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Subdeacon Joe

Even the Los Angeles Times Is Saying Bans Do Squat

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When that august publication publishes something that says that the line the Times  pushes is bogus you know it's bad.





"I say "apparent" drop in fatalities because, as Klarevas admits in a footnote, if you use the most widely accepted threshold for categorizing a shooting as a "mass shooting" — four fatalities, as opposed to Klarevas' higher threshold of six — the 1994 to 2004 drop in fatalities disappears entirely. Had Klarevas chosen a "mass shooting" threshold of five fatalities instead of six, then the dramatic pause he notes in mass shootings between 1994 to 1999 would disappear too.

Klarevas doesn't disaggregate his list of mass shootings by weapon type, so I had to do that myself by cross-referencing his dataset with Mother Jones' list of U.S. mass shootings and with news reports.

What I found was that for the decade prior to the ban, only two of the 19 mass shootings in Klarevas' dataset involved civilian versions of military rifles. Another three involved pistols banned by name under the 1994 legislation (two Uzis and one Tec-9), but these small guns use a popular handgun round, 9mm, and not the much larger 5.56 NATO rifle round that features so prominently in current arguments for why the government should ban the AR-15.

As for the decade during which the ban was in place, Klarevas concedes in a footnote that of the 12 shootings in his dataset, only three actually involved assault weapons.

All told, that's five mass shootings that took place with "assault weapons" in the decade before the ban, and three that took place during its tenure. These numbers are far too small for any sort of statistical inference, especially if you're trying to build a case for banning tens of millions of legally owned rifles."


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And the typical readers of the LA Times saw this in their mind's eye:


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