Feinstein & Schumer discussing AWB on Senate Floor Tuesday


July 13, 2004, 03:03 PM
Feinstein and Schumer were granted time this afternoon (Tuesday July 13) to bring up the AWB on the Senate floor just for discussion in the middle of the Marriage Amendment issue!

I can't be around to watch and listen to see what trouble they're trying to start. (Darn it..... this having to earn a living routine that keeps taking me away from what's REALLY IMPORTANT!!) Would you guys that have a chance to watch c span fill us in on what this pair was up to.

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July 13, 2004, 03:05 PM
Right now Sen. Jame Inhofe (R-OK) is speaking about the marriage amendment. No sign of AWB talk yet.

July 13, 2004, 03:49 PM
Schumer and Feinstein have requested to be on the floor before 5:00pm. They have no gone on yet. They are alotted 15 minutes time.

John Cornyn has the floor for 30 minutes as of right now. I'll probably just watch the next hour of CSPAN2 and keep y'all posted.

July 13, 2004, 03:52 PM
Gigabust beat me to it. :)

I just called my Senators with a heads up -- y'all should prolly do the same. I don't think the Evil Two will get a chance to do more than natter without a vote one way or another, but it's worth marshalling the forces.


Bartholomew Roberts
July 13, 2004, 03:57 PM
They have asked for 15 minutes time before 5 eastern to discuss the ban. So far they haven't spoken on it and an hour left.

Edited to add:

As of 4:27pm Eastern
OK, Senator from New Jersey for 15 min, Senator from Pennsylvania for 15 min, Senator Mikulski for 10 min and then after Mikulski, Feinstein and Schumer for 15min total.

July 13, 2004, 04:20 PM
Senator from New Jersey up now. Frank Lautenberg. He's got the floor for 15 minute. Feinstein and Schumer will get to do their 15 minute hate routine immediately following.

I really wish there was a way to record this into AVI format.

July 13, 2004, 04:22 PM
Nevermind, BR got it right. It's going to be a little while.

July 13, 2004, 04:26 PM
You can also watch it in streaming video at www.c-span.org if ya want. :cool:

July 13, 2004, 04:27 PM
I gotta leave:cuss: Keep it posted please.

July 13, 2004, 04:39 PM
Republican Rick Santorum (from Penn.) is currently at the podium.. :)

1:50 PM PST

Democratic Senator from Maryland, Barbara Mikulski is yakkin' now.. :banghead:

1:58 PM PST
Dem. Sen. from Cali, it's Feinstein's turn!!!!!!

July 13, 2004, 04:56 PM
She just came on and is talking about it.

July 13, 2004, 04:56 PM
Here comes the BS flood.:rolleyes:

One thing she got right: 60 days left!

July 13, 2004, 04:57 PM
Oh, NO!!!!!!!! It's a massive picture of a Tec-9!!!

Dear Gawd Save Us!!!!!!!!! :banghead:

July 13, 2004, 04:59 PM
New worst job in the world: Playing Vanna White to DiFi.:neener:

Cool. She is essentially admitting defeat.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 13, 2004, 04:59 PM
It lives :barf:

Mostly going on about how she has all this support from all these people and a majority of everybody loves it. Guess that is why all those Dems lost their jobs from the last one and nobody wants to touch this with a 10' pole.

July 13, 2004, 04:59 PM
Dianne Feinstein is up. Wants an alert at 8 minutes.

Hey, she actually called it a ban on semiautomatic military pattern firearms.

The ban has worked, since traces back to them have decreased 2/3rds.

Shows picture of "DC Tec 9" from Highway 101.

Ban will expire even though 71% of Americans support the ban along with 64% of people with guns in the home. Going to expire despire LEO support. Nearly every major law enforcement and civic organization, FOP, yadda yadda.

"The ban will expire" -- I love it when she says that.

I'm hoping Larry Craig throws some fruit at her.

Bush supports the ban, playing political hot-potato(e) with Repub. leaders in Congress.

... more to follow.

July 13, 2004, 05:01 PM
she's trying to make the connection to al queda

July 13, 2004, 05:01 PM
She's on now. The usual lies... Everybody supports renewal of the AWB... The NRA is the bad guy... The president will not help pass the renewal... The gangs and criminal love assault weapons... Terrorists don't want the ban renewed... Blah blah blah...

July 13, 2004, 05:02 PM
Hahahah she's showing an Armalite ad. Free flash suppressor when you buy a rifle!

It's so you can shoot at neighbors and police at night. And they can't see where it's coming from :rolleyes:

July 13, 2004, 05:02 PM
I just turned it on. It must be over already!

July 13, 2004, 05:03 PM
Citing Armalight's coupon for a free flash suppressor.

Flash suppressor=NO FLASH? On what planet?


FINESWINE speaks like a drunk.

Here comes UPCHUCK!

Bartholomew Roberts
July 13, 2004, 05:03 PM
Armalite is getting slagged for offering a coupon to convert your postbans to prebans. O no! A flash suppressor! It's evil!

July 13, 2004, 05:03 PM
Ford, Carter, and Clinton wrote to bush in a joint letter asking him to work to renew the ban.

Oh, they had the support of Reagan. Ouch!

Guns are used by gangs, grievance killers, children to kill their school mates. Al-Quada manuals say to buy assault weapons in the US at gun shows because it's so easy to do so. Threat of terrorism increasing, how can we let the ban expire and make it easier?

Italian customers siezed 8,000 AK-47 assault rifles going from Romania to Georgia.
(which we know was legal).

Talking about 89 import ban. Allowed to re-assemble the guns into their banned-by 89 form.

Showing Armalite ad. Offering coupon for free flash supressor. What do you need a flash supressor for? You have a flash supressor on a gun and a 30 round clip and you're shooting at night at police or neighbors, the flash is supressed. Only criminals need that.

"clips drums or strips" -- the word magazine isn't in her vocab.

July 13, 2004, 05:03 PM
"What do you need a flash suppressor for?" ~ Feinstein :banghead:

July 13, 2004, 05:04 PM
Oh it's on CSPAN-2!!!

Puke!!!! :barf:

July 13, 2004, 05:04 PM
It's over. Summary: Lies and lameness abound.

July 13, 2004, 05:04 PM
She's DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's Schumer's turn!!

:banghead: :cuss: :banghead:

July 13, 2004, 05:04 PM
According to Feinstein, a flash suppressor hides the flash from the police and your neighbors.



What a moron. You'd think a Senator would be more educated.... :rolleyes:

July 13, 2004, 05:05 PM
Oh no. Another senator is attention whoring it. More AWB BS.

July 13, 2004, 05:06 PM
Kewl. I will be able to buy a new street sweeper? Who's announced manufacturing plans?

July 13, 2004, 05:06 PM
"Gun owners SUPPORT the ban!" ~ Schumer

In which country?!?!?!? :banghead:

July 13, 2004, 05:06 PM
Apparently weapons designed by armies aren't for self-defense...

July 13, 2004, 05:07 PM
Chuck the judicial obstructionist is going on about the NRA being obstructionist. Too funny.

