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SITREP: July 2003

By Dan Shea

In this issue, SAR is the first to bring you the inside story on the origins of the FN Minimi, which was chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. We also have the first look at the MK48 by FNMI, which is the full circle of that original Minimi.

Most of us involved in SAR are technical historians, studying past designs. Many times, we discover the future through the past, or at least gain a much better understanding of the present. It is our mission to bring this process to the readers. We have a balancing act between the interests of the collectors, military and LE end users, the industry people, and competitive shooters to keep in mind so with each issue of SAR there is an eclectic mix of articles. Most of us have crossover interests, and many of these articles help educate the rest to new horizons.

Keeping that “history” train of thought, we thought it was pertinent this month to touch a bit on a current event- namely, the impending possibility of the “sunset” of the Assault Weapons and High Capacity Magazines ban. Here is a quote from the Brady Campaign’s website, www.bradycampaign.org. (This was taken from a section they mislabel as “Facts.”)

“The federal law banning the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons, known as the federal assault weapons ban, was passed as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. President Clinton signed it into law on September 13, 1994.

However, the assault weapons ban will expire (“sunset”) in September 2004 unless Congress and President George W. Bush renew it. That means that AK47s and other semi-automatic assault weapons could begin flooding our streets again, as the weapons of choice of gang members, drug dealers and other dangerous criminals.”


I am not a gang member, drug dealer, or dangerous criminal. Yet, I collect and use these firearms and high capacity magazines on a daily basis. So do hundreds of thousands of other Americans. It has been proven that these weapons are a very minor blip on the radar screen of criminal use, outside of fantasy and movies that is. Read the rest of their website for more propaganda and lies, if you want to get fired up about something.

Why the lies and hysteria on the part of the anti Second Amendment people?

Obviously they have another agenda. Most of us are smart enough to realize that they are opportunists with one ambition, which is to completely ban the private ownership of firearms. Every year, there is a different bugaboo. Small “Saturday Night Specials” are the criminal choice. No, it’s large, magnum-type handguns that do the deeds. Oops, sorry, it’s the big, scary “assault weapons” the “criminals” use.

Right now, they have the opportunity to keep one of their little Clinton Era pet projects going. Since there has been a major increase in law enforcement activity and prosecution as well as incarceration of bad guys in the last ten years, certain types of crime have gone down. There is no connection to the ownership or use of so called assault weapons or high capacity magazines, however, since they can show a decrease in some types of criminal activity it is being ascribed to “keeping these guns off the streets”.

If President Bush and Congress do nothing about this ban, it will be over on 14 September, 2004. That is fourteen months from your reading of this column. However, at this point in time, the Bush Administration has issued a statement that they support the ban on further manufacture of assault weapons and high capacity magazines and will allow it to continue. Since this issue is scheduled to sunset just prior to the 2004 presidential election, this issue is one more hot button for candidates to keep pushing, and it is an issue that will not go away. The Committee of 1776 gathered the pro Second Amendment grassroots of this country in 1994. We hammered the elections and were credited with being a major force in the Republican Revolution of that year, which switched control of Congress to the Republicans. No less than Bill Clinton himself credited the gun owners of this great country with the dismantling of his “mandate”. Yet, at the same time as this was happening, that damnable “Assault Weapons” legislation went through.

Now it is time to let this dinosaur die off, with other relics of the corrupt Clinton regime. However, this writer does not hold out high hopes of this happening. We seldom get our rights back after they are surrendered, and it will take an iron will and solid resolve to at least hold the line here, let alone roll things back. We urge you to join and support the pro Second Amendment group of your choice, and to become active with them, and to keep this issue on the front of their agenda.

-Dan


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