California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein was handed a defeat on Tuesday, March 19, that assures gun owners across America that they will be able to hold onto their assault-style rifles and shotguns.
Feinstein had tried to convince her colleagues in the Senate to reinstate the assault weapons ban, which she authored in 1994. That ban was sunset in 2004.
The liberal senator from California had tried to use the shootings in Connecticut to rally the troops in the Senate, but fewer than 40 of the 100 members were willing to join her crusade.
The president also lost in this preliminary battle. Banning those firearms was among the proposals President Barack Obama made in January in response to those slayings, according to the Associated Press.
The assault weapons ban was the most controversial of the major proposals to restrict guns that have been advanced by Obama and Senate Democrats. Because of that, it had been expected that the assault weapons measure would be left out of the initial package the Senate considers, with Democrats hoping the Senate could therefore amass the strongest possible vote for the overall legislation.
It’s all about politics. “Having a separate vote on assault weapons might free moderate Democratic senators facing re-election next year in Republican-leaning states to vote against the assault weapons measure, but then support the remaining overall package of gun curbs,” AP reported.
In fact, Sen. Harry Reid, majority leader in the upper house of Congress had told Feinstein that there would be two votes. One on banning assault weapons, and a second vote on high-capacity magazine clips.
Democrats have determined that large-capacity magazines has a better chance of passing in the Senate than the assault weapons ban.
As it stands, the Senate will consider three other measures approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee: ban assault weapons (which failed to make it to the Senate floor), high capacity magazines, federal background checks for firearm buyers, and an increase in the penalties for illegal gun trafficking (Attorney General Eric Holder beware) and boost school safety money.
It’s not over yet, but the Feinstein ban on assault-style rifles was DOA because the House of Representatives was not going to vote in favor of such a ban. Besides, appearances, Senator are always what they appear to be.