I 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.”