The Death of the "Assault" Weapons Ban

Monday, September 13, 2004

The 10-year federal ban on "assault" weapons has officially expired as a result of Congress failing to pass renewed legislation that President Bush would have signed had it crossed his desk. Consider the ban's expiration a victory for President Bush who didn't want to face pressure from his pro-gun constituents.

Of course, the hysterical Left is screaming anarchy, however the death of this useless bill is a benefit to the general population and law-abiding gun enthusiasts, not criminals. Anti-gun lobbyists now fear that "scary looking" (the tactic used to decide which guns would be banned) weapons are available to criminals, but the Department of Justice tells us that only 2% of guns used to commit crimes come from gun shows; 12% from pawn shops and retail stores. The majority of guns used by felons (80%) come from "family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source," which aren't regulated by government and its "assault" weapons ban. Basically the "assault weapons" ban, even if effective, would only regulate 14% of the total crimes committed by felons.

Some have e-mailed me to write that the 30-year low in crime is a result from the 10-year ban on "assault" weapons, but that is clearly nonsense. The National Institute of Justice reports that the guns restricted by the ban were responsible for only 2% of all reported gun crimes before it became enacted.

So what's the point of having legislation that only controls 2% of bad-faith gun use out of the 14% of crimes resulting from the acquisition of a gun at either a gun show or retail store - the only outlets regulation impacts? It's a common sense issue that few seem to have the capacity to understand.