• Anti-gun Democrat Senator Distorts the Law and the Facts in Unsuccessfu

    From Gene Poole@21:1/5 to All on Wed Jul 31 07:27:32 2019
    XPost: alt.freespeech, alt.survival, alt.politics.usa.constitution
    XPost: soc.retirement

    This week the nation was subjected to an embarrassing and
    undignified spectacle of obstructionist partisan politics
    surrounding the confirmation hearings of Judge Brett M.
    Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. The Democrat caucus,
    understanding that Judge Kavanaugh is an eminently qualified
    jurist with an upstanding reputation and that the votes likely
    exist to confirm him, abandoned the norms of the Senate and of
    civility and resorted to childish and temperamental theatrics.
    This included talking out of order and over their colleagues,
    including Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley;
    encouraging disruptive and illegal protests in the gallery; and
    holding up large posters to distract the Judge as he answered
    committee members’ questions.

    But while such demonstrations are merely obnoxious and juvenile,
    the more serious affront arose from committee members who were
    either too ignorant or too dishonest to accurately articulate
    the law and the facts in their exchanges with Judge Kavanaugh.
    Case in point: arch anti-gun Senator Dianne Feinstein, who
    grossly exaggerated the criminal use of semi-automatic rifles
    and mischaracterized the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment
    precedent to attack the nominee for failing to embrace her
    political position on gun control.

    The exchange came on day two of the proceedings, with Democrats
    becoming increasingly frustrated at their inability to ruffle
    Judge Kavanaugh or mount any effective resistance to his

    Senator Feinstein began by reminding the audience that her
    office wrote the federal “assault weapon” ban that was in effect
    from 1994 to 2004. It’s notable that her first misstatement of
    law concerned her own legislation. According to her, the law
    “essentially prohibited the transfer, sale, and manufacture of
    assault weapons. It did not at the time affect possession.”

    That is plainly untrue. The law did, in fact, ban possession of
    the controlled firearms (see page 201 of this link). The law did
    not apply to firearms that had been lawfully obtained before the
    law’s effective date, but that clause operated as an
    “affirmative defense” that put the burden on the accused of
    raising the issue at trial. Simply put, anyone found in
    possession of a firearm described in the Act was presumptively
    in violation of the law and susceptible to federal felony

    To her credit. Senator Feinstein at least hedged her next false
    statement by couching it as a “belief,” rather than outright
    assertion of fact. “I happen to believe that [the federal
    “assault weapon” ban] did work and that it was important,” she

    Unfortunately for her, there is no credible evidence to this
    effect. Two government funded studies of the law’s effects in
    fact found it had no measurable impact on violent crime. More
    recently, a survey of gun control laws by the Rand Corporation
    found that the only perceptible effect of assault weapons bans
    generally is perhaps a short-term increase in the price of
    assault weapons; that in itself does not establish any
    beneficial crime reduction effect, however.

    Feinstein next took issue with a dissent that Judge Kavanaugh
    had written in a case that upheld a D.C. “assault weapon” ban
    similar to the expired federal law. Specifically, she chided him
    for finding the firearms were “in common use” and therefore
    protected under the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment precedent.
    “Assault weapons are not in common use,” Feinstein said.

    Not only is that assertion not true, it’s the opposite of the
    truth. The types of firearms covered by both Feinstein’s now
    expired legislation and the current D.C. ban include the most
    popular rifles in modern America, including the iconic AR-15.
    According to figures compiled by the National Shooting Sports
    Foundation for litigation launched in 2013, nearly 4.8 million
    AR platform rifles were manufactured in the U.S. between 1990
    and 2012, and more than 3.4 million AR and AK platform rifles
    were imported during that timeframe. The number of AR-15s
    manufactured in 2012 was double the number of Ford F-150 pick-up
    trucks sold– the most commonly sold vehicle in the U.S.
    Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. own at least one
    modern semiautomatic rifle that would be covered by the
    Feinstein/D.C. bans and such rifles make up 20.3% of all retail
    firearms sales and are sold by 92.5% of retail firearm dealers.
    Even media outlets that support “assault weapon” bans
    acknowledge that the firearm those bans most specifically target
    – the AR-15 – is “America’s rifle.” And the popularity of the AR-
    15 actually increased after NSSF compiled these figures, likely
    to the tune of millions of new owners.

    Meanwhile, rifles of any type – whether or not they would be
    included in the Feinstein/D.C. “assault weapon” bans – are used
    far less often in murders than handguns, which overwhelmingly
    remain the gun of choice for violent criminals. In fact, they
    are used far less often, according to FBI statistics, than
    “personal weapons” like “hands, fists, and feet.”

    Yet even though AR-15s and the like are by all accounts
    America’s most popular rifle, Dianne Feinstein insisted during
    the hearing that numbers alone do not determine “common use.”
    “Common use is an activity,” she said. “It’s not common storage
    or possession, it’s use. So what you said is these weapons are
    commonly used. They’re not.”

    This ridiculous hairsplitting is, of course, contrary to both
    common sense and English usage. Common items are routinely said
    to be “in use” for a purpose whether or not that involves active
    manipulation of the item at any given time. Police “use”
    firearms to keep the peace, even when they’re not pointing or
    firing them at criminal suspects. Schools “use” fire
    extinguishers as part of a general safety plan, whether or not
    someone is actively putting out a fire with them. Drivers “use”
    seatbelts to safeguard against injuries, even when they’re not
    actually colliding with other vehicles or objects. And AR-15s
    and similar firearms are “used” by Americans to protect their
    homes and loved ones, even when they are providing a deterrent
    and not actually being actively employed.

    As Judge Kavanaugh very patiently explained, the prevalence of
    so-called “assault weapons” in millions of American homes
    establishes they are in “common use.” He went on to detail how
    that phrase was used by the Supreme Court to distinguish Second
    Amendment protected arms from the sorts of “dangerous and
    unusual weapons” that are beyond the Amendment’s scope (see p.
    55 of this link). A firearm owned by many millions of Americans
    may be potentially “dangerous,” he noted, but it is in no way
    “unusual” and therefore cannot be said, under the letter of the
    Supreme Court’s prior Second Amendment cases, to be unprotected
    by that provision.

    Responding to Judge Kavanaugh’s own profession of concern about
    firearm-related crime, Feinstein then asked him, “How do you
    reconcile what you just said with the hundreds of school
    shootings using assault weapons that have taken place in recent
    history? How do you reconcile that?”

    Feinstein’s question (which was actually more of an accusation
    that Judge Kavanaugh is oblivious to the toll of firearm-related
    crime) was again based on a false premise. There have not been
    “hundreds and hundreds of school shootings” in recent history,
    much less hundreds using “assault weapons.” Even National Public
    Radio has acknowledged that the number of school shootings has
    been vastly overstated, including in figures published by the
    U.S. government. And not only are AR-15 and other supposed
    “assault weapons” rarely used by common criminals, they are not
    even the first choice of mass shooters, having been used far
    less often than handguns.

    Judge Kavanaugh has repeatedly said during this week’s hearings
    that he considers himself bound by Supreme Court precedent as an
    appellate judge, whether he likes it or not. So it’s perfectly
    consistent that he could be horrified by firearm-related crime
    but still recognize that lawmakers have to find ways to address
    it other than trampling on the Second Amendment rights of law-
    abiding Americans. Justice Scalia said as much when he wrote the
    Heller opinion, acknowledging the problem of handgun-related
    crime but asserting the Constitution takes certain policy
    choices – like banning the firearms Americans overwhelmingly
    choose for their own defense – “off the table.” That doesn’t
    show a lack of empathy but a commitment to the rule of law.

    Fortunately, the Democrats’ unseemly theatrics and shaky claims
    have merely provided an even sharper contrast for Judge
    Kavanaugh’s own dedication to and mastery of the law, as well as
    his intellect and composure. There has been very little in the
    proceedings that will burnish the reputation of the Senate’s
    minority party. But Americans can at least take heart that
    President Trump is working diligently to preserve the
    competence, effectiveness, and integrity of the federal
    judiciary and of the U.S. Supreme Court in particular.

    https://www.nraila.org/articles/20180907/anti-gun-senator- distorts-the-law-and-the-facts-in-unsuccessful-attack-on-supreme-

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)