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Politics Second Amendment

The Real History of the Assault Weapons Ban

by Kyle Wintersteen   |  October 25th, 2012 115

After months of presidential campaigning with little to no discussion on gun control, gun owners were starting to wonder if the candidates would ever be forced to declare their positions. Then, all of a sudden during the second presidential debate, there it was. Undecided voter Nina Gonzalez asked President Barack Obama what his administration “has done or plans to do to limit the availability of [so-called] assault weapons.”

“We’re a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment,” Obama said. “We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves.”

OK. So far, so good.

“But there have been too many instances during the course of my presidency, where I’ve had to comfort families who have lost somebody,” the president continued, “Most recently out in Aurora.”

And here we go.

“Weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets,” the president said. “And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced.”

With that 30-second sound bite, Obama resurrected the favorite bogeyman of the anti-gun left: semi-automatic rifles. The ramifications were swift. The NRA ramped up its ad campaign. The Brady Campaign’s phones rang for the first time in years. And suddenly the nation was thrust back into a debate over a widely owned category of firearms.

However, if you’ve ever participated in the discussion, you’ve likely experienced an unfortunate frustration: The public has been intentionally misled by anti-gun groups regarding firearms law, the capabilities of semi-automatic firearms, and the effect of Bill Clinton’s 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. In fact, you may have even talked to a few actual gun owners who have their facts confused. So, let’s take a look at the history of the original law, including what guns it banned, its effect on crime, the attempts to reinstate it and what a new assault weapons ban may look like.

The Real Assault Weapons Ban
First, an important clarification: The semi-automatic rifles affected by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban are not, by true definition, assault rifles. There are several reasons why, but the most important distinction is they aren’t capable of fully automatic fire.

However, when the average non-gun owning citizen hears “assault weapon,” he hears “machine gun,” even though the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 already requires such firearms to be heavily taxed, highly regulated and registered with the federal government. Therefore, Bill Clinton truthfully did not ban assault rifles—FDR did.

Yet how many folks have you run into who assume you can just waltz into a gun store and buy an automatic rifle? They’ve been fed misleading information on this issue. And that’s arguably the greatest victory ever scored by anti-gun groups: They’ve won public support by incorrectly branding semi-auto rifles as “assault weapons.” With a little help from the mainstream media, of course.

Bill Clinton’s Assault Weapons Ban
Once the term “assault weapon” became part of the American lexicon sometime in the late ’80s, gun rights were in a sorry state of retreat. In 1989, California banned “assault weapons,” followed by New Jersey in 1990. Soon Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland and New York passed similar bans.

Then came the greatest blow of all: On Sept. 13, 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB). President Bill Clinton signed it into law on the same day.

The AWB prohibited the manufacture of certain semi-automatic firearms (those made prior to the AWB could still be legally owned and sold). One of the most interesting if not disturbing aspects of the AWB was the criteria it used to define a so-called “assault weapon.” Critics argued that the criteria consisted merely of cosmetic features that appeared scary to the bill’s authors, but did nothing to prevent crime. You be the judge: Here are the firearm characteristics that were covered by the AWB.

Rifle prohibitions:

  • Bayonet mounts
  • Barrel shrouds
  • Folding or telescoping stocks
  • Flash suppressors or barrels threaded to accept them
  • Pistol grips

Pistol prohibitions:

  • Magazines that attach outside the pistol grip
  • Any semi-auto version of a fully automatic pistol
  • Barrels threaded to accept extensions, suppressors, flash suppressors, or handgrips
  • Barrel shrouds
  • Pistols with unloaded weights of 50 ounces or more

Shotgun prohibitions:

  • Magazine capacities of five shells or more
  • Folding or telescoping stocks
  • Pistol grips
  • Detachable magazines

Additionally, 19 models of firearms were specifically banned by name, as were magazines or other feeding devices with capacities of 10 rounds or more. However, moderate lawmakers in Congress were able to attach a “sunset” provision to the AWB that provided for its expiration after 10 years.

Effects of the Assault Weapons Ban
The AWB significantly raised the market value of pre-ban firearms and led to production of a lot of fixed-stock AR-15s, but did it actually do what its proponents said it would—save lives?

According to the vast majority of research, including by the University of Pennsylvania and a Congressionally mandated study by the U.S. Department of Justice, the AWB neither increased nor decreased violent crime. The government’s study argued it would be difficult to determine the effect of the AWB one way or another, because the guns it affected were used in only a small fraction of crimes prior to the ban.

There is one study that suggests the AWB had a positive effect on crime, but it was funded by—guess who—the Brady Campaign.

Another effect of the AWB had nothing to do with firearms: It mobilized pro-gun voters. President Clinton largely credits gun owners with fueling the Republican Revolution of 1994 and defeating Al Gore in 2000.

Renewal Efforts
Despite efforts by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to renew the AWB, it expired on March 2, 2004. Since that time, McCarthy has reintroduced an AWB in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2011—none of her bills have made it out of committee.

What might a new ban look like if it ever again reaches the president’s desk? We can be fairly certain there’d be no expiration date this time around. None of McCarthy’s bills have included one, and she’s made it clear she wants a permanent ban. A new McCarthy ban would also likely prohibit all of the gun accessories covered by the 1994 AWB (despite the embarrassing admission that McCarthy doesn’t even understand some of them), plus a few others, including fixed-magazine centerfire rifles holding ten or more rounds, certain semi-auto shotguns, and detachable-magazine semi-auto rifles.

In short, a new assault weapons ban would likely have farther reach and it would be here to stay. How can we ensure that doesn’t happen? If you haven’t heard, there’s an election in two weeks. Perhaps it’s time to mobilize the same huge bloc of voters that sent Mr. Clinton’s allies a simple message in ’94: Go after our guns and we’ll vote you out.

  • Erik O

    You forgot a picture of Reagan calling the swing voters personally to get their support of the '94 AWB.

    • Blue Centurion

      And they forgot to mention Romney signed one of the most restrictive AWB/Handgun legislation into law while Governor of MA.

      • Jamie

        and GOAL (Gun Owners Action League) of Mass endorsed it and the AWB was a mirror image of the Fed 94 ban minus the expire date and a bunch of other requirements that made it easier and cheaper to own guns in MA

      • Dan

        That is not true. There is a lot of misinformation about that, but if you can read…you can simply go back and look at what he actually signed into law…it was very pro gun!

    • JOhn

      Not even the Gipper got everything right.

      • Mark N.

        The Gipper, as governor of California, also signed a law banning the carrying of loaded firearms in urban areas. That's twice he "got it wrong." For a western movie star, he didn't seem to like guns all that much,

        • Lee Phillips

          President Regan was shot while he was president. He did not call for more gun control. This makes me feel that your information is suspect.

  • Dumbed-down

    I'm so sad. Next will be bans on Cars, and Airplanes, and Cancer, and Aids, and greasy foods, and roller coasters, and high-rise office buildings, and electricity, and WAR, and bombs, and nukes, and plagues………oh my God – this is far reaching!!!!

    • Jmmc

      Thank you for looking ahead at the big picture. This is what our future will bring!

  • Trent Bohl

    I found this in a off road forum

    Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

    In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

    When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

    There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

    Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

    When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation…and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

    • trqwrench

      Very well said sir. This should be the credo of gun advocates. I don't who said it first, but the simplest way to state all of this is, "God created man; Sam Colt made them all equal."

      • Bruce

        yeah but john moses browning designed the colt 1911 and also the famous browning hi power. So I would give the real credit to mr browning, the real genius

    • Randy Hicks

      Very well written, to whoever the author is! And, I agree wholeheartedly.

    • Larry & Dee

      Very well put, Trent. Now to convince the sheeple what it takes to be guarddogs. DO NOT give up your GOD-given
      rights! They're too hard to get back.

      • Bruce

        …and on the 8th day god created the AK-47 and M4…..that somehow doesn't sound right dude. Our right to bear arms is in the constitution, not willed to us by god. The sheeple are the real heros, besides, without sheeple who would you defend? it would just be a bunch of gun and food hoardersvs other people with guns and thats not a pretty scenario

    • Mel

      Believe it was written by a USMC Major.

    • Chas

      This really tells it the way it is and was meant to be told. Good Job!!! An unarmed citizen is the first step to anarchy! Remember that!!!

    • Dan

      the best rhetoric I have heard on this forum!!!!!!!

    • just a guy

      Amen Brother!!!

    • Phil from Chardon

      This is the best essay I have ever read on why I carry a gun. Thanks for finding and posting I could not agree more.

    • Wendell Harlow

      My God, this was beautiful! A well thought out, reasonable, and factual argument. It illustrated the facts and made the issue one of complete common sense.

      To my way of thinking, the gun grabbers fall into one of two categories. I reasonably suspect that the large majority of them, at least in the civilian population, are opposed to private firearm ownership for mainly idealistic reasons. With the Liberal's usual stance, they live in a world of dreams and fantasies where inconvenient truth is ignored. They truly reason that if a thing is declared illegal, then everyone will comply and stop doing or using the prohibited thing or action. In reality of course, it doesn't work that way. In the case of gun control legislation, the laws are obviously effective only for the law abiding citizen, who wouldn't misuse the firearm to begin with. The criminal is not restricted in the least, as by definition he, she, or they are outside the law. This has the effect, obviously of making the upright citizen a sheep thrown into the path of wolves.

      The second and far more dangerous of the two camps above are those who legislate with "citizen control" in the back of their grubby little minds. As the old adage plainly points out, "An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed one, a slave." A perfect example is Nazi Germany. Hitler and his minions straight away clamped down on private ownership of firearms. If you were not in law enforcement or the military (or a party member in high standing) you didn't have a firearm, period. When the inevitable atrocities began, no one could resist in any meaningful way. This ultimately led to the deaths of multiple millions of innocent people.

      Yet, as usual, we do not learn from history. The idealists who generally blinded by Humanism refuse to recognize human nature at its worst, and deny the plain truth when it collides with their pre-conceived ideology. This is the war that we gun owners are fighting. Both of these camps of people wish to force us to stand naked handed before our enemies. Whether their concerns are idealistic or of the darker nature is, therefore, moot. Both camps, whether they mean it for good or evil, seek to deny my inalienable rights, as defined under the Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. I will not stand idly by and see my rights taken away. If a law is passed that is blatantly unconstitutional on its face, I am honor bound as a citizen, and as a former active duty Marine NCO, to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC, an oath I swore shortly before entering the Marines. I still consider myself bound to that oath today.

    • Dave Hicks

      I'm pretty sure this was written by Robert A. Heinlein many years ago.
      He has a valid point, that making you deal with me in a civilized manner.

      The irony of gun control is that in a nation like the U.K. where guns are illegal, they recently had a group of "bad guys" with GUNS rob a shopping mall making off with millions of dollars in goods on motorcycles.
      So while they are not allowed legal gun ownership, the felons don't care they are already breaking the law. So only the citizens obeying the law, are injured. The felons don't care if its legal, they were breaking the law anyway!

    • gary

      im one of thoese passive canadians you hear about with our strick gun control (which really did nothing for the fight on crime) but i really feel that if canadians were givin the right to defend themselfs crimminals might have a second thought on muggins and drive bys, and armed socity is at lest a polite on and if not polite at lest able to protect its self which should be our right thank you and even thought im not american i support you

    • Mark Young

      The first paragraph…2 ways of dealing with each other, is an interesting and revealing comment. It presupposes that the underlying attitude of interaction between people is adversarial. If your world view is such, you are much more likely to create a defensive reaction from others that increases the chance of a confrontation resulting in the reason/force paradigm. We see the outcome of this kind of attitude in events that have rekindled the gun debate.
      Taking a look at the underlying cultural issues does not take away any gun rights and makes for interesting conversation.

