• Woah, did the New York Times just come out against the “Assault Weapons Ban?”

    September 15, 2014

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    The New York Times recently featured a groundbreaking piece titled “The Assault Weapons Myth.” OK, maybe it’s not really groundbreaking. Maybe it simply pointed to the facts that we gun owners have been shouting for years, but it certainly was a monumental change of direction for the typically left leaning newspaper.

    The article, written by ProPublica’s Lois Beckett, calls out the anti-gun push to ban what they’ve deemed “assault weapons.” The article very clearly lays out the facts that “assault weapons” are only used in a tiny fraction of murders. What’s even better is Ms. Beckett even calls out mass media for their obsessive coverage of mass shootings. This is one New York Times story worth reading.

    Highlights from the story include:

    The criminologist James Alan Fox at Northeastern University estimates that there have been an average of 100 victims killed each year in mass shootings over the past three decades. That’s less than 1 percent of gun homicide victims.
    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 difference.
    David M. Kennedy, the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, argues that the issue of gun violence can seem enormous and intractable without first addressing poverty or drugs. A closer look at the social networks of neighborhoods most afflicted, he says, often shows that only a small number of men drive most of the violence. Identify them and change their behavior, and it’s possible to have an immediate impact.
    Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell…
    In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.
    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 ban.
    Mr. Clinton blamed the ban for Democratic losses in 1994. Crime fell, but when the ban expired, a detailed study found no proof that it had contributed to the decline. The ban did reduce the number of assault weapons recovered by local police, to 1 percent from roughly 2 percent.
    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.