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WASHINGTON – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who once threatened to take out those she perceived as threats with her own gun, today told a congressional hearing, “We cannot allow the carnage … to continue.”
She was speaking on behalf of her own Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
She invited several witnesses to testify in support of her proposed gun ban.
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn testified against allowing citizens to own firearms, saying that “assault weapons are not built for sportsmen.”
He said those are “designed for combat” and must be “restricted.”
Flynn admitted that “numerous innocent Milwaukee citizens [have been] injured or killed by assault weapons and high capacity firearms” that have been in the hands of “career criminals” and “drug dealers.”
But he still believes “a ban on future civilian sales of assault weapons” would help.
When pressed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on the usage of the AR-15 in shootings, Flynn admitted he could not state with certainty that it is in common usage in shootings, yet he still described it as “dangerous” and supports a “reasonable restriction on the Second Amendment.”
Flynn’s own department is facing a number of scandals, including claims reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his officers illegally conducted rectal searches of victims during traffic stops and the in-custody death of another person.
Under questioning from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Flynn admitted the number of homicides committed using rifles is “a small percentage,” leaving Graham baffled as to why the government is focusing on banning weapons.
Graham also questioned why Flynn has “failed” to properly pursue convictions when people who failed background checks still acquired firearms. Graham suggested that’s a more central issue than prohibition.
“I own an AR-15 and I passed a background check,” Graham said, questioning, “Isn’t it more about the person rather than the weapon?”
When questioned by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, if the Feinstein "assault weapons" ban would have prevented any of the major shootings, John Walsh, the U.S. Attorney for Colorado, said, "I can't tell you they would have been averted ... but the casualty levels would have been lowered."
Grassley noted, "The earlier assault weapons ban did not prevent the shooting at Columbine."
Feinstein claimed, "The bill grandfathers weapons in legal possession."
But she also said it aims at the size of magazines, "These high capacity magazines and drums make a gun especially dangerous."
"It is only when the shooter has to change magazines that the police have the chance to stop e shooter," she claimed.
Grassley said while Feinstein wants "dangerous and unusual" weapons banned, the standards in the bill are ambiguous and they open up many constitutional questions.
Walsh said the "assault weapons" in question should be reserved for the military and "for law enforcement."
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suggested it was a silly plan.
"We do not need to target ... restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens," he said. He cited numerous government reports demonstrating how the original "assault weapons" ban was not effective in curbing gun violence.
He said Congress should target criminals rather than the Second Amendment.
According to a summary on Feinstein's website, "The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, bans the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of:
As the debate commences at the federal level on restricting private firearm ownership, the battles have already begun at the state level, where Democrats in Missouri and Oregon have already introduced legislation to ban "assault weapons."
In contrast, other states like Wyoming, Texas and Alaska are moving to pass legislation that protects citizens from any federal gun confiscation laws.
However, Feinstein hasn't always been consistent regarding guns:
At a U.S. Senate hearing on terrorism after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, she told "a little anecdote" of how she carried concealed to protect herself after two assassination attempts by the New World Liberation Front, the NWLF.
She explained: "I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that's what I did. I was trained in firearms. I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me."
Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, asked in an interview with WND, "Do we need any more proof that she is a hypocrite?"
Hammond said Feinstein "has no problem getting Congress to buy armed guards for Capitol Hill."
"Does she consider herself more precious and more valuable than our children?" he asked.
Feinstein reportedly no longer has her concealed carry permit.
She championed her private firearm ownership the same year she called for banning "all" firearm ownership.
In an interview with "60 Minutes" in 1995 she said, "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States, for an outright ban, picking up every one of them. Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it."
See her comments in the "60 Minutes" interview:
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