Congressional Democrats Should Renew Assault Weapons Ban Now
by gobacktotexas, Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 06:21:04 PM EDT
President Clinton signed the assault weapons ban law into effect, and it expired in 2004. President Bush has stated he favored its renewal, but Congress didn't send him the bill.
WASHINGTON -- The expiration of the 10-year-old ban on 19 types of assault weapons Monday drove up business at some gun stores and set off sparks in the political world.
John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, said President Bush had failed tests of character and leadership. But the National Rifle Association lauded the demise of what it called a "misguided law, which had no effect on the actions of criminals, but penalized law-abiding citizens."
Bush said in the 2000 campaign that he would sign an extension of the 10-year ban on the semiautomatic weapons. However, he did not press Congress to send him such a bill, and its Republican leaders never did.
"Why didn't you ask, Mr. President?" Kerry asked, surrounded by police officers and gun violence victims at a community center here. "Why didn't you fight for it?"
This problem can be easily remedied if Congressional Democrats pass renewal legislation immediately. In the wake of the tragic events which have occured today, and will continue to occur in the future unless we do something differently, the Democrats ought to take a measured response. This is that response.
Bush has already agreed to sign such legislation, and thus would be under immense pressure to do so. Democrats would also benefit because they would have taken a defining moral stand on a tragically relevant issue. But more than being just good politics, this measure would be great for the country.