A major tenet for Democrats at the state and federal level is gun control, and one would not be wrong for observing that the kind of gun control pushed is often similar — if not identical — to past or existing gun controls that have failed to deliver the reduction in death and violence promised.
In other words, the gun controls pushed in one state are often simply a recycled version of gun controls that are failing in another. The same thing can be said of federal gun control efforts, where the gun control specifics pushed by Representatives, Senators, and President Obama are often demonstrable failures before they are fully introduced.
Here are five of the worst gun control proposals regularly recycled and put forward at the state and/or federal level:
Hollow-Point Ammunition Ban — Democrats in San Francisco have banned hollow-point ammunition in the city. The argument is that hollow-point ammunition is more dangerous — due to its expansion on impact — and therefore using full metal jacket bullets is safer. But reality teaches a completely different lesson. The NYPD used to mandate full metal jacket bullets for their officers, but reversed course when they realized the lack of expansion in a full metal jacket bullet tends to allow the bullet to pass through the perpetrator’s body and strike innocents behind him or her. In other words, the absence of hollow-point ammunition actually contributes to a higher rate of collateral damage.
In July 1998, when the New York Times reported the NYPD’s switch from full metal jacket bullets to hollow points, they quoted NYPD police commissioner Howard Safir, saying: “We are, in fact, going to switch to hollow-point ammunition as soon as we receive it. They are much safer than fully jacketed bullets, which will go through a person or tumble through a person’s organs and then continue on and hit innocent victims.”
“Assault Weapons” Ban — Democrats pushed through a federal assaults weapons ban under Bill Clinton that lasted from 1994 to 2004. The impact of the ban was negligible at best, and some studies — like that contained in Applied Economic Letters — show an significant increase in gun-related murder rates while the “assault weapons” ban was in place. For example, the study in the November 2013 issue of Applied Economic Letters showed the gun-related “murder rates were 19.3 percent higher when the Federal [‘assault weapons’] ban (AWB) was in effect.” We currently see this same truism playing out at the city level — in places like Chicago — where an “assault weapons” ban is simply correlating with a higher rate of shootings and murder, rather than a reduced rate of either.
“High-Capacity” Magazine Ban — Like the “assault weapons” ban, a ban on “high capacity” magazines is a favorite gun control push for Democrats following nearly every high-profile shooting or mass public attack. Yet “high-capacity” magazine bans are demonstrable failures and, as with all gun controls, give the criminal who continues to use “high-cap” mags an advantage over the law-abiding citizen who turns his or hers into the police or governing authority.
For example, during the May 2014 Santa Barbara attack in which Elliot Rodger shot and killed three innocents, all his magazines had a capacity of 10 rounds or less. Rodger made up for the smaller magazine capacity by simple carrying more magazines with him. And following the heinous April 16, 2007, attack on innocents at Virginia Tech — where Seung-Hui Cho used 15-round magazines in carrying out a murder spree that killed 32 — a Virginia Tech review board found that limiting him to 10-round magazines “would have not made that much difference in the incident.”
Why would smaller magazines have made little difference? Because the overarching problem was a gun-free zone that dictated all law-abiding citizens be disarmed. Therefore, the gunman had all the time in the world to shoot, reload, shoot, reload, shoot, ad nauseam.
Universal Background Checks — Universal background checks have been the preferred control option for Democrats and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey (PA) ever since the heinous December 14, 2012, attack on Sandy Hook Elementary. Such checks would require all gun sales — retail and private — to be conducted under the purview of a Federal Firearm License (FFL) holder, who would run the buyer’s personal information through an FBI database to check for criminal background, etc.
Problem #1: Such a check would not have stopped or even hindered the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting because the gunman, Adam Lanza, did not buy his guns. Rather, he stole them.
Problem #2: The criminals on the streets of Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee, NYC, Philadelphia, St. Louis, etc., are not of a mind to stand in line and let an FFL run their black market gun sales through a FBI database.
Problem #3: Such a check already exists in retail stores — Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, Academy, Gander Mountain, mom & pop gun stores, etc. — and it has offered no impediment to determined attackers who wish to acquire a gun for criminal use. For example, one of the strongest proponents of background checks is former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot by Jared Loughner on January 8, 2011, yet Loughner acquired his gun by passing a background check.
And it is not just Loughner. In October 2015, the New York Times did a story on mass shooters and revealed that the vast majority of them acquire their guns by passing background checks. The exceptions to this pattern are those who steal their guns — think Adam Lanza — and the small fraction of high-profile gunman who get someone to purchase the gun for them.
Gun-Free Zones — The common thread running through high-profile shootings and mass public attacks in America is not the type of gun used or the color of the attacker’s skin. Rather, it is the unnatural condition law-abiding citizens endure when they find themselves disarmed in a “gun-free zone” by a local, state, or federal government mandate.
To be fair, in some cases the “gun-free zone” is the result of a business owner’s decision. We saw this with the Aurora movie theater in July 2012 and the Lafayette movie theater in July 2015.
Breitbart News previously reported that in an 8-year time period ending August 2, 2015, “gun-free zones” cost 105 innocent lives taken by gun fire and more than 150 others injured. Think about it — 105 persons unable to defend their lives because their Second Amendment rights were curtailed.
Does this mean all 105 of those persons would have carried a gun for self-defense if the “gun-free zones” had been abolished? No. But it does mean that they could have. And it means removing the impediment to their doing so would have at least given them a fighting chance instead of leaving them trapped in a defenseless posture when yet another criminal ignored the signs that said “no guns allowed.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.