Assault Weapons Ban: It is Not Unconstitutional, And America Needs It
Under the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the AR-15 and any assault weapon similar to it were made illegal. In addition to this, any weapon with a magazine capable of holding more than 10-rounds was made illegal. According to a report by Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, "Since the law's enactment, however, these assault weapons have made up only 1.61% of the guns ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives] has traced to crime — a drop of 66% from the pre-ban rate." This assault weapons ban has since lapsed.
While one cannot measure the true effect of the ban lapsing, it is not difficult for one to discern that having fewer assault weapons introduced into society is not a bad thing, and it is far from being as bad for America and its Constitution as it's made out to be.
The NRA has repeatedly said that bans such as the 1994 assault weapons ban are unconstitutional. The 27-word piece of the Constitution they reference is the Second Amendment. The amendment states, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
When someone wants to buy a car, new or used, in the state of Georgia, they go through a lengthy process. They begin by getting insurance. After that step, they then go into the DMV and provide identification, proof of insurance, proof of residence, proof of ownership, an emissions inspection and a general inspection certificate, followed by a title and tag application.
In contrast to this, to get a concealed carry permit, all you need is identification, payment, and a self-addressed and stamped envelope. To carry a gun in the state of Georgia, sometimes you do not even need a permit. According to § 16-11-126 in Georgia State law, "Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun may have or carry on his or her person a weapon or long gun on his or her property or inside his or her home, motor vehicle, or place of business without a valid weapons carry license."
The Constitution states that one can bear arms; however, assault weapons are entirely different from hunting rifles. In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, the whole country worried about what to do in situations such as these. Some called for all schools to be secured by armed guards, others wanted to melt the guns, and a third group incomprehensibly wanted the guns for themselves.
The gun used by Adam Lanza in the tragedy, which killed 20 children, and seven adults, was an AR-15. This gun has the ability to fire bullets at a rate of 800 rounds per minute, and can be found with magazines that can hold up to 100 bullets. One Southern Georgia town sold out of assault weapons in the days following the tragedy. A news article stated that, “We had 6 on the shelf and within two hours they were gone. The next two hours you couldn't find a 223 bullet in here.”
It turned out that people were buying these guns out of fear that Obama would ban them in the near future. While a number of conservatives believe that Obama is doing something to take away their guns, Obama has actually been one of the softest presidents on gun control. A 2009 report card by the Brady Gun Violence Prevention Center gave Obama an "F" in all seven of its categories: Brady Background Checks, the Gun Show Loophole, Gun Trafficking, Guns in Public, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, Standing Up to the Gun Lobby, and Leadership.
The idea that it is unconstitutional to ban assault weapons is ludicrous, , and the need for anyone to own a gun that can fire more than a dozen rounds before reloading is mind-boggling. As certain cities and states begin to enact legislation on assault weapons, the federal government needs to step in. The last thing we need is another school shooting or tragedy due to the ineptitude of the American government to agree on something as obvious as this.