Saturday, March 16, 2013

Warren and Feinstein on Fire Against Guns

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We may never get the comprehensive gun reform that Progressives want in this country, but it's not due to lack of trying on the part of Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Dianne Feinstein, D-California.

Warren gave a speech to the Consumer Federation of America in which she slammed the NRA for not allowing basic research on Gun violence so we can study just how far-reaching an epidemic it is.

Via Alternet:
“If as many people were dying of a mysterious disease as innocent bystanders are dying from firearms, a cure would be our top priority,” Warren said. “But we don’t even have good data on gun violence. Why? Because the NRA and the gun industry lobby made it their goal to prevent any serious effort to document the violence."

Feinstein had it out with Texas Tea Partier and NRA proponent Ted Cruz this week when he began lecturing her about the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX) The question that I would pose to the senior Senator from California is would she deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second Amendment in the context of the First or Fourth Amendment, namely, would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?

Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment's protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): Let me just make a couple of points in response. One, I'm not a sixth grader. Senator, I've been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I've seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered.

Look, there are other weapons. 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. This doesn't mean that weapons of war and the Heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here.

You know, 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.

Incidentally, this does not prohibit — you use the word prohibit — it exempts 2,271 weapons. Isn’t that enough for the people in the United States? Do they need a bazooka?

Do they need other high-powered weapons that military people use to kill in close combat? I don’t think so. So I come from a different place then you do. I respect your views. I ask you to respect my views

Dianne Feinstein to CNN's Wolf Blitzer

FEINSTEIN: I just felt patronized. I felt he was somewhat arrogant about it. And, you know, when you've come from where I've come from and what you've seen, and when you found a dead body and you put your finger in bullet holes, you really realize the impact of weapons. And then as you go up the technical ladder with these weapons, and they become more sophisticated, and more the product of a battlefield, and you've got these huge clips or drums of 100 bullets out there that people can buy.

When you see these weapons becoming attractive to grievance killers, people who take them into schools, into theaters, into malls, you wonder, does America really need these weapons? My answer to that is no. And so it's based on my experience. And I think -- well, the bottom line is, we passed the bill out of committee by a vote of 10-8. The president has issued a very strong statement in support of it.

. . . BLITZER: Did you have a chance to speak to Senator Cruz after that public exchange?

FEINSTEIN: No, I needed to cool down.

BLITZER: Have you cooled down yet?

FEINSTEIN: I've cooled down.

BLITZER: So when you see him the next time, what will you say?

FEINSTEIN: Yes. Yes. Well, I did say, look, I'm sorry. But, you know, this is one thing that I feel very passionately about. And I appreciate the lecture, but -- that's all I'm going to say.

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