There is a tremendous amount of hyperbole that civil rights groups use to pursue their first and foremost mission: fundraising.
This is not limited to the “gun rights groups”. We see it in literature promulgated by immigrant rights groups, business and finance groups, LGBTQ rights groups, gender equality groups, animal rights groups… and, of course, the most militant transnational border rights for marsupials (never, ever find yourself standing in their way!).
So, whenever I receive an email or advertisement from any “pro-anything” group, I tend to take it with a grain of salt.
The gun groups have been making hay since the last election. Vitriol on the part of Democrats seeking to restrict multiple civil rights, coupled with a nascent realization that their power is both tenuous, as well as most likely coming to an end in 20 plus months, has accelerated their push. This spasm to enact restrictive legislation has given fodder to civil rights gun groups to inundate their members with pleas for more money to combat these onerous bills.
I get it. I would be doing the same thing.
That said, when a bill like HR-127 is introduced in the House, I don’t lose a lot of sleep over it. (That was Shelia Jackson Lee’s literal vomit on paper of every anti-gun idea she could think of.)
HR-8 and HR-1446, both involving background checks and extending the available time for the FBI to conduct a background check to effectively a month, is far more problematic… these two bills have passed the House, and it is going to be interesting to see what happens in the Senate.
The one I want to focus on today is, frankly, creepy… and while I am not convinced it will pass in the Senate, if it does will not likely survive Constitutional scrutiny in the courts… its philosophical base is extremely troubling.
S.736 has been introduced by none other than the perpetual octogenarian from California, Senator Feinstein. Yes… the same woman who almost blew the Night Stalker case by going public, as mayor of San Francisco, with evidence that only the police knew about, had a Chinese spy working on her staff, and, frankly, singlehandedly created the market for AR-15s in the first place by authoring the original “assault weapons ban”, now wants to wield the meat cleaver of government and see what happens.
S.736 charts a problematic course on the title page. “To regulate assault weapons, to ensure the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.” (emphasis added)
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When Brett Kavanaugh was going through his confirmation process, Senator Feinstein asked him if he thought AR-15s were in “common use”. This question had a legal foundation. In Heller v DC, Justice Scalia opined that the Second Amendment only protected weapons that were in “common use”.
Justice Kavanaugh essentially said that yes, the number of AR-15s that existed in the marketplace would suggest that it is, in fact, in “common use”. Senator Feinstein balked. She said she disagreed. They were not in “common use”. Her analysis: The weapon exists for one singular purpose… to kill people. While many people arguably own them, they are not regularly killing people with them… hence… not in “common use.”
The exchange was laughable… but now we have reached the point where she is trying to codify her idiocy into law.
S.736 would allow for the grandfathering of existing “assault weapon” platforms at the time of the adoption of the law… but foreclose all possibilities of acquiring new ones. It actually goes beyond the scope of the California “assault weapons” laws and attempts (poorly) to eliminate the possibility of “going featureless” (see page 15 line 14 of S736).
It also has ventured into the world of semi-auto pistols, the most interesting coming from page four, line eight, where it purports to ban : (V) A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm. What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Since a Glock has a version that is a fully automatic, does that mean that all Glock semi-automatics are derivatives of that? Good Lord!
Then she gets nefarious.
In this bill she lists out, by make and model, a slew of guns she deems not acceptable for civilian use, and creates a presumptive list of “banned” guns. Nothing new with this… anti-gunners have been making “lists” since Roberti-Roos.
Then she does something I have not seen before… she creates a list of guns that are presumptively lawful. Everything from lever-actions to bolt-actions.
It now makes sense. By specifically articulating guns the public can own, she can show that the peoples’ Second Amendment rights have not been abridged. After all… as some courts have already articulated, you might have a right to own “a” gun… just not necessarily the gun you want.
How this plays out will be fascinating to watch. There are a number of pro-gun Democratic senators who are going to have a hard time stomaching this bill. There are also a number of anti-gun Republican senators who won’t have a problem supporting it. If it does make it to the House, I am sure it will pass… how the Court rules on it… if it should get that far… now that is going to make for an interesting blog.