'Assault Weapon' Is Just A PR Stunt Meant To Fool The Gullible


'Assault Weapon' Is Just A PR Stunt Meant To Fool The Gullible

Peter Ferrara, Contributor


12/28/2012 @ 9:23AM

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has announced that she will be
introducing legislation to reenact the ban on so-called assault weapons
that she authored in 1994. The evidence is in on the effect of her
previous assault weapons ban: zero, zilch, nada, as the saying goes. The
ban made no perceptible difference in the gun violence statistics when
it went into effect, and no perceptible difference when it was allowed
to expire 10 years later, in 2003.

That is because the term “assault weapon” is just a PR stunt that fools
the gullible and easily deluded. It is defined in legislation by
cosmetic features that frighten white bread suburbanites, but do not
involve any functionality of any gun. We tried it, conservatives said it
wouldn’t work, and it didn’t work. Yet, it is the liberal answer to the
Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Why do the hard work of actually making a difference, when with no work
at all you can perform a meaningless and irrelevant gesture that won’t
make any difference? A Connecticut state law already banned assault
weapons. The difference that made in stopping the massacre at Sandy Hook
Elementary: zero, zilch, nada, as the saying goes.

The sharpest analyst in America, and probably the whole world, on the
issue of guns and crime is economist John Lott, the author of the
classic book, More Guns, Less Crime. Early in his career, Lott served as
an economist for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which adopted uniform,
mandatory, criminal sentencing guidelines for the federal courts. That
led to his subsequent career as the world’s foremost expert on
statistics relating to violent crime and guns.

Now in its Third Edition, Lott’s book is neither an opinion piece nor a
lawyer’s brief. What it does is present highly sophisticated regression
analysis of copious data relating to violent crime and guns city by
city, county by county, and state by state, for several recent decades.
Lott’s regression equations,

“account for not only all the law enforcement variables (arrest,
execution, and imprisonment rates), income and poverty measures,
(poverty and unemployment rates, per capita real income, as well as
income maintenance, retirement and unemployment payments), the
thirty-six measures of demographic changes, and the national average
changes in crime rates from year-to-year and average differences across
states …. In addition, the [regressions] account for the difference in
various concealed handgun laws and other types of gun control laws.”

In short, this is the most sophisticated and comprehensive presentation
of the data relating to violent crime and guns in the world.

This and similar work relating to other countries worldwide shows that
where the local population owns more guns, there is less crime. That it
is because criminals avoid victims who are or might be armed, and prefer
to prey on the defenseless and unarmed, such as in “gun-free” zones.
And because the presence of guns that can be used in self defense stops
the commission of the more violent crimes, such as murder.

This unparalleled scholarship has swept the states with newly enacted
“concealed carry” laws. These laws require local authorities to issue
permits to carry concealed handguns to those who meet the specified
qualifications, known as “shall issue” laws. Alternative state laws
authorize local authorities with the discretion to issue such concealed
carry permits, known as “may issue’ laws. In the early 1980s, just 8
states had any such right to carry laws. Today, 39 states have shall
issue laws and 9 more have may issue laws. That leaves just two states,
Illinois and Wisconsin, that completely ban citizens from carrying
concealed handguns, and the Seventh Circuit just ruled the Illinois ban
to be unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

As a result, by 2007 about 5 million Americans held permits to carry
concealed handguns. Lott’ s Third Edition published in 2010 includes
regressions that show these concealed carry laws result in:

“large drops in overall violent crime, murder, rape, and aggravated
assault that begin right after the right to carry laws have gone into
effect. In all those crime categories, the crime rates consistently stay
much lower than they were before the law. The murder rate for these
right to carry states fell consistently every year relative to
non-right-to-carry states.”

Lott summarizes,

“All the results indicate that violent crime falls after right-to-carry
laws are passed …. There is a large, statistically significant drop in
murder rates across all specifications. The before-and-after average
comparison implies that right-to-carry laws reduce murder by roughly 20
percent. In all cases, right-to-carry laws cause the trends in murder,
rape, and robbery rates to fall.”

As David Kopel explained in the Wall Street Journal on December 17,
armed permit holders often serve as the first line of defense against
mass murderers:

“The media rarely mentions the mass murders that were thwarted by armed
citizens at the Shoney Restaurant in Anniston, Ala (1991 ), the high
school in Pearl, Miss. ( 1997), the middle school dance in Edinboro,
Penn. ( 1998), and the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo.
(2007), among others. At the Clackamas Mall in Oregon last week, an
active shooter murdered two people and then saw that a shopper, who had a
handgun carry permit, had drawn a gun and was aiming at him. The
murderer’s next shot was to kill himself.”

