My response in the Chicago Tribune to their Editorial on Assault Weapon Bans
Published January 27, 2006
With all the claims that your editorial makes about so-called assault weapons ("Ban assault weapons in Illinois," Commentary, Jan. 26), murder rates should have soared after the Federal ban sunset on Sep. 13, 2004.
On Oct. 18 last year, the FBI released the final data for 2004. It shows clearly that for the U.S. monthly murder rate plummeted 14 percent from August through December. By contrast, during the same months in 2003 the murder rate fell only 1 percent. Curiously, the seven states that have their own assault-weapons bans saw a smaller drop in murders during 2004 than the 43 states without such laws.
Instead of you just citing gun control organizations, does it matter that there is not a single published academic study showing that these bans have reduced any type of violent crime? Even research funded by the Clinton Justice Department concluded that the effect of the ban on gun violence "has been uncertain."
John R. Lott, Jr.
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