January 29, 2013 by esarsea
I was looking back at the FBI stats we linked to in a previous post. For 2011, it shows 12,644 murders in the US: 323 committed by rifle (2.5%) and 6,220 committed by handguns (nearly half of all homicides) and yet the focus seems to be on the so-called “Assault Rifle.”
These rifles are classified as “Assault Rifles” due to their cosmetic similarity to fully automatic assault rifles like the military uses. It really has nothing to do with how they operate.
An assault rifle is not a fully automatic machine gun, where you can hold the trigger down and generate a continuous stream of bullets. The assault rifles that are under fire (excuse the pun) are semi automatic weapons that fire one bullet each time the trigger is pulled. From this standpoint, assault rifles are just like any semi automatic pistol, be it a Colt 45 or a Smith & Wesson double action revolver.
That must mean the main concern is large magazines that assault rifles can have. A typical Colt 45 holds 8 rounds (7 in the clip and 1 in the chamber). Most double action revolvers hold 6 rounds, and the popular 9mm pistol commonly holds 15 rounds (although some states limit you to 10 round clips).
The 1994 assault weapon ban that just expired limited these assault rifles to 10 round magazines. High capacity magazines can now hold more.
However, 2 handguns – 1 in each pocket – gives you 16 rounds in the case of the Colt 45, 12 rounds with 2 standard revolvers, or even 30 rounds with a couple 9mm pistols. And reloading is a snap with extra clips and/or speed-loaders.
Handguns are MUCH more easily concealed, fire just as fast, and are easier to handle. An armed bad guy could pack around 3 or 4 handguns unnoticed just as easy (or in some cases, easier) than just one “Assault rifle.” Handguns are responsible for 1 out of every 2 murders, while rifles (rifles of ALL kinds, not just the so-called assault rifles) are responsible for less than 3 out of every 100 murders.
Imagine if 12,000 people were killed every year as a result of commercial airline crashes. Imagine 6000 deaths per year as a result of Airline “A” crashes, and 300 deaths per year as a result of Airline “B” crashes.
Then imagine the FAA focusing all their attention on the regulation of Airline B.
I guess I just don’t get it.