The Assault Weapon's Scam

Unless you've had your head in the sand, you have undoubtably heard all the media hype surrounding the desire to ban assault weapons. This is understandable with the recent spike in mass murders and the main stream media's penchant for sensationalized tragedies.

But should we, as a country, pursue a ban on assault weapons? Are assault weapons responsible for as many murders as the anti-gun crowd believes or WANTS US to believe? I feel the answer is no to both questions. I know this is an opinion piece I am writing, and I may get flamed, but the data and facts behind my position are difficult to seriously challenge.

First off, I want to differentiate between an "assault rifle" and an "assault weapon." There is a significant difference which is recognized by those who writing the legislation to create the ban.

The accepted definition for an assault rifle is military grade, fully automatic weapon, aka machine guns. Assault rifles are already banned from civilian ownership in the US. An assault weapon, on the other hand, is a political term coined in 1989, defining semi-automatic weapons that share some of the same features as their military grade counterparts, such as folding/collapsing stocks, pistol grips, flash suppressors, etc. They may look menacing, but the assault weapon is no more lethal than than any other semi-automatic weapon of the same caliber.

Case in point, the Ruger Mini-14, a .223 caliber, semi-automatic carbine rifle. There are currently four versions of this rifle. One version is called the Ranch Rifle, which would not be considered an assault weapon (provided it's fitted with a magazine having a capacity of 10 rounds or less). There is another version of this same gun called the Tactical Rifle which would be classified as an assault weapon because it has a collapsable stock, pistol grip, flash suppressor, and possibly some other features. You could also fit this weapon with the same magazine of 10 rounds or less. Both guns are equally lethal, yet the Tactical Rifle would be banned, while the Ranch Rifle would not. Why is that?

Perception. The Tactical Rifle looks like a military weapon, but the Ranch Rifle does not.

Before I go into this further, let me just state that I abhor violence. Gun murder is one of the worst forms. And I agree that our society in the U.S. is too violent. I believe this is a cultural issue, and not a gun issue. But given the prevalence of gun murder in the U.S., it is an issue that should be addressed.

I think anyone reading this would agree that if you propose a solution to address an issue, that solution should have a material affect on the issue, correct? For example, let's say your company is losing money at the rate of $100,000 a year. Two solutions are proposed. Solution 1 cuts your loses by $90,000. Solution 2 cuts your losses by $600. Which one do you go after? If you selected Solution 1, congratulations, you're right!

So let's look at REAL gun murder statistics from the FBI. You can view the details by copying the URL below into your browser.

This is FBI compiled data for 2011:
Total Murder Victims: 12,664
Total Victims from Guns: 8,583
Total From Hand Guns: 6,220
Total from Rifles: 323
Total from Shotguns: 356
Total from Other Guns: 1,684

What does this tell us? Quite a bit. It tells us that guns are used in 67% or 2/3 of all murders in the US in 2011. It also indicates that hand guns are used in murder far more than any other type of weapon. Using the provided data, we can conservatively say that 72% of gun murders in 2011 were from handguns.

I say conservative because there are 1,684 gun murders where the weapon couldn't be identified. However, the sample provided is statistically significant enough to extrapolate the 1,684 unidentified guns based on the relative percentages of the other three categories (handguns, rifles and shotguns). In reality, it is more like 90% of the guns used in homocides are handguns.

How does this relate to assault weapons? I'm getting there...

Those of you who know of Senator Diane Feinstein also know she is an anti-gun advocate. She is also one of the key authors of the Assault Weapons Ban that existed between 1994 and 2003. And she is pushing for similar legislation in congress today. According to Diane Feinstein herself...between 2004 and the present, assault weapons have accounted for...get this...385 murders total. This is her data, not mine.

385 murders is nothing to sneeze at...but between 2004 and today, that averages out to just over 48 people per year. That means in 2011, the percentage of gun murders with an assault weapon amounted to 0.6% of the total gun murders.

Handguns 90%
Assault Weapons 0.6%

Solution 1 $90,000 savings
Solution 2 $600 savings

Now...I ask you again...why are the politicians of this country so Hell bent on banning assault weapons? Why are they spending so much time and tax dollars trying to implement a "solution" that will have a negligable affect on reducing the number of gun murders in this country? Isn't the objective to save more lives?

The answers are even more troubling. The Washington Post recognized this dilemna back in 1994 acknowledging that assault weapons play a very small part in gun crime. A 2004 Justice Department Report similarly stated that the expiration of the assault weapons ban would likely have little effect on gun crime.

Most troubling of all...a 1988 report from Violence Policy Center, an anti-gun lobby, stated the following.
"[H]andgun restriction is simply not viewed as a priority. Assault weapons ... are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."

The quote above tells me that the people from the Violence Policy Center thinks the public is stupid, and easily fooled into believing their agenda.

Then there is the push to restrict the ammunition capacity of magazines. Once again, the data provides us a view that such a measure will also be ineffective in reducing gun murders.

We all remember the horror of Columbine. Eric Harris, was armed with a ban compliant Hi-Point 995. He simply brought along 13 of those ten round magazines and was able to fire 96 rounds before he killed himself.

In the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, Seung-Hui Cho again showed the futility of regulating magazine capacity when he carried nineteen ten- and fifteen-round magazines in his backpack. He used 17 magazines, firing off close to 170 rounds (all ten round compliant) before killing himself.

What is the difference between a 30 round magazine and (3) 10 rounds magazines? About 4-6 seconds (even less for skilled shooters). A shooter can expel a spent magazine, reload and be ready to shoot in 2 to 3 seconds...easily! I've actually heard some people foolishly argue that with smaller capacity magazines, the shooter will fire fewer rounds, and then you have the opportunity to tackle him while he swaps magazines. Really? Unless you are standing right next to the shooter, I seriously doubt anyone would attempt to subdue him while he attempts to reload. If you are close by a shooter when he opens fire, wouldn't your natural instinct be to take cover and/or get as far away as possible?

An assault weapons ban will not reduce the murder rate. Criminals and nut cases will find a way to get guns. They always do. Databases, background checks, mental health history...I don't care what someone might propose. If someone really wants to get a gun, they will find a way, legally or illegally.

The sad and sobering truth is that politicians really ARE NOT interested in saving lives. If they were, they would address this issue culturally, and from a mental health perspective. If they really want to single out a specific type of weapon, then why not after the big killer...handguns? Remember the Violence Policy Center quote, "[H]andgun restriction is simply not viewed as a priority..."

So, what is the real agenda behind the Assault Weapons Ban? Destroying the 2nd Amendment.

If you don't think so...ask yourself this question. If the Assault Weapons Ban is passed, what will the politicians say when the inevitable mass murder occurs while the ban is in place (and you know a massacre will happen during this time)?

The answer is simple..."We haven't done enough. We need more gun control restrictions in place." And thus we will continue on this downward spiral.
BizSuitStacy BizSuitStacy
56-60, T
5 Responses Feb 14, 2013

Looks like First amendment in danger now... Obama has IRS wire tapping journalists and tea party... coming soon... your phone and email , interent

Yes, that is a bit discomforting, isn't it.

Bravo well said right on I agree 100%. Thank you Stacy for making it so clear and concise.


Thanks for your feedback! Much appreciated!!

Absolutely right on!! If the Second Amendment falls..the the rest will too!!
The Homeland Security is buying.. 1.6 billion round this year!!
If you want to see what the other Government agencies are buying up go here...

no wonder i cant find any ammo!!

Seems to be a problem many are having. Lack of ammo, or if available, it's gone up in price.

Well stated, Stacy. There's also a great video out there showing a SWAT Captain and experienced gun instructor, taking one of those Ranch Rifles, and in less than 60 seconds converting it into the Tactical Rifle version by substituting the wooden stock components for the plastic pieces. Nothing about the working action of the gun has been changed in any manner at all, but within under a minute he's taken the "innocent" looking Ranch Rifle and converted it into the fearsome "Tactical Rifle." The video really drives home the fact that ALL we're talking about is cosmetic looks of the gun, nothing to do at all with how it operates or shoots.

Thank you. This really is all about perception, manipulating public opinion with propoganda and has nothing to do with solving the real issue of gun violence in American society.

Great article with a lot of data and use of critical thinking skills. I still contend that the right to bear arms is the fourth balance of power; the founders of this country did not trust the government.

Thank you. No doubt, the founders distrusted government.