It never fails, mindless knee-jerk politics by beltway parasites.
A group of over 20 Democrat senators, led by Diane Feinstein, have introduced a bill in the Senate to ban all assault weapons, including the very popular AR-15.
I hope this bill fails to make it out of the Senate, and if it is voted down party lines, it will. However, with America-hating Rinos like McCain, Flake, and Corker doing all they can to hurt conservatives, I am a little more than worried that they will vote with Democrats and the bill will move to the House, where it will likely die, and even if it does make it out of the House, President Trump will certainly never sign this stupidity into law.
I would like to remind these 23 knuckleheads that it was a private citizen, Stephen Willeford, with an AR-15, who stopped Devin Kelley from killing every soul trapped in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas Sunday morning. Before police could react, Willeford had neutralized the killer and saved many lives in the process.
Following is a press release from Feinstein’s office publicizing the bill, which is also linked in the first sentence. Following the press release is an outstanding article I ran across in the Chicago Tribune, which, surprisingly, given Chicago’s horrific gun violence problems, makes the same argument I am making.
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a number of her colleagues today introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, a bill to ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Joining Senator Feinstein on the bill are Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
Senator Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement:
“We’re introducing an updated Assault Weapons Ban for one reason: so that after every mass shooting with a military-style assault weapon, the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for debate and a vote.
“This bill won’t stop every mass shooting, but it will begin removing these weapons of war from our streets. The first Assault Weapons Ban was just starting to show an effect when the NRA stymied its reauthorization in 2004. Yes, it will be a long process to reduce the massive supply of these assault weapons in our country, but we’ve got to start somewhere.
“To those who say now isn’t the time, they’re right—we should have extended the original ban 13 years ago, before hundreds more Americans were murdered with these weapons of war. To my colleagues in Congress, I say do your job.
“It’s important to understand how we got where we are today. In 1966, the unthinkable happened: a madman climbed the University of Texas clock tower and opened fire, killing more than a dozen people.
“It was the first mass shooting in the age of television, and it left a real impression on the country. It was the kind of terror we didn’t expect to ever see again. But around 30 years ago, we started to see an uptick in these types of shootings, and over the last decade they’ve become the new norm.
- In July 2012, a gunman walked into a darkened theater in Aurora and shot 12 people to death, injuring 70 more. One of his weapons was an assault rifle. The sudden and utterly random violence was a terrifying sign of what was to come.
- In December 2012, a young man entered an elementary school in Newtown and murdered six educators and 20 young children. One of his weapons was an assault rifle. Watching the aftermath of these young babies being gunned down was heartrending.
- In June 2016, a gunman entered a nightclub in Orlando and sprayed revelers with gunfire. The shooter fired hundreds of rounds, many in close proximity, and killed 49. Many of the victims were shot in the head at close range. One of his weapons was an assault rifle.
- Last month, a gunman opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas, turning an evening of music into a killing field. All told, the shooter used multiple assault rifles fitted with bump-fire stocks to kill 58 people. The concert venue looked like a warzone.
- Over the weekend in Sutherland Springs, 26 were killed by a gunman with an assault rifle. The dead ranged from 17 months old to 77 years. No one is spared with these weapons of war. When so many rounds are fired so quickly, no one is spared. Another community devastated and dozens of families left to pick up the pieces.
“These are just a few of the many communities we talk about in hushed tones—San Bernardino, Littleton, Aurora, towns and cities across the country that have been permanently scarred.
“And the numbers continue to grow. Between 1988 and 1997, 125 were killed in 18 mass shootings. The next decade, 1998 to 2007, 171 were killed in 21 mass shootings. And over the last 10 years, 2008 to 2017, 437 were killed in 50 mass shootings.
“That’s 89 mass shootings in the last 30 years that snuffed out the lives of more than 700 people. Additionally, many police officers killed in the line of duty are killed by assault weapons, including 1 in 5 officers killed in 2014.
After each shooting, we’re told it’s not the right time to act. We’re told to respect the victims by sitting on our hands. Well, the time for inaction is over.”
- Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.
- Bans any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners may keep existing weapons.
- Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.
Exemptions to bill
- The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.
- The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.
- Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.
- Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.
- Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
- Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.
