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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:35 PM

Why the assault weapons ban is (probably) going nowhere

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced a new version of the assault weapons ban on Thursday. And itís already looking like a lost cause.

1. Joe Biden is downplaying it

The same day that Feinstein introduced the bill, Biden suggested that magazine sizes were the most important part of a gun control package. ĒIím much less concerned, quite frankly, about what you call an assault weapon than I am about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held in a magazine,Ē Biden said in a Google Hangout. He added that ďmore people out there get shot with a Glock that has cartridges in a (high-capacity magazine)Ē and also suggested that shotguns are more deadly than so-called assault weapons. Biden then again downplayed the ban again during a two-hour roundtable discussion on Friday.

2. The votes arenít there

As Bloomberg reports, red-state Democratic Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) have all suggested they wonít support an assault weapons ban, as have independent Sen. Angus King (Maine) and moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine). And that list doesnít include some other red-state Democrats who are up for reelection in 2014, including Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Tim Johnson (S.D.).

3. Time is the enemy

While there was arguably more impetus for gun control after Newtown than there has been in years, itís clear that the momentum has waned to some extent and people have, as the always do, refocused their attention on other political things, like illegal immigration, the budget and Obamaís Cabinet nominations.

4. Obama and Biden donít need the ban

Even if the final result includes universal background checks and some of the other items, with no assault weapons ban, Obama and Biden can still lay claim to the most significant gun legislation in years/decades. They ó and the red-state Democrats mentioned above ó can still say they did something to avert future massacres and feel good about their efforts.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/29/why-the-assault-weapons-ban-is-probably-going-nowhere/

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Reply Why the assault weapons ban is (probably) going nowhere (Original post)
hack89 Jan 2013 OP
derby378 Jan 2013 #1
NightWatcher Jan 2013 #2
Recursion Jan 2013 #3
derby378 Jan 2013 #4
Animal Chin Jan 2013 #5
Recursion Jan 2013 #7
nick of time Jan 2013 #6

Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:43 PM

1. Four other reasons: Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare, and public education

All of which would be hamstringed at the very least if the Senate turned Republican again because a new semi-auto ban was passed.

Have to look at the long term. Sorta like the butterfly effect.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:44 PM

2. You're right. All this latest noise has done is make $ for the gun industry

Prices on many models have doubled due to the fear that Obama was going to take their guns. Now many gun stores are on back orders for popular guns, accessories, and ammo.

So now the gun industry has made more money, panicked hoarding of weapons means that more nuts have more guns and stockpiles of ammo, and no real control has come about. Talk about lose-lose.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:44 PM

3. When I read Manchin was signing on with universal background checks ...

... I figured that was the writing on the wall. I would really love to see that pass. They'd need to put a new billboard up at Fenway, though.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:47 PM

4. And it wouldn't require further compromise from gun owners, either

We already have the NICS check in place - now it would simply cover a few more sales that normally wouldn't be covered.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:14 PM

5. The more I think about the AWB, the less I care

We have a serious gun violence problem, and it needs to be addressed, but I've come to the conclusion that AWB is a waste of political capital. Instead, I think we should focus on limiting magazine capacity and banning handguns.

Mass shootings are horrendous, but they are very rare. Because they are so horrendous (especially this last one in CT), and so random, we feel the call to action..."surely we can do something about this!" And banning the type of weapon used in such an attack seems like a good start. But our goal should be to reduce or eliminate gun violence in this country...moreso than reducing or eliminating mass shootings (although that presumably would naturally follow).

I know it's unrealistic, but I would gladly trade a world where assault rifles are illegal, but handguns proliferate, for one in which assault rifles proliferate and handguns are illegal. Why not limit the length of a firearm to not less than 24 inches? Under the theory that you have the right to keep and bear arms, but not to conceal them (hence the length requirement). Still plenty of protection "against government tyranny" for the right wingers (better in fact since rifles are more powerful and better weapons of war) , but it gets us out of trying to classify this gun or that gun or this feature or that.

What is killing our children is pistols, not assault rifles.

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Response to Animal Chin (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:16 PM

7. That would be my preferred world too

I also think the Constitutional argument for a right to a handgun is significantly weaker than the argument for a right to a rifle or shotgun. Not that a handgun ban is remotely feasible politically any time soon.

Then again our experience with drugs reminds me that attempts to ban things people want can cause more problems than they solve.

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Response to hack89 (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:16 PM

6. And Reid caved on the talking filibuster

 

which Feinstein also voted against thereby ensuring the defeat of her AWB.

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