Ban on Assault Weapons Not the Answer

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If you would think an assault weapon is more dangerous than a regular weapon, you think wrong. A gun doesn’t have a lower capacity to kill people just because it is not an assault weapon. An assault weapon is actually just a gun which is more comfortable for the user to wield. In other words: despite all the talk of banning assault weapons, doing so won’t be solving anything.

If you pay attention to the news, you have certainly heard a lot lately about “assault weapons,” but they never explain the definition of this vague term. So if you think an assault weapon is any exceptionally dangerous gun, the “news” has left you ill-informed. An assault weapon is actually defined by the specific modifications made to it. A gun with a muzzle attachment (like a suppressor/silencer) and a foldable stock (the back of a gun) is considered an assault weapon. But if you removed one of these modifications, it is NOT an assault weapon. The law is meant to ban guns that aren’t functionally more dangerous, it is meant to ban guns that look more dangerous. The law bans scary-looking guns, and it ignores some very dangerous guns that happen to not look scary.

Under the Clinton administration, the first assault weapon ban was enacted. This law lasted from 1994-2004. Now, some members of the government are trying to pass a new assault weapons ban. The sponsors of this new bill often cite statistics about how the previous assault weapon ban was effective at stopping the use of assault weapons in American cities. But this doesn’t really change anything about guns as a whole. They cite statistics about the decline of assault weapons, and not weapons in general. This isn’t to say all statistics are invalid, but it is to say the wording of a statistic makes all the difference.

After understanding that the law doesn’t actually target dangerous guns, and that the last ban didn’t show any real effect on gun violence in general, it is easy to see why this new bill won’t really make an impact on gun violence in the US.

And besides, there are tons of guns already in the US. Whether these guns are illegal or not, it would be impossible for the government to keep track of every firearm in America. Even if the government tries, there will still be an unsettling amount of illegally imported weapons in the United States like there already are.

Though hypothetically ineffective, the new assault weapons ban does do some good. There are specifications about semi-automatic weapons with larger magazines being banned. This is a good thing because it limits the amount of bullets someone can shoot before reloading. (Then again, why would someone shooting up a school care about their magazine being illegal?)

While there are some good things about the bill, the entire concept of banning “assault weapons” is still misguided. Besides not really solving anything, there are some other issues with banning certain guns. People own these guns, and it infringes on their rights as Americans. We have “the right to bear arms” not because the founding fathers wanted us to be able to hunt, but because they wanted us to have the right to have adequate protection against an oppressive government. Speaking of government, this ban would also waste government time and money inspecting guns and verifying if the guns people have are legal.

Even though the media tells people that scary-looking weapons are bad and should be banned, this won’t be solving much. The majority of firearms in the US are acquired through illegal means. So, even if assault weapons are banned, there won’t be much change in the amount of gun-related crime in the U.S. The government should instead focus on the regulation of illegal firearms in the U.S. And even if assault weapons are banned and illegal guns are stopped, people will still be able to kill people with guns. There are still many firearms that are very effective at killing people. Any firearm invented and manufactured since the 1950’s is extremely dangerous. Even if scary-looking guns are banned, there are numerous guns (that don’t look too dangerous) that are even more deadly than those scary guns which would not be banned.

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