CNN and media touting Brady Campaign story on assault rifles
CNN runs a special on how police are under fire due to expiration of the "assault gun ban." "Across the country, at least 62 police officers have been gunned down this year -- a record pace, said Robert Tessaro, the associate director for law enforcement relations for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence."
Now the Baltimore Sun comes in with "The IACP reissued its call for a ban in September, noting a 59 percent increase in the number of law enforcement officers shot and killed this year compared with 2006....The group attributed the spike in police deaths to an increase in violent crime, the availability of guns and the absence of an assault weapons ban." I won't go into how misleading these pieces are (including quoting rates of fire for full auto weapons, and referring to former Soviet bloc guns flooding the streets) but it's immediately noticeable that when it comes to the core of the story ... officers being shot with "assault rifles" ... there are no figures given in either.
Here's a chart of LEOs killed feloniously (which is about the only way it can be done) in the line of duty, 1972-2006.
The worst point was 1973, 134 officers killed -- nearly twice the level that CNN and Brady call a "record." Throughout the 70s, the level remained about a hundred per year. In 1993, BEFORE the assault gun ban, it had declined to 70 per year. The same in 1994, first year of the ban. For the ten years of the ban, it see-sawed, mostly in the 50s and 60s. 2004, as the ban ends, it was at 57.
But if we're talking assault rifles, maybe we ought to look at that specifically. Unfortunately, I can't find any breakdown for that (because there is no real definition of assault rifle in semiauto form), but we can look at rifles in general.
Here's a table of weapons used to kill LEOs. Over the 1990s, rifles (of all types) figured in around 10 officer slayings per year. In 2004, when the assault gun ban ended, it was 13. In 2005, after the ban ended, that actually fell, to 3.