      • mike

        allright Mark, ill bite… what are the alternatives to these two options? interaction is defined as "a mutual or reciprocal action or influence" so… the influence that people have on each other.

        In other words, all attempts to INFLUENCE another person can be categorized as "persuasive" or "coercive". …even when people are working together, that is a result of both of them being persuaded on some level to perform the behavior in question.

        what are some examples of interpersonal interaction, or attempts to influence another person, that could not be boiled down to "adversarial" in nature? As humans everything we do is self-serving at its core. thats not a cynical perspective, either. its just observation. if i do something for someone i love, it is because that person is high on my list of priorities, and so i value their needs. thus my actions serve MY values, even if it is addressing someone else's needs. Even if we do something of our own volition based on a moral compass… that means our behavior is an attempt to satisfy our own desires to be moral. So, does that make sense? we're talking about an objective, philosophical perspective of human interaction.

        I personally can't think of any interaction between humans that is not accomplished via persuasion or coercion, but i know that i don't know everything. i would be interested in your ideas, Mark.

  • Douglas Knight

    Quotes from Obama: that he would like to have a 650,000 man army as well trained, equipped, & paid as the US Army, stationed on American soil, & answerable only to him. When confronted about suggesting that service members pay their own healthcare: I don't know why these guys are whining, I mean, no one made them sign up, they volunteered for this. I'd like to reduce America's defense capabilities to the point that Muslims would feel comfortable with it. "My Muslim faith…", before being corrected by a sympathetic liberal media type. Many more, not enough room. Try listening to some comments by his friends & cabinet heads(czars), they are bone chilling.

    • Blue Gunowner

      Where did you find these quotes? Service members pay their own healthcare? Really? The Republicans may want that, but not the Democratic party. You are a moron.

      • Lumpy Rutherford

        Speaking of morons, you need to look in the mirror. Your gaygro prez suggested that service members pay for their own medical insurance for service-related injuries.

      • Raazorblade

        Obama is the Moron who wanted to know why they were whinning because HE wanted the military to pay their own healthcare. Read the liberal newspapers that reported it if you are smart enough to read…..

      • GAWD


  • Frank G

    A handgun that weights more then 50 ounces!!!!!!! No way am I giving up two of my favorite hunting hand cannons. Have already voted and guess who it WAS for?

    • ObiWan

      Don't forget that only one of the presidential candidates has actually signed an assault weapon ban. Be careful what you vote for…

  • VietVet

    I have fired assault weapons like the M-60 which has a selector switch that shoots fully auto. I have fired 50 cal which has selector that shoots fully auto. Any firearm that can be purchased has no selector switch on it for full automatic. Just because your firearm looks like it is assault weapon doe's not mean it is. OBAMA wants to have every gun we own melted down because that what his buddy want's to cripple the U.S. Economics watch the U.S. crumble internally the Communist Doctrine written by Carl Marx,Stalin,Nikta Kruschev.

    • GAWD


  • Mack Missiletoe

    I heard this interview on the radio while driving home from work. I felt let down! I never trusted Obama from the beginning… I truly believe that Romney will win

    First off, Assault Weapons are banned unless you are cleared to own them, pay certain fees, and can actually afford them. *Assault Weapons are fully-automatic!* They fire much faster than semi-automatic firearms. Semi-automatic firearms are quite limited in firepower vs fully automatic weapons. In fact, the theater shooter used multiple firearms because he knew he was limited with his semi-automatic firearms!

    Semi-automatic firearms are a natural part of American History and are seen in many many households throughout the nation

    The answer to the the the question of how to stop violence is not that we must stop the sale of legal firearms to our hard-working legal citizens. We already have laws for this and they work effectively 99% of the time. It is instead that we must stop the bad guys, and the bad guys who pose as good guys to hurt others.

    The Theater shooter used a gun-free zone and complete surprise to hurt others. If we had payed attention to the signs then perhaps we could have stopped him. Or better yet–if we were armed we WOULD have stopped him earlier. He would have thought twice… for he would not have been in a gun-free zone. Many concealed carry holders train with their firearms both for safety and effectiveness

    The bad guys will get a hold of semi-auto weapons weather we ban them or not. The most unwise thing we could do is limit ourselves–and limit our response. The bad guys will bend the rules, break the rules, and try to change the rules–like what is happening now, trying to limit the good guys with gun bans.

    When a bad guy uses a gun against us, we reach for a gun in response. Or call for backup–The Police–who have guns to respond. We do not instead limit the magazines of our guns or limit our Police' magazines. Or say that we or them cannot have the same weapons the bad guys will continue to use. That is most foolish. We are Americans and do not let people run us over. We have fought too hard with the very weapons that these uneducated (in firearms) anti-gun people want to take from us.

    I think the people who want to limit our firearms are scared foolish. I respect their opinion, but must say it is completely foolish. The majority of Americans support guns in the hands of legal, respectful citizens. Many Americans own guns, and they find it ironic that they must fight for them after all they or their forefathers have been through.

    What we need to improve is our response to those who may be possible threats. Such as those who say they will hurt others or show in some way that they will hurt others.

    Going after our guns is the same as going after Americans. I could understand stricter laws if these anti-gun people were talking about fully-auto weapons. But they are not–and they do not even understand the meaning of assault weapons. The 'Assault Weapons Ban' was not ever the proper term for the old law!

    Check out the stats for cities that outlaw guns. It's GRIM. Get you head out of the sand

    Guns are not bad. Simply take a firearms safety and usage course. You will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to be safe with firearms. Guns are not ticking time bombs like the anti-gun people think they are. They are much the same as knives or swords

    Really–get out and shoot at the gun range or a legal place in the country before you try to ban guns. You really are missing out on a lot of fun. Shooting tin cans in the country with friends or seeing how accurate you can be at the range is satisfying

    A lot of women who were scared of guns learned how much fun they can be after they took the plunge and learned to safely use them

    Just today I heard an anti-gun comment on television about how our laws are not safe. These anti-gun people simply are not educated with our firearms laws

    We should focus on how to stop the bad guys while preserving the shooting sports

    There is a famous quote that reads something similar to, "Freedom sacrificed for security is doom." And another one which reads something similar to, "The farmer who beats his firearm into a plowl will be the slave of those who do not."

    A most very basic rule of survival is to be armed and not to over-limit yourself

    • VietVet

      Boy do you have it right. One in every room.

      • Randy Hicks

        Amen brother… and more in some!

  • Nolan Raborn

    To late! They are already stupid!

    • Mack Missiletoe

      I agree that the majority are dumb as far as firearm knowledge and laws go.

      They really do not know what they are doing. I think that they are so comfortable with their lives that they are scared. Too scared to learn to use a gun.

      I heard of one who had actually been through a shooting AND STILL wanted to ban guns. I respect her decision, but it is SOOO STUPID.

      You ban guns then you have no way to fight back!

      So what these anti-gunners are saying is that they are not the kind of people to fight back. They would not fight for their country, imo. They are scared.

      99% of legal gun owners are respectful, loving, caring, people that would not hurt others.

      Our current laws prevent bad guys from getting guns legally, so they must acquire them illegally.

      In order to improce our country we need to limit and track the bad guys without hurting the good guys. We also must stop getting divorces, teach our children about love and respect for our neighbors, and teach proper firearm safety so that our country is no longer afraid of the very guns that have helped win our freedom.

      The theater shooter used a gun free zone to kill.

      Most bad guys with guns use surprise. So surprise them back with a gun of your own.

      Those who say the pen is mightier than the sword never faced automatic weapons.

      Assault rifles already are banned unless you obtain special clearance. It is the semi-automatic rifles and handguns they want to ban–or make it hard to obtain 20 or 30rd mags. I understand their pov, but it is foolish. Then the bad guys will have semi-auto rifles with 20-30rd mags (which are normal, not high-cap btw) and we will be limited to 9 or 10 rds.

      This is stupid.

      I know what the anti-gun people are trying to get at but instead, whether they realize it or not, they are effectively trying to disarm America. What is worse is that I think some of these anti-gun people really may be bad and want to disarm America.

      I am not pointing fingers, but it makes sense. A bunch of people migrate to america, vote to minimize our firepower, then make it easier to invade America.

      For those who think it is impossible, it is not. In fact, World War II was very real. Hitler invaded Poland and killed EVERYONE he felt like–men, women, children, babies, etc…

      You have no right to disarm us, whether you try to take our firearms or limit our ammo–you will be voted out of office. Especially when the truth comes out yet again that the cities in which firearms have been banned are cities with rising death tolls and very dangerous.

      • Erik O

        The Powers that Be are the ones trying to remove our access to firearms, not recent immigrants. They are dividing us on this issue to make us easier to control.

        Working to remove those who don't support RKBA is the way to go. Why do you think that Huntsman lost so quickly? He fully supports civil rights. Obama may or may not want to remove rights, much like Romney it depends on what those who will let him keep his power have to say.

        I agree with 98% of the Dem's platform including the placement of Firearms under Civil Rights. I disagree strongly with the wording and will be working for the next four years to get both the AWB and 'gunshow loophole' nonsense off of the platform entirely.

        I mentioned Reagan above as an example of knowing EVERYONE involved. Do not assume anything. Politicians will do what they can with the power they have, we need to curtail their power.

  • msamples

    Too bad we do not have more veterans talking about this issue. They have seen the ability of semiautomatic firearms to equalize uneven situations in the field. Juyst look at the Garand and the M-16.

    Police find themselves in the same boat and therefore have adopted the semiautomatic AR-15/M-16 platform for a patrol rifle, to even the playing field either in defense mode or as a sniper.

    Unfortunately, too many Americans regard firearms as evil, rather than the tool that they are. Take a look at FBI stats and find that only minimal homicides resulted from "assault rifles" as they are too unwieldly for concealment.

    The problem we have in the United States is that so-called administrators such as Eric Holder play games with firearms rather than enforcing the laws already on the books. Elect Obama again, and expect your Second Amendment rights to fall by the wayside, unless the UN gets to us first through Hillary Clinton.

    • Betty Loop

      Amen, my friend

    • Mack Missiletoe

      Here in Texas I think there must be less people that are afraid of guns. A few nice ladies I met were not afraid that I was interested in the shooting sports and even seemed to think it is normal. I was impressed.

      I think there is a large community on the internet that is anti-gun, so far Texas may be good-to-go! :D

    • MARINE

      Both Clinton & Holder are out of there freaking minds. They are both criminels. Right up there with Hanoi jane.

  • VietVet

    Believe me there are a lot of vet's that talk about this but you don't hear them. They just have not come out and have said it yet. Gun's are the first defense of your castle. It's like when I came back from Viet Nam the hippies were out their on the tarmac shouting how many babies did you kill. My reply was no more than I could eat. They shut up. A 7 year old will kill you just a well as 40 year old .

    • MARINE

      AMEN BROTHER!!!!

  • TJS

    You conveniently leave out Reagan forfeiting our legal right to purchase fully-automatic weapons made after 1986 in his "effort to combat the ATF". I'd say he gave them more than an inch.

    • ErikO

      And he happily signed away Californian's rights to keep those black men from being armed.