July 13, 2004, 05:07 PM
Chucky Cheese "these weapons are not made for hunting, they are not made for self defense"

"They are not used by good people who certainly have a right to bear arms."

Huh? :scrutiny:

July 13, 2004, 05:07 PM
Time is running out, 14 legislative days left. (oh boy I love hearing that!).


Chucky is up now.

Showing a Street Sweeper. (Isn't that a DD anyway? Damn I want one).

AWB was amazing success (on what planet?)

Now it's 79% that support renewal!

Swing states (midwest and southern) overwheling majority support the ban.. yadda yadda yadda. You know the speel.

July 13, 2004, 05:07 PM
And also gun owners don't represent gun owners either :confused: :rolleyes:

July 13, 2004, 05:08 PM
Umm, isn't that shotgun too short, and thus was already illegal previous to the AWB?


July 13, 2004, 05:08 PM
Now he's calling us a bunch of "fanatics" and "idealogs" (sp?).. :cuss: :banghead:

July 13, 2004, 05:08 PM
I like the scary cartoonish picture of a "street sweeper" :rolleyes:

I can't even tell if it's a real one from the small feed.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 13, 2004, 05:08 PM
Chuckles is saying we are a small minority and everyone loves the gun ban.

July 13, 2004, 05:09 PM
What do facts have to do with the anti's debating tactics?

July 13, 2004, 05:09 PM
I am trying to eat while watching this, and I can feel the simultaneous coronaryulcerstroke coming on...:eek: :uhoh: :cuss:

July 13, 2004, 05:10 PM
HAHAHAHHAH@ the Uzi with a bayonet on it!

July 13, 2004, 05:10 PM
I'm glad I ate several hours ago. :barf: :barf: :barf:

Ohhhh he's got a scary UZI up there now! With a BAYONET ON IT!! ROFL!!!!!

July 13, 2004, 05:10 PM
He's Done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


:neener: :neener: :neener:

July 13, 2004, 05:11 PM
Were Street Sweepers banned in 94 or before that?

Bartholomew Roberts
July 13, 2004, 05:11 PM
Threatening the President will pay a political price in November for not supporting their harassment of people like us.

July 13, 2004, 05:11 PM
Chuckles is making his blood in the streets argument and says the non-existent anti grassroots will punish Bush. :D :D :D :D :D Is it too late for him to join Last Comic Standing?

Even cooler, he says only 13 LEGISLATIVE DAYS LEFT.

July 13, 2004, 05:12 PM
I guarantee you that 15 minutes gets as much media coverage as the hours of debate on the gay-marriage-ban amendment.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 13, 2004, 05:12 PM
All done - nothing but a call on the President to lean on the Republicans and make them pass this legislation. Basically blaming him for it and threatening to use it as an election issue.

July 13, 2004, 05:14 PM
Think I ought to write Chuckie and the WWW that my vote for Bush hinges upon his letting it sunset?:evil:

July 13, 2004, 05:19 PM
All done - nothing but a call on the President to lean on the Republicans and make them pass this legislation. Basically blaming him for it and threatening to use it as an election issue.

Pretty much says it all. Which is a good reason to call the White House in the morning, thank him for his support, and remind him that our vote hinges on the expiration.

Well... mine will, anyhow. If it dies and stays dead in November, barring something else awful I'll suck up my revulsion over the "free meds for everybody!" hoopla of last year and pull the "R" switch. We'll see though. :scrutiny:

July 13, 2004, 05:21 PM
Now they got some Republican puke from Texas up there talking about how gay marriage is horrible and how the government must be the bastion of light against these immoral people who want the same rights as everyone else. :barf:

Bartholomew Roberts
July 13, 2004, 05:29 PM
Brief outburst from Teddy Drunk on the ban and then returns to discussing gay marriage.

July 13, 2004, 05:29 PM

Heaven forbid a man becoming a "puke" (well thought-out description:rolleyes: ) for speaking up for what he believes in and the majority of his constituents support. If more of our "pro-gun" pols would be as vocal about RESTORING our gun rights we would stand a much better chance of that happening. But, then they might be called "pukes" also, we sure don't want that to happen!:fire:

July 13, 2004, 05:34 PM
"Teddy Drunk" ( :D ) is still blatherin' away.. :barf:

Edit: 2:43 PM
He's finally shut his pie hole. :D

July 13, 2004, 06:10 PM
That's a bourbon hole to you, son.:D

July 13, 2004, 07:35 PM
Are transcripts of DiFi, Chuckles, Swimmer, etc available online?

Harry Tuttle
July 13, 2004, 10:00 PM
Senate floor procedings are posted on http://thomas.loc.gov/
Monday just went up

July 14, 2004, 12:10 AM
This kind of concentrated mis-information campaign by these two misearable Senators is the sought of thing that worries me.

There's still enough time for these mischievous kids to kindle a couple of dry blades of grass into a forest fire, with the media being the Sequoia Red Wood Nationl Forest! Right now these two trouble makers keep kneeling down in a tight little huddle with their matches, trying to get a flame to catch.

If this catches on with the Media, and the Media runs with it, things could get ugly fast.

Don't forget, for more focus on the lies and BS, THERE'S A HUNDRED MOM MARCH THIS WEEKEND too.

July 14, 2004, 12:24 AM

July 14, 2004, 12:55 AM
The NRA says there will be a Counter Demonstration held by woman progun demonstrators at 1:00 Friday, in Trenton New Jersey to offset the Hundred Mom March. It is not clear to me if the anti's will be gathering at the same time/same place.

For more info on what and where is happening with the anti's, check out www.mmm2004.com or Brady Gun Control on google. You'll see a schedule of their activities. Take your blood pressure medicine before going in there. (-Get's me ticked every time I have to visit to see what they are up to.) As well, you can check out legislative news, and current events daily in the NRA website. Not a whole bunch of usefull stuff there however. You'd think the NRA knows something we don't and is not worried about it!

July 14, 2004, 02:06 AM
Haha. We win. You loose. :neener:

Harry Tuttle
July 14, 2004, 10:57 AM
_The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.

___Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I believe Senator Schumer and I have 15 minutes between us by unanimous consent agreement, and I ask that I be alerted when 8 minutes has passed.


___Ten years ago, I introduced an amendment to the crime bill which banned the manufacture and sale of semiautomatic military-style assault weapons. Senator Schumer, then a Member of the House, a member of the Judiciary Committee, introduced the same amendment in the Judiciary Committee. We were both successful. It passed the Senate, passed the House, was signed into law by President Clinton.

___Over the past 10 years, gun traces to semiautomatic military-style assault weapons have decreased by two-thirds. The ban has worked. But 2 months from today, the Federal ban will expire.

___Once again, new guns such as the Tec-DC9 will flood our streets. If you don't know what a Tec-DC9 is, I am going to show you. This is Gian Luigi Ferri, who walked into 101 California Street and killed six people, wounding eight. And this is the Tec-DC-9 he was carrying with a 30-round clip. He had 250 rounds in additional clips with him. He is dead here, shot on the floor, but not until after he had either killed or wounded 14 people. The ban will expire despite overwhelming public support to renew it.

