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No Time to Relax
by Jim Shepherd
For everyone who's celebrating California Senator Dianne Feinstein's "2013 Assault Weapons Ban" being omitted in the package of legislation being considered in the Senate, a word of warning: not so fast.
Sure, Sen. Feinstein's had a public come-apart over Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to omit her signature piece of legislation from the Democrat's comprehensive gun bill, but that's only a skirmish. It is too-early to put this one into the record books as a win.
After all, it wasn't booted because anti-gun pols didn't want to pass it. It was bounced because plenty of Democratic Senate seats are going to be contested - in relatively conservative states - in 2014.
And Speaker Reid's decision wasn't to bolster his NRA rating, it was to protect his majority leader position. He'd sell out the NRA rating just as quickly as he pulled the proverbial rug out from under Sen. Feinstein. With her extreme measures off the board, he's still hoping to get some gun controls passed. As he'll undoubtedly say in the not-too-distant future, "hey, I got the extreme stuff out of the bills, we need to pass something here."
Hopefully, some of the Senators won't be fooled into playing "let's not be mean" with the majority leader.
And please don't overlook the fact that Sen. Feinstein will try to add-back her gun and magazine bans as separate amendments to the Democratic bill. Or White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough saying the administration's "not ready to throw in the towel" and will try to rally (that's Washington talk for strong-arm) the votes needed to pass the assault weapons ban.
The news isn't anything close to positive for gun groups in Colorado. Yesterday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed three pieces of legislation that basically wished bon voyage to Magpul and its primary component suppliers. One bill limits magazines to 15 rounds, another requires universal background checks and the third charges customers for the cost of those background checks.
At the signing ceremony, Hickenlooper said the limit on magazines was an "inconvenience" for law-abiding gun owners. "We don't deny that," he said, "we regret that."
Apparently there's no regret over the estimated $85 million in lost revenues and hundreds of jobs that will be lost if Magpul moves to one of the states that has offered them significant incentives to relocate. Magpul Chief Operating Officer Doug Smith says he expects the first non-Colorado products out in around 30 days.
For Hickenlooper, this decision seems to contradict his 2010 platform to "make Colorado the best place for entrepreneurs to grow jobs." It certainly didn't do much for the claim in his official biography that he "brought to the state Capitol a track record of bringing people together to solve problems instead of stoking the same old partisan squabbles."
As thousands of Colorado gun-rights supporters packed the Capitol over the past weeks to protest the proposed legislation -now law- not many of them were recalling Hickenlooper's description of Colorado in his 2013 State of the State address: "While Washington struggles with fiscal cliffs and partisan fights, Colorado demonstrates there is still room for compromise and moderation."
And I couldn't resist including Governor Hickenlooper's favorite quote from Abraham Lincoln: "With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed."
Today, that statement might be amended to say "with mainstream media support, public sentiment doesn't matter, we'll pass what we want."
Meanwhile...over at the Magpul Facebook page, the company has adopted a "Boulder Airlift" motif reminiscent of the Berlin airlift of the 1950s. Magpul says "the 'Boulder Airlift' will continue until we can no longer legally ship to CO residents at the approach of the July 1 deadline, so long as demand continues."
Unless there's some sort of sea change across the nation - or the Easter bunny delivers some very special baskets this year, a reduction in demand for magazines, ammunition or those dreaded "assault weapons" isn't likely.
One final thought...according to what I've been told, a primary reason Governor Hickenlooper signed the magazine ban bill was a statistic saying an increasing number of law enforcement officers had been shot with magazines holding more than 10 rounds since the expiration of Sen. Feinstein's earlier assault weapons ban.
That's an example of making a statistic say what you'd like. You see, the average number of rounds fired in a criminal homicide is - less than five. A cowboy's single-action sixgun or a 1950's detective's snub-nosed .38 would still work.
But that doesn't fit the anti-gun narrative. For their argument to work, the average person has to accept as truth the position that increased magazine capacities result in more crime.
They don't -but that's not the point. And the point doesn't fit their narrative either.
Republished from The Outdoor Wire.