Assault Weapon Ban

A Suspiciously Selective, Logically Shaky Analysis of Mass Shooting Data Claims the Federal 'Assault Weapon' Ban 'Really Did Work'

The law's impact on weapon choice cannot plausibly account for reductions or increases in fatalities.

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Stanford law professor John Donohue claims to have discovered evidence that the 1994 federal ban on so-called assault weapons "really did work," because mass shootings and the deaths caused by them declined while the law was in effect, then rose afterward. But the methodology Donohue used is suspiciously selective, and his results do not show what he thinks they do.

"Public mass shootings—which we defined as incidents in which a gunman killed at least six people in public—dropped during the decade of the federal ban," Donohue and Stanford student Theodora Boulouta write in a New York Times op-ed piece published yesterday. "Yet, in the 15 years since the ban ended, the trajectory of gun massacres has been sharply upward, largely tracking the growth in ownership of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines."

Donohue and Boulouta relied on the Mother Jones database of mass shootings, which includes "indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed by the attacker." Yet they chose to focus on cases with six or more fatalities, for no obvious reason except that it exaggerates the changes they attribute to the "assault weapon" ban that expired in 2004.

Based on the definition used by Mother Jones, there were 16 mass shootings, involving 125 fatalities, during the 10 years before the "assault weapon" ban took effect on September 13, 1994. During the 10 years when the law was in effect, there were 15 mass shootings with 96 fatalities. That represents a slight decline in a rare kind of crime, and it is by no means clear that the ban had anything to do with it.

As Donohue and Boulouta note, violent crime in general was falling throughout that period. Furthermore, the law targeted guns based on "military-style" features, such as folding stocks, pistol grips, and threaded barrels, that had little or nothing to do with their lethality in the hands of mass shooters, and it left more than 1.5 million "assault weapons" in circulation.

Limiting their analysis to shootings in which six or more victims were killed, Donohue and Boulouta report that the "federal assault weapon ban in effect from September 1994 through 2004 was associated with a 25 percent drop in gun massacres (from eight to six) and a 40 percent drop in fatalities (from 81 to 49)." Those are bigger drops than the Mother Jones database shows, but only because Donohue and Boulouta arbitrarily excluded mass shootings that killed four or five people.

Having magnified the decrease associated with the "assault weapon" ban through careful case selection, Donohue and Boulouta suggest the change must be due to the law. "This decline is plausible because assault weapons are semiautomatic firearms designed for rapid fire and combat use, and large-capacity magazines increase the number of rounds that can be fired without reloading," they say. "While the gun lobby prevented the ban from being as effective as it could have been and saddled the law with a 10-year sunset provision, the ban did impede the easy access to the type of lethal weaponry that those intent on mass killing have readily available in most of the country today."

Contrary to Donohue and Boulouta's implication, neither rate of fire nor the capacity to accept detachable magazines distinguished the guns covered by the 1994 law from the guns that remained legal. In any case, the numbers do not suggest that the ban had much of an impact on the weapons used by mass shooters. By my count, guns covered by the ban were used in six out of 16 mass shootings (38 percent) in the decade before it was enacted, compared to five out of 15 (33 percent) while it was in effect. Even leaving aside the functional similarity between banned and legal guns, it seems clear that the slight change in the mix of weapons cannot explain the 23 percent drop in fatalities, especially since the two deadliest pre-ban mass shootings, accounting for nearly a third of the fatalities during that 10-year period, were carried out with ordinary handguns.

What about after the ban expired? In the subsequent decade, there was indeed a big increase in mass shootings and fatalities caused by them. Based on the Mother Jones tally, there were 36 mass shootings with nearly 300 fatalities. Is that because "assault weapons" were easier to get? Again, the numbers suggest otherwise. Guns that would have been covered by the 1994 ban—or, in at least one case, would be covered by the revised version that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the original ban, has introduced—were used in seven of those attacks, or 19 percent. In other words, "assault weapons" were less commonly used in mass shootings after the ban than they were during it.

Donohue and Boulouta claim that the expiration of the federal ban "permitt[ed] the gun industry to flood the market with increasingly powerful weapons that allow for faster killing." But so-called assault weapons are no "faster" or more "powerful" than functionally similar guns that do not fall into that arbitrary category. They fire the same ammunition at the same rate with the same muzzle velocity. The causal mechanism that Donohue and Boulouta have in mind is therefore rather mysterious, since banning "assault weapons," even if it made all of them disappear overnight, would leave mass shooters with plenty of equally deadly alternatives.

[This article has been revised to correct the number of mass shootings in which "assault weapons" were used before the ban and while the ban was in effect.]

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    1. In a hard science field, if someone published a paper so full of mistakes and non sequiturs you’d assume it was either published by a new grad student (and not a very good one) or by a doddering old tenured professor struggling to remain relevant despite the onset of dementia.

      This is just a liar lying.

      1. They lie like this because it’s all they can do. You wouldn’t be able to publish this kind of crap in a hard science because it wouldn’t even pass in soft science. The authors quite literally have an inadequate sample size to perform regression analysis. A change in mass shootings from 16 to 15 is guaranteed to fall within the error term. I don’t even need to test it to know that would happen.

    2. Let’s begin by asking whether anyone needs to own a semi-automatic weapon. Such weapons are designed to kill a lot of people in a very short amount of time. You don’t need them for hunting, or to protect yourself in your home. You need them only if you intend to commit mass murder, and they have been used for that purpose over and over again.
      But the right to own such weapons is protected by the Second Amendment, you say? How has their easy availability promoted the security of a free state? Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote that the Constitution is not a suicide pact — meaning that interpretations of the Constitution that do not make us safer or more prosperous are invalid because they are opposed to the very purpose that the Constitution is meant to serve. A ban on semi-automatic weapons would, at the worst, do no one any harm — and we have reason to believe that it might save lives.

      1. No, they’re not designed to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time. They’re designed to fire a projectile rapidly.

      2. Jesse Fell
        September.8.2019 at 5:38 am
        “Let’s begin by asking whether anyone needs to own a semi-automatic weapon.”
        No, let’s begin by pointing out that’s none of your business.
        ——————
        “But the right to own such weapons is protected by the Second Amendment, you say? How has their easy availability promoted the security of a free state? ”
        Which is totally irrelevant.
        Fuck off, slaver.

      3. Rights based on need?

        Tell us, what “need” did Rosa Parks have to sit at the front of the bus?

  1. Yet they chose to focus on cases with six or more fatalities, for no obvious reason…

    Certainly they must have included a stated reason.

    1. Shut up that’s why. Or at least that’s what I think they’d say.

    2. Lookee here
      He chose to ignore the “four or more” and look at spree killings. What is especially interesting is that when you include fewer than four, you get a lot more where a private citizen stopped the killing, not a cop. His theory seems to hold water: when someone on the scene stops the killing, they stop it at the beginning instead of after the killer has been shooting for several minutes.

      I posted a graphic on Facebook claiming the average number of people killed in mass shootings when stopped by police is 18.25, and the average number of people killed in a mass shooting when stopped by civilians is 2.2.

      1. That guy points out the fundamental flaw in the argument that “civilians with guns don’t stop mass shootings”. Since most of the people counting and talking about mass shootings define “mass shooting” as meaning above a certain number of people being killed, when someone intervenes right away, it doesn’t have a chance to *become* a mass shooting. It’s also often difficult to tell whether it would have become a mass shooting if someone hadn’t intervened.

        1. Interesting how one can count the number of mass shootings stopped by execution of ERPO Red Flag gun seizures, but one cannot count the number of mass shootings stopped by concealed carry firearms…

  2. 30 or so mass murders a year isn’t even worth worrying about. Hell some estimates claim 250,000 people die every year from mistakes made in hospitals. Now that’s a crisis.

    1. Time to have common sense bans on assault doctors with high capacity bank accounts.

    2. “Hell some estimates claim 250,000 people die every year from mistakes made in hospitals. Now that’s a crisis.”

      “Neil deGrasse Tyson Slammed for Insensitive Reaction to Mass Shootings”
      […]
      “In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings.
      On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…
      500 to Medical errors
      300 to the Flu
      250 to Suicide
      200 to Car Accidents
      40 to Homicide via Handgun
      Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.”

      https://eurweb.com/2019/08/05/neil-degrasse-tyson-slammed-for-insensitive-reaction-to-mass-shootings/

      1. I’d have so much more respect for Tyson if he hadn’t backed down from this statement.

    3. Every year, more people are raped by dolphins than are killed by sharks.

      1. What’s the ratio of people killed by dolphins vs raped by sharks?

        1. Do sharks even have penises?

    4. Diarrhea kills 2,195 children EVERY DAY—more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined.
      https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/global/diarrhea-burden.html

  3. “This decline is plausible because assault weapons are semiautomatic firearms designed for rapid fire and combat use, and large-capacity magazines increase the number of rounds that can be fired without reloading,” they say.

    Wow. That sentence is just…phenomenally stupid. These hoplophobes have no grip on reality.

  4. 1994 through 2004

    I’m no climate scientist but I’m pretty sure the ban was responsible for at least 300 deaths between Oklahoma City and 9/11 alone.

    1. Are you suggesting Timothy McVeigh used a truck bomb because he couldn’t get his hands on an AR-15? That’s an interesting hypothesis and one that bears investigating. If the assault weapons ban caused fewer people to be killed with assault weapons, you might wonder if the would-be killers just gave up on their dreams of becoming a mass murderer or did they instead choose some other – potentially more lethal – weapon? I mean, if you’re going to look at the number of people kicked to death by horses in 1858 compared to the number of people kicked to death by horses in 1958 and conclude that automobiles made travel safer, somebody’s going to call you out on that.

      1. I think he’s making a ludicrous argument in order to mock the usage of other ludicrous arguments.

      2. Are you suggesting Timothy McVeigh used a truck bomb because he couldn’t get his hands on an AR-15?

        McVeigh used a truck bomb specifically because the government deprived people of weapons. The 9/11 hijackers probably cared slightly more than one lick about the ban but spurious association and fractional probability are the way science is done today. Whether they couldn’t get access to an AR-15 or decided to go through with it because of the ban is a philosophical argument for the plebs to resolve amongst themselves. The numbers speak for themselves.

        1. What I recall from the time is that McVeigh was enraged by the government torching the Branch Davidians’ compound. It’s not at all clear that he would have gone berserk if Reno’s minions had just taken all their guns as had happened once before.

          -jcr

    2. It would be interesting to see if bombings increased during the federal assault weapons ban.

  5. You have to make the facts fit your argument.
    Otherwise the facts will destroy you, and don’t forget to employ emotions, feelings and infantile tirades to support your argument.
    Otherwise, people might find you sane.

    1. It’s prog science – start at the conclusion and work backwards.

  6. First things first: Define “Assault Weapon” you hoplophobic assholes.

    Oh, that’s right – BLACK AND SCARY WITH THE SHOULDER-THING THAT GOES UP.

    Racists.

    1. Except that they now come in a rainbow of colors, including pink.

      1. So they are not only racists but homophobic too! 😉

  7. “Suspciously selective, logically shaky” was my nickname at Speed Dating events.

    1. You dated speed? ONLY speed? You got anything against pot, coke, or smack? Don’t be too discriminating, now!!! “Discrimination” is WAAAY bad, ya know!!!

      1. He’s talking about the movie.

        1. That nickname came as a result of taking 43 different dates to see “Speed”. The “suspiciously selective” came from the fact that it was *only* that movie. The “logically shaky” came from the fact that it was a Keanu Reeves flick, and the fact that of those 43, there were 7 second dates, also to see “Speed”.

          Although giving it a bit of thought, those who provided the nickname were supremely unfair about the “logically shaky” part. Taking a date to see “Speed” is actually a pretty good litmus test. If he/she comes out talking about how wonderful an actor Keanu is, you know that this person is *not* a good choice.

          1. If he/she comes out talking about how wonderful an actor Keanu is, you know that this person is *not* a good choice.

            Talking about Sandra Bullock is good for at least a second date.
            Talking about Dennis Hopper is good for a 6 mo. relationship.
            Talking about Dennis Hopper being better in Easy Rider, True Romance, or Apocalypse Now she can meet your parents.
            Talking about True Grit, Cool Hand Luke, or Hang ’em High being better movies with Dennis Hopper in them, you should check to ensure she’s not a dude and maybe consider proposing on the spot.

            1. If I weren’t already married, I think I’d consider using this methodology for “Speed dating”.

  8. In John Donohue’s Fordham Law Review article on Right to Carry Laws, he expounded on two results of RTC.

    The Portsmouth professor murders. After a Vermont cabin dweller displayed a pistol when the murderers tried to get in his cabin, they moved on to New Hampshire where they murdered two non-gunowning professors.

