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.”
“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.” “
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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