You really should read Dave Kopel’s (PDF) prepared testimony for yesterday’s hearing on the assault weapons ban. It’s absolutely devastating to the case for it, showing that it is nebulous, far-reaching and likely to be ineffective at best.
“Doing something” is the slogan for politicians who seek merely to exploit terrible crimes for self-serving purposes. “Doing something effective” is the approach of people who want to save lives and protect the public, especially children.
The lives of Americans, especially school children, depend on the choice that elected officials make between these two alternatives.
The Left is focusing on a fairly minor academic dispute about a study on the previous assault weapons ban. That dispute seems to me to revolve around the definition of “worked”. For most people, the criteria for the assault weapons ban working would be that it reduced crime. It didn’t, or at least it can’t be clearly shown (the data are a bit noisy and a LOT of policies changed in the 90’s). But to the gun grabbers, “worked” means it got weapons out of the hands of Americans. If it reduced crime, that’s nice but not really the point.
We can quibble about what the study found. But the reason so much attention has been paid to that quibble is because the rest of Kopel’s case is just devastating. As I said earlier, it is not we who have to justify our ownership of any particular firearm. It is the government that must justify restricting it. It just got a lot harder to justify an assault weapons ban; at least at the federal level.