Commentary

Bradley: 1994 assault weapons ban ‘had no discernible impact on gun crime’

Last night, President Joe Biden called for a renewal of the 1994 ban on ‘assault weapons’ which, he said, significantly reduced killings. But a subsequent Justice Dept. study says that’s not so, Second Amendment advocate Chris Bradley (above, at left) reports.

by Chris Bradley

When a horrific mass shooting occurs, the focus seems to always be on the tool(s) employed, not on the obviously sick and deranged person who perpetrated the heinous act.  

No one in their right mind would plan to go to a public place and kill people, let alone kill children.  It is unconscionable for “normal” people to even contemplate such a horrendous act, and from this we should and must understand that these people do not think like we do.  As “normal” citizens:  We look to follow the law when others do not.  How then will more laws control the uncontrollable?

Despite the fact these events continue to occur, with there being ample evidence that each mass shooter wants to outdo the last in terms of carnage, how will any new law stop an individual who sets out to kill as many people as they can, while planning to end their life as they do so?

Without even knowing what firearms were used, how they were obtained, or really any other details whatsoever, the Clarion Call goes out:  We MUST do more about controlling firearms, while sadly completely missing the very plain fact that the true cause is out-of-control/mentally ill people.

In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which included a prohibition on the manufacture and sale of certain types of semi-automatic firearms to civilians, in addition to banning certain large capacity magazines.  When passed, it included a sunset provision that would make the bill expire on September 13, 2004, and despite numerous attempts to renew, the ban was never renewed or extended.

Subsequent to its sunset, numerous studies were conducted as to the impact of the ban, with these studies indicating that the ban had little effect on crime, homicides or the lethality of firearms used in crime.

Since it’s sunset, proponents of the ban argue that the recent rise in mass shootings is due to the expired ban; however detailed studies place the blame on the increased use of social media, a shooter’s desire for fame, inspiration from previous shooters and the major underlying cause:  Mental Illness. 

The fact that the ban had little impact on overall crime is not surprising, given that modern sporting rifles account for only about 2% of crime involving guns.  

As to what the ban accomplished, in the leading study on the effectiveness of the 1994 ban, Christopher Kopel stated:  “In general we found, really, very, very little evidence, almost none, that gun violence was becoming less lethal and less injurious during this time frame.  So on the balance, we concluded that the ban had not had a discernible impact on gun crime during the years it was in effect.”

In the spirit of never letting any serious crisis go to waste, politicians immediately started calling for a renewal and expansion of the 1994 ban; they call for “safe storage”; “waiting periods” or a ban on “ghost guns”, without having the slightest shred of knowledge or evidence that ANY of these initiatives would have provided any safeguards, or even a small impediment, to what occurred.

Given the plethora of firearms in this world along with the known existence of terrorists, criminals and criminal enterprises such as smuggling; people with evil intent will ALWAYS be able to obtain tools with which to kill others, unless we choose to become a police state.  Despite state and federal laws that make it illegal to bring a gun onto school grounds, it happens, and it appears to be happening with more frequency.  

Early on, Israel suffered from armed attacks on their schools.  In response:  They armed and trained their teachers – and lo and behold – school attacks in Israel virtually ceased.  God forbid we protect our children from threats like we protect our politicians by providing guards/resource officers – that concept is enough to make some folks head explode, when it otherwise seems so…prudent.

We forced our kids to wear masks to protect them from virus; can we not see our way clear to protect our kids with guards?  How many more senseless mass shootings will occur while we try to blame or regulate tools, when we have not, and apparently WILL NOT, take the simple precaution of providing real protection?

When a criminal is caught doing something with a firearm:  The response must be automatic and serious jail time, with no ability for those charges to be pled away at the whim of a progressive prosecutor.

Only the law abiding obeys laws; and the law abiding have the right to self-defense.  When completely innocent people are shot on the subway, or thrown in front of a train, or killed by simply going to a grocery store or church – it is foolish to think more laws will protect them – especially when law-abiding people have the right to self-defense. 

The author is a Northfield resident and president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. 

