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Assault Weapons Ban On The Hill

Per The Hill, some police chiefs are trying to meet the president to get him to push for the assault weapons ban:

A week before the controversial assault-weapons ban is set to expire, law-enforcement officials are requesting a meeting with President Bush in hopes that he can exert pressure on Congress to renew the ban. But the White House has been mum on whether such a meeting is going to take place.

In a recent letter to Bush, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and other law-enforcement groups asked to meet with the president “to share our perspective on the importance of preserving the ban.” The IACP is unaware of a White House response to the request, and the administration did not return calls seeking comment.

No comment from the White House. This gives me hope that the president will not push for the ban. Good. Additionally:

Karl Rove, Bush’s top political adviser, late last week declined to answer directly a question from The Hill on whether the president would call to renew the ban in the next couple of weeks. Gun-control activists have pointed out repeatedly this year that Bush backed the reauthorization of the ban in 2000 but has not called on Congress to act.

The talking points of the police politicians consists of:

There is a “critical need” to extend the ban, the law-enforcement groups said in the letter. “If the law is not renewed, the firearms of choice for terrorists, drug dealers and gang members will be back on our streets. … With homeland security becoming an increasingly vital part of the daily law enforcement mission, we need to know that these assault weapons and their capacity magazines will not be back in circulation.”

Got that? Terror, drugs and the kitchen sink. I guess by critical, they mean the less than 1% of times these guns are used in crime. Or by critical they mean how the CDC and DOJ have found the ban to have no effect on crime. Meanwhile, a letter to the editor in The Hill points out how the support for the ban is completely misrepresented in the media:

Re your July 29 article discussing the impact of anti-gun stances by political candidates (“Guns divide campaign”): I was amazed that the article stated that polls showed an absurdly high percentage of Americans want the assault-weapons ban extended. Granted, in a carefully framed poll question, uninformed respondents might give answers that could inflate this percentage this way.

Certain anti-gun organizations have engaged in public-relation campaigns to confuse persons not close to the issue by redefining (“recasting”) the term “assault weapon” to include firearms that are not assault weapons. By allowing a less-informed respondent to think that non-assault weapons are actually assault weapons, an inaccurate, higher negative poll total will result.

What was even more astonishing was the assertion that “even half of the members of the National Rifle Association” were in favor of the extension of this law.

This statement is absolutely, unequivocally false. There is no factual basis to this statement.

An accurate assessment of the NRA’s membership would indicate that in excess of 90 percent definitely oppose the extension of the ban. This is primarily due to the fact that these people as a group, being vastly more familiar with firearms, and especially the firearms in question, than the persons making such assertions know very well that the ban is both ineffective and bad law, so bad as to be even constitutionally dubious.

Instapundit thinks supporting the ban is a loser for Bush.

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