The Center for American Progress, a radical socialist lobbying organization, has jumped at the chance to shape the tiny caskets of Newtown, CT into a pulpit, from whence they would shred the constitutional rights of all Americans.
They’ve issued a “report” they’ve entitled Preventing Gun Violence in Our Nation, which I’m sure read far better in the original German.
As with most polemics issue by demagogues, it is long on rhetoric, short on facts, and designed to persuade though subterfuge and deception. That is means to fool well-meaning members of their own party as their primary target is the most cynical and immoral politics imaginable.
Let’s start by examining their claim about instant background checks.
Almost all Americans agree that certain dangerous individuals—such as violent criminals, the mentally ill, drug abusers, and perpetrators of domestic violence—should not be permitted to own firearms. Under current federal law, such people are in fact barred from possessing a firearm. The only way to determine whether an individual is prohibited from purchasing a firearm under state or federal law is to conduct an instant background check.
The nation’s licensed federal firearms dealers routinely conduct such checks, but under current federal law, gun transfers by people other than licensed federal firearms dealers are exempted from background checks. These so-called “private sellers”—people who maintain that they are not “engaged in the business” of selling guns —are not required to perform checks.
Private sellers aren’t “exempted” from using the FBI NCIS background check system. They are banned, instead, from using it. As any Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) will tell you, the first think you must do when calling into the system is to provide your Federal Firearms License number. Many private citizens would take advantage of the opportunity to use the NICS system, but politicians have staunchly forbidden private citizens from using the system.
“But Bob,” you might say, “why on Earth would they deny private citizens the opportunity to run a background check on someone to purchase a gun, if they were really concerned about keeping guns out the the hands of felons through private sales?” The answer is twofold.
First, CAP and other socialists know that the number of guns transferred to felons through private sales is minimal. Most felons either steal guns, or use straw purchasers—friends or family members without a criminal record—to buy their weapons through existing gun dealers.
The bulk of private sales in this nation are to family members or friends.
But the real reason politicians have made it impossible for private citizens to use the NICS background check system is that they want to force all sales to go through dealers to create an extensive paper trail. Only when the vast majority of guns are heavily documented can gun confiscation have a chance of working, and confiscation is their ultimate goal.
As cynical and obnoxious are these politics are, CAP reserved their “Big Lie” for semi-automatic rifles.
The recent mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut have a deadly element in common: The shooters used military-grade rifles to inflict maximum damage. These assault rifles, capable of firing more than 30 or more bullets in mere seconds, are legally available for purchase in most U.S. states since a federal law banning the sale of such weapons expired in 2004.
“Military-grade rifles to inflict maximum damage” is, of course, the most naked and dishonest sort of demagoguery.
AR-15s and similar firearms are not military firearms, and do not have the ability to fire in fully-automatic or “machine gun” mode as the Center for American Progress would confuse it’s readers. They fire one bullet per trigger pull… that’s all. They are functionally identical to every other firearm in the nation.
Nor are they remotely designed “to inflict maximum damage.”
The .223 Remington and closely-related 5.56 NATO cartridge used in the AR-15 platform, and the 7.62x39mm and 5.45x39mm cartridges typical of Soviet-designed rifles, are intermediate power cartridges by design, with far less power and range than typical deer hunting cartridges. For example, 55-grain bullets common to .223 rifles commonly generate about 1,280 ft·lbs of energy at the muzzle. A 150-grain bullet commonly used for deer hunting and in earlier generations of military rifles in World War I through Korea generates 2,600-2,800 ft·lbs of energy.
Yes, the most common hunting rifle cartridge in the nation fires a bullet three times as large as that of the AR-15, with more than twice the power, and roughly 2-3 times the practical range. So why does the Center for American Progress say that a small bullet generating moderate amounts of energy is designed “to inflict maximum damage?”
Simple. The Center for American Progress is directly and blatantly lying to their audience, in order to exploit their ignorance.
CAP goes on to intentionally deceive their readers by referring to AR-15s as “assault rifles.”
Assault rifles are the selective-fire M-4 carbine and M-16 rifles used by the military, with a cyclic rate of fire of 700–950 rounds per minute when fired in their machine gun mode. These assault rifles are heavily restricted for use by civilians, and no new assault rifles have been manufactured for civilian sale since 1986.
No legally-owned assault rifle has ever been used in a murder in the United States. Not one. Ever.
Ar-15s, which are semi-automatic (a term synonymous with “self loading”), fire at a rate of just 30-45 rounds per minute as opposed to the 750-900 rounds cyclic rate of fire for real military assault rifles. The Center for American Progress finds it useful to conflate the two radically different firearms that look very much the same, because lying to their audience is advantageous to their political position.
CAP continues lying to their Democratic audience in the next paragraph:
Alternatively, the administration might consider legislation to require licensing and transfer restrictions on new and existing assault rifles, similar to the scheme currently in place for machine guns and other Class III firearms. This action would reduce access to such military-grade weapons by felons, the Mexican drug cartels, and mentally deranged individuals.
They still attempt to conflate civilian AR-15s with military selective fire machine guns in order to try to con them into thinking they should be regulated like machine guns. They do so in order to lay the groundwork for gun confiscation.
CAP then attempts to justify a ban of standard capacity magazines.
Similarly, gun magazines with a capacity of more than 10 bullets should be banned. These dangerous components serve no legitimate civilian purpose and pose a danger to public safety.
Why ten rounds? It’s an utterly arbitrary round number that sounds good to them, without any scientific or functional basis or justification. The standard magazine for semi-automatic rifles is usually between 20-30 magazines.
CAP claims such magazines “serve no legitimate civilian purpose,” but can neither define what a “legitimate” purpose is, nor do they care to address the fact that Constitutional rights need not be justified.
It is impossible to rationally argue that restricting magazines will impact crime, especially since the massacres at Columbine and Virginia Tech were conducted by individuals equipped with ten round magazines. CAP through out this wish hoping it would stick, but cannot even fake a legitimate justification for their proposed infringement of a Constitutional right.
One could spend the time to complete fisking the rest of the Center for American Progress’s propaganda document, but it would serve no purpose.
The Center for American Progress is blatantly, shamelessly lying to Democrats, attempting to confuse them into thinking that the most popular rifle sold in America is the same as the military’s machine gun. They do so in order to trick them into giving up their Constitutional rights.
I, for one, would be outraged to discover that lobbyists, ranking politicians, and even the President himself were trying to trick me into giving up my rights, but I’m not a Democrat.
Perhaps they’re more forgiving of being made into fools by those who would exploit them.