Assault Weapons: Dangerous in Whose Hands?


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WAGCEVP
October 22, 2003, 09:26 PM
Assault Weapons: Dangerous in Whose Hands?


http://www.wbay.com/global/story.asp?s=1491688&ClientType=Printable

By Jeff Alexander

Aric Tonn used a semi-automatic AK-47 assault rifle to kill Deputy Bruce Williams in Green Lake on Sunday. In 1994, Congress passed a law making it harder for people to get assault weapons. Congress banned the manufacture of guns considered assault weapons, and gun stores can no longer import them.

Still, thousands of these weapons are on gun store shelves because Congress grandfathered any weapon made before 1994.

The ban is scheduled to end next year unless Congress and President Bush agree to renew it.

No surprise, we found strong opinions on both sides of this issue. Some feel assault weapons are nothing but a threat to society. Others feel owning them is their constitutional right.

Butch Williquette is in the gun business. At On-Site Gun Company he buys, sells, and defends what he does for a living. "I got an AK-47 over there on the wall and it hasn't assaulted anybody yet," he points out. "You put anything in the hands of a killer and he's going to kill."

Wisconsin state law puts very few restrictions on semi-automatic assault weapons:

State law treats the sale and possession of assault rifles much like hunting rifles
Background checks for assault rifle buyers are not as extensive as the checks for handgun buyers
Owners are not required to register their guns with the state.

Williquette believes in the motto "Guns don't kill people, people do."

Not everyone agrees. Pastor Kay Krejci of Union Congregational Church feels assault weapons give people -- sometimes dangerous people -- the feeling of power, and that has to stop.

"It doesn't speak well for our society. It's not a healthy situation," she said. "I think it's appropriate for us as a community to say we don't need or want assault weapons in our homes."

Police tend to agree. They say weapons like an AK-47 possess too much firepower for them to handle.

"The number of rounds you can fire in a short time with a hunting rifle versus a semi-automatic AK-47 is quite different," Green Bay police Lieutenant Jim Arts said.

Those favoring the ban say it has to get even tougher because gunmakers are simply modifying models to offer customers weapons almost identical to those that are banned.

Recent studies by the U.S. Department of Justice found no evidence that banning assault weapons reduced the number of gunshot victims.

"Granted, in the wrong hands they're very dangerous, but so is that car you just drove up in," Williquette said.

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Travis McGee
October 22, 2003, 10:07 PM
Surprisingly fair article. At least they let our side get in a few points.
This subject is going to keep moving to the center of discussion for the next year. I just hope there is no "super Colombine" to give the gun-grabbers ammunition.

http://matthewbracken.web.aplus.net/bookcover.jpg

C.R.Sam
October 22, 2003, 10:25 PM
Yup, decent article.
And, Williquette came off as a rational person.
Pleasant change.

Sam

4v50 Gary
October 22, 2003, 10:51 PM
Fair balance is all we can ask of the media.

Standing Wolf
October 22, 2003, 11:17 PM
"The number of rounds you can fire in a short time with a hunting rifle versus a semi-automatic AK-47 is quite different," Green Bay police Lieutenant Jim Arts said.

I hope I never need to dial 911 in Green Bay.

Dorian
October 22, 2003, 11:28 PM
Police tend to agree. They say weapons like an AK-47 possess too much firepower for them to handle.

"The number of rounds you can fire in a short time with a hunting rifle versus a semi-automatic AK-47 is quite different," Green Bay police Lieutenant Jim Arts said.


Really? All police? Or just the ones that get quoted in the paper?:rolleyes:

edit:

thr article certianly was balanced, but this part stood out to me.

tyme
October 23, 2003, 01:40 AM
Background checks for assault rifle buyers are not as extensive as the checks for handgun buyers
Is this true in any state? Sounds like someone got confused, which I'll grant is easy with all the intricacies of firearms transfers.

And any police officers who feel their assault weapons or other firearms are too powerful should feel free to send them to me.

If you enjoyed reading about "Assault Weapons: Dangerous in Whose Hands?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!