Thank you to everyone who came out to my Get Out the Vote Rally! Remember, Tuesday, February 20th is the first day of Early Voting! I humbly ask for your support and encourage your friends and family to go out and vote “Lita Leo for Hidalgo County Treasurer.”
🖋BANNING ASSAULT WEAPONS DOES NOT WORK🖋
🖋Americans own something like 15 million AR-15-style rifles, which have been one of the biggest-selling firearm categories during the last decade or so. These guns are almost never used to commit violent crimes. According to the FBI, rifles of all kinds accounted for just 3 percent of firearm homicides in 2016, while handguns accounted for 65 percent. Contrary to what you may have heard, handguns are also by far the most common choice for mass shooters. A Mother Jones review of mass shootings from 1982 through 2012 found that 66 percent of the weapons were handguns, while just 14 percent would qualify as "assault weapons" under the definition used in a 2013 bill sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). More recent data show a similar pattern.
🖋Politicians, activists, and journalists who have decided to blame mass shootings on "assault weapons" either do not acknowledge these facts or wave them away. "While semi-automatic handguns still account for the vast majority of weapons used in mass shootings across the United States," says The Miami Herald, "semi-automatic rifles are increasingly common weapons of choice." How can certain kinds of guns be "weapons of choice" when other guns are chosen much more often?
🖋First, it is clearly possible to carry out attacks similar to yesterday's, which killed 17 people, without using "assault weapons." Nine of the mass shootings with the 20 highest death tolls involved handguns or long guns that are not covered by Feinstein's bill. That includes the third deadliest mass shooting, which killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007, as well as two other attacks that killed 17 or more people.
🖋Second, the fact that the perpetrators of the deadliest mass shootings tend to favor "assault weapons" does not mean that choice makes the attacks deadlier than they otherwise would be. That proposition seems pretty doubtful in light of the "assault weapon" definitions used by legislators, which are based on appearance rather than lethality.