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Steinhauer writes : "Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who 35 years ago discovered the bullet-riddled body of the gay activist Harvey Milk, reacted with anger on Tuesday that gun control legislation the Senate is to consider next month will not include the reinstatement of an assault weapons ban, a measure she had fought desperately to keep."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) walks from the lectern after speaking at a press conference on Capitol Hill Jan. 24. House and Senate Democrats were joined by law enforcement officials to introduce the legislation to ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. (photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) walks from the lectern after speaking at a press conference on Capitol Hill Jan. 24. House and Senate Democrats were joined by law enforcement officials to introduce the legislation to ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. (photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)



Feinstein Angry As Senate Drops Assault Weapons Ban From Bill

By Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times

20 March 13

 

enator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who 35 years ago discovered the bullet-riddled body of the gay activist Harvey Milk, reacted with anger on Tuesday that gun control legislation the Senate is to consider next month will not include the reinstatement of an assault weapons ban, a measure she had fought desperately to keep.

"How many assault weapons do you need circulating?" Ms. Feinstein said to reporters, noting that her bill, which had almost no chance of a hearing in the House, exempted many weapons. "To have these mass killings is such a blight on everything that America stands for."

At a Senate hearing last week, Ms. Feinstein said that she still could not get out of her mind looking for the pulse of Mr. Milk, her colleague at the time on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and in the process "putting my fingers in a bullet hole."

Senate Democrats plan to introduce after the Easter recess a bill widely supported by both parties that would increase the penalties for people who buy guns for those barred from having them, known as straw purchasing. But Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, told Ms. Feinstein on Monday that her assault weapons ban would not be included in the bill.

"I tried my best," Ms. Feinstein said with obvious disappointment. "My best, I guess, wasn't good enough."

This month, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed four pieces of gun legislation: the straw purchasing measure; the assault weapons ban, which included limits on gun magazine sizes; a grant program for school security; and enhanced background checks for gun buyers.

The Senate bill is likely to include the school safety measure, and it may be expanded to include the enhanced background checks. But Mr. Reid is weighing the relative merits of bringing that measure to the floor, which for now has limited support from Republicans.

Mr. Reid said he would allow the assault weapons ban and the limits on magazine sizes to be offered as amendments, Ms. Feinstein said.

"I have said I want people to have the ability to vote on" various gun measures, Mr. Reid said on Tuesday. "My job is to find one of those that I can bring to the floor." Mr. Reid said that while he felt sympathy for Ms. Feinstein, her bill had far fewer than the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.

Mr. Reid will introduce the one measure that does have ample bipartisan support, the straw purchasing provision, which would make the already illegal practice a felony and increase penalties.

But a bill that is limited to stemming straw purchases would be all but certain to enrage groups that have been seeking broader legislation. They want measures that would make it more difficult for criminals and mentally ill people to obtain firearms and would limit the size of magazines.

If Mr. Reid considers only the straw purchasing measure, it is likely that senators who favor gun rights will offer a flood of pro-gun amendments, many of them likely to pass the full Senate, which could essentially turn a bill intended to strengthen gun regulations into one that enhances gun rights.

It is almost certain that Mr. Reid will at least add the provision to renew a grant program for school security, but even that is not a sure thing because of the country's fiscal constraints.

Mr. Reid must also weigh whether to add a provision that would extend background checks to private sales of guns, a measure that would exempt family members and some others from those checks. While that idea has broad support among Democrats and some Republicans, many oppose it because it would require the same record-keeping that is done by gun stores in sales made within their walls.

As it stands, the assault weapons ban will probably still receive a vote as an amendment to the underlying package, as will a separate measure that would limit magazine sizes to 10 rounds.

"The enemies on this are very powerful," Ms. Feinstein said, referring to the National Rifle Association. "I've known that all my life."

 

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+15 # DPM 2013-03-20 09:38
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. This is mine. Those afraid to support the full background checks, limit magazine sizes and pass an assault weapon ban are not patriots...they are cowards! Most people, in this country, are for these pieces of legislation. Read, MOST people. Not all, just MOST. So, not to pass them is to go against what MOST of our population wants. Vote out those that do not support the above pieces of legislation. As a friend of mine always says, the has to be an "ouch" factor.
 
 
-12 # LittleFaulker 2013-03-20 20:26
Were you dropped as a child?
 
