The only one of my conservative friends to challenge my views on FB has me talking in circles so I thought I would take a minute to go over this. And I will reserve a few lines for a thought experiment.
My overall goal is to reduce gun violence in this country. That means mass shootings, murders, assaults, suicides and accidental gun deaths. All of those are things that I think we would all as a society like to see reduced. Now will the four points I suggested last week reduce all of those? Yes and no.
Having a better, national background check system that involves tracking all gun purchases regardless of source will help reduce, and at a minimum, the crime issues and likely some suicides. Allowing scientists to study gun violence will allow us to develop sensible policies that will hopefully help reduce accidents as well as help policing crime. Making the manufacturers and sellers liable for what is done with their products will also help all of the above issues. And last, increasing the cost of ammunition will reduce the supply, which might have some effect on all of the issues.
That being said, for the immediate effect, I would favor returning to the Assault weapon ban that was lifted in 2005. There is clear evidence that the number of mass shootings has increased dramatically since that ban was lifted by George II.
If we look from September 2004 all the way back to 1900 (104 years), as the Washington Post lays out, there were 118 mass shootings. That breaks down to 1.13 mass shooting incidents per year, on average, from 1900 to 2004. In the eight years since the Assault Weapons Ban has expired, there have been 28 mass shooting events. That equals an average of 3.5 a year—an increase of over 200 percent. That is a startling jump, by any measure.
I just did not talk about the assault weapon ban last week because I know that talking about banning things, especially guns, is a bigger step. Do we know it works? Yes. In fact if we go a step farther you have the experience of Australia for comparison. But there are enough people on the fence that will accept a common sense restriction, but not any ban so I left it out as a possible solution.
Speaking of semantics, I saw a clever post yesterday somewhere and it is a great thought experiment. The moment anyone starts talking about banning a group of people for whatever reason, be it religion, ethnicity, etc. do the following. Replace that groups name with the word ‘Jews’. If the phrase makes sense, than you have just placed that person speech or writings on a par with Nazi’s and Hitler. This is not a case of Godwin’s Law. This is just a case of thinking through what is being said.
So the next time a candidate talks about banning the immigration of a religious or ethnic group realize that what he or she is calling for is no different from the policies of the Nazis. And make your choice as far as following that person or supporting them politically go from there.