Gun-grabbers defeated for now.

The extension of the Assault Weapons Ban has been defeated for now. (Link takes the reader to the original Fox News article, which serves as the source for the following commentary.)

Yet, we did suffer setbacks.

Senate Democrats gunning for a ban on assault weapons unexpectedly forced down a bill Tuesday that would have prevented gun manufacturers from liability after the bill's sponsor said the amendment made the measure too unpalatable.

I find the very idea of holding a gun store owner or gun manufacturer liable for the actions of a criminal "unpalatable".

The Senate voted 90-8 to defeat the bill that would deny victims the opportunity to sue gunmakers and dealers when their products are used in a crime. The vote followed a 52-47 vote to attach an amendment that would have renewed for 10 years the assault weapons ban set to expire this year.
That's the best part of this.
The Senate also voted 53-46 to require background checks of purchasers buying guns at private shows.
I'm disappointed by this. People argue that gun shows are "black markets", seething with criminal evil-doers who are just frothing at the mouth to kill hundreds of innocents, but my father is a gunsmith and a legal dealer, and I can tell you that just isn't so. Perhaps it's just my years spent as a range safety officer, but it seems to me that the vast majority of gun-owners are pragmatic, safety-minded people who understand the responsibility entailed with holding a firearm.
Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who sponsored the bill that was strongly supported by the National Rifle Association, said it was doomed because of the amendments.

"The semiautomatic ban, the gun show loophole, a variety of other kinds of issues could simply drag this bill down and deny us substantial tort reform," Craig, an NRA member, said.

I lived in Idaho for a while. Craig is a good man. He speaks the truth: the amendments were meant specifically to bog the legislation down, and essentially pull its teeth. The gun show amendment alone was dangerous, because it required every single person entering the show to be aware of the new limitations and requirements. If so much as one person failed to receive the information, then everyone sponsoring and selling at the show could have been sued.

Even more laughable is this:

"It is a most bizarre and unusual day," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who opposed the measure to relieve gunmakers from liability and sponsored the assault weapons ban amendment.

Even more bizarre is how you manage to remain in office, Dianne. I really have to wonder how long you think you can ride on a complete lack of common sense and understanding of the term "individual liberty". Oh! Of course! I forget. These matters are far too weighty and important to be entrusted to the plebeians, erm, People. You alone have the wisdom to determine the best course for all of us.

Here's a head's up: people grow up and come to realize that authoritarian elitism is never in their best interest. Let me introduce you to one of your former constituents.

This is the type of person you would leave defenseless, Dianne. But then, I know what your real goal is. Once you defang the common citizen, you can step in with your nanny-state "protection", "for our own good", of course. It's Socialism you want to to achieve, Feinstein, and it just drives you mad to think that there are people like me standing in your way, doesn't it?

You are not fit for public office.

Feinstein and Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said they believed that the NRA heavily manipulated the vote by Republicans and accused President Bush of being absent during a time when his leadership was needed.

Pardon me? Come on! If the President had been there, you lot would have whined about his presence adding undue pressure to the outcome of the proceedings. Additionally, the NRA simply made sure that the issues were known by the People so that we could make our will known by contacting our Senators. I know that concept is anathema to you, but do try to keep at least a thin veneer of American principles on your activities.
Bush said during his last presidential campaign that he supports renewing the ban on at least 19 types of military-style assault weapons. But he has not stood up in strong support for any legislation calling for a ban.

Nonetheless, Democrats accused the bulk of Republicans of kowtowing to the National Education Association after Executive Director Wayne LaPierre sent a letter to GOP leaders announcing that the NRA opposed passage of the bill with its amendments and note recorded votes for future use.

"... Having made our decision, this vote on final passage is a key vote for the NRA and will be used in our future evaluations and endorsements of candidates for the U.S. Senate," LaPierre wrote.

"It is satisfying to know that the truth has come out... it's a pity, the American people have to look and say whose country is this?" Lautenberg said.

I'll tell you whose country this is. This is my country, and the NRA is my organization. It is not only our right, but our responsibility as Americans to notice legislators who would vote to constrain our basic God-given liberties, and thereby choose to remove them from office.

If you don't like it, I suggest that you consider moving to the socialistic nation of your choice. I can promise you one thing: unlike people who immigrate to America, you would forever be an outcast there. You would never again hold a political office.

But that might be a benefit.

House leaders said last year that they did not want to renew the ban, which opponents argue is ineffective and unnecessary. The White House had hoped for a "clean" bill one with no amendments attached.

But Republicans, including Senate Armed Services Chairman John Warner of Virginia, voted for the ban extension, saying he had changed his mind over the last 10 years when he voted against it after hearing testimony from his state's law enforcement officers.

"Law enforcement has shown that it has reduced the use of these weapons in crime, so my words pale in significance to the law officers of the four corners of the commonwealth of Virginia," Warner said.

No. Think your statement through. You see fewer of these sorts of firearms used in crime because they're harder to get. I'll make you a prediction: should all guns be banned, you would see a decrease in their use in violent crime. Conversely, you will see a marked increase in the use of knives and clubs.

The violent will always find a way to try and prey on others. The best deterrent is when they're wondering if that little Granny woman is going to pull out her .357 and help them answer the Final Question, should they accost her.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said that he supported the requirement of gun dealers at private shows to ask for government checks before selling weapons because it would close a deadly loophole.

"Today's Senate vote to close the gun show loophole is a victory for common sense ... Americans will be safer when this sensible proposal becomes law," McCain said.

Ten Republicans broke party ranks to extend the ban: Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Olympia Snowe of Maine, George Voinovich of Ohio and John Warner of Virginia.

McCain has just lost my respect in perpetuity. Remember these names. Relieve them of public office in the next elections.
Six Democrats voted against extending the ban: Max Baucus of Montana, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Zell Miller of Georgia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Harry Reid of Nevada.

Democratic presidential contenders John Kerry (search) of Massachusetts and John Edwards (search) of North Carolina broke away from the Super Tuesday campaign trail to cast votes their first of the year. Both voted for the renewal and the background checks.

The appearance of Kerry and Edwards in the Senate for their first votes of the year underscored the political overtones of the assault weapons issue. Democrats argued that law enforcement officers and regular citizens all would be safer if the assault weapons covered under the bill continued to be banned.

Remember these names. These are the elitists who believe they know best for all of us. Remember that Kerry and Edwards voted to whittle away at your rights.
"These are weapons of war. They are designed to kill a lot of people quickly," said Schumer, who authored the 1994 gun ban while in the House

Pithy falsehoods. The ban included hunting rifles with decorative touches like folding stocks, bayonet mounts, pistol grips, or flash suppressors. The so-called "assault" or banned rifles are otherwise ordinary hunting rifles. Additionally, "assault rifle" is a misnomer, and is intended to serve as a scare tactic. "Assault weapons" are, again, merely semi-automatic hunting rifles. Semi-automatic merely means that you don't have to manually cock the hammer of the firearm each time before you pull the trigger. This is an advantage when you have a deer in your sights, and failure to bag it means that your family will eat lean over the winter.

Some of us still hunt to help fill the freezer, Schumer. Do your homework, and quit using scare tactics. I'm going to work to keep the public informed of your obfuscation and lies.

posted by Linda on March 3, 2004 12:21 AM

Lautenberg and Schumer are on my personal shit-list for their part in last years BATFE attack on hobby rocketry. They screwed up a bill introduced by Sen. Enzi that would exempt models from the 'terrorist' designation. We (rocktry organizations) are in the process of suing the BATFE in federal court right now.

Posted by: Ted at March 3, 2004 12:21 PM

Sorry, I can't agree with your prediction that the country would be less violent after a gun ban. Two reasons: first, there are well over 200 millions guns out there, and they won't all come in, especially the ones in the hands of criminals. Secondly, there is the experience of Australia, which recently banned all handguns, and all repeating shotguns. The crime rate of gun crimes there has soared, up over 40%, because the crooks know that they are facing unarmed citizens.

Posted by: Rivrdog at March 3, 2004 07:15 PM

As a disgusted citizen on NY, let me apologise for all the asshats that voted for Shit... I mean, Schumer...

I'm fairly certain I hate this state.

Posted by: Ethne at March 3, 2004 07:53 PM

Way to go girl!
Your arguments make good sense.

Anyone expecting the government to protect them
is heading for disaster.

Posted by: David at March 4, 2004 01:42 AM