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Look at all those magazines! Or are they clips?


California Senator Dianne Feinstein and 22 other Democrats have introduced a bill in the Senate to once again ban assault weapons, so get ready for a million angry website comments from gunhumpers that there is no such thing as an "assault weapon," and even if there were, banning them won't work to reduce crime but will also work so well that liberty itself is threatened.

The bill would outlaw "the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name," as well as banning the sale or manufacture of

any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock.

The sale of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds would also be prohibited. Owners of existing assault rifles and high-capacity magazines would be allowed to keep them, but any sales of existing weapons would have to go through a federally licensed firearms dealer and would be subject to a criminal background check. That would effectively end the private sale of assault weapons at gun shows, though other private firearms sales would still be subject to the "gun show loophole."

In her statement accompanying the summary of the bill, Feinstein wrote,

This bill won’t stop every mass shooting, but it will begin removing these weapons of war from our streets. The first Assault Weapons Ban was just starting to show an effect when the NRA stymied its reauthorization in 2004. Yes, it will be a long process to reduce the massive supply of these assault weapons in our country, but we’ve got to start somewhere.

To those who say now isn’t the time, they’re right—we should have extended the original ban 13 years ago, before hundreds more Americans were murdered with these weapons of war. To my colleagues in Congress, I say do your job.

The bill would also ban the sale or transfer of high-capacity magazines, so people who already own the things could keep them, but they wouldn't be able to stock up and resell them once the ban goes into effect. Grandfathered weapons would have to be stored in a gun safe or have a trigger lock, and the ban would also prohibit bump-fire stocks "and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates." It's like Feinstein doesn't want anyone to have any fun ever again.

[wonkbar][wonkbar]The provision allowing existing weapons to remain in circulation is of course necessary to at least nominally head off the "THERE COMMING FOR YOU'RE GUNS" panics, not that the panic won't be there anyway. When the 1994 assault weapons ban went into effect, the sales price of existing guns banned by the law went through the roof, so you can expect The Usual Idiots to say Dems are waging war on the poor and preventing low-income Americans from accessing the bullet hose of their choice.

In addition to the predictable gunhumper complaint that if you use even slightly inaccurate terminology ("assault rifle," for instance, can ONLY describe a military weapon that can fire fully automatically), we can also look forward to the complaint that the 1994 assault weapons ban did nothing to curb crime or mass shootings, which is actually debatable -- there's good evidence that mass shootings did decline while the earlier ban was in effect, but the question of causality is difficult to nail down. It's certainly clear that the number of high-casualty mass shootings increased significantly after the ban expired in 2004, so perhaps we should enact another similar ban, if only for the sake of getting a better statistical sample. (Yes, try that argument with gunhumpers!)

While Feinstein's bill has little chance of passing this Senate, it's another chance to get Republicans to say some incredibly stupid things on the record about guns, and it should certainly liven up our Dear ShitFerBrains columns, so we're all for it. Plus, you know: What if it passed?

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to help us buy flak jackets, or at least keep the writers paid.

[Senator Dianne Feinstein / HuffPost]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Hell of a coincidence we have here! On the very same day that a Russian spy gets arrested for using the NRA as a conduit to the Republican Party -- ahem POLITICAL PARTY 1! -- the United States Treasury announces that it won't be collecting donor information from "social welfare groups." Guess which "GUN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION" is a tax exempt social welfare group that raised $337 million in 2016 and will now be able to hide its donor list from the prying eyes of the American public?

Here's a hint:

That's right, donors to the the NRA and those Kochsuckers at Americans for Prosperity can now dump infinity political dollars into their lobbying and electioneering efforts without having their names disclosed to the Federal Election Commission. Or the IRS. Or anyone who might object to propping up lunatic politicians who want to arm preschoolers.

In the bad old days, i.e. yesterday, "social welfare organizations" had to give the IRS names and addresses of anyone donating over $5,000. But now they get to keep it all secret, as White Jesus and Charles Koch intended. Here's how the Treasury explains the change on its website.

Tax-exempt organizations described by section 501(c), other than section 501(c)(3) organizations, are no longer required to report the names and addresses of their contributors on the Schedule B of their Forms 990 or 990-EZ.

Okay, now 'splain us how awesome this is gonna be, Steven Mnuchin!

Americans shouldn't be required to send the IRS information that it doesn't need to effectively enforce our tax laws, and the IRS simply does not need tax returns with donor names and addresses to do its job in this area. It is important to emphasize that this change will in no way limit transparency. The same information about tax-exempt organizations that was previously available to the public will continue to be available, while private taxpayer information will be better protected.

BOOOOORING! Hey, Mitch McConnell, you're a big old whore -- say the quiet part out loud to the Wall Street Journal.

The IRS's decision is a move in the right direction to end activist regulators' culture of intimidation to silence political speech. [...] More and more states were using these documents to chill political discourse, rather than encourage it.

That'll do it! Can't do anything about the pizza racists running their mouths and ruining the grift. But you can make it harder for customers to work out what corporate owners do with their earnings. Because money is speech, and speech is free, and we all have a First Amendment right to secretly fund organizations that team up with Russia to ratfuck American elections and starve the poor.

Thanks, Justice Kennedy!

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

If you click here to fund us, we promise not to make you read about tax policy tomorrow! PROBABLY.

[Treasury.gov / WSJ]

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Fox News has been LI'L BIT CONFUSED about how to cover Donald Trump's treason meeting with Vladimir Putin. There was a lot of tut-tutting from Fox's daytime journalists (the "real" ones) on Monday, but then it was Double Dipshit Time on Monday night as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity took over the commentary. Carlson found the real election hackers (brown Mexican people who either move to America and become legal citizens who vote or brown Mexican people who are just born here, as if THAT is allowed!) and declared that Russian meddling is like number 115 on the list of things that threaten America. (The other 114 are the blacks and the Mexicans and the gypsies, because Tucker Carlson is a white supremacist.) Meanwhile, Hannity hosted Donald Trump for some kind of mutual lick-off session where Trump said that Putin had informed him that there was NO COLLUSION. It's good to have a KGB handler who remembers stuff like that!

But even then, there was a hopeful moment! Fox News's Chris Wallace committed an actual act of journalism Monday night when he interviewed Vladimir Putin, going so far as to stick Robert Mueller's indictments in the Russian leader's stupid fucking face and dare him to read them. He even asked Putin why he constantly murders people with poison. GO GET HIM, CHRIS WALLACE!

Usually the next morning's "Fox & Friends" is like Carlson and Hannity's afterbirth, but Tuesday morning was a little bit different! For some reason, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade and Abby Huntsman were not 100% pleased with Dear Leader's behavior in Helsinki! So they put on their Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski masks and did their best impression of a more dumber version of "Morning Joe," and oh my god it was SO WEIRD. Like, they would be outraged for a second, but then they would immediately compliment him and reassure him that he is a Very Good Boy who won that presidential election fair and square.

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