Assault Weapons Should Be Banned

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ith the increase in mass shootings and the rising numbers of gun violence in the United States, many citizens and congress members have proposed restrictions on gun ownership through legislation that would affect background checks, gun safety courses, and bans on weapons. One the most popular ideas to help control gun violence is the ban on assault weapons manufacturing and sales. Generally people who lean left on the political spectrum are favoring the legislation to help control the violence and make their communities safer. Whereas people who lean to the right end of the political spectrum say that government, state or federal, should have no control over their firearms, and that the proposed legislation is an attack on their second amendment…show more content…
Previous laws similar to what these groups proposed have already been enacted or tested. After incidents involving firearms, states such as Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and California all passed laws banning assault weapons or similar bans in 1993 and 1994 . In 1994, President Bill Clinton passes the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) ( Wintersteen, “The Real History of the Assault Weapons Ban”). This ban had loopholes and incorrect weapons to be banned, which made it fail and obsolete in the ten years that the ban was in effect for. The first problem with the ban is weapons could be grandfathered in to be lawful. This issue allowed weapons in families to still be accessible which could be obtained then by criminals. The threat of the ban also pushed manufacturers of firearms to flood the market with the soon to be banned weapons, allowing the guns to be grandfathered in and give people more access to the guns that congress was attempting to outlaw (Travis 2,4). The second biggest issue with the previous ban focused on using a system that if a weapon had two of the listed characteristics on the list, such as a pistol grip that protrudes beneath the firing action, pistols that have a weight greater than 50 ounces unloaded, etc., then the weapon was…show more content…
The U.S. government did conduct studies on what type of firearms were used by criminals and how they obtained the firearms to commit the crimes, but did not take measures to control the weapons that actually caused harm or took measures to control who the weapons were used by. In a 1991 study by the U.S Department of Justice, before the ban even was in the form of a bill, the government had information on how criminals used guns which could have been used to create an effective ban in 1994. In this study and estimated 2,100 inmates committed violent crimes with some type of military style weapon. This number represented less than 1% of inmates in prison for violent crimes. Other inmates used rifles/shotguns (5%), other weapons such as clubs or blunt objects (11%), handguns (24%), or no weapons used in the violent crime (54%) ( Survey of State Prison Inmates 17,18). Out of all the inmates interviewed (711,000) a very little portion of them used a firearm that was focused on in the ban. The number of the then banned weapons used would be even lower since not all of the used weapons that were reported were illegal under AWB. Looking at the numbers of what types of weapons were used in mass shootings in the U.S. also showed that the type of guns focused on by Congress was not correct. Between 2006-2016 there were 45 mass shootings in
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