Categories: Commentary

15 replies »

  1. Excellent article, Chris! The anti-gun zealots cannot or will not grasp the simple concept that the human behind the gun is the instigator.The same common sense dynamic holds also regarding creative writing, journalism and/or musical instruments. A paint brush, pen, pencil, computer or guitar or saxaphone does not by itself produce the screeching grade school music room noise, mispellings or professional quality art. The artist or defender or assassin must make these machines work.

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  4. Laws enacted in emotional reaction after tragic events tend to be poorly crafted laws. Laws should establish sound public policy and must be in compliance with our federal and state constitutions.

    Any government has limited resources for prosecutions, trials and for the sentencing of those convicted. Those charged with violent felonies, especially those with conviction records for violent felonies, must receive the top priority in our criminal justice system.

  5. Laws enacted in the emotional period immediately following tragic events are typically poorly crafted laws. Our laws should always create sound public policy and absolutely must be in compliance with our federal and state constitutions.

    Any government has limited resources for prosecutions, trials and the sentencing of those convicted of crimes. It is the duty of our elected officials to see that those charged with serious violent felonies, particularly those individuals with previous convictions for violent felonies, receive the highest priority of our criminal justice system.

  6. Thank you Chris for saying what we will never hear in the liberal press, that being that the the Clinton assault weapons ban was allowed to sunset (1994-2004) for a reason, it did nothing to to cut the rate of violent crime. Is anybody else sick of our mentally diminished President stating that “deer do not wear Kevlar vests” or that there is a reason why citizens can not own cannons ? The poor fool is just a fountain of misinformation ! Thank God the Democrats have reasonable people like Beto O’Rourke to speak for them ! NOT !!!!

  7. It’s demagoguery as usual from Biden and Progressives. Right on cue we get the usual narrative (which is about disarming law abiding citizens) , tossing around they favorite catch phrases like “common sense reform”, and the list goes on. None of which will actually protect the innocent and will lead to more tragedies. What’s the answer? Protect schools like we protect Government buildings, Airports, Nuclear plants, etc. These guys keep arguing the around the fringes but they do nothing to actually work and implement a solution. They’d rather play the usual games that lead us to the next tragedy. When will real leadership step up? It’s clearly not Biden and his minions.

  8. Very timely and well written article Chris. Obviously, this is not a Vermont problem, but it could be. it’s a national problem that needs attention and funding from the top down. It’s about the rule of law being ignored and politicians at all levels burying their heads in the sand about the mental health issue.

    It’s time that our state and national leaders pay more attention to the lack of mental health services and facilities in this state and the nation and get back in the mental health business.
    A wise person once told me that “Safety is everybody’s business, but when it’s everybody’s business, no one is designated to be responsible for it.” The same applies to mental health.
    It’s time that we address mental heatlh as a singular, crisis issue and stop kicking the can down the road – again. I guess it’s just easier to blame guns.

    Just think what a down payment $40 Billion dollars would have done toward addressing the mental health issue here in the USA!

  9. Three or four decades ago, we as a society decided that institutionalizing the seriously mentally disturbed was a violation of their civil rights. Right or wrong, that doctrine makes these kinds of acts of evil inevitable. We must not allow emotion and overreaction to again compromise the doctrine of the Second Amendment that has been around since this nation’s inception. Leftists like to bring up the need to address “root causes” of society’s problems. The problem of school shootings has two root causes:
    -deinstitutionalization of the dangerously mentally disturbed
    -the “great society” programs destroying the nuclear family and attempting to replace a father with a welfare check

  10. If you want to find the reason for theses acts look at the meds these people are taking. Psychotropic meds make people crazy, especially teens. This starts out with drugging small children to make them compliant in school. Talk of gun control is to shield big pharma from another disaster they have put on society. How did they do it, with permission from your state and federal reps. You know the Bernie crowd.

  11. Has anyone noticed who the recent mass shooters are? Mostly young troubled kids who are well known in their circles, at school, at home and by the police. Each time a tragedy strikes we learn that these kids were allowed to continue their behavior unabated. Right here in Vermont, we witness shootings done by felons from Mass, Connecticut and New York previously convicted of numerous felonies but allowed to walk among us to distribute their poison while carrying illegal guns and causing drug turf shoot outs on city streets. The mental health crises of homelessness, the endless welfare checks and weak prosecutions allow all of this but who gets the blame in the press, the lawful gun owner.

    Progressives push for control of the tool, the firearm used by criminals. What person with a healthy mind enters a school to kill little innocent children? They push legislation to disarm the people who are not the problem to cover for the failures of progressivism. Defund the police, decriminalize drug use, legalize prostitution, social justice warriors lying about about inequality and inclusion stirring the pot of violence. In a nation of 21,000 gun control laws already on the books federally and locally, the dem/prog cult pushes for more laws to attack the people who are not the problem.

    In a sane world, people would recognize that laws only work for members of a civil society. Criminals are criminals because they ignore laws. Drugs are banned and illegal yet they reek havoc in all of our communities. The short sighted, virtuous progressive believes that firearms can be removed from America and banned just like drugs have been. You have to really be stupid to believe that or that another law will stop the mentally insane from committing another mass shooting.

    Our southern border is wide open for smuggling guns, drugs, criminals and gangs. Our corrections agencies and prisons have been underfunded. Mental health facilities disbanded and jobs shipped off to other countries caused by Congressional kickbacks and greed. But one or two more gun control laws to disarm the law abiding citizen or an outright ban in violation of our constitutional rights will solve all this mayhem. We really have been dumbed down as a society if you believe any of what the media and progressives are telling you. Replacing the father with a welfare check, destroying our manufacturing base, ignoring the constitution, allowing the illegal invasions of our borders, a lying media, career politicians, corrupt federal agencies, the greedy politicization of everything, woke corporations and the censorship of free speech by the tech giants have brought us here, not the NRA. As long as Americans are deaf, dumb and blind as to the cause of our current maladies we will continue to fall.

  12. The failure of society to pass laws that deal with known misfits and those who have a tendency to break laws are the problems here, not the AR-15or any other firearm for that matter. As soon as that happens, then maybe and only then consideratsions might be in order to adjust the resource officer numbers in schools. Those schools who did that very thing already are ticking time bombs. Reality is what it is; some just cannot picture that problem, until it’s too late.

  13. Thank you Chris. A voice of reason. The decision-making in this country appears to be the threat. We have taken the School Resource Officers out of the Vermont schools in this week’s news and act all worried; authorities go after the Burlington High School student in the CVU case when his Air Soft gun was found after they came up empty on a search for an actual firearm (I believe he’s under a protective order now too) , cap guns next?); the teacher in Uvalde propping open the school’s front door, and then not closing it after they saw the kid coming with the gun; the law enforcement in Uvalde thinking that a gunman could be barricaded in an elementary school in a way that posed no risk to students. I guess the rest of this year will involve ammophobics wildly claiming threats by gun owners on flimsy evidence and judges issuing more Extreme Risk Protective Orders while the realities of mental illness, decreased police funding, and drug poisoning continue to go neglected. By the way, can an Extreme Risk Protective Order on your record ever be expunged if you are innocent?

  14. Buddy HAS a point–From 1991 to 2018 there’s been a 3,000% INCREASE in “anti-depressants” (SSRI’s) with about 40 Million on them in the USA or about 1 in 10, and they’re “black box” warned for adolescents due to “suicidal & homicidal ideation & completion”..Add to that USA adults spending about 8 HOURS/day “screen time” & gory 1st person shooter video “games” that ALL the “kids” seem to love seems a recipe for disaster. It’s proven that Eli Lilly lied to US regulators about these SSRI’s, see the doc. called “The Dark Side Of A Pill” sometime, and they openly admit “the mechanisms of this drug are currently not understood” yet handed out like candy. Wonder why Pharma is about the biggest DC lobbyist & every other commercial on TV is for “meds” OR lawyers suing the med-producers? But..Just give all the kids cellphones, it’ll keep ’em occupied & out of trouble..Not..

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