Shame on the Senate

Let me begin this column with an apology. Once a week, I pick an important issue and offer my reasoned analysis, based on the facts, of what it all means and how we should react. But there are times when the intellect fails and the heart and gut take over. And this is one of them.

In the spring of 1968, I walked into the McCarthy for President office in San Francisco and signed up as a volunteer. That was my first taste of politics and I’ve been involved in politics ever since, both as practitioner and observer. I’ve managed local, statewide and national campaigns, raised money for candidates, served as Democratic state chair of California and run for statewide office. I’ve made my living as a political commentator on radio and television in Los Angeles, San Francisco and nationwide.

Throughout those years, I’ve experienced a lot of joy, but also a lot of disappointment. Candidates I supported lost their elections. Politicians I helped elect soon forgot who their friends were. Causes I passionately believed in failed in the legislature or on the ballot. Yet, through it all, I never lost my faith in the political system. I always knew, and preached, that things would eventually work out for the best. I remained a believer.

Until now. Until this week’s shameful vote in the United States Senate on gun safety. I’m no longer a believer. I’ve lost my faith in our political system. I’ve given up on politics. And I’ve given up on Congress. Because if they can’t get this right, they can’t get anything right.

There is simply no excuse — none! — for voting against extending criminal background checks to cover all gun purchases. Indeed, the arguments made by opponents of the Manchin-Toomey compromise bill don’t even pass the laugh test. How, for example, can anybody say he supports background checks at gun dealers, just not at gun shows? Really? In other words, it’s not OK for criminals to buy guns at licensed dealers, but it is OK for them to buy guns at gun shows or over the Internet. Give me a break.

In the biggest lie of all, other senators insist that expanded background checks will lead to some Big Brother gun registry that will in turn lead to federal agents seizing everyone’s guns. Baloney. Again, no such gun registry has been created to date, even though criminal background checks have been required of gun dealers since 1994. Not only that, both existing law and the Manchin-Toomey bill specifically prohibit storage and retrieval of personal data gathered in background checks. Manchin and Toomey make it a federal crime.

In the end, there are only three reasons why senators voted against common sense gun safety measures. One, they were born without a backbone. Two, they’re owned lock, stock and barrel by the NRA. Three, they don’t care. They don’t care about the American people. They don’t care about the victims of Columbine, Aurora or Virginia Tech. They don’t care about Gabby Giffords. They don’t care about 20 first-graders and six brave teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary School. They don’t care about doing the right thing. They only care about saving their own political skin.

In the end, the vote on the compromise proposal to expand background checks was 54-46, six short of the 60 votes necessary to break the filibuster. Democrats share some of the blame. Four Democrats — Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Mark Pryor of Arkansas — voted no. But most of the blame lies with the Republican Party. Even though four of them — John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Mark Kirk of Illinois — broke ranks and voted yes, Republicans as a block voted against background checks. In fact, Buzzfeed reports, six Republicans — Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby, Mike Crapo and Chuck Grassley — who voted for universal background checks in 1999, when the NRA supported them, voted against background checks this week, now that the NRA opposes them.

As Wednesday’s vote was announced, the cry of “Shame on you!” resounded from the Senate gallery. It was the voice of Tucson hero Patricia Maisch, who grabbed a loaded magazine clip out of Jared Loughner’s hands as he tried to reload. In that dramatic moment, she showed more sense and courage than the entire Senate. We might as well send them all home.

41 Responses to Shame on the Senate

  1. jeffg1967 says:

    What?s a crying shame Bill is that you are once again politicizing the issue. You accuse people of not caring about the victims of Columbine, Auroa, Virginia Tech, Tucson or Sandy Hook for not for not supporting legislation that wouldn?t have prevented those tragedies. Even VP Biden admitted that! One can only assume you bring them into the equation for purely emotional purposes, i.e. you?re using them to justify your ends. It also begs to be asked that if the solution (expanded background checks) to the problem (tragedies such as Sandy Hook) doesn?t solve the problem is it really a solution?
    Criminals buying guns at gun shows or over the internet? Perhaps you should first get educated on the issue before you speak on it from the heart. The fact of the matter is that there is no gun show loophole. Despite what some media commentators have claimed, existing gun laws apply just as much to gun shows as they do to any other place where guns are sold. Since 1938, persons selling firearms have been required to obtain a federal firearms license (FFL). If a dealer sells a gun from a storefront, from a room in his home or from a table at a gun show, the rules are exactly the same: he can get authorization from the FBI for the sale only after the FBI runs its ?instant? background check. As a result, firearms are the most severely regulated consumer product in the United States ? the only product for which FBI permission is required for every single sale. If you walk along the aisles at any gun show, you will find that the overwhelming majority of guns offered for sale are from federally licensed dealers. Guns sold by private individuals (such as gun collectors getting rid of a gun or two over the weekend) are the distinct minority. Claims that ?25-50 percent of the vendors at most gun shows are unlicensed dealers.? is true only if one counts vendors who aren?t selling guns (e.g., vendors who are selling books, clothing or accessories) as ?unlicensed dealers.? These are the only people this bill would have affected. And maybe to you that?s a good idea but remember that the studies and statistics bear out that only 2% of guns used by criminals came from gun shows and that only 4% to 9% of all gun acquisitions occur at gun shows. Also keep in mind that only 2 of 48 police chiefs of America?s largest cities said that gun shows were a problem.
    The internet? Yes Bill, you and I can arrange for the purchase and sell of a firearm over the internet without a background check. One thing though. In order for the seller to get that gun to the purchaser the seller would have to ship it. In order to ship a firearm (legally) you would have to take it to one of the aforementioned FFLs. That FFL would have to ship to an FFL in the purchasers area (you see, private citizens can?t legally ship a firearm?even a father to a son). Before the receiving FFL would let purchaser walk out with the gun he would have to?wait for it?run a background check.
    You should be upset. You should be upset that this bill would have done nothing to address the real problem of violence. Instead it was a bunch of politicians trying to make political capital off of someone else?s tragedy. Yet it wouldn?t have stopped that tragedy.
    By the way, if Bill Clinton was President, this bill would have passed but that?s what happens when you have a community organizer as President and not a leader. And the Senators who voted against this?.has it ever occurred to you that we have a representative government and it?s their duty to represent the desires of their constituents and not the desires of people in another state?

  2. brewster says:

    Bill, Are you beholden to the teachers union or the real estate lobby? They spend far more money in D.C. than the NRA and they don’t even provide the vast majority of police firearms training like the NRA does.

    You are just a typical liberal whiner Bill. If restricting rights of others is turned aside by the legislative body, you call them cowards. I call you a coward Bill for not wanting the same standards for voter verification that you want for gun purchases.

    Did you realize Bill that is is a crime to lie on the 4473 form that is filled out when purchasing a gun? Did you realize BIll that around 40,000 people banned from purchasing a firearm (felons) were ‘denied’ by the instant check system and yet only 0.1% (about 40) were ever prosecuted?
    Did you realize Bill that your Messiah is not even enforcing the current laws yet wants more laws? Did you realize Bill that gun crime prosecutions have fallen under your Messiah, down from the Bush administration?

    I feel pity for lost souls like you Bill, trying so hard to bring people into the fold of insanity that is liberalism. Liberalism is where in your little world you feel you have to micro manage the everyday details of other peoples lives, you cannot stand it that people have different opinions and beliefs superior to yours.

    Get help bill, see a shrink, take some meds and get of your high horse.

  3. emile says:

    “…has it ever occurred to you that we have a representative government and it’s their duty to represent the desires of their constituents and not the desires of people in another state?
    a representative government? Representative of what? That 500,000 people in North Dakota should have the same power of Senate votes as New York? Why does that make sense? Its kinda like 2% Minority South African Dutch Rule.
    A representative government! Oh Chrikey!
    90% of the people wanted this to pass, so, a minority is telling the majority what to do again?
    And you’re still defending them.

    What’s the frequency, brew?

  4. brewster says:

    Missy, that poll question was so loaded it was basically meaningless. Kind of like the poll that claims 4 out of 5 dentists…. What is up with that 5th dentist? Do they oppose oral hygiene? Governing by poll, like what Clinton was famous for, is now way to govern.
    Even your Messiah has been caught lying by using polls from 20 years ago and falsely claiming 40% of people today buy guns without a background check.

    It seems a few Senators actually represented the desires of their constituents and voted no, and why don’t you just get over your hate for the electoral college, it’s the only thing that keeps low information voters like you at bay.

  5. jeffg says:

    Once again missy you come with only talking points and no actual facts. I noticed how you avoided the fact that this bill would have done nothing to prevent another Sandy Hook. Guess you don’t really care about those kids, just your political objectives.
    So you’re not ok with 500,000 people in N.D. having the same power as the peopls in N.Y. but you are ok with the Senate making law based on the outcome of a poll with a random sample of 1000 people? Why is it you think N.Y.ers should have more say? Are they somehow better than the people in S.D.?
    And yes, in the Senate the people of N.D. should have EQUAL representation as the people of N.Y. It’s U.S. Government 101 for most of us but for you I’ll explain. The Senate represents the states, and all states are reprsented equally. The house represents the people, thusly N.Y. does have more seats than N.D. Sorry it’s not the facist government you want but that’s way it was designed to work. Of course this means that people like you can’t force your views onto others, you actually have to come up with a good idea and persuade others to your side. This is not your beloved nazi germany.
    And it wasn’t just N.D. It was 46 Senators from 29 different states. That’s over half of the actual states we have and exactly half of the states Obama said he campaigned in.

  6. jeffg says:

    Brewster have you ever noticed how these progressives are a bunch of nasty, bitter, angry old coots who seem to have no education or practical experience? I wonder what makes them that way?

  7. brewster says:

    My guess is their news sources.
    The theory why talk radio is dominated by ‘conservative’ opinion is that most conservative people are hard at work and the only way to access news during those hours is by listening to radio since they are otherwise occupied.

    Left wing dominates the broadcast networks and since most liberals are laying around on the sofa collecting benefit checks, they get their mind saturated with the left wing talking points.

    The mystery to me is why so many hard working seniors vote democrat. Back in the 50’s when the democrat party actually had conservative values, many people voted democrat. Somehow despite the socialist leanings of todays democrat party, these same seniors still think they are the same party of 60 years ago.

  8. emile says:

    Ty for the refresher course in govt 101. I’m glad to hear our govt is working exactly as its opposed to. Things can only get better from here, right?
    The downside of democracy is always that 49% agree to conform to the will of the majority or in the case of the teabaggers, whine and cry at how unfare things are when they lose.
    Speaking of rewriting history, has anyone asked GWbush why he let the ban on assault weapons expire?
    The 5th dentist is of course a member of the mightyteabaggin25 percentile who is against everything.
    Brew, its like this… ” It isnt about who’s side you’re on…..its about who’s on your side”
    Those pasty old farts in florida apparently dont like the idea of being robbed by republicans.
    They dont like having things they’ve worked hard for all their life taken away by republican pirates that believe they are not ENTITLED to anything. Including healthcare, including Social Security, Medicare. Oh yes, Americans do have a right to the wealth created by our govt.

  9. jeffg says:

    He let the assualt weapons ban expire becuase it was useless feel good legislation that solved nothing.

    By the way, I know it’s a common mistake amongst low information voters like yourself, but the US is not a democracy it’s a Republic. Theres a difference. The problem isn’t the tea party, it’s people like you who can’t comprhend that difference.

    You pasty old farts need to learn to read, if youre 55 or older the cuts wouldn’t apply to you, only to those of us who are younger. We are willing to make the sacrifice! It’s greedy people like you who aren’t! Why are you so greedy missy?

