• Sun, Dec 16 2012

Diane Feinstein Will Be Introducing An Assault Weapons Ban Bill On The First Day Of Congress

shutterstock_62389105I know we are a nation divided about the issue of gun control. For years I have been begging someone to give me an answer to one question: why should any citizen own a military-style assault weapon? I really don’t understand the necessity. They certainly aren’t used for hunting. And do you really need a weapon that can shoot 45 to 60 bullets per minute to guard yourself against an intruder? I say, no. No, you don’t.

That’s why I am thrilled to hear that Diane Feinstein, Democratic Senator of California will be re-introducing an assault weapons ban on the floor of Congress. President Clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law in 1994, but it expired a decade later. Democrats have tried several times to renew the ban. They have never been successful. In October of this year, Obama voiced his support for such a ban:

“I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets. And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence and they’re not using AK-47s. They’re using cheap hand guns.”

It’s true, assault weapons do not account for the largest percentage of gun deaths in the United States. But they are responsible for the devastating effects of the increase in mass shootings we have seen over the past few years. I can understand believing in your Second Amendment right to bear arms. But I can’t understand believing it is your right to basically own a “weapon of mass destruction.” The aftermath of an assault-rifle rampage is as devastating as that of a bomb. I just don’t get it. Even conservative Justice Antonin Scalia has said, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” that it is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever.”

Feinstein laid out the details of the bill on her website today.

“It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession, not retroactively, but prospectively,” and ban the sale of clips of more than ten bullets, Feinstein said. “The purpose of this bill is to get… weapons of war off the streets.”

“I challenge anyone who claims that prohibiting the purchase of military style assault weapons infringes on American freedoms. No sane person would argue that an individual should be free to own a nuclear weapon – we set limits and we abide by them. And we need to set limits on assault rifles.”

With the assault weapons from the deadly mass shootings of both Aurora and Newtown having all been legally purchased – I couldn’t agree with her more.

(photo: Vartanov Anatoly/ Shutterstock.com)


You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • alice

    i honestly have no idea why anyone needs one. the argument is never about *why* someone needs one, but *why not* allow them? even the NRA’s official position on these weapons talks only about statistics showing that the previous ten year ban did *nothing*…the NRA doesn’t come close to explaining the purpose or need of these guns, beyond lamely lumping them with the purpose for all other guns: self protection, hunting, and sport. http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/fact-sheets/2011/semi-automatic-firearms-and-the-%E2%80%9Cassaul.aspx

    for me, this is mostly an issue about magazine capacity. i don’t think there’s any purpose to manufacturing/selling/owning a magazine that holds more than ten rounds. if the NRA wants to point to statistics showing how reduced round clips don’t reduce murder rates, or whatever, then fine.

    the rational person still should be able to see that a magazine that allows a person to fire off 65 rounds without reloading is *in practice* a greater benefit to that psychopath that wants to cause the most carnage in the shortest time (before police arrive and he kills himself) than a benefit to that sportsman that wants to fire off more rounds at targets. oh, is it inconvenient for the sportsman? maybe, idk. should that inconvenience outweigh the risk? nope.

    • DM

      Someone who is carrying 3 ten round magazines will go through all three in only 2-3 seconds slower than someone carrying one 30 round magazine. The difference is negligible.

    • AlbinoWino

      And yet there have been times a gunman has been over taken in those few precious seconds. But a gun enthusiast just NEEDS those 30 bullets fired successively, don’t they? Poor poor gun lovers.

    • DM

      You can’t stop evil by attempting to disarm it. As cliche as the analogy is 9/11 was committed with box cutters, do you propose we disarm America’s warehouse workers? A man in China slashed up 20 plus kids the same day as the Newtown, CT event. Evil men will commit evil acts; it really is as simple as that and the only thing that will stop and evil man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

    • AlbinoWino

      First of all, it’s pretty damn insulting when you compare the attack in China to the one here because you know the giant thing they DON’T have in common? Every last one of those children lived. So just because people will do bad things in spite of laws we should have no laws or regulations about anything? I mean, why have laws against murder if people will always commit murder no matter the consequence? Your argument is stupid and childish. The mother of the killer in CT had guns for protection. How did that work out for her exactly? I look to these magical things called facts and logic. Have a gun in your home? Then the rate of homicide rises substantially. It is statistically more likely to be used against you than in your favor no matter how many anecdotes you may know of. You want a gun and wan to take that risk? Fine. But don’t expect the American public to suffer for your self proclaimed “freedom”. There have to be at least some regulations and laws in place. My brother lost his life to a gun for no reason apart from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But 10,000 people is the price you are willing to pay for that since you don’t believe addressing the issue at all is needed. Your asinine comments are more important to you than the lives of those children and frankly that just makes you a sh*t person. And a shi*t mother if you are one. Hope your kid doesn’t ever shoot you, others, or themself.

  • Michelle

    I am not against citizens owning guns for protection and sport. I am against these guns that aren’t meant for simple protection and hunting, they are built to kill many things in a short amount of time. I would like to think that any real hunter wouldn’t want to completely annihilate the animal so that there are no usable parts left. I just can’t justify why anyone should be allowed to own assault weapons.

    Yes, people kill people; but a gun that can shoot out 100 rounds kills a hell of a lot more and gives the victims less of a chance of fleeing than a hand gun.

  • Tinyfaeri

    There is absolutely no reason for why a civilian needs to own an automatic weapon or an assault rifle. I’m all for hand guns, shotguns and hunting rifles when properly handled and stored, but there is no reason for ARs to be in the hands of anyone outside the military. Anything anyone says they want to do with an AR can easily be done with a lower powered, non-auto gun. Good for Sen. Feinstein.

    • DM

      You do realize that Lanza used semi-auto weapons, as did the Aurora shooter, the VT shooter, the Oregon mall shooter, the Columbine shooters, etc.

    • Tinyfaeri

      …? He used a Bushmaster, which is similar to the M-16. Nothing that I know of is sold “fully automatic” … but with very simple mods ARs like the Bushmaster can be made fully automatic. No civilian needs that kind of weapon. No civilian needs a clip that holds more than 10 rounds for anything.

  • Lastango

    “For years I have been begging someone to give me an answer to one question: why should any citizen own a military-style assault weapon?”


    Why? Second Amendment supporters defend the right to own these firearms because they recognize that Feinstein et al. eventually intends to take away ALL their guns. Scary-looking guns are only a convenient starting point.

    • alice

      was there evidence during the last 10 year AW ban that the government was plotting to take away ALL guns?

    • DM

      No. But there was plenty of evidence proving it was a pointless ban that was only sucking up government funds in order to enforce.

    • AlbinoWino

      You’re an idiot. Name a single time when a politician tried to forcibly take a weapon from a law abiding citizen. Your paranoia is just pathetic. You would rather fondle your gun and have it keep you company rather than do a single thing to prevent the deaths of thousands, many children, of gun violence every year. You are disgusting.

    • DM

      Our government or the dozens of other governments who disarmed it’s citizens so it could corral them into ghettos, camps, and gulags?

    • AlbinoWino

      So why do so many developed nations in Europe have strict gun laws in spite of a history of having oppressed people this way?. Not only this but they’re very pleased with their laws there and the fact that their yearly gun deaths are generally less than 100 while ours exceed 10,000. You are a seriously paranoid person. You know who else had these paranoid delusions? The mother of the CT killer. She just had to prepare herself for economic collapse with those powerful weapons and all it got her was a premature death and in some respects the blood of those little children on her hands. But sure, aim to be more like her.

    • AlbinoWino

      Also, why are we the laughing stock of nations with strict gun control laws? NONE of them want to be us

  • jacklalane

    One question: What happens when the State declares marshal law and starts rounding up citizens they feel are dangerous to society? How would the populace protect themselves?

    • AlbinoWino

      Another dumb argument. If the government became evil and there was martial law it wouldn’t matter if you were armed. They’d use drones and nukes. Also, please tell me all about how we are on our way to martial law.

    • DM

      Do you honestly think that the government would use nuclear weapons on their own cities? So you shouldn’t fight for what you believe in if the opponent your facing is more powerful? Our forefathers fought against the most powerful military in the world at the time, some would even argue that the British military was more powerful in their own time then we are in our own. Many of them knew that they wouldn’t live to see their dream come to fruition but they fought anyway.

      That is what it means to be a Patriot, to fight to your last dying breath for something you believe in, even if your fight may be fruitless. Have fun living on your knees as a supplicant. I’ll die standing on my feet if I have to in order to protect me and mine.

    • AlbinoWino

      And then you compare fights in the late 1700′s to the year 2012. And some random statements about being a patriot and not being on your knees. What does this even mean? Why are you so convinced the government is coming for you and yours? Maybe you need to go to the backcountry and live off the grid if your paranoia has reached this level. Surely you must homeschool your children and pound all your strange ideologies into the heads of your offspring day in and day out so the government can’t indoctrinate them. Also, maybe Obama is a secret Muslim who is anti-colonialist. Keep coming with the conspiracy theories.

    • AlbinoWino

      This is also laughable when you consider that you’re referring to me as a “supplicant” and all you are is b*tch to the gun industry and their fear mongering. All they have to do is stir up your paranoia some and you’re just another profit for them. They’re in the money making business and they’re going to tell you whatever you want to hear about the Second Amendment and the threat of government and you’ll happily bend over and oblige.

    • alice

      I dont mind hearing the Patriot scenario in theory, but I guess I find it very odd to feel this way when there are so many nations around us that have exponentially less armed citizens and no one is talking about the pending tyranny or martial law or “rounding up the people deemed dangerous to society”

      What makes our country different from Canada or the UK that some of us are holding our breath for tyrannical overthrow?

  • DM

    I wonder if Ms. Guido or Sen. Feinstein realize that A) automatic weapons are incredibly restricted (frankly, making bombs is easier than getting one) B) there is a difference between clips and magazines. In fact, there are already no clips in existence that hold more than ten bullets. Magazines are inserted into the weapon and are of varying size. However, the amount of time it takes for someone who is relatively untrained is almost negligible compared to someone using 30 rd or higher capacity magazines.

    Point of fact: Only one homicide has ever been committed in the US with a legally owned automatic weapon. The killer was a police officer.