September 11, 2012
Former San Francisco mayor and California Senator Dianne Feinstein told California delegates at the Democratic National Convention she intends to reengage on the gun issue, with special emphasis on "assault weapons."
Feinstein earned special infamy among gunowners with a 1995 60 Minutes interview in which she said, "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them — Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it."
That comment probably sold a million AR-15s, and the fact that Feinstein and other Democrats think there's productive ground for them in trying to ban black guns shows how little they understand the current gun market.
I've talked to a lot of SGN advertisers about it, and the consensus is that there are at least four times as many ARs in private hands today as there were in 1994, the last time Feinstein and her kind tried to outlaw them. I would assume that the growth in AKs, FALs and other guns that Feinstein doesn't like has been proportional.
In 1994, there were perhaps a half-dozen companies making ARs and accessories. My guess is that there are somewhere between 100 and 200 firms making or assembling whole guns and probably 500 offering accessories.
Trying to ban guns in 1994 cost the Democratic Party control of the House for the first time since the 1950s. What will be the price of trying to ban them when many, many more people own them? The effort would be suicidal, but as the rural, conservative Democrat has become as extinct as the passenger pigeon, there's no one around to moderate the Feinsteins, who will be prone to pander to the far-left party base.
Talleyrand said of the Bourbons, "they have learned nothing and they have forgotten nothing." That perfectly sums up the Feinstein approach to this issue, which has been on the table for 25 years. The more noise the likes of Feinstein make about banning black rifles, the more will be sold.
They could have been banned quite easily in the early 1970s, when Colt was shipping maybe 600 a month, but the antis were fixated on "Saturday Night Specials" at that point. Today, ARs and other black rifles are the guns of the mainstream, and there will be no taking them away.