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Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:32 PM

Did the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban Work?

Both sides in the gun debate are misusing academic reports on the impact of the 1994 assault weapons ban, cherry-picking portions out of context to suit their arguments.

Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association, told a Senate committee that the “ban had no impact on lowering crime.” But the studies cited by LaPierre concluded that effects of the ban were “still unfolding” when it expired in 2004 and that it was “premature to make definitive assessments of the ban’s impact on gun violence.”
Conversely, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has introduced a bill to institute a new ban on assault weapons, claimed the 1994 ban “was effective at reducing crime.” That’s not correct either. The study concluded that “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.”

Both sides in the gun debate are selectively citing from a series of studies that concluded with a 2004 study led by Christopher S. Koper, “An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003.” That report was the final of three studies of the ban, which was enacted in 1994 as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

The final report concluded the ban’s success in reducing crimes committed with banned guns was “mixed.” Gun crimes involving assault weapons declined. However, that decline was “offset throughout at least the late 1990s by steady or rising use of other guns equipped with large-capacity magazines.”

http://factcheck.org/2013/02/did-the-1994-assault-weapons-ban-work/

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Did the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban Work? (Original post)
SecularMotion Feb 2013 OP
gejohnston Feb 2013 #1
Dog Gone at Penigma Feb 2013 #12
gejohnston Feb 2013 #16
HooptieWagon Feb 2013 #2
Dog Gone at Penigma Feb 2013 #13
HooptieWagon Feb 2013 #22
Starboard Tack Feb 2013 #24
gejohnston Feb 2013 #25
Starboard Tack Feb 2013 #26
gejohnston Feb 2013 #31
ManiacJoe Feb 2013 #3
krispos42 Feb 2013 #4
Dog Gone at Penigma Feb 2013 #19
hack89 Feb 2013 #27
Duckhunter935 Feb 2013 #32
krispos42 Feb 2013 #34
Pullo Feb 2013 #5
kudzu22 Feb 2013 #6
Dog Gone at Penigma Feb 2013 #14
kudzu22 Feb 2013 #18
aikoaiko Feb 2013 #23
hack89 Feb 2013 #28
Duckhunter935 Feb 2013 #29
Common Sense Party Feb 2013 #7
SecularMotion Feb 2013 #8
GreenStormCloud Feb 2013 #11
Dog Gone at Penigma Feb 2013 #15
Common Sense Party Feb 2013 #21
Riftaxe Feb 2013 #9
gejohnston Feb 2013 #10
Dog Gone at Penigma Feb 2013 #17
Duckhunter935 Feb 2013 #30
slackmaster Feb 2013 #20
Duckhunter935 Feb 2013 #33


Response to gejohnston (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:18 PM

12. subsequent studies seem to suggest

That not only did crime involving assault style weapons rise steeply after the end of the 2004 ban ended, but that the expanded capacity magazines was a key factor in those crimes.

In the findings of the DC ban on BOTH assault weapons, assault STYLE weapons AND expanded capacity magazines, it found that those items led to more shootings, more people killed and wounded in those shootings, and that the people who were victims had more wounds per person from the combination of the weapons and the magazines, and that therefore they were legal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/opinion/no-right-to-bear-assault-weapons.html?_r=0

The Supreme Court said in that case that the right is “not unlimited” and doesn’t protect guns “not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” And it specifically suggested that jurisdictions could ban the possession of the military’s M-16 rifle because it is “dangerous and unusual.”

The District’s firearms law defines “assault weapon” to include rifles like the AR-15, which the Supreme Court once called “the civilian version of the military’s M-16 rifle.” The appeals court suggested that the only place where assault weapons, which are designed to spray bullets at a rapid rate, are necessary for self-defense is on a battlefield or the equivalent for police. Anywhere else their presence is an invitation to mayhem and puts police officers and all around at high risk.

It also concluded that “the evidence demonstrates a ban on assault weapons is likely to promote the Government’s interest in crime control in the densely populated urban area that is the District of Columbia.” The court reached the same conclusion about banning magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Those magazines increase the dangers of semiautomatic guns: they result in more shots fired, people wounded and wounds per person. The appeals court’s ruling is careful and convincing on this heated topic.

And there is some convincing evidence that the link between weapons, magazines, and certain kinds of ammo for criminal purposes is growing. This ranges from gang and drug cartel crime to mass shootings to domestic violence/ partner shooting/ murder suicides. In particular these three things are associated with putting law enforcement in greater peril, effectively in an arms race with civilian weapons, and with rendering their protection such as body armor less effective to completely ineffective.

So while other guns will 'do', they don't 'do' as often, or as well in the hands of criminals.

More than that, most other countries either ban or strictly regulate them, notably in Europe and the rest of the developed world.

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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:31 PM

16. an opinion piece

that doesn't back anything up? Have to better than that. Next you will drag out the "ARs can shoot down an airplane"

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:08 PM

2. Homicides were declining before the AWB.

They continued to decline during the AWB. After the AWB was allowed to expire, homicide rates continued to decline. This seems to indicate that other factors were responsible, and the AWB had little to no effect. There are many theories proposed for the decline of homicides (and violent crime in general). A new one, that seems to have some merit, points at the removal of lead from gasoline, and the diminished lead in the enviroment as a result. Another theory, that has been widely accepted, is that harsher penalties for violent crimes (three-strikes laws, minimum sentencing, etc) has removed many violent career criminals from the streets. Theres probably more than one explanation, but the AWB doesn't appear to be a major one, if at all.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:26 PM

13. homicides haven't been declining for awhile now

And while deaths declined, the number of people being shot did not.

I applaud that you note that the reduction of lead in the environment, from things ranging from gasoline to paint, did appear to lead to a diminution in certain kinds of violent tendencies, there appears to be a clear correlation to guns and violence, that without the means to do the violence, there is less violence, and less destruction in the violence that is done.

The problem with the AWB was that it was badly written, and the new one progresses from that; and that it in particular did not have the sophistication of definition of large capacity magazines.

The fact that most other developed and civilized countries do not have these kinds of multiple mass shootings that we do, and that most of them involve either a assault style weapon and/or expanded magazse, and we do have these, should be a clue that there is a correlation to violence.

There is also a gender correlation in mass shootings, with 60 out of the last 61 mass shootings being committed by males.

Because of the effort by the gun manufacturers through the NRA to restrict the funding of gun violence, I suspect that we will find now that those studies are resuming in greater numbers that there is a gender correlation in the ownership of these weapons.

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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:34 PM

22. There was a huge mass murder in Norway just a bit ago.

Did you forget? And England has had mass murders...there was one in France recently. Problem is not unique to the US.

And I have looked at statistics from CDC and DOJ, as part of forming my opinion. Homicides, and violent crime in general, have been on a decline for quite some time now. Its pretty hard to dispute government facts, and I view fact-deniers with a great deal of suspicion.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:56 PM

24. Correct "Problem is not unique to the US."

But the frequency is unique to the US.
Other countries also have crazy people, but it is much harder for them to access such weapons.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:05 PM

25. media circus and higher population is unique to the US

and Americans don't pay attention what is going on in other parts of the world, makes it less likely to be reported in the US.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:12 PM

26. "media circus and higher population is unique to the US" Really?

Where did you get that idea? The "media circus" is definitely not unique to the US and several countries have higher populations, which, BTW, has no relevance when discussing levels of murder/violence per capita.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:24 PM

31. I thought we were talking about the

numbers of mass and spree murder. When it comes to per capita murder, we are lower than the world average of seven per 100K.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:12 PM

3. Before one can claim "it worked" or not,

one needs to define "worked".

The AWB did decrease the numbers of rifles with certain cosmetic feature combinations.

The number of the same rifles with alternate cosmetic feature combinations skyrocketed. (Same rifle, different looks.)

The number of low capacity magazines for handguns increased. The number of standard and extended capacity magazines skyrocketed just before the bad and then remained at higher prices.

Crime rates continued downward before, during, and after the ban.

By most real definitions of "worked", the previous AWB as an abysmal failure.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:21 PM

4. I doubt it.

Analogy:

If I banned cars with trunk-mounted spoilers, then accidents involving cars with trunk-mounted spoilers would logically decrease. This says nothing about total car accidents, only cars with a particular accessory.

Likewise, in 1994 through 2004 no new "assault weapons" were sold nationwide, and none even after 2004 in several states such as California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Therefore, the percentage of guns that would be defined as "assault weapons" could only decrease during the years of the ban.