___Seventy-one percent of all Americans support renewing the ban. So do 64 percent of people in homes with a gun. The ban is going to expire despite overwhelming support from law enforcement and civic organizations. As you can see, nearly every major law enforcement and civic organization in our country supports renewal: the Fraternal Order of Police, the Chiefs of Police, the United States Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, and on and on.

___The ban will expire despite the stated public support of President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft. As you can see from this letter, the administration has reiterated its official support for renewing the ban time and time again. From the Department of Justice:

___As the President has stated on several occasions, he supports the reauthorization of the current ban .....

___And the ban will expire despite the support of a majority of Senators, 52. Despite all of this, it looks more and more likely that the National Rifle Association will win. The ban will expire, and the American people will once again be made less safe.

___Although President Bush has said he supports the ban, the White House has refused to lift a finger to help us pass the renewal. They are instead playing political hot potato with the Republican leaders in Congress.

___The Hill newspaper, on May 12, said that ``an aide to [the Speaker] has said privately that if the President pushes for it, the ban will probably be reauthorized. But if he doesn't, the chances ..... are remote.''

___The Boston Globe reports that a White House spokesman said ``Bush still supports the ban but is waiting for the House to act.''

___So the House will act only if the President asks them, and the President will act only if the House passes it. It is a classic catch-22.

___One month ago, June 14, three former Presidents wrote to President Bush. Presidents Ford, Carter, and Clinton took the extraordinary step of writing a joint letter to President Bush asking him to work to renew the ban and offering their assistance to do so. Let me read just part of it:

___We are pleased that you support reauthorization of the ..... Assault Weapons Act, which is scheduled to expire in September. Each of us, along with President Reagan, worked hard in support of this vital law, and it would be a grave mistake if it were allowed to sunset.

___It goes on and expresses what this law means. I could not agree more. We cannot go back to those days. We know these guns are used by gangs, by criminals, by grievance killers, by troubled children to kill their schoolmates. We also know from al-Qaida training manuals that al-Qaida has recommended that its members travel to the United States to buy assault weapons at gun shows. Why? Because it is so easy to do so.

___As the threat of terrorism around the world increases, how can we let the ban expire and make it that much easier for terrorists to arm themselves with military-style weaponry? And make no mistake, gun manufacturers and sellers are keeping a close watch.

___In mid-April, Italian customs seized more than 8,000 AK-47 assault rifles on their way from the

___Romanian Port of Constanta to New York and then to Georgia. These guns had a value of more than $7 million.

___Of course, shipping assembled AK-47s would be illegal under the ban and under a 1989 Executive order of the first President Bush that banned certain guns from importation. But according to ATF, importing these guns so they can be disassembled, sold for parts, and then reassembled would not be illegal, and now purchasers will be allowed to reassemble these guns into their banned form. This shipment was not an isolated example.

___Here is an advertisement from Armalite, a company that makes post-ban rifles. As we can see from this advertisement, they are offering a coupon for a free flash suppressor for anyone who buys one of these guns so that on September 14, once the ban is expired, the gun can be modified to its pre-ban configuration. What do you need a flash suppressor for? If you have a flash suppressor on a gun and a 30-round clip in it and you are shooting at night at the police or at neighbors, you can't see where the gun flashes. The flash is suppressed. So if you are a criminal, you may need one. If you are a legitimate citizen, you don't.

___This is the kind of thing we can expect, just 2 months from now: Companies gearing up to once again produce the deadly assault weapons, the high-capacity clips which are now banned, clips, drums, or strips of more than 10 bullets, and dangerous accessories we worked so hard to stop 10 years ago.

___I hope that, before September 13, the President and the Congress can find the courage to stand up to the NRA, to listen to law enforcement all across the Nation who know that to ban these guns makes sense and saves lives.

___Listen to the studies that show that crime with assault weapons of all kinds has decreased as much as 66 percent. The bottom line is that everyone knows this ban should remain law, but time is running out. We have 14 legislative days. Will the House of Representatives step up to the plate and find an opportunity to give the House an opportunity to vote to renew the military-style assault weapons legislation?

___I ask unanimous consent to print the following editorials in the RECORD.

___There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
[From the Seattle Times, May 4, 2004]

___Extend the Ban on Assault Weapons

___The clock is running out on a 10-year-old federal ban on certain types of semiautomatic assault weapons. Without bold action by President Bush, the common-sense law likely will expire in September.

___Bush has said he will sign a bill to extend the ban if Congress approves one. But that's unlikely without his strong backing, and he knows it.

___A strong majority of Americans support the ban on the manufacture, transfer and possession of 19 types of assault weapons, such as the AK-47, the Uzi and the TEC-9. So do the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Educational Association, the American Bar Association and many other organizations. They support it because it makes sense.

___Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske is one of hundreds of law-enforcement leaders who back the ban. He says such weapons serve no legitimate purpose for people who aren't police.

___He's right. These weapons aren't necessary for hunting or self-defense. They are for drug dealers, gang leaders and other criminals. They don't belong on America's streets.

___In addition to banning 19 specific semiautomatic assault weapons, the 1994 legislation identifies specific characteristics that categorize a weapon as an ``assault weapon.'' It also bans ammunition clips or magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. At the same time, it exempt hundreds of other weapons designed for legitimate uses.

___The ban isn't perfect. Manufacturers can too easily get around the law by altering their weapons. Still, the fight to keep the ban in place is worth it. And it will be a fight.

___The National Rifle Association is actively opposing extension of the ban. Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay said there are not sufficient votes to reauthorize the law. A bill that would have protected gun manufacturers from lawsuits died in March when senators tried to include in the bill the extension of the assault-weapons ban.

___If the ban expires Sept. 13, the country could once again manufacture and import these military-style weapons. We don't need them.

___President Bush has said he supports the ban. It's time for him to start acting like it.
[From the San Francisco Chronicle, April 22, 2004]

___Renew the Weapons Ban

___The debate over the nation's assault weapons ban will be repeated this spring, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein arguing the need for extending her groundbreaking legislation. Lest she need any more ammunition, tragic news has provided it--the recent cold-blooded slaying of San Francisco police office Isaac Espinoza at the hands of a killer wielding an AK-47 assault rifle.

___That there is still strong opposition to extending the weapons ban in spite of its obvious merits speaks to the power of the nation's gun lobby, which has fought every effort for sensible gun control. Earlier this year, Senate Republicans killed their own bill aimed at granting gun dealers and manufacturers immunity from lawsuits filed by shooting victims rather than agree to extend Feinstein's legislation.

___But none of the rhetoric from the National Rifle Association can stand up to the facts. The percentage of assault weapons used in crimes since the original ban passed has been reduced by two-thirds. There is simply no justification for making military-style assault weapons available to the general public.

___While the NRA seems to gloss over the worst incidents involving assault weapons, such as the horrific 1999 Columbine High School shootings, Bay Area residents cannot. Feinstein's bill grew out of the 1993 massacre of eight people at 101 California Street in San Francisco by a gunman armed with two semiautomatic rifles. The shooting death of officer Espinoza, allegedly at the hands of 21-year-old assailant, serves as a chilling reminder of the availability and danger of assault weapons.

