A fresh coat of paint on the ‘patrol rifles’ vs. ‘assault weapons’ fiction

Last fall, I wrote about an editorial in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (the editorial has long since been removed from the Sun-Sentinel’s website, but I have a screen capture of it) about the acquisition by several Florida police agencies of what advocates of forcible citizen disarmament refer to as “assault weapons.” The Sun-Sentinel’s editorial board was quite supportive of this measure:

People shouldn’t be opposed to cops having these weapons.

It’s the idea of anyone else having such firearms that we’re supposed to oppose, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

What people should oppose — strongly — is the guy across the street having one.

In itself, of course, this was nothing new–the media has long championed the idea of restricting the people to less effective arms than are available to the “Only Ones.” What made this editorial special was the editorial board’s verbal sleight of hand when referring to the weapons in question.

Understandably, officers in more South Florida police agencies have been arming themselves — at their own expense — with patrol rifles to be on more even footing with criminals — particularly gangs — they encounter.

How did that happen? A minute ago, they were “assault weapons”–now they’re “patrol rifles”? Pretty nifty transformation, and you apparently don’t even need any gunsmithing skills whatsoever to bring it about–it depends simply on whose hands are holding the weapon.

I don’t want to come across as self-aggrandizing, and I really have no idea if my blog post back then had anything to do with this, or not, but that blog post got a fair amount of attention (at least for a little, insignificant blogger like me) on the gun blogosphere, and the Sun-Sentinel pulled that editorial from their archives much more quickly than is their typical practice. They also, as far as I am aware, have never used the term “patrol rifle” since.

My point today is that they still haven’t quite gotten out of the mindset that arms that are a horrid menace to society when in the hands of the public magically transform into noble tools for society’s protection, when in the hands of the police. From another South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial, about the Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s acquisition of rifles, in yesterday’s paper:

At least we are getting assault-style weapons into the hands of people who actually should have them.

Not “assault weapons,” but “assault style weapons.” Not as blatant as the “patrol rifles” reference, but we’re still expected to believe that an AR-15 in the hands of a private citizen is a scary “assault weapon,” but the very same firearm is merely in the “style” of an “assault weapon” when a cop is holding it.

These are the same editors, remember, who claimed that “assault weapons”

. . . have one purpose — to hurt or kill people, namely cops. And the assault weapons ban needs to be reinstated by Congress.

So police need a weapon for which the only purpose is “to hurt or kill people, namely cops”?

Oops–silly me–that just applies to bona fide “assault weapons,” not “assault style weapons,” or (to nostalgically resurrect an old term) “patrol rifles.”

Advertisements

2 Responses to “A fresh coat of paint on the ‘patrol rifles’ vs. ‘assault weapons’ fiction”

  1. B Smith Says:

    Hmm. Once again I wax philosophical, and pose the question:
    When ONLY the police and military have these evil black rifles, will they become crazed gun nuts themselves, or tortured souls who loathe the necessary tools of their professions?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Patriots Sought For Independence Day Instruction Opportunity

    July 4th-6th, 2008

    Proctor, VT
    Piru, CA
    Ottawa, IL
    Ramseur, NC
    Canon City, CO

    The Revolutionary War Veteran’s Assoc. intends to ride the momentum of their April 19th Appleseed Training events into the Independence Day Weekend. On April 19th, 2008, 527 Citizens across the Nation, gathered at 14 different rifle ranges to simultaneously learn firearms safety, marksmanship, and some Revolutionary War History.

    What is Appleseed? The Appleseed Project is a grassroots effort, by a 501.c.3, Non-profit, all volunteer organization, to preserve and pass on traditional rifle marksmanship skills, to Americans across this Nation. This is the third year that the RWVA has been hosting Appleseed Shoots, with the intention of rekindling the American Spirit that gave birth to this wonderful Nation. The Goals of the RWVA, have been high since the very beginning, doubling National attendance every year!

    This year marks the 3rd year, and that goal translates to 4000 attendees over the course of the year. At first that may seem like a lot, but on 4/19/1775, 14,000 Volunteers showed up with only six hours notice! To aid us in our goals, Independence Day Weekend Appleseed Shoots are being scheduled across the Country.

    Three days of Marksmanship Instruction and Revolutionary War History lessons will undoubtedly leave an impression on all of the attendees. That impression, the RVWA hopes, will be a freshly instilled appreciation of the Founding of this Country and the confidence instilled by newly developed marksmanship skills and knowledge of the safe use of firearms.

    Appleseed Shoots are family friendly, and by far, the most cost effective marksmanship instruction available. Attendees under the age of 21 and all members of the Military can attend FREE! This special July 4th presentation of the Appleseed Shoot offers a third day FREE to all who attend. The standard fee (with pre-registration) for an Appleseed is $70 for two days (plus range fees, if any), however, this July 4th will have 3 days of Appleseed for the price of 2! Attendee’s are responsible for their own rifles and ammunition (expect to use 250 rounds of ammunition per day), and eye and ear protection. For further information, please visit us online at: http://www.appleseedinfo.org

    Or you can contact us at:

    RWVA
    PO Box 756
    Ramseur, NC 27316

    For specific Proctor, VT information go here: http://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=1204.0

    For specific Piru, CA information go here: http://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=1318.0

    For specific Ottawa, IL information go here: http://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=1635.0

    For specific Ramseur, NC information go here: http://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=1205.0

    For specific Canon City, CO information go here: http://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=1712.0

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: