Today, ABC News finally reported the blindingly obvious fact that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s beloved assault weapons ban – a piece of legislation now favored by President Obama – would not have prevented the Sandy Hook shootings. Here’s what they said:
Could a Ban Have Prevented the Connecticut Shootings?
It’s impossible to say for sure, but it seems unlikely that if the law were still in place, as it was written, it could have done much to prevent Friday’s tragedy. Lanza’s primary weapon, the Bushmaster .223 rifle, is a type of AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, certain models of which were prohibited from being sold under the ban, but the Bushmaster model used by Lanza was not on that list.
Additionally, the language in the law was loose enough that a gun enthusiast who was interested in adding a type of AR-15 to their collection could have purchased one legally.
In fact, ABC News even admitted that the assault weapons ban passed by Congress in 1994 didn’t work in the first place:
Was the Ban Effective at Reducing Gun Violence In General?
That is unclear. According to a 2004 study from the University of Pennsylvania, the number of people killed in mass shootings did go down generally during the years that the ban was in effect. The exception was 1999, the year that the shooting at Columbine High School happened ….
“We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence,” the study concluded. “And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”
Of course, this was ABC News. So they did add, “Gun control proponents argued the assault weapons ban was too narrow.” Because when gun control fails, the answer is more gun control.