I have been thinking long and hard about what I can contribute to this debate. Sure I have posted lots in-thread, but as far as starting a new
discourse on a new facet of the debate I have waited.
According to the FBI's
2011 Uniform Crime Report
, long guns (both semi-auto and bolt, "assault" and conventional) account for fewer than 350 deaths per year in the
United States. Conversely, handguns of all stripes account for over 6,000. Also of note: there was exactly 1 murder in the "sniper category"...and it
lists a handgun
being the weapon used. Also interesting is you are more likely to be murdered by a shotgun than a rifle and you are TWICE as
likely to die from someone's fist.
The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America and is present in millions of homes (estimated 3.3M AR's sold 1986-2009). Yet it (and it's brothers)
account for such a small number of homicides that scientifically speaking, the results would be thrown out of the report.
Speaking of reports, here's the 2004 NIJ report on the effects of the first AW
Tucked in among the many "perhaps", "mights" and "coulds" (which try to sugar coat the facts), pg. 97 states:
Having said this, the ban’s impact on gun violence is likely to be small at best, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. AW s were used
in no more than 8% of gun crimes even before the ban. Guns with LCMs are used in up to a quarter of gun cries, but it is not clear how often the out
comes of gun attacks depend on the ability to fire more than 10 shots (the current limit on magazine capacity) without reloading.
And remember, this was the era of Miami Vice and the tec-9/Uzi fad.
Why then have lawmakers and anti-gun lobbyists targeted military style semi-automatic rifles as such a pressing problem? Clearly by any metric
devised, handguns are by far the bread and butter of illegal sales, homicides and criminal intent.
Likewise, limiting clip capacity will have no appreciable impact on homicide rates either. I don't imagine most murders taking 11 consecutive rounds
to get the job done. Lemme restate that last NIJ report sentence from above:
[I]t is not clear how often the outcomes of gun attacks depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than ten shots (the current magazine
capacity limit) without reloading.
In Columbine, Harris used a Hi-Point 995, a semi-automatic rifle which was ban-compliant (10 round magazine). He just opted to empty 13 magazines
rather than 7. An ugly argument might even point out that repeated firing is highly inaccurate (NIJ report), and a shooter with a higher capacity
magazine would experience more misses while simultaneously depleting his ammunition reserves, thus potentially saving more lives.
Of all the things that have stood out to me in researching, reading and rebutting this issue, targeting the entirely wrong class of gun
might just be the most important for people to realize. I have my own ideas as to why, but I would ask the pro-control camp to answer me one honest
Why these guns and clips, if they aren't the problem,
if they aren't going to "save the children"?
edit on 18-1-2013 by blamethegreys because: (no reason given)