So I've been doing a lot of research on NFA and BATFE laws and it just so happens that you can't really research much in these areas without crossing into proposed legislation so I actually sat down and read the pamphlet of Senator Feinstein's proposed Gun Control law. I couldn't help but to respond to her, here's what I wrote:
In your bill booklet you mention that Assault Weapon Bans work:
The use of assault weapons in crime declined by 70% nine years after the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban
took effect, according to a study conducted for the Justice Department.
o Source:Christopher S. Koper, “An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban:
Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003,” University of Pennsylvania (June 2004).
however, you do not mention that the murder rate declined after the assault weapon ban was listed, further, there have been several mass shootings without the use of assault rifles such as the shooting that occurred here in Atlanta during the assault weapons ban http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_O._Barton
While I understand your motivation to ban what you believe to be assault weapons (unfortunately there is no clear, widely agreed upon definition of this term aside from plastic or bare metal receivers and potentially pistol grips which have a clear use in sporting and home defense scenarios,) I'm highly concerned that the main deterrent to these types of shootings is being clearly overlooked. I realize I'm not one of your constituents, however, I would gladly back any bill that deepens background checks, including imposing waiting periods. Further, I feel that we as a nation need to focus on making mental health and mental health care a priority, following that up the media needs to be pressured to not glorify the actors in crimes to remove the last bit of motivation to these types of killers.
I heavily base my opinions on the fact that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold did not use assault rifles, violated purchase laws, and NFA law (sawed off shotgun) followed by attempting to improvise explosive devices with varied success. The problem I see with these shootings isn't necessarily based on the tools available, but the motivation to commit these crimes. Further, if I recall correctly the shooter from Newton attempted to purchase several weapons in the weeks preceding the shooting and was denied the ability to purchase these weapons; it's my opinion that additional laws and regulations on firearms will do little to decline these shootings and that by giving the nation gun control laws and heated debate immediately after such an event that we lose the ability to talk about how to fix the motivation and the situations leading up to the fact of an event like Newton happening. Please don't mask the real issues that we need to address by utilizing these situations to act on a personal belief or grudge but rather to get at the root of the real problem and cause, your constituents and the citizens of the United States deserve no less.
edit: disabled commenting on this article, leaving an open comments box on this type of article just strikes me as a very bad idea.
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