Why the Assault Weapons Ban is Baloney
I’ve already talked about the problems with the Obama administration’s goal to require that all firearms be child-proofed as well as the misinformation about the “Gun Show Loophole” (That isn’t a loop hole at all). I wanted to finish this series with a discussion on the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. The sad truth of this legislation that Obama administration would like to make permanent is that it doesn’t do anything. This legislation does nothing at all, it did nothing the last time it was enacted except serve as a way for politicians to look tough on guns.
What Exactly is/was banned (What is an Assault Weapon)?
The Obama administration has talked of reinstating the original assault weapons ban and making it permanent so it is only fitting we look at what was accomplished with the assault weapons ban. The ban made it illegal to manufacture or purchase a list of specific firearms it considered to be Assault Weapons and gave guidelines for determining which firearms were assault weapons. According to the ban an assault weapon was defined as a semi-automatic weapon with two or more features from a published list.
For rifles these could be: folding stock, pistol grip, bayonet mount (Because we all use bayonets for committing violent crimes), A flash suppressor or threaded barrel for accommodating a flash suppressor, or a detachable high capacity (more than 10 round) magazine. For pistols the law was equally absurd considering the overall weight of the pistol, whether or not the magazine went inside the grip, whether the gun was a semi-automatic version of a firearm that had originally been automatic, etc.
These Rules Don’t MEAN Anything.
During the period the assault weapons ban was active no one stopped selling ‘Assault Weapons’ instead these guns were altered slightly so that they no longer offended legislators delicate sensibilities and life went on without a hitch. Firearm manufacturers stopped putting threaded barrels on their guns and stopped selling magazines that held more than the requisite 10 rounds. They renamed these new versions of their firearms and kept selling them; The AR15 became the XR15 and the firearm industry didn’t even notice this bill.
In fact the legislative director of the “Violence Policy Center” even pointed out the legislation did nothing saying,
“The 1994 law in theory banned AK-47s, MAC-10s, UZIs, AR-15s and other assault weapons. Yet the gun industry easily found ways around the law and most of these weapons are now sold in post-ban models virtually identical to the guns Congress sought to ban in 1994.”
The most laughable thing, however, is that it is specifically SEMI-automatic firearms. The Assault Weapons Ban had no bearing on fully automatic weapons. These weapons remain under the purview of the 1934 National Firearms Act. Not to mention the belief that these ‘Assault Weapons‘ are somehow more dangerous than any number of other semi automatic weapons that existed at the same time and fired the same ammunition simply because they had a pistol grip or a flash suppressor.
The numbers are interesting to look at also. Assault weapons never accounted for more than 2-8% of all violent gun related crimes. Senator Dianne Feinstein, however, saw things differently saying, “In my view, the assault weapons legislation was working, it was drying up supply and driving up prices. The number of those guns used in crimes dropped because they were less available.” The only problem with the Senators logic is that the number of weapons identical to these Assault Weapons that were produced with slight modifications during the 10 years the assault weapons ban was active was 1.17 million, there were only 1.5 million in private hands before the ban.
Clearly the graph above shows a dramatic drop in violent gun related crimes around the time the original assault weapons ban but gun ownership rates continued to go up during this period. According to the US Dept. of Justices count of the number of ‘assault weapons’ used in violent crimes before and after the assault weapons ban, assault weapons were used in 66% fewer crimes. Instead of constituting only 3% of the number of violent gun related crimes they accounted for only 1.6% of the same crimes during the bane.
There just isn’t enough evidence available to show that the assault weapons ban in any way related to the drop in gun crimes we’ve seen over the last decade and for the Obama administration to push this in their agenda shows they just want to gain favor with the liberal left.
If you enjoyed this, check my list of the 101 Best Gun Quotes Ever