  10. brewster says:

    Gee Missy, 1 out of 5 is a “mightyteabaggin25 percentile”
    That public education has done so well for you and it really sheds light on how your mind functions…

  11. emile says:

    20 percentile…25 percentile…all the same clowns.
    It may not have “solved” anything, but there were LESS assault weapons in the streets which is all it needs to do. That’s is all anyone is asking.
    Gun barrels less than 18″ were illegal, silencers were illegal, full automatic weapons were illegal to get caught with, it was a federal crime(felony) to use a gun in a robbery. What happened?
    We didn’t have all this crazy chit happening.
    Is it really an infringement on someone elses rights to have a law that might stop me from being shot…accidentally?
    Maybe, just maybe, we should let all the pot smokers out of jail and start filling them real firearms criminals.

  12. jeffg says:

    We already have laws to keep you from getting shot.
    Your comments with respect to SBRs/SBSs, supressors and fully automatic weapons once again shows how ill informed you really are. Those items are controlled and have been controlled by the NFA of 1968 not the assualt weapons ban. They have been legal for a very long time however individual states can have stricter limitations if they desire. In order to get one you must apply for a permit from the BATF (it takes 120 days for approval and cost an addition $300 per item), show proof that you have a proper safe to store it in, get finger printed, you can’t let anyone else borrow it out your sight, in the case of SBR/Ss and fully automatic weapons you have to get permission from the local authorities to have it in their jurisdiction (before BATF will grant approval), and your permit has to be with the item at all times. Oh, and if you use one in any crime, it’s a minimum sentence of 30 years (felony). It’s also illegal to make Fully automatic weapons since 1986 so you can only buy one that was made prior to that. Again, it’s the misinformation that the progressives put out thats the problem.

    Less than 1% of all homicides are caused by an assualt weapon…approximately 150 in 2011. You have a greater chance of being struck by lighting. Should we pass a law telling everyone to stay inside during a thunderstorm? More children drown in their backyard swiming pools (CDC data) each year then are killed by all guns, should we ban those? I mean is it really an infringement on someone elses rights to have a law that might stop you’re grand child from drowning…accidentally?
    I would agree that LESS assualt weapons on the streets would be good…if they were really a problem. The fact is more people are stabbed to death than are shot with assualt weapons.
    Your answer says it all “It may not have “solved” anything, but…”. Why would you support legislation that doesn’t solve or fix anything? It might make you feel better but it wouldn’t have saved a single life. The whack jobs responsible for Newtown, Auroa, Tucson, etc are still going find a way to kill large groups of people, assualt weapons or not. Why is progressives only want to address the symptoms and not the cause?
    Guess what, there is a 99.998% chance (according to the FBI) that you WON’T be murdered with a gun this year. I’ll take those odds.

  13. brewster says:

    So you push forth the iffy claim that their were less ‘assault weapons’ on the street which was the important part of the law. Funny, The DOJ studies on the ’94 ban claimed that there was no discernible reduction in crime as a result of the law. Given you claim, that means that the number of crimes committed per ‘assault weapon’ actually increased (less guns, same number of crimes = more crime per gun). It is then logical to assume that reducing the number of guns actually increases crime.

    Gun crime prosecution has fallen under your Messiah, only 0.1% of felons trying to buy firearms that where caught were ever prosecuted. How are more laws that aren’t enforced going to help?

  14. jeffg says:

