Feinstein's AW Ban Bill Summary and Studies

Editor’s Note – We are attaching the information Senator Feinstein says is in her legislation to renew the so-called “Assault Weapons Ban” so you can see what is in store by her accord. Of course, she also includes excerpts from studies that support her views, but she neglects to cite much of the independent study commissioned by the National Institute of Justice in 2004. Its a long read, but must be included in its entirety, not just cherry picking.

From the Washington Times in August 16, 2004:

The federal assault-weapons ban, scheduled to expire in September, is not responsible for the nation’s steady decline in gun-related violence and its renewal likely will achieve little, according to an independent study commissioned by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

“We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence,” said the unreleased NIJ report, written by Christopher Koper, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

“It is thus premature to make definitive assessments of the ban’s impact on gun violence. Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times.

The report also noted that assault weapons were “rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.”

NIJ is the Justice Department’s research, development and evaluation agency — assigned the job of providing objective, independent, evidence-based information to the department through independent studies and other data collection activities. (Read more here.)

Here is the National Institute of Justice’s Report by Christopher S. Kopher. Read more here at the Jerry Lee Center for Criminology here. Take special notice to the divergent opinions of the Kopher study, hers versus the Washington Times.

You be the judge:

Senator Diane Feinstein in 1994

From the Official web site of Senator Diane Feinstein:

Stopping the spread of deadly assault weapons

Stay informed

In January, Senator Feinstein will introduce a bill to stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.

To receive updates on this legislation, click here.

Summary of 2013 legislation

Following is a summary of the 2013 legislation:

  • Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
    • 120 specifically-named firearms
    • Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one military characteristic
    • Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds
  • Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
    • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test
    • Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test
    • Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans
  • Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
  • Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
    • Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment
    • Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes and
    • Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons
  • Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
    • Background check of owner and any transferee;
    • Type and serial number of the firearm;
    • Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
    • Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
    • Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration

A pdf of the bill summary is available here.

Effectiveness of 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban

Following are studies that have been conducted on the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban:

EPA's Lisa Jackson Resigns – No More 'Richard Windsor' Emails

Editor’s Note – Yet another Obama Administration Official who routinely subverted the rule-of-law governing official business has resigned, EPA’s Lisa Jackson. She should have been fired, but will she actually go?

The news of the day regarding State Department officials resigning over Benghazi-Gate is that the so-called resigning officials are actually still employed, and will remain so. But here, Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator extraordinaire must remain out of our government. She should be joined by many others, but then again, we are lucky this one is out.

The question now is, will the flood of new regulations remain? Why didn’t the Obama Administration inform Congress as the law mandates on these regulations? Once again, the Obama Administration subverts the law and does what it wants. Is there no real accountability anymore?

Read more hereabout the depth to which she went to subvert and hide their actions.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson resigns over email fraud and subverting the law.

EPA Administrator Jackson announces resignation

By KEVIN FREKING Associated Press – Federal News Radio

WASHINGTON (AP) – EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the Obama administration’s chief environmental watchdog, is stepping down after a nearly four years marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation’s economy and people’s health.

Jackson constantly found herself caught between administration pledges to solve thorny environmental problems and steady resistance from Republicans and industrial groups who complained that the agency’s rules destroyed jobs and made it harder for American companies to compete internationally.

The GOP chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, said last year that Jackson would need her own parking spot at the Capitol because he planned to bring her in so frequently for questioning. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called for her firing, a stance that had little downside during the GOP primary.

Jackson, 50, the agency’s first black administrator and a chemical engineer, did not point to any particular reason for her departure. Historically, Cabinet members looking to move on will leave at the beginning of a president’s second term.

“I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference,” she said in a statement. Jackson will leave sometime after President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address, typically in late January.

In a separate statement, Obama said Jackson has been “an important part of my team.” He thanked her for serving and praised her “unwavering commitment” to the public’s health.

