By Jueseppi B.
“WASHINGTON — An assault weapons ban won’t be in the gun-control legislation that Democrats bring to the Senate floor next month, a decision that means the ban’s chances of survival now are all but hopeless.
The ban is the most controversial firearms restriction that President Barack Obama and other Democrats have pressed for since an assault-type weapon was used in the December massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Rejection by Congress would be a major victory for the National Rifle Association and its supporters and a setback for Obama and the provision’s sponsor, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
In a tactical decision, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., concluded that including the prohibition in the gun bill would jeopardize the chances for passage of any firearms legislation at all, taking away votes that would be needed to overcome Republican attempts to block the Senate from even taking up the issue.
“I very much regret it,” Feinstein said Tuesday of the choice that Reid told her he had made. “I tried my best. But my best, I guess, wasn’t good enough.”
Feinstein’s proposal to prohibit military-style weapons will still get a vote as an amendment to the gun legislation that Democrats debate. But she is all but certain to need 60 votes from the 100-member Senate to prevail, and she faces solid Republican opposition as well as likely defections from some Democrats.”
Democratic Senators Have No Spine:
Maybe they thought with President Barack Hussein Obama out of the country, visiting Israel, The West Bank AND Jordan, it would be easier to bow down to the NRAssholes and their big money lobbyist.
This is the nightmare scenario:
“Reid guts Senate gun control bill.”1
“Tuesday’s developments are a major win for the powerful National Rifle Association.”2
“[Assault weapons] ban’s chances of survival now are all but hopeless.”3
“[A]nother major element of the president’s gun policy proposal could be joining the assault weapons ban in the scrap heap.”4
After months of promises that, in the wake of Newtown, this time would be different, congressional Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, are on the verge of caving on the three most critical gun violence prevention proposals: universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons, and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
What’s looking most likely to end up in the final bill? A provision encouraging guns in schools.
No, no, no. MoveOn members and our allies have done so much to make real reform possible—with tens of thousands of phone calls, events, lobby visits, letters, and pleas from victims’ families.
We’ve come too far to let meaningful gun violence prevention measures be killed by the NRA’s backroom lobbying, Republicans’ perpetual threats of filibustering, and Democrats who won’t stand up and fight.
Reid guts Senate gun control bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has decided the federal assault weapons ban will not be a part of the base bill, and warned Tuesday an expansion of background checks to cover private sales might not make the cut either.
Instead, a bipartisan measure cracking down on straw purchasing and illegal trafficking of firearms will serve as the foundation of firearms legislation.
That is a significant blow to Obama, who recently touted that the Senate Judiciary Committee had advanced “three of the most important elements of my proposal to help reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”
Obama’s three pillars have been reduced to one, with the bill facing an uncertain future in the GOP-led House.
Tuesday’s developments are a major win for the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), which launched a massive lobbying effort soon after a Connecticut gunman killed 27 people, including 20 children, last December. Obama later called that day the worst of his presidency.
Reid said the assault weapons ban sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which faces staunch opposition from the gun rights group, could have sunk the entire legislative effort.
“Right now, her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes. That’s not 60. I have to get something on the floor so we can have votes on that issue and the other issues that I’ve talked about. That’s what I’m going to try to do,” Reid told reporters Tuesday. Reid has previously opposed the assault weapons ban.
The majority leader indicated legislation crafted by Sen. Charles Schumer — and passed by the Judiciary Committee — to require background checks for private sales might not make it in the package unless the New York Democrat can find more Republican support.
Schumer had been negotiating a bipartisan deal with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), but those talks stalled earlier this month. Schumer earlier this year called background checks the “sweet spot” of gun control legislation.
“All these issues are important, and I’m going to do what I can to make sure we have a fair, sound debate on this. But we can’t have it unless I have something that I can put on the floor to proceed to it,” Reid said. “And I’m not going to try to put something on the floor that won’t succeed.”
Reid needs at least five Republican votes to begin a floor debate on gun legislation, and hopes to bring the bill to the Senate floor next month after the upcoming two-week recess.
Reid could bypass a filibuster on proceeding to gun legislation if he guarantees Republicans vote on two amendments of their choice, a reform the Senate enacted earlier this year to speed up floor action.
A spokesman for Schumer said the background-check legislation passed by the Judiciary Committee is a placeholder. Schumer and Sens. Mark Kirk (Ill.), a centrist Republican, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has an A rating from the NRA, are shopping to Republicans a proposal that would expand background checks to cover all gun sales. Kirk has an F rating from the NRA.
To entice Republican support, Schumer has agreed to a provision that would let rural gun sellers conduct background checks from home computers and would give military veterans an avenue to appeal findings by the Department of Veterans Affairs that they are mentally unfit to own a firearm, a Senate aide said.
The Schumer-Coburn talks fell apart over the thorny question of how to enforce background checks for private sales. Schumer says records must be kept of these checks to ensure they took place. But Coburn argued that requiring sellers to keep private records or store them with gun dealers would place too much of a burden on their Second Amendment rights.
