If you don’t live in a state that has an “assault weapon” ban, that issue might be off your radar screen these days. After all, the federal ban--on standard-capacity magazines and semi-automatics with a certain combination of cosmetic features--has been defunct for nearly four years.
But anti-gun politicians and news media at the state level are ginning up for a 2009 campaign to enact a ban like that proposed by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), because they know that both of the front-runners for the Democrat Party presidential nomination would sign such a ban into law in a New York minute.
Knowing that the political landscape could be decisively different in 2009, anti-gun politicians and news media are currently trying to resurrect the “assault weapon” issue at the state level, to place it back on the political front burner.
First, newspapers began clamoring for a ban in Florida. Now, the Associated Press (AP) is trying to bolster support for a ban introduced in Louisiana, alleging an increase in crimes with AK-47-type rifles, based entirely upon BATFE firearm tracing data--even though the Congressional Research Service has repeatedly said traces cannot be used to determine how often any type of gun is used in crime. For some reason, AP also devoted attention to the fact that fully-automatic AKs are used by combatants in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though that is irrelevant to semi-automatic AKs branded with the phony "assault weapon" name. AP also claimed that AKs fire high-velocity ammunition, even though 7.62x39 is almost the lowest velocity .30 caliber rifle round in existence, similar to, but less powerful than, the modestly powered .30-30 Winchester, the most popular deer rifle in U.S. history.Needless to say, even though the "assault weapon" issue is more than 20 years old, reporters still are not getting it right, either because they are biased or because they are too lazy to research the subject. NRA members can help set the record straight by sending letters to the editors of their local newspapers. For information on writing letters to your local newspaper, please click here.