The US mainstream media didn’t miss the opportunity to use traumatized students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left at least 18 people dead to score political points on a new “assault weapons” ban that failed to pass the Florida legislature.
BREAKING: In wake of school shooting, Florida legislators vote down attempt to revive bill to ban assault rifles.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 20, 2018
As the report made its way through the media, gun control advocates decided that the way to weaponize the optics was to use images of distraught schoolchildren in combination with the news.
The majority of Florida House Republicans voted to table a Democratic motion that would have addressed an assaults weapon ban. Some survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting were in attendance for the vote. https://t.co/4Dz4fO1KHq
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) February 20, 2018
Students were bused into Tallahassee on Tuesday to meet with politicians, which provided a perfect opportunity for the mainstream media to use them for their gun control crusade.
Students boarded buses earlier today to travel to Tallahassee and meet with lawmakers on gun violence. https://t.co/9aQ2XpBjQ3
— Julia Manchester (@JuliaManch) February 20, 2018
Unfortunately, one thing that is lacking in the entire debate over the “assault weapons” ban: Would it work?
Here is what an article in the LA Times reported pointed out about the history of such bans:
California was the first state to ban the weapons. It happened in 1989, after a shooter used one to kill five schoolchildren in Stockton. A federal ban went into effect in 1994 and then “sunsetted” in 2004. Today, eight states, including California and New York, have assault weapon bans on their books.
The laws, however, are largely ineffectual. Because these guns are really just ordinary rifles, it is hard for legislators to effectively regulate them without banning half the handguns in the country (those that are semiautomatic and/or have detachable magazines) and many hunting rifles as well.
There was a federal study commissioned by the Department of Justice that proved the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban did not work:
The nationwide federal ban on assault weapons did accomplish one thing: According to the 2004 study, fewer of the banned guns were found at crime scenes (down from 2% of guns recovered to 1%). Although this suggests that gun laws affect the inventory of guns in the marketplace — again, contrary to the claims of the NRA — the study’s authors concluded that criminals had just switched to other guns.
In addition, FBI Crime Statistics show that all rifles combined — “assault rifles,” hunting rifles, all rifles — account for 250 firearms homicides per year. By comparison, handguns account for nine times as many murders as all other firearms combined.
The Trump administration is considering expanding background checks and a potential ban on “bump stocks” (modifications that alter semi-automatic rifles to have increases rates of fire), but that won’t be enough for gun control activists.
Anyone who would use traumatized children to promote a gun control agenda has no interest in half-measures: An “assault weapons” ban is just the first step in pushing a broader, Australian-style ban on all civilian firearms possession.
Watch interviews with the Parkland high school students below:
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