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The Gun Control War-on-Terror? By: Don Feder
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, September 16, 2004


John Wayne Kerry has unveiled his new counter-terrorism initiative. Naturally, it’s a panacea liberals have been pushing for the past 40 years: gun control.

Kerry claims George W. Bush is soft on al-Qaeda, et al., because the president didn’t twist congressional arms to get an extension of the so-called assault weapons ban, which expired on Monday.

"Today George Bush chose to make the job of terrorists easier and to make the job of America’s police officers harder," Kerry squawked.

"And so tomorrow, for the first time in 10 years, when a killer walks into a gun shop, when a terrorist goes to a gun show somewhere in America, when they want to purchase an AK-47 or some other military assault weapon, they’re going to hear one word: sure," the Democratic candidate contends.

Try to imagine the following scenario: Abu Jihad al-Slay-the-Infidels saunters into a gun shop and asks to buy a military-style assault weapon – say one with a menacing pistol grip or a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. (Are these weapons of choice of holy warriors the world over?)

Now, thanks to Bush’s alleged caving to the gun lobby, he can get one by snapping his fingers. But prior to September 14th, when blocked from legally purchasing a TEC-9 by the ban, he presumably muttered Arabic obscenities, sulked and turned to peaceful protest.

Only a Democratic presidential candidate would ask us to believe something so improbable.

In a 1993 letter to a constituent, Kerry confessed: "It is certainly true that many criminals do not obtain handguns through legal means; thus waiting periods do nothing to prevent them from getting guns."

So, waiting periods won’t stop common criminals who get their pieces illegally, but crafty and fanatical terrorists (hardly law-abiding citizens) were supposedly thwarted by the recently expired prohibition.

Kerry has never been big on logic – witness his vote for the use of force in Iraq and his present position that going to war was wrong. But this should be too much, even for him.

The ban on what are designated assault weapons – sometimes called "military-style assault weapons,’’ to make them sound even more fearsome – was enacted in 1994, in an effort by the philistine then in the White House to demonstrate that he really cared about violent crime (as opposed to the crimes he would latter commit in the Oval Office).

Of the 19 prohibited weapons, some had large capacity magazines. (But others that held even more rounds weren’t banned.) Most were proscribed because of appearances alone.

For instance, the AR-15 rifle with pistol grip, flash suppressor and bayonet mount was banned, while the identical weapon – that fired the same ammunition with the same rapidity – without these features, was not.

How many crimes are committed with a bayonet? Do terrorists prefer rifles with a pistol grip to those without one?

According to FBI crime stats, all of the weapons covered by the ban accounted for 1 to 2 percent of gun homicides. Murders with knives, clubs and hands outnumbered the assault-weapon death toll by 20-to1.

Many mistakenly believe that the formerly forbidden weapons were rapid fire or automatic – like a machinegun or an M-16. Clinton fed this misconception when he declared, "I don’t believe that everybody in America needs to be able to buy a semi-automatic or fully-automatic weapon, built only for the purpose of killing people."

In the first place, most guns are built to kill people. Sportsmen don't hunt deer with a Smith&Wesson .38. Shotguns aren't used for competitive shooting.

When liberals argue that a weapon can only be used to kill people, they’re really saying self-defense isn’t a legitimate use of a gun. From time to time, guns are used to kill people – bad people – people who are trying to rob, rape and murder other people.

The same liberals who believe America has no right to defend itself internationally (by tracking Islamo-fascists to their lairs and toppling terrorist regimes) also believe that individuals have no right to protect their lives and property from the predators who roam our streets.

The liberal advice to victims and to the nation that was victimized on 9/11 essentially is the same: passive non-resistance.

If you are attacked by thugs, you should wait quietly for the police to arrive – while you’re being killed. While Saddam Hussein builds weapons of mass destruction and facilitates terrorism, America should wait quietly for the UN to arrive at a decision to do something useful.

I used to think liberals wanted to ban guns completely, and that registration, licensing, waiting periods and selective prohibitions (Saturday Night Specials, assault weapons, etc.) were steps in that direction.

I now see that I was wrong.

Liberals need private gun ownership – indeed, could not get along without it. They need guns to rant about. They need guns to demonize. They need guns to blame for a crime-wave produced by their permissiveness and the family dissolution they have promoted. And they need guns to be in a position to denounce their favorite boogyman: the gun lobby.

It takes the heat off them.

Thus, liberals who oppose capital punishment, mandatory minimum sentencing, three-strikes-and-you’re out laws, and who favor tying the hands of police and prosecutors with procedural strait jackets can still pose as gangbusters by pushing gun control, which, we are assured, will "take guns out of the hands of criminals," and now terrorists as well.

Kerry is trying to use the expired assault weapons ban the same way.

The man who spent 19 years as a senator voting against new weapons systems, who proposed slashing funding for our intelligence services, who voted against appropriations to buy more body armor for our troops in Iraq, who wants to put America’s survival in the hands of Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac, and who promises to fight a more "sensitive" War on Terrorism, gets to play Mr. Macho Tough-Guy by supporting a ban on scary-looking weapons.

All hail John Forbes Kerry: the scourge of Osama, the hammer of al-Qaeda, the wind-surfing warrior, the Terminator "reporting for duty" with manicured nails and Gucci loafers.

By trying to make a connection between the now-expired assault-weapons ban and the War on Terrorism, Kerry assaults/insults our intelligence.

Defense isn’t the only issue about which he’s completely clueless.


Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.


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