November 23, 2004
Obviously, they're needed for hunting.
Clearly, assault-style weapons with 20-round clips are perfectly appropriate for deer hunting
. Bless the NRA, and more importantly, bless our nation's leadership for allowing the assault weapons ban to expire, in gutless fear of the NRA! Now we can be sure that those who really need such arms for the annual season can easily get hold of them.
What the hell is wrong with a bolt-action .30-06, anyway? Nobody has a sense of tradition anymore. I mean, hell, if a bolt-action is good enough for U.S. Army Snipers (M24 Sniper Rifle) then suck it up. If you miss the deer on the first shot, well, the deer won. Maybe s/he gets away that time. Is that so bad? If you wound the deer on the first shot, then work for your dinner. Use the bolt. If you have to track the poor thing down and finish it off, well, consider it your penance for missing - and do better next time.
Or use a bow. The one time I've been hunting for live game, I used a longbow. It took me all day and six lost arrows to get that rabbit, but damn he was tasty. Now, if I had to feed myself doing that, I'd likely starve. Heh. But I consider it sporting. Either that rabbit had eight or nine chances to escape, or eight or nine of his cousins got away from me first.
Posted by jbz at November 23, 2004 8:58 AM
There are some very reasonable hunting rifles that are semi-auto. Example the civilian version of the BAR, it has a reduced magazine capacity. I've seen people use an SKS. Afterall is there really that much of a difference between a Remingtion 700 chambered for .243 as opposed to a SKS chambered in 7.62 mm x 39 mm Russian? Not really. The Russian company that was founded by Soviet design bureau headed by Kalishnikov makes some very nice purpose built huntung rifles: based on the Kalishnikov action.
I think there are two reasons that people want to have assault rifles, i.e. ugly black rifles with pistol grips, bayonet lugs, and detachable box magazines, they are fun to shoot and some peopel are paranoid.
Also if these weapons were such a threat, why is that the only example ever used of full auto -- illegally modified -- assault weapons is that bank heist in California from ten years ago? The other example I can think of is the DC sniper who used an assault rifle as a precision weapon, not taking advantage of rate of fire and mag capacity.
I think it is a lot of hot air.
If lax gun control laws are a threat to hunters, maybe this will prompt some deeper thoughts than just kneejerk reactions by NRA members. Moreover, the six people who were killed didn't seem to be at all helped by the fact that they were similarly armed. I think half of it was just surprise and disbelief that they had become the intended targets. During gun season, one is used to hearing shots fired, and ones first reaction to someone getting shot is to assume that it's an accident.
I get the feeling that we're going to find out a lot more about the shooter. I simply cannot fathom why someone would shoot and kill six armed people over a tree stand. Paranoid schizophrenic, maybe?
Regarding hunting weapons, the states are entirely within their rights to restrict the types of weapons that can be used for hunting. I know that Minnesota limits magazine capacity for shotguns used in duck hunting (where a larger magazine is more objectively useful, since ducks tend to come in groups). In this case, though, I suspect the motivation is mostly fairness rather than safety, and it's more of a conservation policy rather than a safety policy. Bow hunting is popular chiefly because many states have a longer bow season (which is less of a problem because fewer idiots show up for the bow season). Some states have muzzle-loading seasons, chiefly for game such as turkey, IIRC. This might motivate some states *cough*Wisconsin*cough* to limit the magazine size in deer season (indeed, what's wrong with a bolt-action .30-06?), though I imagine a lot of people who have purchased expensive semiautomatic hunting rifles would be quite unhappy about the change.
Much of the theoretical rationale for owning assault-style rifles ("I plan to use it for hunting") would be completely undermined if the states didn't allow semiautomatic rifles to be used for hunting.
Remind me to tell you some (second-hand) Wisconsin deer hunting stories at some point.