Although the gun ban legislation promised by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is not set to go on the agenda until Jan. 22, 2013, powerful senators are working feverishly behind the scenes, laying the groundwork for a stealth scheme to get the ban passed in spite of heavy opposition, according to two sources today at Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Talking Points Memo (TPM).
Anti-gun congressman and senators are said to be preparing to strike swiftly and without warning in order to take advantage of public outrage concerning the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Twenty young children and six adults were killed in a shooting spree that most analysts say would not have been prevented by the proposed gun bans, given that Connecticut already has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation and the fact that the perpetrator had stolen the guns he used from his mother.
Conservatives and gun rights groups have said from the beginning that the gun ban legislation does not arise from the Newtown massacre but from an overriding, longstanding desire on the part of anti-gun politicians and activist groups to ban as many guns as possible. Massacres are thus easily used by such persons to whip up citizen frenzy, making it possible for the politicians to pass unpopular legislation that has little or nothing to do with the shootings themselves.
In this case, GOA director Larry Pratt stated that U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is secretly working with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to change Senate rules so that a simple majority of 51 votes would be all that is necessary to pass the gun bans. McCain is reportedly working with U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., to prevent the filibuster from holding up the legislation, which U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., vowed to to use to prevent any new gun ban legislation.
McCain and Levin are also working secretly to change the rules so that gun ban legislation could be easily added to any bill being considered in conference, and then when it is presented on the Senate floor it must be voted upon on an "as is" basis with no changes.
Another stealth measure McCain and Levin are attempting to weasel through the Senate is a provision that would bar any senator except for McCain and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., from offering amendments to bills coming out of conference.
These measures have the full blessing and approval of the Democratic majority, led by Reid and Levin.
In addition, sources close to Vice President Joe Biden say that the special report on gun control authorized by President Obama is on the fast track behind the scenes and could be introduced quickly and unexpectedly in the House by Jan. 15 rather than the end of the month deadline originally set.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns, for example, reported that they had been told to expect a bill by Jan. 15.
Some reports in the mainstream media claim that the gun ban measures have broad public support following the Newtown shooting. But the specific provisions of the bans target the very firearms and accessories that citizens buy the most, such as semiautomatic pistols with large capacity magazines.
These handguns would be banned along with semiautomatic rifles. Registration and fingerprinting would become mandatory.
Gun rights activists have vowed they will disobey any new law requiring registration and fingerprinting, or any bans on any type of firearms that are currently legal to own, leading to mass civil disobedience.
One hundred million American citizens own over 300 million guns in America currently.
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