As a retired federal agent, I was concerned with Alison Hopper's letter today regarding the Aurora shooting. Alison calls for a ban on all assault weapons to prevent future mass shootings. All assault weapons (selective fire for both semi-automatic and full automatic fire) have been controlled since the 1934 Federal National Firearms Act. I believe she was referring to the semi-automatic arm used by the Aurora shooter. I would ask how a ban would prevent any mass shooter?
The theater in Aurora was a "Gun Free Zone" which apparently only applied to honest people. In Aurora it is illegal to discharge a firearm in the city limits and Colorado law outlaws murder. Since none of the existing law prevented the alleged shooter, why would a ban on semi-automatic arms have prevented the carnage?
The media labels military look-alike firearms that are semi-automatic as "assault weapons." Nineteen such arms were banned from 1994 until the law sunset in 2004. The FBI Uniform Crime Report states these semiautos never figured in more than 3% of armed crime before or after the law was in effect. My .22 semi-auto rifle I got for Christmas in 1961 and my Browning Sweet 16 shotgun are semi-autos and would fit an "assault weapon" ban.
Calling for an assault weapon ban is a "feel good" law that will never affect mass shooters. No law prevents anything! If laws prevented armed crime, why did current Colorado laws fail in Aurora?
Ronald L. Benjamin
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom