So some folks are hinting that we need tougher guns laws after the horrific events of yesterday in Connecticut. So let’s say we do somehow rationalize that on a national scale. Luckily we have examples of how well a gun ban works in this country. The District of Columbia, in 1974 forbade handguns within it’s borders. So how did that work out for them? Here we are three decades later and the DC Metro Police are still taking an average of more than 5 illegal guns off of the streets every day;
Fox News is reporting that Congress is reinvigorated in their call for renewing the “assault weapon ban” of the 90s;
“I hope and trust that in the next session of Congress there will be sustained and thoughtful debate about America’s gun culture and our responsibility to prevent more loss of life,” said [California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein], who co-sponsored a 1994 bill that resulted in a 10-year ban on many semi-automatic guns, called “assault weapons.”
The gunman identified in the killings Friday morning at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., purportedly used a Glock pistol and a Bushmaster rifle.
It’s not often discussed that the DC sniper, who terrorized the Metro DC area in October 2002, used a Bushmaster rifle, the same type used in yesterday’s tragedy, during the “assault weapon ban” which ended in September 2004. So how well did the “assault weapon ban” work?
The Ruger Mini-14 was one of the weapons included in the “ban”, but the one I bought in 1984 was “grandfathered”. I modified the rifle in 2001, during the ban, by adding a pistol-grip stock and a flash suppressor. The only restriction I had was that I couldn’t buy them both from the same vendor, because “assault weapons” were defined by the ban as a weapon which used detachable box magazines and had at least two of the following; Folding or telescoping stock; Pistol grip; Bayonet mount; Flash suppressor; Grenade launcher. I guess a flash suppressor is just as dangerous as a grenade launcher.
That’s why I call the “assault weapon ban” the scary-looking weapon ban, because, with the exception of the detachable box magazine and the grenade launcher, none of those features make a semi-automatic rifle more lethal – just more scary-looking.
I also bought large capacity magazines for the rifle which had been manufactured before the ban – so the gun companies must’ve made huge stocks of them before the ban took effect.
I’m expecting gun sales to jump again after this weekend, if Congress insists on making an issue of this just to make them feel better about themselves – and make some of our commenters feel better about themselves.