Wednesday, September 02, 2009

It's not really a lie if you're sincere...

Assault Rifle: A medium-caliber, select-fire shoulder weapon that bridges the roles between a machine pistol and a full-power bettle rifle.

Assault Weapon: A legislative term describing certain imported weapons that meet a list of defined cosmetic criteria. There were domestic "assault weapons" between 1994 and 2004, but the term no longer applies to anything but imported weapons, and is functionally meaningless outside a courtroom.

Assault Postcard: Mailed to your grandmother by her legislators and designed to scare her bloomers clean off with a combination of misleading photos, B.S. "definitions", and outright lies.


mikeb302000 said...

Thanks for the link, I commented on The Days of Our Trailers, summing up like this:

"As far as purposely confusing people about machine guns and assault rifles and all that, you may be right. But isn't that more a question of salesmanship or presentation strategy than dishonesty? Doesn't everybody do that to one degree or another, even the pro-gun crowd? Doesn't La Pierre say some totally outrageous things for the same purpose?"

What do you think?

Don said...

Is the "bettle rifle" the South African variant?

No, Mike, you're not going to get away with equivalency on this one. If you think LaPierre tells the public whoppers as big as those, feel free to post the actual lies you're talking about, or let it go. To answer your questions:

1. No. If you sell cars for a living, you can't show someone a picture of a Mustang GT and deliver a Taurus. It's not salesmanship to pretend that one thing is really something else.

2. No, everybody doesn't do that, and no, the difference between emphasizing your best points and telling outright falsehoods is not a difference of degree. And again, if you disagree, cite your examples. Talking a lot about the comfort and reliability of the Taurus is emphasizing your best points; hiding the Taurus in the back and talking about the Mustang's styling is lying.

3. I'm sure he says a lot of things that you personally find outrageous, but "outrageous" is a subjective term. I found Kathy Ryg's mailer outrageous (a long time ago, when it was mailed) and you didn't, precisely because it's such a subjective measure.
The question is not whether LaPierre provokes outrage in anti-gun activists, but whether he tells lies like Ryg does. And just so we're clear on what those are:
1. She says a Browning M2 machine gun is a "sniper rifle" that should be banned in Illinois. In fact, it is not a rifle at all and it has been a felony to own one in Illinois for decades. That's a lie.

2. She says that assault rifles are designed for political assassinations. In fact, they're designed to be lightweight, high-firepower small arms for soldiers in combat. That's a lie.

3. She says assault rifles are designed to shoot down aircraft. See above. That's a lie.

4. She says an M240 machine gun is an assault rifle (see above) and that it is legal to purchase one in Illinois. That is true if you are a military unit, a unit of law enforcement, or an NFA dealer who sells only to military units and units of law enforcement. For citizens of Illinois, though, it's a lie. Again, machine guns of any type have been banned in Illinois for decades. That's a lie--one she actually told twice in the same mailer, if you look carefully.

5. Kathy Ryg says she helped close the "gun show loophole" in Illinois. There was no gun show loophole in Illinois before she "closed" it, and there isn't one now. What she actually helped to do was add one more background check to sales at gun shows--one not required for any other private sale for the simple reason that private sales in Illinois already require that both parties confirm that the other has passed a background check and been issued a valid FOID card. The seller must keep a record of the buyer's FOID information for ten years just in case the police come knocking, and that applies to ALL private sales, not just the ones at gun shows.
In short, there was no loophole. People simply made it up. That's a lie.

randy said...

Left out my favorite: "Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle".

I actually find that term quite useful. When someone uses it I know that:

1. They are totally ignorant about firearms

2. They have a totalitarian political agenda

3. All of the above.

Lergnom said...

Also 'semi-automatic assault TYPE weapon', popular in the lamestream media in and around Philadelphia.