Why not enjoy a beautiful Saturday afternoon with a gunfight?
First, unexpected common sense (no, real common sense) from Michael Rosenwald of the Washington Post:
Why banning AR-15s and other assault weapons won’t stop mass shootings
Nothing he says will surprise anyone knowledgeable about the topic, which means that plenty of Beltway progressives will find this to be Book of Revelation material:
In the days after Omar Mateen used a Sig Sauer rifle to kill 49 people in Orlando and wound 53 others — the worst mass shooting in American history — the push to ban assault weapons as a way to stop rampages has gained new momentum across the country, from cable news networks to social media to petition-signing sites.
Even horror author Anne Rice weighed in on Facebook, writing: “The one thing we do know for certain about these weapons is that they have figured in one horrific criminal massacre of innocent civilians after another.”
Well, not exactly. Lost in the diatribes about banning assault weapons is this inconvenient fact: the vast majority of mass shooters use handguns, not assault rifles, in their attacks. That includes Seung-Hui Cho, who used two handguns, including a Glock 19, in 2007 to kill 32 people at Virginia Tech University, the previous worst mass shooting in American history.
A study last year by the Congressional Research Service found that from 1999 to 2013 assault rifles were used in 27 percent public mass shootings, which it defines as the killing of four or more people in a relatively public place. Dating back to 1982, the rate is 24 percent, according to research by James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University professor who studies mass murder.
In addition to the public mass shooting database the FBI has compiled an "Active Shooter" database of incidents from 2000 to 2015. On a rainy day I hope to chart the various weapons used, but a quick glance shows lots of handguns and maybe not so many rifles.
And do remember - the problem is generaly the person, not the tool:
[James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University professor who studies mass murder] makes an important point about what probably happened during the ban: Mass shooters can rather “easily” come up with “alternate means of mass casualty if that were necessary.”
In other words, if they can’t get an AR-15, they get a Glock. And that’s the problem, experts say, of hoping that a ban on assault weapons will stop mass shootings. It’s not really about the gun.
Sure, some stats show higher kill counts with assault weapons than with handguns, but as Cho proved, that’s not always the case. (As my Wonkblog colleague Christopher Ingraham points out, high-capacity magazines — for rifles or handguns — might make a better focus for gun control advocates, but the symbolic images of clips aren’t as striking as an AR-15.)
Oh dear - "clips" is not synonymous with "magazines", as I have learned myself. But let's not DQ the author for that.
Left unmentioned - rather than substituting a Glock handgun for a scary looking black rifle, a determined killer could simply buy a semiautomatic rifle that does not terrify Dianne Feinstein. From an old post, I have "scary" and "not scary" rifles below; personally I would not want to be shot by either one but progressives aren't afraid of the latter, which makes them braver than me so go figure.
For ruthless, relentless killing we have this scary Weapon of War (not an AR-15, BTW):
And for running off varmints around the ranch or plinking with the family on a Sunday afternoon we have this utility rifle:
So much better.
Well. The NY Times provides cryptic reporting on a due process compromise wafting about the Senate with respect to banning gun purchases by those on the no-fly list:
Spurred by Orlando Shooting, G.O.P. Senator Offers a Gun Control Compromise
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN JUNE 17, 2016
The legislation being drafted by Ms. Collins would bar the sale of guns to terrorism suspects who appear on either the government’s no-fly list or the so-called “selectee” list, in which individuals are subjected to additional security screening before being allowed to board an airplane. Those lists are far more narrow than the federal terrorist screening database, which is the focus of a proposal sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, one of the four measures to be voted on Monday.
So when they say "no fly list" it is actually what they mean, unlike the slippery rhetoric we saw last time around this track. As to the due process bit:
But while the gun restrictions proposed by Ms. Collins would target a narrower group of individuals, her measure does not require federal prosecutors to demonstrate “probable cause” of criminal terrorist activity, which is required in an alternative to the Feinstein measure sponsored by Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican.
Democrats say Mr. Cornyn’s measure, which will also be voted on Monday, sets such a high burden of proof that it renders useless the underlying gun restrictions.
Instead, Ms. Collins has proposed an appeals process that would award attorney’s fees to anyone who successfully challenged the government’s effort to prevent the sale of a firearm.
“If you are either on the no-fly list or the selectee list, which is the list where you are subjected to additional screening before you are allowed to board a plane, then you would be prohibited from purchasing a gun,” Ms. Collins said.
She said she agreed that Mr. Cornyn’s measure set a standard too difficult to meet.
“If probable cause is found, then probably law enforcement could arrest you,” she said. “If you have got that, you are going to be arrested, unless they are leaving you out there in order to catch others.”I have not dug around for a copy of the proposed bill, is I am not sure what the basis for an appeal would be. Something lower than "probable cause", apparently, but what? Or, lacking some standard, how could someone ever win a reversal and attorney's fees, other than in a case of outright error (a mispelled name, for example)?