Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Senator Reid Drops Schumer and Feinstein Gun Bills

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In announcing on Monday afternoon that he was dropping Senator Dianne Feinstein’s gun control bill from consideration by the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said, “Right now her amendment using the most optimistic numbers has less than 40 votes. That’s not 60. I have to get something on the floor so we can have votes on that issue…” He added:

I’m not going to try to put something on the floor that won’t succeed. I want something that will succeed. I think the worst of all worlds would be to bring something to the floor and it dies there.

Reid also said he was dropping from consideration Senator Charles Schumer’s bill to expand background checks.

Feinstein noted her regrets, saying “I tried my best. I tried to make the case for it … obviously I’m disappointed … the enemies on this are very powerful.”

Feinstein’s bill would

ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing of importation of 150 specific firearms including semiautomatic rifles or pistols that can be used with a detachable or fixed ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and have specific military-style features, including pistol grips, grenade launchers or rocket launchers.

In introducing her bill in January, she continued to confuse the term “military assault weapons” with civilian semi-automatic weapons: “The common thread in each of these [recent] shootings is the gunman used a semi-automatic assault weapon [with] large capacity ammunition magazines. Military assault weapons only have one purpose and in my opinion, it’s for the military.”

Liberal lawyer Mark Kogan, writing at his blog policymic.com, said that Feinstein’s introduction of a ban on these so-called assault weapons was dead on arrival in the Senate from the very beginning. In fact, he said, her bill has

given the GOP the opportunity to defend the 2nd Amendment. This will result in an Assault Weapons Ban that is dead on arrival in Congress … the bill, as it stands, is an exemplary example of what political suicide looks like: In one sweeping stroke, Feinstein intends to [galvanize] the pro-gun lobby, alienate the majority of Americans who oppose re-instating a federal assault weapons ban, and run head long into a constitutional battle, all without the faintest hope of [the bill’s] passage.

Feinstein authored the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which was a subtitle for the Orwellian-named “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,” which, after 10 years, had neither reduced violent crime nor assisted in law enforcement. In fact, after that ban was sunset in 2004, two studies showed that the law had essentially no impact whatsoever in reducing crime. In introducing her newest bill in January, she ignored those studies entirely. Apparently neither history nor facts seem to matter to Feinstein.

The first study, published as "Firearms and Violence" in late 2004 by the National Research Council and the Committee on Law and Justice, noted that the 1994 law was based on the assumptions that such weapons were “believed to be particularly dangerous because they facilitate the rapid firing of high numbers of shots. While assault weapons and large capacity magazines are used in only a modest fraction of gun crimes, the premise of the ban was that a decrease in their use may reduce gunshot victimization.”

In simple terms, the ban, according to the authors of this study, was not meant to lower the incidence of gun crime, but to reduce the potential number of victims during shootings.

Nevertheless, the study couldn’t find proof that the ban even did that:

A recent evaluation of the short-term effects of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban did not reveal any clear impacts on gun violence outcomes...

The potential impact of the law on gun violence was limited by the continuing availability of assault weapons through the ban’s grandfathering provision and the relative rarity with which the banned guns were used in crime before the ban.… [Emphasis added.]

The maximum potential effect of the ban on gun violence outcomes would be very small.…

Another study designed to measure the impact the 1994 law had on crime was prepared for the National Institute of Justice and the U.S. Department of Justice in June, 2004. The authors stated:

 We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.…

 The ban’s impact on gun violence is likely to be small at best, perhaps too small for reliable measurement.…

Nevertheless Feinstein continues her ill-advised and now-transparent attempt to remove all weapons from the hands of Americans under the guise of reducing crime. Michael Savage calls it a form of mental disorder. In his book, Liberalism is a Mental Disorder, Savage explores hundreds of examples similar to Feinstein’s, showing that extreme liberalism is a disease in which logic, history, or facts no longer inform behavior, but where behavior reflects conclusions based upon emotions and feelings.

It’s just as well that Reid has removed Feinstein’s bill from consideration. Voters in the state of California, who have elected and reelected Feinstein four times since 1992, desperately need to remove her from office as well. Besides, in June she will be 80. It’s time to retire the tired Senator Feinstein.

Photo of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.): AP Images

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at

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