    Tim McVeigh blew up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City as his response to witnessing the burning of the Davidian’s Mt Carmel compound. Why? Because R-T-C.

    Yep, those events were caused by right to carry laws.
    And would not have happened w/o R-T-C.

    May be it’s just me, but Donohue is so anti-gun he can’t think logically.

    John J. Donohue, “Guns, Crime, and the Impact of State Right-To-Carry Laws” (73 Fordham Law Review 623) Nov 2004.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49250125_Guns_Crime_and_the_Impact_of_State_Right-to-Carry_Laws

    1. Every mass murder in the history of the US that killed at least 169 people was carried out by Muslims.

      1. This is an excellent example that shows you can carve up your statistics just the right way and make them support almost anything you want. Of course, they won’t stand up to even minimal scrutiny, but if you’re preaching to the choir or trying to convince people who aren’t going to take the effort to apply any scrutiny at all, you can make some really great arguments.

      2. Every mass murder in the history of the US that killed at least 169 people was carried out by Muslims.

        Jim Jones was a Muslim?

        1. That was not in the US.

      3. I feel like some Native Americans would disagree with that statement…

        Autossee Massacre
        Possibly the Sacramento River massacre (between 120-200)
        Old Shasta Town
        Round Valley Settler Massacres
        Jarboe’s War

  9. I maintain that the prevalence of AR-15s among average gun owners was low before the assault weapon ban–and exploded after the ban went into effect. AR-15s are now among the most popular guns in America, and when you look at what’s been pushing sales, it’s pretty clear why. When Obama was president, every time there was a mass shooting, Obama would blab about it, and stocks of gun manufacturers would get a big bump–as people rushed to buy an AR-15 for fear that they would be banned at any moment. If Barack Obama had stayed up all night trying to think up new ways to entice more Americans to buy more AR-15s, he probably couldn’t have come up with anything better than what he said and did in those situations. Conversely, when Donald Trump unexpectedly became president, gun stocks started to languish. AR-15 sales tapered off. No sense of urgency at all to drive sales.

    I’m sure there are gun enthusiasts in this thread who will argue that AR-15s are an excellent choice for everything from deer hunting to opening a can of beer. I suspect they make those claims reflexively because they’re afraid that if average Americans think AR-15s aren’t especially useful for any “good” purpose, it’ll make them more inclined to ban them. As a real deal libertarian, I don’t support violating people’s rights–even if people exercise their rights in ways that aren’t necessarily in society’s best interests. I’m not sure Scientology is in anybody’s best interests either, but I’m not about to support violating anybody’s First Amendment rights–and IF IF IF AR-15 ownership isn’t in society’s best interests, I’m not about to support violating anybody’s Second Amendment right to own one anyway. That being said, . . .

    AR-15s are an excellent choice for recreational plunking and in the breakdown of the rule of law scenarios–and that’s about it. Far as I can tell, they’re an inferior alternative to a GTW handgun or a shotgun for home defense–and pretty much anything else but hunting, in which case a hunting rifle is a better choice than an AR-15. I’m not saying this to further the argument for banning AR-15s as useless for “peaceful” purposes–wanting to own one in case we need to overthrow an oppressive authoritarian government here in the U.S. is specifically protected by the Second Amendment, and that’s as good a reason as any why people should be free to own an AR-15.

    The reason I point out that AR-15s aren’t an excellent choice for an awful lot of people is to point out that if the primary reason why marginal buyers choose to own them is because they’re afraid of them being banned, then trying to ban them is the very reason why AR-15 ownership has proliferated. The idiot gun grabbers are shooting themselves in the foot. STFU about banning assault weapons, and people will start buying more shotguns and pistols instead.

    1. You know me, I’m one of those nut-jobs that uses facts to qualify my arguments:

      “Shares of gun manufacturers American Outdoor Brands and Sturm, Ruger & Co. both rose Monday morning following two weekend shootings that left a combined 29 people dead.

      . . . .

      Gun stocks typically rise after mass shootings, as renewed calls for tougher firearms laws increase speculation that people would want to buy more weapons before regulations take effect.

      American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith & Wesson, rose as much as 7.3% Monday. Sturm Ruger jumped as much as 3.1%.

      American Outdoor Brands is down about 31% year-to-date. The company traded at $8.78 per share as of 11:15 a.m. ET Monday.

      Sturm Ruger is down about 13% year-to-date. The company traded at $46.03 per share as of 11:15 a.m. ET Monday.

      —-Business Insider, August 5, 2019

      https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/gun-stocks-rise-after-dual-weekend-shootings-calls-for-laws-2019-8-1028418220

      The reason those gun manufacturers’ stocks have been down over the past year is the flip side of why those stocks got a bump after the mass shooting. The mass shooting makes an assault weapons ban more likely, and Donald Trump being elected made an assault weapon ban less likely. In the months ahead, expect those stocks to track the Democrats’ chances of retaking the White House.

      1. Maybe we should ban vaccinations so people would rush out to get their kids vaccinated.

    2. Hello! Not sure what your knowledge or experience with firearms is, but could you please define what a hunting rifle is? Or is that one of those things I’ll know it when I see it?

      The AR15 isn’t a single rifle. It isn’t even two or three rifles. It is a platform that is chambered in easily a dozen different rounds and is used from everything from backyard plinking, to competition (see ISPC, the World Shoot recently ended), to home defense, to hunting (yes hunting). This doesn’t count its slightly bigger brother, the AR10 which also can be chambered in a variety of calibers. It is easily customized for the individual shooter and can be as accurate as you want (as long as you have the money to sink into it).

      While a shotgun might be better for home defense, given that a rifles are typically easier to shoot than handguns, how exactly is a a 9mm handgun better than a 9mm AR15? If the .223 is a popular varmint round, how is a hunting rifle (whatever that is) better than an AR15 in the same chambering?

      Bottom line: The AR15 is a versatile platform that can be used for just about anything, and is easily to customize.

      1. Any handgun has a handling advantage over any rifle, and at such close distances, accuracy isn’t a problem worthy of a rifle. In hallways or other close quarters, legal rifles are long enough to be clumsier.

        As far as not using .223 for hunting, I’ve never understood why. If it’s good enough on soldiers, it’s good enough for deer. Bears, elk, etc are different, but so are elephants and rhinos, and people know how to select an appropriate rifle.

        1. “Any handgun has a handling advantage over any rifle, and at such close distances, accuracy isn’t a problem worthy of a rifle. In hallways or other close quarters, legal rifles are long enough to be clumsier.”

          I agree. We might add that rifles, with longer barrels, have more issues with rounds penetrating walls.

          “As far as not using .223 for hunting, I’ve never understood why. If it’s good enough on soldiers, it’s good enough for deer.”

          My point isn’t that AR-15s can’t be used to shoot deer. My point is that they wouldn’t be the choice of most deer hunters. There are purpose built rifles for deer hunting, and being purpose built hunt deer, why wouldn’t they be better at shooting deer than an AR-15, which wasn’t designed specifically for that purpose?

          My point is that there are all sorts of guns made specifically for the purposes most people buy guns for, and marginal buyers–people who are on the fence about buying an AR-15–aren’t generally buying them for those purposes. People buy compact 9mm semiautomatics to conceal carry. They buy full sized GTW pistols and shotguns for home defense. They buy shotguns to go after ducks or upland birds. They buy hunting rifles to go after deer and elk. People aren’t generally taking them down to the neighborhood indoor gun range to have fun practicing with them either. If they’re not buying AR-15s for those reasons, why are they buying them?

          The sales numbers strongly suggest that new AR-15 sales are directly related to people’s expectations about AR-15s being banned. In other words, sales of AR-15s to new buyers are largely driven by the rhetoric of gun grabbers, and if the true purpose of the gun grabbers is to minimize the number of AR-15s in circulation, the most rational and effective thing they could do–is STFU about “assault weapons”.

          I suspect the reason they don’t do that is because their rhetoric against “assault weapons” isn’t primarily aimed at restricting the number of AR-15s in circulation. Their rhetoric is primarily aimed at exploiting tragedies to gain influence and support. If you’re in Massachusetts or the suburbs of San Diego, campaigning against AR-15s is like campaigning against Al Qaeda and the abuse of puppies. That’s the way you get reelected.

          1. Different calibers for different purposes. .223/5.56 is good for some game, too large for some, and not heavy enough for others. I wouldn’t want to try to stop one of the brown bears around here with that caliber or eve a black bear. Probably not a moose, nor maybe even elk. Deer are probably fine and likely perfect in AR-15, for the wolves that are moving into this county. I have heard that it is also good for feral pigs. Anything smaller though should probably get a smaller caliber.

            But handguns are not really any different. I normally carry 9mm handguns, but here, in MT, because of the brown and black bear I carry 10 mm solid cast.

            The nice thing though is that the AR-15 platform can accommodate these various calibers easily. People have shot pretty much everything from .17 up to .50 BMG on an AR-15 platform – though heavier calibers probably work better on an AR-10 platform.

            1. The AR can be built from component parts by a user with minimum tools and basic mechanical skills. The AR can be maintained and repaired without the services of a trained gunsmith with specialized tools. I was advised that a Remington 742 semi-auto sporter was best detail stripped for thorough cleaning by a gunsmith, not by the average owner. The AR was designed to be maintained in the field. Not in a specialized gunsmith shop.

              USAF Gen Curtis LeMay was a fan of replacing the .30 Carbine with the .223 AR for air base security in the 1960s because (a) new ARs would be more reliable than recycled WWII carbines, and (b) the .223 would incapacitate saboteurs but would do less damage to aircraft than the .30 cal 110 gr FMJ.

              .223 Remington was developed from the .222 Remington which was a varmint caliber for coyotes.
              Coyotes.
              Woodchuck.
              Vermin larger than rabbits.
              Maybe small deer (definitely smaller than elk).
              Marginal on feral hogs or any larger game.*

              And why own a replica of your military service rifle? National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice, later Director of Civilian Marksmanship, finally Civilian Marksmanship Program, for over a century has encouraged military rifle practice among those eligible to volunteer or to be conscripted for military service. I know I did better in my marksmanship session in basic training because of pre-service familiarity with shooting and safe gun handling.
              _________________
              * After SAAMI specs for .223 Remington were set in stone in the early 1960s, NATO continued wild catting the 5.56x45mm with longer, heavier bullets. Quite frankly the improvement were incremental, not spectacular. The biggest game I’d try with .223 Rem/.556 NATO would be roe deer.

              1. I hear ya although I prefer the .300AAC for deer as it is closer to the old 30-30 that I used previously. Also one can use the 6.5 Grendel for larger game. Another issue is that there is milspec for the AR-15 types so they all are fairly similar whereas the AR-10 wasn’t milspec so has variances between the producers although it is built to withstand the forces from the larger rounds like 7.62.

        2. I don’t know. Depends on the situation. Given a bayonet, I would definitely prefer my AR in a good many situations, including close quarters. But then again I trained for ten years on the M16A2 and can operate that platform, or similar platforms under just about any condition, including full MOPP level 4 in the dark. Pistols were never anything but a backup gun. We shot rifles and shotguns, and relied on them for all serious work. I got my first rifle at 12 y.o. I was nearly 30 before I bought my first pistol.

          1. “Pistols were never anything but a backup gun. ”

            I thought pistols were issued to officers to help with disciplining the troops. Isn’t, for example, the officer issuing money on payday armed with a loaded pistol just in case?

            1. re: “I thought pistols were issued to officers to help with disciplining the troops.”

              No. At least, not since about the time of the Napoleanic wars.

              Yes, as Payday Officer I was issued a handgun for the day. (Yes, I’m old enough to predate the mandatory direct deposit rules.) It was issued to prevent theft from anyone, not to “discipline the troops”. It was no different from having a civilian armored car driver go armed.

              As a more general matter, officers were issued handguns and not rifles as a tangible reminder that their job was emphatically not to get tangled in tactical immediacies but to keep their heads up and to manage the battle. If you start sighting down the barrel of a rifle, you aren’t paying attention to what else is happening on the field and you’re not using your primary weapon – the radio. (Yes, that rule gets bent for special operations officers who are intensively trained on how to avoid this problem. It’s also less relevant at low levels of the organization. The battle is unlikely to be lost if a butterbar gets too caught up in the fight. Things are a lot worse when the Captain loses perspective.)

              1. Not to mention that the Pay Officer’s Pay Guards carried M16s.

              2. “No. At least, not since about the time of the Napoleanic wars.”

                Leon Trotsky saw to it that all political officers were armed with Nagant revolvers during the civil war. For discipline. I wonder if side arms played a greater disciplinary role during the Vietnam days when troops were notoriously insubordinate.

              3. That rule is not just bent but almost non-existent for SpecOps, primarily because it is small unit tactics whereby the officer is another member of a cohesive unit that also happens to be in charge.

