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Comment Backwards legal system (Score 4, Insightful) 312

When did we switch from, "who did this [obvious] crime?" to "let's figure out what crimes X committed?" The feds know what this guy did. Either it's a crime, or it's not. If it requires a massive amount of digging (by subject matter experts) to try to find some law to charge the guy with, it's not justice. I suspect any one of us could be found guilty of multiple felonies if a team of lawyers were tasked with charging us with something. Having said that, this guy's an idiot for having his name associated with a video containing two hot button issues combined together.

Comment Re:Firearm Legal Status (Score 1) 520

There is no legal definition of assault rifle. The term assault rifle originated with the Nazis, and is generally accepted as having the definition I previously provided. Given the select fire nature, assault rifles are strictly regulated under the National Firearms Act. Note: the NFA does not define or use the term assault rifle.

Over time, there have been multiple defitions of the term assault weapon. There was a Federal definition, until the assault weapons ban sunset. Several states have their own definition. That's a much newer term, which many believe was invented to cause confusion, as it's similar sounding to assault rifle.

because oh horror the media correctly referred to a weapon that is legally defined as a assault rifle as an "assault rifle".

I would request that you provide a link to this legal definition of assault rifle of which you speak, but I know you can't because it does not exist. I believe you are one of those who has confused the terms assault rifle and assault weapon.

Comment Re:Firearm Legal Status (Score 1) 520

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_rifle

  • It must be an individual weapon with provision to fire from the shoulder
  • It must be capable of selective fire
  • It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle
  • Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable magazine rather than a feed-belt

Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles despite frequently being considered as such. For example, semi-automatic-only rifles like the AR-15 (on which the M16 rifle is based) that share parts or design characteristics with assault rifles are not assault rifles, as they are not capable of switching to automatic fire and thus are not selective-fire capable.

Comment Firearm Legal Status (Score 4, Informative) 520

An assault rifle, by definition is a machine gun. The gun used at LAX wasn't (as best we can tell from the available information). So the first sentence in the summary is inaccurate.

There's speculation, based on a photo on Twitter that the rifle is a Ruger Mini-14, in which case it may not have qualified as an "assault weapon" as defined by Federal Law. Under Feinstein's last [failed] assault weapon ban, the Ruger Mini-14 with a collapsible stock was banned, but the other Mini-14's were ok. It would depend on whether or not the stock folds/collapses.

Under California law, the pistol grip, and ability to accept a detachable magazine are sufficient to classify it as an "assault weapon."

Looks like high capacity magazines were used, although they may have had inserts to render them legal (i.e. limit them to 10 rounds). If they are large capacity and he owned them before 2000, they're legal. Otherwise they would only be legal if they were limited to 10 rounds (or fewer).

We can say with high confidence that a semi-automatic rifle was used. Under the previous Federal assault weapon ban, and the more recent failed Federal effort, this rifle may or may not have been considered an "assault weapon." Under California law this rifle is an assault weapon. The magazines may or may not have been legal.

Comment Re:Blood is on the NRA Hands (Score 1) 1862

It's not a red herring on the issue of restricting magazine sizes. This case clearly demonstrates that 6 bullets isn't a guarantee that you will take down a single intruder, and there are plenty of cases where there's more than one intruder. The argument for high capacity magazines is that you may have to defend againast more than one intruder. The argument against is mass shootings. The important question is, "will a ban on high capacity magazines stop mass shootings?" The article points out that a ban is easy to bypass, since you can just print your own magazines.

Comment Re:Blood is on the NRA Hands (Score 1) 1862

Her husband was on one phone with her, and on another phone with 911. The police were called prior to her shooting the intruder. There was enough time for her to shoot him 5 times, for him to get up, walk/stumble downstairs, go outside, get in his vehicle, drive off, and crash before the police showed up.

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