From the Chicago Tribune
What made former National Rifle Association instructor Stephen Willeford— a good man with a gun — rush forward, barefoot, to confront a killer?
What made him do what had to be done in Sutherland Springs,Texas?
The political left is clearly bothered by Willeford, bothered that he’s anywhere near this story, bothered by his NRA connection, and clearly incensed that President Donald Trump, whom it loathes, said Willeford probably saved lives.
Yet all that is politics, the politics of guns and gun control and Trump and the anti-Trumpers fighting it out, day after day, in the media world.
Willeford, 55, wasn’t in that abstract world. He was in Texas, in the street without his shoes.
And he was hearing the sounds of a wolf among the sheep in the First Baptist Church.
As you know by now, the wolf was Devin Patrick Kelley, a madman or evil or both, slaughtering 26 people in that church and critically wounding two dozen more.
You look at Kelley’s photograph, you see those eyes, and you might think you’re staring at the face of evil.
Willeford was armed. He checked his weapon. He moved toward the church.
“I’m not a hero. I am not,” Willeford insisted. “I think my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done, and I just wish I could have gotten there faster, but I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was happening.”
So what drove Willeford to do what had to be done?
That’s just one of the many questions still unanswered about Kelley’s rampage.
Should murderous madmen like Devin Patrick Kelley be able to get their hands on guns? Of course not.
We know that the political left wants “sensible gun control” although what that means exactly, it’s not sure. What it wants doesn’t sound like policy, exactly, as much as it sounds like the politics of yearning.
Meanwhile, the right wants the left to leave the guns alone, leave the NRA alone, to leave Trump alone as long as he’s useful.
And it wants more attention paid to the dangerously mentally ill, although what that means exactly, it’s not quite sure either.
What we do know is that the U.S. Air Force clearly failed the victims in Sutherland Springs by not listing Kelley’s violent past in a federal database after he was kicked out of the service.
He’d battered his wife. He’d broken the skull of his toddler stepson. He’d reportedly pointed a gun at his officers and had been put into a mental institution and escaped from it for a time.
If the Air Force had put all that down as required in the National Criminal Information Center database, the FBI would have seen it and Kelley wouldn’t have been able to purchase his guns.
But it wasn’t done. The Air Force, which is a large government bureaucracy, failed the people in that church, the dead and the living, and Kelley purchased his guns, legally.
And then at church on Sunday, with people praying, Kelley walked in, dressed in black, and began shooting.
Willeford’s daughter heard the shots coming from the church. She called out to her father, a local plumber. He rushed for his gun safe and grabbed a rifle, his AR-15, and made for the church.
He’d forgotten to put on his shoes. He was barefoot.
“Every time I heard a shot, I knew that probably represented a life,” Willeford said later, his eyes wet with tears. “I was scared to death. I was. I was scared for me and I was scared for every one of them. And I was scared for my own family that just lived less than a block away.”
He confronted Kelley, who was dressed in combat gear, including a ballistics vest, and began firing. It’s a good thing Willeford had his rifle.
Kelley, 26, was hit twice, dropped his long gun, began firing a pistol and made it to his vehicle.
Willeford flagged down a truck driven by Johnnie Langendorff, 27 — they didn’t know each other, Johnnie was visiting a girlfriend in town when he heard the shooting — and they gave chase.
They raced at speeds reaching 95 mph on those Texas roads. Finally, the chase ended, and Willeford trained his gun on Kelley’s SUV, and waited.
Kelley had shot himself and was dead.
Langendorff, with his cowboy hat and pearl snap shirts and bull tattoo, explained it this way: “I just did what I had to do,” he told reporters. “I just did what most people around here would do.”
Before Willeford ran out into the street with his rifle and his bare feet, and before Langendorff picked him up so they could chase Kelley down, there are a few things they did not do.
They didn’t send a group text, asking for input. They didn’t send out a group email seeking advice on how to proceed. They didn’t tweet or post on Facebook asking directions.
There was no politics to what they did.
Instead, what they did was an apolitical American virtue, something we once took for granted in this country.
They did what was necessary to help their neighbors. They knew what had to be done. They didn’t ask for an invitation or for permission.
They simply did it, because there was no one else to do it. The task fell to them. And they responded.