This page is part of a larger section on bogus quotes including the Sarah Brady quote.
The following was obtained from the Web:
[Congressional Record: May 5, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

Statement Opposing Ban on Assault Weapons

 (By Joel Carlston, Wyoming President of Americans Against Gun Control 

       Right now this body is considering a ban on certain semi-
     automatic weapons. This begs the question, ``Why a ban?''
       The answer, obviously a political one, is ``We need to 
     address crime in this Nation and protect the people of the 
     United States. Banning semi-automatic weapons is a step in 
     the right direction.''
       The facts differ with this political answer. Ninety-eight 
     percent of serious crimes do not involve firearms. Thus, a 
     complete weapons ban could at best address only 2 percent of 
     the problem. In fact, more kids get killed playing little 
     league baseball than from assault weapons. Should we ban 
     little league baseball?
       What about assault weapons and crime? Florida State 
     University criminology professor Gary Kleck estimates that 
     less than .5 percent of all violent crimes involve so-called 
     assault weapons.
       Chicago is a case in point. In 1993, there were over 940 
     homicides. More than 30 percent were police shootings, 
     another 30 percent were suicides, and not one homicide 
     involved the use of a semiautomatic rifle. Further, over one 
     hundred homicides were committed with the use of duct tape 
     and hose, i.e. strangulation. Perhaps, we would be more 
     effective in addressing crime if we were to ban hose or at 
     least specify a five-day waiting period for the purchase 
       Consider this. Of all weapons confiscated by law 
     enforcement in this Nation, only 4 percent were assault 
     weapons. Of that 4 percent, 87 percent were confiscated in 
     searches, not used in the commission of any crime.
       We've got to get serious about crime. But a weapons ban is 
     like shooting in the dark. History assures us the only people 
     affected by the ban are honest folks--the potential victims--
     not the criminals. In reality, we're disarming the law-
     abiding, making them easy targets for violent criminals who 
     roam our streets at will.
       Why do criminals roam the streets? Because we waste our 
     valuable time on useless Brady bills, weapons bans and other 
     gun confiscation measures instead of addressing crime as 
     constituents demand.
       Patrick Purdy is an example of the ineffectiveness of gun 
     control laws and the need to address crime itself. Purdy, you 
     will recall, was the crazed madman who gunned down students 
     in a California school playground.
       Mr. Purdy's record speaks for itself. He spent several 
     months in a California psychiatric hospital. He had seven 
     prior felony arrests, four of which were firearms related. On 
     Purdy's last arrest, a police psychiatrist stated that Purdy 
     was a menace to himself and to society. Yet, each of these 
     felonies were plea-bargained down to misdemeanors and Purdy 
     was released. Consequently, as a result of our revolving door 
     justice system, Mr. Purdy was legally allowed to purchase 
     weapons--having complied with California's 15-day waiting 
     period--even though his record clearly showed his instability 
     and criminal intent. The rest is history--a tragic but real 
     example of the ineffectiveness of gun control laws.
       To further illustrate, let's look at States which have 
     implemented some form of gun control:
       New Jersey: 1967-1989--violent crime has increased 223 
     percent. The Attorney General's office reports ``There is not 
     a really high percentage of crimes committed with assault 
     weapons.'' Only 1 percent of any kind of rifle was used in 
     homicides from 1987-1992, compared to knives (28 percent), 
     and feet (11 percent). This tells us that it is not the 
     configuration of the weapon which makes it an assault weapon, 
     but the intent of the assailant wielding it.
       Massachusetts: 1967-89--violent crime has increased 429%. 
     1986-91--only 0.5% of homicides involved are ``assault 
       Connecticut: 1967-89--violent crime has increased 434 
     percent. Connecticut law enforcement reports no assault 
     weapons homicides through 1991. And of the 11,000 weapons 
     seized by police between 1988 and 1992, only 1.8 percent were 
     assault weapons.
       ``Has crime decreased anywhere in the United States?'' you 
       In April 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia, enacted a law requiring 
     every household to own a firearm, with the exception of 
     criminals and those with religious objections. In only 10 