___The need for the ban is painfully obvious. Reasonable gun control is in everybody's interest, even those citizens who make up the NRA.
[From the Miami Herald, May 6, 2004]

___Assault-Weapons Ban Is Itself Under Assault

___If Congress allows the federal ban on assault weapons to expire, the law's public-safety successes will disappear with it. Lawmakers should not let that happen. The ban is saving lives.

___The law prohibits manufacture and importation of 19 types of rapid-fire assault weapons and scores of copy-cats with similar characteristics. In the 10 years since the ban was enacted, its benefits have been undeniable: A U.S. Justice Department analysis shows that banned assault weapons used in crimes dropped by almost 66 percent between 1995 and 2001; they dropped 20 percent in the law's first year, to 3,268 in 1995 from 4,077 in 1994. Murders of police officers by assault weapons dropped to zero in late 1995 and 1996 from 16 percent in 1994 and early 1995.

___For these reasons, police chiefs spoke as one last week in press conferences across the country. They want U.S. lawmakers to reauthorize the assault-weapons ban before it expires in September. So do government officials and, several studies show, the majority of Americans.

___President Bush supports the ban, but he hasn't been vocal about it. Under pressure from the National Rifle Association to change his position, Bush appears reluctant to repudiate openly a group that supported his candidacy in 2000. But the data should given him ample reason to lead the push for the law's extension. Simply put, we all are safer because of the ban on assault weapons.

___The ban will sunset on Sept. 13 unless Congress approves new legislation keeping it on the books and Bush signs it into law. Bipartisan legislation would extend the ban for a decade. But reauthorization faces the same heated firefight that the original proposal faced 10 years ago.

___In 1994, the ban almost sank a multifaceted crime and safety bill. In addition to the ban on assault weapons, the bill contained other sensible measures: It added 100,000 police officers and funded programs to steer youths away from crime.

___The NRA fought hard to persuade lawmakers to reject the ban. It argued that the ban trampled gun buyers' constitutional rights. Its heavy-handed tactics backfired. Several gun-owning lawmakers from both sides of the aisle resigned NRA memberships, and a congressional majority voted to approve the ban.

___Lawmakers should stand firm again, rejecting a replay of the NRA's electon-year fear-mongering. The law doesn't stifle gun ownership; it makes killing machines harder to obtain. The ban does not affect weapons owned before it went into effect. In 1995, two Columbine High School students got their hands on assault weapons. We know the carnage they left behind.

___Assault weapons have no place in civil society. Congress should reauthorize the law that bans them.
[From the Hartford (CT) Courant, June 11, 2004]

___Renew Assault Weapons Ban

___Time is running out on efforts to extend the federal assault weapons ban, which is scheduled to expire Sept. 13.

___There's no good reason why civilians should be allowed to own these rapid firing, military-style weapons, which are favored by criminals. The weapons have no legitimate use for self-defense or hunting.

___Unfortunately, Republican congressional leaders are ready to do the bidding of the National Rifle Association, which has fought the ban since it became law a decade ago. President Bush favors an extension of the ban, but unless he pressures Congress to act, it's likely that nothing will happen.

___That would be tragic. Once again, the nation's cities would be flooded with an array of high-powered weapons on streets and in homes. Police officials across the nation have pleaded with Congress to extend the ban.

___Connecticut U.S. Reps. Christopher Shays, Rosa DeLauro and John Larson are among more than 100 House co-sponsors of the proposed extension. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd recently added his name as a Senate co-sponsor. The remaining members of Connecticut's delegation, Reps. Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, should joint them.

___The proposed extension also would tighten current law to close a loophole that has allowed manufacturers to sell the weapons simply by making cosmetic changes in the banned models.

___Passage of the 1994 ban was an important step toward reducing mayhem with powerful guns. Let's not take a step backward.
[From the New York Times, June 21, 2004]

___ Guns and the Gipper

___ On last reflection on the death of Ronald Reagan:

___ In the debate over who can lay claim to the Reagan legacy, one aspect of the late president's record has gotten little attention.

___ That was Mr. Reagan's willingness to stand up to the National Rifle Association and support the cause of gun control when he thought it was right.

___ A decade ago, when the proposal to create a federal ban on military-style assault weapons was teetering between Congressional passage and defeat, Mr. Reagan personally lobbied Republican House members to take what he called the ``absolutely necessary'' step of outlawing the bullet-spraying semiautomatic guns favored by criminals. His effort proved crucial, as the legislation passed the House by just a two-vote margin.

___ True, it was only after Mr. Reagan left office that he woke up to the need for sensible national laws like the assault weapons ban and background checks for gun buyers. As president, he signed legislation weakening federal gun laws. Right now, President Bush has the chance to go the Gipper one better by waging a principled fight to renew the 10-year-old assault weapons ban, which is due to expire in September. The president is on record as favoring the ban's continuation. But he steadfastly refuses to do anything to rally lawmakers to renew and strengthen its proven, life-saving provisions. Mr. Bush may please anti-gun-control extremists by presiding over the extinction of the assault weapons ban. We doubt it would have pleased Mr. Reagan.

_A Landmark Settlement


___A court in West Virginia has approved a settlement requiring a gun dealer to pay $1 million in damages to two New Jersey police officers seriously wounded by a robber who bought a gun through a straw party in West Virginia. This agreement marks the first time a dealer will pay damages for supplying a firearm to the illegal gun market. The lawsuit accused the dealer, Will Jewelry & Loan of Charleston, W.Va., of negligence and creating a public nuisance by selling a dozen handguns to a straw buyer. The straw buyer bought the weapons for convicted felon James Gray.

___Dennis Henigan, an official at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, noted that the injured officers would have collected nothing had the U.S. Senate approved legislation in March to shield gun makers and dealers from civil lawsuits. For a time, it seemed that the National Rifle Association would pressure Congress to pass this bill. That was before Democrats succeeded in adding two amendments. One would have banned assault weapons, and the other would have required background checks at private gun shows. Furious Senate Republicans pulled the immunity bill and vowed to stall the two amendments by not allowing the House to consider them this year.

___President George W. Bush can make a difference in this election year by keeping his promise to extend the 1994 ban on military-style assault weapons. The existing ban expires in September. Mr. Bush didn't mention the issue when he invited sporting groups to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, in the spring. Nor did Vice President Dick Cheney mention it when he held an antique rifle at April's NRA convention and accused Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry of being an enemy of gun makers and users.

___The president appears to want to have it both ways. He says he favors instituting background checks and extending the weapons ban, yet he had urged the Senate not to add either rider to the gun immunity bill. Granted, some of the banned weapons, including the one Mr. Cheney held at the NRA convention, are prized by collectors. And gun enthusiasts point out that many of the banned weapons are no more dangerous than guns in general but have a bad reputation because of movies that glorify gun violence.

