After another mass shooting committed by a mentally ill person who was able to get easy access to a high powered weapon, Senate Democrats have introduced an assault weapons ban.
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2017 was introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and fellow Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), 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.).
Sen. Feinstein said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, “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.”
The Democrats are right. This isn’t a bill to solve mass shootings, but it will remove a weapon that has no other purpose than taking human life from the country. It would not be a quick process, and an assault weapons ban alone is not the answer, but it is a common-sense step towards making it more difficult for individuals to get weapons that by design make it easy to kill lots of people with minimal effort in a short period of time.
This bill is not expected to pass this year, but it is designed to remind voters that they have a choice in 2018, and if they want to do something about mass shootings, the first step is to vote for Democrats.