On this special edition of The Zogby Report we’ll discuss the state of debate around assault weapons, a debate that has been raging in the country for decades now. Is a solution or even a national conversation possible anymore?

Additionally we’ll talk about the state of the Republican presidential race. It seems Trump continues to dominate not only the headlines but increasingly has the support of the core base. What’s happening with Ron  DeSantis and what can explain some of his falling poll numbers in match ups against Trump?

Thanks as always for tuning in and we’ll see you next week.

Read a transcript of this episode >


  1. I listened to your podcast on the Assault Weapons debate. You had this special podcast in reference to the Nashville school killings. John mentions the Assault weapons ban of 1994 making a dent, but actually according to FBI statistics it didn’t. The Assault Weapons Ban had no effect and that was one of the reasons it wasn’t renewed. You can find those statistics at this link with Dr. John Lott, who also authored the book, More Guns Less Crime. https://crimeresearch.org/
    One thing I didn’t hear when discussing the school killings was that they all happen in GUN FREE ZONES and as in the Nashville school, they also didn’t have an armed resource officer. You’re blaming the gun, but society makes it as easy as shooting fish in a barrel when a school is a gun free zone without an armed resource officer on the premises to protect the children and faculty.
    To the point of banning assault weapons, how do you ban something when President Biden’s own Cabinet members couldn’t define an assault weapon in Congressional hearings this past week. Assault is an action and not a type of gun. If you’re referring to the AR-15, it is nothing more than a semi-auto rifle. You still have to press the trigger every time you want to fire a round.
    You’re also mistaken about the 2nd Amendment. You do have the right to own a tactical weapon, a cannon, surface to air missile, bazooka, tank, etc.. It doesn’t mean you’ll have the means, the access or availability to them and the ATF does have restrictions on them, but you certainly have the RIGHT.

  2. Yes, gun violence will not stop with an assult weapons ban just like murder or armed robbery will not stop because we have laws against them. We keep those laws to try our best to keep those crimes under control. Hunters, rural residents do not use AR-15’s for hunting. A citizen can not buy a machine gun for personal use. Let’s move the line a little to prohibit the purchase of other weapons of war. Details to be worked out in the legislative process.

      • Sorry, but the monsters needing to be banned are not the guns, but rather they are the individuals who choose to take innocent lives. Their weapon of choice may be a gun but please note these shootings occur in so-called “gun free zones”.

        Cars, drugs, and yes even members of the medical field have been found to be responsible for the deaths of innocent people in numbers far exceeding those implicated by firearms.

        Why did the shooter at the Aurora Theater in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012 choose that particular theater? Precisely because it posted a sign stating that no guns were allowed. The shooter, 24-year-old James Holmes, entered the theater at the exit door which he had earlier deliberately wedged to remain open in order to allow him to gain entrance.

        He was dressed in a gas mask and black combat gear, leading some audience members to initially think he was performing a stunt for the film, a Batman sequel eagerly anticipated by fans. Instead, Holmes opened fire at the audience, shooting people at random.

        Not long after, law enforcement agents evacuated buildings near Holmes’ Aurora apartment after he told them he had booby-trapped his home with explosive devices. When Holmes made his first appearance in court, on July 23, his hair was dyed neon orange and he seemed dazed and devoid of emotion.

        A native of San Diego, he had enrolled in a Ph.D. neuroscience program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora in 2011 but dropped out in June 2012 after failing an important exam.

        Court documents later revealed that a month before the Aurora shooting, a University of Colorado psychiatrist who had treated Holmes reported to campus police that he could be a danger to the public and had threatened her. I wonder if she was treating his condition using psychotropic drugs. Many other “shooters” have been prescribed such meds. (See link below)

        Holmes, who has offered no motive for the shooting spree, eventually was charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and weapons charges. In May 2013, he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. In a 2015 trial, Holmes was sentenced to 12 consecutive life sentences without parole.

        Does Holmes represent the vast number of law-abiding, gun owning citizens in this nation? I think not. Why then do we become stigmatized by the actions of these “monsters”?

        Do more “gun control” laws make a difference? Facts matter when addressing such an emotionally charged topic, and more gun control legislation has shown that law-abiding Americans who own guns are not the problem. Consider the following: The more gun control laws that are passed, the more mass murders have occurred.

        I recommend the following link to better understand the connection between meds and violence of all types. The title of the article is very telling:
        “An Uncomfortable Truth: Does the Rise of Antidepressants and SSRIs Fuel Mass Shootings?”. The link to the article is: https://www.psychreg.org/antidepressants-ssri-mass-shootings/

        Finally, perhaps “location, location, location” plays a more decisive role than legislation. A 2023 analysis by John Lott, Jr. of the Crime Prevention Research Council (CPRC) reviewed the distribution of murders across America using 2020 data, and determined that murders tend to be concentrated in a small set of counties. The worst 1% of counties (the worst 31 counties) had 21% of the population but experienced 42% of the murders. An appendix to the study lists the “worst 1% of counties in 2020 in terms of number of murders.” At the top of the list are Cook County, IL and Los Angeles County, CA – both in states that are A-rated for their gun control laws by the Giffords Law Center. Numbers four and five on the list are Philadelphia and New York City’s five counties, likewise in states that are classed as “restrictive” gun control states (awarded a B and an A rating, respectively, from Giffords).

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