Support VSSA Advertisers

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

John Lott: Walmart Decision to Stop Selling Modern Sporting Rifles Hit Poor Hardest

The Crime Prevention Research Center posted this link to Dr. John Lott's latest OP/ED on Walmart's announced decision to stop selling modern sporting rifles.  In the piece, Lott writes that the retailer's decision will fall hardest on the poor:
Semiautomatic weapons such as the AR-15 don’t just make hunting easier. They also help people protect themselves. Should someone miss his first shot or be faced with multiple assailants, having to manually reload the gun could cost him his life.

There’s no evidence that banning these so-called “assault weapons” will reduce crime. Violent crime rates (including murder rates) fell after the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in September 2004. In 2003, when the ban was still in place, there were 5.7 murders per 100,000 people. By 2013, the murder rate had fallen to 4.5 per 100,000.

One should also bear in mind that just 2.3% ,of all murders are committed with rifles. Not even studies funded by the Clinton administration found that the ban reduced any type of violent crime.

In the past, Wal-Mart has sometimes made the decision to stop selling guns in high-crime urban areas. Perhaps this made business sense in certain cases, but it also made it harder for vulnerable people to defend themselves.

If Wal-Mart is caving to political pressure to stop selling the country’s most popular firearms, the higher costs to poor people acquiring guns means fewer of them will be able to afford protection. Our loss will go far beyond reduced Wal-Mart profits.
When I wrote last week that I did not think the decision would have a large impact on gun owners because Wal-Mart stores in the Richmond area did not carry anything other than shotguns and some hunting rifles anyway, it was pointed out to me in the comment section that for many people, Wal-Mart is the only place to buy firearms in many areas of the country.

No comments: