Gun banners who can’t shoot straight
By John R. Lott, Jr.
New York Post
June 3, 2005
When the federal assault- weapons ban expired last September, its fans claimed that gun crimes and police killings would surge. Sarah Brady, one of the nation's leading gun-control advocates, warned, "Our streets are going to be filled with AK-47s and Uzis."
Well, over eight months have gone by and the only casualty has been gun-controllers' credibility. Letting the law expire only showed its uselessness.
Yet, while this lesson has been learned in the rest of the country — Illinois' Democrat-controlled state Assembly last week defeated both a proposed assault weapons and 50-caliber gun bans — New York's Legislature was going its own way. The Assembly last month passed new assault-weapon and 50-caliber bans by almost two-to-one margins — and some Republican state senators (such as Queens' Frank Padavan) are signing on, too.
The irrelevance of the assault-weapons bans to crime rates was to be expected. Not a single published academic study has ever shown that these bans have reduced any type of violent crime.
Even research funded by the Justice Department in the Clinton years found only that these bans' effect on gun violence "has been uncertain." And when those same authors released their updated report last August, looking at crime data up through 2000 — the first six full years of the federal law — they stated, "We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence."
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