Jackblog

Assault Rifles: Only at Walmart

Thanks to the economic downturn, it's a buyer's market for a lot of products: houses are cheap, food is relatively inexpensive (although experts are predicting a bacon shortage of apocalyptic proportions) and now, at Jackson-area Walmart stores, you can even get a pretty good deal on a weapon that shoots bullets faster than I can gobble down bacon, which is pretty damn fast.

Over the weekend, Walmart ran an ad in the Clarion-Ledger advertising deals on shotguns, rifles and MSRs. It's possible that the world's largest corporation understands that global chaos could ensue when bacon reserves dry up.

Anarchy is generally good for the gun business.

According to the ad, one might procure one of these MSRs -- modern sporting rifle more commonly known as an assault rifle -- for as little as $597 and as much $1,097 for a .223-caliber Colt M4 Rifle. If you're smart, you don't go cheap because when the bacon-takers come -- and, believe me, they will come -- you want a reliable weapon to protect your family's salted meats.

At the same time, you don't want to spend too much just to be sure you can afford to stock up on enough ammo to fend off the imminent roving hoards of pork-looters. To that end, there's a mid-level machine gun, a Sig Sauer M400 SRP with Prismatic Scope can be had for just $897 and, according to the ad, is available only at Walmart.

Only at Walmart indeed.

Update: I deferred to the expertise of the firearmphiles and removed a reference to automatic weapons. Again, the gun people win.

Comments

happyjack 2 years ago

"..... and now, at Jackson-area Walmart stores, you can even get a pretty good deal on an automatic weapon."

Ryan, I would be very surprised if you could purchase an automatic weapon at Walmart. You might want to read up on the difference between a "semi-automatic" and "automatic" weapon before writing your next anti-gun piece.

Your bacon analogy is misguided at best. Guns have even been used to save the bacon of a lot of people including naive, simple-minded anti-gun writers like you. BTW, you forgot the "i" between the "a" and the "v" in your last name.

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donnaladd 2 years ago

Whoops. Methinks R.L. hurt happyjack's feelings.

I love the folks who never have anything to say except about guns.

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anon 2 years ago

yeah donnaldd and you're probably the type of person who thinks the police are there to protect you when you're being home invaded. Then maybe you'd wish you'd bought one of those rifles from Wal-Mart! XD

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M_Riddell 2 years ago

While I understand the snark that is implied in the blog due to the looming unavoidable (!) bacon shortage, I have to side with happyjack on this one.

There are many federal regulations concerning automatic weapons and there is not a WAL-MART in the U.S. that is qualified to cater to such a customer. I believe the point happyjack was trying to make is that many people are ignorant (not stupid, just uninformed) when it comes to the differences in firearms and the laws presiding over their sale/ownership. Simply because it is black and looks like it is a military rifle, does not make the firearm an automatic weapon. The wooden stocked .22 caliber hunting rifle in the left of the picture is nearly the same firearm as the Colt "MSR" on the right. Thats the part most people don't understand.

A military safe/semi/3-shot burst Colt M-4 like the one I had in the Army would cost a private citizen several thousand dollars to own, a tax stamp registration, lots of paperwork, and a 90+ day waiting period. That's not even a TRUE automatic weapon, however, the 3-shot burst capability makes it fall under NFA laws and regulations. A true automatic weapon like a 9mm MP5 would cost upwards of $19,000 privately and it would have had to have been manufactured before 1986.

The guns advertised in the WAL-MART ad are semi-automatic sporting and/or hunting rifles with different bodies on them for attachments like lights. It's the same as a V-6 Nissan Altima (wood stock rifle) or a V-6 Nissan Maxima (black "MSR"). They have the same engine, but the Maxima (presumably) has nicer features. Sure, they look a little like military rifles, so they have the "cool guy" appeal, but they are far short of the real thing.

The ignorance of the author makes this come off as an uninformed anti-gun rant and not much more, therefore, the humor is lost on the educated readers like happyjack.

@Donna, I do not comment often, but I do comment on a number of topics, to include firearms. I am a fan of the JFP, but I wanted to comment on this blog as my way to challenge you guys to continue to maintain a higher standard in fact gathering and reporting, not to start a fight or anything.

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smartguns 2 years ago

Non-Military or Law Enforcement civilians are not allowed to purchase newly manufactured automatic weapons and haven't been able to since 1986 with the passage of the oddly named Firearm Owners' Protection Act (FOPA). So unless Walmart is in the used-gun business or they're intentionally breaking the law the above misstates the truth with the common misconception that all black assault rifle-type guns are automatic.

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firehawkv8 1 year, 8 months ago

The act got its name because it established that firearms owners could travel through states with firearms restrictions without fear of arrest as along as they continued without stopping. It also banned a federal registry. These were to protect firearms owners.

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ryannave 2 years ago

Methinks happyjack must have been in my 3rd grade class (or has the brain of a 9-year-old), because that's how long people have been using the Ryan "Naive" joke. Second, who said I was anti-gun? As a wise man once said: "You can have my guns -- when you pry them from my cold, dead hands." I feel same way....about bacon.

