During a scheduled hearing today of the Senate Judiciary Committee, senators clashed over the proposal of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that would ban hundreds of types of firearms, including the popular AR-15 rifle and semiautomatic handguns.
The bill would also ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The Democrat-controlled Senate apparently made sure that the room where the hearing was held was packed with supporters of the gun ban. Attendees cheered witnesses who testified in favor of the ban, particularly when they clashed with Republicans on the committee.
At one point U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn if his department was currently enforcing laws already on the books regarding background checks. The question elicited a sharp response from Flynn who exploded into a tirade about the fact that his department is focused on catching criminals rather than engaging in pencil-pushing.
Attendees erupted into cheers for Flynn.
But Graham's question is a crucial one. When misconduct is discovered in the running of current background checks for gun purchases, rarely if ever are these cases of misconduct pursued by law enforcement, raising the question as to whether or not such laws are effective or even necessary if they are not being enforced.
Further, why would adding more laws to the books be any more effective, given that Flynn's statement implies that police officers are too busy on the streets catching criminals to spend much time behind a desk investigating and pursuing violations related to background checks?
Graham's questioning of Flynn resulted in a shouting match over the issue, prompting Feinstein to request that the two "remain civil."
But the subject of background checks is critical, given that some have suggested that this is potentially the only area on which both Democrats and some Republicans can find agreement. If current laws regarding background checks are not being enforced, then adding extra laws to the books will not address the issue of violence that occurs when criminals and lunatics use weapons, usually obtained illegally, to go on shooting sprees.
If Flynn and other law enforcement personnel are truly busy on the streets catching criminals, then how is it that these criminals always find a way to get their hands on firearms, which are then used in committing crimes?
And how will punishing 100 million law-abiding Americans by restricting their gun rights address the multiple failures of law enforcement in putting away criminals and lunatics for lengthy sentences?
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