In response to the many mass shootings in recent history, many Congressmen are pushing for the renewal of the ‘Federal Assault Weapons Ban,’ which was signed by Bill Clinton in 1994 and expired in 2004. Despite its expiration, Democrats adopted it as a part of their official party platform at their national convention.
While assault weapons and rifles look the same, assaults can be owned by anyone with a clean record and rifles require special permits. However, the differences between the two are often only cosmetic.
Look at the statistics.
In 2010, there were 8,755 gun-related homicides in the United States. Only about 1 percent of those homicides were committed with assault weapons. Compared to handguns, which are the cause of 6,009 deaths per year, assault weapons are insignificant.
Obviously, every single life taken is no small matter; it is an enormous topic of concern.
However, when there are other pressing issues with respect to guns, it does not make any sense to concentrate on guns that seem more dangerous when numbers show that they are only a minor factor.
The Department of Justice even admitted that the effect of the ban on gun crime would be so insignificant, that measuring any future deviation would be statistically meaningless. This prediction, in addition to the raw statistics, clearly shows what the real issue is: hand guns.
Assault weapon use is generally recreational. Having something a bit bigger than your old .22 or .20 gauge to shoot at the range is recreational. Banning them will accomplish almost nothing besides taking away these guns from law-abiding citizens, which is why there is so much resistance and opposition to this ban. Firing a weapon on a range is absolutely harmless to the people around you.
In fact, it would be quite difficult to be able to transport such a weapon in order to commit murder. Assault weapons are more cumbersome, more expensive, and impossible to conceal. But hand guns have the exact opposite characteristics: they are light, cheap and easily concealable.
If we want to see some real change regarding gun violence, there are two issues that we must address: handguns and gang violence.
Due to their very nature, hand guns are the go-to weapon for killing. In order to deal with the violence they cause, the government could either ban them outright, or regulate them more heavily. Either approach is debatable.
About 80 percent of all gun-related homicides are also gang-related. Taking this issue even deeper would be just as efficient, if not more efficient, than addressing handguns themselves.
Reducing gang violence would kill two birds with one stone: gun violence would drop, as would the negative implications of gang activity.
It’s quite obvious that handguns are the true problem regarding America’s incredibly high gun violence rate, and there are many different solutions that would address this issue.
Whether you are fundamentally opposed to guns or you are an advocate, I think we can all agree we need to move forward and take a realistic and logical course of action to protect the citizens of this country.