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The assault weapons ban: A case study in the politics of frivolity

Once again, our lawmakers cloak unpassable legislation in base-pleasing rhetoric
The Senate Judiciary Committee last week approved a measure that would reinstitute the assault weapons ban. Big news, right? The bill will now head to the entire Senate for a vote... unless of course Republicans filibuster... but nevertheless, this is big, right?
SEE MORE: Is Mark Sanchez finally getting benched for good?
The New York Times story detailing the measure's passage described the bill as "almost certain to fail if brought before the entire Senate." It "has almost zero chance of even receiving a hearing in the House." Nor should it be since all available evidence suggests that an assault weapons ban would have a negligible impact on safety. Of course, that point is one of substance, and nothing about the debate over the proposed AWB has anything to do with whether it will or will not work. Everything about the proposed renewal of the AWB is theatrics and serves as yet another example of the triumph of style at the expense of substance in our national politics.


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Not frivolous - dangerous because

although the Feinstein bill will likely fail, it is
providing cover for, and making look reasonable
some other bills which *do* stand a chance of passing
and contain evil shit that people (including here on DP)
seem to be IGNORING.

I'm referring mainly to S.443 which the GOA, at least
has analyzed and been warning about.

From their analysis of the bill:

"Increasingly, there are more and more individuals who are “prohibited persons” for non-violent reasons -- for instance, they smoke marijuana or they are military veterans suffering from maladies such as PTSD.

But if this bill is passed, any person who sells to such prohibited persons two or more firearms ... or gives them a firearm as a gift ... or raffles a firearm (where they are the recipient) ... does so only at the considerable risk of spending 15 years in a federal penitentiary."


"Note several things: You don’t need to know the person is a prohibited person... The recipient doesn’t need to know they’re a prohibited person. You don’t need to do anything more than plan (“conspire”) to procure the gun. The recipient doesn’t need to be on the NICS list to be a prohibited person...

In fact, under section 4, if you even “intend” to sell a firearm to a person who turns out to be a marijuana smoker -- or one of the prohibited military veterans suffering from PTSD -- you become a prohibited person yourself...

full analysis here: