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Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:02 PM

Three Common-Sense Gun Bills That Can't Pass Congress

America’s gun laws are truly outrageous: in Colorado they allowed James Holmes to stockpile several weapons in a short period of time, including an AR-15 assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine, without ever registering the purchases with authorities. On the federal level, as we described yesterday, there are efforts underway to put guns into the hands of veterans with mental incapabilities, people on terror watch lists, and to weaken the federal bureau that enforces many gun laws.President Obama has repeatedly relayed that he is only interested in enforcing “existing” gun laws. Even right-wing pundit Bill Kristol thinks this is misguided: he said on Fox News this weekend that “I actually think the Democrats are being foolish as they are being cowardly. I think there is more support for some moderate forms of gun control.”So what are some moderate reforms that President Obama could get behind? Here are three bills introduced recently in Congress that would easily fall into the category of “common sense”—yet cannot seem to be passed.

Reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban. In 1994, gun-control advocates vanquished the NRA and passed a federal ban on assault weapons, but during Congressional negotiations they had to compromise: the ban would affect only weapons manufactured after the date of enactment, and the bill would have a ten-year sunset. Bill Clinton signed the law in September of that year.Alas, ten years later, the Congress and the White House were both controlled by pro-gun Republicans, and it was an election year—so the ban expired. Today, you can for example walk into most big-box sporting goods stores and buy an AR-15 assault rifle. (This is what Holmes, the Colorado shooter, did).In the wake of the mass shootings in Tuscon in 2010, Represenative Caroline McCarthy—who’s husband was killed in a mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad in the early ’90s—re-introduced a permanent ban on assault weapons in the House. Senator Frank Lautenberg introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Neither came up for a vote.

Banning high-capacity magazines. Reports indicate that at most ninety seconds passed between the first 911 call in Aurora and the apprehension of the suspect. Yet he was still able to shoot seventy-one people—in large part because his AR-15 rifle had a 100-round drum capable of firing fifty to sixty shots per minute.Just this week, Senator Lautenberg said he plans to introduce legislation banning these high-volume ammunition clips. Republican Senator Ron Johnson, however, said the bill will “restrict our freedoms.” It’s extremely unlikely it can muster the sixty votes needed to overcome a Senate filibuster.




Regulate Sniper Rifles. Among the more dangerous weapons currently sold in America are .50-caliber rifles. Some can be outfitted to fire large rounds originally intended for use with Browning Machine Guns, and have been adopted by the military as long-range sniper rifles. According to a Congressional Research Service report, these weapons—freely available at most gun retailers—“could be used to shoot down aircraft, rupture pressurized chemical tanks, or penetrate armored personnel carriers” and “have little sporting, hunting, or recreational purpose.”In the 110th Congress, Senator Feinstein introduced the Fifty Caliber Sniper Weapons Regulation Act, which had very modest goals: to simply treat those weapons as short-barreled shotguns and silencers are treated, that is, to levy taxes on their manufacture and transfer, and require they be registered with authorities. That bill was defeated.


http://www.thenation.com/blog/169038/three-common-sense-gun-bills-cant-pass-congress


Some of our gun laws are just ridiculous. I'm dumbfounded. This article was published before the shootings in CT, btw.

13 replies, 1511 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Three Common-Sense Gun Bills That Can't Pass Congress (Original post)
octoberlib Dec 2012 OP
AndyA Dec 2012 #1
octoberlib Dec 2012 #4
mzteaze Dec 2012 #6
cliffordu Dec 2012 #2
octoberlib Dec 2012 #3
cliffordu Dec 2012 #5
neverforget Dec 2012 #7
axetogrind Dec 2012 #8
neverforget Dec 2012 #9
axetogrind Dec 2012 #10
Floyd_Gondolli Dec 2012 #12
axetogrind Dec 2012 #13
Floyd_Gondolli Dec 2012 #11

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:11 PM

1. It's incredible, isn't it?

There is absolutely no reason why any responsible gun owner would NEED an assault weapon, or a high capacity magazine, or a sniper rifle, or hundreds of guns.

I had a conversation with an acquaintance once who told me he needed high capacity magazines to "make sure he hit his target when he went hunting."

I told him if he was that bad of a shot, he shouldn't have a gun at all, period. Then I suggested he take some training to determine if he's even capable of hitting a target, and that he should do so before he hurt someone or worse.

Later, I was told that he couldn't hit the barn, much less the barn door. I find no comfort in the thought that he likely didn't get any training, and he probably has a lot more weapons today than he did back then. (He was also known for having a short fuse, not a desirable trait if you have guns.)

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Response to AndyA (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:02 PM

4. I totally agree. Half the people who own guns probably shouldn't have them. nt

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Response to AndyA (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:44 PM

6. I completely agree!!!

Not one person can ever explain why they NEED these types of gun in hunting or personal protection situations.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:25 PM

2. Did you know that the .50 caliber sniper rifle you mention has never been involved in a killing

or a crime of any kind here??


Ever?

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:59 PM

3. When I read the article , I thought the sniper rifle sounded the most dangerous. Weird.

Sadly, maybe the AR-15 is more popular because it can kill a maximum amount of people in a short time period.

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Response to octoberlib (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:11 PM

5. It's your average 15 round semi-auto pistol that does most of the killing.

Glock, Sig-sauer.....all the rest....

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 06:32 PM

7. You know it's just a matter of time

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Response to neverforget (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 02:38 PM

8. Those rifles have been around for years.

 

Haven't been used in a crime yet. Handguns account for the huge majority of gun violence.

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Response to axetogrind (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 03:39 PM

9. I stand by my words

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Response to neverforget (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 03:44 PM

10. OK.

 

But the fact remains that they've been around for years and not once has a .50 cal rifle been used in a crime, not saying that they will never be used in a crime, just that so far, they haven't been.
.50 cal. rifles and ammo are extremely expensive and few if any criminals would use them to commit a crime, also, very hard to conceal one on one's body and also maneuver it around.

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Response to axetogrind (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 03:56 PM

12. Did you bother to read the article

 

The Aurora and Tuscon shooters were in compliance with state law right up until they started shooting. That's when they became criminals. Statistically you're right. Most of these deaths involve street level crime and handguns but there are enough examples of people getting their guns legally, losing their shit sometime after that, and then using the gun to kill themselves and others to warrant attention. I've lost count of the number of murder-suicides in my area the last two years, for example, and almost without exception those guns were obtained legally.

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Response to Floyd_Gondolli (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 04:13 PM

13. I'm not denying that.

 

but most of the violent crime in the country, including gun crime, is related to the stupid WOD, that is, gangs battling it out over drug turf, drug routes, and the like.
End the WOD and I bet a lot of the violent crime would cease, take that money and invest it in our cities and infrastructure, create jobs.
We're not going to stop all shootings, but we can do things to reduce it without trampling on our rights.

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Response to neverforget (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 03:48 PM

11. As you should

 

These weapons aren't a problem...until they are.

Since they apparently have little recreational value I'm not seeing the problem in keeping them out of reach of the general public.

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