Feinstein: Gun control 'uphill fight'
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, 8:34 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who's leading the push to restore an assault weapon ban, acknowledged on Sunday that the effort faces tough odds to pass Congress, and she blamed the nation's largest gun-rights group.
Feinstein, D-Calif., on Thursday introduced a bill that would prohibit 157 specific weapons and ammunition magazines that have more than 10 rounds. The White House and fellow Democrats are skeptical the measure is going anywhere, given lawmakers who are looking toward re-election might fear pro-gun voters and the National Rifle Association.
“This has always been an uphill fight. This has never been easy. This is the hardest of the hard,” Feinstein said.
“I think I can get it passed because the American people are very much for it,” Feinstein said of the meassure that follows a similar measure she championed into law in 1994 but expired a decade later.
She acknowledged, however, the NRA's political clout.
“They come after you. They put together large amounts of money to defeat you,” Feinstein said.
She said the group was a pawn of those who make weapons.
“The NRA is venal. ... The NRA has become an institution of gun manufacturers,” she said.
The NRA disputed her characterization.
“The NRA is a grass-roots organization. We have more than 4 million dues-paying members and tens of millions of supporters all across this country. Our political power comes from them. Decent and logical people would understand that,” spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to take up the proposal on Wednesday and hear from the NRA's CEO and senior vice president, Wayne LaPierre. Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., who was shot in an assassination attempt, plans to testify.
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012, said Congress should focus on the causes of violence and not the weapons alone.
“We need to look beyond just recycling failed policies of the past. ... Let's go beyond just this debate and make sure we get deeper. What's our policy on mental illness? What's going on in our culture that produces this kind of thing? You know, we need to have that kind of a discussion and debate,” Ryan said.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., urged lawmakers to consider mental health issues.
“When I hear some of this conversation, I think that we're looking at symptoms, we're not looking at the root causes,” she said. “And I understand the senator's passion for this, but I got to tell you, an assault ban is not the answer to helping keep people safe.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- VA fears budget cuts will reverse drop in homelessness
- Bratton returns to lead New York City police force
- Billboard showing U.S. soldier, Muslim woman splits observers
- Wash. woman tweets of crash death, finds out it’s husband
- Illinois overhauls its public pensions, cutting benefits for most workers, retirees
- Deep freeze in Midwest to last through weekend
- Sandy Hook 911 calls fuel sensitivity debate
- Young Americans sour on Obama
- Former Boston crime boss Bulger’s jewelry, clothes could go to auction
- Boehner hires immigration expert to advise him
- Scientist cited by U.S. bureau gets settlement