“It was difficult to get the band back together,” said Adam Eisgrau, a Feinstein associate who helped draft the ban.
“One of the things we were able to do in ’94 was create a consensus against the Ramboification of what would otherwise be a standard shotgun,” he said. “At the time, law enforcement felt completely out of touch. And we let people know that we didn’t think all guns were bad or that people who use guns are bad. But in 2004 things had changed, the positions had hardened.”
In the end, Ms Feinstein’s attempts to push through a bill to re-approve the ban failed. Over the next four years, the senator and several other lawmakers, including Representative Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat whose son and husband were shot to death on a commuter train, introduced similar measures. No one came from the committee.
Democratic candidates, such as President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Mr. Biden, have put the extension of the ban on their presidential to-do list. But the Democrats did not act, even when they controlled the White House, the Senate and the House from 2009 to 2011.
The sense of urgency that compelled action in 1994 began to intensify in 2012 with the increasing frequency and human toll of mass shootings, made possible in most cases by guns that were once banned – Sandy Hook, Aurora, Orlando, Sutherland Springs , Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Parkland, El Paso, Boulder, Buffalo, Uvalde and many others that have attracted less media attention.
“A few years ago, the family of the AR-15’s inventor said he would have been horrified to know that the design was being used to slaughter children and other innocent lives rather than being used as a military man. weapon on the battlefields.” Biden said during a prime-time speech last week about gun violence and proposed a new ban.
A few days later, Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican responsible for negotiating new gun control measures for his party, rejected an extension of the ban in any form.