Philadelphia Inquirer: Posted on Wed, Sep. 15, 2004

Ban was meaningless

Re: "A dark day for public safety" (Commentary Page, Sept. 13):

The expired "assault-weapons ban" will not adversely impact public safety in any meaningful way. It was a superficial legislative sop to quell public outrage over a few tragic shootings in the early 1990s. It selected a few cosmetic features (such as pistol grips and flash suppressors) to legally brand some firearms as bad "assault weapons," while leaving other similar firearms with nearly identical tactical functionality on the market. Pre-ban "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines remained in circulation throughout this period in almost all states.

Meanwhile, criminals have continued to commit crimes, using guns, both legally and illegally obtained, some banned under the 1994 law and even some banned under laws dating back to 1934.

David Bookstaber