New York Times Acknowledges “Assault Weapon” Bans Are Bogus Nonsense

The New York Times on Sunday
gets around to admitting at length
what readers
(or anyone who actually knew much about the topic) have known for
years: so-called “assault weapon” bans are a load of useless

As the op-ed’s author Lois Beckett of
ProPublica explains:

OVER the past two decades, the majority of Americans in a
country deeply divided over gun control have coalesced behind a
single proposition: The sale of assault weapons should be

That idea was one of the pillars of the Obama administration’s
plan to curb gun violence, and it remains popular with the public.
In a
 last December, 59 percent of likely voters said they
favor a ban.

But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun
control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred
the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little

It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast
majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year.
Little handguns do….

The continuing focus on assault weapons stems from the media’s
obsessive focus on mass shootings, which disproportionately involve
weapons like the AR-15, a civilian version of the military M16
rifle. This, in turn, obscures some grim truths about who is really
dying from gunshots.

Annually, 5,000 to 6,000 black men are murdered with guns. Black
men amount to only 6 percent of the population. Yet of the 30
Americans on average shot to death each day, half are black

So in 1994 the Democratic Party decided to wage war on the
non-existent “assault weapon” and managed to pass a ban on a set of
rifles based almost entirely on cosmetic features that had nothing
to do with whatever inherent danger to the public they were
supposed to present.

This politically defined category of guns — a selection of
rifles, shotguns and handguns with “military-style” features — only
figured in about 2 percent of gun crimes nationwide before the

Crime fell, but when the ban expired, a detailed study
found no proof that it had contributed to the

Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have
decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell….A
Pew survey conducted after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., found that 56 percent of
Americans believed wrongly that the rate of gun crime was higher
than it was 20 years ago.

Maybe now that they read it in the Times, legislators
will start believing it? Or continue to harp on this “assault
weapon” canard every time they have to pretend they can or ought to
“do something” about gun violence?

from Hit & Run

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