Thursday, December 3, 2015

It Wasn't Always Like This

Remember when this happened in 1994?
... a United States federal law [was enacted] that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms it defined as assault weapons, as well as certain ammunition magazines it defined as "large capacity."
The ten-year ban was passed by the U.S. Congress on September 13, 1994, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton the same day. The ban only applied to weapons manufactured after the date of the ban's enactment, and it expired on September 13, 2004, in accordance with its sunset provision.
Several constitutional challenges were filed against provisions of the ban, but all were rejected by reviewing courts. There were multiple attempts to renew the ban, but none succeeded.
During the decade since the ban expired, Congress has become all the more beholden to/ afraid of the National Rifle Gun Manufacturers Association, perhaps the single most evil advocacy organization in the world.  The N.R.A.'s Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party has a lock on the House of Representatives that may last another generation.  So what are the odds even the most minimal, common sense legislation -- on background checks or limiting assault weapons or magazine capacity -- will emerge from Congress?

It's all the more frustrating and bittersweet knowing we had something reasonable and good, and it slipped away.

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