On September 24, Pro Publica released a report showing that Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) beloved “assault weapons” ban–in force from 1994 to 2004–did very little to save lives and next to nothing to “[reduce] overall gun crime.”
According to Pro Publica, Duke University conducted a definitive study on the ban, and “policy experts Phillip Cook and Kristen Goss” found “no evidence” that the ban “made shootings less lethal.” These findings are in harmony with a 2004 Department of Justice study which “could not clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.”
Moreover, the DOJ predicted a renewed ban–should that happen–would result in “effects on gun violence… [that] are… small at best.” In fact, another ban’s effect on crime could be so small that it would not be “reliable [for] measurement.”
But the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Feinstein is standing her ground. In response to what the Duke University researchers discovered and what the DOJ found, Feinstein said:
Assault weapons allow criminals to fire more shots, wound and kill more individuals and inflict greater damage. The research supports that. A ban on assault weapons was never meant to stop all crimes, it was meant to help stop the most deadly mass shootings. That’s what needs to be part of the discussion, or rampages like Sandy Hook will continue to happen.
Ironically, it was while the “assault weapons” ban was in effect that the seminal “mass shooting” at Columbine took place. And Senator Charles Grassley(R-Iowa) points out that the same ban that allowed Columbine to happen would have been powerless to stop the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary as well.
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