Eighty-six-year-old Buffalo resident Ruth Whitfield was one of 10 people to be murdered in a mass shooting earlier this month, and Vice President Kamala Harris made a point of attending her funeral.
Yet rather than simply offering support to her friends and family, Harris used the trip to call for a gun ban.
Vice president demands “an assault weapons ban”
The vice president’s demand came as she was speaking to a Channel 4 News reporter at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
“You know what an assault weapon is? … It was designed for a specific purpose: to kill a lot of human beings quickly.”
US Vice President Kamala Harris calls for an assault weapons ban in the wake of mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo this month. pic.twitter.com/1BnrZKfhIj
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) May 29, 2022
“We are not sitting around waiting to figure out what the solution looks like,” Harris declared. “You know, we’re not looking for a vaccine. We know what works on this. Let’s have an assault weapons ban.”
“You know what an assault weapon is?” the vice president continued, adding, “You know how an assault weapon was designed?”
“It was designed for a specific purpose – to kill a lot of human beings quickly. An assault weapon is a weapon of war with no place, no place in a civil society.”
Semiautomatic rifles rarely used as a murder weapon
Although Harris offered no precise definition for the term “assault weapon,” she may have been referring to semiautomatic rifles in general.
If so, then crime statistics don’t support the idea that they are being purchased for the “specific purpose” of killing “a lot of human beings quickly.”
In fact, FBI data shows that in 2019 (the last year for which complete data is available), only 364 people were murdered using rifles of any kind.
That figure is surprisingly low given how the firearm industry’s trade association states that semiautomatic rifles are among the most commonly sold firearms in America.