Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Who needs assault weapons?

kristoff's new op-ed piece

nicholas kristof has a pretty good op-ed in the times about bush's policy on assault weapsons.
These days Mr. Bush still says that he'll sign an extension of the ban if it happens to reach his desk. But he knows that the only way the ban can be extended on time is if he actually urges its passage, and he refuses to do that. So his promise to support an extension rings hollow - it's not exactly a lie, but it's not the full truth, either. Mr. Bush's flip-flop is surprising because he has generally had the courage of his convictions. Apparently he's hiding from this issue because it's so politically charged.
and some interesting statistics, with an important caveat:

While gun statistics are as malleable as Play-Doh, they do underscore that assault weapons are a special problem in America. They accounted for 8.4 percent of the guns traced to crimes between 1988 and 1991, and they are still used in one in five fatal shootings of police officers. If anything, we should be plugging the holes in the ban by having it cover copycat weapons without bayonet mounts, instead of moving backward and allowing a new flood of weapons and high-capacity magazines. The bottom line is that Mr. Bush's waffling on assault weapons will mean more dead Americans. About 100 times as many Americans are already dying from gunfire in the U.S. as in Iraq. As many Americans die from firearms every six weeks as died in the 9/11 attacks - yet the White House is paralyzed on this issue.

security security security!