The Assault Weapons Ban of the 1990s

Comments

1
However ineffectual, during the Assault Weapons Ban, mass murders were fewer than after it expired:

http://twitter.com/gratepool/status/2812…

Fewer dead children is always a plus.

Also: an Assault Weapons Ban in California in 1990, was the catalyst for more gun regulation, which -- coincidentally or not -- lead to fewer firearms deaths int the state:

In January 1989, Patrick Purdy, 26, stepped onto the grounds of Cleveland Elementary School and raked the school yard with at least 106 bullets from an AK-47 rifle. He killed five children, ages 6 to 9, and one teacher and injured 29 other students, before fatally shooting himself.
"Less than a year later, California enacted one of the first bans on assault weapons... and a slew of some of the country's strictest gun control laws during the 1990s and 2000s. The state Legislature was responding to rising levels of gun violence: Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, California had a higher gun mortality rate than the average for the rest of the country.

...by 1998, California's gun mortality rate had fallen below that of the rest of the country, and it continues to drop faster than the average for the other states. From 1993 to 2009, California's gun mortality rate declined by 53.2 percent -- 23.1 percentage points more than the decline in the rest of the country
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18…
2
We're a capitalist nation. The power in this country rests with the giant corporations. Oil, the food industry, the auto industry, banks, and, of course, gun manufacturers.

You think ANY of them would turn down profits in exchange for safety and health? That's not the country we live in.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of whatever the fuck we demand, even if it destroys the first two things.
3
It's really a good example of bad legislation. Some guns were banned because they were black and had plastic vs. wooden stocks, etc.

@1 isn't murder way down compared to when it was in effect? That's some really bad use of statistics.
4
Doesn't any new reg have to get past the House? I can't imagine any serious gun control measure is going to be able to get past a 33-vote Repug majority. You might be able to pick off a few suburban moderates like Reichert, but are there over 30 such Rs? What little I know about WA's other Rs makes me think they're way too TeaBaggy to vote for substantive gun control, or ANY proposal that comes from Dems (except maybe keeping open unneeded military bases in their districts).
5
"if you were too young to remember the politics of gun control"

interesting point Charles - 1) the ruff estimate on slog reader demographics is over-40 something male 2) said over 40 male writes comments 3) said male believes he contributes to society by doing so
6
@4 is correct; there will be no ban on anything any time soon.

But I do think it's funny that, for all the bullshit about the term "assault weapon," nobody was able to define it clearly enough to avoid a long list of banned model numbers. You couldn't do it today either.
7
@6 Something scary that shoots bullets.
8
How about we just ban civilian manufacture and sale of the .223 round, including spent brass, and any specific reloading supplies? (With an exception for law enforcement.) Pretty much the only guns that use the round are the M16/AR15 derivatives, and those are 90% of the assault-type rifles privately owned in this country. Ban the 7.62x39mm cartridge, too, and that takes care of the AK47.

That leaves plenty of calibers appropriate to civilian use, for hunting, for target shooting, and for protection.

As for existing AR15 owners: Plinkers can convert their guns to .22 LR (many already have) and hunters could buy a new upper chambered for the .308, which is more appropriate for anything bigger than a varmint, anyway. Collectors, of course, don't have to do anything, since they just collect.

As for the cost of weapon conversions? Tough noogies. We have to pay for seat belts, air bags and catalytic converters on our cars, and guns last a lot longer. And for all those "collectors" out there, there isn't any cost, right?
9
A so-called 'assault weapon' is functionally no different than any other semiautomatic firearm, meaning the 1994 'ban' only prohibited scary looking weapons.

Essentially it was just feel-good bullshit.
11
@10,
As much as I dislike "feel-good bullshit," I'd prefer that over "god-says-so bullshit" from the republican side.
12
@4,

I'd be surprised if it even passed the Senate, given how many conservative Democratic Senators there are.
13
And fuck the paranoid, delusioal, out-of-control, slaughter-mongering NRA!
14
@12 Yeah, I'll bet Jon Tester would eat a dog turd before voting for anything coming out of DiFi's pearl-necklaced crap-hole.
15
The assault weapons ban is a distraction and waste of time. The emphasis should be on making guns harder to get, especially for the mentally unstable. Short of repealing the seconds amendment or reconstituting the Supreme Court, we aren't going to outlaw all guns. A few things that might work:

Mandatory licensing and training. Mandatory mental health evaluation.

DMV for guns. No gun changes hands unless registered. Require documentary proof of gun safe or gun lock at home. Retroactive licensing and training for existing guns.

Graduated licensing: Entry level lets you acquire a shotgun or basic 22 rifle. Advanced licenses let you get assault-style rifle or handgun. Gun afficionados can impress each other with their licensing and training, rather than their arsenal.

Restrictions and eventual ban on advertising, similar to cigarettes.
16

I grew up in New York City.

We banned our guns back in the 70s when the "Saturday Night Specials" were being used for stick ups at grocery stores.

Then for a while NYC murder rates went sky high.

I don't remember assault weapons being as big a deal on the East Coast.

In general, I grew up thinking guns were something the police used until I crossed the Hudson and started living in...America.
17
@8

The .223 Remington round which is similar but not identical to 5.56 NATO, 5.56 NATO can have problems in chambers meant for .223 Remington.

.223/5.56 is not solely used in AR15. Because of its inherent accuracy and flat trajectory .223 is also a very popular chambering in all types of rifles. Virtually every manufacturer makes a bolt action rifle chambered in .223. It is perhaps the most popular center fire rifle cartridge in the United States.
18
An assault weapon is a term for full-automatic weapons, not semi-automatic weapons. The media and law makers like to use the term to vilify inanimate objects. During the last so called "assault weapon" ban which included a ban on high capacity magazines, there was the Columbine High School tragedy. For those that don't know there is currently an "assault weapon" ban in Connecticut. Gun/magazine bans don't work, that is a FACT anti-gun people chose to ignore. Not one single solitary peer-reviewed study showed that the magazine ban had any effect on violent crime at all. If magazine capacity had an actual effect on the effectiveness of mass killers, then you’d see a direct relationship between deaths and magazine capacity. This isn’t the case. Seung-Hui Cho had no 30 round magazines, yet managed to kill five times as many people. John Allan Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo killed nearly twice as many people as Laughner, and they only fired one or two shots per incident. Charles Whitman killed more than two and a half times as many people as Laughner, and this was long before the days of Glock 19s or 30 round magazines. Criminals don't care about the laws and will obtain weapons to commit crimes. Only law abiding citizens will be affected by new gun laws, restricting their GOD-GIVEN right to self protection. Law makers and people who support the creation of gun-free zones are the ones who have blood on their hands.