___Trouble is, this violence spills over into real life. The memory of Columbine is still sharp for many Americans, although the carnage happened five years ago. Images of snipers picking off innocent people in the Washington, DC, area won't soon be forgotten. And the reckless use of handguns and rifles to maim and murder is a daily occurrence in our country.

___Mr. Bush should give his unequivocal support to extending the ban on military-style weapons that are used mainly to kill people.

Harry Tuttle
July 14, 2004, 10:58 AM
[From the Baltimore Sun, July 5, 2004]

___The Line of Fire

___They buried Carlos Owen, Harley Chisholm III, and Charles Bennett last month. The three Birmingham, Ala., police officers were serving an arrest warrant in one of the city's blighted neighborhoods when they were shot and killed. And the incident has left people in that conservative, gun-owning part of the country wondering whether maybe some weapons shouldn't be so widely available.

___The gun that killed the officers was an SKS, a rifle similar to the notorious Russian AK-47. It's a military-style assault weapon and, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a rifle often used against law enforcement officers. It fires a 7.62 mm round at 2,300 feet per second, a velocity that's capable of penetrating police body armor. Earlier this year, two other Alabama police officers were killed in the line of duty. An SKS was used in both shootings.

___Why is this cop-killing gun allowed in circulation in this country? It's not outlawed by the 10-year-old federal assault weapons ban. The AK-47 was, but the makers of the SKS found a way around the ban by making some minor modifications. Yet their gun still has some of the most troubling qualities of an assault weapon--an ability to accept a high-capacity magazine and, even as a semiautomatic, spray a large number of large bullets powerfully and accurately.

___That, and the fact that it's cheap and lethal-looking, has made the SKS a popular gun among criminals. An SKS can be purchased for as little as $200. A used magazine capable of holding 40 rounds might cost an extra $5. It's not a particularly useful gun for hunting. It's not even that popular with the general law-abiding public. All models of assault weapons represent less than 5 percent of the guns in circulation.

___Yet here we are just a few months shy of the day the federal assault weapons ban is set to expire and there's little hope it will be renewed. It should be renewed--and expanded to cover guns such as the SKS. President Bush said four years ago that he supported an extension of the assault weapons ban. A majority of the Senate supports it, too. Right-wing House Republicans don't. President Bush could probably overcome that opposition, but he won't even talk about the issue. Clearly, he'd rather the whole thing went away quietly.

___Of course it won't go away for the families of those murdered Birmingham police officers. While a renewal wouldn't take the existing SKS rifles off the street, letting the ban expire in September would open the door to even deadlier models. What message would that decision send to future cop-killers? A lot of Americans, gun owners and police officers included, have been left to ponder: What compelling reason is there to allow bad guys to own assault weapons? And how can the president of the United States continue to claim to support a ban but not lift a finger for the cause?
[From the Oregonian, July 5, 2004]

___Back to Assault Weapons

___Summary: Without pressure from President Bush and action by Congress, the 1994 ban on military-style guns will expire.

___When a man used an assault rifle to shoot three people at a California community center in 1999, then-presidential candidate George W. Bush declared, ``It makes no sense for assault weapons to be around our society.''

___It still doesn't. President Bush promised during his first campaign to uphold a ban on assault weapons, but he isn't lifting a finger now to prevent the popular law from expiring. The assault weapons ban approved in 1994 by Congress and signed by President Clinton was written to sunset after 10 years. Time's up at midnight on Sept. 13.

___The White House claims Bush supports extending the ban and would sign a bill renewing the law if Congress sends him one. But earlier this year, Bush helped defeat a gun bill that included the ban on assault weapons. The president also has done nothing to encourage Congress to act on the issue in the dwindling days of this session.

___That's a dangerous mistake. Bush was absolutely right when he told voters that assault weapons have no place in American society. These military-style weapons, with rapid-fire capabilities and large-capacity magazines capable of holding dozens of rounds of ammunition, are not hunting or sporting weapons. They are designed for just one thing: shooting people.

___Polls show that Americans strongly favor renewing the ban on these weapons. In late 2003 an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 78 percent of adults nationwide expressed support for renewing the federal ban. A University of Pennsylvania National Annenberg Election Survey found in April 2004 that even 64 percent of the people in households with guns favor the law.

___Every major law enforcement organization in the nation backs the ban on assault weapons, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs' Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Every police agency understands the dangers of these weapons in the hands of drug traffickers, gangs and terrorists.

___Yet House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and other GOP leaders seem determined to prevent the renewal of the assault weapons ban from even coming to a vote. We strongly urge members of the Oregon congressional delegation to join the bill to reauthorize the ban and to pressure the leadership to bring the matter up for a vote before the law sunsets in September.

___While several studies show a marked decline since 1994 in assault weapons traced to crime, we'll concede that the federal ban has not been a fully effective defense against these guns. The law grandfathered existing assault weapons in 1994, and manufacturers have exploited loopholes in the law by producing copycat weapons with only cosmetic differences.

___A responsible Congress, and one not in the thrall of the National Rifle Association, would tighten the law, fix the loopholes and make the ban on these weapons permanent. If that's too much to ask, we'd settle for the president to keep his word on this issue and demand that Congress renew the existing ban on assault weapons.
[From the San Jose (CA) Mercury News, July 5, 2004]

___Bush Is Doing Nothing To Help Extend Ban on Assault Weapons

___The federal law outlawing some of the most dangerous military-style guns will expire Sept. 13, leaving the nation more vulnerable to horrific crimes.

___The Republican leadership in the House has bottled up the bill extending the 10-year-old assault-weapons ban. But President Bush will bear part of the blame if nothing is done.

___The president has recently repeated his promise, first made when running for president in 2000, to sign an extension. But, unlike his push for the war in Iraq and a tax cut, he has not lifted a finger to see that the bill reaches his desk, and the gun lobby has vowed to keep it from getting there. Bush wants to have it both ways.

___The ban has been only modestly successful in curbing the sale of rapid-fire semi-automatic weapons. Gun manufacturers have devised ways around it; copycat models and high-capacity magazines, imported from abroad, proliferate.

___But the answer is to tighten and to expand the law, along the lines of California's smartly effective 5-year-old assault-weapons ban, and not to return to the days when a wannabe drug dealer or cop killer could buy an Uzi at a local gun shop.

___Law enforcement groups are urging that the ban be continued. It would be a travesty if officers once again find themselves outgunned on the streets they are sworn to protect.

___Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I thank the Chair and yield the floor.

Harry Tuttle
July 14, 2004, 11:01 AM
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.

___Mr. SCHUMER. I thank the Chair.

___I thank my colleague from California for her leadership and her eloquence on this issue. She has done a wonderful job, and I hope that her pleas to the White House and to the House are heeded.

___We stand on the floor today debating an amendment to the Constitution for which there is already a statute that does the same thing. We are ignoring basic needs. Instead of debating this amendment, why aren't we debating homeland security? Last Friday there was a warning issued to all of us, a severe warning, yet the Homeland Security bill, despite the warning that was issued to us on Friday, languishes.

___We are here today to bring up another important issue--people's lives and these kinds of weapons, which thankfully have been banned on our streets for the last 10 years and, woefully, may be back on our streets 2 months from today if we do nothing.

