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U.S. Lawmakers Trying to Ban Before They Understand

Saturday, June 1, 2013

On Feb. 14, anti-gun U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., offered a valuable window into the minds of anti-gun politicians when she was interviewed by an investigative reporter at a political rally in Washington, D.C. The congresswoman admitted to the reporter that proposed federal gun and magazine bans are “just the beginning” of a broader gun control agenda that includes handguns. 

Schakowsky—who has a well-deserved “F” rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund—told the reporter, “We want everything on the table. This is a moment of opportunity. There’s no question about it.”

The reporter then asked, “So the assault weapons ban is just the beginning?” Schakowsky replied, “Oh absolutely. I mean, I’m against handguns.”

When the reporter said, “We’ll never get a handgun ban with the Second Amendment as stated.” Schakowsky responded, “I don’t know. I don’t know that we can’t. … I have communities in my district that prohibited handguns within their borders. The rights of municipalities and states to view that as a sensible way to keep people safe—I don’t think it’s precluded.” Rep. Schakowsky seemed unaware that in the McDonald decision, the U.S. Supreme Court stated clearly that no city can violate the Second Amendment’s guarantee of a fundamental, individual right to own a handgun or other “arms” for self-defense. The court rejected contrary views expressed by, among others, a “friend of the court” brief that Rep. Schakowsky herself joined. 

Not to be outdone, on April 2, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., tackled a different issue at a public forum held by the Denver Post. Responding to a question about standard-capacity magazines, DeGette remarked, “To your last question, ‘What’s the efficacy of banning these magazine clips?’ I will tell you that these are ammunition. They’re bullets. So the people that have those now, they are going to shoot them. So if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.” 

Asked for clarification, a spokesperson for Rep. DeGette just dug the hole deeper, saying, “The congresswoman has been working on a high-capacity assault magazine ban for years and has been deeply involved in the issue; she simply misspoke in referring to ‘magazines’ when she should have referred to ‘clips,’ which cannot be reused because they don’t have a feeding mechanism.” 

Enough said.

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