This is wonderful news for the country, and rotten data for anti-gun advocates trying to revive the Newtown, Conn., anti-gun legislative package.
As for the type of weapon used, it does not appear that “military style” weapons are the problem. According to the Justice Department report:
In 2004, an estimated 16% of state prison inmates and 18% of federal inmates reported that they used, carried, or possessed a firearm when they committed the crime for which they were serving a prison sentenceThis represented a slight change from 1997, where an estimated 18% of state prison inmates and 16% of federal inmates reported having a firearm when they committed the crime for their current sentence. During the offense that brought them to prison, 13% of state inmates and 16% of federal inmates carried a handgun. In addition, about 1% had a rifle and another 2% had a shotgun. Of inmates armed with a firearm during the offense, about 7% of state inmates and 8% of federal inmates were armed with either a single shot firearm or a conventional semiautomatic, and 2% of state inmates and 3% of federal inmates were armed with a military-style semiautomatic or fully automatic firearm
What problem are the anti-gun advocates trying to solve? If it was Newtown, then we know none of the provisions in the recent anti-gun bill would have prevented the tragedy. If it was gun crime in general, that is already in steep decline and the so-called gun show loophole doesn’t matter. If it is concern about use of “military-style semiautomatic or fully automatic fire arms” (the latter are already illegal) it doesn’t seem to be a significant issue.
We have once again seen the triumph of good intentions over smart legislation. What we know works is good policing and incarcerating violent criminals. We have a mental-health problem that extends beyond gun violence, but which leaves too many adults on the streets untreated. If anything, the latter should be an area for further legislative action.
Simply re-running the same “we gotta do something” legislative effort may be emotionally satisfying for liberals or politically inviting for proponents, but it isn’t solving much of anything.