Of Assault Weapons, Gun Control and the Second Amendment
Henrik Bering posits that there is no real need for a citizen to own an assault rifle and that conservatives should be in support of the "assault weapon" ban. Mr. Bering has, however, overlooked some critical facts concerning the debate among conservatives concerning the ban.
He states that "there really is no pressing reason why ordinary citizens should have access to assault weapons." Perhaps Mr. Bering has failed to adequately explore this issue. Take for instance the 1992 Los Angeles riots, where Korean-American store owners successfully defended their businesses from mob violence by bearing these same "assault" weapons that Mr. Bering objects to. With violence and crime on the rise, citizens should have access to adequate personal protection. Using a six-shooter against a mob is hardly what one might consider adequate.
Mr. Bering also expresses dismay in regard to conservative opposition to waiting periods and "one gun a month" laws. I would care to point out that numerous cases exist where waiting periods left people with desperate need for protection defenseless at crucial moments, sometimes resulting in terrible murders while the victims were waiting for a background check to be completed. In more general terms, Mr. Bering's disdain for opposition to "common-sense" laws such as these hearkens to a view that rights are restrictable or malleable if society's elite deems them so. The Second Amendment states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed." I would describe gun rationing and waiting periods as an infringement.
He also asserts that the assault weapons ban covers 19 weapons. As Gun Owners of America and several other groups have pointed out, this is untrue. In fact, 180 guns, includng even the old 1860-model Winchester repeating rifle (hardly an "assault weapon" by anyone's standards) are affected by the ban. …