“Under her leadership, the EPA has taken sensible and important steps to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, including implementing the first national standard for harmful mercury pollution, taking important action to combat climate change under the Clean Air Act and playing a key role in establishing historic fuel economy standards that will save the average American family thousands of dollars at the pump, while also slashing carbon pollution,” he said.

Environmental activist groups and other supporters lauded Jackson for the changes she was able to make, but industry representatives said some may have come at an economic cost. Groups also noted that she leaves a large, unfinished agenda.

“There has been no fiercer champion of our health and our environment than Lisa Jackson, and every American is better off today than when she took office nearly four years ago,” said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. But she noted that Jackson’s successor will inherit an unfinished agenda, including the need to issue new health protections against carbon pollution from existing power plants.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Senate’s subcommittee on clean air, called Jackson’s tenure a “breath of fresh air” and credited her for setting historic fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, and for finalizing clean air standards.

But Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, said Jackson presided over some of the most expensive environmental rules in EPA history.

“Agency rules have been used as blunt attempts to marginalize coal and other solid fossil fuels and to make motor fuels more costly at the expense of industrial jobs, energy security, and economic recovery,” Segal said. “The record of the agency over the same period in overestimating benefits to major rules has not assisted the public in determining whether these rules have been worth it.”

Other environmental groups, however, praised Jackson’s clean air efforts.

“Notwithstanding the difficult economic and political challenges EPA faced, her agency was directly responsible for saving the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and improving the health of millions throughout the country,” said S. William Becker of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. “She will be sorely missed.”

Larry Schweiger, head of the National Wildlife Federation, cited her climate change work and efforts to reduce carbon pollution.

Environmental groups had high expectations for the Obama administration after eight years of President George W. Bush, a Texas oilman who rebuffed agency scientists and refused act on climate change. Jackson came into office promising a more active EPA.

But she soon learned that changes would not occur as quickly as she had hoped. Jackson watched as a Democratic-led effort to reduce global warming emissions passed the House in 2009 but was then abandoned by the Senate as economic concerns became the priority. The concept behind the bill, referred to as cap-and-trade, would have established a system where power companies bought and sold pollution rights.

“That’s a revolutionary message for our country,” Jackson said at a Paris conference shortly after accepting the job.

Jackson experienced another big setback last year when the administration scrubbed a clean-air regulation aimed at reducing health-threatening smog. Republican lawmakers had been hammering the president over the proposed rule, accusing him of making it harder for companies to create jobs.

She also vowed to better control toxic coal ash after a massive spill in Tennessee, but that regulation has yet to be finalized more than four years after the spill.

Jackson had some victories, too. During her tenure, the administration finalized a new rule doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. The requirements will be phased in over 13 years and eventually require all new vehicles to average 54.5 mpg, up from 28.6 mpg at the end of last year.

She shepherded another rule that forces power plants to control mercury and other toxic pollutants for the first time. Previously, the nation’s coal- and oil-fired power plants had been allowed to run without addressing their full environmental and public health costs.

Jackson also helped persuade the administration to table the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought carbon-heavy tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

House Republicans dedicated much of their time this past election year trying to rein in the EPA. They passed a bill seeking to thwart regulation of the coal industry and quash the stricter fuel efficiency standards. In the end, though, the bill made no headway in the Senate. It served mostly as election-year fodder that appeared to have little impact on the presidential race.

___

Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor and Pauline Jelinek contributed to this report.

Backlash to Revealed Gun Owner Lists in NY

Editor’s Note – Has the tragedy in Newtown, CT left everyone unhinged about guns? Even a New York City reporter who is a gun owner thought you should know who owns guns in New York, including himself. Some are saying it was a ploy by a paper that is declining badly and has laid off personnel to better deal with their bottom line. This is all said to be under the rubric of publishing better and more important articles.

As reported by many sources, the reporter is a gun owner in New York City and has one of the most difficult to obtain permits in the country:

Journal News reporter Dwight R. Worley owns a Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Magnum and has had a residence permit in New York City for that weapon since February 2011.”

