The Corner

Everything You Need to Know about ‘Assault’ Weapons in One Chart

Gun-control advocates are always talking about a ban on so-called “assault” weapons – but doing so would have no impact on gun violence. As Charles C.W. Cooke wrote yesterday

It is difficult to overstate just how absurd this is. Even if we were to swallow whole the novel set of definitions that the advocates of “assault”-weapons legislation have imposed upon our national deliberations, the case in favor of their coveted laws would remain all but nonexistent. Between 1994 and 2004, Americans were flatly barred from purchasing or transferring 660 arbitrarily selected semi-automatic firearms and from obtaining any magazine that could hold more than ten rounds. This prohibition had no discernible impact whatsoever. Charged in 1997 with evaluating the short-term impact of the measure, the National Institute of Justice reported bluntly that “the evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude that there was any meaningful effect (i.e., that the effect was different from zero).” A second study – commissioned to coincide with the ban’s expiration in 2004 — calmly echoed this conclusion, while noting for the record that there hadn’t been much of a problem in the first instance. No subsequent inquiry has contradicted these assessments.

In fact, rifles are the least popular killing tools in the United States. Per the FBI, this is how Americans killed each other in 2014:

  • Handguns: 5,562 (47 percent)
  • Unknown firearms: 2,052 (17 percent)
  • Other weapons: 1,610 (13 percent)
  • Knives and Cutting Instruments: 1,567 (13 percent)
  • Hands, feet, fists, pushing: 660 (6 percent)
  • Shotguns: 262 (2 percent) Rifles: 248 (2 percent) 

By definition, we cannot know what is inside that “unknown firearms” category. So, for the sake of argument, let’s distribute it proportionately among the existing firearms groups:

  • Handguns: 7,442 (62 percent)
  • Other weapons: 1,610 (13 percent)
  • Knives and Cutting Instruments: 1,567 (13 percent)
  • Hands, feet, fists, pushing: 660 (6 percent)
  • Shotguns: 350 (3 percent)
  • Rifles: 332 (3 percent)

Read Cooke’s full piece HERE.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

Most Popular

Film & TV

Larry David Goes MAGA

For a liberal Democrat, Larry David sometimes comes off as America’s reactionary id. Last night, on a superb tenth-season opener of Curb Your Enthusiasm, David made an extended joke about the (in)famous Make America Great Again cap. To a certain extent, I think the joke here is on Larry David. David’s ... Read More
Film & TV

Larry David Goes MAGA

For a liberal Democrat, Larry David sometimes comes off as America’s reactionary id. Last night, on a superb tenth-season opener of Curb Your Enthusiasm, David made an extended joke about the (in)famous Make America Great Again cap. To a certain extent, I think the joke here is on Larry David. David’s ... Read More
White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More