We saw this coming. Despite the slaughter of 20 innocents in Newtown, Conn., three months and six days ago, a proposed ban on assault weapons was stripped out of a gun violence bill in the Senate. But that doesn't mean nothing is being done in response to that horrific crime. The Senate bill expands background checks and makes gun trafficking a federal crime. Still, the front page of the New York Daily News today — "Shame on U.S.' — says it all.
"It's heartbreaking that this tragic incident can't get some common sense laws passed, such as the assault weapons ban,' Jim Wiltsie, whose cousin, Victoria Soto, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, died trying to protect her students on Dec. 14, told the Daily News.
But, as The Washington Post reported yesterday, the assault weapons ban was always doomed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the floor yesterday that the proposed ban from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) "has less than 40 votes. That's not 60.' Even though the measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, it doesn't have the 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster in the full Senate.
"How many assault weapons do you need circulating?' Feinstein asked at a press conference yesterday. "They get sold out of trunks. They get sold in gun shops and they fall into the hands of grievance killers, young people, gangs. To have these massive killings is such a blight on everything that America stands for.'
Reid's action came one day after police thwarted a planned attack by a student at the University of Central Florida. He had an arsenal of weapons and a detailed plan of attack. A scary echo of the horror at Sandy Hook.