Since the release of the lists with maps (See below), the reporter’s home, pictured here, along with his personal information has made a big wave on the social networks. Normally, SUA would not publish such information, but it has gone viral, and for fairness purposes is published here:

Here is an image that has circulated the social networking sites of the reporter’s personal address and identification since he too is a gun owner in New York City.

New York is one of the strictest states in the nation on the purchase, possession or carrying of handguns.[1] Most New York State gun laws are covered in two sections of New York Penal law: Article 265 – Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons; and Article 400 – Licensing and Other Provisions Relating to Firearms. These laws ban handgun possession and provide exemptions, including individuals licensed to carry handguns, or to possess them for other reasons, including sports, repair, or disposal.

Of all the states that issue carry pistol licenses, New York State has arguably the strictest handgun licensing policies in the nation.[1] New York City, which is effectively a “No-Issue” jurisdiction for carry pistol licenses,[8] has even stricter laws, including those regulating handguns exclusively kept at home.[9]

Read the original story and subsequent information about how the information was obtained and what it means. You be the judge.

Sharp criticism after New York newspaper publishes names of local gun owners

The Journal News in White Plains, N.Y., used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information on registered handgun owners in the area. Many owners and other critics are outraged that criminals now know where the guns are – and aren’t.

By  – Christian Science Monitor

Two fundamental rights many Americans hold dear – the right to own firearms and the right to access public information – have collided in the decision by a New York-area newspaper to publish the names and addresses of people licensed to own handguns.

The Gannett-owned Journal News, headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information on some 44,000 registered handgun owners in Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties, just north of New York City. It then published that information online over the weekend using Google Maps to show exactly where those gun owners live.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, gun ownership is a touchy subject – politically and socially – and the decision by The Journal News to obtain and publish such information has drawn sharp and critical response.

Recommended: Second Amendment Quiz

In a blog post headlined “Intimidation,” Ben Shapiro at Breitbart.com warned that “publishing the names and addresses of gun owners makes them more vulnerable to robbery when they aren’t at home, since criminals will know where the guns are.”

Other critics have suggested that the published information also points to the addresses that don’t have registered handguns – perhaps making them more of a target for armed criminals. “It reveals to criminals which homes *are not* protected by a firearm,” tweeted conservative talk-show host Tammy Bruce.

Many commenters on Facebook and other social media weighed in, some publicizing the names and home addresses of Journal News editors and reporters.

“This is CRAZY!!” one reader wrote on the newspaper’s website. “Why in the world would you post every licensed gun owner information?? What do you hope to accomplish by doing this. This is the type of thing you do for sex offenders not law abiding gun owners. What next? Should I hang a flag outside my house that says I own a gun? I am canceling my subscription with your paper today!!!”

“This is precisely why gun owners reject the registration of rifles and shotguns and quite frankly handguns,” wrote another. “First it’s Registration and Intimidation. Then it’s Confiscation, or Incarceration & Genocide soon follows. Beware. It’s the norm in world history and not an anomaly! This is how it starts!”

One woman wrote, “I’d rather have a gun owner as my neighbor then a journalist, one is far more responsible than the other.”

The newspaper said it received hundreds of phone calls “claiming publication of the database put their safety at risk or violated their privacy.”

“Others claimed publication was illegal,” the newspaper reported on Christmas Day, a few days after the initial story and map were published. “Many of the callers were vitriolic and some threatened members of the newspaper staff.”

Dave Triglianos, a certified gun instructor who owns an AR-15 rifle, told the newspaper that information about his firearms “should be absolutely private.”

“Why do my neighbors need to know that?” he asked. “I am not a threat to my neighbors. I don’t pose a physical threat to anyone.”

On the other hand, said John Thompson, “I would love to know if someone next to me had guns.”

