The Cornered Cat
Pistols as assault weapons

A few days ago, I promised to do my bit to educate people about what’s going on, and why it matters, and how it might affect our ability to protect ourselves from violent crime. So here’s something interesting you may not have heard yet.

The proposed version of the new federal “Assault Weapons” Ban, as written right now, would make it illegal to buy or own several of America’s most popular handguns. This would include all Glock models at the very least, and possibly Beretta 92 and Taurus PT 92 … and even some 1911 models might be at risk.

You might wonder, why would anyone try to ban these particular guns? It’s because each one of these semiautomatic guns has a full-auto counterpart of the same basic design. Of course, the full-auto ‘machine gun’ versions are already either highly-regulated or outright illegal, depending where you live and when the gun in question was manufactured. (If it’s newer than 1986, it’s illegal period.)

If you’re anything like me,¬†you probably did not even know any of those guns had a full-auto version. But for the people on the anti-rights side, the goal right now seems to be eliminating anything that looks like a gun the military could use. From that perspective, it makes sense to ban even the very common and practical handguns that have military counterparts.

If I wanted to rant, I could point out that the 2nd Amendment was specifically written to protect the right of ordinary people to own military weapons and military-style weapons.* But that’s not my point here. Nor am I going to point out that this huge grab was almost certainly tossed in so the anti-rights people can later claim they were willing to “compromise” about something during the legislative process.

Never mind all that. Let’s just stick with the important part: the “Assault Weapons” bill currently proposed by Sen. Feinstein would make it functionally illegal to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess some of the most popular handguns in America. That’s a bad thing.

This proposed ban is not just about scary black rifles. It’s about some of the simplest, most common, and most effective handguns we carry for self defense. That’s worth thinking about.


Edited to add: You can read a little more information about the proposal at DaddyBear’s Den. The link goes to a quick summary with cogent rant-points. Useful if you’re looking for things to tell your friends or (better!) your elected representatives.


* Don’t believe me? Here’s a rabbit hole for you: the much maligned 1939 Miller case that went to the Supreme Court. A quote: “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.” In other words, if it had been a military weapon, one in common military use or that could be useful in a military setting, the Court of that time and in that place would almost certainly have found the weapon protected under the 2nd Amendment. Nobody brought evidence to the Court that said a short-barrel shotgun could be useful in a military way, so the Court could not and did not rule on those grounds.

One Response to Pistols as assault weapons

  1. DaddyBear says:


    As for the note about Miller, short barreled shotguns were a common weapon in the trenches of World War I, but no-one thought to mention that to the court.

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