Thank you, Senator Feinstein

For making the pro-human/civil rights case for us, just this once. However inadvertently.

WATCH: Feinstein Tries To Nail Kavanaugh On Guns, Completely Fails
Feinstein continued by claiming that “assault weapons are not in common use.”

Kavanaugh responded by noting that “semiautomatic handguns and semiautomatic rifles are widely possessed in the United States” and that “there are millions and millions and millions of semiautomatic rifles that are possessed.”

“You’re saying the numbers determine common use?” Feinstein replied. “Common use is an activity. It’s not common storage or possession, it’s use. So what you said is that these weapons are commonly used. They’re not.”

“They’re widely possessed in the United States, senator,” Kavanaugh replied. “And they are, they are used and possessed.”

That’s mildly amusing, since Feinstein has spent decades insisting that “assault weapons” must be banned because they are so commonly used.

“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.

But now she admits that semiautomatic firearms are not so commonly used in crime. And that’s true, looking at the firearms used in crime as a percentage of all guns, “crime guns” are perhaps just 0.0307%. The rest are used for lawful purposes like defense, hunting, target-shooting, or simply collecting.

Clearly there’s no need for a ban of devices so rarely used criminally. Thanks for noting that, Senator Feinstein.

For those unsure why “common use” is a big deal (none of my regular readers, I’m sure), it’s from the 1939 SCOTUS decision in MILLER.

“The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. “A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.” And further, that ordinarily, when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.

Feinstein knows that and is trying to get around it. Too bad she didn’t read the 2008 HELLER decision

“(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54. ”

“3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense.


“The traditional militia was formed from a pool of men bringing arms “in common use at the time” for lawful purposes like self-defense. “In the colonial and revolutionary war era, [small-arms] weapons used by militiamen and weapons used in defense of person and home were one and the same.” “

Keep reading

Under any of the standards of scrutiny that we have applied to enumerated constitutional rights, 27 banning from the home “the most preferred firearm in the nation to ‘keep’ and use for protection of one’s home and family,” 478 F. 3d, at 400, would fail constitutional muster.”

The Supreme Court made it rather clear that common possession for lawful purpose is common use, Constitutionally speaking, Senator.

So there we have it, by Feinstein’s admission, semiautomatic firearms are rarely used in crime (as a percentage of firearms), but they are protected by the Second Amendment as interpreted bt the Supreme Court. There’s no reason to ban them, and trying would violate the Constitution. Case closed.

But the reality is that firearms are commonly used: defensively. Even the anti-rights Violence Policy Center admits to 338,700 defensive gun ises per year. Other estimates go as high as 2.5 million. Perhaps those are the uses Feinstein wants to end.

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7 thoughts on “Thank you, Senator Feinstein”

  1. “being necessary to the security of a free State” clearly means that the militia will be equipped with arms commonly in use by the armed forces of invading powers. What country equips its military with semi-auto weapons? Seven-round magazines?

    1. I’ve asked that question of many gun control politicians, columnists, cops, et cetera, when they spout off about “military grade” or “military style” semiauto rifles. Not a one would answer the question.

      I researched the subject. Most nations ended general issue of semiauto rifle to its regular troops in the 1950s and ’60. There were a couple of — very poor — countries that finally made the switch in the ’90s. I’ve found none since.

      1. [sarcasm] No doubt those very poor countries made the switch in the 90s due to the 1993 “Assault Weapon” Ban; they could no longer avail themselves of the “Iron Pipeline” of American semi-auto rifles from U.S. manufacturers. #GunControlWorks [/sarcasm]

        What’s the over-under that the New York Times (& Taco Stand) could be encouraged to publish an op-ed pushing that spin?

  2. Feinstein is trying to separate “keep” and “use”. Creative argument, but logically flawed, especially as applied to other rights:

    1st Amendment: If you don’t actively go to church/temple/whatever on a regular and frequent (as in, spending most of your time there) basis, then it’s not “commonly used” and your religious rights can be stripped. Ditto if you own an internet-connected computer but just don’t used it “often enough”, or if you don’t attend political rallies “often enough”.

    Or if you don’t vote “often enough”.

    3rd Amendment: How many times have you exercised this one by actively turning away domestic police officers who want to use your home as a base of operations? See? You don’t “commonly use” this one, so it can go.

    4th Amendment: How many times in the past 12 months have you been stopped and searched unlawfully? Is it “common” enough to keep on the books?

    I could go on, but I think we get the point.

    Dear Ms. Feinstein: For the purposes of rights, “keeping” IS “using”. Put another way, since you spend so much time in D.C., why haven’t your CA voting rights or driver’s license been revoked? I mean, you’re not “using” them most of the time.

  3. Also interesting is the unstated weakness in her argument.

    She’s basically saying guns “in common use” are safe, but our AR-15s aren’t because we aren’t “commonly” (read: constantly) using them.

    News flash: The Heller decision didn’t say “commonly used by their individual owners”. It says “in common use”. As in generally.

    So it doesn’t matter if your AR-15 or mine only leaves the safe once per year (or less). Someone, somewhere is using a substantially similar firearm pretty much 24/7, be it a police officer’s “patrol rifle”, a target shooter at a shooting range, a home owner investigating a bump-in-the-night at 0-dark-thirty, or a livestock owner keeping coywolves from preying on his/her herd (which can happen at any hour).

    These rifles are constantly being used somewhere for some lawful purpose, which is pretty much the textbook definition of “in common use” even using the stretched-beyond-reason meaning Ms. Feinstein would prefer.

    She defeated her own argument before she even brought it up.

    Just sayin’.

  4. If I keep an AR 15 in my safe, and a loaded magazine sitting on the shelf next to it, ready to load into the rifle, whenever it might be needed to defend my family, then to my way of thinking, I am using that gun. Using it doesn’t have to imply actively shooting it. Using a door lock doesn’t mean that you have to have your door locked at every single second of every single day.
    The mere possession of the weapon means that one is using it. So then that means that since so many AR 15’s are in possession, they are in common use.
    Myself, I have not bought one, since I have not found the use for one for myself. I have a pump shotgun, which is of legal length, but I can use that for home defense if needed, and I also have a .22 caliber rifle with two magazines. I have a deer rifle, in .308 bolt action, plus two handguns, a 9mm and a 1911 in .45 ACP. I keep the 9mm loaded in a drawer by my bedside except during the day, when it is on my person.
    I might have another gun or two hanging around, somewhere, but I figure I am using each and every one of them, just by having them. It is not different than the knives or spoons in my silverware drawer. I am using all of them as well. Just because they are not all in my hand at the moment, I am still using them. Now, Diane, why is this even something worth discussing? Really, I don’t think that some of these Democrats mommy played with them or held them enough when they were growing up. Because they sure seem to have a lot of issues of self esteem and insecurity, or something. And they never seem to grow up, and find something else to harp on. Seriously, it is either abortion, guns, or feminism, in one form or another. And Katie bar the door, when they can find a way to work all three into the same discussion. Like when some nutjob shoots up an abortion clinic, the feminists come running with a gleam in their eyes, like it is Christmas morning or something. Not knowing that we also condemn the horrific act also, they start to blame not only guns, but also those of us who support guns, like the murderer is somehow OUR fault.
    I swear, they remind me of Simon LeGree, wanting to tie us down to the nearest railroad tracks, all the while rubbing their hands in glee, shouting ” Ban the Assault Rifles!Ban the Assault Rifles.”
    Sorry, I had a moment there.

  5. You start by banning something that’s not commonly owned or used. Then you have the model by which to ban the more-common, and eventually even the universal.

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