Skip to comments.Vanity - Letter to Senator Feinstein
Posted on 02/15/2013 7:44:05 PM PST by 45Auto
My Dear Senator Feinstein,
Thank you for your personal reply to my concerns about the banning of AR-15's and similar weapons. I think that neither justice nor the Constitution is served by punishing an entire nation for the act of a random madman.
I have recently re-read both the 2008 Heller and the 2010 McDonald United States Supreme Court opinions. I believe that these decisions put your legislation on tenuous Constitutional grounds at best.
The Heller case found that to ban an entire class of firearms was clearly unconstitutional under the 2nd Amendment. The case specifically referred to handguns, quote, "The [D. C.] handgun ban amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of "arms" that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that [self defense] lawful purpose." and, later, "Whatever the reason [for the citizens' preference for handguns as defensive weapons] handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid."
The Court in Heller also reviewed the US SC 1939 Miller decision and stated: "Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those "in common use at the time", and further that "It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service - M-16 [military version of the semi auto AR 15] rifles and the like - may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the preferatory clause [the Militia Clause]". The Court further stated, "Read in isolation, Miller's phrase, 'part of ordinary military equipment' could mean that only those weapons useful in warfare are protected." "That would be a startling reading of the opinion, since it would mean that the National Firearms Act restrictions on machineguns might be unconstitutional." This is certainly food for thought especially with regard to posssible future litigation by 2nd Amendment advocates.
I think that banning of the AR15 (and related weapons) runs afoul of the basic concept outlined in Heller; that is, it "amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of arms that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose (i.e. self defense).
I think you must understand that there are literally millions of semi automatic AR 15 rifles in the hands of American citizens which makes them, like the handgun, a weapon "overwhelmingly chosen by Americans - for...lawful purposes."
A word about the term "assault weapons". The AR 15 is not an assault weapon. This term is limited to select fire rifles that have either fully automatic or three shot burst capabilities (the M-16). The AR 15 is a semiautomatic rifle much like many other older arms in use today, such as the Remington 740 series, the Ruger Mini 14, and the Ruger 10/22.
I note that recently, the Department of Homeland Defense has ordered 7000 select fire M16 rifles (i.e., true "assault weapons") which they call "Personal Defense Weapons."
Might I suggest that the emotionally-laden term 'assault weapon' be limited to these select fire weapons, arms which are rarely found in civilian hands in the U. S.? Your legislation does not ban "assault weapons"; it bans semiautomatic 'personal defense weapons'.
The 2010 Supreme Court McDonald case incorporated "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, thus applying that right to the states. In light of this, I would venture to opine that both New York State's recent AR 15 ban and California's Roberti-Roos and SB 23 AR 15 bans will be ruled unconstitutional in the light of Heller and the Court's recent conclusions about Miller.
Finally, might it not be prudent to forego a total ban on an entire class of arms and seek to address the problem of mass violence by at least including an honest national discussion of the possible role that antidepressant use in the young might play?
Yours most sincerely, 45Auto
Very good letter.
If I tried to write a letter to Feinstein, every other word would need to be crossed out and the feds would be at my doorstep the next day.
Extremely well written, but sadly, she doesn’t care about rights or facts.
I know she doesn’t care; I wanted to gather my thoughts in light of Heller and McDonald; I’ll probably send this along to other appropriate members of Congress as soon as she introduces her bill. All of my representatives are lefty democrats, I have no real representation on local, state or national levels. Real frustrating. I wanted to convey in a respectful manner that a mountain of litigation awaits these attempts to destroy the 2nd.
Ya. The__________ wench _____________ to be polite and not get banned, will not read it nor will the serfs who read those emails for her.
Good letter although with DiFi, it will not sink. Still, at least you let her know where you and we all stand.
Yours is a better and more detailed letter than mine, which only stressed my responsible gun ownership and the inalienable RKBA.
Below is her response. I hope your reply is more encouraging.
“Thank you for contacting me to share your opposition to assault weapons legislation. I respect your opinion on this important issue and welcome the opportunity to provide my point of view.
Mass shootings are a serious problem in our country, and I have watched this problem get worse and worse over the 40 years I have been in public life. From the 1966 shooting rampage at the University of Texas that killed 14 people and wounded 32 others, to the Newtown massacre that killed 20 children and 6 school teachers and faculty, I have seen more and more of these killings. I have had families tell me that they no longer feel safe in a mall, in a movie theater, in their business, and in other public places, because these deadly weapons are so readily available. These assault weapons too often fall into the hands of grievance killers, juveniles, gangs, and the deranged.
I recognize that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to bear arms, but I do not believe that right is unlimited or that it precludes taking action to prevent mass shootings. Indeed, in the same Supreme Court decision that recognized the individual right to bear arms, District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court also held that this right, like other constitutional rights, is not unlimited. That is why assault weapons bans have consistently been upheld in the courts, both before and after the Heller decision. I believe regulation of these weapons is appropriate.
Once again, thank you for your letter. Although we may disagree, I appreciate hearing from you and will be mindful of your thoughts as the debate on this issue continues. If you have any additional comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.
United States Senator”
Remind them that the FBI defines mass murder as a single event where 4 or more people (excl the killer) die. In 2012 we had 6 or 7 individuals out of a population of 313 million become mass murderers.
I bet that more than half of the citizens are opposed to her bill and to any more stupid ineffective "gun control" BS that will lead, not to a peacful solution to "the problem" but to an ever-increasing tide of violence against those disarmed by government, perpetrated by the criminal elements both in and out of government. Why does the DHS need over a billion rounds of ammo?
Wow. I admire and totally agree with your courteous, well-written letter that cites legal precedent for protection of the 2nd Amendment. Keep on defying the lying liberal stereotypes of conservatives as uneducated rabble.
It appears that Feinstein`s mother fled Communist/Bolshevik Russia at the age of ten, [with parents?] only to have an American Communist daughter.
Betty Rosenberg: b. 25 Jun 1907 St. Petersburg, Russia; imm. 1917; d. Jan 1983 (last residence San Francisco, San Francisco Co., CA) [SSN 550-72-7056, issued CA 1963]
I'll also respond to her and see what she sends back. If anything our pro gun rights letters are used as a sort of poll and do get taken into account.
I just received her response to my email an hour ago.
Crap! I got tbe same letter. Thought she was writing me, personally....
I dunn been gipped!
The letters to King George were better.
He didn’t read them either.
Jump up an down and hold your breath.
It will have as much impact on restoring our nation as the letter.
“....that neither justice nor the Constitution is served by punishing an entire nation for the act of a random madman.”
In a nutshell! My favorite pro-2A demonstrator’s sign is,
“We are NOT part of the problem!”
Got one too.
Since the 2nd is ‘pliable’ perhaps the 1st can be twisted to prevent DiFi’s mass email campaign.
At first, this is going to take the form of a whole host of lawsuits that are going to have the backing of not just a few "gun nuts" (like those who supported Heller - and won!) but a lot of mainstream gun people who are usually not concerned about the issue enough to get involved. I can see it happening already. If we fail in the courts (or in our lobbying efforts) then it might be time to consider other means.