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

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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.”

241 comments
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.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@yorgosmalama  

So if I wanted to kill kids I'd take an SUV and drive it down the hall and park it on top of those kids?

Yeah, right...

And you're right.  Forget the forks.

By the way, the headlights of my SUV are trained on you.  Now, if I could just get this thing to go 4370 fps without me in it!...

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton  

I saw the NRA ad.  It was rediculous.  I've never been able to get a fork to move at 4370 fps, and what's more, I can only stab one kid at a time with it. 

Let's not mention that you can't stand 30 feet away from 20 kids huddled in fear in a corner and turn 'em into hamburger with a fork either.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@roknsteve 

Of course.  They represent firearms manufacturers, and spreading around irrational fear that everyone is going to have their guns taken away is their business.  Paranoid loons that insist this on their part are like walking cash cows for them. The NRA no longer cares about anyone's "right" to bear arms, just that their bearing as many arms as they can afford.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@roknsteve  

Maybe they feel they can kill all those horrible microscopic beasties by shooting into the water first?

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@AntaresVariant  

She also has in the past carried a hand gun for protection. She admitted as much on Capital Hill. It's on record, and I guess if it's ok for her to protect herself, but anyone else must depend on the police. What a hypocrite!!!  

Lerwazorz
Lerwazorz

@Rayber5901 

The Second Amendment was for a "one bullet" gun not an assault gun with a big magazine in it.

Al Keida should left y'all alone because you will all end up doing their job. Grow up my man, this is not mummy taking away your favourite toy. You will still have your hand gun.

AntaresVariant
AntaresVariant

@Rayber5901  

Actually, the "AR" in AR-15 stands for Armalite, the company responsible for its design in 1957.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Silvertongue  

You haven't commited a crime with an RPG either, yet you can't have one of those.

I hear a LOT of me! m! me! in this.  Nothing else.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@53_3  I've noticed that too sometimes. Often (but not always) I can reverse the list to oldest setting and get the comments back. Fortunately, that disgusting threat made against Katy has been deleted.

fitty_three
fitty_three

And the two commenters above also hint at or threaten violence.

Maybe we are looking at the profiles of those who really shouldn't own a gun.  They have more in common with the Sandy Hill killer than they care to admit.

jhbell2047
jhbell2047

@Gunny

323 people killed with assault rifles in 2011

496 people murdered with hammers in 2011

DiFi needs to save more lives, ban hammers and high capacity nail belts!

Semper Fi Gunny...i did 5 active, 3 inactive and decided not to reenlist.

All these people talking about the military will trounce the usurpers...i venture to guess that 3/4ths of the military would defect should the order be given to turn their weapons on American citizens

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Gunny  

I noted that the most common single argument was:

"Why do I have to give up my rights."

Says something about there stand on how "united" their perception of this country should be.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@53_3 @TerryClifton 

Thousands??? At this pace, it would be 50 years before we hit 1,000 kids killed by assault weapons, unless you want to throw in the those kids dying in Afghanistan for the Defense Contractors.. 

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@53_3 @TerryClifton 

Obesity kills more Americans than guns, drunk drivers, drug abuse, domestic violence, HIV-Aids combined.. Let's ban the number one killer of Americans, the fork. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton

If you do it with your assault rifle, you will get yourself in one hell hole of a lot of trouble.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton

Um, you missed. A pistol isn't an assault rifle.  And the subject of this thread is an assault rifle ban.  I don't see any inconsistencies in taking a pistol.

Now, if she had taken an assault rifle, you might have a point, but since she didn't, you don't!

yorgosmalama
yorgosmalama

@Lerwazorz @Rayber5901 Respective of their time.   ARs are respective of ours.   Sorry!

I like more regulation of who gets to get one, or any firearm, but all out ban?   Nahhh.

JeffSchultz
JeffSchultz

@53_3 @Silvertongue and RPG is an ordinance and not included under "arms."

Its funny because all I hear from the anti-gun crowd is me me me! Pass this law because it doesn't effect ME!

You are right that I am arguing for ME - because *I* am the one effect by this legislation, not you.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@deconstructiva

It worries me that maybe Time doesn't want the public to see just how close some gun owners nuzzle the profile of the Sandy Hill shooter.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@jhbell2047 

It's very unlikely that the government will turn on us people; imperfect as our government might be. Unless we of course elect the kind of people we want to turn on a majority of us. I find the whole 'I need gunz against the gubmint' discussion kind of silly. Partly because the situation in the 1700's in regards to city states and Monarchic rule to be entirely different from the national identity of the current global landscape - something there was none of in the 1700's.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton

I saw the NRA ad.  It was rediculous.  I've never been able to get a fork to move at 4370 fps, and what's more, I can only stab one kid at a time with it. 

Let's not mention that you can't stand 30 feet away from 20 kids huddled in fear in a corner and turn 'em into hamburger with a fork either.

@TerryClifton are you kinda getting the picture here?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@JeffSchultz

Well, no man is an island, and as Rockefeller said:

"For every right there is a responsibility"

Also, they could reclassify RPG's.  I'd bet you'd be the first in line to grab one. The classification is also a means of regulation.

Aaaaaaand, I'm going to venture that neither your "right", nor even your life, is worth the lives of 20 kids.