What Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) did not say in his Oct. 2 op-ed, “I support a ban on assault weapons,” is that, according to the National Institute of Justice, the last assault-weapons ban did little to reduce crime. Further, according to the FBI’s 2017 Crime Report, of the 10,982 homicides committed with firearms, only 403 of those slayings involved rifles of any kind. Rifles such as the AR-15 were used in less than that amount. This is not to say 403 deaths are insignificant, just that rifles, including AR-15s, are used in a small percentage of all homicides.
For comparison, 1,591 people were killed with knives or other cutting instruments, 467 were murdered with blunt instruments, and 696 were reportedly beaten to death. Yet we don’t hear calls to ban knives, hammers or fists.
Millions of people own AR-15s for many reasons. Some are used in competition, some own them because of the versatility of the rifle, and, yes, some are suitable for hunting. Both my 17- and 13-year-old daughters shoot my AR-15 with a quick adjustment of the stock, which means I have to own only one rifle for us to shoot together.
Banning the most popular rifle in the country would not stop bad people from doing bad things and would have little to no impact on violent crime.
David Adams, North Chesterfield, Va.
The writer is vice president of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association.