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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 17, 2013/ 6 Shevat, 5773

Myths about assault weapons

By Glenn Garvin



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) An otherwise intelligent friend of mine launched a recent Facebook rant against "weapons that automatically feed bullets and can fire 100 rounds per second. I just don't get why the Average Joe needs one. Can you explain it to me?" I couldn't, I admitted. But I could explain that there is no hand-held gun in the world that fires that fast.

Even the machine guns mounted on military helicopters top out around 67 rounds a second, and any Average Civilian Joe caught with one of those would go straight to jail. Automatic weapons — that is, anything that fires a continuous stream of bullets as long as you hold the trigger down — are technically not illegal for civilians in the United States, but they're so highly regulated that they might as well be.

My friend, who erroneously thinks that America is awash in machine guns that can cut somebody in two with the flick of a finger, is a good example of how the debate over so-called assault weapons perfectly embodies the lament of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis when he said that "behind every argument is someone's ignorance."

The case for banning assault weapons — the definition is cloudy, but essentially they're rifles that have the stylish accoutrements of military weapons, including collapsible stocks and flash-suppressors, but not the lethal automatic firepower — is being made with arguments that are practically fact-free, by a segment of politicians and chattering-class pundits who believe guns and the people who own them are innately repellent. Over and over again, they say things that simply aren't true; they don't bother to check the actual facts because they don't care about the actual facts.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, just to pick a random but highly publicized example, last week theatrically demanded that his legislature "stop the madness" by banning assault weapons. "It's simple," Cuomo said. "No one hunts with an assault rifle."

Leave aside some relevant facts that Cuomo simply ignored: that the rate of violent crime in America is plummeting. That the murder rate is the lowest since the presidency of John F. Kennedy. That the Second Amendment doesn't condition the right to bear arms on their use in hunting.

Just consider Cuomo's simple factual claim: No one hunts with an assault weapon. It's totally, absolutely, ringingly false.

"I'm not sure how many people" hunt with rifles that could be called assault weapons, says Russ Chastain, a hunter who writes a popular Internet outdoors column ( http://hunting.about.com/). But he adds: "While the percentage is low, I believe it has been growing in recent years."

If the commercial instincts of the gun industry are to be trusted, the growth is fast and significant. The magazine Outdoor Life recently ran a comparative review of 14 hunting rifles that could be considered assault weapons and noted that "virtually every manufacturer is producing these guns."

The idea that nobody hunts with assault weapons is undoubtedly linked to the myth that they're like machine guns, emitting bullets in bursts that tear their targets to pieces. In fact, assault weapons are semi-automatic — that is, they fire one bullet each time you pull the trigger, a characteristic they share with practically every other gun in America. And they're far less likely to tear big game to pieces because they fire smaller-caliber bullets than conventional hunting rifles.

"The small bullets would often cause too little damage to efficiently kill a large game animal," says Chastain. Mostly assault weapons are used for hunting varmints, smaller animals like coyotes and prairie dogs that damage livestock or property.

Here's what assault weapons are not used for: killing human beings. Despite the enormous and understandable publicity generated by last year's massacre of Connecticut schoolchildren, it's extremely rare for assault weapons to be used in murders. Of the 12,664 people murdered in the United States in 2011, only 323 — less than 3 percent — were killed with rifles of any type, according to the FBI.

That's why a 2004 Justice Department study on the effectiveness of a federal ban on assault weapons from 1994 to 2003 concluded that the law didn't have much impact. (Even on school shootings: the Columbine massacre took place during 1997, when the law was in effect.)

"Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement," the study said, because assault weapons "were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban." Unfortunately, that sentence doesn't get quoted much, because it lacks the poetry of "stop the madness." It's just a fact.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Glenn Garvin is a columnist for the Miami Herald.

Previously:



12/20/12: Right to work? Workers vote with their feet
12/11/12: Obama's pipe dreams and fairy tales
11/11/12: The truth about the movie 'Won't Back Down'
11/01/12: In this clash of civilizations, the West seems to have a lot of fifth columnists
9/25/12: Obama's jobs math doesn't add up
6/22/12: Bath salts controversy --- when politicians become pushers
4/26/12: When R2D2 and C3P0 go to war
2/16/12: The profound lies of Deep Throat
12/22/11: Great moments in history? Not so much
11/30/11: Giving bullies a veto on the First Amendment
09/15/11: ‘Bloodsucking Progressives Must Die’ video game is acceptable?
06/28/11: Send this one back where it came from
06/23/11: Doesn't this president remind you of someone?
05/26/11: A new standard of racial correctness
05/12/11: ‘Vast wasteland’ speech 50 years later
04/13/11: Bay of Pigs fiasco offers lessons for Obama's Libya adventure
03/03/11: Inconvenient truth for teachers' unions
07/10/10: Still looking to score
06/22/10: Ripe for fraud and abuse
05/25/10: Big Brother picks your pocket
11/04/09: Have conservatives scored a stealth prime time drama?
08/27/09: Left's been out for blood, too
08/13/09: What's not being celebrated
07/31/09: Pay-or-play means more lost jobs
07/16/09: OAS turns a blind eye to violations by left
07/02/09: Nothing so shocking about this coup
06/22/09: Libs' darling strikes out
06/03/09: Yes, America should read Sotomayor's speech in context
05/20/09: ‘Bloody’ mission goes awry
05/07/09: The problem is they aren't just goofin'
04/30/09: Why can't students say ‘guns’ in school?
04/08/09: When non-U.S. citizens vote
03/2e/09: Of course the AIG bonus boys — the ‘best and the brightest‘ — deserve their loot
03/12/09: No choice in Free Choice Act

© 2009, The Miami Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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