Schumer showed little interest in dropping the record-keeping requirement when asked about it last week, and gun control advocates say expanding background checks would be meaningless in the absence of record-keeping.
A bill crafted by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) aimed at cracking down on illegal trafficking of firearms has the best chance of winning at least a handful of Republican votes on the floor.
Sens. Kirk, Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, have endorsed the gun trafficking legislation.
Gun control advocates said they were not surprised by Reid’s decision on the assault weapons ban.
“I think all of us knew all along that the gun violence bill would be the toughest lift,” said Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “I’m a little bit surprised on background checks. I don’t see why we couldn’t get to 60 votes on that.”
Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said he’s optimistic about the background checks legislation.
“The assault weapons ban was always going to be the hardest piece of this package,” he added. “If keeping it out of the base bill is the NRA’s primary achievement in 2013, I wouldn’t be surprised. I’d be happy.”
Public polls show strong support for expanded background checks. A national Quinnipiac University poll from earlier this month showed 88 percent of voters supported background checks for all gun buyers.
Reid told Feinstein that he would give her a vote on the assault weapons ban, which includes curbs on high-capacity clips, and a second vote on a stand-alone amendment to ban high-capacity bullet magazines.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Tuesday suggested that Obama will continue to push for a federal assault weapons ban. During an interview on CNN’s “The Lead,” McDonough said, “So we’re going to work on this, we’re going to find the votes.”
Feinstein acknowledged to reporters Tuesday that the renewal of the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, would not pass the upper chamber.
“I very much regret it,” Feinstein said of Reid’s decision to leave her legislation out of the base bill. “I tried my best.”
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who has been a vocal ally of Feinstein’s in calling for the ban on high-capacity magazines, said he was “very disappointed” and took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his frustration.
“It was wrong to let #AssaultWeaponsBan expire in ‘04 & it’s wrong to sweep it under rug now,” he tweeted. “Military-style weapons don’t belong on streets.”
In an email to The Hill, Chris Cox, the NRA’s executive director for legislative action, sought to keep pressure on Congress.
“Congress should reject this so-called ‘assault weapons ban’ whether it is offered as a standalone bill or as an amendment,” he said.
We’ve already organized hundreds of constituent groups putting high-profile pressure on members of Congress in their home districts and states, run ads featuring anti-NRA gun owners, and poured calls into Congress—but it hasn’t been enough. If we can raise $175,000 today, here’s what we’ll be able to do right away:
- Run aggressive TV Ads taking on senators from both parties who take money from the NRA and then vote against sensible gun violence prevention
- Ramp up the pressure in home districts and states—with events, petitions, and letters to the editor demanding an explanation from members of Congress of how they intend to vote on measures that could save the lives of their constituents
- Support powerful state and local anti-gun-violence campaigns, like that of a MoveOn Community Committee Against Gun Violence in Tucson, AZ, which organized and won a ban on gun shows in Tucson that don’t guarantee background checks for all sales.5 They’re ready to take this demand statewide, and other communities are ready to follow their lead.
We’ve seen congressional Democrats try to back down from a fight before—only to have the grassroots inject a dose of backbone and show them how it’s done on the state and local level.
MoveOn leaders are running campaigns in places where opponents to reform—Republicans and Democrats—think gun laws are untouchable. We’re actually winning on the state and local level. In addition to Tucson, Colorado just enacted significant background check reforms.6 We need to push those victories to other states, and use them to push leaders in Washington to turn the tide.
Thanks for all you do.
But it’s not enough. Contact your Senators your Congressmen and your local state level elected politicians and as them to please stop this NRAsshole led madness NOW.
Please do it today.
1. “Reid guts Senate gun control bill,” The Hill, March 19, 2013
3. “AP News in Brief at 10:58 P.M. EST,” The Washington Post, March 19, 2013
4. “Obama’s Gun Reform Package Loses One Major Provision, Another In Danger,” Huffington Post, March 19, 2013
5. “Tucson bans TCC gun shows without background checks,” KGUN9, February 5, 2013
6. “Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper signs landmark gun bills,” The Denver Post, March 20, 2013
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How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?
The answer to the simple question in that headline is 2,793 human lives have been erased bu gin violence in the 96 days since December 14th, 2012.
Thats Two Thousand, Seven Hundred & Ninety Three Americans lives lost. In Ninety Six days.
This “controlled by The NRAsshole Manipulated Congress”, MUST GO IN 2014.
In January, a little more than a month after Adam Lanza killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013—an updated and more stringent version of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. The bill would have made it a crime to sell, transfer, import, or manufacture AR-15-style rifles and other so-called semi-automatic assault weapons.
Not unexpectedly, the bill was polarizing, and conservative legislators were expected to block any gun control package that included the ban. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged the inevitable and told Feinstein that the new assault weapons ban wouldn’t be included in the main Senate gun control bill. Feinstein was disappointed; others were outraged.
We The People are 315 million strong, minus 4 million NRAsshole members. We The People have the political AND financial power to end the NRAssholes reign of terror over American lives.
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