    • MARINE

      Reagan was an idiot

  • Navin Johnson

    Never trust a Democrat who says he's Pro 2nd Amendment, Pro Life, or Pro Business – he's lying. However, since 1994 they have been scared to death of the NRA.

    • VietVet

      Boy that is the truth. Pelosi,Boxer,Fienstien,Schumer, and our boy Joe Biden.

      • james

        don't forget NY Rep Carolyn McCarthey.

  • Breeze

    Very good article. We can never give up this right.

  • 2WarAbnVet

    One wonders why?

  • james

    Obama is no friend to law abiding firearms owners.
    Look at his record before he became POTUS

    Just look at Obama’s history:
    • Obama supports ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of all handguns (1996).

    • Obama endorses ban on the sale or transfer of all semi-automatic firearms (1998).

    • Obama supports 500 percent increase in taxes on both guns and ammunition (1999).

    • Obama proposes banning gun stores within five miles of any school or park (1999).

    • Obama co-sponsors legislation limiting gun purchases to “one gun a month” (1999).

    • Obama serves on board of directors of the radically anti-gun Joyce Foundation (1994-2002).

    • Obama votes to ban hundreds of common, conventional rifles and shotguns (2003).

    • Obama votes to prosecute victims who use guns for self-defense in their homes (2004).

    • Obama backs federal law to abolish Right-to-Carry nationwide (2004).

    • Obama votes to ban common rifle ammunition (2005).

    • Obama votes to expose U.S. gun industry to potentially bankrupting lawsuits (2005).

    • Obama votes to reject pro-Second Amendment Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito (2005 and 2006).

    • Obama supports Washington, D.C., ban on guns in the home for self-defense and refuses to sign bipartisan “friend of the court” brief urging Supreme Court to overturn it (2008).

    • Obama votes to jeopardize federal criminal investigations by opening up sensitive BATFE gun-trace data for manipulation by anti-gun politicians (2008).

    Read more:

    • matt

      How about you post a credible link for your "facts". Posting a link to a site where you already posted it, doesn't count

      • Outlaw

        Truth hurt's huh Matt?

  • Betty Loop

    I, for one, want my right to carry a concealed weapon. I have been assaulted and luckily I survived. If it ever happens again, I'll be prepared to NOT be the victim. I want my right to carry a concealed weapon to protect myself from bullies, criminals, and cowards that try to assault a 64 year old woman. Physically, I'm now fit and have had extensive training in weaponry. Unless, you are Reese from "Personal Interest"……unfortunately, I am the only one that will protect myself and my property. I wish I had an automatic weapon. If more than one intruder is in my house, I won't miss for sure. Just so there's no misunderstanding, I don't believe in taking lives carelessly, don't belief in abortions (they are people too), don't belief that guns should be taken lightly, and don't belief that people should use guns without training.

    • james

      Betty, did you want to say autoloader not automatic?

      full automatic firearms harder to keep on target compared
      to semiautomatic firearm.

      do you own a revolver or semi auto?


  • John

    In law, assault is a crime that involves causing a victim to apprehend violence.
    There for there is no such thing as an "assault weapon". A weapon it's self is not capable of a physical act towards an other person. And as long as the media and the firearms community continues to accept the use of a term that has no true meaning in the English language then you will suffer the consequences. There has always been a "military weapon" that sooner or later is adapted for sporting purposes just as or current modern military rifles are today. There for there is no real difference between a sporting weapon and a military weapon as they are one in the same. So all of you that accept the incorrect use of "assault weapon" you can keep feeding yourself with that "over eating spoon" and becoming over weight.

    • Viet Vet

      Wrong, I don't carry bandoliers of ammo around when I hunt. Gang bangers carry magazines and clips when they hunt for people to rob. I suppose you think a black powder gun is a assault weapon. Their are single shot rifles. A soldier would die if he had a single shot rifle. All assault weapons are fully automatic. Assault can be a brick a knife and even a ice cream cone if you apply to the victim correctly. There for your analysis is in correct.

      • tv_racin_fan


        Viet Vet let me first thank you for your service.

        You trying to claim that the flintlock musket was not the military "assault" weapon of choice circa the US revolutionary war era?

        You trying to claim that the cap lock rifle circa the US Civil War was not the military "assault" weapon of choice of that era?

        You trying to claim that the bolt action rifle was not the military "assault" weapon of choice during the First World War?

        Did not every single one of those become the civilian hunting weapon of choice as well?

        Funny thing sir I own a smoothbore fowling piece not so far removed from the musket, I own a flintlock rifle not so different than rifles used by the army just after the Revolutionary war. I just so happen to own a couple of bolt action rifles. I just so happen to own a Garand and a civilian BAR that are not as much different as you may want to believe.

  • bhp9

    The election is a tough call. No gun owner wants to see the second amendment trashed but there are other things to consider. Are you on social security or out of a job on unemployment funds or in need of medical insurance? Romney would be the first to cut such programs to balance the budget for his rich industrialist friends. They would have to pay less into the funding of such programs and that is exactly what they have done to the working man in the past.

    Obama is not a President Clinton. Clinton was ruthless and knew how to intimidate the Congress to get his anti-gun agenda passed. Obama is far less likely to get his passed. The present Congress is so divided amongst party lines it is little likely to get anything done during the next 4 years, so the new threatened Feinstein legislation is not likely to pass Congress. Continued below.

    • tv_racin_fan

      Ahem.. Social Security was doomed as a retirement program from the start.

      The govt was well aware of this at the time. Thus if you bother to read you will find that SS was ruled a tax in 1937 (Helvering V Davis) and the funds went into the general fund and were not to be earmarked in any fashion.

      The funds that the IRS took from you in the payroll tax were used to pay someone else and not a penny went into any sort of savings account. Any funds the govt allows you to collect will come from someone else and it is quite likely you will receive more than you paid in. Currently there are approximately three paying in for every one taking out. If that person receiving a check gets $1500 that means three people are paying in over $500 each as someone has to pay for the administration.

      You need to let that sink in a bit.

  • bph9

    The failed economic policies and lack of bank and stock market regulation led to the first big worldwide depression in the 1930's and the same exact George Bush policies that led to the second recent great economic depression. Now Romney wants us to accept more of the same failed economic policies. It took Roosevelt 8 years to lift both the U.S. and the world out of the first worldwide depression but few Americans know anything about history. They expected Obama to create an economic miracle recovery in only four years while fighting a Congress that for political reasons tried to prevent every economic recovery act he tried to implement. Continued below.

    • tv_racin_fan

      Glass Steagal was repealed under President Clinton….

      It was not President Bush's policies that resulted in people purchasing far more house than they could afford nor was it his policies that caused the hpousing bubble to burst. In fact he called for a reigning in of Fannie and Freddie.

      Care to explain how that democrat controlled congress did that to a democrat president and why?

      You may recall that the democrat president managed to get a democrat congress to pass the ACA without a republican vote… then again you may not.

      I love how President Obama has tried to lay claim to the increased oil and nat gas production in the US that has occured despite his efforts on PRIVATE land.

      Your revisionist history and lies wont work.

      Hey why not go investigate and find out why the federal govt had to repeal their luxury tax on boats and autos then come back and explain how that tax was a republican idea.

  • bph9

    Remember Romney was responsible for some of the most draconian gun acts ever passed in Massachusetts, do you really think he will do anything to help gun owners if he is elected? His crony George Bush made such promises and we all know he did nothing to help gun owners when he was in power. I think Romney will be worse and I expect him to do a complete flip flop on the gun issue if he is elected.

    • Viet Vet

      Ryan and Romney are both members of the NRA. Obama is not. 23 million plus or minus votes count on this.

    • Outlaw

      So stupid there isn't need for comment.

    • dan

      Well, we know what Obama will do…it's worth taking a chance on Romney. I for one, believe he is man of his word.

    • tv_racin_fan


      While it is true that Romney signed an AWB in Mass the facts do not bear out your claim.

      The truth is an assault weapon ban was going to pass in Mass and they had the votes to over ride any Romney veto.

      Mitt Romney understood that and got out front and managed to get many pro gun items in the bill and at the same time limit the weapons actually banned to pretty much the same weapons that were in the Federal AWB.

  • Len

    Clinton, Obama, Holder!


    "Bush To Ban Import Of 43 Assault Guns"

    • Outlaw

      Bush's fault again huh?

      • Viet Vet

        Outlaw maybe we should blame George Washington for bringing in all of the muskets he imported from Europe during the revolutionary war. Whats your opinion?

        • GAWD


          • violater1

            Libterd alert;: GAWD IS AN A$$HOLE MASQUERADING AS A HUMAN BEING¡!

  • jrp

    I'm very happy that I'm not a liberal democrat. It'd be quite painful to have 99% of my brain removed.

    Seriously, do these complete idiots actually believe that the bad guys are going to willingly give up their guns??? Do they think that somebody that is already planning to commit a felony CARES about the fact that they are doing it with an "illegal" weapon? If the flaming liberals would just get their heads out of their behinds for even a microsecond, they'd realize that most horrific violent crimes like Aurora and Ft. Hood take place in NO GUN ZONES. The bad guys pick those locations on purpose, knowing that resistance will be minimal or nonexistent.

    The real answer is to completely ban liberal judges and parole boards that turn convicted violent murderers loose after just a few years in prison. Then they're back on the street with a chip on their shoulder, hating society even more than they did beforehand.

    • Guts to Say It

      You sir are an ass. Do not denigrate more than half of the American citizens because they are Democrats.

      2nd Amendment Rights are a specific issue. I support the right to bear arms. I would fight to protect it.

      And I am a Moderate American and a Democrat.

      • tv_racin_fan

        And yet you belong to the party fighting against those rights and by the time it comes to a fight you have already given them rights away.

  • BillinPA

    Can we please stop with the mantra of " it's not an assault weapon unless it's full auto capable." That's idiotic and makes pro 2A defenders sound like word parsing politicians. The Antis know this as one of the very few talking points they can use against us. The uncommitted voter who knows little to nothing about firearms hears this and wonders what else are the "gun nuts" trying to obfuscate. We do ourselves and our cause no good following this dogma.

    What did the British carry in their assault on Breed's (Bunker) Hill? Muzzloading Brown bess muskets. Were the M1917's and '03 Springfields carried "over the top" throughout World War One capable of select fire? How about the M1Garands used to fight across Utah and Omaha beaches? Or the L1A1's used to assault Mt. Tumbledown in 1982?
    Nope, none of them fit the silly definition we spout on a regular basis. Yet all of them and many other non-select fire weapons were used in historic assaults. The reality is that virtually ALL firearms have been used in one military assault or another. The term "assault weapon" is essentially meaningless. THAT is what we need to argue against the Antis.

    Guns are nothing more than tools, regardless of what particular characteristics they possess. Sometimes they are used for evil, more often they are used for good. It's a red herring to argue otherwise and one that plays into the hands of our gun hating enemies.

    • Mack Missiletoe

      Educating the anti-gun people is important–a lot of them sound like they have never even shot a gun. In addition, there is a load of misinformation certain leaders or media print. Some have been lied to!

      The reason that semi-automatic rifles are important versus fully-automatic is that they are already limited. Their limit is enough, we do not need more limits on firepower. We will nto be able to respond to those who want to kill us.

      We do not live to work hard, create a family, build a foundation… then get shot and killed because we could not defend ourselves. What we need is information to stop the bad guys so they do not take advantage of us or injure us. Such as responding to threats they make before performing their evil acts.

      Banning a certain magazine or limiting a rifle is not going to stop the bad guy from killing people. What will stop him is our response to his threats beforehand–and with what? The very firearms these anti-gun people want to ban. Semi-auto rifles and handguns. They are the tools of the day. Not the ticking bombs certain anti-gun and media try to make them out to be.

      • Viet Vet

        You are correct SIR

      • Guts to Say It

        I support what you say 100%. And I am a Moderate American and a Democrat.

    • Viet Vet

      Totally agree on your comment.

    • bill

      The liberal media took lessons from Joseph Goebbels about propaganda. They realise that words invoke emotions and with the right imagery can instill irrationale behavior from fear of things misunderstood.
      I agree that the term "assault weapon" is nonsense in the sense that anything used to assault is an assault weapon. Mainstream media and liberals know that those words conjure visions of mayhem and anything but civility.They merely loosely based the term on a rough translation of "Sturmgewehr" which means "storm or assault rifle" which wasn't a term until the early 40's.
      All the firearms you mentioned were indeed used to assault but none were referred to as assault rifles, and "assault weapons" is purposefully a liberal term. "Sporting" or "semiautomatic" (which are more accurate terms) bring up thoughts of friends, family, and neighbors who are gun owners you see heading to range for recreation.
      "Assault weapons" to an unknowledgeable person automatically associates with assault rifles (which are select fire by definition) and with images like the North Hollywood shootout in the head they immediately agree with ban as reasonable without knowing any different.
      Gun owners who understand the difference make a big deal about it do so because we deal with the results of misinformation in the general ignorant populace routinely. Even fellow gun owners are so unaware of gun laws and operating systems that they will give rights in an attempt to be moderate and meet in the middle.
      I've had numerous people who love firearms, hunting, sport shooting, etc., that sneer, and scoff when they hear I hunt with an ak 47 pattern rifle. They have this paradigm driven into their psyche that it is just an uncontrollable hose spraying lead indiscriminately. When I show them a deer with one hole that went only 25yds, they have this blank stare like "how do you make just one bullet come out" as some have said.
      All of us need to educate both gun owners and nonowners alike. I take New people out to the range as often as possible and never miss opportunities to enlighten the uninformed.
      Yes, wording does matter, when It's propaganda. We need to not use names made up by liberals by design, and instead just use the proper name which happens to be less offputting. A ladder company wouldn't call their product a "death dealer" even though way way more people are killed accidentally by ladders than guns…

    • bill

      I feel the need to clarify what the firearms you mentioned are.
      You wouldn't try to claim sports, luxury, or economy cars are equal because they all go the speed limit, and thus all perform 90% of the same tasks asked of them. Just as a camaro body on a 4×4 chassis isn't a sports car, a pistol grip and standard 30rd mag doesn't make an assault rifle.

      All the guns you list are either long guns or MBR's(main battle rifles). Long guns differentiate from the pistols, blunderbuss, cannon, and carbines of the era. MBR's, were different from the pistols, submachine guns, carbines, light & heavy machineguns, saws, dmr's, and the eventual assault rifle. The assault rifles parameters were established as a result of soldiers often dropping their MBR in exchange for submachine guns on the battlefield. Their need was for something that handled like a sub but more powerful and accurate. So the assault rifle is closer to the subgun than the MBR's you use as examples.

      I only mention this because the media uses submachine guns and assault rifles as visual references when talking assault weapon bans. Often stating " capable of spraying hundreds of rounds a minute", while showing a full auto wreaking havoc. The uninformed viewers don't realize that what they are shown is already difficult to procure, and is not even a subject in most proposed bans. This to make people believe that this is a reasonable proposal, in the guise of safety, that only some wacko nutjob would oppose.

      It's for this reason that we must educate our fellow citizens on the matter on how they are misled. When something is unfamiliar to a person it is easy to make them fear it. Think of the anxiety you get from a new endeavor, and how knowledge and experience have given you wisdom that quelled your fear with insight and respect for actual dangers.

      This is what people need from our side, to make it less scary for those who are being sensitized by propaganda. So when they hear lies their bs meter goes off. And so when phrases like "more guns equal more violence" are blasted at them, they think "more defenceless people equal more victims"…

    • jt

      None of those weapons you described was an assault rifle, and was never named or defined as one. However, our GIs did field some early assault rifles near the end of the war (all of which had selective auto fire…). The first true “modern” assault rifle was the Sturmgewehr 44, which means “assault rifle 44″ in German and was created around the time of world war 2. And before that all the way back in 1915, the Russian empire developed the Fedorov Avtomat, which really was the first assault rifle. The defining characteristic for both was again a select fire system allowing automatic fire. So yes, there is a distinction, and no, none of the rifles sold commercially today are assault weapons by any significant and reasonable definition of the term. They are all semi auto rifles, including the AR and AK variants in the US. Antis are willfully changing the definition, enabled by the ignorant fears of many Americans, to slowly encompass all semi rifles. And it is illegal, period.

  • Raazorblade

    I am 69 years old, I am too old to fight, and too crippled up to run, so for those reasons I carry a gun…..

  • Ernie White

    I agree on 99% of every thing said on here. The 1% don't know what they are talking about!!!
    I like to hunt so I have rifle for that. I like to be safe on the street so I carry a side arm. All legal too.
    I hope it will still be legal who ever is the next President! I don't think it will be if Obamba makes it.

  • Mike11C

    The Second Amendment was NOT put in the Bill of Rights so we could all hunt and shoot paper targets at the shooting range. It WAS put in place so "We the People" would have the means to rise up against our own government in the event that they become too intrusive on our lives. They have been trying to limit our ability to do that since FDR passed the National Firearms Act of 1934. I will not give one more inch to these crooks in Washington DC. They will never get my guns while I have the ability to resist. Enough is enough.

    • Guts to Say It

      Mike – you speak the truth. I support what you say 100%. And I am a Moderate American and a Democrat.

    • bill

      To those who doubt this…
      In Federalist Paper 46, James Madison addressed the concern that a standing federal army might conduct a coup to take over the nation. He argued that this was implausible because, based on the country’s population at the time, a federal standing army couldn’t field more than 25,000-30,000 men. He then wrote:

      To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

      • violater1

        This right under the second amendment probably saved us and definitely staved off a landing on our shores in WWII! Yamamoto of Japan advised against a landing troops here because he had attended college in the USA! He told Japans Emporer and other Chiefs of Military Staff that there would be guns behind every blade of grass that would cause them to be facing a formidable foe that could not be defeated by their Army without great loss of life to them in their efforts!

        • Bill Nada


    • violater1

      Amen Mike I will second that motion and emotion my friend!

  • GAWD


    • Mike

      Obama had nothing to do with being able to carry on Amtrak.

    • violater1

      Hey libterd which oriface of your bady did you pull that ignorant rant from! TROLL ALERT libterd on line showing his self to be the horses a$$ that they are¡!!

  • Dave Kiker

    On April 19, 1995, during the time of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, The Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was attacked by a deranged veteran of the United States Army. On September 11, 2001, during the time of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, The World Trade Center in New York City was attacked by Anti-American terrorists. Neither attack was committed with so-called assault rifles.

  • Guts to Say It

    What is scary is that there are some gun owners posting on here who actually sound deranged. We moderates should arm ourselves against some of you looney toons. I believe in our 2nd Amendment right to own guns as it was truly envisioned to protect the people from the government. But, I think that everyone should carry a gun. America is becoming so polarized and the internet is allowing the fringe to be more vocal. We moderates must protect ourselves from the fringe. The fringe are some of the people posting here who sound very much like the Aurora killer or Anders Breivik, the Denmark killer. You angry fringe people scare me. You are the ones that I need to be armed against. You are deranged. You are blinded by hate and cannot see the truth about yourselves when you look in the mirror. You are the zombies of hate – the living dead.

    • Ove

      "Anders Breivik, the Denmark killer" – he was, unfortunately, Norwegian…and not a killer but a terrorist or a massmurderer (or both)

    • violater1

      Much of that is them venting their frustrations now please tell me you are smart enough to realize or figure that out! Otherwise you are a libterd and doing what they do best which is lie their a$$ off!
      Your polarization via the internet is from what cause and justification?? Answer action obama! This evil basterd set out from day one to create a divide between races for his own purposes just like his orchestrated actions that he knew would infuriate Patriot Americans!




    • violater1

      They do so in Sweden every citizen of age are issued a weapon and are required to qualify every so often I think every year! Their crime rate per capita is extremely low! Then look at the recently disarmed UK and gun crimes have risen above 45% since their confiscation enactment! Yet piers the assholemorgan will not discuss these.issues! But the libterds all think their shit does not smell! Just ask one of them!

  • Patriot Vet.

    I think it was Pres Bush who allowed the lend lease M-1's and Possible M-1 carbines to be imported back to USA soil. These were taxpayer propertys and we were PAYING millions of storage fees I think, to Norway , Italy and no doubt other nations . You can check with Civilian Marksman Program (by CONGRESS where you can buy if a veteran, or member of an authorized rifle club ) C.M.P. they likely have the correct . US Army provides M-1 Garands
    to veteran s organization for " Color Guards, & Honor Guards (Funerals ).THOSE ARE " YOUR's as well " !!!

    • violater1

      I do no understand your point I must have missed something! The Garand carbine is not an assault weapon at all but is a semi-auto fire rifle but obama refusedvto allow their return at his first tour because he is an a$$hole and he could exercise his power over freedom at an early stage! I would love to own one of those M1 Carbines!

  • Terry

    So this is all about the Brady bill, the AWB. The same legislation that Ronald Reagan promoted. Judging by the body of the law it only restricted a small number of weapons. Not the weapons commonly used in gun crimes, handguns. It's more difficult to walk around with a rifle vs. a handgun. Do you seriously think the President, any President, can make up legislation or re-enact legislation without Congressional support?

    • violater1

      Duh! He already has moron! What rock have you just crawled out from under!?


    OK, so let me get this straight folks. A renewed AWB may or may not help curb the rash of violent mass murders that we are seeing. So… if it may or may not, and we certainly know that doing nothing will not, then what is the problem?

    • John


    • violater1

      The problem is limiting yours and my rights to defend my family and probably yours from tyranny and enslavement under the likes of obama and his muslim and black panther regime! How would you like to be told to subject your son to homosexual assault or your daughter perhaps at the will of a radical group of muslims that think that it is their right to ride roughshod over you and your family!
      Would you like to be subjected to sexual assaults with your family being forced to watch! This is not as far fetched as you may think it has happened in Iran, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia! No you do not have to be Christian for this to happen just be of the wrong Muslim sect if you so choose and the opposing sect becomes stronger guess what you better have your own personal lubricant handy and even then they may give you an abrupt education in their animalistic ways when they have the power over you!
      Think about it if you have not lived through war and government takeover then learn to read and study some history of conquering forces such as Japan in China for one!

  • Lew Weingarth

    It is foolish to ignore facts and history. Look at the results of controlling ownership of assault weapons in Singapore for the best example, and Australia for another long term situation. The strongest reason to own guns is protection from the government, but in the USA we have a majority of citizens who approve the government spying on and monitoring phone conversations and email of EVERYONE, plus we approve endless wars without cause or purpose except enriching foreign war contractors, and we allow foreign war contractors and other foreign corporations to own and direct our Supreme Court and Congress. We need a revolution to restore the Constitution.

  • Terrance Cowell

    i ike fudge

    • Terrance Cowell


      • Terrance Cowell

        this is pretty coo

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