Semi-Automatic Mechanisms – The New Assault Weapons, Updated

With the possibility of a new administration that has promised to ban the manufacture and sale of so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines”, let’s take another look at what a new ban will likely include. While the most commonly mentioned target is the AR-15 & AK-47 pattern rifles – using the completely inaccurate and scary terminology of “weapons of war”, gun control legislation from around the country provides ample evidence that the scope will be much wider. Firearms with so-called “evil features” are commonly included. Now add the latest trend to include the “semi-automatic mechanism” and you can ban many more commonly owned firearms.  And you thought they just wanted your scary black rifles.

Politically defined terms like so-called “assault weapons” have many problems. Among them is the definition tends to evolve over time. It can mean one thing today and grow to include much more tomorrow. These terms also tend to be geographically specific. An “assault weapon” in one state – or even city – isn’t an “assault weapon” in another. Each jurisdiction gets to pick and choose what they think an “assault weapon” is. The new thing is to call for a complete civilian ban on all semi-automatics. 

One of the latest attempts to massively expand the type of firearms law-abiding citizens are restricted from started in Massachusetts. In the wake of the shooting in a gun free zone in Virginia Beach, VA, an unknown group of naysayers came out with the revelation that the .45 caliber handguns used in that shooting shares the same deadly feature as the dreaded AR-15 – the semi-automatic mechanism. Now, “the most severe gun-related problem facing our society is the proliferation of guns containing a semiautomatic mechanism.” 

Their organization “is working to achieve legislation that will ban the semiautomatic mechanism in any gun sold or owned in Massachusetts. These are weapons that were designed for military and law enforcement purposes only and not for the general public. Revolvers, lever-action, pump-action, and bolt-action guns cover the full spectrum of civilian needs, whether they are hunting, personal protection, or home protection. The semiautomatic mechanism for guns has no place in civilian hands.”

Sadly, this absolutely absurd idea was quickly adopted by gun control extremist legislators in numerous states and is now either proposed legislation or has been added onto their list of “assault weapons”. 

Of course, the first successful semi-automatic firearm was designed by Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher in 1885.  The iconic Model 1911 pistol has been in service from – you guessed it – 1911, that’s 109 years old!  There’s nothing horribly sinister or deadly about the mechanism, it simply ejects the fired cartridge and loads the next one to be fired the NEXT time the trigger is pulled. The capacity of the magazine determines how many times you can pull the trigger before the firearm is empty. Massachusetts, being one of the nanny gun control states, says that number is 10. Of course, a standard 1911 magazine is only eight. 

If it’s not a magazine capacity thing, is it the shooting speed the antis don’t like? Of course not.  Semi-automatics don’t fire any faster than revolvers. In fact, the world’s fastest shooter used a revolver to put eight rounds on target in one second.  And no, there is no such thing as “fully semi-automatic”, the ludicrous phrase coined by an anti-gun former Army officer in the employ of CNN. 

Why the new fixation on all things semi-automatic?  It’s merely an attempt to put more firearms on the banned list and get them taken out of the hands of law-abiding civilian owners. The tactic has been used for years in the states that have some sort of “assault weapon” definition. What started as a specific list of firearms “too deadly for civilian use” has been systematically expanded to include firearms with purely cosmetic “evil features” such as pistol grips, adjustable stocks, threaded barrels and flash hiders or the ability to utilize a “high-capacity” magazine. The State of Washington now defines ALL semi-automatic rifles as semi-automatic assault rifles. Massachusetts went so far as to outlaw the mechanism used in AR-15’s and AK-47’s and bans any firearm that has interchangeable parts, such as the extractor or extractor assembly, with the AR-15 or AK-47. 

How many firearms in the United States are semi-automatic?  Depending on how you slice the data, you’d be looking at roughly 150 million of the estimated 400 million civilian owned firearms in this country.

Would an all-out ban on semi-automatic firearms survive a Constitutional challenge, especially in light of the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision and the “in common use at the time” test?  No, of course not. But that’s ONLY with the current makeup of the United States Supreme Court. An expanded Supreme Court packed with far-left activist justices (you know, to “reduce the influence of politics”), would undoubtedly interpret this differently or reverse Heller all together. 

Will a new ban make all these “semi-automatic assault weapons” just go away? Of course not, that will take time. Using a combination of registration through the NFA (National Firearms Act) and mandatory buybacks for those who can’t afford the $200 per firearm and $200 per magazine NFA fee. Of course, NFA firearms are currently fully transferable, so this will need to be changed to the same design as California’s registered “assault weapons”, which cannot be transferred or inherited. 

“Assault weapons” are not just about AR-15 or AK-47’s, or “high-capacity” magazines. It’s about all the commonly owned, and in the vast, Vast, VAST majority of situations in our country, lawfully used firearms. “Assault weapons” is a bottomless pit that will be used to dump an ever-increasing number of banned firearms until the number you can legally own is zero. 

