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Dropped and derailed

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
March 19, 2013 1:22:35 PM PDT
So I'm trying to wrap my head around the proposed assault weapons ban, which today was dropped from the Senate's gun control legislation package.

Oh yeah it generated a lot of hoopla after the Newtown gun massacre in December. The truth always was that assault weapons account for so very little violence compared to the out-of-control handgun situation. But the issue that someone needs more than 7 or 10 bullets without having to reload seems to most people to be excessive, and so it got a lot of publicity.

The backlash also got publicity. More than the push to ban the so-called assault weapons. So much publicity that there was a huge spike in gun sales - all kinds. And that's what's left after the Senate Dems counted the votes and tallied only about 40 for the ban; that's why they dropped it. So now they have gun legislation that calls for better background checks and blah blah blah blah, but no assault weapons ban, and a ton more firearms out there than there were before.

Charming.

We'll have reaction and the latest, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, the nation's biggest commuter railroad in trouble again tonight, as the Long Island Railroad acknowledged that repairs to a track damaged yesterday by a train that derailed (it wasn't a passenger train) will take until at least Friday to fix.

Charming, again. We're on the story and what it means for your morning commute.

We'll also have the latest on a deadly wave of bombings in Baghdad, ostensibly to mark the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. And late this afternoon came word that the Statue of Liberty, closed to the public after Superstorm Sandy in October, will reopen to the public by July 4.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's frozen AccuWeather forecast (spring starts 8 hours after our 11 p.m. newscast, but it will feel as if it's 8 weeks away), and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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