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Feinstein: Bill to Ban Assault Weapons

Bills to return a ban on assault weapons in the United States will be introduced on the first day they are in session next month, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein vowed.

Bills to return a ban on assault weapons in the United States will be introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives on the first day they are in session next month, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein vowed on national television today.

"We've tried to take my bill from '94 to 2004 and perfect it," the California Democrat said on the NBC "Meet The Press" program.

Feinstein authored a federal ban on assault weapons in 1994, a ban that was allowed to expire by Congress in 2004.

On NBC, California's senior senator said her staff has crafted a bill that would "exempt over 900 specific weapons that will not ... fall under the bill."

She said the 1994 assault rifle bill that she wrote was never challenged in court by the National Rifle Association.

"Back in '93, when I told Joe Biden who was chairman of the Judiciary Committee that I was going to move this as an amendment on the Crime Bill, he laughed at me," Feinstein said.

"He said, 'you're new here. Wait till you learn'," Feinstein related. "And we got it through the Senate, we got it through the House, the White House came alive and ... the bill was passed."

The NRA has declined to comment on gun issues since Friday's slaying of 20 grade school children and seven adults in Connecticut.

In 2002, the proposed extension of the assault weapons ban was opposed by the Coalition Against the Semi-Auto Ban, a project of the National Association for Gun Rights.

The group said the original legislation violated the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment; claiming that what the law called assault weapons were rarely used in crimes and that specifying a type of weapon for a ban was a tactic that would lead to banning all weapons.

Feinstein, who just won her fifth Senate election, was propelled to the forefront of California politics when she suddenly became mayor of San Francisco when Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated there in 1978. She has been a leading voice for gun control since then.

