President Obama said getting a national “assault weapon” ban was one of his major policy goals of the year. He has already failed.
Gun control efforts on the nation level lost a major battle when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a bereft Sen. Dianne Feinstein Monday that her so-called assault weapon ban bill was getting pulled from the gun package coming to the floor next month. Her legislation, which passed the SenateJudiciary Committee last week by a straight party line vote, is the only one of the four gun-related bills that passed out of committee that Mr. Reid axed.
Mrs. Feinstein insists she will not be ignored. The California Democrat plans to bring two amendments up during the gun votes — to ban firearms that have one cosmetic feature that makes them resembles military weapon and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Mr. Reid said Tuesday that “her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes — that’s not 60.”
However, Mr. Reid’s calculation was really less about vote counting and more about keeping the majority in the upper chamber.
“The Democrats know that Feinstein’s ‘assault weapon’ ban is suicide at the polls for them come 2014,” Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation told me Tuesday. “It is so extreme that even the Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn’t want it as part of their package.”
Mrs. Feinstein has been fighting since before Mr. Obama’s reelection to bring back the law — which failed to reduce crime nor prevent mass shooting in the ten years it was in effect until 2004. She and the president just exploited the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December to attempt to ram it through Congress.
An extensive study by the Centers for Disease Control in 2002 concluded that not a single national, state or local gun law has resulted in less crime or prevented mass shootings. That’s why the Obama administration’s Justice Department reported in an internal memo in January (acquired by the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action) that a “complete elimination of assault weapons would not have a large impact on gun homicides.”
The official, however, claimed that such a law “could be effective” if the government outlawed all existing firearms and standard magazines coupled with a buyback program. That’s code for confiscation.
The gun grabbers in the White House and Senate never really believed that an “assault weapon” ban would become law again because it couldn’t get through the Republican House. The purpose of their three-month public relations push was to get support for the same ban on the state level.
In this way, they have been effective. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo rushed this law through his legislature in days, leaving it vulnerable to future court rulings on the lack of transparency. Liberal governors in Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado and New Jersey are pressing for quick passage of similar measures.
Mr. Gottlieb, the longtime advocate for gun rights, thinks their strategy backfired when the Feinstein bill got yanked. “They’re sending a message to Democrats in legislatures across the country that it’s not smart to mess with gun owners rights and ban guns. It’s too extreme for the general public.”
The so-called assault weapon ban was never based on facts, but rather emotions of those who think guns that look scary can be used by criminals to kill more people. Our government should not infringe on our constitutional right to keep and bear arms just because of the theatrics of those who just don’t like guns.
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Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of the upcoming book “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery, Sept. 3, 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times
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