From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Even the Federal Government admits it didn't work

In a previous post I wrote that both the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the NIJ (National Institue of Justice)had concluded in separate studies that the so-called Assault Weapons Ban was not responsible for any measureable drop in crime.

Recently the Washington Times, hardly a paper that supports the second amendmant, reported on the findings of the NIJ.

Thanks to The Smallest Minority for the heads up on this one.

The Federal Governments own research agency
Excerpt: NIJ is the Justice Department's research, development and evaluation agency -- assigned the job of providing objective, independent, evidence-based information to the department through independent studies and other data collection activities.

What some of us knew the results would be all along
Excerpt: "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," said the unreleased NIJ report, written by Christopher Koper, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Parts of "the ban" have been with us for 15 years and it still hasn't worked
Excerpt:It banned 18 models and variations by name, as well as revolving-cylinder shotguns, and prohibited flash hiders, folding rifle stocks and threaded barrels for attaching silencers. A number of the banned weapons were foreign semiautomatic rifles that have been barred from importation into the United States since 1989. The ban also prohibited most ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

How many states enacted concealed carry laws during that time?
Excerpt: According to recent surveys by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), firearms-related crime has declined to record levels. The violent crime rate has fallen 54 percent since 1993, and there were more than 980,000 fewer violent crimes in 2002 than in 2000.

Bush has done something Clinton did not do; enforce laws already on the books
Excerpt: But in the past three years, according to the BJS, federal gun prosecutions have increased by 68 percent, with the number of persons charged with federal firearms offenses rising by more than 22 percent in fiscal 2003, the largest single-year increase ever recorded.

It didn't work because criminals by and large don't use them anyway
Excerpt: The 102-page NIJ report .... the bill targeted a "relatively small number of weapons" based on features that had little to do with the weapons' operation. In 1994, when the ban was approved by Congress, 1.5 million privately owned assault weapons were thought to be in the United States. The report said assault weapons were used in 2 percent of gun crimes reported nationwide before enactment of the 1994 ban.

These firearms are like airplane crashes, they rarely occurr but when they do it makes news
Excerpt: It also said assault weapons and other guns equipped with large-capacity magazines accounted for a higher share of the guns used to kill police officers and in mass public shootings, although such incidents were "very rare."

They are not cheap and are very hard to hide.
Excerpt: The report said the relatively rare use of assault weapons in crimes was attributable to a number of factors: Most assault weapons are rifles, which are used much less often than handguns, a number of the weapons were barred from importation before the ban was enacted, and the weapons are expensive and difficult to conceal.

The shocking but true conclusions
The conclusions seem to be evident, the law did not accomplish what it was suppose to. Reason enough to let it die. It is also clear that the passage of concealed carry laws in numorous states had more of an effect than the so-called ban did on reducing crime. Coupled with the fact that the Bush adminstration has been enforcing some of the already 20,000 gun laws on the books. Something Clinton and Reno would not do.

Why Din't Clinton enforce those laws?
Some people believe that he wanted a certain level of gun crime to justify passage of even more restrictive laws culminating in an out right ban on firearms ownership.

Other Countries failures

Any modicum amount of research will reveal the total and complete failure that that measure (gun-banning) has had on the Countries of Great Britain and Australia. But that is fodder for another blog post.


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