Very good to see something like this in the Daily Beast, even though I’m a long time reader of Megan’s that predates her gig there:
That’s not really surprising, because long guns aren’t used in the majority of gun crimes, and “assault weapon” is a largely cosmetic rather than functional description; the guns that were taken off the street were not noticeably more lethal than the ones that remained. It was a largely symbolic law that made proponents of gun control feel good about “doing something”.
She goes on to speak about marginal regulations in general, but I think this particular issue goes even beyond many of those kinds of regulation which have disparate economic impacts. Sure, the AWB was an economic regulation if you’re a firearms maker. But laws on this subject generally go beyond that.
If you think an assault weapons ban is so important, you need to question whether it’s important enough to enable a SWAT team break down one of your neighbor’s door early one morning, pointing guns at his wife and and children, possibly shooting the family dog (often SOP for SWAT teams), and ransacking his house looking for evidence that he put the wrong parts kit on his legal firearm and a cop saw him at the range with it and took note. That is, fundamentally, what the assault weapons ban enables. And for what?
Our opponents often paint our opposition to these laws in selfish terms, as just a bunch of “guys who care more about their guns than they do children” but they often should look in the mirror. I don’t want to subject otherwise law-abiding hobbyists and enthusiasts to the wrath of the law so that the leaders of the Brady Campaign, Mayor Bloomberg, and CSGV, can feel better about themselves. How is that not as selfish as what they accuse us of?