My second favorite news item yesterday

**Author’s note: if you don’t care for politics or the politics of the author, don’t read this entry (or the next one either).

The assault weapons ban, passed in 1994 (under a Democratic legislature and President), is expiring this year. A flurry of lobbyists, law enforcement professionals, and the Brady family, descended upon Washington to urge lawmakers to extend the bill. The news out of Washington was that congressional leaders (re: the Republicans) had no intention of bringing the bill up for a vote; and that the President (Dubya) had no intention of asking them to do so either. Why? Tom Delay said that he would not push to bring it to a vote because it would not have the votes to pass. Other Republican leaders insisted that the existing bill was ineffective, and therefore should not be extended. They did not stand at the podium and proclaim their regret that an extension would not pass. They did not suggest ways to make the bill more effective either, and I think that is instructive – but I’ll let you connect the dots.

A commentator suggested that congressional leadership was not eager to push the bill, fearing the assault weapons ban led to the Democrats ceding control of the legislature in the ’94 mid term election. Apparently the Clinton universal health care fiasco and the ’94 tax hike had nothing to do with that.

In any case, it looks like we’ve got the all clear to lock and load!