William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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PROBABLY NOT HELPFUL – AT 10:27 A.M. ET:   Senator Dianne Feinstein of California will introduce legislation today that would ban the sale of a number of gun models.  Senator Feinstein is a serious senator, but I'm somewhat dubious about her efforts.  We have said here repeatedly that we don't oppose constitutional and effective measures to reduce the impact of violence committed with guns However, it seems to me that Feinstein's proposal will only harass law-abiding gun owners, without addressing the problem.  From The Hill:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will introduce a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips on Thursday.

Feinstein’s bill will expand the criteria for classifying military-style assault weapons from a 1994 law, which lapsed a decade later. Her new measure will ban the sale of about 150 types of firearms, including some rifles and handguns, as well as the sale of high-capacity magazines, according to USA Today.

The bill will exempt firearms used for hunting and will grandfather in guns and magazines owned before the law’s potential enactment. However, the grandfathered weapons will be logged in a national registry.

The measure is expected to face a tough fight in the Senate, with many GOP lawmakers and the nation’s gun lobby vowing to oppose any new restrictions on gun ownership.

COMMENT:  It seems to me that a more effective approach would emphasize 1) expanded and more complete background checks; 2) addressing the very serious mental-health issues that are wrapped up in violent crime and 3) taking immediate defensive action to harden soft targets like schools or campuses, and that means armed, trained guards.

It would also be helpful for the media to address its own performance in this area.  I am simply appalled at the factual errors made by major journalists in discussing gun issues.  The worst offenders I've seen are at CNN, but there are probably still greater offenders out there.  Good journalism begins with research, and I don't see much evidence of it at the MSM.

January 24, 2013