Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Assault Weapons Ban in Illinois Fails

Kim Du Toit would have you believe that Illinois is like Soviet Russia. Well, in a move that would surprise him, the Illinois House today threw out - by one vote - a measure to ban assault weapons.

The ban would have included the Barrett .50 Caliber Sniper rifle which apparently is capable of piercing a tank's armor plating, and shooting down a helicopter, should its owner be so inclined.

I heard this on NPR this morning. I had to laugh when they interviewed a proponent of the ban who was complaining about the Barrett rifle. "You don't need that to hunt any animal we have here in Illinois!". No shit!

I have three problems with gun bans

1. Politicians start with the big stuff and the bans gradually get extended to the point where self-defence becomes de facto illegal, like it is in the UK.

2. Everywhere politicians go they are protected by state police brandishing exactly the same type of weapons. To my mind this essentially sets up a two-tier society composed of the rulers - protected by force of arms - and the disarmed, dependent, ruled over populace. This is the European model, but I reject it, and I think most Americans, given America is supposed to be government by the people, instinctively reject it too.

3. They demonstrably make no difference to the amount of gun crime and there is evidence they make the situation worse. If you're strung out on crack and desperate to rob somebody to fund your next high, who would you choose - a Texan oilman in a pickup or a New Yorker sipping a latte in the back of a cab?
"You don't need that for hunting" is a misdirection gun banners always seem to toss out, like that has something to do with the right to own guns. I've read the Constitution and Bill of Rights numerous times and never once found a reference to hunting in conjunction with the right to have and bear arms. Nor does it say anything about licensing or registering, nor permit even one of the more than twenty three thousand gun laws we have in this country today.

If they were serious about the problems with illegal gun usage they could throw out all twenty three thousand plus, and pass one law that said "if you use a gun in the commission of a felony you go to prison for fifty years minimum. Since gun laws have never served to keep such weapons out of the hands of criminals, (there only reason for such laws) keep people so inclined out of the general population. One law. Problem solved.
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