Assault weapons laws resemble hate speech laws. Hate speech laws usually begin by targeting a few words that almost no one approves. Once the system for controlling and punishing “hate speech” is put into place, there is little or nothing to stop it from expanding to punish more and more types of everyday speech. Similarly, once an assault weapons law is on the books, there is little to prevent politicians from vastly increasing the number of weapons banned under the law. The main effect of banning assault weapons is to give government an excuse to arrest and imprison millions of Americans while doing little or nothing to reduce crime. America has a limited number of police, and politicians must decide who the real public enemies are. If Mr. Clinton signs an assault weapons ban, it could signal the start of an attack on gun owners’ constitutional rights that could far surpass all previous gun bans.