Just in case the world doesn't end tomorrow and we're still talking about gun control "next week," you might want to read this NYT history lesson on our nation's last attempt at an assault weapons ban and its efficacy. Here's a taste:
The federal ban also yielded mixed results in its decade of existence. A 2004 study by the University of Pennsylvania, financed by the Justice Department, found that the measure, which included a ban on ammunition magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds, had only a limited impact on gun crime.
The study explained that part of the issue was all the exceptions to the law. Assault weapons and large-capacity magazines manufactured before 1994 were exempted from the ban, meaning that more than 1.5 million assault weapons remained in circulation. In addition, the country’s stock of large-capacity magazines actually continued to grow after the ban, because it remained legal to import them as long as they had been made before the ban.
Another challenge for lawmakers was defining precisely what an assault weapon is, which allowed the industry to continue manufacturing guns similar to those that had been banned.
If you're not familiar with assault weapons, or if you were too young to remember the politics of gun control in 1994, go read the whole thing.