Diane Feinstein doesn’t appear to understand the lack of logic in virtually everything she says. If she does though, then she certainly understands manipulating people’s perceptions with misdirection and irrelevant statements through an intentional use of fallacious logic. Looking at statistical evidence, I would have to conclude she is either ignorant or manipulative, it has to be one or the other. Neither is an admirable quality in a public servant. Let’s see, as a back of the napkin calculation, in the United States since 2004 we’ve averaged about 30,000 gun deaths per year. From 2004 to 2011 that would give us roughly 240,000 gun deaths. This would mean that the 350 ‘assault weapons’ deaths she mentions would account for 0.16% of all gun related deaths. That’s right, sixteen hundredths of one percent. Exactly what effect is an ‘assault weapons’ ban supposed to have this time, when it has been documented to have had no effect the first time, especially when they are rarely used in gun homicides to begin with? What was it Einstein called it when people do the same thing over and over and expect different results? That’s right…Insanity. How she determines that the weapons are more lethal today than in 2004, I can’t even speculate the statement is so ludicrous. Even with the bump fire stock, which seems really f’n stupid to begin with, it is an ignorant argument. Full auto machine guns aren’t very accurate during multi round fire anyway. Watch the video of the guy shooting the AR-15 in semi auto (though much slower than he really could) and then watch that muzzle jump all over the place when he’s trying to fire it with the bump fire stock. It is NOT more lethal, it is LESS accurate. Rate of fire is not directly correlated to lethality!!!
Feinstein states that the assault weapons ban in California has kept people from acquiring them. This comment really doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense overall. What is she calling an ‘assault weapon’ at this point? You can still legally buy an AR-15, for instance, in California. You can still also buy the items that would make that AR-15 an ‘assault weapon’ by definition, if you add too many of those features. Remember, this isn’t an argument about machine guns any more, or even converting an AR-15 to full auto fire. Granted, you can’t buy machine guns or suppressors with an NFA stamp in California, nor can you buy or sell large capacity magazines, but what does that have to do with ‘assault weapons’ by their California definition? How can she really say the law has kept people from legally acquiring ‘assault weapons’ then? In California, many people can accidentally build an ‘assault weapon’ version of an AR-15 (by CA definition) and not even realize it. That’s how fine the line is. Maybe she’s talking about the real definition of an assault weapon in this capacity, one that has select fire between full auto and semi auto? Or maybe she’s just referring to certain ‘assault weapons’ like a Mac 10…which is probably more likely. All in all, it is a very deceiving and ambiguous statement.
She goes on to say that 9% of all crime guns in Chicago could be traced to Mississippi. First, this is a direct result of Chicago having a virtual ban on guns to begin with…of course they are acquiring them somewhere else. In fact, McDonald v. City of Chicago and Moore v. Madigan both held that Chicago and Illinois laws were unconstitutional respectively. Second, most Chicago crime guns are handguns, specifically protected by the Second Amendment after the Heller decision. In 2011, the state of Illinois had ONE ‘assault weapons’ death for the year….that’s right, ONE. Crime guns in Illinois (and subsequently Chicago) are not ‘assault weapons’ and her bringing up crime guns from Mississippi is irrrelevant to an ‘assault weapons’ ban or a large capacity magazine ban. She’s intentionally trying to mind fu@% you here, it is a straw man argument.
She also says that ‘assault weapons’ were designed to kill people. That isn’t entirely true either. The 5.56 (.223) round that many of these assault weapons fire was adopted by NATO as a humanitarian means of limiting death in war since it was a less lethal round than prior rifle rounds in previous wars. I don’t want to get shot with a 5.56 round, but I’d rather be shot with that than a .308 from a hunting rifle.
She mentions Gabby Giffords who was shot with a pistol. Granted it had a large capacity magazine in it and Loughner apparently didn’t know how to reload a magazine quickly, but Giffords herself only appears to promote the background checks during her super PAC ad. Coincidentally, I didn’t hear Feinstein mention background checks even once…which is the only gun control measure that has been documented as being effective.
Here is another slight of hand in her presentation. The previous ‘assault weapons’ ban designated a specific list of weapons which were banned, and then a set of features for any other non listed weapons. That means many new weapons could be introduced after the fact which were legal, and many could be legally customized. AND NOW FOR THE REALLY IMPORTANT PART OF HER NEW PROPOSAL: She said that the acceptable hunting and sporting firearms would be specifically enumerated in a list this time (not the prohibited firearms as before.) This would effectively ban any new (non-handgun) weapons which could be subsequently developed and manufactured because they would not be on the ‘allowed’ list at the time of any passing of this bill. It might also restrict any pre-existing firearms that don’t specifically make the list but are made with parts of weapons on the list, such as any version of a rifle that uses a Remington 700 receiver but is modified and sold under a different model name. Examples might be a Robar SR90 or maybe a custom hunting rifle built by Darrel Holland. Does a Remington 700 receiver in a McMillan stock with an aftermarket barrel make the list, or only an uncustomized factory model Remington 700?
Feinstein also tries to show how cases prior to Heller upheld the previous assault weapons ban, which is mostly irrelevant now. Then she attempts to suggest that Heller protects such a ban as well because it allows restrictions of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.” Well, an AR-15 certainly isn’t unusual and in fact is quite common and based on the knowledge as to why NATO adopted the 5.56 round it appears to be less dangerous than the hunting rifles she claims to want to protect.
At the end of the day, she probably knows her goal of banning weapons is not supported with any type of evidence. However, she wants what she wants anyway, and will apparently present whatever irrelevant information she feels will support her personal desires. At present time, there is also a bill proposed in California, SB-374, which will dramatically expand the definition of ‘assault weapon’ on a state level. What I honestly think she is, is desperate. She knows state gun control laws are being shot down consistently now by the Supreme Court. Just like Obama and Illinois, if Feinstein can’t get a Federal ban, she’s likely to lose the level of gun control she has been able to create in her home state of California.
Is it not somewhat ironic that the Harvey Milk shooting, which seems to have set Feinstein on her anti-gun agenda regarding civilian use, was committed by a man who was; ex-military, ex-law enforcement….and a politician? By the way, Dan White used his police issued revolver in the shooting.