        3. In hallways or other close quarters, legal rifles are long enough to be clumsier.(/blockquote>

          Bullpup

          1. M4 carbine with a foregrip and tactical flashlight

          2. AR Pistol with brace! 😉

        4. As far as not using .223 for hunting, I’ve never understood why. If it’s good enough on soldiers, it’s good enough for deer.

          You hunt soldiers for food and/or sport? You intentionally inflict maximum harm on deer that wander into your war zone?

          I *think* I know the answers to the above, but it’s hard to discern where your willful stupidity ends and regular stupidity takes over.

          1. I think a lot of gun grabbers use the argument that AR-15s are useless for “good” purposes, and that has provoked lots of pro-Second Amendment people to defend using them in such ways–so that average Americans won’t support banning them just for that reason.

            It’s a reasonable tactic outside of a libertarian context–because libertarians may be the only non-gun owners who don’t think your rights should be violated regardless of whether we approve of the reason why you want to own an AR-15.

            I don’t think you should be free to use your AR-15 to violate anybody’s rights, but, other than that, I don’t believe your rights should only be respected if I personally approve of the reason you want to exercise them–but that’s probably an unusual take among non-libertarians.

        5. Ya while anything CAN be used for home defense by someone trained appropriately, a rifle (standard barrel length) is not the best choice. While lots of guns are loud, not many people are ready for how disorienting (and painful to your own ear drums) that is indoors in a narrow hallway inside. It is a fuckton of kinetic energy coming out screaming. Then of course with that low mass high speed projectile you have to worry about all the things behind your target. Kids room? Neighbors house? Ill take some heavier, slower rounds coming from an SBR while the wife takes the shotgun.

          As far as hunting goes, if you are 100 yds away with a well sighted in rifle (no matter the platform), you’re hunting skills should impress no one. No more impressive than plinking. It is only impressive for a child as they have to balance their nerves for the first time. For a grown man? Might as well be shooting at a small metal plate, it takes just about the same amount of skill.

          Be a man, get near the prey with a recurve bow and a high caliber 6 shooter at your side, and some bear mace. Then i’ll consider it hunting.

          1. Subsonic rounds (i.e. .300AAC) work well especially if the AR is pistol or SBR and suppressor too.

        6. The 5.56mm round was selected by SECDEF McNamara specifically because it was LESS likely to kill than the 7.62mm that it replaced.

          McNamara’s logic was that killing a soldier removes one from the battle, while wounding him removes not only that one, but also the two others who remove him from the battlefield and treat the wounds.

          The fallacy here is that McNamara was assuming that all military organizations shared his beliefs about how soldiers should be treated.

          Using this round on anything larger than, say, coyote, is not a reliable, sure kill — and hunters want to provide a sure kill, rather than painful wounds.

      2. “Hello! Not sure what your knowledge or experience with firearms is, but could you please define what a hunting rifle is? Or is that one of those things I’ll know it when I see it?”

        Please note that I’m not trying to ban hunting rifles–so an exact definition for legal purposes is really unnecessary. I’m merely using the term “hunting rifle” descriptively–a hunting rifle in this case might simply be a rifle that’s made specifically for that purpose.

        I just came across this Field and Stream article recommending ten “Deer Rifles” you can get for less than a grand.

        https://www.fieldandstream.com/affordable-deer-rifles-10-options-for-less-than-grand/

        There isn’t an AR model in the bunch, but I know you can get an AR-15 for less than $1,000. On the other hand, they put out a list of the “10 Best Hunting Rifles for Deer”, just a month later, (link below) and one of the ten is an AR model. Are we talking one out of 20 at this point? That isn’t surprising. The rifles they’re talking about were designed from the moment of conception for the purpose of hunting deer. Like I wrote elsewhere, there’s no reason why an AR-15 can’t kill deer, but I don’t think new buyers of AR-15s are ponying up for an AR-15 in the aftermath of a mass shooting because they’re going on a hunting trip to Montana.

        Which is fine! People should be free to buy AR-15s for any reason they want.

        It’s just that gun grabbers are really hurting their own cause with their rhetoric if their true cause is to limit the number of AR-15s in circulation. It’s the same way with so many other things! AOC recently voted against the bill that spent billions on caring for asylum seeking children who were being forced into overcrowded and horrible conditions because our facilities were overwhelmed by their numbers. Why would she vote against that–unless she cares more about hitting Trump over the head with suffering children than she does about alleviating their suffering? Plenty global warming alarmists oppose nuclear and fracking for natural gas–despite the fact that both practices lower the amount of CO2 that goes into the atmosphere. By their behavior, plenty of them care more about exploiting these issues to harness the political benefits than they do about solving problems–and the gun grabbers are guilty of the same thing.

    3. I agree that dynamic is a factor.

      But I think what kicked it all off was the Chinese flooding the market with SKSes, MAK-90s, and cheap ammo. While maybe not as suited to hunting as other rifles, they were so cheap that they were an obvious choice for a deer rifle on a tight budget, so lots of people bought them. And that import flood both solidified the perception among gun owners that military-style semi-autos were for hunting (creating the modern AR-15 market as a side effect as US manufacturers marketed to the perception) and provoked the gun-grabbers, until then focused on handguns, to start talking about these “military-style assault weapons”.

    4. “…. AR-15s are an excellent choice for recreational plunking and in the breakdown of the rule of law scenarios–and that’s about it…”

      I agree with your comments, excepting this one. For the rifle enthusiasts who has no desire to have more than one rifle, the AR platform might be the perfect “one rifle to own.” While it’s not going to compete with my custom barrelled 700 in .220 Swift in a McMillan A2 stock for accuracy, the platform is capable of minute-of-angle accuracy. And while it will never compete for beauty with my Grade V walnut-stocked Mauser, it can be chambered in .308 and other useful hunting calibers. Take an AR-15, add a good barrel (if necessary) and sights, and a five-round magazine, along with a a butt-stock and grip which suits one’s self, and it will make a perfectly good hunting rifle. Add a large capacity magazine, and change the sights, and it makes for an excellent self-defense weapon. The AR platform, in reality, can be seen as the modern equivalent of Jeff Cooper’s “Scout Rifle:” If you will, it’s a “rifle for all seasons.” And no, I still think they are rather ugly and a bit too utilitarian-looking. Hey, but that is “eye of the beholder” stuff.

      1. I appreciate that the modular aspect of the AR platform makes them highly versatile–and that they can be used for all sorts of things.

        I hope you appreciate that sales have been going up and down primarily based on the expectations of “assault weapons” being banned–and that seems to have been the case since the ban ended three presidents, 15 years, and umpty-ump mass shootings ago.

        People do everything for more than one reason, but the correlation between the sales data and the fear of a ban is pretty compelling. If you were on the fence about whether to buy an AR-15, the fear of a ban seems to get you over the gun store.

        I think it was Diane Reynolds (Paul.) who wrote something to me the other day when I was writing about wanting to go to Mars on vacation. He said something like, “Why do you want to go to Mars?”, and my answer was, “Because I can’t”. Tell us we can eat from any tree in the garden we want but that one, over there, and, suddenly, that’s the only tree we want. Maybe it’s human nature.

        1. “Tell us we can eat from any tree in the garden we want but that one, over there, and, suddenly, that’s the only tree we want. Maybe it’s human nature.”

          From my observation, and experience, this seems virtually universal. And yes, it certainly does apply to firearms. And British sports cars.

        2. Certainly, sales increase and decrease with the expectations of a ban, but they don’t go away when people aren’t expecting a ban. An off-the-shelf AR is a jack-of-all-trades (with the oft forgotten master-of-none to complete the saying) gun, so its versatility drives a lot of sales when there’s no ban on the horizon.

          The reason you didn’t see an AR on the “Affordable Deer Rifles” list is that, while you can get ARs for under a grand, the AR you get for $5-600 isn’t a *great* deer hunting weapon without a lot of customization (i.e. money). They’re certainly *good*, if you’re aware of their limitations, and those limitations don’t adversely affect what you want to do. If you want to spend $2K on an AR, you’ll get something that either hits, or comes near a lot of people’s top ten lists (not everybody’s, because there are plenty of folks out there who say, “nothing but bolt action,” or, “it can’t be a great gun without being pretty.”).

          1. Good point although a decent AR in .300AAC makes is a good deer rifle.

    5. When the Navy SEALS have to clear a room, or the Rangers or any military force, do they ditch their M4s for their sidearms? Not hardly. A rifle is almost always preferable to a handgun, even if it is a carbine. Rifles are harder hitting, easier to aim, easier to get back on target after the first shot and generally more reliable. If I am worried about not hitting others, I would definitely choose a more accurate rifle over a shotgun or pistol.

      1. The best self defense weapon is the one your are most familiar and comfortable with. The one you’ve shot so many times it is second nature.

      2. False comparison because they’re not clearing the room on single-shot mode. It would be a better comparison if practical burst-capable sidearms existed. Unfortunately, they don’t.

        To a couple of your other points:
        – At room-clearing ranges, rifles and pistols are equally hard-hitting.
        – At long ranges, rifles are significantly easier to aim. At short ranges, not so much.
        – Rifles are easier to get back on the original target but slower to switch to a different target. It’s just physics – there’s more mass to move around a larger moment angle.
        – Reliability? Eh. Most of my service was with the M16A1. It was marginally less-bad than a service-issue M1911 but significantly less reliable than the Beretta that replaced it. Reliability is a function of brand, age and maintenance, not of rifle vs pistol.

        1. The Army CAR or AF GAU were SBR versions of the M16 platform used by SpecOps. As for ARs, one can either get the stamp for an SBR or go with the pistol variant with an arm brace over the buffer tube.

      3. I would note that SpecOps uses SBR versions of the M4 for that specific reason, as easy to move as a pistol in CQB.

    6. The AR platform is light, nimble, and excellent for taking out a lot of targets in a short time, with minimal recoil. The bullet [55-62 gr on average] is small but fast. They are also accurate, which is why they are used almost exclusively by participants in “3 Gun” competitions.

      As weapons go they are mechanical marvels; but if I [DISCLAIMER: I AM SPEAKING PURELY HYPOTHETICALLY with NO MALICE AFORETHOUGHT] were to go on a rampage against innocent and unsuspecting groups of people, it would not necessarily be my first choice of weapon.

      Shotguns are also very effective; with a simple extended tube they can hold up to 10 rounds, and you can deliver multiple shots of 00 buck, and if you can tolerate the recoil of magnum loads, that is 12 .33 caliber balls for each shot. Aaron Alexis used a Remington 870 pump with a lower mag capacity to kill 12 persons at the Washington Navy Yard.

      Handguns also have distinct advantages; a semi auto pistol with even a 10 round magazine can cause extreme casualties. Cho used a Glock 19 [15 round mags] and a Walther P 22 [10 rounds of .22 caliber] to murder 32 people at VA Tech.

      So, you see, they are all quite deadly; as Senator Howard Metzenbaum put it, “Until we can ban all of them, we might as well not ban any of them.” The focus on ARs is politically appealing as they are easily demonized as being an “assault” weapon [whatever that means] or a “weapon of war.” Ban, confiscate, whatever, and render millions of law abiding citizens ex post facto felons [I know, feature not bug] the goal posts will be moved to the next “weapon of mass destruction that nobody needs.”

      1. Yup. One thing all mass shootings do have in common (except literally one – the Vegas concert shooter) is that the shooters are not “gun nuts” in any sense. They typically aren’t skilled with their weapons, don’t necessarily choose the most effective weapons or tactics, and don’t put much if any effort into ensuring their shooting is accurate, their bombs go off, etc. Which makes it even dumber to propose “solving” the problem by placing more onerous restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. They aren’t even the pool from which the perpetrators are drawn.

    7. Ken, it depends on your concept of “home defense”. If that means sitting in your living room with a pistol on the coffee table, or one on you night stand while you sleep, then a pistol may be better than an AR15.

      OTOH, if your concept of home defense is somewhat broader, and involves fighting positions in the yard, large fields of fire and 100 yards visibility, then the AR15 is the better choice.

    8. “Far as I can tell, they’re an inferior alternative to a GTW handgun or a shotgun for home defense–and pretty much anything else but hunting, in which case a hunting rifle is a better choice than an AR-15.”

      See my post below on calibers.

      The point about hoe defense is that what is optima depend on the circumstances. A house in rural America with no other houses nearby is very different than a house in a big city. And also assumes a 16 inch barrel and .223/5.56 caliber. My project this winter will be a .300 blackout build with probably a 7.5 inch barrel on an AR-15 lower receiver. That is legally a handgun, so requires a brace that can work as a butt stock instead of using a standard butt stock. Put a standard butt stock on it, and it legally becomes a SBR (short barred rife) requiring an ATF tax stamp, and it might take a year for the ATF to approve it. Point is that a .300 BO build with a 7.5” barrel, and a pistol brace instead of a normal butt stock, is a very good home defense firearm for many situations. It is almost as short and maneuverable as a typical handgun but has rifle level stopping power, plus there is ready availability to 30 round magazines. Far more maneuverable than a normal rifles and carbines. But has the accuracy of a long gun.

      1. Not to mention easy availability of subsonic rounds for the .300AAC. The only difference between sonic and subsonic is the weight of the projectile.

    9. Excellent summary and analysis.

      Although I do have to disagree with one issue, hunting. An AR is more versatile with one lower and several uppers versus several rifles. I started with a AR with .300AAC upper for deer hunting and other medium game, replacing my heirloom Winchester Model 63 in 30-30. The 5.56 NATO is good for varmint while the 6.5 Grendel is good for larger and longer range.

  10. Even if the number of mass shooting deaths from “assault rifles” did go down during the Assault Weapon Ban, that’s a red herring. Mass shootings account for a tiny fraction of murders and the homicide rate has been declining for decades.

    In the 10 years prior to the Assault Weapon ban there were 221,629 murders and 125 deaths from mass shootings. 0.06% of murders were from mass shootings.

    During the AWB there were 172,432 murders and 96 deaths from mass shootings. Again 0.06%.

    In the 10 years after the AWB there were 155,322 murders and 299 mass shooting deaths, 0.19% of the total. So the number of mass shooting death did increase by 203 but total number of homicides decreased by 17,110.

    1. I posted this comment earlier to the “The Futility of a Gun Buyback” story and it’s still awaiting moderation. I just posted it again and again it was awaiting moderation. So I removed the hyperlinks and it posted.

      Is that the issue? You don’t like hyperlinks? Anyways, my comment seem particularly germane to this article too. Even more so methinks.

      1. Reason has a problem with certain website, it seems. As long as you only link to trustworthy sources like CNN or MotherJones, you don’t need to worry about your links.

        /s

      2. You can only have one link in a post or it thinks you’re spam.

        No one ever checks the spam queue.

        Just post it again, and break your link into a follow up post, and you’ll be fine.

        1. Awhile back, a post I made with two links went into moderation.
          The same text without links sailed through.
          I suspect you’re right.

        2. “No one ever checks the spam queue.”
          Which is one but one cause of my, now $5/annum donation.

          “Just post it again, and break your link into a follow up post, and you’ll be fine.”
          Yep.

  11. So, the Progressive Left has a study that uses questionable statistics to support a regulation that makes little objective sense. In other news, water found to be wet.

  12. The sort of person who contemplates a mass shooting sees himself as Rambo, dressed in military-type clothing, and most importantly, using an assault-style weapon. Who wants to go out looking like a regular hunter – Elmer Fudge?
    The differences in the weapons displayed in the article are visual, and the optics are what matters to the killer.

    1. I agree that the optics are important. But the reality is that function matters more. And the reason the military went to the M-16 (based n the AR15 platform) is because of that functionality. The US was actually very late to that realization and only really changed once it came up against the AK-47 (the first true mass-produced assault rifle). The functionality drives the optics not vice versa as you can read in the Army’s M16 case study/history from 1970.

      All of those functional changes were intended to make it easier for a higher % of soldiers to fire lots more times – making a rife squad far more lethal. That is also the goal of a spree/mass shooter.

      And the NRA has done a major disservice to the whole debate when it moved to become an almost pure lobbying entity. What works in getting members for a lobbying entity is conspiratorial stuff that the govt is going to be the real enemy. An org like that loses a ton of gun knowledge when it loses soldiers/veterans as its core membership. AFAIK, none of the key people at NRA from the prez-level (mostly) figurehead to the real powers (Harlon Carter, Neal Knox, Wayne LaPierre) had any rifleman experience from 1977 to 2018 (and Ollie North lasted only six months).

      It’s one reason they can be completely stuck on stupid with their ‘good man with a gun’ shtick – and their ‘this is only about the fashion statement’ – when the actual military response has been to put armor back on soldiers. Well guess what doesn’t work in civilian life as a defense against spree shooters – wearing armor all the time.

      1. Check FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Homicide by Weapon Used.
        This very day an unarmed assailant (using personal weapons — fists, hands, feet, etc) is more likely to murder you than an assailant armed with any sort of rifle, much less by a spree shooter with an AR-type rifle.

        1. “Check FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Homicide by Weapon Used.”

          I did:
          From 1995-2017 rifles accounted for only 2.88% of homicides.
          More people were killed with knives (12.65%), fists and feet (5.95%) and blunt objects (4.28%) than with rifles.

    2. “The sort of person who contemplates a mass shooting sees himself as Rambo, dressed in military-type clothing, and most importantly, using an assault-style weapon.”

      Except that statistically, none of that is true. Looking at the FBI’s database of perpetrators of mass shootings, they do not dress in military-type clothing, they do not use assault-style weapons and they do not, as far as I can see from the data, think of themselves as Rambo. About the only generalization you make that actually matches the data is that there are more hes than shes.

  13. Millions of murder death kill weapons and only 10 people are killed each year?

  14. The Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle is a “semi-assault weapon.” There I fixed that for the gun grabbers.

    1. LOL. Since the Mini-14 was widely used by the Brazilian (IIRC) army a while back, it is a one-hundred-percent-semi-automatic-assault rifle. Or, OHPSAAR, for short.

      1. Mini-14 was popular with the French police and military special units a few years back. Maybe still. The French did make their own stocks and the photos I have seen it may be better than the Ruger factory version.

  15. “…Donohue and Boulouta relied on the Mother Jones database of mass shootings,…”

    Didn’t take long to find the problem here.

    1. The Mother Jones database is fine, for what it represents itself to be. The problem is that the people writing it made criteria that supported their political position. If you want to study the sort of mass shootings that match the Mother Jones classification, it’s a great resource. Unfortunately, studying those sort of shootings generally gets you to the results that Mother Jones likes (and that the people doing the studying like), rather than anything that’s objectively useful for trying to reduce mass shootings.

  16. Anecdotally, most non-STEM professors are surprisingly bad at math, and especially statistics. You learn in stats 101 that the minimum sample size required to make any kind of statistically significant inference is 30. No engineer would make statistical claims based on an entire set of data where n < 20, but social scientists do it all the time, because most of them don't know any better. The computer will give you an answer based on any numbers you plug in, so it must be correct. You really need to read the methodology and at least glance at the data sets for any study done by one of these people, and if it touches politics you can pretty safely assume it's BS. That's sad, given the reputation built up in earlier times by US academia, but it's where we are today.