“It makes me safer to know so I can deal with that,” Mr. Thompson, who works for a YMCA group that counsels youths against gun violence, told The Journal News. “I might not choose to live there.”

Strong reaction did not come as a surprise to the publication’s editors and business executives.

“We knew publication of the database would be controversial, but we felt sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings,” CynDee Royle, editor and vice president for news, said in a statement.

“People are concerned about who owns guns and how many of them there are in their neighborhoods,” Ms. Royle said. “Our Freedom of Information request also sought specifics on how many and what types of weapons people owned. That portion of the request was denied.”

The newspaper felt obliged to add this “editor’s note” to the original story: “Journal News reporter Dwight R. Worley owns a Smith & Wesson 686.357 Magnum and has had a residence permit in New York City for that weapon since February 2011.”

The roots of mass murder – Krauthammer

By Charles Krauthammer – Washington Post Opinions

Every mass shooting has three elements: the killer, the weapon and the cultural climate. As soon as the shooting stops, partisans immediately pick their preferred root cause with corresponding pet panacea. Names are hurled, scapegoats paraded, prejudices vented. The argument goes nowhere.

Let’s be serious:

It is important to note that Senator Diane Feinstein carries a concealed weapon and a license to do so. This after she endured assassination attempts many years ago.

(1) The Weapon

Within hours of last week’s Newtown, Conn., massacre, the focus was the weapon and the demand was for new gun laws. Several prominent pro-gun Democrats remorsefully professed new openness to gun control. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is introducing a new assault weapons ban. And the president emphasized guns and ammo above all else in announcing the creation of a new task force.

I have no problem in principle with gun control. Congress enacted (and I supported) an assault weapons ban in 1994. The problem was: It didn’t work. (So concluded a University of Pennsylvania study commissioned by the Justice Department.) The reason is simple. Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective.

Feinstein’s law, for example, would exempt 900 weapons. And that’s the least of the loopholes. Even the guns that are banned can be made legal with simple, minor modifications.

Most fatal, however, is the grandfathering of existing weapons and magazines. That’s one of the reasons the ’94 law failed. At the time, there were 1.5 million assault weapons in circulation and 25 million large-capacity (i.e., more than 10 bullets) magazines. A reservoir that immense can take 100 years to draw down.

(2) The Killer

Monsters shall always be with us, but in earlier days they did not roam free. As a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s, I committed people — often right out of the emergency room — as a danger to themselves or to others. I never did so lightly, but I labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today.

Why do you think we have so many homeless? Destitution? Poverty has declined since the 1950s. The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill. In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on.

A tiny percentage of the mentally ill become mass killers. Just about everyone around Tucson shooter Jared Loughner sensed he was mentally ill and dangerous. But in effect, he had to kill before he could be put away — and (forcibly) treated.

Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.

(3) The Culture

We live in an entertainment culture soaked in graphic, often sadistic, violence. Older folks find themselves stunned by what a desensitized youth finds routine, often amusing. It’s not just movies. Young men sit for hours pulling video-game triggers, mowing down human beings en masse without pain or consequence. And we profess shock when a small cadre of unstable, deeply deranged, dangerously isolated young men go out and enact the over learned narrative.

If we’re serious about curtailing future Columbines and Newtowns, everything — guns, commitment, culture — must be on the table. It’s not hard for President Obama to call out the NRA. But will he call out the ACLU? And will he call out his Hollywood friends?

The irony is that over the last 30 years, the U.S. homicide rate has declined by 50 percent. Gun murders as well. We’re living not through an epidemic of gun violence but through a historic decline.

Except for these unfathomable mass murders. But these are infinitely more difficult to prevent. While law deters the rational, it has far less effect on the psychotic. The best we can do is to try to detain them, disarm them and discourage “entertainment” that can intensify already murderous impulses.

But there’s a cost. Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech.

That’s a lot of impingement, a lot of amendments. But there’s no free lunch. Increasing public safety almost always means restricting liberties.

