Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will introduce a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips on Thursday.
Feinstein’s bill will expand the criteria for classifying military-style assault weapons from a 1994 law, which lapsed a decade later. Her new measure will ban the sale of about 150 types of firearms, including some rifles and handguns, as well as the sale of high-capacity magazines, according to USA Today.
The bill will exempt firearms used for hunting and will grandfather in guns and magazines owned before the law’s potential enactment. However, the grandfathered weapons will be logged in a national registry.
The measure is expected to face a tough fight in the Senate, with many GOP lawmakers and the nation’s
gun lobby vowing to oppose any new restrictions on gun ownership.
But Feinstein, a longtime proponent of gun reform, said she is ready to push her measure in the face of opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
“I have worked on this for a long time,” said Feinstein in an interview with USA Today. “I’m not a newcomer or a novice to guns.
“The NRA sort of specialized in trying to denigrate me, but I don’t think there’s anyone around that’s spent 20 years on this subject, plus some,” she added.
Calls to renew the federal assault-weapons ban, which expired in 2004, have grown after last month’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
President Obama has been urging congressional leaders to pass legislation aimed at reducing gun violence, vowing “to use whatever weight this office holds” to make the new rules a reality.
Read more here.
Facebook comments so good I couldn’t let them go to waste there. They were in response to this post by Martin O’Malley:
Progress is a choice. So long as gun violence continues to take the lives of our fellow Marylanders, there are choices we must make together to protect our children, our families and law enforcement personnel who put themselves in harm’s way every day. Today, we’re putting forward a comprehensive set of public safety initiatives that will improve the safety at our schools, make meaningful mental health reforms, and enact common-sense gun safety measures like banning military-style assault weapons and limiting high-capacity magazines. We’re also proposing the largest investment in Maryland’s police forces in 20 years and calling for a renewal of our DNA law that has taken 510 murders, rapists, & other violent criminals off MD’s streets.
Naturally I had to reply:
“Progress is a choice.” Yes, we can progress towards liberty or regress back to tyranny. Our governor rarely makes the right choice in that regard.
As for the comment above about 50 to 60 rounds: frankly it’s none of your damn concern how many rounds a magazine has. No one has ever complained they had too much ammunition to do the job and if my home were ever invaded by a multiple-person group I sure don’t want to be limited to 10 rounds at a time.
Safety in schools isn’t something which can be provided by the waving of a magic wand or more laws rendered meaningless by the fact criminals, by definition, ignore them. It requires a sea change in attitude and a respect towards life missing from a society which promotes abortion as a matter of convenience and a culture which doesn’t teach the lesson that violence depicted on film isn’t the same as in the real world, where actions have consequences.
Read more here.
The seeds of a tyrannical government are present in the United States, with a citizenry happy with a heavily armed law enforcement presence and a disbelief that their government could do anything that would make them want to revolt, according to a new poll.
“America is largely satisfied with the buildup of military-style equipment and armaments by local law enforcement agencies around the country, as 73 percent said they believe these local and state police agencies should possess such equipment,” wrote Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies, a public-opinion research and media consulting company.
His latest results of questions asking Americans what they think about their government, guns, the Second Amendment and their own futures was just released.
He said only 21 percent disagreed that their local officers should be heavily armed.
“This is perhaps because, the survey shows, a wide majority of Americans doubt their local or state police would ever engage in the imposition of some sort of martial law. Such imposition would severely restrict personal freedoms, but 59 percent said they just don’t think such a thing would happen here in America,” he continued.
“That is largely because 51 percent said they cannot conceive of any circumstances or actions by government that would so cause them to agree it is time for a citizen revolution against the government. Just 18 percent said they could conceive of something the government could do to cause them to want to revolt.
“This is a testament to the longstanding stability that the country has known, but also spells a risk of tyranny. If government leaders know the citizenry is unwilling to revolt and they know their law enforcement agencies are well-equipped to put down any uprising with military-style weaponry, one could argue that those leaders might be tempted to impose tyranny on the country in some form or another,” he said.
Read more here.
These days, most commentary on the Declaration of Independence focuses on the implications of the passage that “all men are created equal [and] that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Dwelling on that passage might surprise Thomas Jefferson, who thought it was self-evident. The argument that flowed from his premises is more important, namely that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and when the relationship shifts to the point where government becomes a threat to the lives, liberties and pursuit of happiness of the people, it is government – not the people – that must change.
A government becomes corrupt when it abuses the power derived from the people by doing things that harm the polity and when it acts primarily as a servant of its own interests. This definition of illegitimate government has a history going back at least to Aristotle, though the 17th-century philosopher John Locke, in his “Two Treatises of Government,” gave it a form that would have been more familiar to American colonists. Beyond a certain point, when the actions of government become intolerable, the people have not only a right but a duty to reclaim their inalienable sovereignty and start over. This must be done, as Jefferson said, to “provide new Guards for their future security.”
The list of grievances in the Declaration – the part people often skip over – is critical to the argument because those grievances serve as evidence to make the case that British government had by its actions sundered the fundamental relationship between Parliament and the American colonists. Such a catalog of “abuses and usurpations” today might include: imposing confiscatory levels of overall taxation; using budget authority to transfer billions of taxpayer dollars to government insiders and pet causes; running up the national debt to a point where it is nearly equal to the nation’s total productive output; saddling current and future generations with ruinous debt to pay for pet programs that benefit the few at the expense of the many; failing to secure the nation’s borders from a flood of illegal immigrants and standing in the way of states and localities seeking to take up this fundamental duty, which the national government has chosen to ignore; and a variety of other issues ranging from a sketchy national census to crumbling national security.
The prime difference between the situation in 2010 and that of 1776 is that the people now can provide oversight through the election process. The ballot is the corrective mechanism that was unavailable to the Founders. Today’s dire situation in Washington has approached the intolerable because too few have gone to the polls to defend their rights against the predatory, permanent governing class in Congress. An electorate that fails to defend its rights deserves what it gets. Rights guarantee nothing unless they are used, and if they are not exercised, they tend to be exorcised.
After independence, Jefferson explained that the Declaration was “an expression of the American mind” intended to “give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.” The result is a timeless document the spirit of which is as applicable today as it was then. The people have the means at their disposal to take back our country and the government from the disconnected oligarchy in Washington. However, this only works if Americans actually step up. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, the country will only be a republic if the people are strong enough to keep it.
By THOMAS SOWELL
When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.
Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.
“Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.
Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.
In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.
The president’s poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.
Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.
And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP’s oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated.
But our government is supposed to be “a government of laws and not of men.”
If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion — or $50 billion or $100 billion — then so be it.
But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without “due process of law.”
Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference.
With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.
If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don’t believe in constitutional government.
And, without constitutional government, freedom cannot endure. There will always be a “crisis” — which, as the president’s chief of staff has said, cannot be allowed to “go to waste” as an opportunity to expand the government’s power.
That power will of course not be confined to BP or to the particular period of crisis that gave rise to the use of that power, much less to the particular issues.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt arbitrarily took the United States off the gold standard, he cited a law passed during the First World War to prevent trading with the country’s wartime enemies. But there was no war when FDR ended the gold standard’s restrictions on the printing of money.
At about the same time, during the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law “for the relief of the German people.”
That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people — indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.
If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.
The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP’s money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed “czars” controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are.
Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power — vs. the rule of law and the preservation of freedom — are the “useful idiots” of our time. But useful to whom?