In the aftermath of the horrific church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Dianne Feinstein and 22 other Senate Democrats have already introduced a new “assault weapons” ban bill. I don’t like to accuse people of politicizing a tragedy, but it’s curious that they already have a bill written and ready to go this quickly, and that it so closely resembles a 2013 bill to revive the 1994 assault weapons ban that was sponsored by…Diane Feinstein.
The sponsors admit the new law “wouldn’t stop every mass shooting,” but they say we’ve got to start somewhere. That sounds like common sense, but it has more flaws than a $2 diamond. First of all, there really is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” Any weapon is an assault weapon; that’s just a made-up term to describe a weapon that exhibits a combination of various features that make it look more like a scary military weapon but may not make it more deadly, and in some cases are actually just safety or convenience features.
Second, the ten-year 1994 assault weapons ban wasn’t allowed to expire because of the evil NRA, as liberals like to claim, but because it had no demonstrable effect on crime or murder rates. An exhaustive study by criminology Prof. Christopher S. Koper found that crimes involving the banned weapons declined, but they made up just 2 percent of all gun crimes anyway, and that was offset by a rise in crimes using other types of guns. Proponents such as Feinstein pointed to a drop in gun crime during that decade, but Koper could find no evidence that gun crime became less lethal or that the gun ban had any discernable impact on the gun crime rate.
He did find that because of the grandfathering of previously-available “assault weapons,” the ban might have led to a small reduction in shootings if it had gone on much longer. Or, I would posit a more likely scenario: criminals might have just switched permanently to other types of guns, most acquired illegally.
I think the problem lies in the pro-gun control side's inability to be completely honest. I believe that in their heart of hearts, what they sincerely want is to ban all guns and confiscate them, as other nations have done that they point to as examples. But what it’s done in those nations is turn the law-abiding into unarmed sitting ducks for the lawless to prey upon. Advocates seem to think that the lack of firearms would end violence, which conveniently ignores everything from knife attacks to vehicle attacks to flying planes into buildings to sucker-punching your neighbor while he’s mowing his lawn. Besides, too many Americans cherish their Second Amendment rights and would never comply with gun confiscation. The only explanation for their inability to come up with a new law that would do any good is that they don't have one. So they have to fall back on “do something that feels good, even if it’s pointless.”
You know, it’s ironic that the left has become emboldened about attacking people of religious faith, even openly mocking prayers for victims of mass shootings as useless superstition. Yet when pressed on what they would actually do to stop mass shootings, the best they can come up with is to pass more laws like the ones we already have that didn’t stop the Texas shooter, or to revive a gun ban that was already proven to have had no effect.
And they accuse people who believe in prayer of “magical thinking?”