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In the last full year of the previous assault weapons ban, how many Americans died as a result of a gun shot wound?

Any guesses?

The answer is shockingly, over 30,000. Of those 11,000 were homicides. That's right, during the last assault weapons ban over 10K Americans - a year - were being murdered with guns.

In 2011, less than 50 people (as far as I can figure) were killed in "mass shootings" in America. That's 50 out of about 8500 (in fact the number is 8,775). In other words, mass shootings accounts for less than 0.6% of gun murders.

We REALLY need to ask ourselves, as a nation, as the activists that has the most influence with Obama and the Dems, what are we trying to accomplish.

Are we trying to simply stop mass shootings? OR are we trying to substantially lower the gun related death rate?

In 2010, of the 8,775 gun homicides, 6,009 were committed with a handgun. Another 373 with shotguns. Combined that makes up 73% of guns used in murders. The other 27% is comprised of rifles (358) and other (96). So, it's pretty easy to see that assault weapons probably account for less than less than 5% of gun homicides a year. Probably 2-3% at the max. (10% would be 877, the total for ALL rifles and Other is 454, about 50%  - so that's 5% of the total - and both of those number can't include assault rifles, so...)

So let's subtract 2-3% from out 2011 numbers, and what have we? Much much less than 500 fewer gun related murders a year, assuming the murder decides not to just use a hand gun instead. (5% is 438, and it's significantly less than 5%)

A 3% reduction would mean over 8500 people a year murdered with guns.

Is that the goal?

Should be not be trying for at least a 10% reduction? 15%?

An assault weapons ban won't get us there, or even close.

So, if you're trying to simply lower the death toll in mass shootings an assault weapons ban makes a lot of sense (and I support it 100%), but if you're trying to lower the actual gun homicide rate (and don't even start on the gun accidents and suicides), then it's basically meaningless - though the people saved might disagree.


High Capacity magazines were also banned under the previous assault weapons ban, when the gun murder rate is higher than it is now.

Originally posted to riottapes on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:33 AM PST.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's not meaningless (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to the 26 people killed last week in Connecticut.

    I think most people here on DK and throughout the nation agree that private citizens shouldn't own assault weapons.

    Let's work from there.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:41:37 AM PST

    •  I'm not so sure.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Would all three of the weapons the shooter in CT had qualify as assault weapons?

      In the event of an assault weapons ban, would the shooters mother have obtained guns which did not qualify as assault weapons?

      If the shooter had semi-automatic weapons which were not assault weapons how many of the 26 dead would likely have survived?

      Banning high capacity magazines and making changing magazines harder would make more of a difference and not affect hunting at all.

      •  Bushmaster .223 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If it doesn't qualify as an assault weapon, it should be.

        The .223 caliber load is popular, the article says, because it has better fragmentation upon impact, meaning it will deal a lot of damage with less chance of accidentally continuing through the target and endangering whoever's in the background.

        Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

        by JamieG from Md on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:17:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're totally right man (0+ / 0-)

        Focus needs to be on high capacity magazines and also I believe the types of bullets being sold.

        •  Even that (4+ / 0-)

          I think is kind of meaningless for one single reason:

          Most murders don't involve more than 2-3 victims.

          As far as I can tell from the FBI data, the average gun murder stems from arguments and relationship stuff, not crime and not gangs...

          So while a percentage of people might be saved if a murder had to reload, or if more deadly ammunition was banned (some is already, actually), I don't think you'd cut 900 murders out of the system (apox 10%) with those changes alone.

          Again though, I would be 100% for those changes and regulations!! I think they're important steps!

      •  If the shooter had a 12 gauge shotgun (0+ / 0-)

        loaded with common with buckshot?

        3 rounds of which puts 27 .33 caliber lead shot out at 1600 FPS.
        Cops know the power these hold, and it rivals that Bushmaster.
        When your issued handgun isn't enough, unlock the 12 gauge and step from the cruiser.

        Reloading is slow?
        1, 2, 3 fire.  Say that.  Yes, that fast.

        There's up to 8 rounds stored in certain models, with 5 rounds being commonplace.

    •  Look at what I said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      I am for it, but it's impact will be extremely minimal.

    •  that's making a big assumtion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      That the shooter wouldn't have just gone with this two handguns and shot a lot of the same kids.

      A big big assumption.

  •  Connecticut (7+ / 0-)

    already has an assault weapon ban

    •  And there you go (6+ / 0-)

      And even if it didn't, it took the cops 20 minutes to show up... a lot of people can be killed in 20 minutes with two modern handguns.

      •  Heck, a lot of people can be killed in 20 mins (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Otteray Scribe, annecros, BachFan

        with a couple of 150 year old revolvers.

        •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Otteray Scribe

          This is exactly my point.

          I am 100%, no... 1000% for banning assault weapons, but REAL control, and saving a reasonable (IMO) amount of people won't happen that way.

          Get on the phone and tell your lawmakers that stopping 2-3% of gun murders isn't a strong enough response to SH.

