“Assault rifles are the weapons of choice when someone wants to kill as many people as possible,” noted Michael R. Weisser, a gun store owner, author, N.R.A. member and self-described “gun nut” who has also sponsored a petition to ban assault rifles. “Since 2012 there have been 10 mass shootings resulting in 30 or more dead or wounded victims. Every single one of these shootings was accomplished with an AR or an AK.”
I’m sympathetic to the aim, but also wary. I’m not sure it’s possible to get any gun legislation through Congress right now, and certainly not a ban on assault weapons. It’s also true that while liberals loved the assault weapons ban for the 10 years it was in effect, there is no strong evidence that it saved lives — but it did turn the AR-15 into a conservative icon, so that today there appear to be more AR and AK rifles in private hands than in the United States military. And most crime and deaths involve handguns, not rifles.
— Nicholas Kristof in How Do We Stop the Parade of Gun Deaths?