After Newtown, Democrats Propose an Assault-Weapons Ban

Gun-control advocates have repeatedly tried and failed to raise the 1994 ban from the dead. Today they argued that this time could be different but acknowledged there’s a good chance it won’t be

  • Share
  • Read Later
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Senator Dianne Feinstein speaks at a news conference in Washington on Jan. 24, 2013, to introduce legislation on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition-feeding devices

Democratic lawmakers, led by Senator Dianne Feinstein, held an elaborate, emotional press conference today to announce a new assault-weapons-ban proposal. The bill, to be introduced concurrently in the Senate and House, is an updated version of the 1994 ban that expired in 2004. Gun-control advocates have repeatedly tried and failed to raise the ban from the dead since then. Today they made arguments about why this time could be different, while acknowledging that there’s a good chance it won’t be.

The new bill, propelled by the December shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 children and six adults, proposes to ban the sale, manufacture, transfer or importation of 157 specific models of guns. Bans would also apply to magazines containing more than 10 rounds, as well as categories of firearms that meet a threshold of red-flag features. Legislators repeatedly pointed out that the bill also excludes more than 2,200 specific firearms, a measure meant to appease the sporting community — and ward off allegations that this is an overbroad liberal assault on Second Amendment rights.

The room where Feinstein outlined the proposal was stuffed with symbolism. Rows of assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips were strapped to display boards beside the lectern, including models used in the Tucson and Newtown shootings. Police officers, dressed in stars and caps, filled the front rows and stood silently behind the speakers for more than an hour. A clergyman from the National Cathedral sat alongside the Senators; he opened the press conference with a prayer and the assertion that “the gun lobby is no match for the church lobby.” Seven members of Congress then had their say.

Feinstein, who authored the 1994 ban, argued that this time would be different because the bill cuts out loopholes and eliminates workarounds. Unlike the 1994 ban, there is no sunset date. In 1994, semiautomatic guns had to have two red-flag features, such as pistol grips or threaded barrels, to be banned; this bill requires only one, in hopes that it would be harder to modify guns to avoid regulation. While assault weapons already out there would be allowed to remain, as in 1994, all sales of existing assault weapons would require background checks. “No gun is taken from anyone,” Feinstein said. “The purpose is to dry up the supply.”

That’s a taller order, because millions of people have already taken advantage of that supply. There are more than 300 million firearms in the U.S. and likely millions of assault weapons among them. And as with every push for gun control, outspoken calls for reform have been accompanied by gun owners clearing out cases at sporting-goods stores. The exceptions and unclear definitions in the 1994 law muted its force, and workarounds would inevitably be found again. More important, while legislators promised that such a law would have curtailed recent mass shootings, there’s no definitive evidence that it would have.

Most of the lawmakers made emotional appeals about the devastation of mass shootings rather than practical points about the updated bill. With watery eyes, legislators from Connecticut told stories about the shell-shocked town, bereaved parents and “unbelievably sad parade of funerals,” as Representative Elizabeth Esty said. “This has been a very lonely battle for many, many years,” said Representative Carolyn McCarthy, who has authored multiple failed gun-control bills and is sponsoring this bill in the House. “Newtown made a difference.”

The remarks also contained a prebuttal to arguments that the powerful gun lobby, particularly the National Rifle Association, will make. McCarthy argued that mass shooters aren’t sophisticated enough to get the banned guns on the black market. No law will stop all the gun violence, Senator Chuck Schumer conceded, but it can save lives. Of course people have a right to own guns, he said, but there’s no “inalienable right to own and operate 100-round clips.”

The NRA was ready with a response on Thursday. “Senator Feinstein has been trying to ban guns from law-abiding citizens for decades,” said a statement posted on its website. “It’s disappointing but not surprising that she is once again focused on curtailing the Constitution instead of prosecuting criminals or fixing our broken mental-health system. The American people know gun bans do not work and we are confident Congress will reject Senator Feinstein’s wrongheaded approach.”

242 comments
SummerReign
SummerReign

  TRUE LIFE STORY ON HOW  I GOT MY HIV CURE WITH A GREAT POWERFUL HERBAL MAN CALLED OYEDEPO,Special thanks go to God almighty for using  Oyedepo in curing my HIV disease, I was having a

HIV and doctor told me that I have seven months to live, that news brought sadness into my life,
I was depressed, don’t know what to do. One faithful day I saw a testimony on how a spell caster cured a
lady, who is called Rachael Mark, due to her testimony the man is a great man, quickly I copied:ID:HIM oyedepoherbalcuretemple@gmail.com) then I contacted him and he asked me not to bother

myself that all my problems are over. I was happy to hear such words, he told me to buy some items,
though I couldn’t find the items myself he asked me to send down the money to buy the items for me,
faithfully I sent him the money he bought the items and prepared a cure for me. He told me
that he is going to send the cure through courier delivery service, I paid to the courier
delivery service, then, I got the cure, he instructed me on how I will take the cure. I took the cure

and I was freed from the HIV, I went for.
scanning, the HIV was no longer there. I am very grateful today for what he did for me. If you have any disease you can also contact him via email: {oyedepoherbalcuretemple@gmail.com}, or call him +2349052115217.
you will also get healed with your illness,

Good Luck…

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

"The results of Johns Hopkins survey, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicate broad support for a variety of gun control measures. About 70 percent of respondents supported bans on military-style semiautomatic weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines, slightly less than the more than 80 percent who backed measures restricting those who could buy guns, such as people with histories of domestic violence or serious juvenile crimes."

fitty_three
fitty_three

Hmmmm.  Given that the Sandy Hill shooter could have done it with forks and SUV's, maybe SYG laws need to be revised.

Just imagine how every restaurant would literally explode with gunfire.  And the freeways at night!  

Hells bells why stop there! Outfit the military with SUV and forks!

yorgosmalama
yorgosmalama

Always looking for solving the symptom, the problem is too expensive.   Lets take away the priviledges and freedoms of the majority because of the bad behavior of the few.   US politics at work, limited, short-sighted, party politics.

Guys, forget the forks.

Suppose these innocent, beautiful lives were taken from us an at school bus stop by a driver of an SUV.    Lets say something similar happend else where, again, and again.   What would we do?   Ah!  Ban SUVs!     That's our American logic, right?   Right.

fitty_three
fitty_three

I wonder:

If LaPierre really thinks forks and assault weapons are synonymous, would he feel threatened if someone in the crowd pointed a fork at him?

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

I wonder how many civilians Barack Obama is going to kill this year with his drones. I wonder if Time can keep a body count like they did for Iraq and Afghanistan right up until Obama took office. It would be interesting to know how many innocent women and children he will kill this year..I'm sure it will dwarf the people killed by "assault weapon".  

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

Tomorrow in liberal fantasy land, the liberals are going to demand the outlawing of forks, because they have figured out that the fork is responsible for obesity, heart disease, heart attacks, and death. Strict controls need to be in place to keep forks from causing some people from killing themselves. They will demand that the government ban most types and also limit the availability of forks to the population for their own safety, because without the government watching over us, like mommy and daddy, we are doomed! 

JeremyBeitler
JeremyBeitler

We should ban all sports cars, as they are capable of driving too fast and killing people.  While we're at it, ban SUV's and require a seperate 200 dollar certification to drive or own them, because too many soccer moms don't know how to drive them.  That's how u idiots sound.  And to whatever uneducated goober said not true to AntaresVariant's comment, learn your facts.  Everything he said is true, factual, and easily proved by a little research.  But no one wants the facts.  

roknsteve
roknsteve

So in NRA Land guns are more important than food safety, clean water, health, medical care, etc.  I wonder how many of these "great white hunters" get sick or die every year from eating poison mushrooms out in the woods?   And drink some ditch water and they're gonna armed to the teeth hugging the toilet.          

gysgt213
gysgt213

Organizers of The Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show had to cancel their annual event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania because angry gun owners made a huge stink over the fact that they banned AR weapons similar to the Sandy Hook shooter’s AR from the event. Here’s the explanation from the show’s website:


Reed Exhibitions has decided to postpone, for now, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show given the controversy surrounding its decision to limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles (also called ARs) at the event. The show was scheduled to take place February 2-10 in Harrisburg, PA.


“Our original decision not to include certain products in the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year was made in order to preserve the event’s historical focus on the hunting and fishing traditions enjoyed by American families,” said Chet Burchett, Reed Exhibitions President for the Americas. “In the current climate, we felt that the presence of MSRs would distract from the theme of hunting and fishing, disrupting the broader experience of our guests. This was intended simply as a product decision, of the type event organizers need to make every day. 


“It has become very clear to us after speaking with our customers that the event could not be held because the atmosphere of this year’s show would not be conducive to an event that is designed to provide family enjoyment. It is unfortunate that in the current emotionally charged atmosphere this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits showcasing products and services for those interested in hunting and fishing.


“ESS has long been proud to participate in the preservation and promotion of hunting and fishing traditions, and we hope that as the national debate clarifies, we will have an opportunity to consider rescheduling the event when the time is right to focus on the themes it celebrates.”


http://www.easternsportshow.com/

AntaresVariant
AntaresVariant

I'll make this a concise as possible. These are all quotes from her presentation.

"Weapons designed originally for the military to kill large numbers of people"

1. The military does not seek to "kill large numbers of people", only to fulfill their mission, and keep casualties low. 2. The AR-15 replaced the M14, a much more powerful rifle. It was lighter, and its .223/5.56mm NATO cartridge was designed to be shot in burst-fire (illegal).

"Military style assault weapons have but one purpose...to hold at the grip if possible to spray fire... to be able to kill large numbers."

No military doctrine teaches hip shooting. It is extremely inaccurate and wasteful.

"There has been an influx of new models of assault weapons. These models are more powerful, more lethal, and more technologically advanced."

The AR-15's design remains mostly unchanged since its creation in 1957. Even newer military-style rifles, like the FN Herstal Scar-16S or the Bushmaster ACR, adopted the bolt and many of the controls from the AR-15. The .223/5.56mm cartridge is still used by newer weapons as well.

The bill "subjects existing or grandfathered weapons to a background check."

Yes. What she fails to mention is that it involves registering them as NFA items. This involves paying a $200 tax on every weapon, months of waiting to be cleared by the ATF and FBI, and restricting the weapon from crossing state lines. Some of these weapons are not even worth $200.

Feinstein claims that her previous bill reduced crime during its enforcement. She fails to mention that crime rates were steadily falling before the bill and continue to do so now.

She fails to mention that rifles account for less than 5% of all gun violence.

Feinstein knows all of this. She's not stupid. She knows that she needs to employ every deceiving tactic in order to fulfill her ideologies. Gun-control advocates: Do not do this to yourselves. This is a blind attempt to stop gun violence. Its only guarantee will be that it will waste a monumental amount of money and jeopardize the democratic majority in the Senate. Do your own research and set emotions aside. Is it really worth it for a superficial victory and a false sense of security?

Rayber5901
Rayber5901

This whole thing is sad. The biggest casualty of this gun banning rampage will be the Democratic party. Until now President Obama has never done anything to really challenge the 2nd amendment. Many many people voted for him because the corporate controlled GOP didn't give us anyone to vote for.The democratic party is loosing their votes now. The attempt to ban weapons will put the country back in the middle ages. The politcal rich GOP will run the rest of us in to the ground. We will be in more armed conflicts then we can produce troops for. The draft will be back. That 47% that Romney doesn't care about will be really on the street. Corporate American will run everything. Be warned.

The Gun issues are a bunch of Media hype. What horrible event took place to bring the AR's (assault Rifles)back in the limelight. The 20 kids everyone crys.. SORRY the "AR" (which is a bunch of hype also) was left in his car. HELLO.  The horrible mass murder machine gun was left in the car.The only mass shooting that has taken place with a AR in the last 20 years happen during the AR ban. HELLO.... Turn the lights on-WAKE UP . He could have just a easily walked in the room with a 5 gallon can of gas  and walked around emptying it.. walk out and thrown a match in the door. This whole even has been media driven. The firearms middle man and dealers love it. They have made hundreds of thousands of dollars that they would probably never make in a life time. It also drives prices up so the common man that wants to go squirrel hunting or deer hunting can't afford to. ONLY the rich with the hunting preserves and a unlimited budget get to enjoy the sports. 

I don't care for the NRA because as far weird as the gun control crown is the Leaders of the NRA are wacko in the other direction. Lies , exaggerations, threats, are the same but in different directions.  I will agree when La Pierre and the President spoke about identifying and helping the mentally ill they both were saying something that might slow down the mass shooting. FACT mass shooting have been going down the last 20 years. The media has just found a bone and are running with it.

FACT the number of mass shooting death and the number of gun related death plus even all the violent deaths each day do not hold a candle to the 423,000 deaths caused by tobacco in 2011. (CDC report,google it) That number again is 423,000 death in a year. I have not heard a word from the media...any media. No laws,  not screen bobbing heads on TV,  nothing from Limbaugh, Boortz,or Savage..not a word but they will scream lies about Obama for hours on end. Do they care about you ..heck no.. they get paid to cause controversy not tell the truth.One in more then a thousand ever write to their senators or congressman.. send yours an emai, a letter or give him a call. tell him all the gun stuff is hurting the nation. Drop the bans and threats about guns. Fix the mental health system.

Find away to allow background checks by even private owners. Vote no on gun control,

Rayber5901


Silvertongue
Silvertongue

Hi everybody, gun-nut here with an opinion.  Quote from the article:  Democratic lawmakers, led by Senator Dianne Feinstein, held an elaborate, emotional press conference today to announce a new assault-weapons-ban proposal.  I, as an American who will be directly affected by this proposal, have a problem with this.  Emotion has no place in legislature.  Ever.  Period.  Legislature should be drafted, weighed, considered, and either approved or denied based on facts instead of opinions.  OPINION:  Nobody *needs* an assault weapon.  Well, mine isn't hurting anybody and I worked hard for my money, so go tell someone else what they have permission to buy.  I've noticed in my short time reading the comments section here that nobody has mentioned a slight problem with the legislation:  It's geared to maybe possibly one time MAYBE lower the body count at a mass shooting.  How dare anyone say "It's for your safety" while banning the least-used type of weapon in crime?  I say that lowering the body count is not enough.  I want ways to stop the shootings from happening at all.  Period.  How do we do that?  I say we shouldn't have a ban on "assault weapons" or "high-capacity magazines" or really a ban on anything.  I say we should, if anything, add something.  That something a metal detector inside of every entrance to every building in every school, watched by an armed guard.  "We can't afford this!" scream the schools. We can afford paying presidents $400,000 a year for life.  Why don't we cut them (and all Congressmen and women) down to the same as the average high school math teacher?  That should free up TONS of spending and even help eliminate the career politician.  People will run for office, not for the money or recognition, but because they think they can enact a positive change.  Label me as a right-wing, NRA-loving, baby-killing, heartless monster all you want.  I have more where this came from.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Most of the comments have disappeared, but it is very instructive when the the people who oppose the assault weapon ban routinely spout bloodthirsty and violence-prone statements.

There are four commenters who've shown that they are more akin to the Sandy Hook killer in terms of demeanor than they care to admit.  It's too bad those comments have been 'disappeared'.

As gun owners, "law abiding" they're not.

Gunny
Gunny

Why do the police need assault weapons for their protection if revolvers are adequate for the rest of us? The government has taken on a parent-child relationship with the citizens of this country and this is just another example.  I am a US Marine and I am part of the gun lobby that she refers to. Realize this, she says "gun lobby" to try and make it sound like it is corporate power that she is trying to fight in order to gain approval from the misinformed, when in fact, it is the citizens of this country that she is fighting.  Let me make it clear, I will not vote for anyone that supports this.

BobJan
BobJan

Ted Nugent is the stand up comic for the NRA. What a nut case. They call him the "Motor City Madman".

FrankFC
FrankFC

I think the far right wing are running scared. Deep down they know now that all those that favour gun control are not just loony lefties. They are the majority of decent people.

FrankFC
FrankFC

Some of the psychological problems the older gun nuts have I think, is that they live in a post Arnie age after being heavily affected by all the silly crap the Schwarzenegger and other moviesportrayed. To them I would say, don't worry little fellers, it was never real, you won't be killed by monsters if your guns are taken away.  

