All across the nation, state legislatures are reconvening for the new session, and the makeup of many of these bodies is a little different than they were the last time they met.
In Delaware, lawmakers are ready to kick off the new session with gun control poised to become a major issue. In particular, an “assault weapons” ban.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are expected to revisit several proposals that failed to gain much traction in last year’s session, including legalizing recreational use of marijuana and prohibiting Delawareans from buying certain types of semiautomatic firearms.
With some gun control measures failing to progress to floor votes last year, including a proposed ban on military-style “assault weapons,” McBride said any gun bill introduced this year will go to the Senate Executive Committee, which he chairs, rather than the Judicial Committee.
“I believe the gun bills, the importance of them is such that it should be voted on by the Senate,” he said. “I will have a hearing on each one of them, and I will be voting to let them out.”
“The gun issue permeates so many different parts of our society, we need as a policymaking body to at least have a discussion on it,” McBride added.
Unfortunately, the midterms in Delaware were very beneficial to Democrats who extended their majority.
Democrats remain in control of both chambers, with even stronger majorities then they had last year, improving their margin in the Senate from 11-10 to 12-9 and their advantage in the House from 25-16 to 26-15.
The question is, will enough Democrats oppose a ban on these particular rifles?
Honestly, I’m skeptical. But since this is an older issue, it’s entirely possible that the modest gains by Democrats won’t be enough to change things.
Then again, they might.
Regardless of the math, it should be noted, once again, that “assault weapon” bans will invariably fail for one simple reason. The bad guys will still get whatever guns they want, regardless of what kind of ban you put in place because they’re generally already banned from having them. If the laws already on the books at the federal level–laws often duplicated at the state level as well–haven’t disarmed them, then what do you think an “assault weapons” ban will do?
Not a blasted thing.
Bills like this are feel-good legislation, laws that allow anti-gun legislators to go home and tell folks they’re doing something. But the problem is that it’s nothing for criminals to bypass this law. It’s even easier for them to do so than some of the laws they’re already breaking.
Plus, let’s be honest, they’re not using so-called “assault rifles” all that often anyway.
That means the only people being impacted by any ban will be those who are seeking the guns lawfully for lawful purposes. You know, law-abiding citizens, the folks who get screwed in every gun control measure proposed through the years.
Will Delaware Democrats recognize this fact? I can certainly hope so, but in this day and age, I’m not about to hold my breath.