New op-ed at National Review Online: ‘Military-Style Weapons’: Function, not cosmetics, should govern gun policy

My newest piece starts this way:
‘AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not on the streets of our cities,” President Obama told the National Urban League on Wednesday. After the deadly attack in Colorado last Friday, the president’s concern is understandable. However, even — or perhaps especially — at such a time, distinctions need to be made.
The police in Aurora, Colo., reported that the killer used a Smith&Wesson M&P 15. This weapon bears a cosmetic resemblance to the M-16, which has been used by the U.S. military since the Vietnam War. The call has frequently been made that there is “no reason” for such “military-style weapons” to be available to civilians.
Yes, the M&P 15 and the AK-47 are “military-style weapons.” But the key word is “style” — they are similar to military guns in their aesthetics, not in the way they actually operate. The guns covered by the federal assault-weapons ban (which was enacted in 1994 and expired ten year later) were not the fully automatic machine guns used by the military but semi-automatic versions of those guns. . . .
Minor aside: Even some, such as Bill Kristol, have made misleading comments on this topic. Take Kristol's statement on Fox News Sunday:
People have a right to handguns and hunting rifles … I don’t think they have a right to semiautomatic, quasi–machine guns that can shoot hundred of bullets at a time. And I actually think the Democrats are being foolish as they are being cowardly. I think there is more support for some moderate forms of gun control. . . .
It might be possible to joke about Kristol being a "quasi" conservative.

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Blogger eric webb said...

Mr. Lott, thank you for bravely addressing this topic.

7/27/2012 1:43 PM  
Blogger Saad Amin said...

To be fairer still, HL was using “wrong/lie” to refer to their characterization rather than an actual truth claim of his own.

(My favorite part of the imbroglio is how Joe Wilson’s own report to the CIA, as revealed by the Robb-Silberman report, says that the Nigerien government told him that they thought the Iraqis were trying to buy Yellowcake – and then Wilson was trying to tell us that Obviously Iraq Never Tried To Buy Yellowcake.

What would the local government know compared to Joe Wilson?)

(And to be absolutely scrupulous with our facts, the fact that Iraq had yellowcake [indisputable, as you showed] does not establish or deny the truth of claims that they bought (or sought) any from Niger at any point, let alone recently-as-of-2001-or-so.

It makes it staggeringly credible, but doesn’t prove it; to do that, we’d have to know the provenance of the Hussein-era uranium stockpile, which as far as I know is simply lost to history.)

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7/28/2012 2:55 AM  
Blogger Al B. said...

AK-47s also belong in the hands of people needing to defend themselves and their families in the aftermath of the next Hurricane Katrina...

7/28/2012 11:50 AM  

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