A Renewed Assault Weapon Ban: Will They or Won't They?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein tells CBS no--well, not yet:

Asked by [60 Minutes's Lesley] Stahl if trying to renew the assault weapons ban would start a culture war and pose a distraction for an already overburdened Obama Administration, Feinstein replies, "I agree with you." "So you are going to hold off?" asks Stahl. "That's correct. I'll pick the time and the place, no question about it," Feinstein tells Stahl.

But even if she pursued the renewal, the votes may not be there today in either the Senate or the House. Both Houses of Congress gained pro-gun Democrats this past election, some of whom won the support of the National Rifle Association. "I am not going to disagree with that at all," says Feinstein. "The National Rifle Association essentially has a stranglehold on the Congress."

Has Congressional leadership or anyone from the Obama administration influenced her decision to put off the fight for renewal of the assault weapons ban? "No. Nobody said a word to me," Feinstein tells Stahl. 

Feinstein's fear of the gun issue--despite her shout-out-to-the-choir promise that she'll get those ol' gun rights varmints when the time is right--is warranted. And while the assault weapon ban was not specifically at issue, Gallup Polls have found recently support for gun control at an all-time low:

...only 29% of Americans said the possession of handguns by private citizens should be banned in the United States. While similar to the 30% recorded in 2007, the latest reading is the smallest percentage favoring a handgun ban since Gallup first polled on this nearly 50 years ago...

Separately, the October Crime survey found just under half of Americans, 49%, wanting the laws covering the sale of firearms to be made stricter than they are now. This is the lowest percentage favoring stricter gun laws in Gallup trends since the question was first asked in 1990.

I wrote back in January on why I thought the Democrats in Congress would likely be unwilling to make expanding federal gun control efforts a big priority.

[Hat tip on the links: Dan Gifford]

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Warty||

    I wish that desiccated old hag would just hurry up and die already.

  • ||

    I don't understand why Democrats keep choosing to fight what is really a losing battle.

    And these idiots know that the ban is not really effective at curbing gun violence but think they can score political points via this issue...but as the polling shows, the issue isn't even a political winner.

    Not to mention that if they do push the issue, it will never make it out of the Senate even if by some act of God it makes it out of the house.

    The Dems need to give it up already.

  • The Angry Optimist ||

    I find it hilarious that there are pro-gun, anti-bailout Democrats in Congress. It's almost like you can be a conservative all you like, but the Republican label is the kiss of death.

    Which is asinine, but probably true.

  • ||

    I find it hilarious that there are pro-gun, anti-bailout Democrats in Congress. It's almost like you can be a conservative all you like, but the Republican label is the kiss of death.

    Is it really hard to believe that there are fiscally conservative but socially liberal ( i dont think being anti-gun would disqualify someone from being considered socially liberal)? The new england states would seem to me the most likely place to find these type of reps.

  • squarooticus||

    The new england states would seem to me the most likely place to find these type of reps.


    Why would you think that? With the notable exception of NH, none of the states in the northeast are exactly models of fiscal restraint.

  • The Angry Optimist ||

    Is it really hard to believe that there are fiscally conservative but socially liberal ( i dont think being anti-gun would disqualify someone from being considered socially liberal)?

    Well, ChiTom, I'll tell you...for one, the Dems targeted some of their best Republican friends (Lin Chaffee? McCain-hating?) and installed what should be some of their worst enemies (Gillibrand?)...so yeah, it makes me laugh.

  • Shannon Love||

    I think gun control lost popular support because defenders of the 2nd Amendment successfully argued that gun-control is really people-control and that such control rest on the proposition that the ordinary, law abiding American are to stupid to own guns.

    "Vote for gun-control if you're personally to stupid to own a gun," turned out not to be a winning slogan.

    I think we should be more aggressive in pointing out that a lot of government ideas, especially anything on the left not touching on sex, is based on the idea that ordinary people are to stupid to make their own decisions.

  • Elemenope||

    I wonder what the polls say about the support for private ownership of semi-auto rifles and machine pistols. Not that polls matter for rights, but it would be interesting (and probably less heartening).

  • Jordan||

    An even more interesting poll would be one asking all the fuckwits who support a renewed "Assault Weapons Ban" to define an assault weapon.

  • ||

    Why would you think that? With the notable exception of NH, none of the states in the northeast are exactly models of fiscal restraint.

    Maine, DE, CT, RI, VT -- i think a fiscal conservative/social liberal plays well there...

    These places tend to be have wealthier folk who like lower taxes and less welfare but are overall socially liberal. At least thats the impression I have.

    I may be wrong, but that's the impression I get from my interation with people from that area.


    MA does not fit that mold, obviously

  • MNG||

    "I find it hilarious that there are pro-gun, anti-bailout Democrats in Congress."

    Well, the two parties seem to only recently have to have been defining themselves along the modern "conservative/liberal" range. When LBJ was President a great deal of Democrats, especially Southern ones, were quite conservative, and you had quite a strong "liberal" number in the GOP (Rockefeller?). The Democrats roots were in being a majority national party, not so much an ideological party, so it's really not too shocking that they have people all over the place.

    The shocking thing is for a national party, like the Republicans, to adhere so uniformly to an ideology that is guaranteeing them strength in few places outside of the South, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming...It's literally suicide, but they worked hard to create this uniform movement conservatism and don't know how to back away...

  • MNG||

    The political spanking in 94 will keep the Dems wary, but of course what spurs calls for any gun control are high profile shootings, which seem to be either proliferating recently or just getting more attention.

    In a way you can't blame the nation for reacting to shooting after shooting by saying "hey, is there something we can do about this? Maybe the guns?" I don't know what the pro-gun side could do to try to combat these shootings, but really the less of them the better for gun rights...

  • MNG||

    The national GOP put folks like Chafee, Specter, Snowe, Hays, etc in a very, very tough spot. Some of them were quite plain about the relentless pressure to be "ideologically pure" lest they be labeled "RINO's" and demonized. Well, the hard core conservatives got their wishes: most of the "RINO'S" are gone. Now only really conservative states elect Republicans to national office. Merry Christmas you GOP nuts!

    But that's the things with zealots. They see any nuance or moderation, even prudential, as weakness and so they don't know how or when to back off...Redoubling their efforts while losing sights of their goals...

  • ||

    MNG,

    Not that I don't dislike the GOP, but I don't agree at all with your assessment of its viability. The GOP has, more or less, been calling most of the shots at the federal level since the mid-1980s. Even during the Clinton administration, aside from Congress being under GOP control, Clinton attempted to co-opt many "Republican" issues (like free trade and NAFTA) in order to cater to a public that seemed to favor those positions.

    Throughout most of that period, the Democrats were viewed as near collapse. Naturally, that was nonsense, as we seemed permanently attached to the two-party system. All the party out of power has to do is bide its time until the party in power screws up.

    Really, the only thing that got the GOP booted out of power was the Iraq war and a general distaste for Bush. I can't think of any other issue that really resonated with the public other than that. There's been no profound sea change, and the suggestion that there has been is whistling through the graveyard.

    If Obama and the Democratic Congress are viewed as prolonging or even causing the recession, then a fickle public is likely to switch parties again in 2010. And if they stay hosed, they could do the same in 2012 with the POTUS. I also think any appearance of weakness overseas could break the Democratic hold on the government.

  • Paul||

    I wonder what the polls say about the support for private ownership of semi-auto rifles and machine pistols.

    I smell someone who's never touched a firearm before.

    A semi-auto rifle. I take it you're talking about this menace to society?

    Or did you really mean "assault rifle" that is semi-auto and contains several cosmetic features making it all scary... 'n stuff.

    On machine pistols... what exactly do you mean? Fully automatic weapons which are small, such as submachine guns? Already illegal. Unless of course, you're talking about scary looking submachine guns which are only sold in semi-auto configurations for civilian use.

  • ||

    Paul,

    As someone who plays Fallout 3, I am familiar with a large variety of weapons, from pistols to AK-47s and from laser rifles to nuclear bombs. I believe than banning any of these weapons for my personal use is wrong and, in fact, dangerous.

  • </||

    If you ban assault weapons, then you won't be assaulted. Why do you people want to stop society from progressing toward our Bright Common Future?

  • robc||


    Throughout most of that period, the Democrats were viewed as near collapse. Naturally, that was nonsense, as we seemed permanently attached to the two-party system. All the party out of power has to do is bide its time until the party in power screws up.


    In fact, back then, all I ever heard was how the Dems strong armed the moderate dems - marginalizing the DINOs (although I hadnt heard that term then). In other words, exactly MNG's argument. It was BS both times - well, a hint of truth, but no more so than the other party does at any given time. It just looks bad if you combine it with extreme failure. Strong arming combined with electoral success never gets criticized.

  • ||

    Due to the recent cop killing tragedies, I predicted that we would see one by the end of next week.

    It appears I was wrong. Keeping with the spirit of internet commenting, I'll now start denying or ignoring that I ever posted it.

  • #||

    test

  • ^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B^B||

    test2

  • </||

    test

    fail

  • </||

    test3

  • robc||

    Got it, ya moran.

  • robc||

    For some reason, it never occurred to me to view source. :)

  • squarooticus||

    Maine, DE, CT, RI, VT -- i think a fiscal conservative/social liberal plays well there...


    Try again. Every single state you list is in the top half of total tax burden; 3 of them are in the top 10.

  • ||

    In light of the Heller decision, I think we won't sniff a gun ban attempt until the SCOTUS changes and even then you need the will and numbers to push it in Congress.

  • ||

    That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the Executive branch does something to grab guns anyway. They're all fucking retarded.

  • ||

    Feinstein is utterly irrational in her hatred of firearms and those who choose to own them.

    For example, look at how many times she tried to ram through a renewal on her failed ban after it sunset in 2004.

  • MNG||

    "Really, the only thing that got the GOP booted out of power was the Iraq war and a general distaste for Bush."

    Nah, the economy was a big, big deal. I agree the other things were important too, but Iraq really fell to the wayside when the economy turned down. The people tend to prefer the Dems in bad economic times because the Dems are not bound by an ideological beliefs to limit what they are willing promise and say they will do to "fix it." So they can always one up the GOP.

    But the Dems really have become more flexible. Look at the incredible levels of hate poured on Arlen Specter by the GOP faithful, there's nothing like that for Casey (D-PA) though he's "pro-life."

    For as long as I can remember the GOP has voted more lockstep than the Dems, and it's true today. Hell, even in the minority not even ONE vote could be peeled off on the stimulus in the House! Authoritarians do not like dissent...It's more comfortable when everyone on your side agrees with EVERYTHING you do...

    "In fact, back then, all I ever heard was how the Dems strong armed the moderate dems - marginalizing the DINOs"

    robc, during the time the GOP dominated the "all you heard was how the Dems strong armed even the moderate dems", WTF? Have you ever heard of the "New Democrat" movement or the DLC? When they get defeated the Dems usually quickly embrace moderates like Clinton (don't think he was a moderate? think Jerry Brown, the runner up in 92). Do the Republicans? Hmmmmm....It would be smart for them to, but they just can't. Like I said, authoritarians and fanatics simply cannot think that way...

  • MNG||

    "Feinstein is utterly irrational in her hatred of firearms and those who choose to own them."

    Wrong. Feinstein it totally rational in her stances, because most Californians are for gun control. Many Republicans in that state are not exactly models on that issue, because that is the reality.

    Now, you would have a better point to say most Californians are totally irrational on gun control. However, while I think they are wrong, I wouldn't say their view is "irrational." Guns are dangerous. Some people are dangerous. When these two things come together sometimes tragic things happen. It's not irrational for people to want to try to prevent this from happening. I just think the measures most gun control people are for a. punish so many law abiding folks and b. have so little effect on the problem they think they are addressing that it's wrong to do it....

    There is a subset of folks who, having never had any experience with guns, have a sort of irrational attitude about them. I know people who are clearly disturbed in the presence of a firearm, physically agitated, even if they know it is unloaded. They seem to think it has magic powers to go off and start slaying people any minute. While this is extreme and borderline silly, let those of us who enjoy having and using guns remember that, unlike most personal project, their actual purpose is to shoot a projectile with destructive force. That scares folks, somewhat understandably...They just need to know more nuanced facts about the situation...

  • ||

    And these idiots know that the ban is not really effective at curbing gun violence but think they can score political points via this issue

    It depends on how one defines "gun violence." I've come to the conclusion that most anti-gun activists believe that gun ownership by private citizens is inherently criminal - malum in se - and that it's a violent crime for a private person to actually carry a gun. If the gun happens to be legally owned or carried, well, that's still a crime. It just doesn't happen to be against the law.

    So according to their logic, harsh anti-gun laws really will reduce the rate of violent gun crime. That it won't reduce the small fraction of gun crimes that are already illegal (using guns to rob, murder, etc.) is just pettifogging. Besides, it's important to make criminal acts against the law for purely symbolic reasons, even leaving the practical effects aside.

  • Elemenope||

    I smell someone who's never touched a firearm before.

    Your sense of smell is off. I've fired many weapons on the range.

    What I'm saying is all the polls that pro-gun people point to talk nearly exclusively about handguns. People in general find handguns less threatening than other configurations, and so if you asked the question to include those weapons, you would find a precipitous drop in support.

    I'm not saying that polls should determine policy. I'm saying that the so called gun consensus is illusory, because it is predicated only on handguns.

  • MNG||

    "I've come to the conclusion that most anti-gun activists believe that gun ownership by private citizens is inherently criminal - malum in se - and that it's a violent crime for a private person to actually carry a gun."

    You're wrong. My dad is a Southern working class guy who grew up hunting and shooting guns. He woudl be appalled at someone taking all rights to guns away. But in response to many stories of crazy people doing things with guns he thinks the NRA is "extreme" and that "some" gun control is "just necessary."

    He certainly wouldn't support the idea that ownership per se is criminal, or that "its a violent crime for a person to actually carry a gun." He would think that is nuts. But he also would favor an "assault rifle ban" and a waiting period in a second, because he "does not understand why anyone would need" an assault weapon and he's worried about people in a rage getting a gun quickly.

    And there are lots of people out there like my dad.

    If you are only talking about hard core gun control people, then perhaps you are right, but there are a lot of folks like my dad who make the former folks ideas possible. Dismissing these people as having the exterme views you mention is wrong and not productive.

  • </||

    The above #s aren't me.I'm the usual #.I can't claim to be thee original # but until those fake #s showed up # was usually me.

  • ||

    I'll take "gun control" activists' commitment
    to "saving lives" seriously when they do two
    things:
    A. Drop "gun control" as an issue
    B. Devote all the effort and resources
    they have been expending on "gun control"
    to pushing Congress to funding a "Manhattan
    Project" to cure cancer. (BTW, I remember Obama saying something about "a cure for cancer" in his inaugural speech. So it would be smart politics to for the anti-gun Democrats to heed my words, right?)
    After all, a cure for cancer is at least theoretically achievable - UNLIKE
    a "cure for crime" by banning the possessions
    and hobbies of law-abiding Americans. (And
    as an ex-smoker, cancer scares me WAY worse than some blue-collar's AK-47. I'll bet I'm not the only one..!)

  • </||

    You're wrong. My dad is a Southern working class guy who grew up hunting and shooting guns. He woudl be appalled at someone taking all rights to guns away. But in response to many stories of crazy people doing things with guns he thinks the NRA is "extreme" and that "some" gun control is "just necessary."

    So your dad is a Fudd

  • #||

    I have an idiotic view of gun control, so any discussion in this area is a waste of time. Let's get to what is important to me.

    I don't know about you guys, but I like a soft cock in my mouth on average rather than a hard cock, because it gives me more a feeling that I can effect change.

  • MNG||

    uhh, Brendan, I don't want to burst this new bubble you are so excited about, but I don't know any gun conrol enthusiasts who are not for more federal funding for cancer research...

    I want to be charitable, why do you think the two happen to be mutually exclusive?

  • Anonymous||

    I want to be charitable, why do you think the two happen to be mutually exclusive?



    Probably because, albeit in a snarky way, lack of disease funding and gun control law both contribute to death.

  • Paul||

    "gun control"
    to pushing Congress to funding a "Manhattan
    Project" to cure cancer.


    A War on Cancer. We're going to crowbar that right between the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and the War on Global Warming.

  • Paul||

    "I've come to the conclusion that most anti-gun activists believe that gun ownership by private citizens is inherently criminal - malum in se - and that it's a violent crime for a private person to actually carry a gun."

    You're wrong.


    He may be partially wrong. But his point has merit. Living in a liberal enclave, believe you me, there are plenty of anti-gun people who believe that responsible gun ownership is an oxymoron.

  • Paul||

    and so if you asked the question to include those weapons, you would find a precipitous drop in support.

    I disagree. You'd find a drop in support, but I doubt you'd fine a "precipitous drop". For instance, are we including "semi-auto handguns"? Or are we again talking about semi auto .22 rifles?

    The problem with the gun control debate, and frankly, why gun controllers have lost on pretty much every single front they've ever engaged is the controllers themselves neither understand guns, gun culture, or firearm mechanics. So they pick scary watchwords like "semi auto" and try to use it as a scare word, when 7 out of the 10 people they're haranguing don't find that term scary. At. All.

    It would be like trying to tell engineers that microwaves are scary, because they use radiation to cook food.

    Most people who own firearms are well aware of what's in their closet and are bemused by the rhetoric of gun control.

  • MNG||

    How do you remove the time stamp?

    And why do all the major brands of anal lube taste like shit?

  • Resdy... Aim... ||

    ...kerPOW!

  • Elemenope||

    The way to solve all this, obviously, is to have gun ranges and marksmanship classes at public high schools.

    No, I'm not really kidding.

  • Elemenope||

    A War on Cancer. We're going to crowbar that right between the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and the War on Global Warming.

    One of these things is not like the others, in a very obvious way.

  • ||

    A War on Cancer. We're going to crowbar that right between the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and the War on Global Warming.

    One of these things is not like the others, in a very obvious way.



    I know, I know!
    We're only using chemical and radiological weapons in the War On Cancer.

    Can I have my cookie now?

  • ||

    That was a blockquote tags oopsie.

  • LarryA||

    The political spanking in 94 will keep the Dems wary, but of course what spurs calls for any gun control are high profile shootings, which seem to be either proliferating recently or just getting more attention.

    CNN took a new gun control poll after the Binghamton shooting, and they are shocked, shocked with the results.

    (CNN) -- From Oakland, California, to Binghamton, New York, several mass shootings in recent weeks have killed dozens across the country. But has there been an effect on public opinion?

    Yes, and in a surprising way.

    Since 2001, most Americans have favored stricter gun laws, though support has slightly dropped in recent years: 54 percent favored stricter laws in 2001, compared with 50 percent in 2007, according to Gallup polling.

    Now, a recent poll reveals a sudden drop -- only 39 percent of Americans now favor stricter gun laws, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.



    They blame the drop on Obama's politics, but I doubt that.

    I think DC v Heller is one of the factors playing into the change. In my experience, lots of people who answer survey questions favoring "stricter gun laws" don't actually know how much gun control is already out there. This specifically includes folks who don't own firearms and aren't particularly pro or anti-gun; the prime demographic for changing attitudes. Last fall I taught a "What Happened to the Second Amendment" class through our community education program. One of the students thought we needed a law mandating a background check before someone could buy a gun from a gun store.

    But during Heller they saw the Brady folks, Violence policy Center, the DC city government, anti-gun Congressmembers, et al define "reasonable gun regulation" as DC's complete ban on handguns, a ban on many models of long guns, restrictive registration of those guns that are permitted, and a "safe storage" law that criminalizes unlocking, assembling, and loading a shotgun even while someone is breaking down the front door.

    Those who think Heller "fired blanks" aren't accounting for its educational value.

  • ||

    Wrong. Feinstein it totally rational in her stances, because most Californians are for gun control. Many Republicans in that state are not exactly models on that issue, because that is the reality.



    Well, were she only confining her stance on the issue to California, you'd have a point.

    But she doesn't. She no more thinks someone in Colorado or Alabama or Maine should own a gun than those in California.

    Her view (and arguably the view of a majority of California voters) on the issue is already in effect in her state. But it is not the majority view in the rest of the nation.

    So, perhaps she is being irrational after all.

  • Dennis Robbins||

    The REAL "Assault Weapons" are the career politicians sitting in those big chairs who have never created a dollar of revenue or had a truly innovative idea their entire lives. The ASSAULT is that they've completely lost their way in this political process ... the ship has no rudder, the helm has no compass, the engine room is out of fuel: and they want all of us to put the oars in the water!

  • ||

    Where's the new Hubert Humphrey?
    Hubert Humphrey wouldn't put up with this kind of bullshit from his party.

  • ||

    Here in Montana, no politician who wants to win an election outside of Missoula dares endorse any form of gun control. Even leftists like Senators Baucus and Tester go out of their way to slam it.

