California Senator Dianne Feinstein will not run for re-election

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) announced today that she will not seek re-election at the end of her term in 2024, ending her run as California’s longest-serving senator.

It was an open secret on Capitol Hill, and then it’s not a secret at allthat Feinstein, also the oldest senator at 89, is no longer up for the job.

While her replacement is unlikely to be much of an improvement, anyone who considers themselves a civil libertarian can only wish Feinstein a bon voyage. From her position in the Senate, Feinstein has been a staunch foe of the Second Amendment, a hysterical anti-drug warrior and an unfailing defender of government surveillance.

Have you ever been annoyed that you can’t buy Sudafed over the counter? Blame Feinstein, who co-sponsored Combating the Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 The law banned the over-the-counter sale of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine with the goal of stopping meth chefs from amassing stockpiles of drugs that can be used as precursors to illegal drugs. But instead of curbing methamphetamine abuse, the act only allowed Mexican drug cartels to expand their reach and further enrich themselves.

Have you ever longed for the original Four Loko (you monster)? Blame Feinstein, who was one of the senators urging the FDA to investigate drink because it’s just too cool for college students.

Feinstein has been repeatedly infatuated with stories about candy-flavored meth — an urban legend that news outlets revive every few years. She co-sponsored legislation in 2009 and then again in 2017 increase penalties for the production of drugs intended to attract minors.

In fairness to the senator, one of the bright spots of her career should also be mentioned: her persistent work to expose the illegal torture program of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

However, on the national security front, it has often been hostile to individual rights to liberty and privacy. She sponsored the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2012, which “[gave] government agents have almost carte blanche to eavesdrop on the domestic communications of American citizens.” She introduced legislation it would force tech companies to create back doors around encrypted devices. She was a defender of the bloody drone program of the Obama administration.

One of Feinstein’s Sisyphean endeavors has been trying to revive the federal assault weapons ban since it expired in 2004. Feinstein has occasionally reintroduced sweeping gun control laws, but as ReasonJacob Sullum (who has the equally Sisyphean task of writing the bills) has repeatedly noted that they are full of arbitrary definitions and bans on cosmetic features that would do little to stop mass shootings. Sullum has written thousands of words explaining why these bills are pointless, but these two paragraphs on Feinstein’s 2021 efforts should be enough:

Unlike the 1994 definition, which required two or more “military-style” features, Feinstein’s new proposal, like bills she’s sponsored since 2013, says one is enough to make a rifle inoperable. Feinstein also continues to tinker with her list of banned features. She no longer thinks we need to worry about bayonet grips, but now she’s sounding the alarm about the ominous barrel shroud, the shroud that protects the shooter’s hand from the heat generated when the rifle is fired. And while her 2013 list included “rocket launcher,” that has since been dropped, though “grenade launcher” is still there.

Crimes committed with grenade launchers mounted on rifles are as common in the United States as crimes committed with bayonets mounted on rifles. Even if someone decided to attach a grenade launcher to their rifle, they would be hard-pressed to find anything to fire, as grenades are strictly regulated as “destructive weapons” by federal law. The rest of the targeting features also don’t make the gun particularly lethal: they have nothing to do with rate of fire, ammo size, barrel velocity, or barrel energy.

Feinstein’s hostility to private gun ownership and her love for the national security apparatus found their truest expression in her repeated attempts pass legislation that would prohibit people on the FBI’s terror watch list from buying guns.

Don’t say that though Reason he didn’t recognize her hard work. It was one of the “magazines10 biggest enemies of freedom” in 2013.

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