Congresswoman's Fight Against Gun Violence Won't Do Anything

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

A lot of people hate the term “gun violence,” and for a pretty good reason. It ties “gun” and “violence” together in such a way that it makes it seem as if a gun will always lead to violence.


If so, mine seem to be broken, but I get where people are coming from on the topic.

But we also know what the term means. “Gun violence” is basically violence carried out with a gun. I get annoyed at the term because it’s generally used as if violence carried out with a firearm is somehow worse than beatings, stabbings, or any other kind of violence.

Yet, again, we all know what it means.

So when a Congresswoman out of New Mexico said she wants to combat it, well, we should at least look at what she’s saying.

Stansbury represents the New Mexico 1st Congressional District, which encompasses Albuquerque and she won’t stop fighting gun violence.

To that, she’s pushing two particular bits of gun control.

Unfortunately for her, neither of those are likely to have any appreciable impact on so-called gun violence.

First, let’s talk assault weapon bans.

While so-called assault weapons are a popular target of the anti-gun crowd, particularly after mass shootings, we also know that historically, they’re not really used in crime all that often.


In 2019, of the more than 10,000 people shot to death, fewer than 400 were killed by any kind of rifle. That number isn’t just AR-15s or other modern sporting rifles, either, but also includes at least some typically thought of as hunting weapons.

When you look at violent crime as a whole, the number of such rifles becomes even more trivial. After all, few people are going to try and mug someone with an AK-47. FALs aren’t typically found in the hands of guys knocking over liquor stores, either.

So once again, we’re seeing that the vast majority of firearms used in so-called gun violence aren’t, in fact, “assault weapons.”

But would universal background checks do anything?


About the only thing universal background checks do is allow people selling their guns to not have to worry if a bad person played them. That’s literally the best-case scenario and if someone’s worried about that, they could just put it for sale on consignment at a reputable gun store that will do such sales.

Criminals, however, aren’t exactly going to just roll over and not buy guns.

As it stands, the vast majority of guns obtained by criminals are obtained through illicit means already, about 93 percent of them. That’s not likely to change with universal background checks. After all, a lot of people selling guns to bad guys now already know they can’t lawfully own a firearm, and yet, here we are.


After all, it’s not like so-called gun violence has disappeared in states that have adopted universal background checks.

Stansbury says she won’t stop fighting gun violence. While I disagree with gun control, fighting violent crime is a noble goal.

The problem as I see it is that she hasn’t even started trying to actually fight it. She’s just throwing out popular talking points and pretending it means she’s addressing the issue.

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