Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said her assault weapons ban is having a more difficult path in Congress than in the 1990s because of increased partisanship today.
“This has been, you know, such a hard go this time because I think the partisanship has really put people in a position where they are not able to do what’s best for the country, and there is no way that I can see that what’s best for the country is let these kinds of weapons multiply in our society so that they’re more easily available to people who would misuse them,” Feinstein said on MSNBC.
Her bill wasn’t included in the package of legislation Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on last night, but she was assured she could bring it up as an amendment or in another way for a vote.
“I have a commitment from the majority leader I will have a vote, and I take him at his word,” the California Democrat said.
Feinstein said the investigation into Sandy Hook shows why her bill is needed.
“A background check or some mental law wouldn’t change the fact that this mother, Nancy Lanza, gave this weapon to her son, that he gave a seriously disturbed young man weapons, that he taught the young man — that she taught the young man how to use these weapons, and, of course, the first person this young man killed was his own mother,” she said. “…I have a very hard time understanding why Americans are really going to be safer with these kinds of offensive weapons that are constructed all for military use to kill large numbers of people in close combat. Why is our nation better because juveniles and grievance killers and gangs can get hold of these weapons to go against police, to go into a law firm, into a theater, into a mall and just mow down people?”
Feinstein said she welcomed extended debate on the bill as an answer to Senate Republicans’ filibuster threat.
“Now, the package has a number of other bills on it, and if cloture mode is on the package, that’s a different thing. But when my bill is able to come up, and it’s not just my bill, we have 22 co-sponsors, talked to a large number of people about it. As I said, every poll shows America supports it.”