On October 9 the Los Angeles Times reported on the dangers of “assault guns” and used a study from the Journal of Urban Health (JUH) to suggest it is time to ban the firearms once more.
The guns—AR-15s, AK-47s, and the like–were banned 1994 to 2004 via the federal “assault weapons” ban. Lost on many people is the fact that you could still buy “assault weapons” while the ban was in place, they were simply cosmetically different; they lacked a flash hider, a collapsible stock, a thumbhole stock, etc.
A “high capacity” magazine ban was a companion to the “assault weapons” ban and was also in place from 1994 to 2004. This limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds; the same number of rounds Elliot Rodger’s magazines held as he carried out his heinous Santa Barbara attack on May 23, 2014.
According to the Times, “Assault weapons magnify the toll because of their murderous efficiency — they allow many more shots to be fired than conventional weapons, which translates into more people getting hit and more of them suffering multiple injuries.” They seize on the number of shots that can be fired by quoting the JUH study, which describes “high capacity” magazines as “the most functionally important feature” of an “assault weapon.”
But the further one reads into the article the more quickly the attempts to praise “assault weapons” bans and “high capacity” magazine bans fall apart.
For example, the JUH study admits that guns available during the ban were still capable of accepting “high capacity” magazines, if you had them. Moreover, they admit that there were still “as many as 25 million” banned magazines legally in circulation. i.e., you could buy a “high capacity” magazine during the “high capacity” magazine ban, just as you could buy an “assault weapon” during the “assault weapons” ban. The catch was, they were very expensive. Supply was limited and demand was high.
Yet the Times laments that fact that more and more “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines are now showing up at crime scenes in cities like Baltimore. What the Times fails to note is that “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines are banned in Baltimore via a state-level ban instituted in 2013. The continued surge in their usage simply proves the old adage that when guns are banned, only the criminals will have guns.
In one of the most desperate portions of the article, the Times quotes Christopher S. Koper–the man behind the JUH study–who admits that reinstating the “assault weapons” ban may not diminish overall crime. In other words, it may simply force people to use other firearms in carrying out crimes. But Koper stressed that a failure to reduce overall crime does not mean the ban would be “ineffective.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org