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Jul 16, 2009 - Washington, District of Columbia, USA - Senator DICK DURBIN listens to Supreme Court Nominee S. Sotomayor on the fourth day of the Senate hearing to confirm her nomination. (Credit Image: © James Berglie/ZUMA Press)
UPDATE: This is the last journal of February and looking back at my records, the first diary of February that I published was about Senator Durbin's petition for comprehensive immigration reform and I am ending February with this Durbin diary.

I just thought this was absolutely glorious:

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on guns compared Fordham University law professor Nicholas Johnson's stance on the Second Amendment to a "suicide pact."

"When I listened to you and Mr. Hardy describe the Second Amendment, it's a suicide pact. Because by your definition, what has become common in America is unacceptable in a civilized country," Durbin said, drawing applause from spectators at the hearing.

"I made a very different point, senator," Johnson contested.

"The point I want to make is this: if it is common in America to have a military assault weapon with a 100-round magazine, if that is common for self-defense in America, God save this country," Durbin said, again drawing applause.

Watch the video:

- TPM, 2/27/13

I respect Durbin's heated and intelligent rebuttal to these anti-gun control advocates testifying before Congress and I can tell Durbin is clearly on the side of those who lost their loved wins to gun violence from assault weapons like Neil Heslin, who's son was killed by Adam Lanza at Sandy hook Elementary last December.  Heslin bravely testified before Durbin and the Senate committee in support of banning assault weapons:

"Jesse was the love of my life," Neil Heslin, father of Jesse, told a panel of senators as he held up a framed photo of himself and his only child as spectators at the hearing openly wept. "He was the only family I had left."

Heslin, a 50-year-old construction worker, dismissed arguments by gun control foes that banning assault weapons violates the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"When it was written almost 300 years ago, we didn't have these weapons that we have today; they had muskets and cannons," he said.

Assault rifles, on the other hand, have no place in the hands of civilians given they "were used in a battlefield in Vietnam. They were used in the Persian Gulf, they were used in Afghanistan, in Iraq. The sole purpose is to put a lot of lead on a battlefield quickly." - Leader-Post, 2/27/13

After Heslin's testimony, Durbin continued to rebuke anti-gun control advocates with Heslin's testimony on his mind and advocated Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D. CA) bill that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines:
Dick Durbin, a Democratic senator on the committee, chided one anti-gun control witness who dismissed Feinstein's bill as "feel-good" legislation shortly after Heslin and William Begg, the head of emergency services for Newtown who tended to some of the bullet-ridden victims, delivered their emotional testimony.

Sandy Adams, a former Republican congresswoman from Florida, said now was not the time for "feel-good legislation so you can say you did something."

"Taking guns from law-abiding citizens while leaving them defenceless against violent criminals, who by their very definition do not abide by the law, is not the answer and it is definitely not the right thing to do," she said in her opening statement.

Durbin rebuked her, and shook his head when she told him she also opposed universal background checks.

"I don't feel good about being here today," he said scathingly. "Mr. Heslin does not feel good about being here today."

He added to applause: "What has become common in America is unacceptable in a civilized country." - Leader-Post, 2/27/13

Here's my favorite quote from Durbin:

"If it is common in America to have a military assault weapon with a 100-round magazine, if that is common for self-defense in America, God save this country," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) - Talk Radio News Services, 2/27/13
Well said Senator.  I don't know if a ban on assault weapons will happen with this congress but universal background checks, which is the centerpiece of President Obama's gun control legislation, could become a reality this year.  But I thank Senators Durbin and Feinstein for continuing their efforts to also push for an assault weapons ban.  If you would like to put the pressure on your Senator and Congressman for serious gun control legislation, whether it's universal background checks, assault weapons ban or both, please contact them here:



Originally posted to pdc on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Land of Lincoln Kos, and Madison County, Illinois Kossacks.

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