Mike Kueber's Blog

December 17, 2012

Gun control

Filed under: Culture,Law/justice — Mike Kueber @ 10:29 pm
Tags: , ,

The massacre at Sandy Hook has revived talks for increased gun controls.  Although the San Hook talk might include passing references to mental-health issues and the pernicious effect of violent video games, the major focus has been on greater control over guns, especially assault rifles.  As with most intractable policy debates, however, the reality of the problem defies simplistic caricatures.

An article in the NY Times provides a detailed discussion of the so-called assault rifle – the AR-15 – which it describes as the most popular rifle in America.  The article accurately points out that the civilian AR-15 is actually not an assault rifle because it does not fire automatically like is military cousin, the AK-47.  The AR-15 fires only semi-automatically – i.e., one bullet fired for each time the trigger is pulled.

I blogged about gun control and assault rifles several months ago.  In that post, I mentioned that Congress in 1994 passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB).  The AWB created a new category of guns called “assault weapons,” which included semi-automatic rifles that could quickly fire ten bullets.  Because the AWB was generally considered to be ineffective and because support for gun control had waned since 1994, the law sun-setted after ten years in 2004.

I concluded my blog post by saying:

  • From a cost-benefits perspective, I don’t see any benefit that is achieved by having assault weapons (more than ten shots) available to the public.  When I goggled the question, Google gave me nothing responsive.  If you can think of a good reason for having an assault weapon, please let me know.”

Following Sandy Hook, the costs are even clearer and the benefit remains elusive.


1 Comment »

  1. point 1: circa 1943 Japan considered invading the west coast. they did some research and discovered that America had millions of register hunters. conclusion, the Americans would be able to fight back, unlike the Chinese who were slaughtered by the millions at the point of bayonets. not the only factor, but non-trivial.

    point 2: what helps make afghanistan such a pain to manage? lots of armed civilians.

    point 3: Mexico is a disaster. Why would the USA be different if law abiding Americans were unarmed?

    point 4: what would keep Mexican drug gangs from filling the vaccum if Americans were unarmed?

    point 5: i was angered to see police running around the school with guns drawn – after Lanza had killed his mom, 26 others, and himself – too late guys – i gotta protect my family – nobody else will

    point 6: the official Chinese press urged Obama to disarm America. Is that for our good or someone elses good? yeah…

    point 7: don’t punish the innocent because of a few guilty. dude, our whole legal system is designed to keep the innocent out of prison even at the cost of letting many thousands of felons run free. would you let felons run free to protect a few innocents, then penalize millions of responsible gun owners because of a few felons?

    Comment by Q — December 20, 2012 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

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