During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings last week on preventing gun violence, there were many questions and requests directed at the pro-gun experts brought in to testify. They were repeatedly asked to justify the need for an individual to have an “assault rifle” as defined in Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill she submitted to the Senate (S.150 ). AR-15s have the media spotlight on them right now because they were used in horrific mass shootings, including the Aurora Theater shooting in Colorado and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.
Considering how much attention these modern rifles are getting from the president of the United States, Congress, the media, and the citizens of this great country, it would be reasonable to assume they are the deadliest firearms on our streets today. Our lawmakers have access to the same statistics we do, and undoubtedly even more data that the general public may not be privy to, so if they are really trying to “Prevent Gun Violence” wouldn’t they focus on the area where they could make the greatest impact? I guess they can’t handle the truth.
Let’s look at the FBI Crime Statistics:
The chart below shows the firearms used in homicides from 2007-2011. Another fact, the stats for rifle homicides is not broken down any further. It is very likely that a percentage of those homicides were from more traditional hunting rifles, making the numbers of homicides from an actual modern rifle, like an AR-15, even lower.
As I looked through the FBI crime statistics, another interesting fact came to light: Weapons such as knives, fists, and blunt objects were used more often than rifles in general. The chart below shows the breakout of those statistics.
The 1994 assault weapons ban expired in 2004, and when I simply compared the times a rifle was used in a homicide for the years 2006-2011, I found there is actually a downward trend. That is right: Since the assault weapons ban expired, and gun enthusiasts have dramatically increased their ownership of modern rifles like the AR-15, the number of times any rifle was used in a murder is trending down. This is the truth, according to the FBI.
Everything in this article is based on actual federal statistics, as readily available to Senator Feinstein and the co-sponsors of her bill as they are to me. Why then is so much valuable Senate time being used on trying to ban these weapons? I will leave that to you to decide.