I believe a basic lack of ignorance should be a prerequisite to anyone wishing to be taken seriously in public debate, and that goes double when you’re presuming to check the facts of your opponents:
Fact checking the claims in this video is easy enough. Just for one, theÂ National Firearms Act of 1934 refers to regulations on only certain types of guns like automatic machine guns.Â TheÂ original NFA of 1934 is now void. What is left of theÂ original 1934 NFA is not an assault weapons ban by any stretch of the imagination.Â Unless, of course, you believe that only automatic machine guns fit the definition of assault rifles.
If this is what passes for fact checking in the gun control movement, no wonder they’ve been losing. First, the original 1934 NFA is most decidedly not “now void,” though in some cases the government must now carry out prosecutions under the FOPA Hughes provision (18 USC 922(o)) because it can no longer accept taxes for machine guns manufactured after 1986. The National Firearms Act is not, and was never intended to be, and “assault weapons ban,” given that the assault rifle was not invented until the 1940s, and the term “assault weapon” didn’t come into the legal lexicon until the late 1980s, when some states, and eventually the federal government, started restricting them. NFA did regulate assault rifles once they came onto the scene, by virtue of regulating machine guns, but the law could never have specifically targeted what did not exist at the time. That brings me to the final point,Â which is that assault rifles are rifles capable of automatic fire because that is just a fact. That is a separate category from assault weapon, which is a legal term of art. Again, these are not opinions, these are facts. Also a fact, not up for debate because they admitted it, is that the gun control movement deliberately went after assault weapons as an incremental step on the road to further restrictions. They fully admitted that defining them would be difficult.
Is it really too much to ask that someone understand the topic they demand we make new public policy on? Apparently in the gun control movement, it is. One reason I’ve given up on persuasion, or even serious debate with many of our opponents is because there can’t be any basis for such when the other side is committed to defending an utterly false set of facts. There is plenty of room in this debate for differing sets of opinions. There’s even room to spin statistics, which can often be read like tea leaves. But having a debate where the other side believes they are entitled to their own basic facts is just a waste of everyone’s time, and fortunately only serves to display their stunning ignorance of the very issue they want to influence opinion on.
HatTip to Chris in AK for the story, who notes “Thank goodness for ignorant political opponents.”