Miscellaneous – February 2013

Miscellaneous – February 2013

Restored Payroll Tax Pinches Those Who Earn the Least



Obama Doesn’t Need an Assault Weapons Ban
Bill Scher
January 16, 2013

Most glaringly, though, the focus on assault rifles ignored the main source of gun deaths: handguns. In 2011, there were approximately 6,000 homicides from handguns, versus little more than 300 from rifles. (Another 20,000 gun deaths were intentional suicides, also primarily a handgun problem.) While mass shootings are nationally traumatic, they are a mere sliver of the gun problem. The 68 dead this year from such crimes is less than one-half of one percent of the 30,000 gun deaths from 2011.

Assault weapons may be more likely in mass shootings, but so are semiautomatic handguns, which were used in Columbine, Virginia Tech and Aurora. The killers at Columbine and Aurora also used shotguns. In fact, police in Aurora noted that the shooter could have done more damage with his shotgun than with his assault rifle equipped with the infamous 100-round magazines, partly because of the deadly spray effect of the shotgun pellets and partly because his 100-round magazine jammed, as they are known to do.


In Gun Control Debate, Little Talk of Stand Your Ground
Penn Bullock
January 21, 2013

Stand Your Ground is often said to have brought back the vigilantism of the old frontier. But Florida’s law is less Wild West than it is Mad Max; gun-slinging frontiersmen would have blanched at some of its worst outcomes. In one terrifying case dug up in an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times,  a judge exonerated two gang members for mowing down a 15-year-old participant in a shootout. “The judge,” the Times reported, “said he had no choice but to grant immunity to two men who fired the AK-47 responsible for the death even though they fired 25 to 30 times outside an apartment complex.” Sounding shocked by his own ruling, which the law necessitated, the judge wrote that Stand Your Ground “could conceivably result in all persons who exchanged gunfire on a public street being immune from prosecution.”


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