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ILA | Gun Controllers Seek to Ban Accurate Firearms, Inaccurate Firearms, and Everything In-between

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On May 18, Bloomberg Law reported that the Biden Administration was in the “final stages” of drafting a regulation to curb the use of pistol stabilizing braces. These commonly-owned items attach to the rear of many configurations of popular semi-automatic pistols and help stabilize the pistol on a shooter’s arm so that they may effectively shoot the firearm with one hand. Pistol stabilizing braces are particularly valuable for differently-abled shooters who may not have the use of two hands. According to Bloomberg Law, which is named for and owned by billionaire gun control financier Michael Bloomberg, the chief concern over these firearm accessories is that they “can make pistols more accurate and deadlier.”

That’s right, the primary anti-gun concern over pistol stabilizing braces is that these items may improve a firearm user’s ability to hit what they’re aiming at.

Consider the ethical ramifications of such an argument when taken at face value. Gun control advocates would have a person that is forced to defend themselves, their loved ones, and community from violent attack struggle to make a shot rather than have access to equipment that could help them resolve the matter in the most safe and efficient manner possible. Gun controllers’ goal of handicapping gun owners’ ability would make self-defense, target shooting, and hunting, more dangerous for everyone involved – including unrelated parties. The gun control position is depraved and ludicrous.

The anti-gun argument on stabilizing braces is even more absurd when placed in the context of the last half-century of gun control messaging. For decades, gun owners have been advised that certain firearms are unsuitable for civilian use because they are purportedly prone to inaccurate fire.

The supposed danger of inaccurate fire was a prominent feature of the gun control movement’s efforts to ban commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

While pushing the 2013 version of her semi-auto ban, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) warned that these firearms enable imprecise fire, stating, “A pistol grip makes it easier for a shooter to rapidly pull the trigger, facilitates firing from the hip and allows a shooter to quickly move the weapon from side to side to spray a wider range.”

Pushing a state semi-auto ban in 2007, Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke wrote, “The bill focuses on the concealability and firepower of the weapons and on the design features that make possible deadly and indiscriminate ‘spray firing.’” A year later, the Brady Campaign website told readers, “Pistol grips on assault rifles and shotguns help stabilize the weapon during rapid fire and allow the shooter to spray-fire from the hip position.”

The purported inaccuracy of certain firearms was used in the gun control movement’s efforts to delegitimize and ban affordable handguns. 

In a 1981 article for the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology titled, The Saturday Night Special: An Assessment of Alternative Definitions from a Policy Perspective, anti-gun academic Philip J. Cook argued in favor of the efficacy of a “ban on the manufacture and sale of small handguns.” In dismissing the legitimacy of inexpensive handguns, Cook claimed “Serious target shooters and hunters shun

such weapons because they tend to be unreliable and highly inaccurate” and “Cheap, poor quality handguns are far from being ideal weapons for self-defense, because of their inaccuracy…” 

In targeting the evil “Saturday night special,” an April 28, 1981 New York Times article explained, “many small caliber weapons are highly priced precision instruments used by amateurs for target practice. The guns that police officials say are most often used in street crime, in contrast, are usually inexpensive and inaccurate.”

A 1981 series of articles from Cox Newspapers, which were later reprinted as a compilation by Handgun Control, Inc. (now Brady), took aim at inexpensive handguns. In one piece, the media outlet described the target of their ire as “the snub-nosed killer: a subspecies of feather-light, extra-short handguns that are inaccurate beyond the range of a card table.”

On November 23, 1981, the Washington Post published an editorial that demanded “Ban the Snubbies.’” The Post cited these small handguns’ supposed inaccuracy as a reason to ban them, noting, “’Snubbies,’ as they are called, are frequently expensive and of relatively high quality. But regardless of the price, their short barrels mean inaccuracy at anything beyond point-blank range. They should therefore be of little interest to legitimate hunters, hobbyists and target-shooters.”

In a March 13, 1988 commentary for the Washington Post, Maryland Attorney General Joseph Curran Jr. echoed the standard gun control line against inexpensive handguns. The politician lamented, “Saturday Night Specials are cheap, poorly constructed handguns. They are useless for sport or law enforcement because they are inaccurate…” 

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence President Michael K. Bear argued for ban on inexpensive handguns before the House Judiciary Committee on April 26, 1990. Beard explained, “The characteristics of Saturday Night Specials are that they are cheap, easily concealed, poorly, inaccurate and of no sporting value.” Also arguing in favor of the ban was James Brady, who complained that with these handguns “the only way to hit a target is to hold the gun directly to it.” 

So, which is it? Are gun control advocates concerned about firearms that facilitate accurate fire, or those purported to enable inaccurate fire?

The answer is both and everything in-between.

Gun control advocates have only one coherent position: total civilian disarmament. Any argument that gun controllers might adopt in any given circumstance is in service to this goal. Internal logic be damned.

At present, gun control advocates and anti-gun politicians sense there is an opening to ban firearms equipped with pistol stabilizing braces by executive fiat – hence the improved accuracy complaint. In the future, anti-gun activists will no doubt rehash their tired “indiscriminate,” “spray-fire,” and “from the hip” arguments to target commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Gun owners should let these contradicting and opportunistic arguments highlight the gun control movement’s only real concern: banning all firearms.



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