COMMENTARY | Dianne Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 won’t get enough Democratic votes to pass the Senate, according to political analysts. Doesn’t matter. Democrats will win the fight for stricter gun control in the end.
Based on a recent Bloomberg review of lawmaker statements and interviews, a proposed ban on assault weapon sales won’t pass the current Senate. Six of the 55 Democratic senators have recently expressed skepticism or opposition to the ban, meaning that the Democratic 51-vote majority comes up a bit slim.
Furthermore, they’re nowhere near a 60-vote filibuster breaker should the Republicans intervene.
It’s hard to tell exactly what Dianne Feinstein and the Obama Administration are after here. Following Joe Biden’s remarks yesterday, that the goal is “gun safety” instead of “gun control,” the idea seems to be as simple as “less gun violence in America,” not necessarily “more gun control in America.”
Furthermore, the Feinstein Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 includes tons of sporting rifles and handguns that aren’t strictly considered “assault weapons.”
Also, Feinstein admitted that confiscation isn’t the goal of the proposal, reports the LA Times. “No weapon is taken from anyone. The purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time.” With 300 million Americans and 300 million guns owned privately by some of those Americans, one wonders how Feinstein expects to produce less gun violence in the near future without all-out confiscation.
It’s actually my opinion that the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 was never meant to pass, only to incite outrage. The controversial bill is much more ambitious than its previous incarnation almost two decades ago, and I’m just not convinced that it was intended for anything other than feather-ruffling.
Remember that this is exactly how the Obama Administration works. During fiscal cliff negotiations late last year, the president asked for almost double the amount of tax increases that he campaigned on. It was an outrageous number, but it was supposed to be. In the end, Republicans overreacted and looked unreasonable to the general public, and President Obama looked like the compromiser-in-chief: A reasonable leader with reasonable solutions.
It’ll be the same with the Assault Weapons Ban. President Obama, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Biden, or whoever asks for two miles, but settle for one. They give us the illusion of bipartisanship, but walk away with exactly what they wanted in the first place. Masterful strategy, and as long as the Republicans continue to fall for it, it’ll continue to work.