Economics Magazine

Obama/Feinstein/Liberals Overplayed Their Gun Control Hand With Weapons Ban

Posted on the 22 March 2013 by Susanduclos @SusanDuclos

By Susan Duclos
One could say that Barack Obama, Dianne Feinstein and other liberal gun grabbers, figuratively shot themselves in the foot, and it would be an accurate analogy.
An excellet piece in The Daily Beast, written by Adam Winkler, asks "Did the Assault-Weapons Ban Kill Gun Control?"
Simply answer is yes.
The weapons ban in question, supported by liberal gun grabbers, including Barack Obama, proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein, would have banned the sale of 157 different types of guns.
(List of those guns from Feinstein's proposal here)
Senate majority leader Harry Reid recently made the decision to not include Feinstein's weapons ban in the Senate's gun control bill, citing the fact that there were not enough votes in the Senate to move it forward. Feinstein will be allowed to propose it as an amendment, allowing vulnerable red state Democratic Senators some political cover to vote against the weapons ban but for the gun control bill.
Winkler explains why Feinstein's weapons ban was largely symbolic:

Banning the sale of assault weapons was a bad idea from the start. These guns may be scary looking, but they are rarely used in criminal activity. While involved in a handful of high-profile mass shootings, including in Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, these weapons aren’t a significant contributor to gun violence overall. Only a fraction of gun-related homicides every year are attributed to rifles of any kind; assault rifles make up a fraction of a fraction. And anyone looking to do maximum damage, like a deranged mass killer, can easily find other guns just as deadly. So even if the assault-weapons ban were enacted, it would not have a major impact on America’s daily death toll from guns.
Winkler also explains why Feinstein's weapons ban had no chance to be effective in any meaningful manner:
Assault weapons are often misunderstood. Although many people mistakenly believe that these guns have automatic fire, that’s wrong. They aren’t machine guns, which are already heavily restricted and illegal to sell in most cases. The weapons primarily covered by Feinstein’s proposal, largely variants of the AR-15, fire only one round for each pull of the trigger. They are powerful—they are, after all rifles—but fire smaller rounds than many game-hunting rifles, which wouldn’t be affected by the assault-weapons ban.

The outcome of Obama, Feinstein and liberal gun grabbers' overreach:
There was one certain impact of proposing to ban the sale of assault weapons: it was guaranteed to stir gun-rights proponents to action. Ever since Obama was elected, they’ve been claiming that he wanted to ban guns. Gun-control advocates mocked this claim—then proposed to ban a gun. Not only that, the gun they were trying to ban happened to be the most popular rifle in America. It’s one thing to ban machine guns, which few law-abiding people ever wanted or used. It’s another thing entirely to ban a gun that millions of American gun enthusiasts love to shoot.

Gun-rights proponents is such a general term, but it includes libertarian constitutionalists, conservatives, even democratic Second Amendment supporters, all united against the term "gun reform" simply because gun control proponents pushed a symbolic measure that would have been completely ineffective.
Winkler concludes:
The assault-weapons ban may be effectively dead. The question now may be how much damage the proposal has done already to the gun-reform movement. 

Quite a bit of that concluding question has been answered, by Harry Reid:
Reid plans to tee up a vote on a package in early April, the first floor fight over guns in the wake of deadly mass killings, including at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., late last year.
The plan would also expand sanctions on illegal transfers of firearms, beef up school safety and include provisions to broaden background checks, though it will not include a controversial ban on assault weapons.
Reid said he would allow amendments limiting high-capacity magazines and a ban on assault weapons, though their chances on the floor are grim.

By separating the two portions of the bill that were the most controversial and had the least chance of moving the bill through the Senate, Reid effectively turned the gun reform bill into a symbolic measure of it's own. Something to pass with the name "gun reform" but without the very publicly highlighted segments of  the gun control agenda that Obama, Feinstein and liberal gun control activists, declared as integral to meaningful reform.
Having overreached and convincing gun control proponents that reform isn't meaningful without a weapons ban or ammunition capacity limit,  Obama and liberals now have bitterly disappointed and angry gun control activists to deal with.
Harry Reid is being called a coward and even publicly referred to by far left liberal Michael Moore as a "weenie," for refusing to add those components into the Senate gun reform bill, even knowing they would doom the bill as a whole if they were included.
I believe this could be considered as hoisted by their own petard.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog