There’s a reason political analysts and pundits have been saying that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s ban on ‘assault’ weapons has a slim chance of passing out of the Senate and that is because key players in the Democratic party are reluctant to endorse the controversial bill.
At the top of that list is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who is undoubtedly a galvanizing force in Congressional politics. Over the years, Reid has been the point man on a number of legislative priorities for the Democratic party, including the president’s crown jewel: Obamacare.
Yet, when it comes to banning semiautomatic rifles with certain cosmetic features, Sen. Reid is not willing to fall in line with his peers. On Tuesday, Reid was asked specifically about Feinstein and her comprehensive federal gun ban.
“She’s talked to me about her assault weapons. The new one. She believes in it fervently and I admire her for that. I’ll take a look at that,” Reid told The Hill.com. “We’re going to have votes on all kinds of issues dealing with guns, and I think everyone would be well advised to read the legislation before they determine how they’re going to vote [on] it.”
While Reid’s response wasn’t as direct as most gun owners would like – it would have been nice to hear him wholeheartedly condemn it and say something like, ‘No, I think that bill sucks’ – it does telegraph his apprehensions about the AWB.
Now, the question must be asked, why is Sen. Reid going rogue on his fellow Democrats? Why is he not enthusiastically backing the president proposal to reduce gun-related violence?
Well, the answer to this question can be found on the Senator’s website, under the tab the read ‘Sportsmen for Harry Reid.’
At the top of that page there is a quote from, of all people, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, and it reads, “I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Senator Reid in our fight to protect the Second Amendment.”
Then, in open letter addressed to Nevada Sportsman, it says, “Senator Harry Reid is a champion of the Second Amendment, a devoted advocate of hunting and wildlife, and our strongest advocate in Congress.”
But wait, it gets better, “Harry Reid is also staunchly opposed to the so-called assault weapons ban, played a critical role in passing a law to protect gun manufacturers from junk lawsuits, and consistently votes to protect Nevadans’ Second Amendment rights,” the leader continues.
Okay, so you see where this is going. Sen. Reid has a long history of courting the gun community to ensure he stays in office. Were he to turn his back on gun owners now not only would it be betrayal tantamount to that of Judas’s, but it would surely spell the end of his political career.
Given these statements, it stands to reason that Sen. Reid will not be endorsing Feinstein’s AWB. Though, due to his political affiliations, there is a possibility that he’ll support one of the other pro-gun control provisions that will find its way to the Senate, i.e. universal background checks or a ban on high-capacity magazines.