Monday, June 20, 2005

High caliber guns in a low caliber Congress

The National Rifle Association and their toadies in the House of Representatives (whom do they represent?) have won another one, defeating an effort to stop their patron merchants of death from exporting the absurdly high-powered .50-caliber guns, supposedly powerful enough to take down a jet liner at a distance of a mile (AP via LA Times).

The vote on Virginia Democrat James Moran's bill to block the export wasn't even close: 278-149.
The .50-caliber rifle is the most powerful firearm in wide circulation. It can penetrate thick steel used to armor personnel carriers and is accurate at distances greater than a mile. Moran said that if someone were to use the weapons from such distances, he easily would evade law enforcement.

The risks associated with .50-caliber weapons gained attention this year after CBS' "60 Minutes" aired a report demonstrating the ease with which .50-caliber rifles could be exported to overseas militias.

But the NRA said the amendment was an unnecessary infringement on gun rights and that existing laws provide penalties for smuggling the rifles.
This is so irresponsible and reprehensible that it defies one's ability to express adequate condemnation, and while Representative Moran should be praised for trying to stick his finger in the dike, it is telling he didn't have the gumption to ask for everything he should have:
"These are unparalleled weapons, and I'm not trying to restrict them in the United States," said Moran, D-Va. "I just don't want them sold by arms dealers."
Question: why wasn't he trying to restrict them in the United States, too? Does anyone with an ounce of sense feel safer knowing these monstrosoties might be in our communities?