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Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington on Sept. 28, 2007. Most of the guns were seized during crimes. (AP)

An average of 83 Americans die every day from firearms in the United States. And the U.S. has the highest firearm homicide rates in the developed world.

Despite these numbers and the recent spate of deadly gun violence incidents, it’s not likely we’ll hear much about gun control from our presidential and congressional candidates. The popular position of most politicians falls somewhere between claiming that current gun laws are adequate and just need to be enforced, to deferring the responsibility to individual states. As a result we have inconsistent and insufficient gun laws.

In 33 states, criminals and terrorists can buy military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips from “private dealers” on the Internet or at gun shows without showing ID or completing a background check. No ID, no background check, no restrictions, no detection. It is perfectly legal for private gun dealers and individuals to sell an unlimited number of firearms to anyone, including domestic criminals and international terrorists, cash and carry.

In addition to neglecting public safety and contributing to the 30,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. each year, current gun laws fly in the face of public opinion. Most citizens, members of law enforcement, gun owners and even a majority of NRA members agree that we need more restrictive laws governing the buying and selling of firearms.

Consider these figures from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:

  • 94 percent of police chiefs favor requiring a criminal background check for all handgun sales
  • 87 percent of Americans support background checks on private sales of guns, including sales at gun shows
  • 83 percent of gun owners support background checks on private sales of guns, including sales at gun shows
  • 69 percent of gun owners who belong to the NRA support requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns

There are several examples of successful legislative efforts to reduce gun violence, and real results that show the connection between restricted access to guns and reduced gun violence.

Between 1994 and 2004, under a federal assault weapons ban, there was a 66 percent reduction in assault weapons linked to crimes. (Assault weapons are the common denominator in every mass shooting because they can fire up to 100 rounds before reloading.) Since the ban expired, we have seen these military-style assault weapons come back into circulation. Previously banned guns like the AR-15, used in the Aurora massacre, are readily available to criminals and terrorists in the 33 states with lax gun control laws and at thousands of gun shows.

In Massachusetts, where we have some of the most effective gun laws, firearms kill three people per 100,000 each year, compared to the national average of 10 per 100,000. Despite being an urban industrial state, Massachusetts boasts the lowest firearm fatality rate in the nation.

More Americans have been killed by guns in the past 40 years than all U.S. service men and women killed in all foreign wars combined.

Massachusetts is one of the few states to require gun training, licensing and registration, and consumer protection standards for firearm manufacturers, and is one of only 17 states that require criminal background checks for all gun sales. These tough gun laws strengthen the conclusion reached by the Violence Policy Center, which found that states with the lowest firearm fatality rates have more restrictive gun laws and lower gun ownership rates.

Even for those inclined to dispute the connection between easy gun access and high rates of gun violence, there is still no basis for claiming that we should make guns easier for criminals and terrorists to access without detection.

So why do we still have federal policies that are intended to increase access to guns by criminals? How can we not see the problem with allowing criminals and terrorists to legally buy guns without detection?

Unfortunately the answer is simple: Sadly, Congress is willing to ignore the need for effective gun violence prevention laws in exchange for tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the gun industry and the NRA.

What is it going to take for us to recognize the deadly reality of the situation and hold our elected officials accountable?

Current national gun laws that allow unrestricted and undetected gun access have resulted in more Americans being killed by guns in the past 40 years than all U.S. service men and women killed in all foreign wars combined.

Look at the facts and let your policymakers know that you’re paying attention to their unconscionable and dangerous gun policies.

Tags: Law

The views and opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the writer and do not in any way reflect the views of WBUR management or its employees.

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  • pkill

    Objectivity, legitimate research, honesty, selflessness in the quest for knowledge, ethics; how does it work? Don’t ask Mr. Rosenthal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathy-Wnuk/100000450245663 Kathy Wnuk

    I was under the impression (wrongly) that an FID card was required to purchase a gun – evidently this is in Mass, not other states. It makes sense to require that a person be trained in how to use a gun, safety, laws, etc. before being able to purchase one. A background check can be done at that time. If going through the process takes too much time, I would wonder….why does a person need a gun so quickly?

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.crist.372 Mark Crist

      How about if someone gets an order for protection against an abusive and violent person? In Minnesote there is a specific exemption allowing a sheriff to issue a carry permit in that circumstance.

