Thursday, January 24, 2013

Do You Own an Assault Weapon? Can You Tell?

Jason Howerton has captured a photograph of a proposed list of firearms the Non-Learners would like to outlaw, in the touchingly naive belief that banning these objects from legitimate U.S. stores would keep them from being smuggled in by the narcotraficantes and being used to kill Americans:

Attention Non-Learners: We had a ban on some "assault weapons," not so many as these, in the 1990s, and you all remember how peaceful that decade was, right? Banning specific brands of rifles and pistols means nobody is murdered, right?

Well...maybe on whatever planet youall were on. There were about two years when, I am not making this up, every weekend I spent in Washington, the Post ran another memorial essay about another teenager who'd been shot in the back by some other teenager. (These stories were couldn't say "pure bunkum" because the incomplete facts were probably accurate so far as they went. They just airbrushed out the parts of these kids' stories the grieving relatives wouldn't want to read. Probably at least half of the kids were running drugs but all the Post would tell us was that they had been First Class Scouts or made the honor roll in grade six.) There were murders on Metro. There was one widely reported case where a Prozac-demented fifteen-year-old girl jumped out of her car, dragged a young woman out of another car that was also stuck in traffic, and stomped the young woman to death on the median strip. In the Maryland border town of Bladensburg there was a gang that specialized in "granny bashing" outside the retirement project. There were half a dozen school shootings, not in D.C. but reported in the Post, during a twelve-month period.

Banning specific firearms did for violence what banning specific cars did for traffic accidents, or what banning specific computers would do for online scams. It may have caused a few legitimate dealers to lose money on some of their stock. It did not noticeably prevent any crimes.