AG Calls For New Assault Weapons Ban

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Maybe I was too quick to praise Obama's gun stance. AG Eric Holder says that the Administration will seek to reinstitute the 90's era Assault Weapons Ban. He is making an interesting justification by saying that one of the reasons is the increased frequency of Mexican Drug Cartels using these kinds of weapons in Mexico. He believes that they are getting them from US gun shops.

As I said in my comments on the previous gun related thread, I think that law abiding citizens have a liberty interest in being able to own and use firearms. If the government seeks to infringe upon this interest, there should be a compelling interest and it should be done in the most narrow way possible. Given that "assault weapons" are rarely used in crimes (they account for less than 1% of national homicides and in some states, less that .1%), I fail to see how a ban can be justified. I also see this as being a bad political move. Surprising to me, Pelosi isn't interested in passing a ban.


Pete 5:24 PM  

Wait - so the Mexican drug cartels are outfitting their mini-militias by going across the border and buying legal assault guns from US gun shops? Riiiiiight.

Granted, my worldly knowledge is limited, but in my mind it would be easier to smuggle illegal guns into Mexico from 3rd world whereevers in the first place wouldn't it?

B Mac 1:20 PM  

It sounds ridiculous, but the Mexicans seem to think it's a problem.

It sounds like they're just going to start enforcing a regulation that's already in place, not try to enact "Brady Bill II: the Wrath of Uzi".

Politically speaking, this seems smart. Dollars to donuts, they'll only enforce it within 50 miles of the border, just to keep the Mexicans happy. We don't much care if the Mexicans can arm themselves (they aren't covered by the 2nd Amendment), and we're going to be asking a fair amount of them in the coming years (drug enforcement, border security, etc.).

steves 6:03 PM  

No, I don't think it is ridiculous that they think it is a problem, but I do think it is ridiculous if they think we should give up certain liberties because they are unable to control traffic across the border and corruption in their own government.

B Mac 8:53 PM  

Agreed, and I think Mexico larely owes us more in the grand scheme of things than we owe them.

But I'm willing to trade a largely symbolic agreement (to enforce of a law that has been on the books for years) for a more secure southern border (if that's the trade, which would be my guess).

steves 9:03 PM  

I would support enforcing the laws already on the books. I do not support the re-introduction of the AWB.

Smitty 10:46 AM  

A couple things:

First, this harkens back to the gun-owners version of the Chicken and the Egg: who kills? Guns? Or people? And while I think it is abso-fucking-lutely silly to own an assault weapon, I recognize that's a personal opinion. And for the reasons given in the last post, I see why, as for any liberty, you don't want to chip away.

Second, Pelosi has a ton of brand new Reps who won races in largely Republican or traditional gun-owning districts. I think that's why she's not in a hurry to do an AWB.

Last, I see this as a heavy-handed approach by the AG to stem rising violence in Mexico (seems to be nightly stories on NPR), questionably using assault weapons obtained in the U.S., which by all means, it's not that difficult to obtain a weapon here if you are law-abiding and so-on (statement of fact, not editorial). By the AG doing this, Obama keeps his hands clean until he either has to sign or veto an AWB bill (he'll sign it under the cover of overwhelming support in Congress, or veto it for underwhelming support as long as Congress thinks of another way to deal with Mexico's problem and our guns).

Andy 11:07 AM  

Wow, I usually think I am a moderate Dem. But when I read steves posts, I fall more liberal than the rest of the blog readers.

I don't understand why anyone needs to own an assault weapon unless they are in the military. Can't use them for hunting. Hand guns or even semi-automatics will do for burglars and protection.

All things are basic rights, but Congress has the right to decide what the basic rights are. I think the 2nd amendment allows for freedom to bear arms, but not the freedom to bear assault weapons.

The Brady bill was put in to ensure safety of the people. I think that it should be re-enacted. So do most Americans. It only expired because the radical right in Congress let it. And there was an uproar.

I think people have a right to carry guns. Even concealed. But I can't see the need/use of an assault weapon for normal day-to-day. And the elected members of the Congress get to decide this...

Smitty 3:27 PM  

But I can't see the need/use of an assault weapon for normal day-to-day.

As steves pointed out a few posts ago, "need" is not a test for a liberty or right. We just get them, ridiculous or not.

I don't need to type "DEATH TO AMERIKKA!!!" But I can. I don't need an AR-15 or Cold War-era AK-47, but I can own one. Mrs. Smitty or my buddy LaDron don't need to vote, but they can (and should...).

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