What was behind Reid's sidestep on assault weapons ban?
March 21st, 2013
08:26 AM ET
5 years ago

What was behind Reid's sidestep on assault weapons ban?

Washington (CNN) - Depending on whom you ask, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's decision to scuttle a controversial assault weapons ban proposal from a broader Democrat-backed gun control package is either shrewd strategy or political cowardice.

There's a little bit of truth in both perspectives, gun policy advocates say.


Filed under: Gun rights • Harry Reid
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    These politicans better start voting on want the voters tell you we want and not what the lobbyist tell you they want . If you don't have enough pricipals to vote for what your voters are telling you ,you don't belong there and will be out in your next elections.

    March 21, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I don't care what anyone says. It was politcal shrewdness. I hope it is a first step in turning the next two elections into a referendum on the NRA.. Democrats in swing districts can justify voting for common sense legislation, but would have a hard time back home voting for an assault weapons ban. Republicans voting against both common sense, gun control legislation should be forced to face outrage in their home districts. The NRA wants to make it easy for criminals, terrorists, and others who should not have guns to obtain weapons of mass death and destruction.

    Some argue to enforce the laws that we already have. That's hard to do when the funding has been cut so severely since the weapons ban expired a decade ago. It's hard to verify someone's mental illness because of right wing legislation that makes it illegal to release mental health records.

    Look, what this is really about is people who have been convicted of significant but minor offenses being prohibited from buying a gun. If you have drunk driving conviction, then you should be banned for several years, or a judge's appproval. Likewise, if you have domestic violence issues, then you should be banned from buying a gun a period of time, or a judge approves it.

    March 21, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  3. steve

    If liberals hadn't over reached on gun legislation they would have probably gotten some legislation passed.

    March 21, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. jpmichigan

    So much about Mr. Reid true convections, he has none. I see him as a coward, by not fulfilling Democratic convections and as to what the people want. Politics as usual with him. There is no wonder why majority of American Taxpayers can not trust those on the Hill. Mental Health increase policies, along with assault rifle band is what is needed/and asked for.. Once again a total failure.

    March 21, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  5. Guest

    The facts were behind his decision I hope. Stop punishing citizens and go after criminals. Simple solution. Enforce the law, dont create a bunch of useless new ones.

    March 21, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. JeffersonLives

    It's called Reid is protecting the red state democrats who are up for re-election in 2014. They don't want to do anything to risk losing the Senate..It's just strategy, completely understandable. I would prefer them to go for it and then pay the political consequences though, then maybe we could finally vote out the gun grabbers. Oh well.. What I think is clear is that Senate Democrats are very weary that the country has no political appetite for any type of weapons ban, despite the wishfull thinking of a select few..

    And besides even had the Senate voted and passed the AWB...it would have been stopped cold in the House..it would have went absolutely NOWHERE.....And unless Democrats pull off an magical resurgence in 2014 to retake the House...(which is unlikely, now that they will experience a huge political backlash at the polls for even trying to go for the guns) ....it isn't going to happen. Republicans will retain the House and might make a few seats in the Senate, although I don't predict a major turnaround in the Senate, although there are many Democrat seats up for bid.

    Watch for more TeaParty affiliated Conservatives to gain seats in 2014, similar to 2010.

    March 21, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. Canuck

    Many Americans appear to love their gun laws over the lives of their children. Harry Reid is continuing the Democrat tradition of being unwilling to stand up for what they believe in. Pathetic.

    March 21, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. MOOSE

    Whats behind it?? 1. Payoff, 2. Lip service only, 3. basically reids a has been liar

    March 21, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  9. Not_an_Idiot

    Senate "MAJORITY" Leader.

    March 21, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  10. Rudy NYC


    If liberals hadn't over reached on gun legislation they would have probably gotten some legislation passed.
    Allow me to point out the obvious. Both the main bill and the assault ban amendment passed in committee. The full Senate has yet to take a vote on either legislation. Your prediction of doom is consistent the Republican argument that we don't need any more gun control legislatin, and we should enforce what's already on the books.

    The problem is that what's on the books has no teeth. You are currently porhibited from collecting mental health information and other types of personal data for use as part of backgruond check.

    March 21, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. Rick McDaniel


    Everyone KNEW that the gun was NOT the problem, but rather the way the country IGNORES mental illness and violence.

    March 21, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. Sniffit

    It gets the reaction it does because banning assault-style weapons hits the pseudo-militia daycamp warriors in exactly the same way as if you told all the 3rd graders in the country that under no circumstances are they allowed to wear a superhero cape for halloween.

    March 21, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |