January 11, 2013
“Half of all mass killings in the United States have occurred since the assault weapons ban expired in 2005, half of all of them in the history of the country.”
— Former president Bill Clinton, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 9, 2013
A colleague spotted this eye-popping statistic by the former president and wondered if it was correct.
President Clinton signed the assault weapons ban into law in 1994, but it expired after 10 years and was not renewed. Even supporters have said it was riddled with loopholes, limiting its effectiveness. But the rash of mass shootings in recent years, including the Newtown tragedy, have provided new impetus for a renewed ban.
So let’s dig into the data and see what we find.