To a less warmer gun

happiness II

Opponents of gun control argue that no proof exists that legislative restraints work. As a follow-up to last week’s post about my personal experience with an assault rifle, I decided to do a little research into that claim.

Finding data is challenging, because the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers successfully lobbied for restrictions banning the use of federal money to conduct studies. However, Mother Jones magazine has compiled a list of mass shootings in the United States from 1982 to the present. By extrapolating data from that list, we were able to construct the following chart:

Brief History of Assault Weapon Usage in US


Number of Incidents Number Killed Number Injured

Average Deaths

Avg. Tot. Casualties / Incident



8 79 88 9.9 20.8

Prior to George H.W. Bush Ban


26 262 282 6.8 20.9

During Bush Ban


37 302 242 4.6


During Assault Weapon Ban


10 103 112 10.4 21.5

After Assault Weapon Ban

Source: Mother Jones’ Investigation: US Mass Shootings, 1982-2016,

Granted these may not be the most definitive findings, but the data strongly suggests a significant decline in the number of deaths and total casualties per incident during the assault weapons ban.

Might it be worth reenacting an assault weapon ban, if it meant reducing the average number of deaths per incident by at least half and the number of total casualties by about a third?


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