Would ban on assault weapons help prevent killings?

The National Rifle Association has argued that banning assault weapons is ineffective in curbing crime. However, Australia’s ban has significantly reduced murders and mass killings. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times wrote: “In Australia in 1996, a mass killing of 35 people galvanized the nation’s conservative prime minister to ban certain rapid-fire long guns. The ‘national firearms agreement,’ as it was known, led to the buyback of 650,000 guns and to tighter rules for licensing and safe storage of those remaining in public hands.… In the 18 years before the law, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings – but not one in the 14 years after the law took full effect. The murder rate with firearms has dropped by more than 40 percent, according to data compiled by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and the suicide rate with firearms has dropped by more than half.”