Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:
Thank you so much! At first, I was worried when the 1994 federal assault weapons ban expired on September 13th. I know that the ban did absolutely nothing to decrease violent crime in the United States, but I sure felt safer when the nice folks at the ATF stopped me from buying that rifle with egg-shaped holes on the flash suppressor and made me buy the one with round holes instead. So, like many Americans, I was too scared to venture out to work the day the federal ban expired; horrified that the mayhem of pre-1994 America would return once black rifles with bayonet lugs became legal again.
But you were there for me, to calm my fears and remind me of something I had somehow forgotten long ago: I don’t live in America. I live in California.
Yes, on the day that other Americans regained one small piece of a silly little thing they call freedom, you courageously signed a statewide ban on .50 caliber rifles, reminding us all that here in California, “freedom” is just another dirty word that begins with “f.” And besides, the federal ban had no real affect on us Californians anyway. Unlike citizens of free states, we have our own more stringent ban on nasty-looking black guns.
I know not everyone thinks that you are a hero for signing the ban on .50 caliber rifles, but that is just not fair. After all, in a study of .50 caliber rifle crimes, the General Accounting Office reported finding only one incident in which a .50 caliber rifle was actually used during the commission of a crime. And even that incident–Waco–is suspect: the ATF claimed that they were fired upon by a .50 caliber rifle, but no .50 caliber rifle parts or ammunition were ever recovered from the Branch Davidian compound. I admire you, governor: it takes guts to ignore all these facts and ban a gun that has never been used to kill anyone in the United States. Bravo!
Not just any politician can stand up to the irrelevant handful of votes coming from California’s .50 caliber rifle owners. Only a man of true integrity can casually discard the rights of a few in order to pander to the irrational hysteria of the popular Million Mom Marchers. No one really believes the Moms or the Brady Campaign when they claim that .50 caliber rifles have an effective range of four miles. We all know that the world record for a .50 caliber shot is less than one quarter of that distance. We further remember the words of Jeff Huber, CEO of Lightforce USA, who once noted, “there is no riflescope made that would allow you to even see a man-sized target at a distance of four miles, much less shoot at it.” But you were able to bravely ignore these facts, Mr. Schwarzenegger, and pretend as if the arguments in favor of the .50 caliber ban made perfect sense. When the firearm prohibitionists told you that teenagers could purchase .50 caliber rifles online, you valiantly imagined that there were not already laws in California preventing this. I am glad that we finally have someone in Sacramento who can “think outside the box.”
Some people may complain that you have signed another state law in blatant violation of the second amendment to the US constitution, but I say: who cares? This is California. We ought not get too concerned with American law. Besides, I really do not think the Bill of Rights is all that important, and I am glad you agree. In fact, the FCC and I have been considering a more progressive interpretation of the first amendment that I am sure you will really like.
Despite the sunset of the federal assault weapons ban, I feel much safer knowing that .50 caliber rifles are now classified as illegal assault rifles here in California. I am confident that you did not sign the .50 caliber ban just to appease a horde of angry soccer moms. You signed it because common sense (or perhaps Maria) told you to, and for that I am truly grateful. Now all of those terrorist snipers waiting to pick me off on my way to work will be forced to use standard hunting calibers such as the .308 or the .300 Winchester Magnum, which means that they will be a cinch for me to spot because they will have to come as close as 800 yards! Unless, of course, they start using the .408 Cheyenne Tactical. Some people actually prefer it to the .50 caliber. As you probably know, the .408 CheyTac is still legal and has a similar range and comparable ballistics for any realistic target. In addition, the firing platform is generally lighter, which makes it easier to carry in and out of a hide.
Thanks again, Mr. Schwarzenegger. I am so glad that we held a special election to remove Gray Davis!
Very truly yours,
Carter Laren, Producer Advocate