unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)

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February 2nd, 2011

unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 09:41 am

In which the inestimable Massad Ayoob calls out the stupidity of yet another wave of doomed-to-fail-before-it-even-passes anti-gun legislation.  And this, remember, is coming from a career law enforcement officer.

A couple of highlights:

The criminal use of extended magazines – that is, magazines that hold more cartridges than the gun was originally designed for – is exceedingly rare.  I remember one case in the 90s with an AK47 clone and an oversize drum magazine.  One from the ‘80s in which a cop-killer had an aftermarket 40-round magazine for a rifle designed for 30-round mags.  From there, I’d have to go back to the 1930s, when Dillinger and company had a few Colt semiautomatic pistols made up into full-automatic machine pistols with extended mags, by an outlaw gunsmith in Texas.  (If I’ve missed any, please point them out here.)  By contrast, there are MANY cases where the good guys, cops and armed citizens alike, ran out of ammo and could have greatly benefited from extended magazine technology.

And I repeat, this comes from a career LEO.  Unlike the imbeciles trying to use Tucson to pass new bans, he knows what he's talking about.  Carolyn McCarthy's proposed new "high capacity magazine" ban would have slightly impeded — not stopped, mind you, SLIGHTLY IMPEDED — three crimes in over seventy years.

But then, we are talking about — to quote Mas again — "the lady who, when asked if she knew what a barrel shroud was — one of the evil “assault rifle” appurtenances she wanted to ban — replied¹ that she thought it was something to do with the rear end of the gun.²"

As Mas observes, if you're going to pass legislation that will affect and restrict how every person in the United States can buy, own and use cars, you should at least know the hood from the trunk.  And if you're going to propose legislation that will affect and restrict how every law-abiding citizen in the US buys, owns and uses firearms, in the faint hope of minorly inconveniencing the occasional criminal, you owe even to the people you're misguidedly trying to protect to at least spend two minutes with Google and find out what the funny-sounding mouth noises that you're parroting out of Brady Campaign leaflets actually mean.

[1]  Well, eventually replied, after twice trying to change the subject and evade the question by spouting Brady Campaign talking points...

[2]  She appeared to think "barrel shroud" actually means a sling, an item which most firearms don't even have, which most criminals haven't the least idea of how to properly use, and the absence of which — ASSUMING THAT THEY EVEN CARED THAT IT WAS ILLEGAL — would almost certainly not have materially impeded the commission of any crime, ever.  But she put it in her bill anyway, because she was told it was Bad, and never once questioned it.  These are the kind of willfully-ignorant boobs that we allow to make our laws.

unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 07:59 pm

Yeah, mark this in your calendars if you think I'm only ever on one side of the fence:  I'm giving props to a Democrat Congressman.  Specifically, Sen. Ron Widen (D-OR).


Because he believes that police should have to get an order signed by a judge before they can use your cell phone or a GPS bug to track your whereabouts.  He believes it 'violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free from "unreasonable" searches'.

Now, I'm not entirely sure the Fourth Amendment is the proper authority to invoke here.  But I'm entirely in agreement that the police should not have the power to just randomly start tracking anyone they feel like, without any oversight.  We do not need to live in a surveillance society.

It's not about left vs. right.  It's about freedom vs. an overarching government that controls, and pries into, everything.