    From Kontradictions(a confessed liberals blog):
    Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument
    Dear Gun Control Democrats:
    It?s been less than a week since national gun control in America died. No ?assault weapons? ban. No ?high-capacity? magazine ban. Not even the Manchin-Toomey background check compromise that, according to Senator Mark Kirk, was reached by getting drunk on a 54-foot mega-yacht named Black Tie, which is part-owned by Manchin. Over the last several days, I?ve watched Democratic politicians, lobbyists and Facebook meme-sharers calling down shame on the senators who voted against every single gun control measure proposed in the Senate. Yes, it?s true that none of the measures would have passed the Republican-controlled House anyway, but to have lost in the Democrat-controlled senate was to truly be trounced. I have seen the Democratic pundits all over the nation looking across their podiums and well-lit television studio desks with stunned expressions. ?How could this have happened,? they all ask? Only four months after Newtown?
    I write this letter as someone who is politically far left of center. You and I have a lot in common, though you may not want to admit it by the end of this article. I think it?s time we had a talk.I live in the state of Virginia, a place where it?s not easy to be a leftist. Just last week, our State Board of Health voted to approve TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) regulations that would close most abortion clinics in the state. It was a devastating loss for myself and other organizers, and it will be even more devastating to the women of Virginia, most of whom will not have access to safe, legal abortions for years to come. I mention this not only so that you have context for the sort of political work I?m involved in, but because I want you to know that *I do know*, from very recent experience, what it?s like to feel powerless as you watch a group of people vote for social policy that you think is absolutely insane.
    But I?ll be honest with you: I watched the Senate votes live on Wednesday, and when these gun-related bills were defeated, I literally celebrated. Obviously, you and I have a lot in common, but plenty to differ on. And that?s kind of what I want to talk to you about.I?ve owned guns since childhood, and it?s an issue that I?ve thought and written a lot about. It?s very difficult for me to communicate with the mainstream Democratic establishment about guns. But because I know how painful it sometimes is to listen to Republican and other Right-leaning people talk about things that we on the Left care strongly about, I thought I would try to help you out. There are are a few things that you can do to improve your game in the gun control debate, and I thought it would only be fair to point out what they are. So here?s my best shot. Here are the things that you MUST keep in mind if you wish to further the dialogue on gun policy in America.
    1. Stop Sending Mixed Messages
    I wish I had a dollar for every Democratic politician and commentator that has looked into a television camera over the past few months and said, ?No one is trying to take your guns away!?Allow me this humble suggestion: The best way to convince the American public that you?re not interested in taking guns away is to stop talking about taking guns away. Firstly, when your politicians are asked, ?Do you support state legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?? as Obama was in his 1996 Senate campaign, you should never answer ?Yes,? as Obama did. Publicly advocating a ban on all handguns is not the way to convince people that you?re not interested in banning guns. Furthermore, when you are campaigning for president, never say the phrase ?I continue to support a [federal] ban on concealed carry,? as Obama did in 2004. This gives people the impression that your intention is to prevent the states from setting reasonable guidlelines on who can defend themselves outside of their home.If you then win the election, do not go on to fully support gun bans in two US cities ? Chicago and D.C. ? in which law-abiding citizens are disarmed, citing them as models for gun policy while trying to convince the rest of the country that you really aren?t interested in banning their guns. (Guess which two US cities you?re most likely to be killed by a gun in.)It has become almost clich? for smirking Democrats to attempt to ridicule people like myself by crooning, ?Obama wants to take our guns!? in a stereotyped hillbilly drawl ? something particularly offensive to some folks here in the south ? when in fact, Obama has said exactly that. Some of you will argue that regardless of the President?s conflicted/dishonest assertions, the legislation that died in Senate earlier this week had nothing to do with taking anything. But let us not forget the ?assault weapons? ban, which enacted slow confiscation over a generation. I wouldn?t have to immediately surrender any firearms, but because of the angle of the grip on the shotgun I own, it would be a felony offense to pass it on to a family member (or anyone else) upon my death. It would instead be confiscated by the government and presumably destroyed.The same would happen to tens of millions of firearms all over the country, including more than 3 million of just one single model, the AR-15. In this case, gun control advocates literally want to pry the most popular rifle in the country from every owner?s cold dead hands. ?We?re not taking any guns away from you, just all future generations.? Needless to say, this is not the way to convince people that no one is interested in taking guns away.This sort of message and legislation has come not just from the president, but on down the chain of command. We have known that the ideal scenario (and presumably ultimate goal) for Dianne Feinstein ? sponsor of the assault weapons ban and most outspoken advocate for all of the defeated legislation ? has always been a total, door-to-door confiscation of firearms. She told us so in a 60 Minutes nterview.
    ?If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them ? ?Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ?em all in!? ? I would have done it. I could not do that.?
    But it?s not just the Democratic leadership. Cultural icons of the Left have also joined the fray. On Real Time with Bill Maher, the host wanted to know why Democratic leaders are pretending that they believe in the second amendment, when they ought to just come out and say what they mean:
    ?Everyone on the left is so afraid to say what should be said, which is the Second Amendment is bullshit. Why doesn?t anyone go at the core of it??
    Every episode of the show is watched by 1 ? 1.5 million (almost entirely Democratic) viewers, and the studio audience cheered his comment. Chilling. The followup comment is that the ballot box is our guarantee of liberty. Ask Germany (and countless others) how that worked out for them.It is important to note that according to the Supreme Court (and most Americans), the views espoused by Obama, Feinstein, Maher, et all are unconstitutional. Is it really so difficult to understand why some folks might think that Democrats are just being politicians by giving lip-service to the second amendment while pushing new legislation? Taken collectively, these and many other open confessions by party members are more than probable cause for suspicion of intent. Constitutional voters don?t have to be ignorant or fearful to sound the alarm about these people. They just have to take them at their word and actions.You can either tell people that you?re not interested in taking guns and stop thinking of ways to take them, or try to abolish the second amendment (good luck). But you cannot do both.
    2. You Have To Understand What You?re Regulating
    This is common sense for any sort of regulation, but especially when you?re dealing with something specifically protected in the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, it has not been the case.New rule: If you don?t know how guns work, you don?t get to craft legislation about them. There is nothing so embarrassing as watching a Democratic politician who has never held a gun in their life attempt to talk about why and how they should be regulated.This is not a new problem. I included this classic video in my article on the assault weapons ban, which shows how a senator doesn’t even understand what’s in her own legislation. Added to the list over the past several months has been die-hard gun control advocate New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg not understanding the difference between automatic and semi-automatic firearms.
    ?Pistols are different. You have to pull the trigger each time. With an assault weapon you basically hold it down and it goes ::machine gun noise::?
    This is a man that has built a cornerstone of his career on gun control legislation. He has headed and commissioned panels on guns. He runs a whole group of pro-gun-control mayors. This is an issue he has supposedly been devoted to for a long time. He doesn?t know how guns operate. He doesn?t understand basic terminology. He doesn?t know what an ?assault weapon? is, even though he supposedly was involved in drafting legislation. How is this possible? And how is it possible that we who actually understand the topic are supposed to cede to his judgment on it?He?s not alone in his utter baffledness about this. Obama recently told donors at a Democratic Congressional Campaign committee meeting that students at Sandy Hook were gunned down by a ?fully automatic weapon?. From the White House transcript:?I just came from Denver, where the issue of gun violence is something that has haunted families for way too long, and it is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure that we don?t have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon ? by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly.?
    This is the President of the United States, who has been personally touring the country pretending to understand the issue of how guns function in society. This person has had entire panels and committees at his disposal specifically to educate him on this topic (so we?re told). There is no excuse for ignorance of this magnitude to be centered around conversations involving civil rights specifically enshrined in the constitution. (It is either astounding ignorance or dishonesty. I?m being generous and assuming the former.)But the award for atomic facepalm goes squarely to Democratic representative Dianne DeGette of Colorado. During one of the many public forums on gun control that took place across the country recently, Dianne explained to the panel and a stunned audience that magazines and ammunition were the same thing, and therefore all the ?high-capacity? magazines would soon be used up.This person is making laws about the very thing she is completely ignorant of. How can people who actually understand the issue be brought to the table and expect to have productive, meaningful conversation when the people sitting across from them are this clueless?
    These are a few selected, higher-profile incidents that represent a vast culture of ignorance in the mainstream Democratic left when it comes to even the basics of gun use and policy. I shouldn?t have to say it, but: Until people know what they?re talking about, none of us should care what they have to say.
    3. Stop Using Children
