As a rule, it’s probably not the best idea to formulate policy based on perception alone, say showing people a bunch of guns and asking them which ones they think should be banned (i.e. ones that look scary). Vox and the Morning Consult showed pictures of 11 firearms to participants and asked whether they thought the weapon was legal in the U.S and which ones should be illegal for ownership. To no one’s shock, Republicans were less likely to say a firearm should be banned compared to Democrats. Approval for the legality of the handguns all reached over 70 percent, which speaks to the poll showing that 72 percent of Americans oppose a handgun ban. So, that’s not shocking. Neither is the 24/62, should be legal to should be illegal split for the AR-15.
So, again, everyone, especially liberals, want to ban the scary guns, despite the fact that an AR-15 rifle is just as deadly as a handgun given the ranges that firearms are typically used in self-defense situations. The AR-15 can also be chambered in at least 20-30 different calibers, so in some instances, a 9mm handgun packs more of a punch than a rifle shooting .22 caliber ammunition.
I have never seen a more explicit admission that gun controllers are primarily interested in aesthetics than this: https://t.co/cEFmZHYCcb— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) July 9, 2016
Yet, this is all silliness. The data is clear that a) rifles and shotguns are rarely used in gun crimes; b) mass shootings, which precipitates all of this gun control nonsense, are rare—contributing to a very small fraction of gun fatalities; and c) gun violence isn’t a problem. We’re living in times where the country is remarkably safer than it was 25 years ago. As for gun homicides, they’ve been reduced dramatically, with another 3.9 percent reduction in 2015. Lastly, as National Review’s Charles Cooke noted on Twitter, this whole exercise seems to confirm that liberals just focus on the look of a firearms, rather than delving into facts about the gun itself. That’s a bad foundation for policymaking and poll data.