January 15, 2013

Glenn Kessler made a good case in his Jan. 13 Fact Checker column “Clinton’s gun remark is off the mark,” but the data he presented in a section labeled “Shootings before, during and after assault ban” bring out a fact consistent with Bill Clinton’s point: Gun violence has risen sharply in the United States since the ban on assault weapons expired in 2004. Those data show that during the 10 years of the ban there were 16 mass shootings (an annual average of 1.6 shootings), while in the eight succeeding years there have been 27 (3.4 per year).

Moreover, two pages after Mr. Kessler’s column in the Jan. 13 newspaper, The Post reported, “High-capacity magazines saw drop during ban, data indicate.” That article went on to show that the drop was followed by a sharp rise after the federal ban of such magazines lapsed. These magazines have been used in a number of mass killings since the ban expired.

Edward M. Cohen, Arlington

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