the ineffectiveness of “assault weapon bans”, part 2

This time, I will go ahead and be forthright about the two firearms I want you to consider.

This is a Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM II that I purchased a number of years ago.  You will have to forgive the lacking quality of the photo – it turns out I sold it before I took any good pictures of it.

DSCF3248

And this is an AR-15 that I half-built, half-bought.  Again, you will have to forgive the truly derp-tastic stock that is on it presently – it did not last long, and it has a much better stock presently, I am just bad about taking pictures apparently.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now here is the important part:

Both firearms are semi-automatic, magazine-fed rifles; i.e. both will shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger, and both can accept magazines up to 100 rounds (though I cannot imagine carrying the M1A at that point).  However, the M1A shoots a larger, heavier bullet that has, on average, double the muzzle energy of the bullet shot by the AR-15 and somewhere around double the maximum range.

So here is this post’s test: one of these firearms is currently banned by the California Assault Weapon Control Act, and one of them is not.  Which is banned?

If you answered “the more powerful rifle”, you would be wrong.

That M1A was, ironically, purchased in California – I even still have a picture of the receipt –  after I discovered that coming by AR-15s there would be… challenging.  At that point, I figured I might as well go with the more-powerful, more-capable rifle, simply to drive home the point that the state’s “assault weapon ban” was precisely useless.

As the previous post indicated, the entire notion of “assault weapon bans” is flawed to begin with since it literally prohibits one configuration of a rifle, but allows another configuration of the exact same rifle.  Once you realize that those bans allow firearms that work in almost the same way* but are significantly more powerful than their banned brethren?

Well, then it becomes painfully apparent that the purpose of the bans is not “safety”.

(* – Both firearms are gas-operated; the AR-15 uses direct impingement while the M1A uses a short-stroke piston system.  Both are still semi-automatic, but the two operating systems are just different ways of employing the gasses from the discharging round to cycle the actions.)

the ineffectiveness of “assault weapon bans”, part 1

Do you what the difference is between this rifle:

RugerMini14

… and this rifle:

RugerMini14Tac

I will give you a few hints to make it easier:

Both are made by Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.

Both will happily shoot either .223 Remington or 5.56x45mm NATO.

Both are semi-automatic and gas-operated with locking breech bolts and a self-cleaning gas cylinder.

Both will shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger, one round at a time.

Both accept removable magazines ranging from five rounds to 100 rounds.

Both have cold hammer-forged barrels for increased accuracy and longevity.

Both are configured to accept magnifying optics and have ghost-ring sights if you choose to stick with iron sights.

Both are set up to accept slings.

In other words, I have a confession to make:  there is no functional difference between the two rifles.  

Yes, one is configured to be more ergonomic for the end user, what with the adjustable butt stock and the flash hider to mitigate the flash of the round being fired beneath the sights/optic.  However, the top rifle can almost entirely be transformed into the bottom rifle so long as you have a small screwdriver and the “tactical” stock (even the flash hider can be added without having to thread the barrel).

That is all you need.

But the top rifle would have been legal under the failed Federal Assault Weapon Ban, and under the current California Assault Weapons Control Act, while the bottom rifle was not and is not.

Even better?  The top rifle’s barrel is about two inches longer, giving it about 50-100 feet-per-second more velocity at the muzzle.  So, arguably, it is the more-powerful of the two rifle… but it is the AWB-approved one.

When the features that were banned under the “Assault Weapon Ban” have no actual impact on the operation of the firearm, and when that ban can be circumvented by a single screwdriver, just what was its point?

Assault Weapon

(For reference, the top rifle is a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, and the bottom is a Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rifle.  Both images were borrowed from Ruger.)