  • Fûz||

  • ||

    "The way to solve all this, obviously, is to have gun ranges and marksmanship classes at public high schools.

    No, I'm not really kidding."


    Actually the Chattanooga, TN high school I graduated from had a gun range and marksmanship training in the ROTC department.


    Several other schools in the area had similar facilities.

  • ajacksonian||

    Banning guns does not lessen gun violence.

    Ask the British.

    Guns are outlawed and yet there is more gun violence than ever, to the point police departments are up-arming and getting body armor. Anyone who thinks getting rid of guns gets rid of gun violence must explain Great Britain.

    Gun safety and respect for firearms are needed to understand them. As my father explained a gun is a tool. It can be used well, it can be used poorly and it must be cared for. The majority of murders with firearms, overwhelmingly, are done by ex-cons who have served their time... about 90%. That is not a civilian violence problem and points to a very small segment of the population that is violent, has been convicted of violent crimes and is willing to break the law again to commit another one. Why would I worry about a law abiding citizen using their right to bear arms for self-defense? I trust my fellow citizens. Except those trying to dictate their whims on society, those I am coming to suspect have very little trust or respect for me. And if you want a real fun time, try to explain to folks in Alaska with a burgeoning wolf population why they *don't* need firearms for self-defense.

  • ||

    Re: "The way to solve all this, obviously, is to have gun ranges and marksmanship classes at public high schools.

    No, I'm not really kidding."

    I grew up in NYC (1950-60s) But my parents and uncles grew up in NYC before WWII and many High Schools had ranges and teams. The City College of NY still had a range and team in the 1970's.
    Crime was low then but it changed and crime went up. Correlated?

  • ||

    The old aphorism is true, "An armed society is a polite society." The left has never understood that through human history the only reliable way to lessen or prevent violence is to prepare for it. Yes, that's right - prepare for it. That means not only arming yourself with firearms, but learning unarmed combat in the martial arts and the like.

    Liberals, who consistently say they care more about the weak and the disadvantaged than conservatives, often refuse to support the right of the elderly, women, and the poor to arm and defend themselves. Consider an elderly woman living alone in a poor neighborhood, beset with lots of gangs and roving bands of teen thugs looking for easy scores. How is she to defend herself against these things, when the police aren't around and even if they are, they come after the fact? Answer: She can move, get a dog, or she can buy a gun and learn to use it.

    Of course, those who oppose private gun ownership would rather remain ideolgically pure than help an actual person whose life might be saved by owning a personal firearm.

  • ||

    there's nothing like that for Casey (D-PA) though he's "pro-life."

    As I recall he was not allowed to address the Dem convention when it was held in his state due to that stance.

    I also recall that Feinstein wanted a handgun ban - a proposal that went down in flames when put to the people in California.

  • ||

    # Elemenope | April 11, 2009, 1:12am | #
    # The way to solve all this, obviously,
    # is to have gun ranges and marksmanship
    # classes at public high schools.

    # No, I'm not really kidding.

    We had a gun club at my California high school in the Sierra foothills in the mid-70s. Upperclassmen would drive to school in pick-ups with gun racks, and sometimes those racks would not be empty. People around there were brought up to respect firearms, and other people while bearing firearms. We never had a gun-related accident/incident, and I personally think it was good for kids to be initiated to firearms by responsible adults, at very least in order to demystify and deglamorize guns. We had a very good driver ed program, too, which I thought was a good deal for pretty much the same reasons. Guns and cars are dangerous when misused, but both can be exceptionally beneficial when used responsibly.

  • ||

    Liberals (the new liberals, not true classic liberals) believe that the State - the entire group of citizens taken together en masse - is more important than any one individual. Individuals' rights, to a liberal, must give way to the needs and desires of "all of us." Individuals of proper mindset and moral underpinnings will always relinquish selfish desires and self-serving plans at The Peoples' request.

    And so, what could be more frightening - more dangerous - to such a statist outlook than the possibility that dissidents from that statist view might be armed? That one factor, by itself, could be enough to take ultimate daily power over everything away from their State.

    Thus, liberals MUST get arms away from the lumpy masses.

  • </||

    Liberals (the new liberals, not true classic liberals)

    One day, ask one if "liberal" doesn't describe him as well as "progressive", being such the statist they are; and they watch as they get flummoxed over asking what they are "progressing" toward.

