On March 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), began consideration of several gun-related bills, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein's S.150—the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013.
The controversial bill has already been met with much resistance. During debate on the bill, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) pointed out that "Congress and President Clinton tried a so-called assault weapons ban 19 years ago and we have the benefit of hindsight as well as some research to examine the lackluster results of that decade-long experiment. According to the Department of Justice's own study it was completely ineffectual in reducing murder or violent crime rates."
Cornyn continued, "So, are we really going to pass another law that will have zero effect, and pat ourselves on the back and say 'We've accomplished something wonderful?' Well, we tried this experiment once and it failed, and I think it promotes symbolism over seriousness to repeat that mistake."
Cornyn also offered an amendment to exempt all U.S. military personnel and veterans from Feinstein's proposed ban, but the measure was rejected by a 9-9 party-line vote. During this portion of debate, Feinstein argued that a military veteran could be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which she claimed was a "new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq war," and suggested that they should therefore be prevented from buying or "having a weapon like this."
Feinstein, herself, was quoted as saying, "I've been very concerned because the calls have been coming in as if this is some kind of wild-eyed scheme." The committee recessed in the midst of debating the bill and will resume markup of the bill on Thursday, March 14.—courtesy NRA