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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 6/2/2003 6:53:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/2/2003 6:55:33 AM EDT by ckapsl]
Unbelievable! From an editor of the San Diego Union Tribune! Be sure to write and provide some positive reinforcement. [url]http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/uniontrib/sun/opinion/news_mz1ed1caldwel.html[/url] An ineffective 'assault weapons' ban deserves to expire By Robert J. Caldwell Caldwell is editor of the Insight section and can be reached via e-mail at [email]robert.caldwell@uniontrib.com[/email] June 1, 2003 House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the tough conservative liberals love to hate, provoked a mini-furor by declaring that the Republican-controlled House would not renew Congress' 1994 ban on so-called assault weapons. Only reflexive gun banners and the uninformed can have been disconcerted. The 1994 ban proved predictably ineffective. Letting it expire on schedule in 2004 would change, well, almost nothing. The ban, championed by California's formidable Sen. Dianne Feinstein, was sold on a singularly false (if well-intentioned) premise – that the semi-automatic (one shot for each trigger pull), civilian versions of certain military-type rifles were major contributors to crime. These firearms, we were typically told by ban advocates, were the "guns of choice for gang bangers, drug dealers and street criminals." Wrong, wrong, wrong. In fact, the truth was exactly opposite. The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the FBI, the law enforcement statistics of every state bothering to count and the careful research of criminologists all told the same story: Rifles of any type are used in only a tiny fraction of gun crimes (the preferred firearm for nearly all criminals being the easily concealed handgun). The criminal use of rifles dubbed assault weapons is rarer still. Indeed, so-called assault rifles are the least likely firearms to be used in crime. FBI statistics show that rifles of any description are used in only about 3 percent of homicides each year. Data compiled by criminologist Gary Kleck put the frequency of assault weapons use in all violent crime at 0.5 percent. In California, a statewide survey of law enforcement agencies by the state Department of Justice found that a mere 3.7 percent of firearms used in homicides and assaults were assault weapons. A Trenton, N.J. deputy police chief said his officers "are more likely to confront an escaped tiger from the local zoo than to confront an assault rifle in the hands of a drug-crazed killer on the streets." No wonder, then, that banning this arbitrarily defined class of firearms had no discernible effect on crime. The U.S. Department of Justice conducted two studies of the consequences of the 1994 assault weapons ban. In 1999, Bill Clinton's Justice Department looked exhaustively at the ban's effects. It concluded that "the public safety benefits of the 1994 ban have not yet been demonstrated." In 2001, a second Justice Department review similarly found no evidence that the ban had a statistically significant effect on violent crime. A congressionally mandated study by the Urban Institute reached comparable conclusions. Banning Feinstein's 19 types of semi-automatic rifles and pistols because they have two or more military-style features – like a bayonet lug, pistol grip or flash suppressor – is irrelevant to crime. When was the last drive-by bayoneting? The Feinstein ban's prohibition on newly manufactured ammunition magazines capable of containing more than 10 rounds, for rifles or handguns, might seem a prudent public-safety precaution. But, again, there is no conclusive evidence over nearly a decade that smaller-capacity magazines have any crime-reduction or violence-reduction effects. But isn't there something to be said for the gun banners' chronic plea that any restrictions reducing the numbers of guns Americans own makes society safer? In a word, no. The 200 million-plus privately owned firearms in the United States grew by an estimated 37 million during the 1990s. If the simplistic notion that more guns equal more crime and more homicides had any validity, crime rates would have climbed during the decade. Instead, rates for serious and violent crime fell every year from 1991 through the end of the decade. Despite those 37 million more guns, murder rates in many major American cities fell to the lowest levels in 40 years. Thirty-five states have enacted "right-to-carry" legislation allowing law-abiding citizens a license to carry a concealed weapon. In most if not all of these 35 states, homicide rates declined after ordinary citizens were permitted the means of self-defense. Most of the 19 rifle and pistol types banned by Feinstein's 1994 amendment were already barred from import into the United States by order of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in 1989. Even if Feinstein's ban expires, the BATF's import restrictions would still be in place. The two domestic manufacturers of assault-style pistols are out of business. That leaves a possible resumption in production of one domestically produced rifle, the Colt AR-15, on Feinstein's list as the sole likely consequence of the 1994 ban's expiration. Feinstein's magazine capacity restrictions would lapse with the ban's expiration. But they are widely circumvented now anyway by the vast numbers of pre-ban magazines legally available. The gun banners also miscalculate the political support for more restrictions that limit the firearm-owning rights of law-abiding citizens. Feinstein would expand her ban if she could but she cannot get 51 votes in the Senate. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat, proposes banning millions more semi-automatic rifles and pistols owned and used by American hunters, sport shooters and collectors. Her bill stands no chance. A White House aide says President Bush favors extending the Feinstein ban, a position he took with no visible conviction during the 2000 campaign. Bush himself says nothing now, no doubt because he knows the gun-rights vote in swing states Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia made him president. DeLay predicts the House won't vote to make the 1994 ban permanent. He's probably right, and that's no loss to the country. Copyright 2003 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 7:01:52 AM EDT
wow, an excellent, truthful article. THIS is how we need to fight the next 'assault weapons ban' legislation. By simply highlighting the fact that the current ban DOESN'T AFFECT VIOLENT CRIME AT ALL. We don't need laws that DO NOTHING.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 7:03:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/2/2003 11:48:29 AM EDT by California_Kid]
Yeah, I was blown away by that one too. I live in San Diego and was about to write an email to Mr. Caldwell. The same newspaper was heavily in favor of the federal AWB and both California AWBs. My memory is far from perfect but Mr. Caldwell himself may have written at least one pro-AWB editorial in the past. Here's my reply:
Thank you for your excellent editorial about the federal "assault weapons" ban that was published in the June 1 Union-Tribune. I agree 100% with everything you wrote. The ban is nothing more than feel-good legislation by politicians who you succinctly described as reflexive gun banners. I only wish you had taken the thought one step farther and called for repeal of California's own "assault weapon" laws, the first of which (Roberti-Roos, 1989) served as the pattern for the federal ban that will expire next year. Unfortunately California's ban is stricter and was made even more Draconian by Senate Bill 23 in 1999. As I recall the Union-Tribune supported both of those measures as well as the 1994 federal ban. That is why I was so very pleased to see your truthful commentary yesterday. Expiration of the federal ban will have very little effect on Californians. I own an AR-15 type post-(federal) ban rifle, lawfully registered with the state Department of Justice. I bought it at the 11th hour primarily because I have aspirations of shooting competitively and knew it was going to be banned. The AR-15 is now the "weapon of choice" for high-power target matches. California's stringent gun laws have made life difficult for serious target shooters with no offsetting gain in public safety. The state ban is truly an infringement on the civil rights of Californians. Unless the federal ban is re-authorized, after it expires I will gain some additional leeway in how I configure my rifle, but not the right to sell it within the state or acquire another one. Sadly, the California legislature is filled with reflexive gun banners. Please keep telling the truth about the federal "assault weapons" ban.
