THE CLINTON-FEINSTEIN GUN BAN
Barack Hussein Obama, since he was reelected and cannot be elected again, no longer feels the need to keep a desire for a gun-control agenda under the radar. He has called for reinstating the semi-auto ban pushed by Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein in 1994.
Former President Bill Clinton has admitted that passing the ban cost the Democrats 20 seats in the House of Representatives in that mid-term election, which saw Republicans take the House for the first time in forty years. Yet, Obama is pushing it now, and pushing the same memes from the debate in the early 1990s: These are weapons of war and have no place on the streets of America, these gun are the weapons of choice for criminals, and a host of other soundbites.
Those soundbites are bullshit. The entire push for the 1994 gun ban was founded on lies – and they are being repeated.
ORIGIN OF THE LIE
The origin of the lies can be traced to Josh Sugarmann, who now heads the Violence Policy Center. In a 1988 report for New Right Watch, which became the Violence Policy Center, he wrote, “The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”
In the wake of some mass shootings using those guns, anti-gunners ran on this ban, and it passed in several states, including California, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Senator Feinstein and then-Congressman Charles Schumer (D-NY) began a push for a federal semi-auto ban. A very watered-down version passed, which grandfathered existing firearms and magazines, and which expired in 2004. But Feinstein and Schumer, who was elected to the Senate in 1998, began pushing to make it permanent. Anti-gunners also were pushing to expand the ban, as California did with its semi-auto ban in 1999, to cover far more rifles.
That said, there are some new obstacles to passing such a bill. First and foremost are two new Supreme Court rulings: Heller vs. District of Columbia and McDonald vs. Chicago. Both cases overturned handgun bans, citing the Second Amendment as an individual right.
IMPLICATIONS OF HELLER AND MCDONALD
The big implications of Heller and McDonald is the invalidation of gun bans. By ruling those bans as unconstitutional, they make a comment in Miller vs. United States, a 1930s ruling on the Second Amendment, more relevant. In that ruling the Supreme Court stated, “Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”
That is not the case with the military-style semi-automatic rifles or a large number of semi-auto pistols. In fact, the Beretta 92 available on the civilian market with a 15-round clip is practically identical to the M9 pistol built for the military. And many AR-15s use the same operating system as the M16 and M4 carbines – the only difference being that they are semi-automatic only. And other pistols, like Sig Sauers, Glocks, or Heckler and Koch USPs, are issued to law enforcement agencies.
In other words, between the Heller decision, and the Supreme Court’s comments in Miller, there is a good chance that the Supreme Court, as presently constituted, would find a semi-auto ban unconstitutional.
BULWARKS IN CONGRESS – FOR NOW
Constitutional questions aside, any gun-ban legislation is unlikely to pass. Republicans hold the House of Representatives with over 230 seats, and there is almost no chance of a new Feinstein-Schumer semi-auto bill passing there until 2015 at the earliest. There also are enough votes in the Senate between Republicans and pro-gun Democrats to sustain a filibuster against a new semi-auto ban.
But this is tenuous. Election can always result in anti-gun Senators and Representatives getting elected, and many Democratic leaders are avowed opponents of gun rights. The fight to stop the next gun ban begins now.
Starting this fight is easy: Contact your Senators and Representative in Congress, urging them to oppose new gun bans, and letting them know you will be watching their votes. If they are pro-gun, support them with your time, money, and effort. Join the NRA, support NRA-ILA with your money, and work to teach the next generation the facts about the Second Amendment.
The future of the Second Amendment depends on you. Inaction is deciding to let the Brady Campaign and Obama act against your Second Amendment rights!
Article by Harold Hutchison