Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your opposition to S. 150, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this piece of legislation.
As you know, Senator Feinstein introduced S. 150 on January 30, 2013. This legislation would amend the federal criminal code to ban the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of a semiautomatic assault weapon. The legislation additionally bans pistols that can accept magazines with a capacity higher than 10 rounds, pistols that have threaded barrels, and any semiautomatic firearm with a pistol grip, detachable stocks, or folding telescopes.
Even though the events in Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson are tragic, they cannot be used as an excuse to enact every piece of gun control legislation that has been around for years. I have concerns with passing legislation that bans guns based on their appearance. For instance, limiting magazine capacity can be circumvented by carrying multiple guns and/or magazines. The 1994 assault weapons ban did not stop Columbine and has been found ineffective by the Department of Justice.
Overly restrictive gun control legislation does very little to deter criminals. It does, however, do a great deal to limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. Our crime reduction efforts must focus on criminals and criminal activity, not on gun control. Those who use a firearm to commit a crime should serve the maximum sentence so they cannot pose a further threat to society. You can be sure that any bill that seeks to restrict or restrain our Second Amendment rights will be given the strictest scrutiny and I will fight to ensure that no new limitations are placed upon our Constitutional rights to bear arms.
I welcome renewed discussion on how to prevent these violent crimes. However, this discussion cannot solely be about guns. The problem is greater than guns alone and we need to focus on the cause of these events rather than the instrument used to carry out such terrible acts. Congress must include a complete reexamination of mental health as it relates to these shootings.
Additionally, society has changed. There are too many video games that celebrate mass killing of innocent people. These games find their way into children’s hands. Our society in general has become less civil.
As Congress looks to prevent future tragedies similar to Newtown, I will keep your thoughts in mind on proposed gun control legislation during the 113th Congress. I urge you to continue to raise questions and share your views with me. For democracy to function there has to be two way communication between Americans and their elected representatives. By contacting me, Iowans play a vital role in this process. I am glad to have the benefit of your views. Please keep in touch.