John Lott on Dianne Feinstein’s Assault Weapon Legislation

John Lott has an excellent piece in the Wall Street Journal on the “facts” about assault weapons and crime. I’m outlining a few of them here, and urge you to read the entire article if you, like I, are not well-versed on what an “assault weapon” is or is not. Note most of what follows is my own wording, not necessarily John Lott’s words, which you will see inside quotation marks or indented.


1. The semiautomatic Bushmaster is a hunting rifle, tricked-out to look like a “military weapon.”

The Bushmaster, like any gun, is indeed very dangerous, but it is not a weapon “designed for the theater of war.

2. If you think so-called “assault weapons” can hold larger magazines than hunting rifles, you are wrong:

Any gun that can hold a magazine can hold one of any size. That is true for handguns as well as rifles. A magazine, which is basically a metal box with a spring, is trivially easy to make and virtually impossible to stop criminals from obtaining.

3. Registering guns to set-up a national database so that guns can be traced when they are left behind at a crime scene is not sound logic:

Guns are very rarely left behind at a crime scene. When they are, they’re usually stolen or unregistered. Criminals are not stupid enough to leave behind guns that are registered to them. Even in the few cases where registered guns are left at crime scenes, it is usually because the criminal has been seriously injured or killed, so these crimes would have been solved even without registration.

Registering simply puts your name in a national database to be used as the government wills, to possibly increase your insurance premiums, let your doctor use the information to add your gun ownership to his/her records, give extra scrutiny if and when you get a traffic ticket…

4. Senator Dianne Feinstein is attempting to resurrect her 1994 “assault weapons” ban and misstates the conclusions of two studies by criminology professors. Read the details here.

Moreover, none of the weapons banned under the 1994 legislation or the updated version are “military” weapons…

She claims that their first study in 1997 showed that the ban decreased “total gun murders.” In fact, the authors wrote: “the evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude that there was any meaningful effect (i.e., that the effect was different from zero).”

Messrs. Koper and Roth suggested that after the ban had been in effect for more years it might be possible to find a benefit. Seven years later, in 2004, they published a follow-up study for the National Institute of Justice with fellow criminologist Dan Woods that concluded, “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.

In the Wall Street Journal article, Lott identifies the Newtown murder weapon as a Bushmaster .223, but NBC is now reporting that NO RIFLES were used or found inside the school. Adam Lanza used handguns, and only handguns, according to that report.

Read Lott’s full article here.

Graphic credit goes to Fighting for Liberty, who says:

In the picture above the .22 rifle with the wood stock or furniture, is the exact same .22 rifle that has had military furniture added.  Neither rifle is full automatic nor does it have select fire.  The military furniture does not change the accuracy of the rifle, or automagically turn it into full auto or select fire, it is simply a different look.

Many thanks to SENTRY JOURNAL for linking this article in Teeing it up around the links in the It’s Cold Edition – find some intriguing reading here – thank you John!

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Pingback: Maggie’s Notebook | Grumpy Opinions()

  • I don’t like this idea of arguing “it’s only a hunting rifle.” We should not give up the center of the reason for the 2nd Amendment which is not to have freedom of hunting – but military, armed resistance against our own government when it becomes oppressive. If we paint ourselves into the “hunting” corner – we will never have the armament necessary.

    “A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!”

    ― Thomas Jefferson

  • Dianne Feinstein is a bitter old woman. If she got her way everyone would be required to hand in their firearms. That would mean all liberals would be unarmed … think about it.

  • Pingback: Teeing it up: A Round at the LINKs (It’s COLD edition) | SENTRY JOURNAL()