Free Markets, Free People


The usual unfounded calls for reinstating the assault weapon ban

They are as predictable as sunrise after something like Aurora.  But, the gun banners have less of a leg to stand on now than they did way back then, although some, like Ezra Klein, try to make the case with selective statistics and the usual arguments.  Howard Nemerov takes the time to demolish both.

The fact is there has been less violent gun  crime since the lifting of the ban than when it was in place.  In fact, we haven’t seen this low a level of violence since 1972, even while the number of guns in the country increased.

So attempting to find some correlation between the number of guns and amount of violence seems not to be there.

That doesn’t stop those who would ban your access to guns from trying.  And one of their favorite means is by trying to ban scary guns … er,  I mean assault weapons.

Much like politicians who rely on the public’s economic ignorance to sell economic policy that is, frankly horrible, they do the same with gun bans.

Assault weapons.  Scary.  Used in war.  Kill bunches of people.  As opposed to “regular” weapons which I guess aren’t as scary, aren’t used in war and, presumably as such logic must go, don’t or won’t kill bunches of people.

Perhaps a graphic is the best way to refute that “logic”:

 

gun leg

 

It isn’t the way the weapon looks that makes it dangerous, it’s the nut wielding it.  Banning so-called assault weapons is about as effective as banning cars that look like the one in the top left.  If the idiot behind the wheel of the one on the right decides to drive it into a crowded sidewalk, are the people he kills any less dead because it didn’t look like the car on the left?

Of course not.  The common denominator?  The nut using the tool.

Not the tool.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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32 Responses to The usual unfounded calls for reinstating the assault weapon ban

  • I’ve often wondered what the body count would be if a guy with your classic “Samuri sword” set and some training went to work in a confined, populated area.
    Same-same with a tomahawk and fighting knife.
    Point being, a man with some evil intent and a little preparation can kill a lot of people without even a “nice” looking gun.
    And, if my mags were limited to ten rounds and I practiced a bit, I can put out 60 rounds in a minute easily.

    • I used to work with a guy who was a “former gang member.”  He told me a story about how he was once beset upon by a guy while driving cars.  He finally pulled over, the other guy pulled over.  The other guy got out of his car, my guy got out of his car with a hacket in hand.  The other guy drove off as quickly as possible.

    • I tried to post a link and failed, but google led me to an incident in Japan where a guy killed 30 peope with sword, shotgun and axe back in the 30s.

  • “I’ve often wondered what the body count would be if a guy with your classic “Samuri sword” set and some training went to work in a confined, populated area.”
    Does this answer that question?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12015165

    Consider that most of the mayhem in the ancient world was done with short swords…

     

    • The katana is classically a slashing sword, primarily.  Stabbing is secondary.  A good hand…not a great hand…with some kendo training would do a lot of deadly damage very quickly.

      • That’s what I was thinking – and if they got really brave…and went after a bunch of elementary school kids like the nutjob in the article I linked to…

         

      • The katana, by virtue of its sharp, curved blade is capable of a draw cut, unlike most European swords. This draw cut can produce horrible wounds and is also the bane of backyard watermelons. On the flip side, the Euro swords were better suited to dealing with armour, and better suited to the European battlefield.

        Comparing the draw cutting ability of replica katanas to Euro swords tend to lead those who don’t know better to conclude the katana was much better (which also fits in well with a lot of published nonsense like the movie Highlander), but in fact different swords have different applications, and for use against an armoured opponent I’d prefer the Euro designs.

        • I don’t think Rags was planning on dealing with a lot of armor and in fact, I suspect slashing wounds would be more in tune with his question.

          Western (curved) cavalry sabers would probably have similar effect but suffer from the inability to engage both hands in the task.

          • From what I’ve read, western calvery swords were not aklways sharpened.

            I tend to agree that a katana would be particularly effective at killing now days, I’m just pointing out that the katana fanboys are full of it. There are a lot of people who are convinced the katana is the perfect sword. There is no perfect sword.

          • I’ve seen samples from the Civil War both ways – a couple were practically aerodynamic steel.  Nathan Bedford Forests (a captured Federal blade) which I got to handle, was wickedly sharpened.

        • Actually, for use against an armored opponent, I prefer an M-14.  Better stand-off characteristics.

  • testing

  • Of course someone planning to commit mass murder for months would never resort to illegal methods to acquire these weapons.  So of course this would be completely effective.

    • I’ve been wondering for months if some DOJ attorney would be found dead with a “Fast and Furious” weapon laying beside them.

  • “Guns aren’t even the most lethal mass murder weapon. According to data compiled by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, guns killed an average of 4.92 victims per mass murder in the United States during the 20th century, just edging out knives, blunt objects, and bare hands, which killed 4.52 people per incident. Fire killed 6.82 people per mass murder, while explosives far outpaced the other options at 20.82. Of the 25 deadliest mass murders in the 20th century, only 52 percent involved guns.”
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/07/aurora_shooting_how_did_people_commit_mass_murder_before_automatic_weapons_.html
    via InstaPundit

    • Shhh, they’ll want to ban matches next.

    • Back in the 80s and 90s I recall data comparing UK homicide rates with various weapons with the US rates. It was clear that the difference in homicide rate overal was a cultural function, not a function of gun control. The UK’s more recent crime problems, in the aftermath of immigration of third world nations and yet more restrictive gun controls, has further reinforced this point.

      And it isn’t just the UK that proves this point, but I’ll leave it at this for this post.