We made that trade after 9/11. We make it every time the Transportation Security Administration invades your body at an airport. How much are we prepared to trade away after Newtown?

ARB Report not enough – Senators demand more

Editor’s Note by Denise Simon – This Benghazi ARB report is meaningless given those assigned to compile it. Why was there no inclusion of interviews of the survivors to the attack, why no inclusion of the members of the NSC or Panetta?

Why no inclusion of FBI findings or those of the CNN staff that was at the compound the same day? Why no inclusion of General Ham?

What is the justification for blaming Congress on lack of funds for security and then Kerry demands $1.6 billion?

Why no mention of the February 17th Brigade members or Ansar al Sharia? C’mon, there is no one that takes the hearings seriously most of all the Administration.

Senators demand review of intelligence operations on Benghazi

By Carlo Muñoz – The Hill

A trio of Republican Senators are demanding an independent review of all U.S. intelligence operations leading up to, during and after the deadly assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which ended in the deaths of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The review would be similar to the recently completed analysis by the independent Accountability Review Board (ARB) on the intelligence and security mishaps within the State Department that preceded the September attack, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said Friday.

“The American people were deceived … for an incredibly long amount of time,” on the Libya attack, McCain told reporters during the press conference on Capitol Hill.

Top officials in the U.S. intelligence community, as well as those at the Pentagon and State Department, must be held “accountable and responsible to the American people,” McCain added.

The board, led by former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, found “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels” of the State Department, but it also placed blame on Congress for cutting funds.

One senior State Department official has resigned in the wake of the ARB findings, and three others were put on administrative leave as a result of the scathing review.

The White House is already moving forward with instituting the recommendations put forth by the ARB, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Thursday.

“We have an obligation to them, to their families, and all other Americans serving abroad to figure out exactly what happened and learn from those mistakes so that we can prevent this from happening again,” Carney told reporters on Thursday. “That was the purpose of the establishment of the Accountability Review Board.”

However, lawmakers say U.S. intelligence agencies should shoulder some of the blame in the run-up to Benghazi and that those agencies should be subjected to the same critical oversight as the State Department, Ayotte said.

“This was inevitable,” Graham said, regarding the failures by the American intelligence and diplomatic corps in anticipating and possibly preparing for the Benghazi attack.

Obama administration officials have repeatedly cited intelligence provided to the White House as the reason for its initial claims the consulate attack was the result of a anti-American protest gone violently wrong. Later, the White House acknowledged the strike was the work of Islamic militants based in northern Libya.

Top White House officials, including Clinton and Vice President Biden, claimed a lack of timely intelligence led to the administration’s flawed initial assessment of the situation in Benghazi.

Last month, Shawn Turner, spokesman for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, told The Hill that only changes made to the administration’s talking points on Benghazi were made by the intelligence community and not other “interagency partners” in the White House.

But given the ARB “thoroughly discredits the administration’s [initial] narrative,” a similar review is necessary for the U.S. intelligence agencies to find out what kind of analysis led the White House to its flawed conclusion, Ayotte said Friday.

The New Hampshire Republican also said that she, McCain and Graham had requested Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) call hearings to examine the Defense Department’s role in responding to the attack.

For their part, defense lawmakers agreed to  add 1,000 Marines to the Pentagon’s embassy security force, assigned to protect American diplomatic outposts across the globe, as part of the compromise version of DOD’s fiscal 2013 budget policy bill.

The DOD hearing called for on Friday will focus on what other measures the Pentagon needs to take, in order to ensure the security of U.S. diplomats stationed worldwide.

The final version of the legislation was approved by both chambers and was sent to the White House for the president’s signature on Friday.

However, the ARB-like review for the intelligence community and the possible Senate hearing on DOD’s role in Benghazi are, in the end, not about assigning blame, Graham said.

The lawmakers, according to Graham, are simply “trying to correct” the mistakes made in the run-up to the Benghazi strike and to ensure a similar attack does not happen again.