Scroll Down For: The Limits of the Assault Weapons Ban
Unsurprisingly, advocates of gun control insist that one of the best possible responses to the mass shooting in Florida is to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban that was in effect from September 1994 to September 2004. Those of you with long and accurate memories will recall that the Columbine shootings occurred while the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect, as well as another mass shooting in Atlanta the same year that killed 12. In late 2013, Northeastern University criminologists James Alan Fox and Monica J. DeLateur wrote a detailed study that irked a lot of advocates on both sides by using data to dispel a lot of popular theories about mass shooters, from the danger of video games to the value of mental health treatment to the effectiveness of security measures in schools. Among their conclusions: “a comparison of the incidence of mass shootings during the 10-year window when the assault weapon ban was in force against the time periods before implementation and after expiration shows that the legislation had virtually no effect, at least in terms of murder in an extreme form.” Mother Jones calculated that of the 143 weapons used in mass shootings from 1982 to 2012, 48 would be banned under the revised version of the Assault Weapons Ban proposed in 2013. That’s about a third. It is worth recalling that some of the most infamous mass shooters of recent years used just handguns: the Virginia Tech shooter, the Umpqua Community College shooter, the Charleston church shooter, the 2014 Isla Vista shooter.