Does Feinstein Think All Guns Not Specifically Permitted Are Prohibited?

The "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013," a summary of which Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) unveiled yesterday, features several glaring contradictions. It bans "157 dangerous military-style assault weapons" by name. It also bans rifles that accept detachable magazines and have one or more of these features: "pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel." There are similar rules for pistols and shotguns, based on somewhat different lists of features. If these definitions capture the essence of what makes a gun an "assault weapon," why bother listing 157 specific models? If those models fit Feinstein's definitions, they would be covered even if they weren't on the list. And if they don't qualify as "assault weapons" by the criteria she herself has selected, why does she want to ban them? These puzzling details underline the fraud Feinstein is trying to perpetrate: the idea that the guns she wants to ban are especially dangerous or especially suitable for mass murder.

Feinstein brags that her bill "protects the rights of law-abiding citizens who use guns for hunting, household defense or legitimate recreational purposes." One way it supposedly does that is by excluding "2,258 legitimate hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns by specific make and model." If those guns are not on the list of specifically named "assault weapons" and do not meet the criteria Feinstein has laid out for that arbitrary category, why should they be mentioned at all? Feinstein seems to think anything not specifically allowed is prohibited, but that is not how laws are supposed to work in a free society.

Another way Feinstein "protects the rights of law-abiding citizens" is by graciously allowing current owners of newly defined "assault weapons" to keep them. She emphasizes that her bill includes "a grandfather clause that specifically exempts all assault weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment from the ban." But Feinstein and her allies have been assuring us for two decades that "assault weapons" have no legitimate uses. It is hard to reconcile that claim, which is central to the argument for banning these guns, with Feinstein's concession that they are used for "hunting, household defense or legitimate recreational purposes." Her bill would require buyers of grandfathered "assault weapons" to undergo background checks, but there is no way to enforce that rule unless all those guns are registered, and in any event it is not a very effective way of stopping mass shooters, who typically do not have disqualifying criminal or psychiatric records.

Similarly, Feinstein says her billl "bans the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of...all ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds." Yet it exempts "large-capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed on the date of enactment of the bill." The bill notionally prohibits the sale or transfer of those magazines (many millions of which are in circulation), but that edict, like the background check requirement for "assault weapon" purchases, is unenforceable.

"We must balance the desire of a few to own military-style assaults [sic] weapons with the growing threat to lives across America," Feinstein declares. "If 20 dead children in Newtown wasn't [sic] a wakeup call that these weapons of war don't belong on our streets, I don't know what is." I count four fallacies in those two sentences:

1. Mass shootings are on the rise. (They're not.)

2. Feinstein's bill would eliminate "assault weapons." (She herself emphasizes that it wouldn't.)

3. If mass murderers did not have "assault weapons," they would not be able to find equally effective substitutes.

4. The guns Feinstein wants to ban are "weapons of war," i.e., machine guns.

By the way, the text of Feinstein's bill still is not available, even though she supposedly introduced it yesterday. The press release announcing the bill says "bill text will be made public after the bill is introduced."

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  • Hyperion||

    Who gives a rats arse what this fascist old bag thinks? She just needs to kick the proverbial bucket right now so we don't have to look at her hideous face anymore.

    I am starting to really envy those who have never decided that it would be a good idea to start voting and paying attention to politics. Perhaps 30 hours of brainless TV a week, instead of online political blogs, and just living in blissful ignorance is the way to go. I can't keep on drinking like this forever.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "I can't keep on drinking like this forever."

    Yes we can Hyperion. Yes we can.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I'm letting the liquor do the thinking.

  • Ted S.||

    Bitch has power. That's why we have to give a shit what she thinks.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was so ineffective in stopping 1999 Columbine Massacre that the gun narrative of violent crime was supplanted by the culture/media narrative. I'm sure it will happen again if there is another mass shooting after this bill is passed. It almost makes me wish Feinstein success as it will be immensely entertaining to watch Congressional hearings on video games and rap music.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    ...Unfortunately, Dee Snider is old and irrelevant and Frank Zappa is dead, so we'll have to wait to see if there are any entertainers left who are skeptical and articulate enough to fight back during the Congressional hearings.

  • Paul.||

    Dee Snider is old and irrelevant and Frank Zappa is dead,

    See where their opposition got them?

  • StackOfCoins||

    Not sure who could do it for guns (Ted Nugent for the lolz?), but John Lovitz is the man if the subject is taxes: http://youtu.be/5OhnQEP2Hl4

  • LarryA||

    I'm sure it will happen again if there is another mass shooting after this bill is passed.

    What do you call Sandy Hook Elementary? Turns out Connecticut has an AWB which utterly failed to prevent anything. So does New York, where the firefighters were killed, and California, where the January shooting happened.

  • Brendan||

    The list is window dressing (picked up from the NRA), designed to lull people into thinking that it's a reasonable bill that 'still' protects more than 2000 guns.

    Without the 2000+ list of guns padding the bill, it's all about what's not allowed and is a quick read and can be read again and again, with the effect that some may start asking questions.

  • Brendan||

    I meant to say that the term 'window dressing' was a term I picked up from the NRA regarding the exempted list

  • LarryA||

    The list is window dressing (picked up from the NRA), designed to lull people into thinking that it's a reasonable bill that 'still' protects more than 2000 guns.

    It's a bit more than that. There's nothing in the law about adding newly developed firearms to the protected list.

  • Proprietist||

    This won't pass the house. No way in hell any Republican and many gun-friendly Democrats would go for this. I say let the NY, CA and MA Senators get their ya yas out so they can claim falsely that their law would have stopped the next mass shooting that occurs and stop worrying about it.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Republicans have a way of disappointing you when you least expect them.

  • Paul.||

    Republicans have a way of disappointing you when you least expect them.

  • fish||

    Republicans have a way of disappointing you when you least expect them.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, the GOP never allows an opportunity (to be worthless) go to waste.

  • Paul.||

    Romney 2016! This time we're serious!

  • fish||

    Attorneys in the audience???

    Any chance that a law (assuming Mary Jane Rottencrotch gets it passed) with the number of technical inconsistencies mentioned gets tossed during a court challenge? (Assuming Captain PenalTax regains his senses of course)

  • AlmightyJB||

    The biggest problem she'll have is the specific naming of guns. That's already been struckdown before.

  • wareagle||

    I believe noted Repub Harry Reid said it would have little chance in the Senate, either.

  • An0nB0t||

    It won't even pass the Senate, much less the House. And as pissed as gun owners are, I don't think any compromise initiatives will even be considered.

    Speaking of compromise, nothing would please me more than to see Republicans and purple Dems use the massive groundswell of RKBA anger to finally pass universal CCW reciprocity.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I agree that it won't if it goes up for a vote as is. Hopefully, that is what happens.

  • Hyperion||

    Don't underestimate the lefts ability to buy these votes. Look what they did with healthcare. I think it will pass the Senate, after enough bribes have been paid out.

    But I do doubt it will ever pass the HOR.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I have an idea for how they could do that.

    Have a Republican draft a bill for it, but call it a "gun licensing" system and hide the fact that it's actually for national reciprocity in heaps of legalese, and then inform the more reliable republicans of the plan. Then inform the NRA of the plan and have them come out against the legislation.

    Between the hidden legalese, the Republicans calling for "national gun licensing," and the NRA screaming bloody murder about the bill, the Democrats will be too busy trying to capitalize on what they believe to be their good fortune to actually stop and read the bill. They won't find out what's actually in the bill until well after it's been passed.

  • Brendan||

    Add in a machine gun registration and tax system to collect $25 and require registration of machine guns while removing that pesky $200 NFA thing, the CLEO signoff and the 1986 ban.

    Call it the machine gun registration and taxation act of 2013.

    (keep the registration for now as it's a prerequsite for most states' laws)

  • Tejicano||

    Yup, this is what I dream of - out-derp these grabbers by taking the initiative and calling for "machine gun registration" which ends up being more lax than what we have now.

    The rest of the ban on semi-auto rifles would include verbage like "designed for killing", and "no purpose other than to kill many people". Use their own talking points to spike their ban.

  • Hyperion||

    The political elite class are getting nervous, very nervous. They need gun control badly, or at least they think they do. Frankensteins Bill, if the rumor is true, excludes her and all of her comrades.

    They know they are in a very shaky position. They have a huge population completely dependent upon tax payer funded programs, and a tax payer base who is getting more and more pissed off. They can't fund the continued welfare state, the money is just not there without enormously burdensome tax increase across the board.

    If they cut welfare they risk the wrath of the angry mob. If they dramatically raise taxes they risk the wrath of the tax payers. It is really bad for them if either of those mobs have guns, but I am guessing they are going with trying to disarm the tax payers(who are most of the legal gun owners) and raise taxes to European welfare state levels, with tyrannical militarized government goon squads and a disarmed public as their only way to enforcement, until it all falls down, and it will. By that time, the elite political class will be fleeing the country with all of the money that they stole from the public.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Nah, they can placate both sides and just turn on the printing press and blame greedy businessmen and all the usual suspects.

  • Hyperion||

    Inflation puts a limit on the presses.

  • JeremyR||

    For other countries, sure, but we are in a unique position. It will get us eventually, but it helps that our dollar is pegged to our biggest trading partner's currency (China) and that other countries try to keep the dollar strong no matter how much money we print.

  • fish||

    Under your premise how does this bill help them achieve their goals?

    To disarm the taxpayers requires additional legislation and then the actual removal of the weapons from the hands of the public. Neither of which will be easy! Even if this bill was to pass most of the weapons will still remain in private hands.

  • Hyperion||

    fish, who said it would be easy, or that this bill would allow it, in one fell swoop? The left has been at this for decades. They are very patient. The goal is total disarmament. They don't care if it takes another 100 years, it is the goal.

    The bill helps them because it's another increment. That is how they roll.

  • HellsBells||

    I cannot find the damn link now, but I was on a site yesterday that showed how Canada, Australia, the EU were all disarmed over time through legislative erosion of gun rights. I guess the big difference here is the 2A, but I'm not laying odds it won't be legislated to a shadow of what it is now.

  • Dallas H.||

    Many of the provisions mentioned in the summary can only be accomplished by outright registration and gun tracking. Once you've got that, the next step is pretty obvious when the next tragedy occurs.

  • Mopiav||

    She just looks stupid

  • Hyperion||

    Looks?

  • Mopiav||

    You look at her face and can just tell whatever she's going to say is going to be the stupidest thing you've ever heard.

  • Brendan||

    She always looks drugged. Droopy face, sort of a sleepy stupid expression.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Feinstein seems to think anything not specifically allowed is prohibited, but that is not how laws are supposed to work in a free society.

    When you believe all rights are granted by the State, it makes perfect sense.

  • waaminn||

    OK, now there is a dude that clearly knows whats going on man!

    www.Anon-ids.tk

  • JeremyR||

    Heh, the bot thought she was a dude...

  • Sevo||

    "We must balance the desire of a few to own military-style assaults [sic] weapons with the growing threat to lives across America,"

    Assertion masquerading as a fact.
    Screw you, Di Fi, with someone else's dick.

  • Ted S.||

    Change the words "a few" to "cops" and I think it might become accurate.

  • LarryA||

    the desire of a few

    It was a few in 1994. This is 2013 and it's "millions and growing rapidly." The gun control folks don't understand that.

    They also don't understand the difference between four news networks (one government-funded) and the internet.

  • BigT||

    Feinstein Gun Control Bill to Exempt Government Officials

    Control for thee, exemption for me. [and all my government paid bodyguards]

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....97732.html

    Obama's idea of gun rights.

  • LarryA||

    She emphasizes that her bill includes "a grandfather clause that specifically exempts all assault weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment from the ban."

    So she's not taking away my rights, just my grandkid's rights. And that's suppose to be okay? Not.

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