As many as 165 House Democrats have backed legislation Monday to ban so-called assault weapons.
U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) introduced the bill, known as the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018.
Like previous iterations penned by the original architect of the AWB, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the bill would prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of:
- Semi-automatic rifles and pistols with a military-style feature that can accept a detachable magazine;
- Semi-automatic rifles with a fixed magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds;
- Semi-automatic shotguns with a military-style feature;
- Any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds;
- And 205 specifically-named and listed firearms.
“Assault weapons were made for one purpose,” said Cicilline in a press release. “They are designed to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time. They do not belong in our communities.”
“I am proud to introduce the Assault Weapons Ban with the support of leaders in law enforcement,” he continued. “It’s on all of us to end this carnage.”
Congressman Ted Deutch, the representative for Parkland, Florida, also got behind the bill. He asked the question, “Americans don’t own tanks or missiles; so why should our streets be flooded with weapons of war made for the sole purpose of killing people?”
“Most Americans support the assault weapons ban,” said Deutch. “Now it’s time for Congress to listen and pass sensible legislation to get these weapons of war off our streets.”
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 has been sent to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Assuming it cleared that GOP-controlled committee and Speaker Paul Ryan gave it the green light for a vote before the entire floor (two big assumptions), the Dems would still need Republican support to get to that magic number — 218 — to enact the ban. Remember, there are 193 Dems in the House. Of which, only 165 have signed onto the bill. Few Republicans, so far, have come out in support of prohibiting AR- and AK-pattern rifles.
However, one House Republican of note has voiced his support for the measure. Rep. Brian Mast, who represents Florida’s 18th congressional district. Mast is a combat vet and double amputee. Due to his experience, knowledge of weapons and service to our country, many are hoping that his opinion will tilt the scales.
“Our Second Amendment is an unimpeachable, God-given right to defend ourselves; one of the most basic rights,” Mast said on CNN “New Day,” several days after his New York Times op-ed calling for a ban went viral. “But we recognize that there is a balance between what is the level of lethality, what is that level of firepower and does that fall in line.”
“We recognize that there is a line somewhere that we say ‘here’s the Second Amendment and here is public safety,'” Mast continued. “And there is room. They’re not mutually exclusive to one another.”
Support for a ban just out edges opposition, 50 percent to 46 percent, according to a recent poll by The Washington Post. Four percent had “no opinion.”
For me, ownership of black rifles is an uncomplicated issue, even if you believe all the spin by the anti-gunners that “mass shootings have become more deadly” since the Clinton-era ban expired and “weapons of war” don’t belong on our streets, etc.
Why does anyone need a black rifle?
My answer is simple, just in case. I don’t really need to elaborate. But if pressed, I’ll say that the truth is, at present, I don’t need one. But the same holds true for the first aid kit in the bathroom closet and the fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink. I don’t need those either… Until suddenly, I do.
The fatal assumption supporters of a black rifle ban make is that they believe things will always be the way they are. Hunky-dory. Going to war with our government is never going to happen. Empires don’t collapse nowadays. Modern economies don’t fail. History never repeats itself.
Massive race riots that consume an entire city, circa Los Angeles 1992. A thing of the past. We can tell those Korean shop owners who used those scary assault weapons to defend their livelihood from violent looters that they’re perfectly safe now. History never repeats itself.
By the same token, we can tell the Oklahoma man who protected his home with an AR-15 last year from three intruders that he’s going to be just fine. He can give up that rifle. We can also tell Stephen Willeford, the man who confronted the armed killer who was slaughtering churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas back in November that he can turn in his AR because he doesn’t need it. History never repeats itself.
Weapons of War
You see where I’m going with that. History never repeats itself until one day it does. Now, I don’t want to insult Rep. Mast because he’s given up more to defend our way of life than I have or ever will. But the truth is that civilians have always had access to weapons of war on par with our government. At least in the case of small arms. What is a 1911? Or an M1 Garand? Or, for that matter, a musket? Aren’t these all certified “weapons of war”? Sure they are.
Civilians have, to use his words, “an unimpeachable” right to keep and bear arms. What makes that right “unimpeachable” isn’t that it’s God-given or that it’s a natural right (those arguments are both valid, in theory). What makes it unimpeachable — really unassailable — is exercising that right. Bearing arms guarantees our right to bear arms. As well as our other Constitutional rights. Therefore, when the government moves to take guns away, we – the people – become less safe and less free.
Fact: It’s harder to take stuff from men with guns than it is to take stuff from men without guns. Incidentally, it’s harder to shoot up a school guarded by men with guns (who aren’t afraid to do their jobs) than it is to shoot up a school with no armed guards.
When the conversation turns to the lethality of certain arms we must remember two things. First, lethality is more often a function of the shooter’s capability than it is of the platform he is using. A five-shot revolver in the hands of a capable shooter can be every bit as lethal as a rifle in the hands of a noob. Second, when it comes to the security of the free state, when it comes to defending against tyranny, when it comes to preserving and protecting the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic, increased lethality is increased security. It’s increased resistance.
Better men than I have said it in the past. “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.” — William Burroughs