Sixty seven percent of Americans support stricter gun control. A strong majority of Americans, including gun owners, consistently support laws prohibiting assault weapons. For example, a poll conducted in December 2012 found that 62% of Americans favored banning military-style assault weapons. In another survey, 67% of Field & Stream readers polled did not consider assault weapons to be legitimate sporting guns. A review of mass shootings between January 2009 and January 2013 by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found thatincidents where assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 135% more people shot and 57% more killed, compared to other mass shootings.
A study analyzing FBI data shows that 20% of the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty from 1998 to 2001 were killed with assault weapons.6 Anecdotal evidence from law enforcement leaders suggests that military-style assault weapons are increasingly being used against law enforcement by drug dealers and gang members.7 In response, law enforcement agencies are upgrading their arsenals to include more assault weapons.8 A 2007 report by the International Association of Chiefs of Police recommended that Congress enact an effective ban on military-style assault weapons in order to curb the ability of criminals to “outgun” law enforcement officers.9
The Lapsed Federal Assault Weapons Ban: In 1994, Congress adopted the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which made it “unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer, or possess” a semiautomatic assault weapon.13 The law was adopted with a sunset clause, however, and expired in 2004, despite overwhelming public support for its renewal. Thus, semi-automatic, military style weapons that were formerly banned under the federal law are now legal unless banned by state or local law.
Despite its limited duration, studies show that the federal assault weapon ban resulted in a marked decrease in the use of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines in crime. One study found that in several major cities, the share of recovered crime guns that were assault weapons declined by at least 32% after the federal ban was adopted.16 Another study found that the expiration of the federal assault weapon ban likely contributed to increased drug-trafficking related violence in Mexico, which often involves semi-automatic assault rifles sold in the U.S, as noted above. The authors of that study found that after the federal ban expired, there was a 40% increase in homicide rates in areas in Mexico along the Texas, New Mexico and Arizona borders compared to areas along the California border.17 California bans assault weapons under state law while the other border states do not.
The Federal Assault ban is proof that banning assault weapons is constitutional. The second amendment does not give citizens the right to arm themselves with tanks, grenades, bazookas, or missiles. Sarah Palin is known for her promotion of guns, and advertises the slogan “don’t retreat, reload.” Of course the shooters with assault weapons don’t need to re-load, as their guns already carry enough ammunition to eliminate multiple targets.
Our leaders must encourage peaceful demonstrations. When people like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin advocate violence, they encourage and promote death and destruction. The amazing thing is that they protect themselves, by restricting guns at events where they appear, but are outspoken proponents of rights of gun owners to carry guns in places where their personal safety is not at risk. When Trump appears at a rally guns are not permitted. Even though Trump has said that if elected he would eliminate gun-free zones. However his own properties are gun-free zones.
In the year since the Sandy Hook killings, 12,042 people have died from gun violence.
The United States has more guns and gun deaths than any other developed country in the world. The U.S. has 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people — more than any of the other 27 developed countries studied.
Enough of this craziness! People like Palin and Trump promote the problem. If they insist that their own rallies be “gun free zones” why don’t we insist that all public appearances be gun free zones? ng