You probably didn’t realize that today is a holiday, but September 13 is marked in big, bold red letters on the calendars of the media and nostalgic members of the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex. As Politico reminisces with great fondness . . .
After three prior presidents lobbied Congress for passage of an assault weapons ban, President Bill Clinton on this day in 1994 signed the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act into law over the vociferous opposition of the National Rifle Association. Earlier on this day, the Senate voted 52 to 48 in favor of its passage, clearing the way for Clinton’s signature.
Those were the days. You can almost hear the tears of Andrew Glass lightly splashing on his keyboard as he remembers a better, bygone era.
After Congress had initially acted, the federal courts turned back multiple challenges to the law raised by opponents on various grounds. The ban, however, was never directly challenged under the Constitution’s Second Amendment. Since its expiration, speculation has arisen on how a new legislative ban might fare in light of firearms cases decided by the Supreme Court in subsequent years, particularly its 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller.
Since the ban expired, numerous legislative efforts to renew or replace it have failed.
That’s not all that failed. Somehow Glass managed to bang out his encomium to The Priapic One’s black rifle ban without mentioning that, by any measure, the Clinton AWB was an utter failure.
Don’t take our word for it. Listen to a bunch of rabid shills who are in the pocket of the evil gun lobby. People like the New York Times‘ Lois Beckett.
But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.
It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.
Or how about the mayor of one of the most violent cities in the country.
“We spent a whole bunch of time and a whole bunch of political capital yelling and screaming about assault weapons,” Mayor Mitchell J, Landrieu of New Orleans said. He called it a “zero sum political fight about a symbolic weapons.”
Huh. It’s almost as if banning so-called assault weapons was never really about stopping crime or saving lives at all. Who could have seen that coming?