As you probably have heard, this week Harry Reid declared Sen. Dianne Feinstein's assault weapons ban to be dead in the U.S. Senate. Oh, it will have its "Weekend at Bernie's" moments until it is finally planted for good in April, but it's dead. More thoughtful gun control advocates welcomed the death of this worthless bill because it distracted from efforts that might actually be effective. Less thoughtful gun control advocates, think Mike Bloomberg as Larry and Joe Biden as Richard, have decided to continue to drag this corpse of a bill from one event to another. The batshit crazy gun control advocates, as exmplified by Mike Lupica, predictably let loose with unhinged rants.
We can go back and forth all we want on the details of Feinstein's bill, but the fact of the matter is that the core of the bill is a falsehood. And that falsehood is that cosmetic features like barrel shrouds and pistol grips alter the basic lethality of these rifles in any meaningful way and banning them would make our society safer. It will not, and the falsehood is easily illustrated.
This gun would be banned under Sen. Feinstein's bill, in fact it is specifically named:
This rifle is not classified as an assault weapon under Sen. Feinstein's bill:
In the same way that automakers put different body styles on the same engineering frame, Sturm Ruger offers different looks on the same guts of these rifles. The same holds true for the Bushmaster series that Lanza is said to have used. That's why Mike Lupica is absolutely wrong when he says something like this:
Any fool knows that Lanza couldn’t possibly have killed as many children as quickly as he did on the morning of Dec. 14 without an assault weapon in his hands.
Again: Ask any gun owner if Lanza could have killed as many children as he did in as short a time as he did — before he was a sure shot putting a bullet from one of his handguns through his snake-filled brain — if he didn’t have an AR-15 in his hands. Then go ask the gun lovers to explain all over again how a ban on weapons like this wouldn’t have saved three young lives that morning, or five, or maybe even more than that.
Lupica can deny the truth all he wants, but the reality is that those kids were killed with a semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle and they would be just as dead whether Lanza used one with a flash suppressor(or any other cosmetic feature) or not. To say otherwise is not true, and to insist on holding that position in the face of that overwhelming truth is frankly stupid, intentionally deceitful, or some form of madness. So is claiming that stopping future production, but not the possession of the millions of such existing weapons, will have any real effect at all.
I guess some gun control advocates see value in the symbolism, but symbolism would not have shielded those kids nor will it save anybody in the future. There are lots of things around firearms that we can do, big and small, to make society safer, including what would have been most effective in the Newtown shooting, a better way to identify people who have become dangerous and know if they have access to firearms or anything else that can be used for mass killings. It's too bad that the work that has gone into Feinstein's futile effort wasn't used on something that would actually be effective.
One final note. I've pretty much had it with people like Lupica. It's one thing to be well-meaning but wrong. It's another to be aggressively, militantly, rudely stupid. I wish I could peer into his mind to know if he is just cynically callous to the truth, intellectually incapable of grasping it, or actually suffering from some sort of mental illness. My default position is to always give the benefit of the doubt to people I disagree with, but Lupica, with his grossly false and churlish attacks on gun owners doesn't deserve that anymore. There's something seriously wrong with the man, and Mort Zuckerman should be ashamed to publish his "work."