    1. ” but social scientists do it all the time, because most of them don’t know any better. ”

      Surely you know a the bigger the data set, the costlier the research. You can ask any social scientist if you doubt me.

      1. Surely you know a the bigger the data set, the costlier the research.

        I know you’re being facetious, but the data sets for crime statistics are free from the government. I suppose people who know statistics are expensive. It’s not rocket science, but then every field seems to contain about 20% people who know what they’re doing, and 80% people who are, at best, a strong back. People outside the profession, whether it’s social science or tow truck operation, have a brutally hard time telling the difference between the two until after the bad work is done and paid for.

        1. “It’s not rocket science, but then every field seems to contain about 20% people who know what they’re doing, and 80% people who are, at best, a strong back.”

          These massacres are still relatively rare and statistics is probably not going to reveal a lot. Maybe interviews and psychological profiles will shed more light on the phenomena. Methods traditionally used in the social sciences and you don’t have to worry as much about innumeracy.

        2. “20% people who know what they’re doing, and 80% people who are, at best, a strong back.”

          The STEM-educated recognize this as an extremely charitable restating of Sturgeon’s Law.

  17. The left is impervious to arguments about the defects of any study that purports to support their worldview. They still shamelessly toss out the “20% of college students are raped” factoid, and claim that most bankruptcies are caused by medical bills, even though the “studies” those are based on are thoroughly debunked. As long as there is something they can call a “study” that supports their position, they really don’t care whether it’s valid or not. But find a study that goes the other way, and they will become hair-splitting jesuits. Not a whit of it is in good faith.

  18. “since banning “assault weapons,” even if it made all of them disappear overnight, would leave mass shooters with plenty of equally deadly alternatives.”

    The alternatives may not be cool (or ‘military looking’) enough to suit a mass killing. Anyone planning to go out in a brief blaze of glory simply has to go out in style. And that means a suitable firearm.

  19. So, if people believe that gun laws prevent gun deaths (and the majority of peer-reviewed journals support that contention) people in democratic societies are free to vote in politicians to enact restrictions on purchasing guns, right? All 548 issues I find more important than access to guns aside i’d Probably say people should have a right to own a gun— subject to common sense restrictions— but i’m Not going to have a shootout with the government over that particular issue like some of you.

    Frankly, I don’t give a damn.

    1. You need to be careful to make your satire a bit more over the top, so that people who haven’t seen your previous work don’t trip and fall into the sarchasm.

      1. I gave up. I could never figure out how to employ effective satire in the Age of Trump and, more specifically for this website, how to explain the weird adulation commenters here have for the Trump administration. Meh, Team Red GOP synchophants masquerading as Libertarians. That’s as old as 2008, I guess.

        I’m sorry… i’m A failure.

  20. Only someone with an ideological axe to grind would complain about better outcomes and bitch about their inability to understand the mechanism.

    Oh, wait, this is Reason, and Sullum. Carry on.

    1. If sound argument based on available data is grinding an ideological axe, I wish liberals would grind some more axes.

      Plastic straws make up like 1% of the plastic waste in the ocean. But hey, let’s ban them anyways! Better outcomes!

  21. Want some advice from a professional tasked with eliminating the Soviet agents who were flooding into Western Europe in the aftermath of WWII? A knife to the kidney. Quiet, quick, and ever so painful.

    1. Thanks, but I oppose that method of dealing with the plutocrats, and am content to use the ballot box.

      1. When disposing of a ploot, a head shot is a mistake, because people think there’s something important inside. With ploots, go for a gut shot. Because of all the fat that’s built up there over the years at the expense of poorer folk. Death may not be too immediate— but in the course of probing around in that mountain of lard looking for the bullet, a doctor, especially one that treats the upper classes, being more used to liver ailments and ladies’ discontents, is sure to produce, through pure incompetence, a painful and lingering death.

  22. I’m not really opposed to an ‘assault weapon’ ban, but I worry about what would come after people figure out that it didn’t stop shootings.

    1. That’s a feature, not a bug. That just means they’ll have to ban some other type of weapon. Rinse, repeat, you lose, they win.

  23. “Assault weapon” bans are flatly unconstitutional, and I look forward to the current SCOTUS slapping those liberal fuckwads upside the head with that information.

    Not only does it violate the SCOTUS Miller ruling (weapons useful in service to a militia are protected by the 2A), but it also clearly violates Heller (weapons in common use at the time).

    I, and those whom I know personally to own firearms, will never comply with liberal demands to infringe upon the only right which protects this country from tyranny.

  24. the methodology Donohue used is suspiciously selective, and his results do not show what he thinks they do

    Come on, dude. Just say the motherfucker lied.

    -jcr

  25. Over 20 years ago in Reason, William Tonso wrote:

    “In reporting on the continuing controversy, the national press routinely cites strong public support for the ban… Having whipped up hysteria about ‘assault weapons,’ journalists now point to the results of their alarmist reporting as evidence that they were right all along.”

    What we are seeing here is precisely the same mechanism — for over 20+ years, the anti-gun left has been continuously shrieking that these guns are “weapons of war, designed for one thing and one thing only: to kill the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.” Then when ignorant whack-jobs looking for precisely such armament take them at their word, they point to those results as evidence that they were right all along.

  26. In a hard science field, if someone published a paper so full of mistakes and non sequiturs you’d assume it was either published by a new grad student (and not a very good one) or by a doddering old tenured professor struggling to remain relevant despite the onset of dementia.
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  27. STEP 1 “Assault X” is a meaningless construction. Shout down its use wherever and whenever it comes up.

    STEP 2 The only issue plausibly worth discussing is total murders with any firearm. It’s a damned left lie that 3 deaths in a single suburban event matters more than 30 separate deaths in a Chicago weekend.

  28. Democrats ignore the incontrovertible evidence that gun control does NOT reduce violent crime!
    Official government statistics from the USA and UK show that the violent crime rate in disarmed Britain has been going UP while the rate in well-armed USA has gone DOWN.
    Britain’s violent crime rate in 2017 increased to 2,213 per 100,000 people while the USA rate has decreased to just 394. The violent crime rate gap has WIDENED to at least 6.85 more from 4.36 more a decade ago. see lots more and comment at:
    http://www.DiscourageCriminals.net/disarmed-Britain-has-SIX-TIMES-MORE-violent-crime-than-well-armed-America

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