    Bonus round if they mention a Bright Common Future.

  • anonymous||

    "The way to solve all this, obviously, is to have gun ranges and marksmanship classes at public high schools."

    Every independent-minded correct-thinker knows that the "abstinence only" approach is the only acceptable method that should be taught.

  • Alan Meineke Rintell ||

    ...use incident/event to crash-legislate gun control . . . to include locating prior-owned weapons via strict, escalating registration procedures . . . authorities not to be concerned with criminal possession; the ultimate danger lies in the general population . . . criminals can be bought, idealists are more difficult . . .

  • Jeffrey Bootkin||

    In order to ensure compliance, the penalties for possession of any semi automatic rifles after noon next Tuesday will be quite harsh. Holdouts will receive a five year federal prison sentence, with no parole, for each rifle they fail to turn in. And large cash rewards, I believe it's $10,000 per rifle, will be offered to anyone who provides information leading to violators, so anyone considering holding back will have to consider very carefully everyone who might know about their banned rifles. Plus, we know from the 2002 Beltway Sniper case that even without an actual 'national firearms registration list', the FBI and ATF are very good at finding out exactly who does own these rifles, just from computerized sales records and ammunition purchases and so on.

  • ||

    I'm not a liberal. I'm an incrementalist!

  • ||

    Gun control is obsolete.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPhbdW9SxEM

    http://cba.mit.edu/about/index.html

    The rise of de-centralized manufacturing is the final nail in its coffin.

  • Stephanie Pennington||

    My husband disappeared last year, just disappeared! Went to work, and never came home. No word, not one word! Then last March the police came, and found guns in our attic. Assault weapons and sniper rifles, they said! I didn't even know they were there! I swear to God, I had nothing to do with them! But nobody would listen! Now who's taking care of my children? It's all a mistake, but nobody will listen! And now I don't even know where my children are…

  • MNG||

    "Liberals (the new liberals, not true classic liberals) believe that the State - the entire group of citizens taken together en masse - is more important than any one individual.'

    What pile of shit. Liberals sometimes think, maybe wrongly, that individual rights can be protected via the government against more traditional institutions, like when leaving the decision of whether a minor can have an abortion to a judge rather than the parents, or when having the government intervene in a labor bartering situation between an employer and an employee. Otherwise though liberals are great defenders of individual rights vs. the government: pretty much every important 1st (apart from campaign finance of course) and 4th Amendment case that resulted in a win for individual rights was brought by liberal groups like the ACLU and supported by liberal judges on the bench.

  • MNG||

    "Ask the British.

    Guns are outlawed and yet there is more gun violence than ever, to the point police departments are up-arming and getting body armor."

    Yeah, but c'mon, the gun death rate in England is way lower than ours. Lets not be stupid here.

    "An armed society is a polite society"

    And one that shoots each other a lot more...

  • Anonymous||

    What pile of shit. Liberals sometimes think, maybe wrongly, that individual rights can be protected via the government



    You son of a bitch. What does "Congrees shall not" mean to you?

    The Constitution limits government, it does not design government to limit a culture that threatens your collectivist impulses.

  • ||

    In the Gallop Poll only 29% of Americans said the possession of handguns by private citizens should be banned in the United States. They were probibly criminals who don't want resistance when they attack you.

  • ||

    We never had a gun-related accident/incident,



    I've always wanted to compile the statistics comparing the per-capita number of injuries suffered by kids who take part in competitive shooting vs. kids who play football.

    Yeah, but c'mon, the gun death rate in England is way lower than ours. Lets not be stupid here.



    Yes, because we all know that being shot to death is a much worse fate than dying by other means.

  • ||

    MNG | April 12, 2009, 8:25pm | #
    "Ask the British.
    Guns are outlawed and yet there is more gun violence than ever, to the point police departments are up-arming and getting body armor."
    Yeah, but c'mon, the gun death rate in England is way lower than ours. Lets not be stupid here.
    "An armed society is a polite society"
    And one that shoots each other a lot more...

    Wrong! In North Dakota we have 54% gun ownership, that includes 1000's of semi-auto AR/AK platform rifles. In 2008 we exactly ZERO firearms homicides and we have very few gun laws. So why don't you go choke on your "stupid" statement.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement