Once again California Senator Dianne Feinstein used a public proceeding to push her fake news on gun control issues all while attempting to spin her false statements as an attack on Judge Brett Kavanaugh during the hearings for his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Feinstein plied familiar ground during day two of the hearings held in Washington D.C. last week, but none of it contained much truth… as is her wont.
The California Democrat began her comments reminding everyone that she was the principal author of the 1994 “Assault Weapons” ban and she insisted that she “believes” that the ban was a successful piece of legislation that took guns off the streets. She insisted the law “essentially prohibited the transfer, sale, and manufacture of assault weapons. It did not at the time affect possession.”
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But, in effect, this statement is untrue because the law did allow possessors of such guns to be arrested and prosecuted leaving the burden of proof on the gun owner to show that he had the gun before the law went into effect. Essentially, it was an illicit exercise in guilty until proven innocent, a major violation of the spirit of American law.
She went on to say she “believes” that the law was effective. But, in truth there is no proof at all for this assumption which is why it was repealed in 2004.
Indeed, as the NFA-ILA noted, two government studies disproved Feinstein’s proclamation that the law worked:
Two government funded studies of the law’s effects in fact found it had no measurable impact on violent crime. More recently, a survey of gun control laws by the Rand Corporation found that the only perceptible effect of assault weapons bans generally is perhaps a short-term increase in the price of assault weapons; that in itself does not establish any beneficial crime reduction effect, however.
Feinsten then attacked one of Kavanaugh’s previous rulings that stated that certain guns were “in common use” and were protected by the Second Amendment. She proclaimed that “Assault weapons are not in common use” and that Kavanaugh was wrong in his determination.
But, again, the NRA-ILA proves the lie to Feinstein’s conceit:
Not only is that assertion not true, it’s the opposite of the truth. The types of firearms covered by both Feinstein’s now expired legislation and the current D.C. ban include the most popular rifles in modern America, including the iconic AR-15. According to figures compiled by the National Shooting Sports Foundation for litigation launched in 2013, nearly 4.8 million AR platform rifles were manufactured in the U.S. between 1990 and 2012, and more than 3.4 million AR and AK platform rifles were imported during that timeframe. The number of AR-15s manufactured in 2012 was double the number of Ford F-150 pick-up trucks sold– the most commonly sold vehicle in the U.S. Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. own at least one modern semiautomatic rifle that would be covered by the Feinstein/D.C. bans and such rifles make up 20.3% of all retail firearms sales and are sold by 92.5% of retail firearm dealers. Even media outlets that support “assault weapon” bans acknowledge that the firearm those bans most specifically target – the AR-15 – is “America’s rifle.” And the popularity of the AR-15 actually increased after NSSF compiled these figures, likely to the tune of millions of new owners.
Meanwhile, rifles of any type – whether or not they would be included in the Feinstein/D.C. “assault weapon” bans – are used far less often in murders than handguns, which overwhelmingly remain the gun of choice for violent criminals. In fact, they are used far less often, according to FBI statistics, than “personal weapons” like “hands, fists, and feet.”
Yet even though AR-15s and the like are by all accounts America’s most popular rifle, Dianne Feinstein insisted during the hearing that numbers alone do not determine “common use.” “Common use is an activity,” she said. “It’s not common storage or possession, it’s use. So what you said is these weapons are commonly used. They’re not.”
Kavanaugh, of course, is right that there are millions of these guns that Feinstein calls “assault weapons” already in people’s homes and that defacto proves that are in common usage.
Of course the rub is in the definition. The truth is, an AR-15 rifle or those like it, are not “military assault rifles.” Firstly, no military in the world uses the AR-15 as an Infantry weapon and none ever have. Secondly, and more importantly, they are not “machine guns” or “automatic weapons” like military weapons are. They still only fire one shot when you pull the trigger.
But, I guess we can’t expect truth from gun-hating Democrats, can we?
Se the exchage below:
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.