The Media’s Obsession With Boulder’s Blocked ‘Assault Weapon’ Ban Defies Logic
Since Monday’s mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, gun control advocates have repeatedly noted that a state judge blocked enforcement of the city’s “assault weapon” ban 10 days before the attack. The implausible implication is that the ordinance, had it been allowed to take effect, might have prevented this crime.
“Boulder’s assault weapons ban, meant to stop mass shootings, was blocked 10 days before [the] grocery store attack,” The Washington Post noted on Tuesday. “Boulder’s Pain Is Deepened by a Lost Fight for Gun Control,” says the headline over a New York Times story published yesterday. “Less than two weeks” after Boulder County District Court Judge Andrew Hartman concluded that the local “assault weapon” ban conflicted with state law, Times reporters Mike Baker and Lucy Tompkins note, “a man armed with an assault-style weapon walked into a Boulder supermarket and opened fire, killing 10 people.”
The connection between those two events may seem superficially plausible. After all, at least one of the weapons that the gunman apparently used, a Ruger AR-556 pistol, would have been covered by Boulder’s ordinance.
Among other things, that ordinance prohibits the sale of “all semiautomatic center-fire pistols” that “have the capacity to accept a magazine other than in the pistol grip” or “have a protruding grip or other device to allow the weapon to be stabilized with the non-trigger hand.” The AR-556 pistol, which resembles a short-barreled rifle but does not legally qualify as one, has a stabilizing brace and a magazine port that is separate from the grip.
If the local “assault weapon” ban had been in effect, the perpetrator of this week’s attack would not have been legally allowed to buy that gun in Boulder. But he lived in Arvada, a city about half an hour’s drive from Boulder. The arrest warrant affidavit says the suspect purchased the pistol on March 16. It does not say where he bought it. Still, even if Boulder’s ordinance had not been blocked, he could have bought the gun pretty much anywhere else in Colorado.
The ordinance also prohibits possession of “assault weapons” in Boulder, except for previously owned firearms registered with the city’s police department. But it defies logic to suggest that a man bent on mass murder would have worried about
Article from Latest – Reason.com