There's no question that guns are the topic of the day after the Sandy Hook massacre. Yesterday, Seattle and King County announced a gun buyback program. On Sunday, Washington Ceasefire is planning a big march on Westlake Center. Most interesting yet, the group is pushing a state ban on assault weapons. The A-list legislator who yesterday committed to sponsoring the bill: Senate majority leader and Seattle mayoral hopeful Ed Murray.
Get ready for a knock-down drag-out battle.
Of course, there's been a lot of talk about reviving a national assault weapons ban since the Connecticut massacre. But Washington Ceasefire board president Ralph Fascitelli doesn't hold out much hope for that in the Republican-controlled Congress. Apparently, neither does New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who this week called for an assault weapons ban in his state.
Fascitelli says the bill his group is pushing would be more effective than the federal ban passed by Congress in 1994, which expired ten years later due to a sunset clause. The federal ban outlawed specific models of guns, and wasn't comprehensive. "The ban we're talking about would be feature-specific," Fascitelli says. "It would ban anything with a detachable clip that has more than 10 bullets."
Not surprisingly, many aren't wild about the idea of a ban on assault weapons, including a number of Daily Weekly commenters.
Commenter josh.amato writes:
The Question: Does that really mean people need such weapons? Couldn't they hunt with something else? Wouldn't a regular rifle also deter looting?
My Answer: "Assault weapons" are no different than regular hunting rifles. In fact, many hunting rifles use more powerful ammunition than "assault weapons." The thing people want to ban is the look of the weapon. It's an emotional response, not a logical one. Most gun crimes in the country happen with handguns, so if someone thought banning was the answer to gun crime (which I do not) then they should propose banning handguns, but they aren't