Dianne Feinstein's Semi-Automatic Rifle Ban Destined for Legislative Limbo

The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proposed semi-automatics firearm ban in a 10-8 partisan vote that sends the bill to the full Senate with little chance of passing.

In fact, the proposed semi-auto ban is likely to be banished to legislative limbo without being presented for a vote because it is doubtful supporters can muster the 60-vote threshold necessary to foil a filibuster in the 100-seat Senate.

While all 45 GOP senators are opposed to Feinstein's ban, at least 20 Democratic senators from rural states, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, have expressed reservations about it. Several Democrats, such as Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, have vowed to vote against it.

Even some of Feinstein's supporters wonder why the California liberal, a 20-year Senate veteran, is demanding fellow Democrats join her in lobbying for a bad bill destined to fail.

In late January, Mark Kogan accurately forecast how SJC approval of Feinstein's semi-auto ban would put many of the Senate's 53 Democrats in a politically compromised position, while leading fellow anti-gun zealots on a headlong charge into irrelevancy in the national gun violence discussion.

"The Democrats are in for a political blowout that will do nothing to advance the ball on meaningful gun control while costing them untold political capital," Kogan wrote in a policymic.com blog. "The bill, as it stands, is an exemplary demonstration of what political suicide looks like."

Unfortunately, while Feinstein's proposed semi-automatic firearms ban stands little chance of passing, the measure to expand the background-check system approved by the SJC on March 13 -- also in a partisan 10-8 vote -- has better odds.