    • M.M.

      quickly?! what is “too quick” for you? it takes up to 180 days (sometime more) in Massachusetts to get a permit…there is no standard among Police Departments…legal recourse is limited….”so quickly”, she says…The actual background check (CORI, FBI) takes a few days, top (actual work time, few hours). The remaining 179 is just state-sanctioned abuse of power. We are talking about a constitutional right confirmed in 2008 by the Supreme Court as an individual right. That’s a precedent. It’s the law of the land, no matter what you like or wish. Even accepting a need for some regulations, regulation and its modes must be tempered by the understanding that an individual right is at play.
      That understanding is missing among local politicians, police chiefs and the many Mr. Rosenthal & Co.
      Most Massachusetts gun regulation is useless make-you-feel-good garbage that ends up affecting only law abiding gun owners with no effect whatsoever on our local gang-bangers. If the State were to make more intelligent laws (come up with state-wide standards, issue permits in one-two weeks top, “shall issue” LTCs for non-prohibited individuals, more reasonable fees, abolish most of the attorney general “consumer protection” regulations that keep commonly used guns out of our civilian market) I would not object, the fact is that intelligence is seemingly lacking, while ideology, glib, abuse and prejudice prevail.

    • PavePusher

      Only if you agree to apply the same restrictions/prerequisites to all other Constitutional Rights. Why does anyone need to speak in public, or vote, or insist on jury trial “so quickly”?

  • Newhce

    “Between 1994 and 2004, under a federal assault weapons ban, there was a
    66 percent reduction in assault weapons linked to crimes.”

    Gee, why don’t you also tell people even though there was a reduction in their use in crime, there was not reduction in crime itself. Number of homicides with rifles (ALL rifles) before the ban 2-3%, during the ban 2-3% after the ban 2-3%. The report itself makes it clear that any actual trends are hard to determine because these weapons WERE USED SO INFREQUENTLY!.

    Finally, why don’t you note that more people are murdered with shotguns every year than with rifles?

    • commonsense

      If he noted that more people are murdered with shotguns each year than with rifles, he’d be lying. Why do you want him to lie?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.beararms Joe Beararms

    More people are beaten to death with fists than are killed by ALL rifles, not just AR15s and AK47s, each year. Let’s start a campaign to ban fists!

  • vito33

    All the guns anyone could ever want are already out there. All you need is to know who to talk to and how much cash to bring. More purchase laws, even though I’m in favor of them, won’t do much good.

    But stricter enforcement of existing laws for committing a crime with a gun would help. Adding draconian penalties for gun crimes would be more of a deterrent than stricter purchase laws. Use a gun while committing a crime? 30 years, no parole, no exceptions.

    • eleventyonetigers

      AWESOME!

  • Walter Grant

    Funny you quote the Brady group. If you look up the most dangerous citis in the US they are all highly rated by the Brady’s. I wonder why that is never mentioned?

  • http://twitter.com/twosidesormore twosidesormore

    I’m sorry to say, but “cognoscenti” and Mr. Rosenthal in the same sentence is an oxymoron…he has no qualms about twisting facts to fit opinions…as a WBUR supporter I’m disappointed. why not asking Massachusetts GOAL for a similar opinion?

    anyway:

    1. the downward trend in crime statistics continued after eliminating the AR ban…(FBI crime stats). no relation of cause and effect there.2. AR-type rifles with minor cosmetic changes can be purchased in Massachusetts even with pre-ban magazines (MGL 140 s.122-131) yet the crime rate is low3. handguns, shotguns, bolt action rifles kill more people than AR-type rifles (FBI stats, assuming 15% of all rifles are AR-15 type rifles), roughly in a 8000:300:260:45 ratio, yet gun hysteria focuses on ARs….you figure

  • Newhce

    And yet Massachusetts has the second highest homicide rate in New England. How is that possible?

  • Roger

    Oh boy. The author is either limited in his research abilities or just makes stuff up.
    Here are some real facts

    You cannot argue that the population has increased. And you
    have to admit there are more guns than ever. Lets talk about the unintentional
    (accidents) death rate by firearms?

    The numbers below represent those from the CDC database.

    unintentional death rate by firearms

    Year………..Deaths………….Rate per 100,000

    1981……….1,871…………………..82

    1985……….1,649…………………..69

    1991……….1,441…………………..57

    1996……….1,134…………………..42

    1998……….866……………………..31

    2001……….802……………………..28

    2006……….642……………………..21
    THATS PROGRESS!!!

