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Democratic leader says assault weapon ban lacks support in Senate


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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said on Tuesday that fewer than 40 of his chamber's 100 members support a White House-backed bill to renew a ban against military-style assault weapons.


The scant support virtually assures rejection of the bill, a centerpiece of Obama's bid to curb gun violence in wake of a massacre at a Connecticut elementary school on December 14 that left 20 children and six adults dead.


"Right now," Reid told reporters, the bill drafted by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, "has less than 40 votes."Scissors-32x32.png

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reid-cuts-assault-weapons-ban-from-senate-gun-control-bill-amid-waning-supportFox News:

The leader of the Democrat-controlled Senate on Tuesday dropped a proposed assault weapons ban from the chamber’s gun-control package – dealing a blow to supporters of the ban, though it could still come up for a vote.

The sponsor of the measure, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., revealed that Reid told her the proposed ban would not be in the initial package. Feinstein said she's "disappointed" with the decision, and is expected to nevertheless offer it as an amendment.

But the move by Reid to cut it from the main bill signals a lack of congressional support for a proposal that would not only revive, but strengthen, the decade-long ban that expired in 2004.

The proposed ban passed was passed last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with three other measures. The others dealt with providing more school safety aid, expanding federal background checks on potential gun buyers and helping authorities prosecute illegal gun traffickers.

Feinstein has led the gun-control charge since President Obama called for federal legislation in the wake of the Newtown and other mass shootings.

The assault weapons ban was the most controversial of the major proposals to restrict guns that have been advanced by Obama and Senate Democrats. Because of that, it had been expected that the assault weapons measure would be left out of the initial package the Senate considers, with Democrats hoping the Senate could in turn amass the strongest possible vote for the overall legislation.

There are 53 Democrats in the Senate, plus two independents who usually vote with them.



Feinstein's theater loses its most important prop.

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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.



“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.” Scissors-32x32.png



Enough of the shooting story.

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WSJ Video: Democrats Misfire on Guns

Political Diary editor Jason Riley on why Harry Reid tabled Sen. Feinstein’s assault weapons ban amendment to the Senate gun control bill.


A Defeat for Demagogy

The failure of the "assault weapons" ban should make Americans proud.





"I don't have the words to describe the cowardice of Congress or the depravity of the gun lobby, which conspired to kill the assault-weapons ban," writes Ron Fournier of National Journal. We rate that statement PANTS ON FIRE, for Fournier turns out to be at anything but a loss for words.


"I can't explain the apparent impotence of President Obama who vowed to 'use whatever power this office holds' to convert the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School into commonsense common good," Fournier continues. Apparently Fournier needs a refresher course in the separation of powers.

the "Schoolhouse Rock!" classic, is as pertinent today as it was 40 years ago.


Fournier goes on to quote what he laughably describes as a "must-read column" by wannabe-pundit sportswriter Mike Lupica of New York's Daily News:


Any fool knows that [Adam] Lanza couldn't possibly have killed as many children as quickly as he did on the morning of Dec. 14 without an assault weapon in his hands. So how does the president and any other big politician who allows the gun nuts from the National Rifle Association to win again answer the larger question about weapons that make killings like the elementary-school massacre ridiculously easy: If not now for a ban on these weapons, when?


The headline reads "Spineless Pols Spit on the Graves of Newtown Victims by Not Pushing for Assault Weapons Ban." Hillel the Elder this guy ain't.


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