The crippling flaw of the ‘assault weapons’ bans are that they don’t actually ban assault rifles.

Those are already banned, and nobody is keen on lifting that anytime soon. You can not purchase a brand new fully automatic weapon except under a few very, very, very special circumstances and virtually every weapon on the American gun market no matter it’s appearance is semi-automatic.

All an Assault Weapons Ban, which we’ve had fail on us dramatically already (Columbine occurred in the middle of it, so there’s that), does is ban weapons based upon cosmetic (NOT functional) features.

Basically if a weapon /looks/ scary it gets cut, despite the fact that it could be FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL TO A PERMISSIBLE WEAPON.

For instance, the M14.

Under the old Assault Weapons Ban this was perfectly legal to own, no questions asked.

This is also an M14.

Functionally identical in virtually every single aspect to the above weapon with the only difference being that it /looks/ evil, violates more than two of the ‘evil features’ rules and so would be automatically illegal to purchase provided all the parts were manufactured after the date the bill was passed.

Did I mention that, too? The grandfather clause they put in so that you can still have access to whatever weapon you want regardless of any current laws on the books so long as it’s production can be proven to pre-date the passage of the legislation? Because that’s a thing.

All an Assault Weapons Ban does is hurt jobs by putting hard working gunsmiths out of business while ramping up the cost of private sales, while also feeding into the paranoia mills that cause people to stock enough weapons and ammunition to go on shooting sprees in the first place.

An Assault Weapons Ban is not now, never has been and never will be the answer to gun control that America really truly needs. It’s like putting a band-aid over a dismembered stump and calling everything hunk-fucking-dory: a barely even short term solution to a grievous long term problem, taken as a knee-jerk reaction of currying political favor for a cheap but ultimately meaningless victory.

It’s the very definition of short-sighted politics and it’s one of the reasons I do not trust the gun control lobby at all.