Perception of "Assault Weapons"


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ReadyontheRight
July 8, 2004, 12:35 AM
Folks on THR seem to be well-read and up to date on current events. We all assume that the average person who claims to support the AWB does so because of events like the North Hollywood bank robbery.

I was just watching "Die Hard" - produced in 1988. I've always thought that the typical sheeple bases their support of the AWB on movies like this, not on reality.

So...What do you think? It it real events or movies that cause the uninformed public to support the AWB? Or is it something else?

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Dbl0Kevin
July 8, 2004, 12:40 AM
I would probably think it's really neither. The average fence sitter who supports the AWB really has never thought about the issue at all. But if someone asks them "do you think we should ban assault weapons?" they say "well yeah that sounds like a good idea.....who really needs those anyway?".

Just my 2% of a dollar though.

sharpie613
July 8, 2004, 01:31 AM
If they were called what they actually were, support would dwindle.

"Semi-automatic rifles that look scary but shoot bullets less powerful than an average deer rifle" just doesn't roll off the tongue. Assault weapon just sounds menacing.

Zach S
July 8, 2004, 08:04 AM
Hollyweird and ignorance.

71Commander
July 8, 2004, 09:07 AM
Something else.


The widespread lies that are being reported by the media and MMM'er's. We (pro's) do not have a large public forum that can dispute the misinformation.

Hatchett
July 8, 2004, 09:44 AM
Most people simply don't realize what the ban is about. They hear "assault weapon" and that's enough.

Carlos Cabeza
July 8, 2004, 11:31 AM
I know a small group of friends who are an older "church lady" bunch. They really have no conceivable idea what all the controversy is about. They hear "assault weapons" and the media portrayal of the issue and think "Why would anyone be against this piece of legislation?" It's not the argument I care to get into often because much of thier reasoning is emotionally driven. I can only use my close friendship with one to help bring some balance to the already weighted side of the issue. It boils down to ill informed and misleading information from the media and other sources such as MMM and VPC. Also, the almost daily shootings you hear about on the news somehow reinforce the "guns are bad mmmmmmmkay" side. One at a time.....................;)

ctdonath
July 8, 2004, 11:45 AM
Sheer ignorance. They think machineguns are being banned, and have no concept that the "ban" doesn't really ban any guns, only odd combinations of mostly useless/cosmetic gizmos.

Hawkmoon
July 8, 2004, 11:52 AM
I don't even know what the North Hollywood bank robbery refers to. Was a bank robbed in North Hollywood?

What drives public support of the AWB is the lies and misinformation perpetuated by the antis. The average person who "supports" the AWB thinks the AWB prevents people from owning machine guns. They believe that the "assault weapons" covered by the ban are full-automatic military battle rifles.

Period.

woerm
July 8, 2004, 12:48 PM
what I call the Propaganda Ministry

ABC, CBS Faux, CintoonNN etc,

they only care about their ability to libel/slander at will and view the constution as only protecting their 'right' to snoop and smear sleeze. all for a tidy profit as well

see the mickymuze profit protection act that gutted the copyright law to keep mickymuz off the public domain longer.

r

hso
July 8, 2004, 01:25 PM
It's the combination. Reports of actual use of firearms are not common (when compared to rape and auto accidents), but the continuous diet of carnography on TV, video, and movies blurs the line between reality and fantasy. It creates the impression that "assault weapon" violence is much more common and much more dangerous than it actually is. TV/Movies serve to provide examples of what the social norms are and train people to believe that "assault weapons" crime is a common and real threat as much as what comes out of the tube establishs pop fashion.

lee n. field
July 8, 2004, 02:48 PM
Too much teevee.

There are all sorts of reasons to give up the boob tube. Right up there at the top is distorting your perception of reality.

GunnySkox
July 8, 2004, 06:35 PM
I don't think its any of those, I think it's mostly about words, like someone said before "Assault weapon" sounds scary. People hear assault weapon and think machinegun, assault rifle, AK-47, Uzi, Columbine, mothers weeping, children bleeding, and all that jazz. Everyone I've ever spoken to about the AWB looks surprised when I tell them that it's got nothing to do with machineguns or assault rifles. The AWB is a part of a war of words that the antis consistently win because its really easy to make something sound scary. Of course, when people suggest ideas on how to make our firearms sound less scary, and try to take back the war of words, at least to a stalemate (IE: like the sides of the abortion debate: Pro Choice and Pro Life. Anti either of those sounds bad, so there's a term stalemate there.), they're made fun of, and their terms considered "flower-powered" and stupid.

Connotation is more important than denotation. The actual, literal meaning of "assault weapon" has exactly jack-all to do with that the term is designed to do. The thoughts and images "assault weapon" evokes are more important than pistol grips and flash hiders. If you can scare someone, they won't stop for logic.

~Slam_Fire
"It it not what it is, it is what it appears" ~Sra. Tindle, my Spanish teacher, who was a Lawyer in Spain.

antsi
July 8, 2004, 07:13 PM
Something else -- Ignorance.
Most people do not know what kind of firearms the AWB actually covers or anything else about it.
I was recently arguing with someone about the AWB and challenged them to define an assault weapon - they started out with a description of full-auto function and I noted that the AWB has nothing to do with full-auto, those are covered by the 1934 NFA. She had a couple more misconceptions which I challenged with facts.
THen she came back with, "I'm not interested in the details."
She is vehemently supporting a ban, but she doesn't have any idea what she is banning and doesn't want to know.
Sheer ingrained ignorance.

USAFNoDAk
July 8, 2004, 07:45 PM
Statements made by anti gun politicians and CLEO's such as, "These weapons of war have no place on the streets of America" or "Terrorist's will be buying these military weapons at gun shows without background checks". "These guns are designed to spray bullets at a very rapid rate. Their only purpose is to kill as many people as possible in as short amount of time as possible".

To the uninformed, they would be crazy not to support the ban on these evil weapons.

Hkmp5sd
July 8, 2004, 08:18 PM
The "Assault Weapon" issue originated in the mid-80s with anti-gun organizations and politicians. I remember reading articles in the 80s where politicians, especially in California, were seeking "data" from law enforcement agencies on the number of the "classic" assault weapons of the day (the AR-15, AK-47, Uzi Carbine, Intratec Tec-9, all HK rifles, etc.) that were used in crimes. Their goal was to justify a ban on these weapons, but their statistics just didn't add up. The total number of these firearms used in crime was less than 2%.

So they shifted into propaganda/fear factor mode and started conditioning the average citizen to belive these guns were more dangerous than all others, used exclusively by criminals and particularly cop killers and could shoot bullets as rapidly as a machinegun. The news media joined right in and any news story with a gun made sure the gun was called an AK-47 or Uzi, even if it turned out to be a revolver.

They kicked it into high gear in 1987-88. That is the reason Bush (41) ordered ATF to re-interpret what constituted "sporting" firearms which ended up creating the '89 import bans. He was trying to ride the fence, banning guns without really banning guns. It still took another 5 years to get the current AW ban passed and even then, it was an amendment to an overall "crime bill".

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