Assault Weapon Ban – Why?

Assault_RifleI am very concerned about the way in which the “debate” over “gun control” is being conducted by the administration and the leftists in the democrat party; along with their stable mate RINO’s. The problem is that any attempt at rational discussion is immediately shouted down, and the individual making the inquiry immediately vilified. Unfortunately, this mode of “discussion” seems to be part of the hope, change, and transparency that we have inherited with this administration.

 

Actually, this political environment is nothing new. We have seen it in the past, and it has become a daily occurrence since Obama’s campaign in 2008. Those of us old enough to remember the 1960’s remember well the rioting and civil disobedience that characterized that era, as well as any meaningful discussion being downgraded to chanting slogans like, “Hell no, we won’t go”. The “Occupy Wall Street” group brought back lots of bad memories, but their attitude and tactics are no different from those men and women in suits who promote “gun control”.

 

I place this term in quotation marks, because it is their term, and it accurately describes what their legislation seeks to do – control guns. There is a popular bumper sticker that says in effect, “Gun control is hitting your target”, and that statement is far more accurate that what the Left is telling you. To drag out another bumper sticker, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people”. It is a pretty sad state of affairs when we can purchase bumper stickers that display far more wisdom than our legislators.

 

What thinking citizens are concerned about are people killing people, and how to prevent this from happening.  So, the question that needs to be asked is whether or not there has been an increase in the number of guns, whether there has been an increase in the killings that is due to that increase, and whether a particular type of gun has suddenly caused that increase in crime.

 

We all know that gun sales have taken off since Obama’s election in 2008. In 2009, for example, FBI background checks for guns increased by 30 percent over the previous year, while firearms sales in large retail outlets increased by almost 40 percent. The number of applications for concealed carry permits continues to virtually overload the system across the country as well. Clearly people are not satisfied with the government’s “turn in your guns; we will protect you” line.

 

But happened to crime during this period of gun acquisition? According to the FB’s Crime in The United States statistics for 2010, overall, murders in the U.S. decreased steadily since 2006, dropping from 15,087 to 12,996. Firearms murders — which made up 67 percent of all murders in the U.S. in 2010 —followed this trend, decreasing by 14 percent. As for banning “assault rifles” (another misleading leftist-manufactured term), we tried it, and it didn’t work.  According to studies of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, the ban had little effect on reducing gun crime. The Department of Justice study by Roth and Koper of the original ban points out, “We were unable to detect any reduction to date in two types of gun murders that are thought to be closely associated with assault weapons, those with multiple victims in a single incident and those producing multiple bullet wounds per victim.” In fact, when the ban was lifted, the FBI announced that the number of murders nationwide fell by 3.6%, the first drop since 1999.

 

As for mass shootings, Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century. Chances of being killed in a mass shooting, he says, are probably no greater than being struck by lightning.

 

But what was the role of “assault rifles” in crime commission? According to Senator Feinstein, so-called assault weapons have been used in 385 murders since the AWB expired in 2004, or about 48 murders per year. But there were 8,583 total murders with guns in the United States in 2011, meaning so-called assault weapons were used 0.6% of the time.  Looking at the figures closely, we see that the FBI data shows that 323 murders were committed with rifles of any kind in 2011, but 496 murders were committed with hammers and clubs, and 1,694 murders were perpetrated with knives, illustrating the small role so-called assault weapons play in crime. There are, by the way, over 3.5 million AR-15’s alone circulating in the U.S.

 

So, if there is no increase in crime despite the increased number of guns and people carrying them, and there is no increase in crime associated with “assault weapons”, why is the Senate about to abrogate our Constitutional right to bear arms?

 

I will discuss their motivation in detail later, but you need to ask your Senators and Representatives this question. Do not settle for claptrap like, “Why do you need an assault rifle to hunt?”, or “Why do you need a magazine that holds 100 rounds to hunt?”, or “We are seeking a reasonable approach to the problem”, or the favored Obama approach, “We are doing it for the children”. Make then tell you exactly why their schemes will solve the problem and why tactics that have failed before but will take away your God-given rights would be supported by any other than an agenda-driven totalitarian regime.

About the author: Pat Henry

Pat Henry is a columnist and a patriot from Hanover County, Virginia, a state that resisted ratification of the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added to protect the people’s individual rights, which shall not be infringed.

View all articles by Pat Henry
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