Feinstein's gun bill should be the first passed in 2013
After his enough-is-enough remarks following the Connecticut elementary school massacre, President Barack Obama still did not spell out what his solution is to America's gun violence epidemic.
We are grateful that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has stepped in to fill the void.
This tireless California legislator, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has promised to introduce a ban on assault weapons when the new Congress convenes next year. Her 1994 assault weapons ban was the law of the land for 10 years. It never should have been permitted to expire.
Feinstein's approach does not destroy the legal framework that permits Americans to own guns but will put this nation back on the path to a sensible approach to regulating military weapons designed only to kill as many people as possible in combat.
Her bill will be matched in the House with legislation sponsored by a Colorado Democrat whose district witnessed last summer's murder spree in a movie theater.
The legislation would ban future sales of 100 types of automatic weapons and ammo clips and drums containing more than 10 bullets. Current owners of such weapons could either have trigger locks or licenses. The bill is highly technical and has been vetted carefully by lawyers, Feinstein says.
As for the tired old arguments that any form of ban on assault weapons is the camel's nose under the tent and will end with more gun control, we are sick of hearing such doggerel.
Legitimate gun owners have nothing to fear from Congress, which has hardly been rushing to prevent the thousands of gun deaths that occur annually.
We have seen, decade after decade, how the National Rifle Association has blocked not only sensible forms of gun control but even reasonable debate. Enough. If lawmakers won't stand up to the NRA after six educators and 20 children are mutilated by a Bushmaster assault rifle, they should all be thrown out of office.
The president should immediately call Feinstein and give her his unstinting support and use his political clout to help her push her bill through Congress.
Feinstein's bill deserves to be the first one passed in 2013 and the first bill Obama signs into law in his second term.
Every parent should approve.
This article was published and distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.