___That is the bottom line. The assault weapons ban has been an amazing success. It is supported by the American people overwhelmingly. Yesterday a poll showed that 79 percent support renewal. Today a new poll showed that in the swing States, Midwestern and Southern States, where there are large numbers of gun owners, overwhelming majorities support the ban. Gun owners support the ban. Law enforcement supports the ban. The list that my colleague from California showed is lengthy and comprehensive.

___So why wouldn't something that has saved lives, that has been so successful, that has helped bring down the crime rate not be brought up on the floor of the House and is in danger of lapsing?

___One simple word: Politics. Politics of a small few who seem to call the dance when it comes to dealing with issues like this Street Sweeper.

___Point one is that these weapons are not made for hunting. They are not made for self-defense. They were designed by armies to kill a lot of people quickly. They are never used by good people, who certainly have a right to bear arms. In fact, recently al-Qaida told its membership in a training manual found by the U.S. military that terrorists should use America's weak gun laws to get serious weapons and to try to get assault weapons. Terrorists want these weapons, drug dealers want these weapons, criminals want these weapons. Police men and women do not want these weapons, hunters do not want these weapons, small store owners who carry a small sidearm for self-defense don't want these weapons.

___Why do we have to be on the Senate floor pleading with the President and the House for renewal of a law that has been so successful? Again, one word: Politics. A small group of fanatical people somehow have an ideological mission that they must restore these weapons to our streets. They don't represent gun owners. They don't represent the North or the South or the East or the West. They represent their own misguided ideology. But the President, who is on the campaign trail talking about leadership, cowers and shakes before this small group of ideologues. He has said he is for the renewal of the assault weapons ban. But according to the House leadership, he has not mentioned once to them that he would like the bill to be on the floor of the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House says that we need the President to get this going. The President says the House should do it. It is a classic Abbott and Costello routine, a shell game, a classic duck the consequences, or the worst aspects of politics.

___The bottom line is that if George Bush wanted the assault weapons ban to be renewed, it would be. All he would have to do is pick up the phone once and call Speaker Hastert and say put it on the floor of the House; and on the floor of the House it would pass, just as it passed this body a few months ago when the Senator from California and I offered it. And then the President would sign it.

___But the President thinks he can get away with this, that he can get away with this nasty little game; that he will keep happy his hard-core small number of supporters who believe these weapons should be on the streets, and he will not pay the price.

___Mr. President, I cannot predict how our politics will work out in the next few months. But it is my guess that if this ban is not renewed, and AK-47s, Street Sweepers, and Uzis are back on our streets, starting 2 months from today, that the President will pay a political price for it. That is no solace to me. That is no solace to my colleague from California. We would much rather have this renewed, as everybody knows it should be.

___No hunter, no gun owner has been hurt by the inability to carry an Uzi. Some criminals have been hurt, terrorists have been hurt, but no legitimate citizen who certainly has a right to bear arms. And I support the second amendment, but I don't support the view that it should be seen through a pi hole.

___We make one last plea--and we have 13 legislative days left--to the President of these United States to step up to the plate, show real leadership, and ask that the assault weapons ban be put on the floor of the House of Representatives, and that it be renewed because it has been successful and good for just about everybody.

___I ask unanimous consent to have several articles printed in the RECORD.

___There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
[From the New York Times, April 20, 2004]

___Targeting Voters in the Worst Way

___It is not quite the same as kissing babies, but Vice President Dick Cheney beamed as he handled an antique rifle for his photo-op last weekend at the National Rifle Association convention. Mr. Cheney, the administration's most famous duck hunter, was on a reassurance mission, drawing cheers as he trumpeted President Bush's commitment to hunters' constitutional rights. Mr. Cheney attacked Senator John Kerry, the Democratic challenger, as a firearms wuss, despite Mr. Kerry's beady-eyed display last fall when he blasted pheasants from the Iowa skies in his own vote-hunting foray.

___Mr. Cheney's personal visit signaled how much of a fence-mending charade the White House is staging to soothe the politically powerful gun lobby. Some N.R.A. members are still miffed at Mr. Bush's ostensible promise--left over from his 2000 campaign--to sign a renewal of the 10-year-old ban on assault weapons if that vitally needed measure should ever manage to be passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. But, of course, the Capitol's pro-gun leadership has already made sure that the president's promise bobs as lifelessly as an election-year decoy.

___Banning assault rifles simply protects society from fast-fire attack weapons designed for waging war, not hunting. But Mr. Bush never once pressed Congress to pass the renewal. Instead, he spent his political capital on the gun lobby's outrageous proposal to grant immunity from damage suits to irresponsible gun manufacturers and dealers.

___This is the Bush-Cheney team's true record on gun control. Too few voters are aware that the assault weapons ban will certainly expire in September while the president declines to lift a finger to save it. The law's demise looms as another national gun tragedy, even as politicians in both parties calibrate how much more pandering to gun owners will be needed in the hunt for votes in the swing states.
[From the Post-Standard, June 27, 2004]

___ Consider This

___ The assault weapons ban might not have become law a decade ago without an assist from what some might consider an unexpected quarter--former president Ronald Reagan.

___ Already out of office, Reagan nevertheless expended what political capital he had left to lobby fellow Republicans. The measure passed the House by just two votes.

___ That same assault weapons ban, which has been doing its job keeping lethal weaponry out of the hands of criminals all these years, is set to expire in September. While President Bush says he'll sign a continuation of the ban, he doesn't appear willing to lift a trigger-finger on its behalf. And the assault weapons lobby seems to have Congress in its back pocket. Unless .....

___Well, unless the president is willing to spend a little of his own political capital, do the right thing and push for the ban. It shouldn't be hard. After all, he'd be doing it for ``The Gipper.''
[From the Detroit Free Press, May 7, 2004]
Assault Guns; Moms March for a Needed Renewal of National Ban

___Thousands will gather on Mother's Day Sunday in Washington, D.C., including at least 500 people from Michigan, to join the Million Mom March and push Congress for a needed renewal of the assault weapons ban. Lawmakers should listen.

___Renewing the ban is a modest and commonsense step that is supported by most Americans, while vociferously opposed by the powerful gun lobby.

___Shikha Hamilton, president of the Million Mom March in Detroit, says the group wants to hold President George W. Bush to his promise of support for the ban, which will expire in September unless Congress renews it.

___The ban covers 19 kinds of assault weapons and has significantly reduced the frequency with which these guns are used in crimes.

___To be sure, it has not solved the problem of gun violence. Manufacturers have gotten around the ban by making minor changes. People can legally, and easily, buy parts that, put together, will turn a legal gun into an illegal one. It's also obvious that all people must be held accountable for how they use guns.

___That said, the 1994 ban has slowed the flow of assault weapons onto the street. Letting it expire would undo years of work by groups fighting for sensible gun laws.

___Some pro-gun activists will try to depict Million Mom March as an extremist group trying to scrap the Second Amendment. It is not.

___A modest federal law to restrict military-style guns whose only purpose is to mow people down ought to make sense to any member of Congress not under the undue influence of the gun lobby.

