This latest ad from Moveon PAC is about as misleading as it can be. Through words, graphics and sound effects, it invites viewers to think that the expiration of the ban on 19 semiautomatic assault weapons will allow people legally to buy fully automatic machine guns that can fire "up to 300 rounds per minute." That's false.
It has been illegal to buy a machine gun without federal clearance since 1934, and remains so.
The ad also claims that Bush "will let the assault weapon ban expire," which is misleading. In fact, Bush spoke in support of the ban during his campaign four years ago and his spokesman said as recently as May of last year that he still supported it. It was Congress that failed to consider extending the ban and didn't present Bush with a bill to sign.
Read the whole thing.
This is hardly a new tactic. This lie is the basis behind the so-called "Assault Weapon" ban in the first place.
"... many Americans do believe that handguns are effective weapons for home-defense and the majority of Americans ...believe the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the individual right to keep and bear arms. Yet, many who support the individual's right to own a handgun have second thoughts when the issue comes down to assault weapons. Assault weapons are often viewed the same way as machine guns and `plastic' firearms -- a weapon that poses such a grave risk that it's worth compromising a perceived constitutional right." -- "Assault Weapons: Analysis, New Research and Legislation" Josh Sugarmann, March 1989
"Assault weapons... are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons -- anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun -- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons." -- "Assault Weapons: Analysis, New Research and Legislation" Josh Sugarmann, March 1989