    It was the dead children of Newtown that were intoned as the push for gun control legislation began. As I have just evidenced, it was the dead children intoned during the drumming up of support. And it was the dead children intoned in Obama?s ?concession? speech as every gun control measure in the Senate failed.Fortunately for America, the FBI says that citizens of all ages are literally more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed with a rifle of any kind ? not just ?assault? rifles. In fact, you are more than twice as likely to be killed be hands and feet than rifles of any kind, and about 5 times more likely to be killed by a knife.What about unintentional firearms deaths? Fortunately for children, the National Safety Council says that they are less likely to be accidentally killed by any firearm than most other causes of death. Children ages 0-19 (which technically includes two years of life that aren?t childhood) are about 8 times more likely to drown or be poisoned, 4 times as likely to be killed by smoke or fire and almost 50 times more likely to be killed in a car accident. No wonder the Left?s alarmist warnings had no effect on the people of Newtown, who voted for the NRA?s suggestion to put armed guards in schools.Aside from the fact that a statistically insignificant number of children die from firearms, not a single person who advocated these gun control measures has suggested a way in which any of the proposed legislation could possibly have prevented the massacre in Newtown. (None of it would have.) Which could make someone wonder, ?What?s with all the talk about kids?? Children are no longer just pawns in the gun control story. They are now integral players. Sometimes the stories play out like Obama?s photo-op above. Sometimes they were never supposed to be stories in the first place. A father in Florida was furious recently when his fourth grade son brought home this colorful page:The teacher seemed to gotten the idea of this little gem from Democratic Attorney General Eric Holder, who asked for all schools nationwide to advocate an ?anti-gun message? every single day. ?Every day, every school at every level? We need to do this every day of the week and really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.? Such an anti-gun fever pitch has been reached that very young children are now being suspended and expelled from school for pointing fingers and saying ?pow? on the playground, chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun, pretending a chicken nugget was a gun and shooting bubbles from a Hello Kitty bubble gun.
    As I?m writing this, news has broken of a middle school student suspended and arrested for wearing an NRA t-shirt to school.
    Recently a man?s house was raided after he posted a photo of his 11-year-old son ? who had a hunting license ? safely handling a .22 rifle. The father was a certified firearms instructor, an NRA range safety officer, and a New Jersey hunter education instructor. His house was raided without a warrant and the state threatened to take his children away. 04/23/13 Edit: I have been asked ? reasonably, I think ? not to refer what happened as a raid. A whole group of police and Dept. Children and Families officials showed up at Moore?s house, demanded to be let in to see his gun safe, threatened to take his child away, but did not enter without a warrant. Moore was told that by asking for a warrant he was acting suspiciously (specifically counter to a ruling by the Supreme Court ? exercising rights is never cause for suspicion), and they threatened to find a way to get one. He told them they were welcome to do so. They ended up leaving.How far we have come.In some areas of the country, children are not props in a game of political football, but are giving testimony before their state legislatures about why new gun control measures are a terrible idea, like this 15-year-old who shoots those evil AR-15s every day. In some areas of the country, children are given proper handling and safety training the way I was as a child, and are capable of safely handling rifles and ?assault weapons? to defend their homes and family. Most Americans know when they?re being emotionally played for political gain, and so do the senators who voted against the barrage of legislation that went down in flames this week. Until you can stop marching children around as your cause celeb for no apparent logical reason, and until you propose legislation that at least has something to do with protecting them, no one is going to listen.
    4. Stop Pretending Background Checks Don?t Already Exist.
    Yes, it?s true that 90% of Americans like background checks for firearms purchases. Well it?s a good thing we have them! 04/21/13 Edit: Four months after the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, USA TODAY Poll finds backing for any new gun control legislation has slipped below 50%. The ?90% approval for new background check legislation? has turned out to be very false indeed.
    If you go to a sporting goods store and buy any firearm, you have to get a background check done. If you buy a gun from almost any table at a gun show, you have to have a background check. If you buy a gun across state lines on the internet, it has to go through a licensed FFL dealer who runs a background check. The same goes for Wal-Mart, flea market dealers, and everywhere else. The ?gun show loophole? you?ve heard so much about simply means that private individuals can sell a gun to each other without asking the federal government for permission. Which is to say that I don?t have to pay $150 (the cost for a check in D.C.) to ask the FBI whether a family member or friend to whom I would like to lend my shotgun for a hunting trip is a convicted felon. Background checks are a relatively new priority for Obama?s Justice Department, which only prosecuted 44 of the 48,000 felons and fugitives that submitted background checks to purchase a firearm (and were denied because of the functioning system) in 2012. When the NRA pointed out this out to Biden, the Vice President explained that they ?simply don?t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form?. Then how, pray tell, is adding to that number thousands of private transaction between individuals (who are already inherently law-abiding by filing the paperwork) going to help? Aside from practicality and enforceability concerns, there are the ever-present privacy concerns. The Democratic left got a rude awakening from allies on this topic when the ACLU came out against universal background checks, citing the record keeping on law-abiding citizens as a ?significant? privacy concern:
    ?We think that that kind of record-keeping requirement could result in keeping long-term detailed records of purchases and creation of a new government database.?
    ?And they come to use databases for all sorts of different purposes. For example, the National Counterterrorism Center recently gave itself the authority to collect all kinds of existing federal databases and performed terrorism related searches regarding those databases. They essentially exempted themselves from a lot of existing Privacy Act protections.?
    The Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice noted in a recent internal memo that the effectiveness of universal background checks would ?require gun registration?. (It also went on to note that ?gun buybacks are ineffective?, that a high-capacity magazine ban wouldn?t have any discernible effect, that ?assault weapons are not a major contributor to gun crime?, and that even a complete elimination of all ?assault? weapons ?would not have a large impact on gun homicides?.) When your own Department of Justice thinks your ideas are bad ones, it?s time to move on. But the ACLU and Department of Justice are not alone in their rejection of universal background checks. Recently, the most comprehensive survey ever conducted on the views of 15,000 law enforcement professionals asked about the relationship between recently-dead legislation proposals and violent crime. 79.6% of them said that expanded background checks would do nothing to reduce violent crime. Here are three other questions and their responses: 1)Do you think a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would reduce violent crime?: Yes:2.7% No: 95.7% Unsure: 1.6%. 2) What effect do you think a federal ban on manufacture and sale of semi-automatic firearm, termed by some as ?assault weapons? woul have on reducing violent crime? Significant: 1.6% Moderate: 6% None: 71% Negative: 20.5% Unsure .9% 3) What is your opinion of some law enforcement leaders? public statements that they would not enforce more restrictive gun laws in their jurisdiction? Very Favorable: 48.8% Favorable 22.2% Unfavorable 9.6% Very unfavorable 7.2% Unsure/Neutral 12.2%
    These figures speak for themselves. When the nation?s police force, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Justice Department aren?t on board, you might want to rethink your strategy. No wonder only 4% of Americans think that gun control is an important political issue.
    5. Treat the NRA As What They Are: Other American Citizens
    The story from the media ? and certainly from your Democratic leadership ? is that the ?powerful corporate lobby? of the NRA is so indomitable that they single-handedly bought and scared off politicians from supporting legislation that they actually believed was going to do some good. But aside from the questionable legislation, this narrative still falls short. After gun control legislation was defeated this week, I opened a friend?s Facebook link to an unrelated article on thinkprogress.org, a popular leftist news and opinion site. The full screen poll that popped up before I could read the article asked: ?DOES THE NRA CONTROL CONGRESS?? along with an urgent call to sign up for their mailing list to email-shame politicians. The problem here is the complete dissociation of the NRA as an entity and its membership base. As someone who participated wholeheartedly in the Occupy movement and in the national campaign to expose ALEC ? the group of Right-wing politicians and corporate lobbyists who write laws together ? I have no love for the influence of money on politics. But by making this narrative the dominant one, the Democratic left has missed a very, very important fact: the power of the NRA lies not in corporations, but in its membership. The NRA definitely receives some contributions from the firearms manufacturers whose interests are tied up with their own. Of course they do. That?s how lobbying works: you pay people to take the time to represent your interests well to lawmakers, whether you?re a gunmaker contributing to the NRA or a high school teacher?s union paying The American Federation of Teachers lobbyists. What you?re missing is that the vast portion of the NRA?s funds come not through corporate donors, but through contributions from average Americans. It was not a coincidence that between December 2012 and January 2013 the NRA grew 10,000 members every day, adding a full quarter-million new contributors to their roster since gun control reappeared in the national discussion last year. That?s just what happens when a populace that cares a lot about something gets mobilized. But the NRA ? by which the Democratic party should mean ?the American citizens who comprise the NRA because they believe in gun rights? ? has consistently been characterized as the heartless, monolithic boogeyman. I have already mentioned the young man who was just this week suspended and arrested for wearing an NRA t-shirt to school. How is this possible? How can the demonization of 5 million Americans engaged in strictly legal activity literally put a child in jail in 2013? I hope that one thing this latest loss has taught you is that you cannot advance the discussion on gun policy by treating the NRA as if they were something other than the citizens who intentionally pay for them to do exactly what they do. (Even if members do have to grit their teeth at brash methods sometimes.) Your opponent is not the corporate profits of Ruger or Beretta, it is the beliefs and ideas and the resulting money of other citizens just like yourself. Speaking of which?
    6. Don?t Forget About Us!
    Gun policy is not really as partisan a debate as mainstream media would suggest. There are plenty of left-leaning citizens and Democratic voters who love our guns. Some of us are in the south, some of us are out in Colorado, and some of us are right in the middle of New York City. Some of us not only like the process of shooting guns, but actually think that it?s important to know how. Some of us hunt to supplement food/income. Some of us believe that the safety of our selves, families, communities and yes, even our nation are our own responsibility as citizens. It?s not such a radical thought. And don?t forget that we are the swing voices in this debate. After the mass shooting in Aurora, I posted an article on why the ?assault weapons? ban should not be renewed. Much to my surprise, it garnered a half million reads. This was not because I?m a great writer. This was because it spoke to other leftist people with gun-interests in a way that an NRA newsletter was not going to. And those people shared it with their leftist friends, and so on. You cannot pretend that we don?t exist, and you cannot be surprised when we let our representatives know that we do not support gun control legislation.

