Assault weapons are not the problem

Published 11:18 am Tuesday, September 25, 2018


In response to an Aug. 31 letter to the editor by Marie Flowers titled, “Assault weapons don’t protect people.” First off, anyone who believes assault “style” weapons kill many people in America each year needs to Google up the crime stats from the FBI Uniform Crime Report or any such collector of crime stats. Assault style weapons kill far fewer people each year than do knives and blunt force trauma. Out of all categories of firearms, it’s the handgun that takes more lives by far each year over any other firearm. Indeed, assault style rifles hold the honors of being the least used firearm in gun related deaths across America coming in at 0.03 percent of all type guns used. America would be so lucky if all other types of firearms combined were used in homicides as seldom as assault style rifles.

Flowers went on to say that an arsenal of assault weapons would not protect people against an evil government. Fortunately that contest of arms has yet to be tried and we all hope it never will. Where the true, “full auto” assault weapon was tested against superior firepower was in Vietnam. With all of America’s superior aircraft, war ships, artillery and small arms, the Viet Cong and the Vietnamese forces set U.S. forces on its heels by the presence of the Russian supplied AK-47. That weapon came as an ugly surprise to our military. Its fire power, reliability and simplicity to use gave the U.S. forces a very bloody nose in the jungles of Vietnam where we did not emerge victorious in the end.

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A study conducted by the FBI in the early 1900s concluded that for all its firepower, the assault style weapon was not the weapon of choice for day to day criminal activity. The concealable handgun was all the weapon most criminals needed and preferred over the bulky, heavy and difficult to hide assault style weapon. The people did wake up and that is why the 1994 assault weapons ban was allowed to expire in 2004. The ban had no impact on crime and it infringed on the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Karl Schmidt,