      •  this isn't accurate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It didn't take 20 minutes for the cops to arrive.  There were police there in under 10 minutes.  They couldn't have known about the victim in Room 9 (possibly Victoria Soto) unless they were there, not sure if Room 1 was the office.  And the building was cleared in less than 18 minutes.  The state police SWAT team arrived about 9 1/2 minutes after the initial 911 call, and the local cops were there sooner.  This 20 minutes idea is being propounded by the usual RW mouthpieces who are in favor of arming janitors, gym teachers and principals.

        9:35:53 a.m.- Dispatch: “Sandy Hook School, Caller’s indicated she thinks someone is shooting in the building.”

        9:38:10 a.m.: Dispatch: “The shooting appears to have stopped. The school is in lock down.”

        9:40:30 a.m.: Dispatch: “Shooter’s apparently still shooting in office area. Dickerson Drive.”

        943:45 a.m.: Dispatch: “We have one female in Room 1 who has gunshot wound to the foot.”

        9:46:20 a.m.: Dispatch: “We’ve got an injured person in Room 9 with numerous gunshot wounds.”

        9:53:25 a.m.: Dispatch: “Newtown’s reporting one suspect down. The building has now been cleared.”

  •  That's like saying that we shouldn't limit carbon (0+ / 0-)

    emissions because China is a huge polluter anyway, so what's the difference?

    Or that we shouldn't tax the wealthy a bit higher because well--it's only a small percentage of the debt.

    The federal assault weapons ban had a lot of problems because of congressional wrangling and loopholes.

    A good, clearly worded and straightforward assault weapons ban--one that includes a ban on hi-capacity magainzes--could be very effective.

    From a July USA Today:

    Though assault weapons were used in about 1% of violent crimes, high-capacity magazines showed up in about one-fourth
    USA Today link
    •  No it's not. (0+ / 0-)

      Because I said I agree with the ban.

      What's it IS is a reminder that a ban won't reduce the gun murder rate to below 8500 Americans/year.

      And if we simply say, "hurray, we've solved the problem," we're lying to ourselves and wasting a once in a generation opportunity for real reform on things which will affect the rate less than 5%.

      •  One more thing. (0+ / 0-)

        Having a high capacity magazine is only meaningful if they used that extra capacity.

        If they don't (and I see no evidence they do) then that's just a sign that those high capacity magazines are popular.

        Put another way, high capacity magazines were banned in 2003, when 30K people died as a result of gun shot wounds... including 11K murders.

        In 2011, when they were again legal, the number of gun murders had FALLEN to 8875.

        So. high capacity magazines don't really mean much.

      •  OK--i saw your agreement at the end but missed (0+ / 0-)

        it the first time.  Even so, it's the NRA line of argument.

        While handguns commit the majority of homicides, these mass killings are of a different ilk an both of these are worth strong regulation.  Sure, it's a low percentage--but it's a major social evil.  The extended magazine bans could, similarly, throw at least some wrench in the works of more general, individual homicides.

        No one's saying an assault weapons ban would solve the problem--just offer a start.

        •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Otteray Scribe

          It looks like our politicians are ONLY offereing these changes as their solution.

          That's my point.

          They are such a small factor in the total number killed/injured that they're almost a bit of a red herring.

          That's why I've asked: what it is the goal?

          - To limit the mayhem one nut can cause


          - to meaningfully lower the gun fatality rates

          Places like Norway show us that no amount of control can REALLY stop the most insane in our society, so why not try and attack the REAL scourge of guns?

          Genuinely... why not?

          Because our politicians love offering false hope and placebos, instead of real change.

  •  I don't know how banning sales of (6+ / 0-)

    high capacity magazines will work.  There are a gazillion of them out there "in the wild" and you can even find them at flea markets.  Most are crap for two reasons.  They are heavy and unwieldy, as well as being hard to change.  Second, the spring has to be so strong to push that many rounds up, it overloads the receiver, causing it to jam.

    One more thing.  I probably know more mass murderers and serial killers that any of the users on this site. I have made trying to understand them my life's work.  If a determined mass murderer is thwarted one way, they will find another way.  There are always speeding cars or trucks into a crowd, or bombs.  Want to scare the bejezus out of yourself?  Google TATP.  Or Thermite.  Thermite is nothing but aluminum dust and rust.  Stuff you can literally make yourself.  

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:47:32 AM PST

  •  We are trying to at least do smth. Much stricter (0+ / 0-)

    gun laws are not going to pass so the alternatives are to pass a weak law or do nothing. 1994 ban was compromised to such extent that it was probably counterproductive. It did very little to limit gun availability and cost Dems some seats in Congress.

  •  after AWB2 passes (0+ / 0-)

    We can start turning Cats & sharks into vegetarians

    Kenyan Socialism today Kenyan Socialism tomorrow Kenyan Socialism forever May his reign last 1,000 years

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 10:33:30 AM PST

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