Whether you agree, disagree or are neutral on the hot button topic that targets assault weapon ownership rights, no one can deny this blaring media issue resonates with most Americans nationwide.

Proponents who support the weapons ban cite evidence that the original Brady Bill Ban, enacted in 1994 and effective through 2004, helped decrease violent crime in the U.S. In fact, statistical studies completed by Mark Follman with Mother Jones suggests that once the Federal Assault Weapons Ban was put in place, less people were shot and killed by assault weapons. They state that since the gun ban expired in 2004, homicide related shootings have relatively doubled each year, and in fact, the number of victims has tripled. What this bill does take into effect is economic strife, times of peace, war, violence or other horrific events that have shaken the very foundation of our country, including 9/11. Some people question whether mental health regulations are, in fact, more lax than they were a decade ago and perhaps this allows mentally ill people to have easier access to guns and weaponry. Any way the evidence is dissected proponents of assault weapons bans believe that stronger gun regulations could have prevented tragedies such as the Colorado massacre by James Holmes and the recent Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.

While these tragic, gut-wrenching events rip into the hearts of Americans nationwide, there are people who oppose assault weapons bans, simply believing this is not the answer to creating a safer America for children to grow and flourish.

In fact, opponents cite their own credible sources about why the assault weapons ban would be futile. The Columbine Massacre, which happened when the Brady Bill was in effect, allowed shooter Eric Harris access to Assault Weapons Ban compliant weapons including 10-round magazines. He brought 13 magazines to school with him and fired a total of 96 rounds. Additionally, the Virginia Tech shooting, one of the deadliest shootings in the history of our country, allowed the shooter access to 19 magazines, which included a variety of ten-round and fifteen-round bullets. In all, the shooter was able to let off 170 rounds of ammunition.

People can manipulate statistical data for their own purposes, but many studies show fact-based evidence that more people are killed per year with blunt objects, including hammers, than by rifles. For example, in 2011 alone, 323 murders were attributed to rifles, 496 to hammers and/or blunt objects, 726 to people using their hands and feet to beat people to death, 1,694 due to knives and sharp objects and more than 9,878 deaths were related to drunk driving.

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