Well, not necessarily a shocking announcement, given pro-gun Democrats usually buckle when the pressure becomes this intense: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is reversing his position on so-called assault weapons bans and magazine sizes. The Virginia Democrat is a moderate on the issue, earning a C rating from the National Rifle Association. Not the best, for sure—but one that used to be counted on for voting against his party’s ban on rifles they consider scary. The magazine limits is yet another issue since it’s pretty much a backdoor ban on other firearms, not just rifles. Right now, the ten-round limit on magazines is the Democratic Party consensus. That means the sale and ownership of scores of handguns, most of which carry 15-round magazines, will be put on the banned list.
It’s the same ole’ game of dressing up the semantics. “Common sense gun control” that still honors the Second Amendment, while doing something to increase public safety from so-called weapons of war; another word in the anti-gun lexicon that makes me throw up in my mouth. In reality, it does neither. Law-abiding citizens have their rights chipped away, while scores of guns are brought under the ban if such legislation passes.
Warner made his conversion known prior to the Easter holiday (via Free Beacon):
Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) has reversed course from his long-stated views on gun control, signaling that he now supports a federal ban on "assault-style weapons" and limits on high capacity magazines.
"I don’t know how I can responsibly look at those young people and not say ‘We need to do something,’" Warner said on Friday, according to The Virginian-Pilot. "We can debate around the edges where and what the perfect solution is. … But it’s time for action."
Warner's change of heart comes as Congress weighs how to adequately respond to the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The shooting, which left 17 dead, has reignited the national conversation surrounding gun control and school safety.
"I don’t think there’s anything contradictory to say ‘I support your right to have a gun for self-protection, long gun for hunting purposes,’" Warner said. "You can still support that and recognize that military-style weapons are creating such havoc. The killing rate in our country is so much higher than any other nation in the world that the American public demands action."
Warner did not expand on his claim that the "killing rate" in the United States is higher than "any other nation in the world," which is inaccurate. While the United States does have a relatively high rate of death by firearm among high-income nations, more than 50 other nations had a higher rate of intentional homicide than the U.S., based on 2015 data from the United Nations.
Warner admits that defining the term assault weapon is going to be a huge obstacle, one his party has broken enough teeth on with all the rakes they’ve stepped on in trying to sell this snake oil to voters. Also, depending on the game, you can hunt with an AR-15 rifle. It’s perfect for self-defense. It was made for the civilian market. It’s been around for decades.
Second, you know the Democrats will botch the definition of a word, that’s a political invention, to ensure any firearm is considered an assault weapon. Rifles and shotguns constitute less than 1,000 murder victims—and it’s been this way for years. Is it tragic? Yes—but hardly the World War II-level of carnage the Left wants to disseminate over the airwaves. Folks, we’re not a shooting gallery. We’re safer than ever before; violent crime is down. And gun homicides are down significantly since 1993. Schools are safer than they were in the 1990s and mass shooting, especially school shootings, are very rare occurrences.
Third, it was the government that failed the kids of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The federal, state, and local authorities had more than enough red flags and disturbing incidents to act upon getting shooter Nikolas Cruz the help he needed. Nothing happened. Warner barely hung on for his 2014 re-election campaign Republican David Gillespie came within inches of knocking him off. With the party now edging more left wing and insane as ever, perhaps Warner is banking that this move will stave off a possible primary challenge in 2020. He’s doubling down on the Northern Virginia’s Democratic bastion to carry him over, another sign that he’s saying to rural Virginians I’m through with you? Remains to be seen, but he’s surely said that to the Bill of Rights.