Assault-Weapon Bans Are Not Enough
prospect.org — The Newtown elementary school massacre has finally sparked a discussion about what to do about the 80 gun deaths in America each day, seven of which are children. But the dialogue remains constrained, as if we know we have to talk about gun control but we’re still afraid the National Rifle Association (NRA) will scold us as anti-freedom oppressors or start shooting. Beyond the obvious—banning assault weapons and limiting the size of gun clips—there is little information or analysis about concrete reforms that could make a difference. Gun crimes are usually discussed as if the transactions and guns involved are illegal, but the truth is that most guns that end up being used in crimes are obtained legally. The problem is not illegal guns, but the essentially unregulated market in devices designed to kill. The unsurprising result is something we know all too much about—easy access for anyone who wants a gun, and for those so inclined, the capability to rather effortlessly inflict death and misery.