Gun-Control Hearing: No Show and Tell

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Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham during a hearing about gun control on Capitol Hill on Jan. 30, 2013.

Some Republican senators say that today’s  Judiciary Committee  hearing on gun control would have been better with some show-and-tell.

South Carolina’s Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Ted Cruz  of Texas fired off a letter to Judiciary Chairman Patrick  Leahy of Vermont complaining about being unable to bring various firearms to the hearing to help their colleagues learn before they legislate, as reported by Bloomberg Government’s Congress Tracker.

In the letter, the senators say they were foiled by what they called onerous gun restrictions. Among them: the District of Columbia’s ban on assault rifles.

“Our goal is simple — to educate fellow senators and members of the public how and why firearms are used by millions of law-abiding Americans in self-defense, hunting and sporting purposes,” they wrote. “We also want to shatter the mistaken belief that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are a danger to society.”

They complained the rules are “so impractical as to be unworkable” and urged Leahy to work with law-enforcement officials so that “at future hearings senators can request, and law enforcement will timely provide, various firearms for display and discussion purposes.”

The newly elected senator from Texas had some other thoughts today as well:

For the record, it’s not impossible to carry assault weapons to an event into the Capitol complex.

California Democrat Dianne Feinstein brought almost a dozen samples to her news conference last week unveiling her proposed ban on the weapons, something she was only able to do with lots of planning. They had to be brought into the Capitol by D.C. police, inspected by the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms as well as the U.S. Capitol Police and also have trigger locks, according to Brian Weiss, a spokesman for the senator.


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