FrankFC
FrankFC

I can't wait to see what loopy logic the gun nuts start spinning when they try to include shoulder supported rocket launchers in their 'right to bear arms' defence of murderous weapons. 

dunedweller
dunedweller

Most comments I read from the public on Gun control are pure drama. Can everyone just take a deep breath? Try very hard to put your fears (of a ban or no ban) aside for a moment and think about it rationally.  Are we all horrified by the Newtown shooting? Yes. Do we think there have been far too many mass shootings in the US in recent years? Yes. Is anyone suggesting a ban on all guns? No. There you have 3 main points we all can agree on. That's progress!  Now, in honor of those who have perished at the end of a gun in the US, can we find the strength and courage in our hearts to consider TRYING to save more lives? Even if that means some amount of sacrifice to our hobbies, sports and/or protection? Are we so full of fear and greed that we cannot make any ounce of personal sacrifice to try a solution? It might not be your preferred solution, but it's on the table now. Be a man, be a woman, have some courage and trust rather than fear. Say hi to your neighbor, look out for each other. Let's try this experiment and see if more kids can live past 6 because we were able to give up a tiny fraction of our creature comforts.

paulejb
paulejb

A completely different viewpoint on guns.

"Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
George Washington

paulejb
paulejb

Diane Feinstein, like most Democrats, consider the US Constitution to be a list of suggestions. She has no difficulty ignoring the 2nd Amendment if it interferes with her left wing ideology.

Here's a reminder for those who have not ingested the gun control nut Kool-Aid.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Please take note that there is no mention of hunting or sport shooting in the declaration of the people's right to keep and bear arms. It is clearly a right to defend our freedoms.

paulejb
paulejb

Democrats are coming for your guns, people. They have already taken away your health care, your children's future and now they want you disarmed so that they can take even more from you.

ThisAngryAmerican
ThisAngryAmerican

It's sad that many Americans are so dumb and so misinformed about the Constitution, especially the 2nd amendment. The 2nd amendments only confirm our inherent "natural" rights, not conferred. It is exist in nature the idea that we each have the right, I would say the responsibility, to protect our property, our family and community. The only way to protect yourself, your property and family is through weapon. Weapon could be in the form of law, legal statues, or in form of a knife, a musket and yes, hand guns.

The reality is, we don't need to 2nd amendment to be able to bear arms. Again, natural law dictates that we have the inherent right to protect ourselves and our family. You do not need the law to tell you that. It already exist. The 2nd amendment only confirms it. Get rid of the 2nd amendment tomorrow would not change that fact. It exists in nature.

ArxFerrum
ArxFerrum

There is a bias here that should not be denied. The divide is rigid and vast... with the anti-gun folks who think gun owners are lunatics and those who hold their 2nd amendment rights sacred and think their opposites are traitors. Of these two, one has to understand that neither are likely to be interested in compromise. This isn't about common sense or curing a national ill... it is about forcing one's will upon the other.

It is this reality that is the most frightening because... lacking any genuine understanding of the other, there can be no end to this that doesn't create a shock-wave that will cause even greater divisions and, perhaps, one that finally leads to the end of our union. 

As a legal gun owner, I do not hate those who would attempt to strip me of my constitutional rights... but, before it all finally boiled down to the unthinkable, I sure wish there was a common ground where it could be discussed civilly and with a goal of fixing the root problem,. 

RonaldKirchem
RonaldKirchem

The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote.  Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.

Tero
Tero

Any new arguments from the gun nuts? I've heard all this BS before. 

I guess you all enjoy watching large numbers of children be murdered?

IdonwannaTellya
IdonwannaTellya

What about the gun laws in the UK - Look at what happened after their 1997 Firearms Act was enacted!!!

"The latest (UK) Government figures show that the total number of firearm offences in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9,865 last year (2008)  -  a rise of 89 per cent. "

r.u.crazy
r.u.crazy

You can bet Feinstein and the rest of her ilk won't dump their assault weapons, they only want your's. Typical liberal dribble, the Constitution always gets in the way of their real plans. Why is it only the liberals that want to repeal the 2nd amendment? That's the question every American should ask themselves. They have an agenda and it's not about public safety.Public safety is only the excuse.