  • Guns aren’t even the most lethal mass murder weapon. According to data compiled by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, guns killed an average of 4.92 victims per mass murder in the United States during the 20th century, just edging out knives, blunt objects, and bare hands, which killed 4.52 people per incident. Fire killed 6.82 people per mass murder, while explosives far outpaced the other options at 20.82. Of the 25 deadliest mass murders in the 20th century, only 52 percent involved guns.

  • I’ve always found in these unfortunate fish in a barrel shootings, “assault weapons” and semi automatics actually did poorly with actual deaths.  Plenty of injuries, but only a small percentage died.  It was always the shotgun that was the most lethal.  According to one recount I read, this guy lead with a shotgun.  Although his semi-auto had a lot more ammo so that may be skewed.  Did anyone see a breakdown of which weapon caused which death?

    The reality seems that shotguns are more effective in these close quarters situations in terms of lethality.  Rrifles are meant for range.   Except going after shotguns is off-message.  They are used for hunting and have been with us a very very long time and typically not thought of as a military weapon.

    • The San Yasidro McDonalds murder weapons included an Uzi, a pump 12 gage and a 9 mm pistol. The 12 gage killed most.

      There was also data from the 90s showing how 12 gage killed a higher % then 7.62×39 fired from AKs and SKS.

      However, this issue is complicated by weapons terminal ballistics. The AK/SKS 7.62×39 mm ball ammo, particularly the steel core chinese and russian stuff that was so popular in the 90s, had very poor terminal performance. The bullet stays point on and doesn’t tumble for quite some distance in muscle tissue, and consequently can make a very narow wound channel that is less likely then other rifle rounds to cause a fatality. This isn’t true for all types of 7.62×39 ammo, and it doesn’t apply so much to other calibers so much. Ironically the less lethal steel core stuff was banned by the Clinton administration, but in their defense they had no clue about terminal ballistics.

      • I’ll also add that many fools don’t use buckshot or slugs in their fighting shotgun. Birdshot is for birds.

      • My Dad was a Hollywood weapons consultant and gun mag writer back in the 50s (among other things).  He tested the Armalite variant that would become the M-15 and progeny.  He shot up some animals, and said he thought the round should be illegal under the Geneva Conventions because of its tendency to tumble and cause enormous tissue damage.

        • The M193 5.56 mm round’s 55 gr bullet tumbles and then fragments withing a certain distance. They found that the match 75 gr and 77 gr bullets are even more effective at fragmenting. The 5.56 is a poor chioce for defeating intermediate barriers but tends to be more effectuve then 7.62×39 otherwse.

          • My father argued back then that the Conventions were written to limit bullets to jacketed types to produce wounds, but fewer deaths than an expanding bullet would.  Dunno, but it made some sense, as most Western cultures would expend more manpower on treating wounds.  Dad (and lots of others) also felt the 5.56 was inferior in “brush-busting” to the .308.  That, of course, is just true.
            I personally would rather not get shot with any damn thing.

          • Rags,

            The rules limiting ammo to FMJ types was basically the result of politics bashing the UK. The early Brit .303 Lee Metford had poor wounding potential, making small holes through and through, and performed poorly against the tribesmen they were fighting at the time.

            The arsenal at Dum Dum India developed a soft point bullet as a solution and the UK developed several solutions on the British islands, and then the Germans, French, Russians and the other assorted typical do-gooders (that is, the typical European troublemakers) then attaked the Brits politically oin this. The result eventually was the Hauge agreement on ammo, which the US (to our credit) did not sign.

            It was all about the politics of Brit bashing of the day. Serious efforts at understanding wound trauma wasn’t on the table, and the Germans even omitted their own 8mm spitzer round from their testing which “showed” the wounding of the Brit expanding bullets but not the tumbling of the higher velocity German spitzer rounds.

  • I have heard a lot of people on the left self righteously complain that conservatives are unwilling to agree to “common sense gun control” that we  are unreasonable fanatics who would oppose restrictions on the ownership of Sherman Tanks.
    Most of all; we are totally wrong to believe that the left is after our guns just because of the proposed assault weapon ban.
    Why would we have such a belief, how can the folks on the right even think we on the left are after their guns, all their guns?
    The answer: Chick-Fil-A

  • Democratic senators have offered an amendment to the cybersecurity bill that would limit the purchase of high capacity gun magazines for some consumers.

    Shortly after the Cybersecurity Act gained Senate approval to proceed to filing proposed amendments and a vote next week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the gun control amendment, came to the floor to defend the idea of implementing some “reasonable” gun control measures.

    The amendment was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.). S.A. 2575 would make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition.

  • After a while, this gets old, our political leaders wanting to ban this or that, gun, accessory, etc., all because it would make our lives safer. Are they forgetting that the magazine used by James Holmes jammed in the middle of him shooting up the theater? He had to switch to a backup weapon, which happened to be a Remington 870 Pump Shotgun. I wonder if his victims felt any safer because he was having to pump the action and was limited to 5-6 rounds of buckshot before having to reload?

  • One big difference, I don’t think the make 60 round drums for hunting rifles.

  • Not that I disagree with the point the poster is trying to make, but I think it is being made pretty poorly.  I believe the hunting rifle next to the EBR is a bolt action…I zoomed in, but the resolution isn’t good enough to be sure, but there are plenty of ‘hunting looking’ semi autos.   While the point seems to be that it fires the same round, I don’t want to open a bolt action vs semi loophole. 

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