  15. emile says:

    ..and speaking of representative govt here is a lovely little tidbit from Princeton University…
    https://www.princeton.edu/~bartels/economic.pdf

    there are 2 lovely graphs diagramming the “representative government” recipients on page # 53 and Page # 54 please read this but dont miss the graphs.
    1994 the weapons bans failed the very day they were implemented because the gun makers immediately stopped producing the guns on the ban. (not really) They only changed a couple of model #’s but they were the same guns. What you might call a loophole. So there was no difference in the reality of it all. duh!

  16. Brewster says:

    They did exactly what they were required to by the intelligent drafters of the bill. Bayonet lugs are dangerous? Remove them! Flash suppressors increase the lethality of rifle? Remove them! “conspicuously protruding grips” (Feinstein claimed they allow one to “spray bullets from the hip”)? Remove them!.

  17. Jeffg says:

    The assualt weapons solved nothing because there was nothing to solve. Please explain how banning something that is involved in only 1% of gun homicides is going to affect the other 99%? The DOJs NIJ research said as much. The ban was nothing more than the lefts attempt to get their foot in the door to ban all weapons. I refer you to Feinsteins comments. Once again you bring no facts and only emotion and haven’t countered any of what I posted.

    As far as your attempt to get off subject…
    “It is important to reiterate that I have been using the terms ?responsiveness? and ?representation? loosely to refer to the statistical association between constituents? opinions and their senators? behavior. Whether senators behave the way they do because their constituents have the opinions they do is impossible to gauge using the research design employed here. It is certainly plausible to imagine that senators consciously and intentionally strive to represent the views of (especially) affluent constituents. However, it might also be the case, as Jacobs and Page (2005) have suggested in the context of national foreign policy-making, that public opinion seems to be influential only because it happens to be correlated with the opinion of influential elites, organized interest groups, or the policy-makers themselves.”

