Democrats think they have a winning issue. They’re going to dig back into the 1990s and bring back the federal ban on so-called “assault weapons” – rifles that have nothing to do with the name in question, other than the fact that they are modified versions of the guns that go under that name in the military. The very definition of an “assault rifle” is one that comes with a selector switch, allowing it to fire multiple rounds with a single depression of the trigger. But, you know, we’ve all screamed that fact until we’re collectively blue in the face. The left has shown no interest.
What they really want to ban, of course, are AR-15 rifles and their many brethren on the firearms market. Scary-looking guns that seem like they belong in the hands of a solider. Never mind that these guns are, by and large, no more dangerous than many handguns. Never mind that there is no distinction to be made about these rifles (other than their cosmetic features) that could make a comprehensive ban possible. Never mind all that. All that matters to Democrats is that they want to make the most out of ignorance and fear, and they think Americans will get behind a new assault weapons ban.
But as writer Jay Stooksberry points out in Complete Colorado, the official research suggests that such a ban would do little good.
“We have the benefit of hindsight for this specific proposal because we tried it before. In 1994, a ten-year prohibition on the manufacture, possession, and transfer of certain ‘semiautomatic assault weapons’ was signed into law,” Stooksberry recalls.
“And what was the result of this ban?” he continues. “The bill mostly targeted the cosmetic qualities of these weapons — restrictions which manufacturers circumvented by altering production so that the banned elements were excluded. But even without these loopholes, the ban’s impact on violence would have been minimal. A Justice Department report examining the impact of the ban was underwhelming at best. ‘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,’ the report states.”
An effect so small, that there’s a chance it couldn’t even be properly measured. That’s a damn small impact.
We know, we know, we all want to DO SOMETHING when it comes to these horrible mass shootings. But if the best we can come up with is a ban on specific types of rifles, then it will just force these shooters to buy something else. Or, you know, use one of the 8 million AR-15 type rifles already in circulation (the mandatory buybacks are a non-starter, politically and logistically). Plus, the vast majority of shootings in this country already involve other kinds of guns.
It’s show legislation, nothing more.