point them to the data they don't want to hear about. And wish nobody knew about.
And what was the result of this
ban? The bill mostly targeted the cosmetic qualities of these weapons —
restrictions which manufacturers circumvented by altering production so
that the banned elements were excluded. But even without these
loopholes, the ban’s impact on violence would have been minimal. A
Justice Department report examining the impact of the ban was
underwhelming at best. “Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun
violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for
reliable measurement,” the report states.
The report goes on to explain that the law’s larger impact on overall
gun violence was minimal, because the banned weapons were rarely
involved in criminal acts in the first place. According to the FBI,
rifles — a broader category that lumps together your grandpappy’s
hunting rifle with military-style rifles — constitute an average of 340
homicides per year. Though any loss of life is tragic, these numbers
don’t exactly rise to the occasion in solving what is commonly
characterized as a national epidemic.
But this debate isn’t about just any old rifle, right? The scope of this
debate is often targets one specific style of the rifle: the infamous