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Link Posted: 6/2/2003 8:01:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/2/2003 8:01:42 AM EDT by warlord]
This article doesn't surprise me. I used to work with this guy whose wife kept a Colt Det. Spl in the glove box. One night she was working very late at a San Diego company, and couldn't drive home because she was just too tired, so she slept in her car. Early in the morning someone was pounding on her car, she told the guy to leave but he didn't. She reached for her Det Spl and he ran away. She file police and the SD officer just told her to keep it well oiled. This was late 1970s. No CCWs back then, and especially not in automobiles. Generally in Calif, if you get away from the major urban areas of L.A., S.F. and San Jose areas areas(which has most of the CAlif population), they are pretty much pro-guns.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 8:58:35 AM EDT
San Diego does still lean conservtive. The county voted for Bush in 2000 and voted against Gray "Doofus" Davis last time around (not that it made a damn bit of difference in Davis's case). I think the next few years the scales are going to tip the other way. I should be long gone before that happens.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 9:15:17 AM EDT
Yet more positive news from California! Imagine the next 9th Circuit case where the majority actually sides with the sensible minority and proclaims an individual right? I can see NYers flocking to CA by the millions!
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 9:20:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ckapsl: When was the last drive-by bayoneting?
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[lol] FINALLY! The line is spoken in a public paper!
The two domestic manufacturers of assault-style pistols are out of business.
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If the ban sunsets, how much does anyone wanna bet that both those companies, as well as others, come out of the woodwork and become VERY profitable?
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 9:23:13 AM EDT
Good, simple-to-understand editorial. I give it a 9.5. The only thing I found missing was the fact that millions of existing useful magazines were grandfathered into the AWB and an estimate of the number of rifles made since the "ban" took effect that didn't have the AWB features. Good editorial otherwise. Thanks, Merlin
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 10:47:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Merlin: The only thing I found missing was ... an estimate of the number of rifles made since the "ban" took effect that didn't have the AWB features.
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What are these numbers, anyway? Does anyone know?
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 11:29:33 AM EDT
Here's my letter... bd Mr. Caldwell, Thank you for providing a clearly written article that finally sums up the myths of the current assault weapons ban. I am hopeful that the ban will expire and people will see that it has meant nothing as far as preventing or deterring gun crime. It actually has had a reverse effect on the proliferation of the "legal" assault weapons because most gun owners felt compelled to purchase whatever was available on the market. I was one of those people. I had never owned an assault type rifle until that class of guns became scarce, now I own only one for target and, yes, hunting purposes. A perfect follow-up topic for this article would be to illustrate the proliferation of the "legal" assault rifles since the ban in 1994 and how the "guns = crime" formula has been disproven. Further still, a BATF perspective on the expiration would be very interesting because many gun owners will want to know what will occupy their time and resources if the ban expires. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 8:49:34 AM EDT
i looked at the union tribune and didn't see anything??
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 9:58:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 1911greg: i looked at the union tribune and didn't see anything??
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The link still works for me... [url]www.signonsandiego.com/news/uniontrib/sun/opinion/news_mz1ed1caldwel.html[/url]
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 10:07:38 PM EDT
It's funny how this guy says it, but every liberal in the country KNOWS IT to be true. They know, just like all of us that these guns aren't out there being used as weapons of mass killings and that's why they don't claim that they are. Their argument is that these weapons were DESIGNED to kill a lot of people quickly...etc. Since they can't win the legitimate argument at hand, and that being the ineffectivenes of the AWB, they try to take a more "philosophical" approach to banning shit. The sad part is you can't rationalize w/ these people. They will never see things from our perspective. We can't change their minds. We can only hope to get to those people who don't have their minds made up yet. There will always be a large anti-gun lobby in the US and we will fight them for years to come. We can, however, over power them in Washington, and at least get the laws on our side.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 10:25:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Balzac72: Yet more positive news from California! Imagine the next 9th Circuit case where the majority actually sides with the sensible minority and proclaims an individual right? I can see NYers flocking to CA by the millions!
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I hear that NY is CA without the hot chicks...
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 10:30:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2003 10:31:32 PM EDT by FireControlman]
Unbelievable, they would require his head at the LA Times. I applaud this gentlemen. Someone buy him lunch.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 10:31:02 PM EDT
..and invite him to American Shooting Center or a desert trip!
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