March 24, 2014
You mean there’s actually something good to say about notorious anti-gun U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein? Yep, there is. We’ll get to that shortly. But first, the bad.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Hoplophobia) is at it again. This week she wrote to President Obama, suggesting that he use his “Year of Action” (his plan to govern without the help of Congress, announced in his State of the Union speech) to go to war once again, on those evil and largely mythical “assault weapons.”
Specifically, she wants Obama and the ATF to use executive branch powers — and the “sporting purposes” provision of the 1968 Gun Control Act — to ban importation of firearms that look scary to her. This ban would even include some tube-fed .22s.
Specifically, she targeting guns that are imported legally, looking like whatever she thinks “normal” weapons look like, but are later altered. Once in the country they’re taken down and rebuilt with made-in-USA parts to look more like military weapons. That is, they’re given features like thumb-hole stocks and higher magazine capacity. These, according to Feinstein’s letter, are “assault features.”
No one at JPFO has ever heard of an “assault feature.” We can’t even imagine how a feature could commit assault. But Ms. Feinstein seems to know an “assault feature” when she sees one, even if nobody else does.
Feinstein especially gets her knickers in a knot over one particular gun, the WASR-10, an AK-variant of Romanian origin, which is supposedly a favorite in Mexico. She (or one of her staffers) writes:
WASR-10s have repeatedly been found in the arsenals of top drug kingpins and their associates. For example, at least one WASR-10 was used in May 2008 to kill eight police officers in Culiacan, Mexico, a city in the northwestern part of the country. An analysis conducted by The Center for Public Integrity found that, over the last four years, WASR-10 rifles comprised more than 17% of the firearms recovered at Mexican crime scenes and successfully traced back to the United States.
She fails to note that the ATF itself — the very group she wants to enforce her ban — is responsible for “gun-walking” thousands of “assault weapons” into Mexico for use by drug cartels. This information has been widely available since gun bloggers David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh, with the help of brave ATF whistleblowers, uncovered Operation Fast and Furious several years ago. Since Fast and Furious has been extensively covered in the media, Feinstein must surely realize that the only reason the ATF would object to sending guns to Mexican drug lords is that they might resent the competition if they weren’t personally supervising the doings.
Feinstein also conveniently fails to note (though JPFO has repeatedly tried to make her aware) that the 1968 Gun Control Act and its “sporting purposes” provision were based on a 1938 Nazi law sneaked into US law by one of her prececessors, who we know had a copy of the German law in his possession.
Among other things she fails to mention is that the CPI “study” she cites is a) not a study at all, but simply a news article written for an anti-gun foundation and b) three years old. The analysis she cites from the Violence Policy Center is equally biased — and even older.
And this is where we come to the good thing about Dianne Feinstein.
Yes, there really is something good to say about her. And it’s this: Feinstein is getting old. She’s not only getting old physically, as we all do. Her ideas are getting old. And tired. And obsolete.
When Sen. Feinstein began beating the “assault weapons” drum several decades ago, it was new and ominous. She was (and to some extent remains) a powerful woman. Back then, her idea had legs. It led to a ban on guns whose features she thought were scary looking (never mind that their function was identical to firearms she thinks have “sporting purposes”). The country endured that stupid, useless ban for 10 years before it was finally allowed to slip mercifully into the sunset.
Now? Well, many legislators are known for having hobby horses — bills they introduce and ideas they promote year after year despite the fact that nobody else wants to get on board. Those hobby horses are a joke.
That’s what Feinstein has become — a rider of an old, broken down hobby horse. The fact that she has to resort to some three-year-old faux “study” and request that her will be carried out through executive action rather than law shows just how little she and her ideas matter any more.
Is she still potentially dangerous to gun owners? Sure. She always will be as long as she is in a position of power or has the ear of powerful people.
But her danger is something like the threat we might face from an old, arthritic, toothless cheetah. She might try to gum our rights to death, but her power to kill them is deeply diminished.