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vfalconi 2 years ago

Wait. Where are the automatic weapons? The MSRs pictured are semi-automatic.

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donnaladd 2 years ago

The true gun nuts, who I find to be incredible bores (boors?), look for any slight to their self-proclaimed right to own and stockpile any weapon they want. So he must have thought your flippant post was yet another attack on his God-given right to ... well, you know.

Yawwwnnnnn.

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donnaladd 2 years ago

Hey, anonymous. I see you posting all over the place. You get around. As for police, no, I've long been fairly confident that anyone was going to invade my home, it would probably be police officers. Or at least I thought that when Melton was still alive. Fortunately, most of those guys no longer carry a badge, at least for the JPD.

As for the hysteria over "automatic" weapon, I'm going to be honest and admit that I don't see much of a difference between "semi-automatic" and "automatic" when you're talking about buying them at Walmart. Maybe we'll just calling them Guns Designed to Make It Damn Easy to Kill People on every reference. We've also fought over the phrase "assault weapon" on the site; warning: we tend to go with the definition thats was in the assault weapons ban.

I'll let NaIve deal with the language in his blog post as he wishes.

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donnaladd 2 years ago

Also, boyz, I just did a bit of reading up on "automatic weapons"—and it seems that your distinction isn't as much of a distinction as you might think. It seems like gun experts (something more than fan-boys) make more a distinction between semi- and fully automatic weapons, the point being that they are either partly (semi) automatic or fully automatic -- meaning, logically, that they are all "automatic." The only real question is HOW automatic.

I realize it's a matter of semantics, but that's kind of where y'all took us.

I'm more interested in the fact that Walmart is selling guns that are automatic to any degree. That may not be your concern, but that doesn't stop the rest of us from talking about that -- and if we feel like using the shorthand "automatic" for any gun that is any part automatic, then guess what? That's exactly what we'll do. Squeal about that all you want. ;-)

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nb9094 1 year, 10 months ago

You know I feel lucky to have stumbled onto this site. At 42 with 17 years of deer hunting, 6 years in the United States Army and the last 7 years duck hunting I didnt know my 12 gauge over under was an automatic. Thanks for the info donnaladd.

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donnaladd 1 year, 10 months ago

nb, since assault-weapon defenders are so worried about "automatic" weapon semantics, we did some research including on gun-maker sites, etc. Indeed, automatic weapons come in two levels: fully automatic and semi-automatic. Some of you want to say that only fully automatic are automatic, but that's not technically accurate. Or particularly logical when you think about it.

Also, at this stage in the game, that is probably the least important part of the debate and the one that is going to least interest most people. Just a heads-up. Call them what you: assault weapons are now under a serious spotlight.

And it is remarkable the guns Walmart is willing to sell. I wonder how long that is going to last n ow.

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bjalder26 1 year, 10 months ago

Guns that shoot burst of shots, or continue to shoot as you hold the trigger down are already illegal for the public. Semi-automatics shoot once per trigger pull. The "automatic" part for semi-automatics refers to the fact that it uses the force of recoil or gas to eject the empty case and load a fresh cartridge into the firing chamber for the next shot.

Google "fast revolver", and you'll see a guy who uses a double action revolver which doesn't even qualify as a semi-automatic since the manual action of pulling the trigger is what advances the cylinder, but you'll think he's shooting a fully automatic he's so fast. So the distinction between semi-automatic and manual is a much smaller distinction than between semi and fully-automatic.

However, let's talk about logical gun control. Assuming a set number of bullets do we want a killer to shoot quickly, or slowly. I'd argue that it's probably better that he shoots quickly since he'll probably be less discriminating with his shots. An unarmed person is unlikely to stop someone between shots, but maybe they could between reloads. I'd like to see that subject studies, and see some simulations run to try and figure out what's best.

Now let's talk about school security since we're talking about school shootings lately. Best case scenario for a gun control solution is that we limit the shooter to unloading one magazine or revolver. Best case scenario for that is 6 shots. If you were a teacher, would you sign up for a 7 person (6 + 1) group of unarmed teachers responsible for responding to a gunman in the school? Neither would I, so asking our children to take bullets until the shooter runs out is a little more than I can ask.

We need to secure the schools. I don't really care how we do that as long is it works. In our society we generally accept that armed guards dedicated to security work. That's how we protect our president, money, art, and so on. Nobody is arguing that we wouldn't need armed guards for the president or banks if we just got some gun control legislation passed, so why would anyone argue that for our kids?

These killers also tend to shoot themselves when someone with a gun shows up, so shortening that time would appear to be beneficial. I read the Virginia Tech findings, and although they had police on campus, I believe they had no security guards. Their doors didn't lock from the inside, they had no security cameras, no one who watched who entered and exited buildings, and they had a ridiculous process for notifying campus about emergencies. There should be someone at every school primarily responsible for securing the building and keeping the schools up to date with security technology and processes.

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firehawkv8 1 year, 8 months ago

Saying a semi-automatic and a full automatic are basically the same thing is like saying a manual transmission and an automatic transmission are the same thing.

Both have their own specific parts, and are not interchangeable. They both operate differently, both have their own sets of pros and cons, and both have different nuances when they operate. They may sound similar, but there is a great deal of difference between the two.

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M_Riddell 2 years ago

The semantics of having an automatic or semi-automatic weapon on your person can be the difference in a legal citizen and a person on their way to a felony prison sentence, so I do believe that the wording matters.

I work on an ambulance. I have been active duty in the US Army Infantry. I have seen people killed with many household items as well and "official" weapons such as guns, arrows, and knives. I can kill someone with a bow and arrow, a table leg, a knife, a pack of rat poison, a 30cc syringe full of good, old-fashioned air if I want to do so. The guns in the WAL-MART ad do not make it any easier to kill someone than any other guns legally for sale at Academy Sports or any other establishment.

The old statement still holds true, "If guns kill people, then pencils cause spelling errors." Humans have to be held responsible for their behavior and their actions. People have been killing people for centuries. Fists, fire, poison, swords, bullets.....one way or another, people die. Many ways are much easier and much faster that bullets.

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firehawkv8 1 year, 8 months ago

The terms "semi-automatic" and "automatic" is just a classification on how the rifle fires. Semi-automatic only cycles in a new round and stops. A full automatic cycles in a new round, fires, and cycles again non stop. This is a widely agreed upon classification that the government uses.

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happyjack 2 years ago

Ryan

"Methinks happyjack must have been in my 3rd grade class (or has the brain of a 9-year-old)"

Nope, was not in your 3rd grade class. I possibly have the brain of a 9-year old - but then I did not write the article with inaccuracies nor did I deny being anti-gun nor did I change the wording in the article after the fact.

Donna

So as far as you are concerned, ignorance is bliss? Doesn't matter what facts are or that the law defines weapons according to the capability of the weapon you will do as you want and I can squeal all I want. LOL. Does mama and daddy know you are using the computer while they are out?

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donnaladd 2 years ago

The guns in the WAL-MART ad do not make it any easier to kill someone than any other guns legally for sale at Academy Sports or any other establishment.

No one is arguing that Walmart-sold (partial)-automatics are more deadly than those sold other places, Riddell. That would be silly.

As for the old saw that people kill people, guns don't -- don't insult our intelligence. That saying only works on non-thinking people. Obviously people use guns to kill others (and themselves, as a dear member of my family did). Guns make it easier, quicker and potentially more deadly. Depending, of course, on how automatic the weapons is.

Don't come on here and argue stupid stuff. Be intellectually honest enough to admit what we all know to be true -- and THEN make your argument that it matters more that people have the right, which you believe the 2nd Amendment grants, to arm themselves however they wish because the right trumps the dangers to society. I can at least accept the honesty of that argument. What I can't stand is the lying and treating people like we're stupid about the dangers of guns.

Be a man and stand up for the Second Amendment as you see it. Don't bullshit us. It just won't work on this site.

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darryl 2 years ago

The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads, as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

It would seem that I agree with Messers. happyjack and M_Riddell in this regard. The Second Amendment doesn't specify what those arms are and our government, in its rarely displayed wisdom, has seen fit to make the possession of automatic weapons prohibitive in the extreme. Ms. Ladd's continued use of words that cause misunderstanding, see "(partial)-automatic," do this argument a disservice. And while sayings may or may not insult your intelligences, your blind and deaf rantings cause us to chuckle at yours, sometimes.

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donnaladd 2 years ago

Nope, Darryl. I'd argue the opposite. Y'all's focus on semantics rather than the dangers of violent weapons does our nation a grove disservice. And the B.S. about guns not killing people is as insulting (and facile) example as y'all can come up with -- no one but the folks already in your holster (hardy har har) are going to buy that one.

Again, we'd respect y'all more if you would just admit that you have decided that your personal right to bear any kind of weapon you want is more important than the people who die as a result. Even if I or others disagree with it, that's an honest argument. And, frankly, more convincing.

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darryl 2 years ago

I happily admit that my personal rights supersede your wishes for our rights. And, as those rights are constitutionally guaranteed, then all the better. And, if someone dies as a result of the use of my firearm, then they deserved it and I will take my day in court - again, constitutional guarantees. The government has seen fit not to allow us to have fully automatic weapons - no argument here. What, exactly, would you like to see happen? Would you prefer that American citizens give up all of their firearms? As M_Riddell pointed out above, people have been killing people in evolutionarily ingenious ways throughout history. What is more troublesome is the subpopulation of humans with such careless respect for others' personal rights, and I am tired of the pandering to the least common denominator in our society.

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donnaladd 2 years ago

I happily admit that my personal rights supersede your wishes for our rights. And, as those rights are constitutionally guaranteed, then all the better.

Don't be so hasty, Darryl. I know a little about the Constitution. The truth is that no one's individual rights supercede all other concerns -- starting with the First Amendment. See: example of someone yelling "fire!" in a theater; due to the dangers to others, one's individual rights are superseded to assure the safety of the many. This is why the Constitution was established as a document that has to be continually interpreted as things (and types of "arms") change. At the same time, constitutional rights can never be granted based on a public opinion vote, but they can be limited based on public safety.

I haven't said anything about all Americans giving up their firearms. Sure, I'd prefer that no one had one, and no one ever used one, but that isn't realistic. What we're talking about here are very dangerous automatic (of various levels) and assault weapons; don't change the subject because you have no intelligent answer to what I've already said. Focus, Darryl.

I am tired of the pandering to the least common denominator in our society.

I could say the same thing back to you. People who argue that Americans should constantly live in fear and have no regulation whatsoever on firearms and weapons that they can stockpile don't tend to be brightest bulbs in the chandelier. Or very pleasant people. I'm tired of the U.S. pandering to that sort.

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brjohn9 2 years ago

It is only very recently (2008) that the Supreme Court has found that the Second Amendment applies to individuals in the way that Darryl et al seem to take for granted. Given that the decision was 5 to 4, the decision may well be reversed soon enough. Whatever your views, it is silly to pretend that an individual's constitutional right to own firearms is obvious, uncontroversial, and eternal.

Like so many common-sense notions, the claim that where there is a will there's a way is not supported by the evidence. It's not even very good common sense if you stop to think about it, because it posits that all crime is premeditated. But there's abundant evidence that guns worsen violence by making impulsive behavior more dangerous. Thus, people with a gun in the home are much likelier to successfully commit suicide, because it's much easier to pick up a gun and shoot yourself than it is to slash your wrists or hang yourself. That becomes even more obvious when you consider how many people kill themselves while drunk. The same goes for acts of violence in general. People often pick up guns and shoot someone on impulse, when they're drunk. People can do the same with knives or clubs, but they are less likely to do so and less likely to kill their victim.

As I've said before, I'm agnostic on gun control. But gun advocates sometimes make such sloppy "aw shucks" arguments that it's hard to take them seriously.

Speaking of sloppy, you're kind of tangling yourself in knots pretending to use scientific language, Darryl. There is nothing "evolutionarily ingenious" about using a knife rather than a gun. This statement makes me wonder whether you understand the theory of evolution. Also, the implications of your suggestion that a "subpopulation" of people commit crime is troubling. I think you meant to say that subhuman people do such things, which is ugly in its own right but par for the course. In a biological context, the term suggests that criminals are biologically distinct. That's an idea with a long history, but it's not one you want to try to defend. You are better off setting aside pseudo-scientific posing to just say whatever it is you actually mean.

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libertyordeath 1 year, 11 months ago

'What has happen to America? Does the statue of liberty mean anything anymore? If you want to discuss assault, then let's discuss the largest assault being made in our nation. I'm speaking about the assault against our personal liberties. To deny someone their right to bear arms is to assault our liberty. President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act and has taken your right to Habeus Corpus away. That's right. You or any of your family members or friends can be detained indefinitely with no right to trial. Your liberties are disappearing quickly. Our country's creation is rooted in personal liberties. You people are throwing gas on the fire. This country is a mess. Take a look in the mirror and ask who is responsible.

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tstauffer 1 year, 11 months ago

Anyone who reads the above (regarding the NDAA) and wonders where it comes from might also want to read this at Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/ndaa.asp

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bill_jackson 1 year, 10 months ago

Just curious, but in the photo of the ad, the rifle that is 3rd from the left is also semi automatic. I realize it is not all sinister looking like the MSRs, but would you have those banned as well? Because that particular rifle is the first firearm millions of people (mostly kids) ever owned.

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tstauffer 1 year, 10 months ago

Since no one has called for a ban, I would hazard to say the 10/22 is safe.

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bill_jackson 1 year, 10 months ago

Well the tone of the article implies that MSRs should not be available to the public. Throw in MS Ladd's comments and it's hard to come away from this piece with the belief that it is not calling for a ban. Or perhaps maybe Wal Mart should not sell them? I have never understood why some Wal Marts have gun depts and some don'to

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tstauffer 1 year, 10 months ago

10/22 wouldn't qualify for the assault weapons ban, either, by the 80s-90s definition. I suppose there are some modifications for it that might?

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bubbat 1 year, 10 months ago

The first assault weapons ban did nothing to reduce crime, nor will a new one. They are rarely used in crimes compared to other weapons.

Todd- this is a 10/22 that Ruger sells, just has a Nordic kit with the basic 10/22 inside and it can use AR accessories. It has enough items that would make it an assault weapon under the first ban. Now what makes it more deadly than a wood stock standard 10/22?

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donnaladd 1 year, 10 months ago

In mass shootings, Bubba, assault weapons are becoming very popular, and they kill more people (and babies) faster. I like to think of it as gun inflation. It's common sense that the kids who are mentally disturbed and want to play their favorite movie or videogame shooter are going to arm themselves with the meanest (or meanest-looking) assault weapons they can find. The one this guy used to kill the children is one of the most popular in America right now, I understand.

A ban would also reduce production by gun companies, which is a huge part of this. Fewer guys, fewer people killed with them. That's basic math.

And what is your source in saying that the assault weapons ban "did nothing to reduce crime." It coordinated almost exactly with a period of dramatic crime reduction across the country, including in cities like Jackson. I'm not saying that's causal -- there were a variety of causes -- but you sure can't say violent crime didn't drop during the decade the assault weapons ban was in place. You are dramatically wrong on that.

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firehawkv8 1 year, 8 months ago

Funny, the deadliest mass shooting was caused by two hand guns. Columbine was also handguns and a shotgun. Charles Whitman used revolver, shotgun and carbine hunting rifle. Sikh Temple was a hand gun, and there are plenty of other examples. "Assault weapons" have been used in less than 10% of all mass shootings.

As for the kids who want to kill people, they don't get what they want, they get whats available. In most cases, its mommy and daddy's handgun that was locked up and they new the combo or had access to the keys.

Bans do not do anything to reduce the number of deaths. Chicago had a total firearms ban in the city, and it has been a national leader of homicides on this Country. Manufacturers will continue to make and sell guns. If you ban one gun, they will build a post ban compliant version. And as long as there are already weapons out on the streets, a ban on new weapons that criminals are not buying would only inconvenience law abiding citizens. And just to let you know, fewer guns doesn't mean fewer deaths. As long as there are bullets out there, one gun can kill hundreds. In fact, they were able to trace a weapon that was confiscated from a gang member to 12 different homicides because the gang passed the weapon around.

The AWB did not reduce crime. The crime rate was dropping prior to the ban and it maintained that same rate of drop after the AWB took place. In other words, the rate would have dropped if there wasn't an AWB. On top of that, rates that did show a dramatic drop occurred after states passed concealed weapons permit laws. In Florida, the violent crime rate dropped 21% after they passed the CWP law. The national average was only 6%.

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bubbat 1 year, 10 months ago

Donna, The CDC and the Dept of Justice both have studies(if you care to look them up) that show how often "assault weapon" were used in crimes before and during the AWB, both concluded the change was so minuscule most people consider the AWB a failure. Yes violent crime did drop during that period and is still dropping but the AWB have very little to do with it.

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donnaladd 1 year, 10 months ago

Bubba, I'm fully aware of the studies. Predictably, you're cherrypicking them. Here's one report by Justice, done in 1999. My suggestion is that everyone read it because it offers a mixed bag and suggestions about problems with the ban and what could happen:

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/173405.pdf

No one argues that the assault weapons ban before was a perfect law, and we don't have to replicate it exactly. We can learn from its failures to do it better this time.

Also, it would be extremely ignorant to argue that the ban didn't save even one life -- which is all that matters.

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bjalder26 1 year, 10 months ago

I've never owned a gun, and I don't have any problem with a smart assault weapons ban, but I do have a problem with someone calling someone else ignorant while making an extremely ignorant claim.

Saying that all that matters is saving one life is extremely ignorant. If that were true we wouldn't allow anyone to drive cars. We wouldn't allow anyone to fly planes, or take trains. We wouldn't allow anyone to play sports, smoke, drink alcohol, eat ice cream and on and on.

If the assault weapons ban saved one life, but lead to hundreds of thousands of otherwise preventable rapes, robberies, assaults, injuries, and losses of limbs, then it clearly wouldn't be "all that matters". Maybe next time watch your rhetoric.

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donnaladd 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, look at that: It looks like Walmart has pulled the AR-15 from its online store. Now, how about pulling it from their physical stores???

And no one should be able to buy guns or ammo on the damn Internet. That's absurd.

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bubbat 1 year, 10 months ago

Walmart doesn't sell guns on the internet, if you look it says "only available in store" and the companies that do sell guns on the internet buy law have to ship the gun to a licensed dealer who runs a background check before you can receive it, not really any different than buying it in a store. You must not know that before the Gun Control Act of 1968 you could buy guns by mail order and have the shipped direct to you house no questions asked.

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firehawkv8 1 year, 8 months ago

Maybe you should try it. You can buy a weapon online, but it can only be shipped to a FFL dealer and you still have to complete the background check to pick it up. So ordering online is not an issue. When I ordered my sidearm online, I had to go to a dealer. When my partner bought his, he had to go to a dealer. So if I still have to go to a dealer, whats the problem with online orders?

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bubbat 1 year, 10 months ago

Wal Mart had nothing to do with making the AR 15 the most popular firearm, it's been that since the early 1970's Wal Mart came late to that party, just started selling them in the past year or so. It obvious the writer is very uninformed about firearms.