Do you want to keep the lawfully owned and legally used firearms you have today? Do you want your children and grandchildren to have access to the same modern and effective firearms you have today?  

This is why the Georgia Senate runoffs and the independence of the United States Supreme Court are so important. 

Bob

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A Shot Across The Bow of the USS SCOTUS

In case you missed it, the incoming congress just fired another warning shot across the bow of the United States Supreme Court. This warning specifically targeted the most vulnerable member of the court, at least in the eyes of the hypocrite extremist left. Funneled through a less than unbiased newspaper as a ‘breaking news’ story, it is another blatant attempt to influence litigation before the Court. It also presents a compromise scheme for forcing political control of the Supreme Court to those who are a little squeamish about packing the Court. Either way, this highlights the importance of the Senate runoff elections in Georgia are for the future of an independent Judicial branch. 

This latest attempt to influence the court comes from a New York Times review of a book – by two New York Times staffers – that contains “new” allegations of sexual misconduct by Justice Kavanaugh while he was in college. The “new” allegations, introduced in the 11th paragraph of their story, involves a woman who declined to be interviewed by the Times reporters and has through friends indicated she did not recall the event. It’s important to know that this incident, the supposed witnesses and the woman’s denial of it occurring, were all known to the reporters in 2018, during Justice Kavanaugh’s hearings. The story resurfaced briefly in 2019 during the Democratic Presidential primaries but did not result in any action. Now, in 2020, it surfaces again as a “new” story. 

It’s not as if his Democratic party detractors haven’t done their level best to destroy Justice Kavanaugh’s reputation and life based on the unsubstantiated accusations leveled against him during his confirmation hearings. 

Of his coaching his daughter’s high school basketball team, a Time magazine reporter wrote: “Ford’s charge shattered Kavanaugh’s carefully crafted tableau, calling into doubt the image he projected. The row of young girls, legs bare in their private-school skirts, looked different now.” 

Of his teaching at Harvard, a letter from staff, students and alumni organized by friends and family of Congressional Democrats was sent that said: “We believe that Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment as an HLS lecturer sends a message to law students, and in particular female students, that powerful men are above the law, and that obstructive, inappropriate behavior will be rewarded.”

With this “new” allegation resurfacing yet again, members of the new administration’s transition team are calling for a congressional investigation into the matter. “If accurate, this would represent a big mistake on the part of the FBI. Without the truth, a cloud will hang over Kavanaugh’s head and an asterisk will accompany his decisions. The only way to repair the damage is for Congress to pick up where the FBI left off.” Note that Congressional investigation in this context of course means impeachment proceedings.

Having members of the Democratic party threaten the United States Supreme Court is nothing new. Remember the Senate Democrats who sent the “Heal Thyself” letter threating to pack the Court if it ruled incorrectly in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. That letter is widely credited with flipping Chief Justice John Roberts to the liberal wing in an attempt to save the structure of the Court. Of course, that threat has now been revived into an action plan should the Democrats retake the Senate. 

In this situation, there does not appear to be one case to be influenced but rather a series of cases now under consideration and likely to be taken up by the Supreme Court regarding the 2020 elections. The not-so-subtle implications are for Justice Kavanaugh to vote ‘correctly’ or face impeachment. But as anyone can see from the “Heal Thyself” letter, voting correctly won’t make this threat go away. 

There’s also another side of this “new” accusation and call for Congressional investigations. It represents an alternative plan to take over the Supreme Court. The well-advertised threat to pack the Court with liberal appointed justices to “reduce the influence of politics” has been unpopular with many non-extremists in the Democratic party. This plan, removing just one originalist Justice, one that has been demonized by the Party, and allowing a liberal appointee would cement a solid 5-4 liberal majority. 

If you’re wondering what the big deal is with the Senate runoff elections in Georgia, this is it. A Democrat win of both seats results in a 50-50 tie in the Senate which would be broken by the (possible) new Vice-President who is the most extremist left politician to ever be elected. This is a grandstanding, elitist politician who has already stated her position on Justice Kavanaugh as being “He must be impeached.”

What else is at stake? Only the ability to have free and fair elections, the Electoral College, the future of the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment and the independence of the Judiciary branch. 

Simply look at what campaign promises have been made and ask yourself what will happen if the final check and balance of power, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, were no longer a hinderance? What if every law that brazenly infringes on your Constitutionally protected natural rights was deemed fully Constitutional in the name of the new socialist agenda by a Court more interested in social reengineering than Constitutional rights? 

If you have a few bucks to spare, sending it down to support the Republican candidates in Georgia might be in all of our best interests. 

Bob

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