 
+19 # tbcrawford 2013-03-20 10:02
What a sick, guns-addicted nation we are. Stupid too...this is all about supporting the weapons industry. Can't kill the person who annoyed you with 10 bullets? Need multiple clips of 30-50 rounds each? Get new glasses and a few lessons of target practice...Or is this to provide a cover for racial and religious violence?
 
 
-7 # LittleFaulker 2013-03-20 20:35
A nation that supplied you the platform to insult anyone disagreeing with you. Guns & Blood gave you that opportunity & everything you now own. Enjoy them Mister Crawford!

It's about having choices, choice to defend our/my country if, when even, the way it looks at times..... from an over sized government trying to over throw Our constitution. You surly must know this already Sir? Thanks
 
 
-16 # HowardMH 2013-03-20 10:07
How many times has Obama been up to Capital Hill to twist some arms. Ohh sorry I forgot he is really Obama the Wimp. All talk and no action Obama.

Until there are two hundred thousand (OK I will concede there are not that many that even understand what is going on in Washington DC, much less get pissed off about it so lets say 5 thousand) really, really pissed off people on Capital Hill (all at the same time – with base ball bats, or 2 x 2s) raising some serious hell against the Lunatics, absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people. Rough roof

How much success have you had with the TOTALLY NON VIOLENT protests over the last few years?

I’m no fan of Sarah’s but this comment is just so appropriate. So how is that Hopei, Changie working out for you now?
 
 
+13 # joedeane 2013-03-20 10:08
It is impossible to express sufficient contempt for Harry Reid.He could have, with the other Dems, changed the filibuster rule to render the Republican obstruction in the Senate a thing of the past. Why didn't he? Perhaps so the Democrats could lay blame on the Republicans for stoping things that the Democrats don't want to start such as the weapons ban and a lot else.Utter sleazebags.
 
 
+5 # coach777b 2013-03-20 18:16
Harry Reid has won The Wimp Of The Year Award with his failure to institute a change in the filibuster rules. Right now both houses of Congress are worthless, money sucking leeches who have won a lifetime of comfort and financial at the expense of the citizens who support their lifestyle. That is why Reid is such a pitiful figure, trapped by the financial connection feeding his life support system.
 
 
+12 # randrjwr 2013-03-20 10:17
If the poll numbers we are shown, saying that a bipartisan majority of Americans (and, supposedly, even NRA members) favor a ban on assault weapons and the limitation of magazine size to 10 rounds are correct and true, then it is time for those Americans (count me among them) to find candidates for Congress that will pass the appropriate legislation and vote them IN and the gun-crazy madmen OUT.
 
 
+6 # Yopeace 2013-03-20 10:17
TOO MANY GUNS!!!
NH Chiefs of Police have created a raffle to give away a gun a day for 31 days in May. The first day's prize is a semi automatic assault weapon. Please join the community in asking the Chiefs: "Give up the gun giveaway and accept the offer of a buyback of all of the raffle tickets."

http://signon.org/sign/ask-nh-chiefs-of-police?source=c.em.cp&r_by=6908476
 
 
+9 # NAVYVET 2013-03-20 10:28
We need a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT explaining precisely the limits the the 2nd amendment--whic h DID NOT include weapons like semiautomatics! Or nuclear bombs. They fall into the same category in my book. I believe such an amendment would pass.
 
 
+7 # MainStreetMentor 2013-03-20 10:52
I agree with Senator Feinstein's disappointment on this issue - and would urge her and other senators to introduce a motion to replace Senator Reid as the Majority Leader - replacing him with the junior Senator from Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren.
 
 
+5 # tuandon 2013-03-20 11:15
This is no surprise. Congress did not really WANT to pass the ban on assault weapons, so...It was dropped. As long as the NRA is running Congress, we are not going to have any sort of sensible gun control legislation.
 
 
+2 # Billsy 2013-03-20 11:30
Clearly our Congress is so corrupt that it fails to enact legislation that a majority of americans want: Medicare for all: Fair & simple taxation: reasonable gun control; a carbon tax, etc. We need to end corporate campaign financing and to quit electing these corrupt representatives . Start locally by supporting independents, or only those incumbents (they make up about 25% of congress) who continue to represent the good of the american people and NOT corporate lobbyists.
 
