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posted: 7/18/2013 5:00 AM

Ban on assault guns won't make us safer

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To understand your call for banning assault weapons (July 14), it would be helpful if you defined what you mean by assault weapons, because different people have different definitions. Nancy Pelosi's definition would ban most regular hunting rifles. I trust that is not your goal.

So, maybe you mean the definition used by our military. But those weapons are effectively banned by existing federal laws. For example, it is a federal crime to possess a military assault weapon unless it is at least 27 years old and you have a federal license (they call it a stamp). So military assault weapons in private hands are extremely rare.

You don't really say why you want to ban assault weapons, but I suppose you think it would make us safer. But, according to the FBI, in 2011 (the latest year that the FBI has published figures) rifles were used for 323 murders out of over 12,000. That's less than 3 percent for all rifles, not just assault weapons. And none of the recent mass murders were done with assault weapons. So banning military assault weapons in a few towns in Illinois would do almost nothing to make us safer.

If you want us to be safer, how about if you support something that might really make us safer? Politicians waste a lot of time and hot air on assault weapons to deflect our attention from the fact that they are doing nothing to make us safer. Please don't make the same mistake.

Rich Schwanbeck

Elk Grove Village

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