I have to ask — why in the world was this not done long ago? To decide in 2013 that its a federal crime to traffic firearms seems like too little way too late. But let’s see them declare Fast and Furious to be a federal crime AND prosecute someone in power for that crime. Sadly that will likely happen about the same time some action is finally taken against anyone for the debacle in Benghazi….
CONGRESS – U.S. House lawmakers on Tuesday unveiled their first bipartisan bill targeting gun violence in this Congress: a measure to make firearms trafficking a federal crime.
During a press event, the bill’s sponsors — Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Scott Rigell (R-Va.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) — said their legislation would create a single section of federal code to give law enforcement the ability to prosecute gun traffickers. It would also impose up to 20 years in jail for “straw purchasers,” or those who buy guns for people prohibited from buying them on their own. Their measure is among the recommendations included in the gun violence package put forward last month by President Obama.
But despite new efforts to reduce gun violence, statistical data reveal that stricter laws don’t always produce lower crime rates.
According to economist and gun rights advocate John Lott, Jr., gun control measures generally disarm law-abiding citizens and leave illegal gun access untouched. In fact, Lott cited statistics that found that more guns actually produced fewer murders.
Since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in September 2004, murder and overall violent-crime rates have fallen. In 2003, the last full year before the law expired, the U.S. murder rate was 5.7 per 100,000 people, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report. By 2011, the murder rate fell to 4.7 per 100,000 people. One should also bear in mind that just 2.6% of all murders are committed using any type of rifle.
According to Lott, the 1994 legislation banned magazines holding more than 10 bullets yet had no effect on crime rates.
In 2011, almost 13,000 people were murdered with a weapon. Of those, 1,700 people were killed with knives; almost 500 were killed with hammers, bats, and clubs; and 728 were killed by another’s bare hands. Statistics show only 323 people were killed with rifles. That’s just 2.5 percent of all weapon-related murders.
The worst mass-murder in a school in American history did not involve guns or shooters; it involved a bomb in an elementary school. In 1927, a man set off 500 pounds of explosives in one wing of an elementary school in Bath, Michigan, killing 38 children. It would have killed more, but 500 pounds of dynamite that he had placed in another wing of the school failed to detonate.
For more information – http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/05/us-usa-guns-trafficking-idUSBRE91417220130205