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tstauffer 1 year, 10 months ago

Nice... here's a great example of Wal-Mart doing nothing to popularize the AR-15... it's an AR-15 in its Black Friday ad, apparently.

http://gunmartblog.com/2012/11/12/walmart-ar15-black-friday-2012/

As a bonus, gunmartblog decided to run it excitedly with the line "Suck it, Mr. President."

Ah, those classy, law-abiding gun owners.

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legalgunowner 1 year, 10 months ago

Why is it that liberals insist on requiring everyone think and act the way they do? I support every liberals right to not own a gun. I am endangering no one and breaking no laws by owning the sig sauer in question in the wal-mart ad. And what exactly do you expect to be the end result if you were even to go so far as to ban the sale of all weapons? There are hundreds of millions of weapons in the U.S. Who do you think will still have them after a ban? Murder is illegal in every state. Making it illegal hasn't stopped it. The people committing these acts do not care one whit about the laws. They will still have weapons and they will still break laws. I'm from CO, the Aurora shooter had multiple movie theaters within minutes of his home showing the Batman movie. Which theater did he choose? THE ONLY ONE WHICH HAD A BAN ON GUNS! A lot of good a gun ban did there. Would it make you feel better to ban guns? Because it most certainly would not stop incidents such as Newtown. Why does Bloomberg regulate the size of sodas one can legally buy in NY? It must make him feel better about the situation, but it doesn't fix the problem, people can still buy multiple sodas. I understand gun control proponents position in wanting something done so incidents like this don't happen anymore, but please, please explain to me how you think gun control would stop them. Just making a law banning the sale or ownership of fully or semi automatic weapons (or all weapons whatsoever) would not induce the end result you are seeking. You are making the false assumption that everyone would behave as you would and not own such a weapon, this kind of thinking is not based in reality.

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tstauffer 1 year, 10 months ago

Why is it that liberals insist on requiring everyone think and act the way they do?

OMG is that happening?! Those bastards!

Why does Bloomberg regulate the size of sodas one can legally buy in NY? It must make him feel better about the situation, but it doesn't fix the problem, people can still buy multiple sodas.

Putting aside the rest of that diatribe for a moment, this is actually an interesting point -- Bloomberg's limiting of the size of sodas is based on the theory of "psychological defaults," which suggest that people will tend to limit them to the options that they're given and don't go to extraordinary lengths to subvert those options. Sure, they could buy two sodas to get 32 ounces of sugar water; but, they probably won't. Statistically.

You know.... science.

The majority of mass murders over the past 50 years have purchased their guns legally. In the past ten years, it's become remarkably easy to purchase guns that are fundamentally designed for killing as many people as possible within legal limits.

So, there's a good chance that by making it more difficult to purchase these weapons, we would reset the psychological default and find them choosing less-deadly weapons. That could be part of a more comprehensive strategy to limit these mass murders -- and, perhaps, a number of other gun deaths along the way.

Oh, and it's something that more than "liberals" are worried about. Newtown has got a lot of people wondering if there wouldn't be a better way to handle things. You might want to figure out a better way to convince them than name-calling.

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legalgunowner 1 year, 10 months ago

tstauffer, you have conveniently failed to bring existing weapons into the equation. Ban guns or not, people that want one will find a way to own one. Please refute this point because it is fundamental in the gun control debate. As for the government regulating us down to how large a soda we should drink-you may agree with this nanny state thinking, but I don't. I see people on this blog make the argument that semi automatic weapons should be banned because on one NEEDS a gun like that. So it stands to reason our government should ban tire swings, cable tv, ice cream and lemonade (after all no one truly NEEDS these things). I apologize if i've offended your sensibilities by using the term liberals. Yes this may be a generalization, but that's all it was meant to be, a generalization. We are lucky that it has been several generations since most of our forefathers were forced to take a stand against injustice. You must think it will never be necessary again-I hope you're right.
Until you can make a cogent argument dealing with existing weapons, I remain unconvinced a gun ban will do anything but increase the percentage of gun owners who are criminals.

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brjohn9 1 year, 10 months ago

Legalgunowner, why should Todd refute your totally unsubstantiated claim that "people that want [a gun] will find a way to own one"? If that is the case, then all gun regulations are pointless. But of course, you have no evidence to support your claim, and it's obviously not true.

Consider fully automatic weapons, for example. It is illegal to sell automatic weapons. I'm sure many criminals would enjoy brandishing automatic weapons if they were available. Given your argument, many criminals should be armed with automatic weapons. After all, they want them. It isn't very hard to alter a semi-automatic weapon and turn it into an automatic weapon. Certainly, anyone willing to take the time to learn rudimentary gunsmithing can do it. Then why don't criminals do it, if wanting is all it takes? I suspect it's because most people just choose from the options that are readily available. If fully automatic weapons were readily available, they would buy them. But they're not, so they don't.

As for your suggestion that gun regulations are pointless because we already have so many guns, that's just more rhetoric. It's like saying that there's no point in improving safety standards for cars, because there are already so many cars on the road today. You're preemptively ruling out any changes to gun regulations simply because there are already guns in circulation. That's not a logical argument. It's not even an argument.

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redone 1 year, 10 months ago

Im kinda new here so dont be to harsh but i thought id put in my 2 cents ok i read some of the posts and it seems that people are attacking guns and blaming guns for mass murders and i thought to myself REALLY? i dont remember any guns used on 9/11 and how many lost their lives god rest their souls or the oklahoma boming or all the natural disasters that kill thousands of people i dont hear anyone trying to ban airplanes, or house hold items that can be used to make a bomb or all the polution thats effecting this planet causing natural disasters or what not. so back to the point and the point is People will die doesnt matter how i know it sounds horrible but thats reality so if guns are banned people with will turn to bombs cuz once someone gets it in their head that alot of people have to die they will find a way simple as that and if its not bombs then its germ warfare or whatever a humans can think of i welcome any comments i value everyones opinions.

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legalgunowner 1 year, 10 months ago

brjohn9, here are a few reasons I would appreciate that gun control advocates refute my assertion: 1. The Columbine killers were 17 and 18 years old (not old enough to obtain guns legally) yet purchased all 4 weapons used in their massacre. 2. The Newtown killer was 20 years old (not old enough to obtain guns legally), yet stole all the weapons used in his massacre. 3. 15 year old Kip Kinkel shot 29 people (his parents + 27 students in his school) yet met none of the requirements to legally purchase a weapon. So my claim is that "people that want (a gun) will find a way to own one". And your response is that this is "totally unsubstantiated and "obviously not true". Where do you get your information? And if your assertion is that no criminals possess fully automatic weapons, then you have completely buried your head in the sand to shield yourself from reality. Please reference your proof to substantiate your claim that criminals don't have automatic weapons. The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins reports that approximately 530,000 guns are stolen EACH YEAR. The National Institute of Justice found that 1/6 (under 17%) of gun owning felons obtained their weapons through a licensed dealer, 5/6 (over 83%) obtained them from friends, family, associates, or private sales in off the record transactions. As convicted felons, of course, all these men are legally prohibited from acquiring guns under provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968. I have at no point said that gun regulations are pointless. I simply recognize the issue of existing guns and question the effectiveness of gun control. Would a ban lessen the number of firearms in this country 10 years from now? Absolutely. Would it stop criminals from owning them? Not in my humble opinion. You cannot claim my assertions are not valid, I can come up with reams of evidence to support them. So once again, if we are going to have a debate on gun control, please include existing weapons because they are a MAJOR part of the issue. Felons have access to guns, kids have access to guns, the mentally ill have access to guns. A gun ban will not address this.

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tstauffer 1 year, 10 months ago

@legalgunowner A few answers:

tstauffer, you have conveniently failed to bring existing weapons into the equation. Ban guns or not, people that want one will find a way to own one. Please refute this point because it is fundamental in the gun control debate.

I actually don't have to, because I haven't called for a gun ban.

That said, the most obvious answer would be to craft a more effectual assault weapons ban. Sure, it's a massive undertaking... the federal government makes manufacturing, selling, owning or transporting an assault weapon a felony, and offers ways that people can turn in those guns, get paid for them, etc. But it's not without precedent or support.

Clearly some folks agree with the premise; you could make the assault weapons ban stronger, enforce it, and make these guns much harder to come by. And I imagine that's something that will be explored in the next few weeks.

As for the government regulating us down to how large a soda we should drink-you may agree with this nanny state thinking, but I don't.

Which is fantastic except that (a.) I didn't say I agree with it; I said that it's based in psychology and (b.) simply stating your opinion on that matter isn't actually a premise in an argument regarding its effectiveness.

I see people on this blog make the argument that semi automatic weapons should be banned because on one NEEDS a gun like that. So it stands to reason our government should ban tire swings, cable tv, ice cream and lemonade (after all no one truly NEEDS these things).

(a.) Your comparisons are non-sensical -- the government certainly could ban ice cream, but it would require support from the people to make it happen. If there's enough support from the public and public officials to ban semi-automatic weapons, then they might very well be banned.

(b.) The more logical way to read people who say you don't "need a gun like that" is that you may well have the right to own a gun, just not one designed primarily for killing lots of people in a short period of time.

A more apt example might be that you're allowed to sell ice cream, but not ice cream with rat poison in it.

I apologize if i've offended your sensibilities by using the term liberals.

LOL. Im the same spirit, I likewise apologize for trying to discuss this rationally.

Yes this may be a generalization, but that's all it was meant to be, a generalization. We are lucky that it has been several generations since most of our forefathers were forced to take a stand against injustice. You must think it will never be necessary again-I hope you're right.

If that's your argument against an assault weapons ban, the answer you'll need to start working on is what "injustice," exactly, has as its solution a high-capacity semi-automatic assault rifle.

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legalgunowner 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, I will have to ask you to excuse my being so naive. I was mistakenly under the impression that we were discussing potential solutions to innocents being slaughtered. Apparently this is not the case at all, for if it were, we would likely be discussing handguns instead of rifles. What is the argument then-exactly? That if we ban and confiscate "assault" weapons that we will no longer be subjected to mass shootings? No, that can't be it. The Violence Policy Center reports that of all firearm related crime, 86% involves handguns. Their study also shows that on the average, if someone gets shot and killed, 4 out of 5 times (79.4% exactly) it will be with a handgun. FBI Data from 2010 (the most recent available year) shows that rifles accounted for 358 deaths, coming in behind shotguns(373), hands/fists/feet(745), knives(1704) and handguns(6009). Yes, you read that correctly, you were twice as likely to die from hands/fists/feet than by a rifle, and over 16 times more likely to die from a handgun than by a rifle. So I would assume (incorrectly) that rational people would look at these statistics and if they were to argue that guns are the problem, they would concur that handguns are the primary issue. It has just now dawned on me that many gun control advocates want all guns banned/confiscated and are simply using recent events as a platform to make the emotional appeal to do so. It is a good starting point to get "assault" weapons banned, then rifles next, then handguns down the line, then shotguns later, then all weapons. If this is your perspective, then just admit it-you are against private gun ownership and you are more than welcome to your opinion. An opinion shared with you by Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Mao; all of whom banned guns when they got into positions of power and then proceeded to exterminate 66,000,000 innocent noncombatants, the vast majority of whom were their own citizens. On 11/08/1938 the NY Times reported "Berlin Police Head announces disarming of Jews". On 11/11/1938 the Minister of the interior by orders from Heinrich Himmler(the commander of all German police) prohibited Jews from acquiring,possessing, and carrying firearms and ammunition, as well as truncheons or stabbing weapons. Firearms and ammunition found in a Jews possession was to be forfeited to the government without compensation. The Germans proceeded to kill 6 million jews. Makes sense to me, if you have power and are after absolute power, disarm as many as possible before killing your detractors. Many will even support your disarming the population. All of these deaths: Hitler 11 million, Pol Pot 2 million, Mussolini 1/2 million, Stalin 7.5 million, and Mao 45 million-happened within the last 130 years. Is your argument that it couldn't happen again? I may be naive, but I'm not ignorant. The mass shootings in this country are incomprehensible tragedies, but it would take quite a few more to add up to 66 million.

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tstauffer 1 year, 10 months ago

And that, dear readers, is what we call a slippery slope.

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bjalder26 1 year, 10 months ago

I think you're getting "assault rifles" confused with "assault weapons". These aren't assault rifles. Assault rifles have been outlawed for sale to the public since 1986. The term "assault weapon" has no real meaning unless you're referring to a specific law, but it would be fair to assume the reference would be to the 1994 federal assault weapons ban. To be an assault weapon as defined by that law they'd have to be a have two or more of the following:

  • a folding or telescoping stock
  • a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
  • a bayonet mount
  • a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor
  • a grenade launcher

These appear to have none of those options, so wouldn't even be called an "assault weapon".

I don't even own a gun (never have), yet I'm aware of what these terms mean. If you don't know what they mean, then you probably shouldn't be writing an article about them. The last thing we need is more misinformation.

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tstauffer 1 year, 10 months ago

@bjalder Welcome to the discussion. Thanks for enumerating the details of the "assault weapon" vs. "assault rifle," although your corrective comes a few months too late; this has been adjudicated fully up-thread.

Note, by the way, that the assault weapons ban actually banned some specific weapons by name (colt AR-15, TEC-9, certain AK-47s) and used the additional criteria you mention in order to try and catch similar weapons manufacturer by others or manufactured under different names to circumvent the ban. Were another ban to be considered I imagine more imaginative criteria will be required, although that list suggests perhaps a bit of lobbying and compromise back in the day.

The Federal ban also applied to "high-capacity magazines" -- my understanding is that it was 10 rounds under the ban.

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bill_jackson 1 year, 10 months ago

I just got back from Academy, and there were zero AR magazines to be had. Same with ammo for same, except for one box of the over priced Zombie Max stuff. Online retailers are sold out, as well. One has to wonder just how many AR platform rifles have been sold in the last week or so.

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PatrickStarFish 1 year, 7 months ago

  1. I'm not here for a semantics and/or grammar discussion if you are to stupid to understand, move along.
  2. Rifles of different sorts are far more deadly, very few people that get shoot with a high powered rifle survive.
  3. Most people that die from handguns bleed to death. Handguns aren't that deadly, even a head shoot is survivable, a .223 will blow half your head off ie kill you.
  4. If you register a gun, demand a permit and force doctors and such to report people who are not fit to have a gun and ban the loop holes, you will be safer.
  5. The US has 4.2 murders were EU has 1.3. If that's not guns, then what?
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