Dispatch: Columbus doesn’t plan to track weapons ban
"Don't judge us by our results. Judge us by our intentions."
This is the message being sent by the City government in Columbus and other Ohio cities with so-called assault weapons bans on the books.
The Columbus Dispatch is reported Sunday (instead of before passage of that city's ban, when it might have made a difference) that "banning guns has produced loud arguments, but very little hard data to back them up."
From the story:
- Columbus has no plan to track whether the assault-weapons ban that is to take effect on Aug. 11 is successful. Nationally, both opponents and supporters of weapons bans say almost no such information is available.
The story goes on to quote gun control extremists whining that a lack of adequate research is to blame for this (the paper fails to mention the years and years of efforts by gun controllers to prove their rights-infringing laws were making a difference, and a plethora of government studies which were paid for by your tax dollars).
Again, from the story:
- In Ohio, Cleveland does not keep records on how its ban, in effect since 1991, is working, Cleveland Police Lt. Thomas Stacho said.
Dayton doesn’t track how well its ban is working, either. But one veteran officer has a strong opinion.
"It hasn’t done anything, not a thing," said Dayton Police Sgt. Dennis Chaney, who works with federal agents on that city’s Safe Streets Task Force. "Bad guys are always going to have guns, just as drug abusers are always going to have drugs."
Even Josh Cox, the assistant city attorney who helped draw up the Columbus ordinance, agrees with that.
"As a deterrent, it’s probably not going to have much of an effect on criminals," he said.
One provision requires people who already own weapons banned under the law to register them with the city or risk having them taken away.
But, Cox said, "That’s going to be law-abiding people."
Last year, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence issued a study showing that, since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban took effect in 1994, the criminal use of weapons it banned by name declined 66 percent.
But The New York Times last year cited a Justice Department study that said a small drop in crimes committed with semiautomatic-assault weapons had been offset by a rising number of crimes committed with other guns using larger magazines.
The National Rifle Association cites the Justice Department study as proof that assaultweapons bans don’t work, spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.
Even an anti-gun group agreed.
"The federal ban was completely ineffective, it was so riddled with loopholes," said Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., a national nonprofit group that wants to reduce gun violence.
She said she thinks California’s ban — which was a model for the ban in Columbus’ — has been effective.
But California doesn’t monitor its law, either.
No, of course it doesn't. After all, what do the results have to do with their good intentions?