     months, residential burglary dropped an astounding 89 
     percent. In 1991, not one murder occurred in this suburb of 
       In contrast, our city here in the District of Columbia has 
     one of the most restrictive gun laws making it virtually 
     impossible for law-abiding citizens to own guns. From 1975 to 
     1991, Washington, DC's murder rate rose 134 percent while the 
     rest of the Nation experienced a 2-percent decline.
       Why, then, if gun control laws are so ineffective at 
     stopping crime, are we spending so much time on such bills? I 
     don't know.
       Perhaps it's the politically correct thing to do. Pass laws 
     banning weapons, attempting to convince our constituents 
     we're tough on crime. I'm afraid they won't buy that 
     argument, especially when they find out we took their most 
     effective means of self-defense away.
       Perhaps there are other agencies. In a previous attempt to 
     pass legislation similar to what we're considering here, 
     Sarah Brady told Howard Metzenbaum, ``Our task of creating a 
     socialist America can only succeed when those who would 
     resist us have been totally disarmed.''
       Those are strong words. Frightening words. But Brady's 
     right. The protection of the American citizen's rights, 
     including yours and my rights, is directly linked to our 
     Right to Keep and Bear Arms!
       Mind you, Brady is not the first to realize the importance 
     of gun ownership. Thomas Jefferson said, ``No free man shall 
     ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for 
     the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as 
     a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in 
     government.'' James Madison said, ``Americans need never fear 
     their government because of the advantage of being armed, 
     which the Americans posses over the people of almost every 
     other nation.''
       Former President Reagan said, ``there are only two things 
     that make people do right--love of God and fear of 
     punishment.'' Criminals don't regard God, so we must instill 
     the fear of punishment in them.
       The reason crime is so rampant is because is pays and pays 
     big. It's our job to remove the profit, not the victim's most 
     effective means of defense.
       Our problem is we don't punish the criminal. According to a 
     study by the National Center of Policy Analysis, a person who 
     committed a serious crime in 1990 could expect to spend only 
     eight days in prison on the average.
       Here's the breakdown: A person committing murder could 
     expect to spend 1.8 years in prison; for rape--60 days; 
     robbery--23 days; arson--6.7 days; aggravated assault--6.4 
     days and for auto theft--a measly day and a half!
       It's a known fact that repeat offenders commit the majority 
     of violent crimes. It's been reported that murder is mainly 
     one criminal killing another. 85% of the murders have past 
     arrest records and 61% of the victims have past arrest 
     records, too.
       Why is this happening? Because our criminal justice system 
     is turning 90% of the felons loose without them having to 
     spend a single day in jail. Each year, 60,000 felons, like 
     Patrick Purdy, are plea-bargained, placed on probation and 
     never incarcerated.
       Additionally, Reader's Digest reports that only 2.8 cents 
     of every dollar we allocate for building prisons actually 
     goes toward prison construction. I suggest we find ways to 
     put more actual dollars into prison buildings and get 
     predators like Patrick Purdy off the streets permanently.
       No ``assault'' or any other type of firearms has ever, of 
     it's own volition, committed a crime. Therefore to ban a tool 
     will only result in the criminal finding another tool and 
     using it. And it's doubtful any ban would stop criminals from 
     getting the weapons they want. As the saying goes. ``When 
     guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.''
       If we foolishly persist in banning these weapons from law-
     abiding citizens (which is exactly what this bill will do), 
     we are playing right into the hands of criminals by disarming 
     millions of law-abiding Americans, making them extremely 
     vulnerable to criminal attack.
       Further, we are depriving these same law-abiding Americans 
     a constitutional right--a right each of us here swore to 
     protect when members took office.
       So if you vote for this gun prohibition bill, when you know 
     this ban/prohibition will do nothing to stop crime, then be 
     honest enough to tell your constituents you voted for gun 
     prohibition for no good reason other than you wanted . . . 
     you wanted . . . to take firearms away from the American 
       Thank you.