The Orlando Sentinel has once again demanded our disarmament. Here is what they have to say.
We think: A renewed federal assault- weapons ban is long overdue
February 3, 2009
An erstwhile federal ban on assault weapons made lots of sense. Allowing it to lapse, as Congress did in 2004, didn't.
How much longer will it take to correct that mindless mistake?
There's no need for ordinary citizens to be armed with such lethal firepower. Hunters don't need them. Gun-toting urbanites don't need them, either.
Those who say that outlawing these lethal rifles will only mean that criminals will have access to them are flat wrong. All that legalization does is make it easier for crooks to get them, and make it necessary for police to play catch-up in a costly city-street arms race.
It's happening right here in Central Florida. Only six years ago, officers in Orlando and Orange County seized 15 high-powered AK-47s and AR-15s. Four years later, that number grew to 79, a jump of more than 400 percent.
These guns are not in the hands of good people trying to protect themselves. No one is trying to trample on Second Amendment rights.
But there do not seem to be many examples where honest citizens stopped a crime, or caught a criminal, by brandishing an AK-47 or some similar brand of assault rifle. However, there are too many examples of the opposite -- criminals using these weapons to kill people or law-enforcement officers.
The latest one occurred in Miami last week, when an unknown assailant fired an AK-47 into a crowd of teenagers, murdering two youths and wounding seven others.
Sound familiar? Last October, two killers fired 58 rounds from two AK-47s during a gunfight in Pine Hills that left two men dead.
Orlando Police Chief Val Demings has seen enough. Getting guns off the streets is one of her top priorities. The same holds true for Jerry Demings, recently elected sheriff in Orange County.
Their challenge is daunting: Almost 10 illegal guns a day are seized in this community.
The lines between a legal and an illegal gun are blurry. In Florida, guns are readily available to anyone without a criminal record. But guns routinely end up in the hands of criminals. All it takes is a "straw purchase," when a friend or relative buys a gun for a criminal.
It's time to make some of that more-potent firepower illegal -- period.
After the latest incident in Miami, Police Chief John Timoney said that the percentage of homicides involving assault weapons jumped to 29 percent of all shooting fatalities in 2008. Mr. Timoney implored Congress to reinstate the ban.
Mr. Timoney and other advocates for outlawing assault weapons are right. Bringing back the ban is long overdue, and Congress ought to place the ban on its "to-do" list immediately.
Yes, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have plenty of other business in front of them. But an assault-weapons ban shouldn't take much debate.
This one's a no-brainer. The ban was once on the books; all that Congress has to do is write it back into U.S. law.
Oh, yes, with one exception. Don't write in a sunset provision this time.
Don't worry. The only "mindless mistake" made will be yours if you pass another AWB. We'll write the "sunset provision" this time. It will look like the photo above of the "sunset provision" on the Third Reich. Or maybe, like this:
This is what Harry Reid will look like when we invoke our sunset provision:
Or, maybe it will look like Cornwallis at Yorktown:
But I rather think it will be like one of my buddies says, "Hell, Mike, every liberal I ever met was a pussy. They're ALL pussies." So maybe, at least in the Orlando Sentinel editorial board meeting room, it will look like this:
THAT'S OUR "SUNSET PROVISION" THIS TIME, YOU FREEDOM-DENYING, PROPERTY-STEALING, LIFE-DESTROYING COLLECTIVIST PUKES.
Leave us the hell alone.