Thursday, April 09, 2009

Feinstein: No Assault Weapons Ban Yet

Sen. Dianne Feinstein told "60 Minutes", "The National Rifle Association essentially has a stranglehold on the Congress." And with that don't look for a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban she authored in the early 1990s anytime soon.

In interview to be aired this Sunday, Feinstein believes there is no time for gun control legislation but would considered it later. Such comments come less than a month after four Oakland police officers were gunned down by a parolee with an AK-47. President Bush allowed the initial ban to expire in 2004 while Democrats made significant electoral inroads in the once-bleeding red Western states like Montana and South Dakota by not focusing on gun control.

While the congressional calendar may be chock full with health care reform, the economy and two overseas wars, Democrats don't want to mess with a once troublesome issue that has been significantly neutralized. It's no surprise President Obama breezed through the primaries and general election without dealing with either gun control or abortion rights--two issues Republicans once hammered more liberal-leaning candidates with.

Can Democrats live with legislators who seemingly ignore the continual rise in gun use in our society? It seems like anything else in these trying economic times, our priorities are more fixated on maintaining full employment and keeping the bill collector at bay rather than focusing on complex and controversial social issues better suited to be argued in better times (i.e. when we have nothing better to worry about).

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