Some requests for information. After Aurora last week, I hovered on a lot of diaries here, but I didn't really see what I was looking for, so I wanted to ask for this information directly. I am someone who has an active dislike for recreational and civilian gun usage, but I also feel like I'm not really adequately equipped to discuss the issue in depth.
• Assault Weapons as often defined politically are semi-automatic weapons that have a specific appearance. How are they defined? Is there a criteria in the laws which specifies them, or is a catalog maintained where each gun is individually categorized as applicable under an assault weapons ban or not?
Partially answered: The weapons were banned individually, which allowed copycats to arise that partially hindered the effectiveness of the ban. (Source)• I'm given to understand that these are not much different in effective potency in comparison to semi-automatic hunting weapons. Is that correct?
Suggestion: A renewed law should probably work on a catalog that follows a set of guidelines and someone (the ATF?) actually assigns whether the weapon is classified assault or not.
• Is there any evidence to suggest that people will commit fewer crimes with a hunting weapon compared to an assault weapon, if the above is correct? In discussing the issue with my dad, he went at it from the viewpoint that assault weapons are more glamorous and attractive and that this can't be discounted when we're dealing with regulating a culture issue. I'm aware that the grandfather clause for the previous AWB essentially rendered toothless.
Not actually sure it was rendered toothless at all. Are there any conflicting studies to this one? (On Target (2004))• What are the arguments for and against allowing civilian ownership of semi-automatic weapons at all?
Relevant Quote: "The study also explained that ATF data showed that
crime gun traces of assault weapons dropped 20% in the year following enactment of the Assault Weapons Act, from 4,077 assault weapon traces in 1994 to 3,268
in 1995. This 20% drop in assault weapon traces was double the 10% overall decline in the gun murder rate that year, suggesting that, at least in the short-term, the ban reduced the use of assault weapons in crime. Moreover, murder rates dropped 6.7% below what the rates were projected to be without the ban, once researchers isolated the impact of the Assault Weapons Act by accounting for other factors such as murder trends, demographic and economic changes, a federal juvenile handgun possession ban, and state initiatives."
• Are there any effective remedies for regulating the gun show loophole? I was thinking about maybe requiring gun owners to come in once a year and re-register their guns, which is part of how we can regulate private sales of cars.
I'm really interested in scientific studies, especially those not linked to the NRA.
What I am not looking for information on:
• Guns as Self-Defense: I haven't seen anyone here sell that, so I'm going to assume that no one worth listening to really believes that putting guns in everyone's hands is a good idea rather than a terrible one.
• Alternate Solutions for Gun Violence: Do we have a culture that's overly cowboy? Yes. Do we need better mental health support? Yes. Do we need to reduce poverty? Yes. etc etc etc. I haven't seen anyone worth listening to disagree on these points either.
I'm just looking for information and studies (especially studies) about gun control/gun banning. Thank you very much!
6:35 AM PT: Added answer to a question or two. Also altered one of my conceptions - looks like the Assault Weapons Ban actually does have room to be effective, but it needs to be better implemented? Any conflicting studies?