View Full Version : Yakima, Wa: Knives, bats used more often than assault weapons

04-27-2009, 4:16 PM

Your Turn: Knives, bats used more often than assault weapons
by Michelle Lynn Berthon
For the Yakima Herald-Republic
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This feature is under development and will be available soon.
More Stories: Today's News | This Week Our topic for "Your Turn" on whether to ban the sale of assault weapons attracted a number of responses.

Here, in part, is what we asked our readers:

Congress may be asked to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. The original ban had outlawed 19 types of semi-automatic military-style guns and ammunition clips with more than 10 rounds. Should the assault weapons ban be reinstated or should we allow the continued sale of these types of weapons?

And this is what Michelle Lynn Berthon of Yakima wrote in response:


In a recent news report, the Obama administration announced that it would seek to reinstate the ban on the sale of assault weapons. This would be a mistake! The federal ban was originally enacted in 1994 under President Clinton and was allowed to expire in 2004 during the Bush administration.

Part of the impetus for reinstating the ban, according to Attorney General Eric Holder, is to "help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border."

Mr. Holder adds, "I think that it will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum."

Let me try to understand this: The Obama administration wants to ban certain types of constitutionally protected weapons because it might help Mexico with their drug problem? Since when has it been the responsibility of Americans to reduce crime in Mexico?

The assault weapon ban, while prohibiting law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional rights, also has had a negligible effect on violent crimes. That is because, according to statistics from police reports and federal felon surveys obtained by the National Rifle Association Institute for Legal Action, the banned assault weapons were only used in 1 percent to 2 percent of all violent crimes. Murders with knives, clubs and hands outnumber those committed with assault weapons by over 20-to-1! Will they ban knives next? How about bats (they could be used like clubs)?

While it may be tempting for you to ask who really needs an assault weapon, you'd be missing the point: In a free society, the burden of proof is upon those who wish to restrict a freedom, not upon those who wish to exercise it. The rationale used by the Clinton administration to justify the ban was that because criminals sometimes use these firearms to commit crimes, honest and law-abiding citizens must surrender them. Hmmm, let me get this straight: My freedom and liberty depends on the behavior of criminals? Does this seem fair to you?

One thing to remember when considering the ban on assault weapons: It's a slippery slope! It may begin with certain types of semi-automatic shotguns, but before you know it, the government will be banning all guns. I say no to any ban!

04-27-2009, 8:59 PM
Well written article from a local citizen. Pretty cool.