Actually, that’s a very good idea

I never thought I’d agree with Paul Helmke, and doing so almost makes me feel the need to take another shower, but when he suggests that presidential candidates should be “quizzed” on “assault weapons,” I have to admit I’m on board 100%.

Helmke said voters should demand responses from the campaigning presidential candidates. He said they should ask why Americans are allowed to buy guns designed for the military.

OK–granted, I wouldn’t phrase the question that way. As Days of Our Trailers reminds us (in response to the same article), banning “guns designed for the military” would ban a vast number of guns–including many that no one has tried to classify as so-called “assault weapons” (including, in fact, “Brown Bess” muskets, as pointed out by a commenter and blogger). Of course, I oppose bans on any firearms, but the more extensive the list, obviously, the more egregious the ban becomes.

The question I would ask would be more along the lines of “Can freedom-loving Americans count on you to veto any gun ban legislation, and if not, from whence would the Constitutional authority for such a ban be derived?”

Paul, being Paul, also had something to say about the magazines (or “clips,” as Helmke insists–erroneously–on calling them).

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said Thursday that the 30-round ammunition clips Robert Hawkins reportedly used in Wednesday’s shootings in Omaha would have been illegal to purchase under the assault-weapons ban.

Helmke said this because . . . well, because he’s a liar, that’s why. The ban on so-called “assault weapons” (and full capacity magazines) was not really a “ban,” in that such magazines were 100% legal to own, to buy, and to use, as long as they were manufactured/imported before the “ban’s” effective date (in September 1994). There were literally millions of legal 30 round AK-type magazines in the U.S. during the “ban,” and though the fixed supply pushed the costs up some, they were still readily obtainable.

Then, Paul gets to the gun itself:

He said it was not yet clear if the gun itself, described as an AK-47 style assault rifle, would have been covered by the ban. But it should be illegal, he said.

“If this is something that can take a 30-round clip and fire them off quickly, it should be banned. This is a weapon of mass murder,” he said.

Supposedly, the rifle was a WASR-10, a Romanian-made semi-automatic knock-off of the AK-47, that complied in every way with the now expired “assault weapons” ban. Therefore, it would not have been “covered by the ban” (which, remember, wasn’t really a ban, since the guns were legal to own, if manufactured/imported before Sept. ’94). But it should be illegal, he says, because it can take a 30-round “clip” (magazine). He doesn’t bother to point out that any gun that uses detachable magazines could accept a 30-round (or more) magazine, if such a magazine were made. There’s no way to make a gun accept only small detachable magazines.

I find it interesting that his cut-off is apparently 30 rounds–if somehow a way were found to make the gun capable of accepting only 29 rounds, I guess that’s OK with him. It’s my understanding that most experienced AK shooters load their 30 round magazines with only 29 rounds, because reliability is better that way. I wonder if that would satisfy Paul.

The Des Moines Register (in which the article first appeared) actually did try to get the information Helmke wants.

Earlier this fall, The Des Moines Register surveyed presidential candidates about their stances on gun control.

Democrats Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and Barack Obama said they would support reinstating the assault-weapons ban.

Democrat Bill Richardson and Republicans Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo and Fred Thompson said they would not support reinstating the ban.

Not many surprises there, although Romney’s answer is a bit hard to reconcile with his record as governor of Massachusetts (where he signed the state ban on so-called “assault weapons”) and more recently, with what he said here:

I firmly believe in the importance of responsible gun ownership and sales. As a member of the National Rifle Association, I do not believe that we need any more federal gun control laws. I also recognize that some types of extreme weapons, those which were not meant for hunting, sport, or self-defense, have no business being on the streets.

“Extreme weapons,” Mitt? Good grief. Oh–speaking of not many surprises, here’s something else that shouldn’t surprise anyone:

Republican Rudy Giuliani’s campaign declined to specifically answer the question, but he supported the ban when it was enacted in 1994.

Pandering to both sides at the same time getting to be kind of tricky, Rudy?

The article ends with a bit more of Helmke’s fancy footwork.

Helmke said it was not yet clear whether other restrictions, such as bans on sales of guns to mentally ill people, would have affected the outcome of Wednesday’s shooting.

Since the punk stole the gun from his stepfather, who has never been judged to be mentally ill (at least there has been no such indication in the news), I would say that it is pretty clear that such restrictions would not have made any difference. Still, nice job of working a completely unrelated facet of your tyranny enabling agenda into the picture, Paul.

So I think Paul ought to make himself useful, and nail down Rudy’s position, and find out from Mitt what the hell “extreme weapons” are.

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2 Responses to “Actually, that’s a very good idea”

  1. JHardin Says:

    Wormtongue sez:

    … they should ask why Americans are allowed to buy guns designed for the military.

    The correct answer being, of course, “Because the Constitution prohibits the government from stopping them!”

  2. LibertyPlease Says:

    The correct answer being, of course, “Because the Constitution prohibits the government from stopping them!”

    Yeah, that about covers it.

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