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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for January 1st, 2013

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

The New Year kicks off with Vice President Biden, a super-supporter of “gun control” in general and the “assault weapons ban” in particular chairing a blue ribbon panel on “gun violence.”  When President Obama gave that assignment, he said he wanted all sides heard from, but with the panel about to convene, there is no indication that the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, or any other entity which supports the civil rights of gun owners has been invited to the discussion.

One of the first items on the agenda for Congress in January 2013, if not the first, will be the new and even more Draconian “assault weapons and magazine ban” long since drafted by Dianne Feinstein, Democrat Senator from California. Here, in 1995, Dianne Feinstein explains why she would ban all private ownership of firearms if she could:



Read this, from GunsAmerica:

I’ve been unable to find an actual copy of Senator Feinstein’s Senate Bill regarding this issue, but here’s the synopsis from Senator Feinstein’s website:

Summary of 2013 Feinstein Assault Weapons Legislation

Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:

 120 specifically-named firearms
 Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one military characteristic
 Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds

Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:

 Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test
 Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test
 Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans

Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:

 Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment
 Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes and
 Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons

Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
o Background check of owner and any transferee;
o Type and serial number of the firearm;
o Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
o Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
o Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration

Basically, she’s saying that you can keep your semiautomatic firearm if you register it, as you would a machine gun, as a weapon covered under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

“Registration” of an NFA weapon begins with a form that looks like this: .  It’s what you’d do to get a sound suppressor, or “silencer,” for the .22 rifle you keep at the farm, or to legally purchase a machine gun.  A friend of mine, a Class III dealer whose stock in trade is such items, tells me that the NFA branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is already so overburdened that transfer times are now greatly extended. It used to take six weeks for the paperwork to transfer between the manufacturer and him, the dealer, but it now runs about three months. Transfer from a dealer like him to the Federal Government-investigated and -approved buyer, which used to take some four months, now takes six to eight months. Requiring NFA registration of the many millions of semiautomatic firearms that have been in this country for the last 112 years or so would overwhelm the BATFE like a tsunami.


Moreover, THE  TRANSFER TAX (“REGISTRATION TAX”) PER ITEM IS $200 APIECE FOR NFA ITEMS! Only, this would be a transfer “from you to yourself,” an extortionistic demand that you pay to keep something you have already legally purchased and responsibly owned.  It’s your classic example of bad lawmaking, with ex post facto overtones that would criminalize millions of law-abiding Americans.

And, Senator Feinstein, please tell the American Public what happens to these expensive firearms, these investments, after we “grandfathered” owners die? Will we be able to bequeath them to our children? Will we be able to sell them to afford nursing care in our old age…?

All this, let me remind you, would apparently be for your lawfully owned semiautomatic arms capable of working with a magazine of more than ten rounds. That would include the Winchester .351 rifle of 1907 and the Remington Model 8 hunting rifle patented in the year 1900, not just your AR15 or your Mini-14 Ruger Ranch Rifle.  It would include the 1903 model Colt .32 pistol that saved my grandfather’s life in the early 20th Century, and the WWI vintage Colt .45 pistol that sits in my gun safe at the moment.  And it would include the .22 caliber Ruger 10/22 rifle you use when you take your kids to an Appleseed seminar on marksmanship and history, or just plinking at the backyard backstop.

From what brilliant, in-depth research comes this legislation? Well, HERE  we have Senator Feinstein herself explaining how she drafted her first bill after reading a few newsstand gun magazines in 1993, and this newest piece of legislation after reading a few in 2012.

Dear God: it’s as if someone was drafting legislation that would ban you from owning a gasoline-operated vehicle in the time of Volt – and charging you hundreds of dollars to keep the vehicles you already owned, and going in for mug shots and fingerprints like a criminal –  basing her research on having read a few issues of Motor Trend and Car and Driver.

This is going to happen quickly, and time is of the essence. Write or call your representatives on Capitol Hill NOW!  The people putting forth this poorly drafted legislation have a mandate from our own President to pass it in the next two weeks! Links to your Congressional representatives can be found in the GunsAmerica link, above.


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