The House Judiciary Committee began the discussion on which weapons US citizens can keep and use. On Wednesday, House members debated how to prevent future large-scale shootings as they went back and forth with each other.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and other Democratic lawmakers called for a ban on “assault weapons” while simultaneously claiming that being able to own them causes more people to be killed. This came after the CDC claimed firearms violence was the most common cause of death among children, despite numerous critics noting flaws in their research. It appears they don’t differentiate between various age groups.
“Imagine how much we could accomplish if we held on to our resolve to protect our communities and children as tightly as some of my colleagues hold on to their rifles,” said Cicilline. “There are more guns than people in the United States, with more mass shootings than there are days in the year. This is a problem that exists only here, and assault weapons just exacerbate it.”
When it comes to murder, however, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs (R) disputed the claim, citing a 2019 statistic that knives were the most frequent cause of fatal injuries inflicted with blunt objects like clubs and hammers coming in second.
“There were 1,476 knife killings in 2019, and 364 rifle murders,” he continued. “Blunt objects—clubs, hammers, and the like—accounted for more deaths than rifles. Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet) killed 600 people versus 360 people murdered by rifles.”
Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) also took aim at the notion that an assault weapons ban would be effective in reducing violent crime, suggesting a congressional study that found that such weapons were used in just a tiny fraction of gun homicides.
“This legislation not only takes away Americans’ rights, but it would also make our community less safe,” thundered the Ohio congressman. “We know this because Democrats tried it before. They attempted a ‘assault weapons ban’ in 1994 and what do you know? That restriction was found to be ineffective in lowering violent crime rates. A congressionally-mandated study revealed that the outlawed weapons were never utilized in more than a tiny proportion of all gun homicides during the 1994 ban.”
Meanwhile, the panel will continue discussions on a possible assault weapons ban that the House will vote on. Even if it passes the lower chamber, it has little chance of passing in the Senate.