___For more information on the march, go to www.millionmommarch.com
[From the Atlanta Journal-Constituion, March 5, 2004]

___ Pry Congress From Cold, Deadly Clutch of the NRA

___ Those who say that negotiating with the gun lobby is like making a deal with the devil owe the archfiend an apology.

___ For months, the National Rifle Association has lobbied hard for passage of a bill that would make the gun industry immune to civil lawsuits. The measure--the NRA's top legislative priority--had already passed the House, and this week was close to passage in the Senate as well, until NRA lobbyists stepped in at the last minute and ordered that the bill be killed.

___ Why the sudden change of heart? Because Democrats and moderate Republicans had succeeded in attaching two quite sensible, reasonable gun-safety measures to the bill. One amendment extended the 1994 ban on military-style assault weapons that's set to expire in September; the other closed a loophole that permitted people to buy firearms at gun shows without having to undergo instant background checks.

___ Officially, President Bush backs both measures, although he has done nothing to support them. According to a recent survey by the Consumer Federation of America, the assault rifle ban is also supported by a majority of the nation's gun owners. The assault weapons ban is particularly important to law enforcement officers, who had pleaded with Congress to renew the ban and also close the gun show loophole. According to the Justice Department, the proportion of banned assault weapons traced to crimes had dropped by 65.8 percent since 1995, most likely as a result of that law.

___ Nonetheless, U.S. Sen. Zell Miller was among six Democrats who voted against renewing the ban on military-style assault weapons. ``First of all, the term `assault' was dreamed up to give the weapons included a bad name. Who could be for an `assault weapons'? The definition is really `semi-automatic,' and about 15 percent of all firearms owned in the U.S. meet the definition,'' said Miller.

___ Had the gun-immunity bill passed, it would have voided hundreds of pending lawsuits, including those filed by more than 30 cities devastated by gun violence and by dozens of shooting victims and their families. For example, it would have slammed shut the courthouse door to the families of the victims of Beltway snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. The families are suing Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, the Washington state gun shop where Malvo either bought or stole the semi-automatic rifle used to slaughter 10 people. Between 2000 and 2003, the gun shop somehow ``lost'' 230 other guns from its inventory.

___ Bull's Eye tried to have the case dismissed, but the courts ruled that the store had some responsibility to ensure its firearms didn't fall into the hands of criminals. The judge relied on the established legal principle that a person who carelessly furnishes a criminal an open opportunity to commit a crime can be held liable.

___ The NRA and its supporters want to give the gun industry an immunity to being sued that no other American industry enjoys. As they have demonstrated, they want that immunity only on their terms, with no compromise and no tolerance for any effort that might reduce the toll in lost and broken lives attributed to guns. And while that absolutist approach is troubling, the docile willingness of so many in Congress to accommodate that extremism is more troubling still.
[From the Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2004]

___NRA's Eye Is Fixed on Bush

___Just under four months from today, Americans will be able to walk out of a gun store with an AK-47 rifle, an Uzi or other weapon of mass murder under their arm.

___Unless Congress acts--and Republican leaders show no inclination to do so--the 10-year-old federal assault gun ban will expire Sept. 13. A word from President Bush would get a renewal before lawmakers, a majority of whom would probably approve it. But the president is silent.

___Most people, including most gun owners, are properly alarmed. A survey released last month by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center found that 71% of those surveyed and 64% of gun owners wanted Congress to extend the ban.

___But congressional leaders, too accustomed to taking marching orders from the National Rifle Assn., have stymied the reauthorization bill that Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John W. Warner (R-Va.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced last year.

___The 1994 ban bars the manufacture and importation of 19 specific semiautomatic gun models and other models with similar features. These are not hunting weapons; what they do best is mow down humans, from factory workers to 6-year-olds in a school cafeteria. That's why Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton and his colleagues in other cities steadfastly support renewing the ban. Bans by the states on such weapons, including California's, would stay in effect. But there would be no bar against Californians buying such guns in Nevada or elsewhere.

___The NRA disingenuously insists that the federal law is flawed because it prohibits some guns while permitting virtually identical weapons cosmetically tweaked to evade the law's reach. But when Feinstein proposed a more inclusive ban, similar to California's, which defines assault guns by their generic characteristics, the NRA crushed it. It also blocked her effort to close a loophole in the current law that allows importation of high-capacity bullet clips.

___However tempting it is to blame Congress for the stalemate over this bill, the leadership failure is really the president's. Bush has said he backs the ban. He also wants the NRA's political endorsement, which the gun group is withholding until after the ban expires. So Bush has put no pressure on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) or House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to move Feinstein's measure or its House counterpart.

___If Bush says the word, Frist and Hastert will put the gun ban extension before their colleagues for a vote. And if Bush means it when he says his top priority is to keep Americans safe, he will do just that.
[From the Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2004]

___Reload the Assault Gun Ban

___Two months from today, the federal assault weapons ban dissolves like a wisp of gun smoke. Even though he proudly carried the National Rifle Assn.'s seal of approval in 2000, President Bush says he supports renewing the 10-year-old ban, but he has refused to push Congress in that direction. His word to congressional leaders would matter greatly now, just as his continued silence suggests that he values the NRA's support over Americans' safety.

___The NRA's strategy is to get its friends in Congress to run out the clock on the assault weapons ban. Toward that end, House leaders have blocked any vote on bills to extend the ban for another decade, and a Senate bill amended with renewal language died in March. Yet congressional leaders are pushing for votes on time-wasting wedge issues such as proposed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and flag desecration.

___The 1994 ban bars the manufacture and importation of 19 specific semiautomatic gun models and others with similar features. These aren't hunting weapons, unless you consider a classroom full of 7-year-olds or swing-shift workers at a factory to be prey.

___The NRA loudly insists that the law is flawed because it bars some guns while allowing nearly identical weapons that have been cosmetically tweaked. That's absolutely correct. But when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the 1994 ban, proposed a more inclusive ban, like California's, which defines assault guns by their generic characteristics, the NRA crushed it. It also killed her effort to close a loophole in the current law that allows importation of high-capacity bullet clips. If the federal law does expire, California's assault gun ban would stay in effect. But there would be no bar against Californians buying these weapons of mass destruction in Nevada or elsewhere.

___Bush justifies the war in Iraq by insisting that it has made this nation safer. But the president and his congressional allies risk making American cities and towns far more dangerous by their shameful failure to renew the assault gun ban. They have just 61 days left.

Harry Tuttle
July 14, 2004, 11:02 AM
[From the Washington Post, May 25, 2003]

___Weapons for Terrorism

___Some of the most efficient firearms sought by terrorists--international as well as domestic--may flood the markets of this country if Congress fails to renew a federal ban on semiautomatic assault-style weapons. The ban is scheduled to expire next year after a decade in force; House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) announced at one point recently that the House would not even have a vote on the matter. But House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) then insisted that no final decision had been made, noting that he first wants to talk to President Bush, who has been on record as supporting the ban. That's the right position, but it will take more than presidential lip service to uphold it in an election year.

