At one time, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sought to have every privately owned gun in the nation confiscated. But now she apparently can’t even convince her fellow Democrats to ban certain types of so-called “assault weapons.”
Feinstein says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. D-Nev., has decided the ban she is proposing will not be part of a gun-control package the Senate is preparing to consider next month.
Feinstein says she will be able to offer the ban as an amendment, instead. But AP suggested that by pushing it back to that level, Senate leaders believe it will have a hard time passing.
She says Reid told her of his decision yesterday after he decided the ban had little chance of surviving a vote in the Senate.
Feistein apparently does not see any use for “assault weapons” as personal protection. As WND reported last month, she said they are “personal pleasure[s] that should not take precedence over the good of the nation.”
Feinstein sponsored the 1994 assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. Her current proposal would have banned 157 different types of weapons and ammunition magazines.
Her bill was initially approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with bills to expand federal background checks, increase penalties for gun trafficking and provide more money for school safety. But now, her bill will not go to the full Senate.
The Democrat push for a sweeping bill restricting gun rights is in response to December’s shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and President Obama’s subsequent call for stricter gun measures.
Feinstein’s history on gun control has been strident as well as contradictory. She once championed her private firearm ownership the same year she called for banning “all” firearm ownership.
WND reported at a U.S. Senate hearing on terrorism after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing she acknowledged she carried a concealed weapon 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.”
However, WND also reported, in an interview with “60 Minutes” the same year, 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."
Another Feinstein contradiction surfaced Thursday when she made a plea for gun control in a Capitol Hill hearing.
As WND reported, that evening Feinstein told CNN, "When you come from where I've come from and what you've seen, when you found a dead body and put your finger in bullet holes, you really realize the impact of weapons."
But the type of weapon used to kill Milk, a so-called .38 special, wasn't on the list of guns that Feinstein was proposing to ban. In fact, it was the same type of gun Feinstein once carried.
That same Thursday, Feinstein had a testy exchange with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Feinstein reacted with indignation when Cruz reminded her that the Second Amendment is a right not to be infringed.
"I'm not a sixth-grader," she retorted. "I'm not a lawyer, but after 20 years, I’ve been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it. It's fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I've been here for a long time. I've passed on a number of bills. I've studied the Constitution myself. I am reasonably well-educated, and I thank you for the lecture."
The AP reported that because of Reid's maneuver, Feinstein would probably need 60 votes from the Senate to add her ban as an amendment. That would require at least a few Republicans joining her.
The AP speculated that by setting up a special vote on Feinstein's gun ban, Democratic senators up for re-election would be able to vote against it then support a number of other gun restrictions that will be considered.
WND reported this week a new poll indicated only 1 in 5 gun owners would be willing to give up their firearms if the government demanded it.
"In other words, the government has a huge fight on its hands if it tries to implement a gun confiscation program," said pollster Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies.
A surprisingly high percentage of those who call themselves "very liberal" also would not allow their guns to be confiscated, the poll shows.
"Given the deteriorating political climate for President Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill, it is hard to imagine any such effort gaining significant political support," he said.
Nearly half of the nation's households have at least one gun, according to a 2011 Gallup Poll. The 2010 U.S. Census counted nearly 115 million households. Since President Obama took office in 2009, more than 65 million background checks have been conducted on gun purchases.
The scientific telephone survey was conducted March 7-12 and has a margin of error of 2.92 percentage points.
"Among gun owners, 64 percent said they would not relinquish their guns, while 20 percent said they would and another 16 percent of gun owners were unsure on the question," he said.