In any case the NY Times has found the dream advocate for some kind of assault weapons ban. The gist - Cong. Brian Mast is a heroically wounded vet, NRA lifer and nwo a gun control advocate. However, that gist does not do him justice:
I’m Republican. I Appreciate Assault Weapons. And I Support a Ban.
The most important and unregrettable time of my life was the 12 years I spent in the Army. I became a bomb technician because I wanted to save lives. I nearly gave my own life for that — I lost both my legs and a finger when a roadside bomb detonated beneath me — and have known more heroes than I can count who died defending others.
When I was with others on the battlefield and we saw a chance to save a life, we didn’t have a meeting about it; we acted immediately. I never worried about becoming a casualty myself.
Now, as a Republican congressman from Florida, I don’t fear becoming a political casualty, either. If we act now by changing laws surrounding firearms and mental illness, we too can save lives.
He's served in theater, carried an M4 carbine, hunted with grampa - it's the internet so I assume we'll see someone crazy enough to question his valor or gun background, but it surely will not be me.
His Big Finish on assault weapons, however, leaves unsquared the circle that vexes and perplexes anyone who understand the issue (i.e., few assault weapon ban advocates) - just what IS an assault weapon and what distinguishes it from a semiautomatic hinting rifle or varmint gun?
Back in 1994 Sen. Feinstein focused on detachable magazines, the pistol grip, collapsible stock, grenade launcher and bayonet mounts, and flash suppressor. Detachable magazines and their capacity can make a gun more dangerous. However, not all of us grasp the connection between lethality and bayonet mounts. On the other hand, as the NY Times explained after Newtown, even though Adam Lanza bought a weapon that complied with the original assault weapons ban (continued as CT State law), that was a matter of exploiting loopholes such as removing the bayonet mount.
In any case, here is Brian Mast today, my emphasis:
Therefore, I support the following:
Defining what constitutes an assault or tactical firearm and not allowing them for future purchase — just as we already prohibit the purchase of fully automatic firearms. The exact definition of assault weapon will need to be determined. But we should all be able to agree that the civilian version of the very deadly weapon that the Army issued to me should certainly qualify. I would not support any version of a ban that results in confiscating existing legally owned firearms.
I suppose "No confiscation" might leave room for a forced buyback, but it is only in Republican dreams that Democrats propose a full ban on semiautomatic rifles of all types. As to a meaningful definition of "assault weapons" that excludes many or most hunting and sporting rifles, while still making any sort of sense at all in terms of lethality - well, good luck.
My guess is that this is just pandering to the "Do Something" clamor. Diane Feinstein's 2013 definition remained focused on cosmetic non-issues, which is somewhat inevitable since the distinction is cosmetic.
If gun control advocates were honest they would propose a ban on all semiautomatic rifles, and endure the consequences. Just around my area they would start with losing Congressional seats all over New England, upstate New York and Pennsylvania. As an offset they would carry the area around new York City and Philadelphia with 85% of the vote instead of just 75%, so there's that.
Well, the Dems aren't suicidal, so an honest debate won't be happening. That said, the rest of the Mast effort outlines proposals that might pass Congress:
Ensuring that every firearm purchaser has a background check. We also need to improve the background check system.
Banning the sale of accessories and add-ons that circumvent the ban on automatic firearms, and increasing the ages at which individuals can purchase various categories of firearms.
Ensuring that those who have been detained for mental illness, or have been ordered by courts to receive treatment for mental illness, cannot purchase firearms.
Ensuring that someone who is being looked at as a possible terrorist, through a system of due process, cannot purchase a firearm and that any person threatening to shoot or blow up a school, in word or on social media, is placed on an F.B.I. watch list for a long time.
Providing behavior detection training to anyone seeking a Federal Firearms License.
Making substantial resources available to schools, at their discretion, for security measures, including the opportunity to purchase enhanced security screening, install classroom panic buttons wired directly to law enforcement and hire additional school resource officers.
Holding the F.B.I. and state agencies accountable for their failures to identify a threat like Nikolas Cruz, as well as ensuring that schools enforce basic security protocols to prevent access by unauthorized personnel.
He left out the ban on bumpstocks, which will surely pass if anything does. Raising ages just happened in Florida, normally a strong gun-rights state. I assume there will be scuffles on various points but other than the assault weapon posturing nothing on that list fazes me.