    At least the author was honest enough to admit there are other explanations that the study cannot address. To no one’s surprise, the poor tend to be much more liberal than either the middle class or the affluent. Since votes are either up or down, Congressmen must vote in a way that pleases the majority of their likely voter base. If the poor have different views than the middle class and affluent, it would make no sense for the Congressman to alienate the majority of his voter base and vote with the poor. And because votes are either up or down, that would make it seem like the poor are not being represented. Yet the same situation exists for all three groups. Any two groups forming a majority would get the congressman’s vote, and make the other minority group seem like it was not being represented since votes cannot be split into fractions. All the study shows is that the poor rarely form a majority block with another group.
    Also:
    “But there are a variety of good reasons to believe that citizens are not considered as political equals by policy-makers in real political systems. Wealthier and better-educated citizens are more likely than the poor and less- educated to have well-formulated and well-informed preferences, significantly more likely to turn out to vote, much more likely to have direct contact with public officials, and much more likely to contribute money and energy to political campaigns.”
    Sounds like you need to get your low info friends out to vote more I you dont like the results.

  18. emile says:

    I wasnt trying to change the subject. Its like this, if the NWO wants your guns and they show up in your front yard, they are going to leave with your guns, period.
    2005 there was a much much larger middle class, so if any 2 groups make a majority then the afluent and the intellect may have your guns sooner than you think? So you go ahead and keep defending them. Lower classes need their guns to feed themselves so you otta start being a little nicer to them.

  19. emile says:

    VIVA! MINORITY RULES!

  20. jeffg says:

    Is the NWO your conspiracy of the week? What happened? Did you get tired of looking for nazis under your bed?

  21. emile says:

    Me?
    It isnt me or my people worried about the nazis taking away our guns. Is it?
    Not me building underground shelters or hoarding food and water worried that govt is coming to take away my freedom and liberty.
    not me.
    bush already took most of it.

  22. jeffg says:

    And when have I even mentioned the NWO?
    I’m not afraid of anyone taking away my guns. What I see are a bunch of feel good progressives and liberals who want to enact legislation that will solve nothing, pat themselves on the back and then act suprised when violent crimes and murders still happen. I would rather they did something useful with their time.
    Keep in mind we have spent a quarter of a year arguing over a subject (guns/gun control) that only 4% of the population thinks is an important issue. The proposed solution would have at most affected .002% (assumes that it would have been 100% effective and eliminated all gun related homicides) of the population.
    Do you really think that’s time well spent? Or should they have been figuring out how to create jobs? Seeing as how the highest murder rates are in low income neighborhoods I would submit that creating jobs would be far more effective at reducing ALL violent crime than would expanded background checks. But one choice makes people feel good and the other would take to long to have an effect on the next election. So the progressives choose to go for votes instead of really trying to save the lives they prettend to care about.

  23. emile says:

    Eliminating the crimes is unrealistic, everyone knows that, but not doing anything simply because a few people think it wont work is unrealistic also.
    We have a congress with an approval rating below 10%. I’m not going to say its because teabaggin 23% refuses everything on principal. Its because the govt of the people by the people for the people has somehow left out…….the people.
    When it came to sequester for air traffic our govt seemed to work quite well in overriding tenets of the sequester when they stood up for “the people” who use the airlines the most,
    the minority who seems to be running things in DC.

    pirates and thieves representing the people …..our people and yes …..their people.
    its mind over matter.
    they dont mind and you dont matter.
    When I see the patriotism here it almost seems like a cruel joke being played on us by the 1%.
    Obamas been trying to replace jobs that have left giant holes in our labor force since bush and company figured out they would make more money by “going offshore” And they really have. And ALEC is passing laws that allow them to keep it all and not pay any taxes. Which brings up another point that makes my blood boil. We have seven states that will not allow corporations in their states to keep the state taxes collected weekly from their employees.So you pay your state taxes weekly and your employer doesnt send it in to the state, they just keep it.
    At the end of the year states just proceed as tho you paid it in all year. I mean come on,…..what is wrong with that other seven states??

  24. emile says:

    DEMOCRACY is a political form of government in which governing power is derived from the people. A REPUBLIC is a form of government in which the people or some portion thereof retain supreme control over the government and the head is a monarch.

    What are you people smokin???

    When oh tell me when we had a MONARCH here. oh crikey.

    What do you call a system in which a minority (1%) controls the govt above the peoples will ?

  25. jeffg says:

    Once again missy you are incorrect. Not sure where you got your definition from.
    From Merriam-Webster:
    Definition of DEMOCRACY
    1a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
    b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

    Definition of REPUBLIC
    1a (1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government
    b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government

    Notice the words ‘not a monarch’?
    A republic and a democracy are identical in every aspect except one. In a republic the sovereignty is in each individual person. In a democracy the sovereignty is in the group.

    I prefer that the individuals rights should be above those of the state, you obviously prefer that the state has rights above the individual.

  26. jeffg says:

    ‘but not doing anything simply because a few people think it wont work is unrealistic also.’
    It’s not a few, it’s most. Even Joe Bidden and Sen Manchin admitted that this legislation would not have stopped anything. Don’t believe it’s more than a few? Since this whole converstaion started because of a poll which showed 90% vs 10% here’s a more recent poll:

    In its poll from Apr. 4-7, Gallup surveyed 1,005 adults by telephone and asked, “What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?”

    Respondents answered in the following order:

    Economy in general 24%
    Unemployment/Jobs 18%
    Dissatisfaction with Government 16%
    Federal budget deficit/Federal debt 11%
    Healthcare 6%
    Ethical/Moral/Family decline 5%
    Immigration/Illegal aliens 4%
    Education 4%
    —-Guns/Gun control 4%—-
    Situation with North Korea 4%
    Lack of Money 3%
    Welfare 2%
    Lack of respect for each other 2%
    Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness 2%
    Foreign aid/Focus overseas 2%
    Taxes 2%

    4% missy. ONLY 4% of the american public think Guns/gun control is an important issue.

