusing on the firearm and not at the root of the problem," NRA spokesman John Hohenwarter said. "The problem is the revolving door of the courtroom and the lack of intervention for these kids who grow up to be criminals."

But none of those things killed Liczbinski. A criminal armed with a body-armor-penetrating weapon did.
Never mind for the moment that any hunting rifle will penetrate soft body armor--what the hell does body armor penetration have to do with the killing of an officer who wasn't wearing body armor?

Annette then goes on to talk about people whom I refer to as "Gun Owners Against the Second Amendment"--including "Judas Bob" Ricker.
But the good news is that there are citizens who love their guns and respect the Second Amendment [Ha!], and who also strongly support reasonable gun-control laws.

Roy Vernick, a small businessman who lives in Warrington, bought his first gun in 1976 for safety. Today he owns three handguns. They're all registered and kept under lock and key in his home.

But when he and his wife go into Center City, chances are he's packing.

"Guns to me are like fire extinguishers," Vernick, 57, says. "You don't expect to use them, but you'd better have them if you need them."
So far so good, but . . .
He believes he represents the typical law-abiding gun owner who supports gun regulation.

And he wouldn't join the NRA if you paid him.

"I'll probably get shot for saying this, but I think they're a bunch of terrorists," Vernick says. "We don't have the right to own an AK-47 and we don't necessarily have the right to own a Glock with a 15-round magazine."
Yeah--the NRA has a long history of shooting people with whom they disagree. As to the right to own an AK-47 (has the NRA started standing up for private ownership of select-fire weapons, and I've not been giving them credit, or does he mean semi-automatic copies of AK-47s?), or Glocks with magazines that can hold more than fourteen rounds, perhaps you could explain your take on shall not be infringed.
Vernick's opinion is shared by the 25,000 members of the American Hunters and Shooters Association, a new organization created to bring reason back to the gun issue.

"We believe in the right to bear arms, and hunting and shooting. But we also believe there needs to be reasonable restrictions," says AHSA executive director Bob Ricker, a former NRA attorney. "There's a place for military rifles, in competitions and other things. But they pose a danger to our city streets."
"Competitions and other things," Bob? "Other things" like self-defense, perhaps? And how do certain firearms, being inanimate objects, "pose a danger to our city streets"? Would you say that "danger" is greater or less than the danger posed by violent felons with long criminal histories being set loose on society?

Annette ends her little whine-fest with this:
Why do we continue to listen to the NRA?
I don't know, Annette--would you prefer to listen to the Violence Policy Center?
If the existing assault weapons ban expires, I personally do not believe it will make one whit of difference one way or another in terms of our objective, which is reducing death and injury and getting a particularly lethal class of firearms off the streets. So if it doesn't pass, it doesn't pass.--Tom Diaz, Violence Policy Center senior policy analyst


Thirdpower said...

I e-mailed her. I don't expect a reply of any coherence.

Anonymous said...

If the existing assault weapons ban expires, I personally do not believe it will make one whit of difference one way or another in terms of our objective . . .ZING!!!

I love it when you do that!

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

The best part is watching Sugarmann trying to explain that statement away. I'll bet he had some pointed words for Diaz after that.

me said...

and we don't necessarily have the right to own a Glock with a 15-round magazine."

Which is why you own THREE handguns and REGISTER them with the government right you shit.

I. Hate. People. Like. Him.