Gun Control, Dianne Feinstein, and the ”Assault Weapons” Ban
March 28 2004

Gun Control, Dianne Feinstein, and the ”Assault Weapons” Ban

by Howard Nemerov

`The Senators and Representatives shall … in all Cases, except
Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest
during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses,
and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or
Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other
Place.’ – U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 6, Clause 1.

It’s Okay to Lie in Congress

The preceding excerpt from the Constitution is our origin of
what is called legislative immunity. It means that if Diane
Feinstein prefers to lie while carrying out her job as Senator, we
cannot hold her liable. Furthermore, if her dishonest comments are
quoted by the New York Times, it is given an aura of authority. If
other newspapers use quotes from the New York Times, often called the
paper of record, in their own articles, pretty soon it becomes gospel
truth, because you can read it just about anywhere.

Diane Feinstein sent this in response to a request she uphold
the Constitution that protects her from arrest for using her position
to lie about firearms.

”Thank you for writing to me about the Assault Weapons Ban.
I appreciate hearing from you on this matter and welcome the
opportunity to respond.

”In 1994, Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Bill, which was
signed into law. One provision of this bill banned the manufacture,
transfer, or possession of semi-automatic assault weapons for a
preliminary period of ten years. Since 1994, it has become even
clearer through chilling examples, such as the 1999 shootings at
Columbine High School in Colorado and at the Jewish Community Center
in Los Angeles, that military-style assault weapons are a danger on
our streets and to our children. Semi-automatic assault weapons
which fire up to 250 rounds of ammunition within seconds and without
warning are weapons of war that do not belong on the streets of our

She combines the terms ”semi-automatic” and ”assault
weapons” together. True assault weapons, meaning military-grade
firearms, are fully automatic, and have been outlawed for civilians
since the National Firearms Act of 1934. In practice, the law
focuses on guns which have cosmetic similarities to fully automatic
military weapons. The term is so vague that the Fresno, California,
District Attorney sued the state attorney general over the confusing
state assault weapons ban. (1) ”Assault weapons” is becoming so
general a term that most semi-automatic handguns are included.

Let’s look at what she doesn’t say about the Columbine
killers. The two murderers broke 19 existing laws, including using
straw purchasers to buy guns for minors, manufacturing and possessing
explosive devices, and manufacturing a sawed-off shotgun. (2)

She assumes that the two mass murderers would have been
stymied by lack of available firearms and not seek out the black
market. She also assumes they would not focus their efforts into
making and installing more effective explosive devices, which would
have raised the death toll.

The Jewish Community Center murderer had also violated
existing gun laws, being a felon on parole. As such, it was illegal
to possess a firearm. (3)

The next Big Lie is ”semi-automatic assault weapons which
fire up to 250 rounds of ammunition within seconds.” Only fully
automatic weapons are capable this type of dispersal. Fully
automatic weapons, not available to civilians, are rarely used in
crime. (4)

Feinstein also ignores other pertinent facts:

Between 1977 and 1997, states with citizen-friendly Right to
Carry (Shall Issue) laws averaged 25 fewer multiple victim murders
than states that did not trust their tax-paying citizens the right of
self-defense in public. (5)

In states without Shall Issue laws, there have been 15 school
shootings between 1977 and 1995, but only one in Shall Issue states.
The five school shootings in 1997-1998 occurred after the 1995
Gun-Free Zones law banned firearms within 1,000 feet of schools. (6)

These omissions highlight the manner in which gun control
advocates seek to slant the discussion by omitting the costs of gun
control laws, and ignoring the benefits of trained, law-abiding
citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights for self-defense
and community protection.

Feinstein: ”Unless acted upon by the United States Congress
and President Bush, the assault weapons ban will expire, as
scheduled, in September 2004. On May 5, 2003 I introduced a bill, S.
1034, which would reauthorize the assault weapons ban for another ten
years. The success of this bill depends on support from the House,
the Senate, and the administration. President Bush and Attorney
General Ashcroft have both publicly stated their support for an
extension of the ban, and I intend to hold them to their promise.
Please know that I will keep your thoughts in mind as I continue to
fight for this important legislation.”

Feinstein has warned us: call and write your Congressional
representatives and tell them to stop any renewal or expansion of the
1994 Assault Weapons ban.

Gun Control Means Confiscation

”If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United
States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and
Mrs. America, turn ’em all in, I would have done it.” – Senator
Dianne Feinstein, CBS-TV’s 60 Minutes, February 5, 1995.

Feinstein wants us to believe mass murderers would be stopped
if law-abiding gun owners were disarmed. If gun-banners wanted only
some ”reasonable steps” to insure that people were protected from
accidental gun death and gun violence, why are they still asking for
more gun control after 20,000 gun laws? They cite new ”loopholes”
that allow criminals access to firearms. (7, 8) They justify it with
the mantra ”If it saves one life, it’s worth it.” But they never
factor in the costs of not owning a gun for personal protection, nor
the lives saved because a physically weaker woman shot and killed the
man who was stalking her with intent to kill, or the children who
still have a mother. (9)

Nor do they talk about the costs to society when civilian
firearms are confiscated, such as what is happening in Britain. (10)

Nor do they mention that no study has concluded that the 1994
Assault Weapons ban (17) or that gun control laws reduced crime. (18)

So why do they continue wanting more gun control?

Confiscation Leads to Mass Murder

It is curious that law-abiding gun owners are considered
guilty without any evidence showing their culpability in crime, but
national governments, with ample evidence to the contrary, are still
assumed to be the most able protectors of the people.

Rudolph J. Rummel, professor emeritus of the University of
Hawaii and author of numerous books on the depredations of
governments, has a web site (13) packed with data covering what he
calls democide: ”The murder of any person or people by a government,
including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.” (14)

Following are some facts relating to governments which
disarmed their people as a prelude to democide.

”The Soviet Union appears the greatest mega-murderer of all,
apparently killing near 61,000,000 people. Stalin himself is
responsible for almost 43,000,000 of these.’ (15)

”In sum the communists probably have murdered something like
110,000,000, or near two-thirds of all those killed by all
governments, quasi-governments, and guerrillas from 1900 to 1987.

Professor Rummel estimates over 35 million people were
slaughtered by the Chinese Communists. (16)

”By genocide, the murder of hostages, reprisal raids, forced
labor, ‘euthanasia,’ starvation, exposure, medical experiments, and
terror bombing, and in the concentration and death camps, the Nazis
murdered from 15,003,000 to 31,595,000 people…Among them 1,000,000
were children under eighteen years of age. And none of these
monstrous figures even include civilian and military combat or
war-deaths.” (17)

What Hitler, Mao, and Stalin all have in common is civilian
disarmament. They banned the people’s guns first. Then, in their
arrogance and self-righteousness, they began to remove the
”undesirables.” These are only the most heinous examples.
Professor Rummel documents the democide of over 170 million civilians
in the 20th century, a common thread being civilian disarmament.

Via email interview, Professor Rummel reported a variation of
confiscation: ”For the Khmer Rouge, there was no general gun
confiscation, but anyone found with one was murdered on the spot.”
Khmer Rouge killed ”only” 2 million. (18)

”[Include] Turkey’s genocide of the Armenians and Greeks.
Weapons were seized beforehand as part of the step-by-step
implementation of what the Young Turks planned in the highest
councils.” During the WWI era, Turkey murdered 1.5 million of its
Armenian citizens. (18)


Every despot had a ”reasonable” explanation for their power
grab. Communism was supposed to free the little people from the
depredations of nobility and industrialists. It ended up merely
changing terms, from serf to proletariat, murdering over 100 million
along the way. Hitler wanted to create a superior human race. He
ended up being instrumental in causing the deaths of tens of

We are now faced with a reality check. There is no proof that
civilian disarmament reduces crime. On the other hand, civilian
disarmament is proven to lead to increased crime and genocide. Given
the nature of those who seek to gather power unto themselves, there
is no third option.

It is time for you to choose.


(1) Fresno official sues the state over ban on assault weapons,
Sean Scully, The Washington Times, November 5, 2001.

(2) High School Shooters Broke 19 Laws, Professor J.D. Crouch,
April 29, 2000.

(3) Furrow pleads guilty to shootings, will avoid death penalty,
get life without parole., January 24, 2001.

(4) Full Auto Weapons, GunCite.

(5) The Bias Against Guns, page 106, John Lott, 2003.

(6) Gun Facts Version 3.3, page 15. Guy Smith, 2003.
Go to and select the format you prefer.

(7) The Gun Show Loophole, Americans for Gun Safety.

(8) provides instructional Flash video on the
fantasy of the Gun Show Loophole.

(9) A Clarksdale man was shot to death by a 12-year-old girl
Saturday night as he allegedly attacked the girl’s mother, police
said. Jeff Piselli, Clarksdale Press Register, April 30, 2001.

(10) Gun Crime Rockets 35 Percent. Bob Roberts,
UK Mirror, January 10, 2003.
;method=full& siteid=50143

(11) Impacts of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban:
1994-1996. National Institute of Justice, March 1999.

(12) First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness
of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws, CDC
Publication, November, 2002




(16) China’s Bloody Century By R.J. Rummel

R.J. Rummel



Howard Nemerov is a Bay Area freelance writer who receives e-mail at:
[email protected].

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