The New York Times editorial board has absolutely no clue which guns were covered by the 1994 assault weapons ban.
Another day, another series of embarrassing errors and obfuscations by gun controllers who are ignorant of how guns, and the laws that seek to control them, actually work.
In its quest to drive up gun sales even further and make gun control even less popular, the New York Times published yet another overwrought editorial on Friday demanding more gun control. Here’s how the editorial, given the very measured and objective title of “Gunmakers’ War Profiteering on the Homefront,” began:
As each new mass shooting leaves dead and wounded Americans strewn like casualties on a battlefield — a butcher’s toll that has now intersected with the international terrorist threat — the gun industry’s culpability amounts to war profiteering through the reckless sale of military weapons tailored for the civilian homefront.
It only got more hysterical from there. Notably missing from the editorial? Any basic understanding of guns or gun control laws. In this paragraph, the New York Times claims that .50-caliber sniper rifles are now flooding the streets due to the expiration of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban:
Assault weapons were banned for 10 years until Congress, in bipartisan obeisance to the gun lobby, let the law lapse in 2004. As a result, gun manufacturers have been allowed to sell all manner of war weaponry to civilians, including the super destructive .50-caliber sniper rifle, which an 18-year-old can easily buy in many places even where he or she must be 21 to buy a simpler handgun. Why any civilian would need this weapon, designed to pierce concrete bunkers and armored personnel carriers, is a question that should be put to the gun makers who profit from them and the politicians who shamelessly do their bidding.
Those icky guns aren’t just destructive, they’re super destructive. There’s just one teeny, tiny problem with that paragraph: bolt-action .50-caliber rifles were never covered by the federal assault weapons ban. There’s no possible way the expiration of the assault weapons ban could have led to the proliferation of a weapon that was never actually banned by the law, but editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal has never been one to let simple facts get in the way of an unhinged screed.
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