    If you want to save lives then ban pools. A swimming pool is 100 times more likely to kill a child then is a gun.

    Here’s an excerpt from Freakonomics:
    “DUBNER: One of the questions that we posed in our first book, in Freakonomics, was simply this, what’s more dangerous, if let’s say you’re the parent of young children, what’s more dangerous, a house with a gun in it, or a house with a swimming pool in the backyard? What’s the answer to that question?

    LEVITT: Yeah, the answer to that question is incredibly easy. And the swimming pool is far, far more dangerous than the gun when it comes to young children. So what we did is we looked at the number of child deaths that were due to swimming pools, the number of child deaths that were due to guns, and then we put it in terms of how often will a given swimming pool kill a child versus how often will a particular gun kill a child. And it turns out that the swimming pool is far more lethal than the gun, that a given swimming pool is 100 times more likely to lead to the death of a child than a particular gun is to lead to the death of a child. And so, I know a lot of parents who would say I would never let my child go over to the house of someone who has a gun in the house, but I’ve actually never heard anyone say I will never let my child go over to the house of someone who has a swimming pool, when in fact that’s completely reversed when it comes to the risk that the two products actually have.”

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2013/02/14/how-to-think-about-guns-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

    The problem with gun control is that most people have no concept of risk and get played by the media. Anyones chances of being shot at all are extremely small. You are more likely to win the lotto then you are to get shot in a mass murder. Just a simple fact.

  27. brewster says:

    “When it came to sequester for air traffic our govt seemed to work quite well in overriding tenets of the sequester when they stood up for “the people” who use the airlines the most”

    Missy, did you know that the FAA has the flexibility to furlough anyone in the department, yet they chose to push the controllers out first? THis is just like the meat inspectors, who said they could rework the budget to avoid impacts on the inspections of meats, but the Obama administration told them NOT to change anything “that would lessen the impact of sequestration”. Ditto for the park service, they were to place cutbacks where they would have the greatest visibility to the public.

    There are more air traffic controllers now, higher budgets, and fewer flights than there was a decade ago, yet back then they had no problems with staffing.

    Your Messiah is desperately trying to shed blame for his sequestration plan on congress. The man is pathetic.

  28. Hammer says:

    emile says:

    April 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm
    “What do you call a system in which a minority (1%) controls the govt above the peoples will”?

    We call it “The Obama Administration”. Case in point: Obama Care. Even one of your back room drafters says this is going to be a huge disaster. But I guess we just had to ram it through and “pass it to find out whats in it”. After all, Liberal programs are just so good they have to be mandatory.

    BTW, Thanks again for your continued efforts of showing folks how perverted the Liberal thought process is. Now go take your medicine and rest for a while.

  29. jeffg says:

    Brewster you forgot to mention that the Republicans tried to give Obama the flexibility to shift all budgets around as needed but he threatened to veto it if it came to his desk. Again, it wouldn’t have allowed him to play the blame game.

  30. emile says:

    If thats all you’ve got hammer, go sit down and color.

  31. Jeffg says:

    The same could be said to you missy. Please tell where did you come up with your definition of a republic? The only thing you’ve proven so far is that you don’t know how our government works and that you can’t use a dictionary.
    Most people know both by the time they are out of grade school.

  32. emile says:

    Here hammer, you can stop looking now.

    ol•i•gar•chy

    Pronunciation: (ol’i-gär”k?),[key]
    —n.,
    —pl. -chies.
    1. a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
    2. a state or organization so ruled.
    3. the persons or class so ruling.

    Random House Unabridged Dictionary,

    Oligarchy

  33. Hammer says:

    After seeing a chimp ride a bicycle and a seal balance a ball on it’s nose, seeing a jack a$$ copy something from the dictionary is really boring…. Nice try though.

  34. emile says:

    Careful dude, you might offend captain cut & paste.

  35. Jeffg says:

    The only thing offensive here missy is your complete lack of intelligence and that you are representative of 99% of progressives. You’re just a pawn (aka useful idiot) in the eyes of Obama and his ilk.

    Are you ever going to tell us where you got your definition for republic? Or did you change it to suit your needs like a good progressive liar does?

    Oh, I’m still waiting to hear what it was Hilary did as SoS that made here one of the greatest, you still can’t answer that one can you.

  36. emile says:

    Random House Unabridged Dictionary

    Hillary stays on you fools mind, dont she?

  37. Jeffg says:

    Looks like you need to learn to read then because you either skipped over the ‘is not’ part or were blind to it. It’s your lack of comprehension raising its ugly head again.
    In fine with Hillary being president. I would have taken her over McCain or Obama any day, but she still wasn’t one of the greatest SoS’ we’ve ever had.
    What’s on my mind is a fool who spouts bs and when challenged on it changes the subject. You said Hilary was one of the greatest SoS’ ever! Therefore you must have some notion of her accomplishments. What did she do to make her so great? Or was it just that you read on one of your democratic talking points sites and regurgitated it like a good little obamabot?

  38. brewster says:

    “What did she do to make her so great” you ask Jeff?
    Well apparently she and other fellow administration lackeys covered up the terrorism link to Benghazi (didn’t want to hurt that fool Obamas election chances!)

    What she did was to prove she has not changed one bit, a liar at heart, $100,000 in cattle futures king of the cow patty heap, perfect for the Democratic nomination for president.

  39. Jeffg says:

    You and I know that Brewster but missy is unable to question the dear leader. My reference is to a previous post where missy proclaimed Hillary one of the greatest SoS’ we’ve ever had. But when asked what made her so great she couldn’t answer. Still can’t. Again you and I aren’t surprised that she can’t but I like to keep asking.

  40. emile says:

    If Hillary announced today she would not be running for president, Benghazi would be all over with. End of story. do fini.
    When bush was prez we had uh oh…….54 acts of terrorism against embassies. Nope. Not a peep.

  41. emile says:

    Clownbaggers aka severe and profound.

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