John Lott’s article in the Wall Street Journal “The Facts About Assault Weapons and Crime” provides much useful information about the nature of “assault weapons” – those chimerical beasts whose ever-shifting identity depends almost entirely on what they look like.
Lott addresses Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and her push for a renewed “assault weapons ban,” and very politely calls her a liar:
Ms. Feinstein points to two studies by criminology professors Chris Koper and Jeff Roth for the National Institute of Justice to back up her contention that the ban reduced crime. She claims that their first study in 1997 showed that the ban decreased “total gun murders.” In fact, the authors wrote: “the evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude that there was any meaningful effect (i.e., that the effect was different from zero).”
Messrs. Koper and Roth suggested that after the ban had been in effect for more years it might be possible to find a benefit. Seven years later, in 2004, they published a follow-up study for the National Institute of Justice with fellow criminologist Dan Woods that concluded, “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”
Moreover, none of the weapons banned under the 1994 legislation or the updated version are “military” weapons. The killer in Newtown used a Bushmaster .223. This weapon bears a cosmetic resemblance to the M-16, which has been used by the U.S. military since the Vietnam War. The call has frequently been made that there is “no reason” for such “military-style weapons” to be available to civilians.
Yes, the Bushmaster and the AK-47 are “military-style weapons.” But the key word is “style”—they are similar to military guns in their cosmetics, not in the way they operate. The guns covered by the original were not the fully automatic machine guns used by the military, but semiautomatic versions of those guns.
According to John Hayward, “Lott is willing to let Feinstein off the hook for merely “misunderstanding” this research, but that’s absurdly considerate of him. She’s lying, and she knows it. Like Barack Obama, she has a gigantic staff, and there is zero chance her researchers were unaware of what the original or follow-up studies by Koper and Roth actually said. The original study said it could find no evidence of a link between the “assault weapons ban” and reduced crime; the follow-up study, which is now over eight years old, confirmed there was no such link; but Feinstein asserts the studies proved such a link.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced in December, just three days after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, that she’d be introducing in January a bill “to stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.”
However, the TODAY Show is now reporting that Adam Lanza DID NOT use an AR-15 in the CT school shooting, but used four handguns in the building. He apparently had the AR-15 in his car but did not take it in. They are also reporting that he attempted to purchase another rifle several days earlier, but was turned away DUE TO EXISTING LAWS. –The Daily Paul.
Mark Rochelle points out that the United States tried a ban once before. After 10 years as the law of the land, the effects of the 1994 ban on “assault weapons” were so indeterminate that a 2004 study funded by the Justice Department concluded: “Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” Congress permitted the ban to expire in 2004.
In 1994, proponents of an “assault weapons” ban claimed that it would accelerate the rate of decline in gun murders, and cause gun murders to decrease more than other murders. By 2004, Congress could see that it had done neither, and so allowed the ban to expire. When Congress permitted the ban to expire in 2004, the gun-control lobby predicted that the ban’s expiration would cause gun murders to increase. Today, we can see that it did not.
Since the “assault weapons” ban didn’t cause gun murders to fall more than they had been falling before its enactment; since it didn’t cause gun murders to fall more than other kinds of murders; and since its expiration didn’t cause gun murders to rise, it had no positive effect to justify infringing Second Amendment rights.
Given the lack of data in 1994, we can’t be too hard on Congress for enacting the original “assault weapons” ban. Now, we know better. There can be no justification for enacting a second “assault weapons” ban today. Those who persist in pushing a second “assault weapons” ban can only be ignorant of the data, or else have ulterior motives for disarming law-abiding citizens. — Human Events, Mark Rochelle
Senator Feinstein wants to ban all guns except her own.[tell-a-friend id=”1″ title=”Tell a friend”]
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