Former NRA president Marion Hammer has never been one to shy away from controversy, but her latest comment comparing a proposed ban on assault weapons to racial discrimination may have been her most unusual to date.
On Thursday, Hammer was interviewed by Ginny Simone during a segment on NRA News. During the interview, Hammer and Simone discuss Senator Dianne Feinstein's proposal to ban assault weapons.
On December 17, 2012, Feinstein issued a press release stating she planned to propose legislation similar to that which she proposed in 1994. The legislation would:
-Stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of more than 100 specifically-named firearms as well as certain semiautomatic rifles, handguns and shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
- Stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
- Protect legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by: grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment; exempting more than 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting and sporting purposes; and exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.
Despite Feinstein having stated that she supports the rights of an individual to purchase a weapon for hunting or self-defense, and the fact that the proposed legislation specifically targets assault weapons and high capacity magazines, exempts current owners of assault weapons, and excludes more than 900 other guns, Hammer insinuates that Feinstein and the government are planning to confiscate guns from American citizens "in order to control the masses".
Although Feinstein denies the claim, Simone goes on to say that Feinstein and other law makers have admitted they want to ban “the ugliest guns”.
"This is about banning the ugliest guns, it's about cosmetics and it has nothing to do about how a firearm works."
In July 2012, Feinstein stated the reason for the proposed ban was based on statistics. She states that when her legislation was passed in 1994 statistics prove that the ban on assault weapons worked. Quoting statistics provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice and the Brady Campaign, Feinstein says crimes involving the use to assault weapons dropped 66 percent during the first nine years of the ban, and a 7 percent reduction in total gun murders was also seen. The ban failed to receive reauthorization when it came up for a Congressional vote in 2004.
Hammer agrees with Simone's insinuation however, saying:
“Banning people and things because of the way they look went out a long time ago, but here they are again.”
Hammer's comments have angered some, while others have simply disregarded her comments as more alarmist propaganda. Some have even found a way to find humor in the situation, with Wernerholm saying:
"Why just the other day I walked by a drinking fountain marked 'Assault weapon' and 'Non Assault weapon'"
Richard Pyle may have found a flaw in Hammer's reasoning, saying:
"If guns are people and selling people is slavery...OMG Marion Hammer wants to prohibit the selling of firearms"