The call to end ownership of assault rifles was loud and clear after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. In an interesting article by John Lott in the Wall Street Journal, we learn, among other things, that 2.6% of all murders are committed with some type of a rifle and that violent crime is down since the assault rifle ban ended in 2004.
Calls to reinstitue the assault rifle ban are tantamount to calls for the increase in violent crime in our society. Quote Lott from the Wall Street Journal article:
Since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in September 2004, murder and overall violent-crime rates have fallen. In 2003, the last full year before the law expired, the U.S. murder rate was 5.7 per 100,000 people, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report. By 2011, the murder rate fell to 4.7 per 100,000 people. One should also bear in mind that just 2.6% of all murders are committed using any type of rifle.
While we all love our children and are all horrified by what happened, let’s also not make public policy based primarily on emotion. I’d rather base public policy on solid research that indicates a particular course of action. In this instance, an assault rifle ban is contra-indicated by the research.