A Gun Ban that Misfired

By JEFFREY SCOTT SHAPIRO

In the wake of the horrific elementary-school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month, many Americans, desperate to do something in response, have decided that much stricter gun control is the answer. Democrats have proposed reinstating the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein has proposed legislation that would even restrict the use of some semiautomatic handguns.

During a press conference Wednesday, President Obama called on congress to pass specific gun control proposals, including universal background checks and assault weapon regulation.

During his press conference on Wednesday, President Obama spoke about the right of gun ownership and the right to live free of gun violence. Photo: Getty Images

During a press conference Wednesday, President Obama called his gun control proposals ‘common sense measures’ and emphasized his support of the Second Amendment, saying, “I respect our strong tradition of gun ownership.” Photo: Getty Images.

As a former prosecutor in Washington, D.C., who enforced firearms and ammunition cases while a severe local gun ban was still in effect, I am skeptical of the benefits that many imagine will result from additional gun-control efforts. I dislike guns, but I believe that a nationwide firearms crackdown would place an undue burden on law enforcement and endanger civil liberties while potentially increasing crime.

 

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