___The 1994 law made it illegal to manufacture, transfer or possess 19 specific models of semiautomatic weapons. It also banned ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. If anything, the law needs to be strengthened. A Congressional Research Service report released last week found that U.S. gun laws in general can be easily exploited by terrorist operatives shopping for weapons in this country. In the case of assault weapons, the gun industry has found clever ways to make cosmetic design changes in their models to get around the federal ban. Even so, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, every major law enforcement organization in the country has supported the ban. These groups point out that these firearms remain the weapons of choice for drug traffickers, gangs and paramilitary groups. As weak as the ban may be, evidence exists that the number of assault weapons traced to crimes dips when such laws are in place. In Maryland, for example, a ban on assault pistols took effect in June 1994. The Brady Center found that the number of these guns recovered by Baltimore police in the first six months of 1995 was down 45 percent from the comparable period the year before.

___The ban on assault weapons needs time and broadening to have more effect. Reopening the gates to still more assault weapons makes no sense in civilized society. Congress and the president ought not make it any easier for terrorists, deranged people, drive-by shooters or criminals--foreign or domestic--to kill and maim.

July 14, 2004, 11:29 AM

Harry Tuttle
July 14, 2004, 11:52 AM
notice the process

VPC has someone write an article for the newspaper

the senator "reads it" into the record by citing the article

July 14, 2004, 12:00 PM
Heaven forbid a man becoming a "puke" (well thought-out description ) for speaking up for what he believes in and the majority of his constituents support.

Eh, if he supports discrimination then "puke" is a fairly accurate discription. And just because the majority supports it dont make it right.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 14, 2004, 12:27 PM
Topic of discussion is AWB debate on the Senate floor. If you want to debate other issues, please start a new thread as a courtesy to those who wish to stay informed on this issue without reading through a bunch of OT messages.

July 14, 2004, 12:50 PM
"The Senate has voted against continuing debate 48-50.."

Where does this go from here? Is it dead in the water? :o :confused:

July 14, 2004, 02:22 PM
Does anyone know the source for her comments about crime with "assault weapons" going down by 2/3?

I'm used to he playing with numbers to come up with things, but I like to look at the source to see how things are being scewed.

July 14, 2004, 02:44 PM
Here is what I found.


Washington, DC – The proportion of banned assault weapons traced to crimes has dropped by 65.8% since 1995, according to new data from the Department of Justice, which was announced today by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Charles Schumer (D-NY).

The newly released data, obtained by Senator Feinstein from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, is the first to show the long-term impact of the 1994 law, sponsored by Senator Feinstein.

The law banned the manufacture of 19 specific military style assault weapons, including the civilian versions of the Uzi and Mac-10 and also banned the manufacture of copycat weapons.

“This data shows clearly that the assault weapons ban is working,” Senator Feinstein said. “From the moment the law went into effect there has been a steady and dramatic decline in the number of banned weapons turning up in crimes. Based on this evidence, it is clear to me that the assault weapons ban needs to be reauthorized so that we can continue to keep these military-style weapons off the street.”

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Senator Schumer said. "To let the assault weapons ban expire just as we are realizing its benefits would be a major setback in the success we've had in reducing crime over the last decade. The fact of the matter is that there is no legitimate use for these weapons. That was as true in 1994 as it is today. The bottom line is that the assault weapons ban is working and we are safer because of it."

In 1995, the first year that the ban went into effect, assault weapons represented 3.57 percent of all crime guns recovered from crimes. By 2002, assault weapons represented only 1.22 percent of the number of guns used in crimes.

If Congress does not take action, the ban will expire on September 13, 2004, and manufacturers would once again be able to make the assault weapons that have been banned for almost 10 years.

Senators Feinstein and Schumer also unveiled a broad coalition of supporters to back the reauthorization of the ban that is set to expire in September 2004. Coalition members include police organizations, more than 100 mayors, teachers unions, religious groups, county officials, and several major gun safety advocacy organizations.

“This coalition demonstrates broad-based support for the assault weapons ban,” Feinstein said. “It is a law which has worked and which reflects the values of the American people.”

"The broad support we've accumulated for renewing the ban underscores the fact that people recognize that this law hasn't resulted in a single law-abiding hunter losing the right to hunt, or homeowner losing the power to defend his home," Senator Schumer said. "In fact, it shows that the Second Amendment can thrive while we take reasonable measures to protect Americans from gun violence."

President Bush has consistently indicated his support for reauthorization of the current ban. The President has also made it clear that he supports banning the importation of high capacity ammunition clips.

The data obtained from the Department of Justice shows a steady decline of criminal firearm traces in which the 19 banned assault weapons were used. Assault weapons were nearly three times as likely to be recovered in a crime in 1995 than last year.
Year Percentage
1995 3.57%
1996 2.53%
1997 2.02%
1998 1.80%
1999 1.91%
2000 1.59%
2001 1.30%
2002 1.22%

(Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives)

“We are definitely seeing a reduction of firepower in the hands of street criminals,” said Harold L. Hurtt, the police chief for Phoenix, Arizona and president of the Major Cities Chiefs of Police, one of several law enforcement organizations endorsing the Feinstein-Schumer bill. “We support renewing the ban because police should never be outgunned by criminals.”

Although the assault weapons ban remains controversial in Congress, it is widely supported by gun owning and non-gun owning voters. According to an October poll conducted for Americans for Gun Safety by Mark Penn, voters support renewing the ban by a margin of 77-21% (66-32% among gun owning voters) (sample size – 800).

Bartholomew Roberts
July 14, 2004, 03:04 PM
Well it is simple enough why there has been a decline. She is only counting preban weapons as "assault weapons" for the purposes of tracing. Since none of these have been manufactured since 1994, they are going to get progressively more rare - especially since the increase in value will mean most are diverted to collectors.

Note that when it comes to reasons why the legislation needs to be renewed though, anything is an assault weapon including the SKS (not covered by this legislation), the Street Sweeper (regulated by the 1934 NFA), and the Uzi and AK47 (1989 Import ban).

Somebody should send her the VPC study on the same issue showing crime gun traces went up (because VPC used an incredibly broad definition of assault weapon).

July 14, 2004, 03:08 PM
Hmm. So the percentage of crimes comitted with those particular guns was reduced. So those particular guns with those cosmetic features became less available, and criminals used different weapons.

That's not a reduction in violent crime. Less traces to these particular guns do nothing to show the legislations effectivness in reducing crime.

July 14, 2004, 03:08 PM
I thought it was pretty bogus that she quotes the ATF as a source but there is no link or anything to let you see what exactly is covered.

July 14, 2004, 03:12 PM
If this is who I think it is (Schumer? Anyone know?) - funny funny (I hadn't seen this one before).


Harry Tuttle
July 14, 2004, 03:23 PM
thats good ole dicky schumer

Bartholomew Roberts
July 14, 2004, 03:23 PM
Yup, that is Chuckles all right.

July 14, 2004, 06:09 PM
"The Senate has voted against continuing debate 48-50.."

Where does this go from here? Is it dead in the water? EDIT: The Constitutional Amendment is dead.

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