ATC December 18, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Speaking of mental health issues; isn't it about time we instituted term limits for the US senate? 5 terms? 30 years in the same office?
Ray Russell December 18, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Gary, yes it is. But 5 terms is 3 too many! Like the president, two terms is enough! As to the proposed gun control, this is just another attempt to take away or Constitutional guaranteed rights. Give then an inch and the Second Amedment will be gone! Do something about mental health. The latest nut didn't even own a gun, yet he got his hands on some, didn't he? How can you stop this from happening?
Ray Russell December 18, 2012 at 07:24 PM
For the very reason the Second Amendment was added to our Constitution. To protect our rights against a run away government that wants to do away with our way of life and freedoms. It's part of the checks and balances designed by the founders of our way of government. I'm really disappointed that American History is no longer taught in our school systems. Too bad!
alan haskvitz December 18, 2012 at 08:27 PM
George Washington letter is the basis of the Second Amendment. He stated that the MILITIA could keep their guns when they returned to their homes after the Revolutionary War. The Amendment does not say anything about the general public. Indeed, America has the most violence of any industrialized nation because of this Amendment. As for mental health, most people who want to "do something about mental health" are unwilling to pay the tax dollars required.
Washy December 18, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Too bad you didn't learn to read I SAID WHY DO YOU NEED ON (other then the canned it's my right) Really how are you hurt if you give up that tiny right to have mass murder weapons and get to keep your guns of protection and to hunt with
Washy December 18, 2012 at 09:08 PM
should say "why do you need ONE"
Teri Felker December 18, 2012 at 10:29 PM
We have enough taxes already. It's the moron politicians that abuse our money and allocate it for use in the wrong places.
Ray Russell December 18, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Don't give the tax monies to our enemies to repair their Mosques. Instead use it to support mental health care in our own country
Ray Russell December 18, 2012 at 11:01 PM
No you didn't! Better retread your own statement
ATC December 18, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Agreed. 5 terms is way too many. That was my point; Feinstein has held that office for more than 30 years. For her, I'd say that even 1 term is too many!
GammaUt December 19, 2012 at 12:18 AM
I believe the focus on assault weapons is misguided. Handguns pose a much greater danger to society than long guns. According to FBI statistics, for every one death by a rifle or shotgun there are approximately 20 by handguns. I'm pretty sure the number of handguns in the U.S. does not outnumber long guns by a ratio of 20 to one. I'm not suggesting we shouldn't further regulate assault weapons. I'm just saying it won't do much. Unfortunately, D.C. v. Heller has made it extremely difficult to curb the proliferation of handguns. The ruling specifically protects our right to own handguns.
GammaUt December 19, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Washy, no one NEEDS an assault rifle any more than someone NEEDS alcohol. But people use assault rifles for target shooting, action shooting, competitive shooting and home defense. Some use it for hunting, although the .223 cartridge found in most assault rifles is illegal to use on big game in some states, illegal because it is considered inadequate to humanely kill big game. I think a lot of younger people buy them because video games and movies impart them an aura of cool. We call this "tacticool."
Renay Rodriguez Wong December 19, 2012 at 03:22 AM
But your a life member, odd.
alan haskvitz December 19, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Teri, this is a representative democracy. The people vote for whom they want and the majority of votes wins, except in some Electoral College decisions. As such, you call the people your fellow Americans elected as morons. In the most recent election most of those who were in office were reelected so the majority must have felt that individual was doing the best job. Calling your elected leader thus means you are calling the majority of Americans morons, If you truly believe that please consider starting your own political party and allowing the voters to see what you have to offer.
alan haskvitz December 19, 2012 at 07:04 PM
The ACLU is a very conservative organization that exists to protect the provisions in the Constitution as written. That bothers some people who don't understand Constitution law.
ATC December 19, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Wow, that first sentence is one of the funniest things I've read lately!
ATC December 19, 2012 at 07:19 PM
The US is actually a "representative republic", but considering the last election, I would definitely agree that the majority of Americans are now morons, that want their Gov't to take care of their every need rather than taking care of themselves.
alan haskvitz December 19, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Gary, you may actually have to research what they stand for...to preserve the liberties in the Constitution regardless of how popular or unpopular that might be as the Constitution was written. That is a very conservative view.
ATC December 19, 2012 at 11:13 PM
alan, what they "claim" to stand for, and what they actually do, are often substantially different.
alan haskvitz December 20, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Gary, Provide an example.
Michael December 20, 2012 at 07:27 AM
Washy, Fair question. I need a 30 round clip to defend myself. During the next riot, or earthquake, or terror attack, there won't be any cops around (like the way LAPD abandoned the city for 3 days in '92). When 4 armed guys in one car come from Pomona to Walnut, I need 30 rounds against their 40, GET IT? I respect your right to be a victim and let your family perish, but you SHALL respect my right not to be one. Speaking of mental health, you may want to check into why you are so afraid of guns. [The link is not my theory, it's Freud's] https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!msg/alt.quotations/5LpGQwXqbEk/HphWfQ_dyF8J
ATC December 20, 2012 at 02:46 PM
For a start, while I support "separation of" church and state, I don't believe it means "separation FROM church", and as such I disagree with many of the incidents demanding the removal of crosses from public lands, incidents that the ACLU fully supports. I don't believe that a cross on public lands, or on city seals, or in a county courthouse, is necessarily "offensive", nor unconstitutional, nor should be removed. People today are convinced that nothing should ever bother them, and if it does, it should be removed/banned/gagged/demonized. I disagree. We are rapidly moving towards a grey, sterile, homogenized society where nothing is allowed if it may bother or offend anyone. And the ACLU is only to happy to lend it's muscle to help accomplish that. Is that really the world you want to live in?
Washy December 20, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Michael I KNOW why I have an issue with guns. Someone very close was murdered in cold blood with one (a very innocent man shot down in the street) I don't hate them just think that the average Joe (or Michael) with proper training can defend themselves with a gun that won't have the capabilities of killing many innocent people in 2.5 mins You might want to look into your paranoia a bit though (just teasin ya man) Thank you for giving me a straight answer
Washy December 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Gamma how many children would this man have killed if he had a gun that only held ten bullets at a time? More/Less? I know hand guns will still kill innocent but assault rifles allow freaks to just kill many with out any thought
alan haskvitz December 20, 2012 at 04:21 PM
What you believe and what the Constitution has been proven, by law, to mean are two different things. Have you directed your comments to the ACLU to gets their input?
GammaUt December 20, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Washy, he'd have killed fewer with 10-round magazines. But let's not confuse weapon type with capacity. Semi-automatic rifle magazines vary in capacity from five rounds to 100: sizes of 10, 20 and 30 are most common. Semi-automatic handgun magazines can carry seven, 10, somewhere in the teens or even north of 30. At close range, there's not much difference between a .223 caliber bullet (i.e., assault weapon caliber) and a 9mm bullet (a common handgun caliber). One has more energy and penetration, the other has more expansion, but in the end they're both lethal. In light of this, the only real difference is capacity. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that a law to limit capacity to, say, 10 rounds is a bad idea. In fact, I'm in favor of it; California's 10-round limit should be a federal law. I'm just saying it won't do much to make these mass killings any less horrible. You'd still have a lot of dead kids.
ATC December 20, 2012 at 07:25 PM
"Proven"? No, rather interpreted by the current court. There is a difference. And that interpretation sometimes changes, based on the court's make-up. If everyone in the country agreed 100% with every Supreme Court decision, there would be no need for that court, would there? I also find it ironic that the ACLU is such a strong fighter against racism, unless that racism is directed at whites. Affirmative action, which is racist by definition, is a perfect example.
GammaUt December 20, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Washy, I forgot to connect the dots between the last two paragraphs. Let me do so quickly: Capacity is the problem, not the type of firearm. But reducing the capacity of magazines won't stop a mass shooter. It'll just slow him down, to the tune of 3-6 seconds every 10 shots fired. That may have saved a few lives at Sandy Hook, but honestly, would we as a nation be any less horrified if the death toll were 22?
Ray Russell December 20, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I'd like to differ to that question on smaller magazines. While smaller. Magazines hold less bullets, they would not have necessarily ment that less would have been killed. That would have depended more on how many clips or magazines were carried and or used. Changing clips only takes a few seconds. and would not cause a shooter to slow down very much. Please remember that these so called assault weapons are semi automatic and require a trigger pull for every shot fired. Unlike military weapons that may be full automatic and fire multiple bullets with each trigger pull. As to banning these weapons, it will do nothing to keep them out of the hands of anyone who wants to get one. Just like banning drugs have not ended the drug problem in this country or like banning alcohol during the probation time period which did not stop any one that wanted to drink. Something needs to be done at the root cause of the mental problems of these shooters.
Michael December 21, 2012 at 08:06 AM
No need to worry about my training, I did my CMP course- funny thing about that is you can't send a gun in the mail- but the government sent me one that way! If you can hit at 300 yards with iron sites (as they make you do) you deserve one in the mail. Sad to hear someone you know got shot. I know someone that died by a drunk driver in a Honda- but I don't feel the need to take alcohol, or Honda's from anyone. There is a serious movement to ban Mustangs now because they are "assault vehicles": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pay_JeoGhDQ I would not support a Mustang ban, but it might be a sensible idea to limit new ones to 10 gallon tanks.

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