Twenty-three years ago, after Congress passed an “assault weapons” ban that allowed Americans who owned those guns to keep them while forbidding the manufacture and sale of similar-looking weapons, a champion of that legislation, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., made a provocative statement.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” on Feb. 5, 1995, she said, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in,’ I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.”
That ban had a 10-year sunset provision; it expired in 2004 and with Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress and GOP President George W. Bush in the White House, it was never going to be renewed.
But that hasn’t stopped Feinstein and other anti-Second Amendment Democrats from trying once again to criminalize ownership of a type of firearm that is used so infrequently in criminal activity that they are statistically insignificant.
On Thursday, she and about two dozen other Democratic senators introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, which would “ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.”
“Last year we saw tens of thousands of students nationwide take to the streets to demand action to stop mass shootings and stem the epidemic of gun violence that plagues our communities. Our youngest generation has grown up with active-shooter drills, hiding under their desks — and now they’re saying enough is enough,” Feinstein said in a statement.
“This past year, we’ve seen Americans rise up and demand Congress change our gun laws. Banning assault weapons would save lives, and I’m proud to join Senator Feinstein in introducing this bill,” added bill co-sponsor Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., added.
Such firearms “have no purpose for self-defense or hunting, and no business being in our schools, churches, and malls,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., noted further.
First of all, constitutional rights are not determined by student protests or isolated incidents, especially expressed on the spur of the moment. They are enshrined in our founding document, and the “right to keep and bear arms” is one of them. Secondly, the genre of firearms the Left calls ‘assault weapons’ are uniquely suited for self-defense and hunting. As to where it is appropriate to carry a gun, anyone who reads the Second Amendment will see the words “keep and bear arms” alongside “shall not be infringed;” there are no carry restrictions in the amendment.
In reality, this new legislation is further evidence that this legislation is nothing more than the latest attempt by Democrats to suppress Americans’ ability to oppose tyranny.
Here’s proof: A 2004 study found that the assault weapons ban imposed a decade earlier did not lead to a decrease in gun crimes or gun deaths. “For starters, rifles, assault or otherwise, are rarely used in gun crime,” wrote Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA law school, in a 2015 op-ed.
Furthermore, violent crime all over the country is down and has been falling for decades, the Heritage Foundation notes. What’s more, a recent study found that assault-style guns are used in 2-12 percent of gun-related crime, with “most estimates” suggesting “less than seven percent” of the time.
That’s not an aberration. That’s the way it’s been historically, according to the FBI’s crime reporting statistics.
Semi-automatic rifles, no matter what they look like, as well as the law-abiding Americans who own them, are not the problem they’re made out to be. We are at much more risk of losing our liberty — and our lives — from the tyranny imposed by Democrats. — J. D. Heyes
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.
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