U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released her much anticipated bill banning so-called “assault weapons” (the Senator has so far shown little interest in the term “regime change rifles”–we’ll keep working on her) Thursday, and thanks to National Gun Rights Examiner Dan, we now have the text of S. 150. Carl Bussjaeger has already provided a useful analysis of this monstrosity–and it is every bit the monstrosity gun rights advocates have been expecting–perhaps even more so.
For now, though, let’s look at just the title of Feinstein’s bill (emphasis added):
To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.
Hmm . . . “to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited.” Does that mean that absent passage of S. 150, the right to keep and bear arms is unlimited? As in shall not be infringed unlimited, just as the Second Amendment says?
But that’s not what we’ve been told. In response to every Second Amendment challenge, to every restrictive gun law, on the books or proposed, we’re told that there are “reasonable limitations” on the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. We’re told that, “Just as the the First Amendment does not secure the right to yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded movie theater, the Second Amendment does not guarantee” the right to armed self-defense in public, or the right to not go to prison for possessing 11-round magazines, etc.
That is, of course, a badly flawed analogy. For laws against causing a dangerous panic in movie theaters to be analogous to gun bans, the movie theater prohibition would have to deprive one of the means of causing that kind of harm–by requiring that one wear a gag at the theater, perhaps.
Never mind all that, though, because it’s irrelevant. Laws do not, can not impose limits on the Constitution. The reality is precisely the opposite–the Constitution imposes limits on what laws are legitimate (although those limits have very rarely been enforced over many decades).
Still, if Feinstein wants to argue that the right to keep and bear arms is unlimited, pending passage of her Intolerable Act, why not let her? Drinks are on the Senator–everyone enjoy a nice, tall glass of shall not be infringed.
- Feinstein’s ‘assault weapon’ ban would be tantamount to confiscation
- Feinstein wants more ‘gun control’ to make dictatorships like us better
- Feinstein’s ‘assault weapon’ ban probably not gun grabbers’ main effort
- ‘Assault weapons,’ (‘patrol rifles’?), ‘Only Ones’ and marksmanship
- Feinstein gun ban bill draft now online
- Senate Bill 150: Assault Weapons Ban of 2013
A first look