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Politics of Assault Weapons Ban


Aired 5/8/09

There's been an increase in sales of guns and ammunition right now, and suppliers are having a hard time dealing with the demand. How does the increase in gun and ammo sales relate to discussions in Washington, D.C. about re-enacting a ban on assault weapons? &

Gloria Penner: A person is entitled to change his mind, even the president of the United States. But then the questions come. Why the change? Does he really mean it? Will he change it again? In this case, President Obama has clearly shifted away from reinstating the ban on assault weapons that expired during the Bush administration.


Tim McClain, editor of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine.

John Warren, editor and publisher of San Diego Voice and Viewpoint.

Bob Kittle, editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial page.

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Avatar for user 'MtNebo'

MtNebo | May 8, 2009 at 9:45 a.m. ― 7 years, 8 months ago

Gloria, you don't need to look to Washington to understand the gun issue. Just survey our local congressional delegation. Their position on reinstating the assualt weapons ban tells the story.

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Avatar for user 'rbgaynor'

rbgaynor | May 8, 2009 at 9:56 a.m. ― 7 years, 8 months ago

A few clarifications are in order:

"Assault weapons" are no more or less dangerous than other rifles, the differences are mostly cosmetic. In fact one of the most common cartridges used in assault weapons, the 5.56mm, is not considered lethal enough for deer hunting in most states. The pejorative "military-style" is used by opponents to make these rifles appear to be something they are not (military assault rifles offer select fire modes - full automatic or burst modes - that civilian assault weapons only fire a single round for each pull of the trigger).

These weapons, despite Jimmy Carters comments, are in fact very popular with sportsman. The highly modular design allows the average collector to easily customize the rifle to his or her needs, something that isn't as easy to do with other designs. The compact 5.56mm cartridge is relatively inexpensive as rifle cartridges go. Data from 2006, just 2 years after the AWB sunsetted, showed that assault weapon style rifles made up over 10% of all long guns sold, that number is believed to be even higher now.

These weapons are both common and no more dangerous than other rifles - two important criteria that the Supreme Court stated in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) limit the governments ability to ban or restrict them

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Avatar for user 'mikevanross'

mikevanross | May 8, 2009 at 5:03 p.m. ― 7 years, 8 months ago

The Mexican Border is a Joke, Look at the drugs that come over, Plus they get a lot of weapons from other places to. I myself own a lot of these so called Assault Weapons, which i use for sport shooting and yes hunting. Thats right i have used a AK-47 for hunting lots of people have. Plus i have my weapons for protection to its my freedom to to so.

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