More On Assault Weapons

If I may revise and extend my earlier remarks, Mark Kleiman has some further remarks on the subject. I’ll happily that I’ll happily endorse his first two points. On the relative importance of crime control vis-à-vis other domestic policy issues things get a bit airy and metaphysical. Substantively, there’s no actual trade-off between controlling crime and improving education or health care (indeed, with regard to the former there’s positive feedback between the two) so there’s sort of nothing to disagree about here. The point I would like to make is simply that the crime crisis that began in the late 1960s is largely over. It would be good — very good — to see further reductions in the incidence of crime, but the situation is no longer “out of control” with rates seeming to go ever-upwards. The health care glide path, on the other hand, has us pointed toward a total fiasco, so I think there’s a certain urgency there that’s missing on the crime front. That said, if people care to disagree, I couldn’t be happier. Better crime control policies would have a much bigger impact on my life than progress on the other two fronts, and will continue to do so for the near future. Now what I’d really like is for someone to pony up the cash for more frequent Green Line service on Metro. (Incidentally, in both DC and Boston the Red Line provides the best service and the Green Line the worst — coincidence or conspiracy?)