Biden, Pelosi Peddle False Info Promoting the 1994 'Assault Weapons Ban'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | August 8, 2022
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If the insult of gun-grabbing politicians lacking the integrity to define their intentionally opaque government-pushed term “assault weapon” is not enough for you to blow a proverbial mental gasket, this new set of revelations – though unsurprising – might do the trick.

Indeed, just two weeks ago, I reported for MRCTV that Virginia Congressman Don Beyer (D) had proposed a 1,000-percent excise tax on the sale of that magically amorphous category of firearm called “assault weapon,” and in the report, I noted:

 “(A)s TacticalGear points out, in 1994, the federal government forced its own arbitrary (and, in some respects, ambiguous) definition onto a whole host of firearms that previously were not considered by actual gun owners to be ‘assault rifles.’”

And now, as they push for the reinstatement and expansion of the “assault weapons ban,” (which passed in the House at the end of July) both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are muddying the waters even more, with demonstrably spurious and nonsensical claims about the purported salutary effects of that very 1994-2004 “assault weapons ban.”

Emily Miller gets things started, writing for The Epoch Times:

“Supporters of the bans are calling their assertions ‘facts,’ in an effort to mislead the public,” Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) told The Epoch Times. “Many of the Democratic Members of Congress were purposefully misleading in their assertions that the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban reduced crime. This level of willful ignorance would be comical if the effects of what they are trying to do wasn’t so blatantly unconstitutional.”

Unconstitutional, and immoral.

It should be stressed that even if the U.S. Constitution were amended to allow for armed agents of the tax-funded state to point their guns at Americans and force them to turn over their personal firearms or not acquire any, such activity would be immoral and justifying defensive violence on the part of the rights-retaining citizen.

Related: Intellectual Ammunition: Mythology v Facts of 'Gun Control' | MRCTV

And, on the bald-faced falsehoods Biden and Pelosi are spreading, Miller continues:

“During that time (1994-2004), ‘we witnessed gun crime with assault weapons drop by up to 40 percent,’ Pelosi said on the House floor during the recent debate.”

Not… quite…true.

“‘The number of murders with rifles actually increased slightly when the ban went into effect,’ John R Lott Jr., the president of Crime Research, told The Epoch Times, referring to data from the FBI’s annual release of reports from law enforcement agencies on homicides by weapon type. Lott also pointed out that no one collects data on all crimes committed with so-called assault weapons.”

Hold on now. Nancy Pelosi pushed misleading information? How could that be?!

Adds Miller:

“While Pelosi makes it sound like there’s a grave risk of being killed by a rifle, it’s actually a rare crime. Lott has reported that the percentage of firearm murders with any type of rifles was 4.8 percent prior to the ban starting in September 1994. During the 10-year ban, homicide by rifle was 4.9 percent of all murders. Then rifle homicides dropped to 3.6 percent after the ban expired in 2004.”

Hold on, again! How could rifle homicides DECREASE after the magical ban ENDED? That’s gotta be wrong.

And, as Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) has noted on the House Floor, people found ways to possess the core “Assault Weapons” during the ban (Massie points out that the number DOUBLED), a point that Mr. Keane also observes:

“Ownership of these so-called assault weapons increased during the ban. Keane, the powerful gun lobbyist, pointed out that during the ban, what his organization calls Modern Sporting Rifles continued to be legally manufactured and sold if they did not have two of the cosmetic features necessary for the rifle to be banned.”

Adds Miller:

“Biden also said on June 2, ‘In the 10 years it was law, mass shootings went down. But after Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled. Those are the facts.’

But an Epoch Times investigation into mass shootings showed that they are extremely rare and went up and down during the time period in question. As you can see in this graphic (see original Epoch Times piece), there was no pattern of mass shootings in that 10-year period.

The White House press office did not respond to a request for the source of the president’s data.”

But it gets worse for Biden and Pelosi:

“Pelosi echoed Biden with her own statistic, saying in a speech that ‘since the ban expired, the number of mass shooting deaths has grown by nearly 500 percent.’

That’s not true.

‘Mass public shootings with assault weapons in the ten years after the ban sunset increased to six compared to the four that occurred in the ten years during the ban,’ Lott reported in his analysis. He also reports that total mass public shootings increased between those two ten-year periods, almost doubling, but the increase occurred with non-assault weapons.

‘If Pelosi’s claim is correct, we should see a drop in the percent of attacks with assault weapons during the federal ban period and then an increase in the post-ban period, but the exact opposite is true,’ said Lott, the author of the new book Gun Control Myths.”

And foremost among those myths is that anyone has a right to threaten you with government guns in order to stop you from possessing a firearm for self-defense.

Second is the practical reality that gun bans – like other forms of prohibition -- don’t work. And, third, there’s the fact that, as John Lott often points out, criminals avoid places where they have a high expectation that their targeted victims might be armed.

More guns in civilian possession equates to lower crime, as I have reported, in-depth, for MRCTV.

As Miller points out, the rhetorical barrage from Pelosi and Biden harkens back to a fantasy of their own creation.

The truth is God grants us the right to self-defense. Period.

They engage in acts of aggression when they push these kinds of unconstitutional and immoral pieces of legislation, and no amount of wordplay can hide that truth.

Related: BU Politicizes Gun Ownership, And Gets It Completely Wrong | MRCTV