Israel, which can’t afford the weak minded irrationality of American
liberals, has learned from all this and its own experience to stop
terrorist attacks in its schools by arming its teachers. That has worked
spectacularly to shut down terrorist attacks in Isreali schools,
without a single accident or misuse of guns.

But CNN anchor Piers Morgan showed recently that he does not learn from
experience when he unprofessionally attacked Gun Owners of America
President Larry Pratt on the air as “an incredibly stupid man” because
Pratt was aware of the above evidence, while Morgan was not. Morgan, who
demonstrates on air every day why people have said that America and
Britain are two nations separated by a common language, ignorantly
insisted that America adopt the benighted gun control laws of his
formerly great country of Britain.

George Mason Law School Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm, author of Guns and
Violence: The English Experience (Harvard, 2002), explained why Morgan’s
position was so silly in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. In March,
1996, Thomas Hamilton, known to suffer mental illness, shot and killed
16 young children and their teacher in a primary school in the Scottish
town of Dunblane, wounding 10 other children and 3 more teachers before
killing himself. That resulted in the Firearms Act of 1998, “which
instituted a nearly complete ban on handguns. Owners of pistols were
required to turn them in. The penalty for illegal possession of a pistol
is up to 10 years in prison.”

The results of that law, which would be unconstitutional in the U.S. no
matter how many guests Piers Morgan calls stupid on his show, were:

“Within a decade of the handgun ban and the confiscation of handguns
from registered owners, crime with handguns had doubled according to
British government crime reports. Gun crime, not a serious problem in
the past, now is. Armed street gangs have some British police carrying
guns for the first time.”

Lott adds, “The evidence should make gun control advocates pause, as all
the gun bans that I have studied show that murder rates increase after
the ban is enacted.”

The draconian British law nullifying self defense in that country did
not end mass shootings there. In June 2010, “Derrick Bird, a taxi driver
in Cumbria, shot his brother and a colleague then drove off through
rural villages killing 12 people and injuring 11 more before killing

Based on all the evidence and experience above, what would work to stop
tragedies like Sandy Hook Elementary is to offer a bonus of $2,500 a
year to all teachers who obtain a conceal and carry permit, which
requires training in every state, and who bring their gun to school
every day, where it would be available in case of emergency. That would
deter even mentally ill people from even trying mass murders at schools.

Lott explains that mass murderers choose so-called gun free zones such
as schools or movie theaters or shopping malls where guns are prohibited
because they know they can carry out their plan for mass murder there
without being stopped. All gun free zone signs should be required to
include a skull and crossbones with the admonition to the innocent
“Enter at your own risk.”

Lott adds that these mass murderers are consciously choosing to commit
suicide in carrying out their crimes. But they don’t want to go out
quietly. They want to go out with a big bang to draw national and even
worldwide attention to their pain and their plight. This is all a
reflection of their mental illness.

Only the above policy of arming the teachers can stop such crazed
madmen. The government does not even have the power to take away guns
from dangerous criminals and insane mass murderers. We can’t even stop
drugs and illegal aliens from crossing the border, and drugs and illegal
guns even show up in prisons. Guns will always be available to those
who want to obtain them. Legally mandated helplessness by the victims
and those who could protect them only results in maximum vulnerability,
as at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Moreover, Kopel also reports in Monday’s Journal, “A 2011 paper by
Steven P. Segal at the University of California, Berkeley, Civil
Commitment Law, Mental Health Services, and U.S. Homicide Rates, ‘found
that a third of the state-to-state variation in homicide rates was
attributable to the strength or weakness of involuntary civil commitment
laws.” Wednesday’s Journal notes that a Hartford, Connecticut Judge
Robert K. Killian, Jr. has been arguing for Connecticut to adopt
stronger civil commitment laws, based on his own experience with repeat
offenders. But the ACLU

was focused on protecting Adam Lanza’s civil liberties to mow down
kindergarten students at Sandy Hook Elementary, so the Connecticut
legislature never acted.

The same paper editorializes that a better solution would be mandatory
outpatient treatment laws for the mentally ill who are a danger to
others without taking their medication, which has “shown results in
limiting violence among the mentally ill.”

These policies would constitute a complete and effective program to
prevent the next Sandy Hook Elementary atrocity. But they are based on
evidence and reason, not mindless emotion, so don’t expect any “liberal”

Correction: 2011 Wisconsin Act 35 authorized eligible residents,
effective November 1, 2011, to be licensed to carry a concealed weapon
such as a handgun in Wisconsin.


By: LostRothschild (735.20)

Tags: 2, 2nd, second, amendment, gun, firearm, rights, tyranny, freedom

Location: United States


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