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Assaulting the Ban

Reported by Judy - September 13, 2004 -

Fox and Friends had the expiration of the ban on assault weapons in its sites today (Sept. 13).

During its second hour beginning at 8 a.m. EDT, Fox and Friends played a tape of Wayne LaPiere, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, calling the ban "a lie" because the weapons it banned were still available before it expired.

Peter Hamm, spokesman for the Brady Campaign which supports the ban, noted that the NRA has changed its story on that, first saying weapons would be unavailable and now that the ban is expiring, saying it didn't make any difference so why bother with it.

Meanwhile, during the Fox and Friends hour, the news crawler at the bottom of the screen noted that reported crime for the year 2002 remained at the lowest level since statistics from victims were first gathered in 1973. Hamm noted that although the bill was not as strong as first proposed, the numbers of crimes committed with assault weapons is down 66 percent from 10 years ago, before the ban was enacted.

Rather than a discussion of the politics of letting the ban expire, Fox News might better have used the time discussing the impact of the legislation on the crime rate in more depth. That, however, would have raised the question, why hasn't Bush taken a leadership role in getting the ban renewed. Raising questions about Bush's leadership is not on the Fox agenda, today, yesterday, or tomorrow.l