Friday, January 09, 2009

Fisking Brady Got Tiresome A Long Time Ago

From Uncle we have this from Brady. The Brady memo was translated into English for us here. I'd like to only address one section of the memo, the one that addresses "Assault Weapons." From Brady we have the following:
We agree with President-elect Obama that we can uphold the Second Amendment “while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.”
And how are they going to uphold the second amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals? Why, they're going to keep them out of the hands of everybody.
Assault weapons are semiautomatic versions of fully automatic guns designed for military use.
They just made that up. I guess they can create a term and then define it themselves. I prefer to call them "fluffy bunny guns." Here's my own definition: A fluffy bunny gun is a gun that makes me feel all warm and fluffy, like a fluffy bunny, on the inside because it has many desirable features for sport, hunting, and home and homeland defense.
Semiautomatic assault weapons unleash extraordinary firepower. ATF has concluded that assault weapons “are not generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes” and instead “are attractive to certain criminals.”
This is a lie of omission. The Department of the Treasury study to which they refer was about the usefulness of certain importable firearms for "sporting purposes." The study itself was flawed in that the Treasury Dept. determined that a rifle considered for import was not particularly suited for sporting if it could accept a detachable magazine of unlimited capacity. Where does this determination come from? Well, first they use this test:
...we determined sporting purposes should be given a narrow reading, incorporating only the traditional sports of hunting and organized competitive target shooting (rather than a broader interpretation that could include virtually any lawful activity or competition.)
Stupid as that definition is, they also noted that
Certain matches require U.S. military service rifles, and none of the LCMM rifles fall into this category.
And there lies the lie of omission: That certain traditional (part of the sporting test) target shooting sports in the United States require the use of "assault weapons," which by the Treasury Dept.'s own definition makes them "generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes." The Treasury Dept. also makes claims about the suitability of such weapons for hunting, but I don't have time to address that here, except to write that AR-15s are commonly used for hunting. The study in question refers to rifles for import and so there is a gray area here between Brady's insinuations and the work of the Treasury Dept. Blerg.

OK, moving on...
ATF’s analysis of guns traced to crime showed that assault weapons “are preferred by criminals over law abiding citizens eight to one... Access to them shifts the balance of power to the lawless.”
I for one cannot find a copy of the ATF analysis in question. However, I am certain that the "eight to one" statistic is completely bogus. I'd like to see how they got that number. Here are some numbers that I have found. Notice that rifles are used much less often than handguns for murder. And yet the Bradys want us to believe that "Assault Weapons" are being used for mass murder. The problem here is that, at the best, they are associating "Assault Weapons" like the Tec-9 with "Assault Weapons" like the AR-15, which cannot be reasonably compared except that they are both black and military looking.

The last thing I'll mention is this claim by the Brady memo:
Since the federal assault weapon law expired in 2004, police in major cities report a resurgence of assault weapon use in crime, with hundreds of people killed on our streets with these weapons of war since late 2004.
Their source for this information? Why, their own study. Here's what that study says:
In the four years since the federal ban expired, hundreds of people have been killed in this country with military-style assault weapons. This report lists incidents in which at least 163 people have been killed and 185 wounded in with assault weapons, including at least 38 police officers killed or wounded by them.
That's a "resurgence"? How many people were murdered with firearms in the United States in the last four years? Approximately 40,000. So "Assault Weapons" were responsible for less than one half of one percent! OMG! Resurgence! And the number of police killed? Well, more police were killed in traffic accidents alone in 2004 (72) than in four years with "assault weapons" (38, supposedly).

I wish I had the time and resources to do a more thorough debunking, but that's all I've got. No deep pockets Joyce Foundation for me!


Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Since "assault weapons" are involved in comparatively few deaths, there must be something else driving the Brady Bunch to try to ban them.

For posterity's sake, I'm going to describe what I think the actual Brady plan is:

Step 1. "Assault weapons" are scary, so, riding on lots of emotion and spin in the media, they should be relatively easy to ban.

Step 2. After a suitable amount of time following the new (and permanent) AWB, come to the "realization" that grandpa's hunting rifle is even more deadly than an "assault weapon" and launch an all-out campaign to heavily regulate hunting rifles.

Step 3. Gun owners will be thoroughly demoralized at this point. Ban handguns.

1/09/2009 10:13 AM  
Blogger steveH said...

Unless things have changed a lot in recent years, the total number of gun-related non-negligent homicides (which includes more than just murders), the 40,000 number cited in the post, consists of suicides, murders, accidents, and justifiable homicides.

With suicides being more than half the total.

Not that the Brady mob would be interested in getting the information right.

1/09/2009 7:46 PM  
Blogger carnaby said...

SteveH, the 40,000 figure is over 4 years, not one.

1/09/2009 8:02 PM  
Blogger steveH said...

Ah, so it is. Apologies.

This is why they have editors to hound me at work. It's for my own good.

1/16/2009 8:30 PM  

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