By James Simpson, February 2013 (PDF here)Gun-Control-Issue2 Capital Research Center Foundation Watch The massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, this past December hit home like few other tragedies. Yet again a lunatic commits mass murder, this time slaughtering our most vulnerable and most cherished: our children. Words cannot express the bottomless grief one feels at the mere thought of such loss. Sandy Hook rightfully shook our sensibilities and forced us to reassess what we believe about ourselves and America. Why is this happening? we ask.
As usual, before police cordoned off the crime scene, the Left had its answer ready: not enough gun control. Left-wingers repeated their old refrain: America can no longer defend its “gun culture,” which is responsible for this tragedy, and we must have a national “dialogue” on guns.
In fact, we have been having a “dialogue” about guns for decades, and it has been very one-sided. The Left has often received what it asked for, starting with the 1968 Gun Control Act, the 1993 Brady Law (until the courts found parts of it unconstitutional), and a so-called federal “assault weapons” ban on semi-automatic rifles and high capacity magazines from 1994 to 2004. Yet none of this has affected gun crime or prevented any massacres. The Centers for Disease Control, a federal agency widely seen as favoring gun control, produced a major study in 2003 that admitted, “The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.”
Prior to the 1968 Gun Control Act, few controls existed on privately owned firearms, with the exception of machine guns—that is, guns that keep firing as long as you hold the trigger—which have been strictly regulated since 1934 under the National Firearms Act. Even children could order rifles through the mail with parental permission. Yet firearms crimes were less frequent, as were the mass shootings that seem to be a regular feature in the news these days.