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posted: 4/21/2013 4:40 AM

Assault weapon 'problem' overblown

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Assault weapon 'problem' overblown

Many groups are pushing for another assault weapon ban with the reason being to save countless lives. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for the most recent complete year there were a total of 12,664 homicides in the United States and of those homicides 8,583 were by a firearm (67 percent).

Of those homicides with a firearm 323 were with a rifle (2.5 percent). Not every rifle is as an "assault" rifle and the data stops there and does not differentiate between rifle subsets IE bolt action, lever action, pump, single shot, semi-auto or "assault."

The sales records that gun manufacturers have released since the expiration of the prior assault weapons ban show that 20 percent of all rifle sales are "assault" rifles. A logical argument can then be made that at least 20 percent of rifle homicides are by assault rifles, which would be 64 homicides or .05 percent of all homicides. The shootings at Aurora Colorado and Sandy Hook almost account for half that number.

If assault weapons were its own category it would be one of the smallest homicide categories, beaten only by poison, explosives or drowning and falling far short of other categories such as "cutting instruments" at 13 percent or even "other weapons" (think shovel, croquet mallet or bat) at 6.7 percent. Saying that America has a problem with assault rifles is quite a stretch.

The groups that are trying to ban assault weapons would do far more good to work on solving problems such as the 1.2 million abortions per year, 300 infant deaths from being shook, 37,000 suicides or 225,000 deaths from medical errors.

Mark Burton

Glendale Heights

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