 
+6 # reiverpacific 2013-03-20 11:45
Another milquetoast piece of legislation from this increasingly sterile administration capitulating to the corporate-bred termites who burrow in through the back doors in the halls of power and eat away at anything progressive trying to drag the US into the latter part of the 20th century on so many issues that keep being watered-down or ignored and behind the rest of the Industrialized world (you can hardly call the US a "civilized" nation).
It's a more and more death culture, as you can get all the support you want for military/civili an killing power but not even a mention or hope of universal healthcare to enhance and improve the quality of life at the grassroots.
"From where the sun now sets, I will fight no more forever!" Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce after leading the US army a merry dance for hundreds of miles on their way to succor in Canada and being cut off just short of the border.
Like so many great indigenous leaders, he died of a broken heart, kept away from his native lands in the formerly verdant, fertile paradise of Western Idaho/Eastern Oregon around the Snake River, taken by yet another broken treaty and the army removals, to be gifted to polluting, salmon stream-spoiling , gun wielding ranchers.
It's still the same, prevalent "winner take all, the rest can die or be killed" capitalism-spur red mentality reinforced by the death/gun-totin ' anti-culture.
 
 
-1 # fredboy 2013-03-20 13:14
Let's remember that those opposing the ban reveal keen knowledge of their constituents--n ut case evangelical right wingers who expect and in fact yearn for a race war. Thus the nation's best interest is again shoved aside to please the crazies.
 
 
+1 # skylinefirepest 2013-03-20 14:41
Jeez, more comments from the firearms illiterate liberals. Do you know why Reid gave it up? Because, unknown apparently by all the commenters so far, so called "assault rifles_semi-aut o" simply are not used in any valid percentage of crime. Don't take my word for it...look it up in the FBI uniform crime statistics. Now, I already know that you'll simply give me a thumbs down, without looking it up, so what does that say about you guys??
 
 
-1 # erogers 2013-03-20 15:14
The Democrats who ran in fright from the NRA have proven that it is possible for a human to walk upright on two legs without having a spine. A bunch of damned stinking cowards with Harry Reid the Coward in Chief.
I hate to see what this same gang of cowards will give us when push comes to shove on a new budget. T threw out the TV twelve years back and now it is time to throw out the radio. I am sick and tired of listening to the spineless excuse makers.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2013-03-20 19:33
Quoting erogers:
The Democrats who ran in fright from the NRA have proven that it is possible for a human to walk upright on two legs without having a spine. A bunch of damned stinking cowards with Harry Reid the Coward in Chief.
I hate to see what this same gang of cowards will give us when push comes to shove on a new budget. T threw out the TV twelve years back and now it is time to throw out the radio. I am sick and tired of listening to the spineless excuse makers.

In plain, considered English please, without the angry rhetoric. I'm actually with you as far as I can make out.
No disrespect intended- I feel y'r frustration and am just suggesting that you channel it into some positive grassroots action.
I get this way sometimes too, when it comes to lack of funding for universal healthcare and trying to figure out who is for us and who is agin' us in this corporate-owned state.
 
 
-6 # DaveM 2013-03-20 15:20
My background is quite clear--I have had a number of background checks over the years (yes, including some for firearms purchases), and passed all but on. One check failed due to some bureaucrat reversing two numbers on my ID, temporarily giving me the "record" of a convicted felon. That little clerical error took weeks to straighten out.

I find the current "instant background check" intrusive and oppose any "universal background check". Not because I had a bad experience, though that certainly did show how wrong such things can got, but because when I purchase a tangible item, it becomes my property. If I wish to sell a firearm via classified ad or at a rummage sale, or trade it at a gun show, I should not have to deal with the same paperwork as a licensed dealer (who may make hundreds if not thousands of transactions in a year).

"Ownership registration" would be required for a Federal "straw man purchase" law, and that I cannot support. I understand the intention, but: suppose I sell my car to someone who proceeds to get drunk, get into an accident, and kill someone. Am I responsible? Of course not. The same is true for a firearm, though my common sense would bar me from providing one to anyone who seemed unstable or appeared to have malicious intentions. And no law will ever give common sense to those who lack it.
 
 
+2 # Rcomm 2013-03-20 15:53
It is unconscionable that the GOP is more concerned with supporting the NRA than with the deaths of the Newtown babies.
 
 
+1 # resiliencyinworkplace 2013-03-20 17:01
I kind of knew that most if not all of the gun safety bills would die a slow and painful death in the whorehouse we call Congress.What I did want was for a vote to be taken even if there was no 60 vote (Republican definition of majority)so that the public could see who voted against the measures so we would know who to vote out of office next election.Harry Reid is a coward and anyone who votes against gun safety is a coward.
 

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