This does not mean that semiautomatic rifles fed from a detachable magazine, semiautomatic shotguns fed from a detachable magazine, or semiautomatic handguns fed from a detachable magazine were banned. It just means that those guns, that ALSO had secondary features, were no longer sold.

For example, the Newtown slaughter was not committed with an "assault weapon", it was committed with a semiautomatic rifle fed from a detachable magazine that did not have any secondary features. So a tally of murders done with "assault weapons" would not include the Newtown slaughter.


The ban did not reduce the total number of guns sold. It did not reduce the number of detachable-magazine-fed semiautomatic guns sold. Ergo, it could not have done anything noticeable.

In fact, it has been argued that the publicity from the ban increased the number of detachable-magazine-fed semiautomatic rifles sold since.

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Response to krispos42 (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:40 PM

19. The findings of the DC gun ban found that there was a causal correlation (and Newtown)

in number of people shot and the number of shots per person by assault weapons / expanded magazines.

So unlike your example, the one is differently connected to the outcome.

And YES, the state police are quite emphatic that Newtown slaughter WAS committed by an assault style weapon:

http://www.ctpost.com/newtownshooting/article/State-Police-All-26-Newtown-victims-shot-with-4220548.php

Lt. J. Paul Vance, the face of an ongoing Connecticut State Police investigation into worst grade-school shooting in U.S. history, Thursday debunked media and Internet reports that Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza killed his victims with handguns and not the Bushmaster XM-15 E2S rifle that is now the focus of a proposed federal assault-weapons ban.

All 26 of Lanza's victims were shot with the .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle, said Vance, who bristled at claims to the contrary during an interview with Hearst Connecticut Newspapers.

"It's all these conspiracy theorists that are trying to mucky up the waters," said Vance, the longtime state police spokesman.

Multiple Second Amendment and gun owner websites have attempted to cast doubts on whether the Bushmaster XM-15, a type of AR-15 rifle that is currently legal, was used in the Dec. 14 carnage done by Lanza.



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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:14 PM

27. It was not legally considered an "assualt weapon"

Connecticut has an AWB - that rifle was legal. Therefore it was not an assault weapon.

So it would be recorded as a murder by a "rifle".

And that is the problem with any analysis of the 94 AWB - yes murders by "assault weapons" may have gone down but it says nothing about legal semiautomatic rifles that look nearly identical to "assault weapons".

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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:26 PM

32. not what Vance said at all

He did not say assault weapon because it was not. He correctly identified the weapon a rifle. Quote "All 26 of Lanza's victims were shot with the .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle, said Vance"

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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:40 PM

34. Since about 1990...

...the total number of people killed has dropped by nearly 50%.

However, the number multiple-homicide incidents has remained fairly steady.

The boldface is the column title. We have year, then the number of victims per incident. Solo murders, then doubles, triples, quadruples, and finally mass murders.

Under that is the NUMBER of such incidents. For example, in 1976, we had 442 double homicides (884 victims).

Year__1____2__3_4_5+
1976 17,492 442 67 24 16
1977 17,695 505 78 33 8
1978 18,166 481 89 21 13
1979 19,936 521 80 34 18
1980 21,426 593 70 30 17
1981 20,970 579 71 18 18
1982 19,392 557 79 30 22
1983 17,963 511 63 22 8
1984 17,373 488 53 13 19
1985 17,457 556 94 15 12
1986 19,157 562 63 18 11
1987 18,575 563 91 10 13
1988 19,250 528 63 26 14
1989 19,940 564 86 31 8
1990 21,773 590 84 28 15
1991 23,026 634 73 30 11
1992 21,828 735 94 28 13
1993 22,618 705 102 30 13
1994 21,390 776 90 19 7
1995 19,637 669 101 22 29
1996 18,022 635 86 16 7
1997 16,592 591 92 21 13
1998 15,552 535 78 17 8
1999 14,007 554 74 21 17
2000 14,236 505 72 18 9
2001 14,549 576 81 15 6
2002 14,587 587 94 24 11
2003 14,798 619 89 29 17
2004 14,645 564 76 19 11
2005 15,079 602 95 19 8

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/htius.pdf
Page 124


As you can see, the number of single homicides rose to a fairly sharp peak in 1993, then settled back down to about 15,000 by the early '00s. The number of double-homicide incidents, however, generally hovers in the 525 range, peaking a little at about 1990.

Except for 2 years, triple homicides are always in the double digits. Quadruples are always in the double digits, and quintuples-plus are in either single or double digits.

The number of incidents are actually fairly steady despite an increasing population, which means that the per-capita rate is dropping.





Regarding the weapon used at Newtown, we have a new term cropping up... "assault-style weapon".


In this context it seems to be a gun that doesn't meet the legal definition of "assault weapon" but is as close as legally possible. So, a new term. Gotta get "assault" in the name somehow, I guess.

Fuckwad's rifle was not an assault weapon under current Connecticut law, which itself is a direct copy of the now-expired federal ban.

Under Feinstein's proposed ban, the definition of "assault weapon" would be greatly broadened, and would have included Fuckwad's Bushmaster rifle. They are essentially attempting to make his rifle an assault weapon ex post facto.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:25 PM

5. It worked at selling "assault" weapons.

especially the AR-15.

So, yes. If the goal of the '94 AWB was a proliferation in the numbers of military-style firearms in private hands, then the law was a massive success.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:36 PM

6. It was a feel-good measure, so the test is....

did it make you feel good?

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Response to kudzu22 (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:29 PM

14. it will certainly make those who are in law enforcement feel good

not to be perforated through their body armor by multiple projectiles fired in a few seconds or less.

The new AWB is NOT a feel good measure; the other one was never intended to be that either, except by the pro-gun SELLING NRA.

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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:39 PM

18. Yeah it feels much better to be shot

by a gun without a pistol grip. New AWB is just as dumb as the old one. And as useless. If it doesn't ban (and confiscate) all semi-autos, it's still a feel-good measure.

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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:43 PM

23. It allows the same ARs during the last ban only with the addition of a compliant grip/stock


Its a completely flawed strategy.

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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:16 PM

28. The stupidity of the new AWB in two pictures

This gun is specifically called out in the legislation as being illegal under the AWB:




This gun is specifically called out in the legislation as being legal under the AWB:



They are both Ruger Mini-14s

http://www.ruger.com/products/mini14TacticalRifle/models.html

If you were a cop would you really feel safer?

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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:18 PM

29. like any semi-automatic rifle

wooden stock or pistol grip, but some want to just ban the scary looking one

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:44 PM

7. What do YOU think, SecMo?

Or do you not like to comment on your own OPs?

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Response to Common Sense Party (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:55 PM

8. I think reinstating the ban permanently along with a ban on high-capacity magazines

will be more effective than the original, temporary ban.

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Response to SecularMotion (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:04 PM

11. So you ducked your own question.

Your question was, "Did the 1994 AWB work?", not "What do you support now?" It is very telling that you wish to avoid your own question after you have been shown that the AWB didn't actually ban any guns. You can't even claim that drive-by bayonetings went down because there were none before, and there remained none.

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Response to SecularMotion (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:30 PM

15. In the new legislation being proposed this week in MN

assault style weapons will be required to be registered.

And on the death of the owner, they are required to be destroyed; it is a measure to gradually phase them out of existence.

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Response to SecularMotion (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:59 PM

21. So, the 1994 Assault Weapon ban did NOT work, in your opinion.

Is that correct?

(And thanks for actually COMMENTING in one of your own threads! Maybe this is the start of a new trend!)

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:56 PM

9. It was the best free

advertisement campaign for the purchase and possession of Firearms possible.

If it's goal was to promote purchase and ownership of semi-automatic rifles, then it truly worked like a charm.

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Response to Riftaxe (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:00 PM

10. Where I'm from

you would have been laughed off the range if you showed up with one. It was great for Colt and the newer companies. H&R, New England, Marlin, and Henry, not so much.

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Response to Riftaxe (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:32 PM

17. and yet so many of those who have bought them are now dying by them

and there appear to be means in progress to get rid of those investments in the ownership of certain equipment, so they will probably be the suckers of the gun industry in the long run.

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Response to Dog Gone at Penigma (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:22 PM

30. nope

most gun related deaths are still by the old hand gun. actually very few by rifles and even less by assault weapons, a sub category of rifle.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:45 PM

20. It spurred interest in and triggered in a vast proliferation of many weapons it was supposed to ban

 

Obviously a huge failure of policy no matter how you slice and dice the measurable results.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:32 PM

33. do not think it did

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