Gun Control — February 14, 2013 at 7:12 am

Sign the Petition: Support the new Assault Weapons Ban


The Second Amendment wasn’t intended to include gun fetishists

One of the most disingenuous claims by the gun fetishists lobby is that assault weapons are protected by the Second Amendment. This, of course, is not true. The Second Amendment was never intended to allow for the unregulated promulgation of weaponry throughout our country and our communities. That is, in fact, the reason the phrase “well regulated militia” is part of it. What is, to me, the most galling are the laughable justifications they use to defend their bizarre obsession with owning and shooting weapons that so closely resemble those used by our military men and women.

But, we are a rational society and the time when a tiny minority of people who get a thrill out of owning and shooting military-style weapons get to make all of the decisions is coming to an end. They may call themselves “hobbyists”. They may say that their desire to pretend to be a soldier is protected by the constitution. But when the rest of us watch our fellow citizens, including small children, mowed down by weapons with high-capacity magazines, we know it’s time for the adults to start putting some limits down.

One of those limits is to replace the Assault Weapons Ban that expired 2004 with a new, strengthened version. Saying “enough is enough”, Senator Diane Feinstein introduced such legislation. Here she is at the press conference where she first introduced the bill to the public:

Please sign the Democracy for America petition, urging members of Congress to pass Senator Feinstein’s bill.

Here’s a powerful ad DFA put out this week about the ban:

Sen. Feinstein’s bill is actually an improvement on the one that expired in 2004.

The bill would ban the future sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of 157 specific kinds of semi-automatic guns and impose the same restrictions on ammunition magazines that contain more than 10 rounds. It would also ban rifles, handguns and shotguns that accept detachable magazines and have certain physical characteristics, including a pistol grip or folding stock.

Feinstein said the legislation would simplify the definition of an assault weapon by reducing the number of defining physical characteristics from two to one, making it more difficult for gun manufacturers to design firearms that get around the ban. Unlike the previous assault weapons ban, which Feinstein wrote and was in effect from 1994 to 2004, the new version does not have a sunset date and is intended to stay on the books permanently. {…}

[T]he bill addresses the millions of semi-automatic guns and large-capacity ammunition magazines that are already in private owners’ possession today. It would require background checks on all such firearms if they are sold or transferred— including from one private citizen to another — and it would ban the future sale of large-capacity magazines even if those magazines are currently in their owners’ hands legally. It would impose a “safe storage requirement” for firearms currently in existence, and it includes a voluntary gun-buyback program designed to encourage gun owners to turn over their firearms in exchange for money provided through a Justice Department grant program. {…}

Feinstein’s bill specifically allows 2,258 “legitimate hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns” as well as “any gun manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action,” according to background information provided by her office. Guns carried by government officials and law enforcement also would be exempt from the ban.

Passage of the bill is not assured, of course, and Sen. Feinstein admits that it’s “an uphill battle”. And it’s not just Republicans in the pocket of the overly-powerful National Gun Fetishists Club (NRA). There are Democrats who are not on board, as well, most from rural, more conservative communities. That’s why the petition is so important. As Vice President Joe Biden put it, “It’s not about keeping bad guns out of the hands of good people, it’s about keeping all guns out of the hands of bad people…Make your voices heard.”

Please join the tens of thousands of Americans who have already signed the petition. Do it today.