August 25, 2008

Thank You, Barack

I hope that I am one of the first of American gun owners to thank Barack Obama for choosing Joe Biden as his running mate. You see, I had almost forgotten just how much Joe Biden has done for gun owners and gun ownership in America, until Roger Simon reminded me.

As author of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994—also known as the Biden Crime Law according to Wikipedia—Biden's carefully-manicured hands shaped the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, a law pushed through by Democrats that specifically outlawed 19 firearms by name, and tried to outlaw many others by outlawing firearms that had two or more mostly-cosmetic features.

Because of the attempt to outlaw semi-automatic weapons by Biden and his fellow Democrats, interest in owning variations of semi-automatic rifles—and specifically those firearms Democrats ineptly tried to outlaw—began surging in 1994 and has ever slowed down, even though the law itself expired four years ago.

AR-15 and AK-pattern rifles in particular became very popular sellers during the "ban," and Biden deserves considerable credit for sparking interest in a portion of the market that until then was considered the realm of survivalists and military collectors. Now one can hardly visit a rifle shooting range without hearing the characteristic crack of a 5.56mm AR-15, or the boom of an AK-47's .30 caliber bullet, and both weapons often dominate the showcases of gun dealers. Far from banning assault weapons, the 1994 law Biden created helped marshal semi-automatics into the mainstream as some of America's best-selling firearms, while creating jobs for skilled workers at gun and ammunition companies rushing to satisfy customer demand for one of the few market segments that has kept growing.

In addition to what he's done for interest in assault rifles, we also owe Senator Biden and his fellow Democrats a special thanks for helping create an entirely new class of small, powerful, and easily concealable handguns.

One of the provisions of the 1994 law Biden drafted was a stipulation that pistol magazines would be limited to just ten rounds. At the time Biden drafted his law, American shooters were enthralled with large, heavy, service-class semi-automatic pistols with magazine capacities that seemed ever-increasing. In the age of the "wonder-nine," pistols carrying 15-18 rounds per magazine became fashionable, but Biden's law helped push the market in a radically different direction.

With handguns now limited to a specified magazine capacity by an arbitrary law, interest then grew in designing semi-auto pistols that were smaller, lighter, more powerful, and in most respects, more effective than those that came before them. An entire niche of compact and subcompact "carry guns" is directly attributable to Biden and his fellow Democrats, and these days nearly every company that make handguns serves this burgeoning market, with new models for this market sector being created every season. Entire gun companies—the very successful Kahr Arms is one shining example—arose almost purely as the result of consumer interest generated by Joe Biden's "gun ban."'

Entire shooting organizations—the IDPA, for instance—have grow as the result of Joe Biden's work, and interest in existing shooting sports in general has also greatly increased. It is fair to say, without exaggeration, that this Senator with an "F" rating from the NRA has done more for shooting sports and gun ownership than any Senator in the past 25 years, even if it was all accidental.

So thank you, Barack Obama, for selecting Joe Biden as your Veep. While it may not be what you intended when you selected him as your running mate, Joe Biden is responsible for far more hope and change within the American shooting community than you could ever know.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 25, 2008 03:24 PM

Joe Biden - Veep of Unintended Consequences.

Posted by: SSG Jeff (USAR) at August 25, 2008 03:07 PM

Ther is a nice irony to your story line but if they get elected gun owners won't be happy. The Supreme Court will be their target. And they will not miss.

Posted by: mytralman at August 25, 2008 03:53 PM

VERY interesting take on moronic gun bans (of course the concept applies to nearly any "ban"). The thought of "them" figuring this out and crafting even more Draconion laws to limit such unintended consequences is a bit scarey though.

Posted by: DoorHold at September 1, 2008 03:14 PM