Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stringing Them Along, Again

Rush Limbaugh talks often of "low-information voters."  He claims- obviously with no evidence, because that is the Limbaugh way- that most are Democrats.

But he means to change that, doing all he possibly can to dumb-down his listeners.   While criticizing Senate Majority Leader Reid for use of the term "anti-gun violence legislation," Rush contended

Except that they are, and Dingy Harry let it slip. For example, the Assault Weapons Ban? We've had one of those before, and the problem is there's no such thing as an assault weapon. It's just a created title. It's a created label.

It's nothing more than a name the Democrats and people on the left created to gin up anti-gun sentiment among people.

Last month, Justin Peters in Slate observed that the assault weapons ban sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein of Florida, which grandfathered in all existing semi-automatic weapons legally possessed, was about to die what he believed would be a merciful death.  A ban on sale of these firearms would be less effective than, he argued, "restricting magazine capacity; requiring tougher background checks and longer waiting periods; raising taxes on gun and ammunition purchases; devising better strategies to combat gun trafficking; developing guns and gun safes that can only be operated by their owners."  Nevertheless, he explained that

It was better, at least, than the porous, imprecise law passed in 1994. That bill’s definition of an “assault weapon” was vague and easily evaded...

The Feinstein-backed 2013 bill was tighter, listing by name 157 firearms that would be specifically banned—including all AR-15-style rifles—while also naming 2,258 “legitimate hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns” that would still be legal. The new bill limited semiautomatic firearms to one militaristic feature, not two. And whereas the 1994 legislation only banned “copies and duplicates” of weapons like the Colt AR-15, the latest bill banned “copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of” the 157 specifically named firearms—a caveat that would seem to prevent gunmakers from making small modifications to existing platforms and selling them under different names. (“Gentlemen, I give you our newest product: the JR-15!”)

Admittedly, the power of the NRA and of firearms manufacturers played a greater role than did manipulation of grass-roots conservatives in sinking any chance of resurrecting a ban .   But the right delighted in implying that the law would have prohibited weapons it labeled "assault weapons."  Limbaugh joined in the assault, silently amusing himself that yet again he got one over on the listeners he regards as suckers.

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