    I’m sure there are variables that can cut this up, but those
    are the numbers.

    You can thank the NRA now if you would like by sending a
    donation or becoming a member..

    • Sarah

      wait, why are you reporting unintentional deaths when that is not what he was talking about? and can you give me a link, I looked at the CDC website and could not find these numbers. Thanks!

      • http://www.facebook.com/mtavalone Mike Tavalone

        Because if you think about it he reffering to gun LAWS, so since the intentional ones are: 1) Murder (Performed by a criminal so no law is going to help, pretty sure murder is already illegal) and 2) Robbery (see #1) and 3) Suicide (Going to kill themselves anyways just would be another way if no gun). So if we can agree that only law abiding citizens will be following the law, it makes sense to only include data for unintentional deaths.

        • Jmeiro

          Oh gee you’re right! Since no laws are going to help, let’s just go ahead and legalize civilian possession of fully automatic weapons and nuclear material. After all, no laws are going to help, so those would have been obtained either way.

          Just because someone won’t willfully abide by a law doesn’t mean that laws can’t thwart that person anyhow. A complete ban on certain weapons would make sale of them to non-authorized entities illegal as well, preventing gun shops from selling to criminals in the first place.

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.mann.5648 John Mann

      Those numbers are only for unintentional gun deaths. They don’t include murders and suicides, which account for the majority of gun deaths.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mtavalone Mike Tavalone

        Why would you include suicides? The person doesn’t see a gun and say “Oh cool I think I’ll kill myself”. They are going to kill themselves no matter what (believe me I know this too well). If not a gun they will use something else. Otherwise we’ll be banning cars, knives, rope, gravity, poison………

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000037953669 Jeff Morris

    John E. Rosenthal one more anti gun fanatic so eager to spread disinformation and lies. If any of these anti gun laws worked and lowered crime the anti gun groups would be screaming about it all the time. Why are they so quiet about it, THEY DO NOT WORK .. not only do they not work but in many cases they make crime rates much higher. Take a look at all of the places such as Chicago where they have made it a criminals dream land because of their anti gun laws

  • Ryan

    Thanks for deleting my post Mr. Rosenthal! You’re still a hack.

  • Blasternot

    You have so many wrong statements in this rant, and I only read the first two paragraphs

    • posterchild57

      Yes that’s how we learn, by not reading

  • gunnut1970

    Sounds like you want something. I certainly want something. How about I give you gun show background checks and you give me federal concealed carry legislation allowing non-criminals to receive a permit to carry in all U.S. jurisdictions? Fair is fair. One bill with both provisions may be able to pass because it gives everyone something they want. Otherwise, you get nothing as usual.

    P.S. In your title and first sentence, respectively: “Gun Laws Work” and “An average of 83 Americans die every day from firearms in the United States”. You do realize there are 20,000 gun laws in the USA including four major federal statutes concerning gun control, right? I submit that you are a moron, your own words prove you cannot think.

    • commonsense

      gun’nut’ is a good name for you… only criminal minds believe they need to own an assault weapon… if you love guns that much try shaking some of your cowardness and join the military.

      • Dannabis

        There’s nothing wrong with assault rifles, since legal rifle owners only use them for hunting or target shooting. Only an ignorant fanatic like you who doesn’t understand the issue would think assault rifles are actually the problem. I shot a gun and no one died.

      • 2ndamendmentbeliever

        Where did you come up with your name, because common sense is the furthest thing from you. Do you even know what an assault weapon is? If so please explain it to me. I own a few weapons myself, 5 rifles, 2 shotguns, 3 handguns. I also have 2 crossbows, a compound bow, a bb gun, a pellet gun, and more knives than I know what to do with. I’ll bet you by your definition everyone of my guns is an assault weapon. I’ve owned guns for many years, hunted for food, target shoot, and at times just shoot because I can. I have probably gone through thousands of rounds, and you know what, I never ever shot anyone. I don’t plan on shooting anyone either, but I wouldn’t hesitate to if someone is threatening my family, or me. I do have a carry permit, and people know I do, so I rarely carry. If someone breaks into your house, and intends to do you harm, the actual response time from the police is between 15 – 21 minutes. So by the time the police arrive you’re dead, and the criminals have gone. the response time from a gun to its intended target is around 1,000 feet per second. That is if you even have to shoot. that 1,000 number is not for every gun, but just for example. Like I said though, I hope I never have to shoot anyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mtavalone Mike Tavalone

    The “assault weapons” thing continues to drive me insane. It purely a political term. It banning a certain type of firearm based on cosmetics. Case in point I also live in MA where the ban is still in effect yet I can go buy an AR-15 because they made a few cosmetic changes to it (proof the ban is useless and based on looks). It’s a scarey black rifle (SBR). Who cares if it’s “military style”, again “looks like military”. They are functionally different. So does this not seem like a feel-good waste of time ban? A less scarey looking wooden deer rifle can be far more lethal. Do you feel any better if someone dies with a gun that holds less rounds? “Uncle Charlie was shot and killed today but at least it was with a revolver.” See how dumb that sounds?? When the laws start to make any sense you will get the support you want. Nobody wants ANY firearm in the hands of a criminal. But stop talking nonsense about banning weapons because of how they look. Any one can look at the Centers for Disease Control or Wikipedia and confirm that the “assault weapon” ban did nothing. The 66% drop in crime you mention is deceiving. “Assault Weapons” linked to crimes went from 2.44% preban to 1.61% during the ban. So although 66% seems high, they are linked to crimes so infrequently that the number is skewed. Example: If there are 0 bank robberies today and 1 tomorrow the rate of bank robberies just jumped 100%!! (Again silly right?) Being from MA I can support having to be trained, licensed, back round checks etc if it makes you feel better (even though it does little since a criminal will get whatever weapon they want), but when I go though all that bs and pass “the test” don’t also tell me what weapons I can and cannot purchase. The laws only apply to law abiding people, why is this so hard to grasp?

  • LR

    Constitutional right? Ok, if you are part of a “well regulated militia”,
    go ahead and buy any weapon you want. However, IMHO, a “well regulated
    militia” needs to respond quickly, like the Minutemen. So, if you’re
    carrying, the militia needs to know where you are at all times. And, if
    you’re not, you still need to be available on short notice. If you are
    not available on short notice, you had better give that weapon to
    someone who is!

    Meanwhile, I think the rest of us can be a bit more realistic about
    this. Unless many criminals are skilled machinists, reducing the supply
    of guns for criminals will eventually reduce the number used in crimes.
    Of course, part of this would have to be buyback programs, etc., since
    there are so many out there already.

    I agree that if permits are to be issued, they should be issued in a
    reasonable amount of time. However, I think that some training should be
    required, perhaps even a proficiency test. We require it for driving,
    after all.

    Sounds like a lousy definition of “assault weapon” was used in the
    legislation. Not sure how the appearance comes in, but I’m not sure I
    see why anything but clip size, rate of fire, caliber, muzzle velocity
    etc. should enter into it.

    The real problem with guns, or at least one of the biggest, is that impulsivity can have much larger consequences. If you haul off and slug someone, they probably won’t die, and your fist will hurt. Not so if you shoot them. Maybe guns for self defense should have little tasers in the handle, that go off when you turn off the safety, not to incapacitate but to make sure shooting hurts like hell. If you really fear for your life, this probably isn’t much of a disincentive, but it might be if you were just unreasonably angry. (Ok, just to be clear I am using “you” in the sense formerly given by saying something like “If one really fears for one’s life….”) Lots of practical issues with this idea, I suppose.

    • LR

      Hmmm… maybe just put a few spikes in the handle or the butt. I’ve fired a 9mm rifle once. I don’t care to do it again! Or, at least, not without a big pillow on my shoulder, and good earplugs.

    • David F

      Actually I am a member of the militia.

      “Militia: Composition and classes” Title 10 U.S.Code, § 311

      (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied
      males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of
      title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration
      of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female
      citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

  • PavePusher

    “Between 1994 and 2004, under a federal assault weapons ban, there was a 66 percent reduction in assault weapons linked to crimes. (Assault weapons are the common denominator in every mass shooting because they can fire up to 100 rounds before reloading.)”
    This is an utter lie. The reduction was due merely to the re-catagorizing of various rifles. If a rifle with a bayonette lug was used, it was an “assault weapon”, if it didn’t have one, it wasn’t. Skewing the results by abitrary reclassifying the data is dihonest fakery.
    Also, ‘assault weapons” and NOT “the common denominator… unless you can cite to evidence? I doubt you can, and I know you won’t.
    Just two egregious errors out of many. This drivel should be removed by ‘Cognoscenti’ unless the word no longer means what I believed it did.

  • MuzzleHead

    Gun Laws only affect law abiding citizens. Criminals do not follow the law, so if you had more gun laws why would that be good? All that is accomplished is more infringement on the good people of our country. Disarming the good guys won’t stop the bad guys! Your data, like your ideas, are flawed. You will never, ever rid this country, or any other country of firearms. Such an idea is unrealistic. So instead of dreaming of ways to get rid of firearms why not dream of ways to get them out of the hands of criminals! That is the real problem.

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  • TrentO

    Wow I have never seen so much BS typed in one page in my life…. You want gun control? I want speech control…

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  • eleventyonetigers

    Mister Rosenthal, I would like you to define “the developed world”. Then, I have many questions for you. While you think this over, look up the personal history of George Washington.

  • DT

    SO MUCH DISINFORMATION! Did they even try to look anything up to make it sound believable? Or did they just make this shit up while they were high on the weed they are against legalizing?

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.hyman.12 Scott Hyman

    In addition to being the co-founder of Stop Handgun Violence, John E. Rosenthal is a gun owner and the president of the real estate development firm Meredith Management.

  • American

    John E. Rosenthal is a domestic terrorist- he is working in concert with others to overthrow a constitutionally guaranteed right. What if there was an organization who was actively advocating taking away the voting rights of woman or to disenfranchise blacks? How long before the FBI shut them down, and the AG prosecuted them? These are rights, They are not subject to discussion or modification.

  • John Griswold

    Cognoscenti means someone with superior knowledge. Why did you have this ignorant person on?

  • Virginia

    Why is this commentary so nasty?

  • ranger

    Some good points made, however most of that is questionable at best, gun shows require you to show id, also you can be at fault for selling to a criminal and i would beg to differ that ANYONE in the NRA wants more Gun laws. Also most shootings are not done with “assault” rifles which id give the writer of thia article 100$ if he could accurately described an assault rifle. Most of these mass shootings have been done with semi automatic pistols. And i may be wrong about this but i believe small frame revolvers are actually the most commonly used firearms in crimes (not a high capacity wean for you laymen).

  • Joyce Marble

    guns don’t kill, people do. A normal person who is a hunter or target shooter does not need an assault military grade weapon. And on another note why is it that when something goes wrong the sitting president gets blamed.

    • X-Ray

      What’s a “military grade” weapon? Is a gun evil because it looks sacay?
      To your question on the President: Because the President is supposed to be the leader, to inspire us to do the “right” and proper thing, in lne with the Constitution. Things fail when the leadership is feckless.

    • 2ndamendmentbeliever

      Can you please give me your definition of an assault military grade weapon. Do not include what it looks like, because any weapon can be used in the military, including pistols. As for why the sitting president gets blamed, I’ll bet you still blame George Bush for everything thats going wrong with our economy, and not mr. obama.

  • acesbettor

    You use Massachusetts as an example stating that it has strict gun laws and less crime rate but you failed to mention that since those laws were enacted in 1998 and gun ownership went down from 1.5 million to about 230,000, gun crimes have risen 200%!

  • change12

    I am wondering what the number of murders by those illegally having firearms is ?

    also , in the cities with gun bans , what are the number of murders & street crime versus cities w/o a gun ban, say, conceal & carry ? as far as I know Chicago has the most murders on the streets , & has the tightest gun laws.. aka as allowing legal gun owners to C & C .. nothing is being done to protect those kids in gangs, yet after the horrible shooting in CT we now want to ban guns ? this week a man tried to shoot people at a rest. & theater , THANKFULLY an off duty police officer took him down with ONE shot. Responsible gun owners would do the same in ANY situation. I won’t go into ANY area, store or theater that has a sign posted as an open invitation to murders : ” NO GUNS ALLOWED ON THIS PROPERTY ” maybe it’s just those willing to kill who can’t read ?

  • change12

    gun control worked for Hitler in 39.., Pot in China & let’s not forget Russia..
    yea.. looking forward to that ! fun times esp for Jews gays & anyone who disagrees with the Gov. !

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.lunt.31 Michael Lunt

    Where did you get the statistic of over 30,000 people killed with guns each year. The FBI database cites around 9,000. That’s still terrible but there is quite a difference from what you state. (and for comparison almost 18,000 are killed in alcohol related deaths each year)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.c.davidson Ryan C. Davidson

    Wow, that was just nauseating… If anything, we need less restrictive gun control measures. Meth is illegal, but for some strange reason it’s still available in every major city in America. Drunk driving is illegal, yet it still happens everyday. Wow, how is that? Isn’t it against the law? Making something illegal doesn’t get rid of it… I’m not saying legalize drugs or drunk driving, these weren’t rights guaranteed by our constitution. Or should we just get rid of the constitution?

  • Anthony turner

    Gee I had no idea that criminals followed laws, really? Better ban chainsaws, diesel, fertilizer and every thing else that can kill a person. Ok let’s say guns never existed, alright we have bow and arrow killing sprees. Ok let’s take bows away, oh I really wanna kill all these people, but I can’t buy a bow to do it, wait I know I could steal my neighbors bow. Or I could kill everyone with a bomb or a knife. But a bow would be so much easier. Just cause it’s easier to kill someone with a rifle doesn’t mean if you take the rifle out of the equation, doesn’t mean you can’t kill someone with somthing else or steal one and use it. Meth, bombs and running people over with cars, are all illegal or you can’t posses, but that doesn’t stop people from having it and killing or getting killed. Humans are violent, period. There are people in Mexico that would love to have as much peace as us, not everyday you have a cartel shootout on your street huh? In Mexico it is absolutely illegal to own a firearm, wow how’s that working out? I live in Colorado, they took away 30 round mags, that’s to bad, first of all a criminal will not but a weapon with 10 round mag and a bullet button, he’ll either get someone to buy itfor him take off that useless shit, and steal my 30 round mag I already own and use it. Most of this is done with stolen guns. Don’t bother what good is less violence than none, death will happen either way. Guns don’t kill people, it’s stupid ass criminals who got raped by there daddys that kill people. You politicians can go fuck yourselves.

  • bobjones

    The problem with gun death statistics.. They dont take out deaths by self defense, deaths by suicide, or people shot dead by law enforcement during a crime.. Liberals like to throw out how these laws work, by using Britain as an example, yet Britain has 4 times the violent crime of the U.S. per 100,000 people.. Take away their guns, and a robber will beat you, and then take your wallet.. Piers Morgan uses gun suicide statistics as an example of how gun control has worked.. None mention how violent crime has gone up, or that suicides by pills or hanging have also gone up.. Home invasions have gone up.. Instead of being held up with a gun, and the robber fleeing the scene, they now hit you with their fists, bricks, or bats and take your wallet, because walking up unarmed and saying give me your wallet doesnt work.. They have to assault you first!

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/07/02/article-1196941-05900DF7000005DC-677_468x636.jpg

    Take into account that in the same year the above statistics were taken, the U.S. had a violent crime rate of 466 per 100,000 residents.. Do you really believe that somehow violent crime will not rise, if we give up a means to defend ourselves?

  • Octavianus

    “Assault weapons are the common denominator in every mass shooting because they can fire up to 100 rounds before reloading.”

    According to a 2009 study by the Office of the Attorney General of the California Department of Justice (and many other studies as well), assault weapons were used in approximately 2% of California’s violent crimes. Even if, as you say, there was a 66% drop in crimes used with assault weapons, that barely puts a dent into crime at all.

    And what do you mean, 100 round clips? Most “assault weapons” use 20-30 round clips (i.e. the M4 and AK-47). For 100 rounds, you would need a drum magazine, which are very hard to come by at all.

    But you know what, I think the ban would work. After all, when our law-abiding criminals walk into our gun shops, won’t they just be so very disappointed when they find out that they can’t kill with the automatic goodness they desire. They’ll be so sad that they will just decide to stop committing crimes altogether, and will spend the rest of their lives contributing to American society and campaigning against violence.

    “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.” – George Washington

  • Dannabis

    This is all nonsense wrapped in to a relatively poorly prepared article.

    In fact gun laws are fine the way they are. More gun laws do nothing to prevent or reduce crime, as history has amply demonstrated. Law abiding citizens are not the ones who commit crimes, and the law abiding citizens are the ones who end up obeying new laws. So the net effect of further gun laws only serves to empower criminals and murderers, and clearly you support murder and are glad the kids at Newtown and any where else died, because you support gun control.

    Funny that you cite the Brady campaign which is not reputable by any means and no one considers them reliable sources. They are known liars and have nearly no members of their group because it is a sham.

    As much as I’d like to be mad at you for being so ignorant, you just really need to educate yourself and think logically, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what I outlined for you above. Abandon pop politics and culture, ignore what your friends and the media tells you, look at reality and you will see that LEGAL guns save lives. Gun control is a waste of money and time and does not reduce crime in any way shape or form. It’s pure stupidity.

  • 2ndamendmentbeliever

    Hey there Mr. Rosenthal, I believe we should make owning a car illegal. I bet there are way more people killed in car accidents every year than by guns. How about making rape illegal as well. I’ll bet there are probably more rapes as well. I bet there are more smoking related deaths as well, lets make smoking illegal. We also need to get rid of swimming, because of all the drownings every year. I could think of some more, but just think of the lives we’ll save with just those. We could also add alchohol. Of everything mentioned, I don’t believe any of them are mentioned in the constitution, so it shouldn’t be hard to get rid of them at all. The only thing that is mentioned, is guns. Wonder why they mentioned that, and not something else. Might you think it is for the control freaks that could take over our country, and we have nothing to defend ourselves with. You give up your guns, and call the police. we’ll see how happy you are with their response time when you need them.

  • David

    Unfortunately, as has been the case in the past, Mr. Rosenthal is skewing the numbers and using strongly anti-gun biased sources for information. No report done by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence or The Violence Policy Center is unbiased.

    I was unable to find a breakdown of all firearms deaths by state at the CDC website. I was however able to find a table of homicides by state at the FBI site, their “Crime in the US 2011″ report, table 20. It shows that Massachusetts ranks at number 17 for firearms homicide in the country at 1.86 per 100,000. So I doubt Mr. Rosenthal’s claim: “Massachusetts boasts the lowest firearm fatality rate in the nation.” Hawaii, at 0.07 per 100,000, boasts the distinction of lowest firearms homicide rate in the country, followed by New Hampshire at 0.46.

    The District of Columbia boasts the highest rate for firearms homicides at 12.80 per 100,000. They also boast some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. Other states with draconian gun laws do no better, New York 2.3 per 100,000 and Illinois 2.94 per 100,000 and California at 3.27 per 100,000 show that again Mr. Rosenthal is using misleading information, at best, when he says: “…the conclusion reached by the Violence Policy Center, which found that states with the lowest firearm fatality rates have more restrictive gun laws…” The Violence Policy Center also happens to be a rabidly fanatical anti-gun organization.

    Vermont by the way, which has some of the most lax gun laws in the country (if you’re a US citizen you may carry a concealed weapon, no permit, no questions asked) ranks at number 6 for lowest firearm homicide rates with 0.64 per 100,000.

    In fact of the 16 states that have lower firearms homicide rates than MA 7 of them received an F from the Violence Policy Center for their gun laws, 3 received a D. Only MA (at #17) gets an A- and Hawaii at #1 gets a B the rest get Cs some with a plus or minus, mostly minus.

    The national rate for firearms homicides is 3.6 per 100,000.

    So called “assault weapons” are a small subset of rifles. Rifles account for only 3.8% of all firearms homicides. So it would be logical to say that “assault weapons” account for less than that.

  • Higg

    You write “Between 1994 and 2004, under a federal assault weapons ban, there was a 66 percent reduction in assault weapons linked to crimes. (Assault weapons are the common denominator in every mass shooting because they can fire up to 100 rounds before reloading.) Since the ban expired, we have seen these military-style assault weapons come back into circulation.”

    You fail to mention over all since 2004 firearms homicide rates over-all have continued to reduce. Additionally I’d like to know your source for the 66%, because there in no agency that tracks assault weapons used in crimes.

  • Dude who knows about this.

    Wrong. Private people (not dealers) can sell a gun to other private people (average Joe to average Joe) in many states, but it’s the responsibility of the seller to assess the buyer. I require a CHL if I sell a gun to another individual. Other than that, a background check is ALWAYS required with a dealer sale. Also, they’re called “MAGAZINES” not “CLIPS.” A “CLIP” is a device used to more rapidly load a magazine. I love how the articles of the ignorant. are so botched. I guess gun control works, just ask Chicago, DC and Connecticut.

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