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Archive for March, 2013

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has S. 649.

This is the bill that will be bought up for a vote. The “background check” language is identical to the language I analyzed in S.374. The rest of the bill is the same as S.179, Gillibrand’s trafficking bill. It’s essentially those two bills combined together into one bill. Needless to say, this bill is unacceptable and needs to be opposed, unless you want to have it be a felony in many conditions to hand a gun to a friend, such as plinking on your farm.

You now have the specific bill numbers to tell Warner and Kaine to oppose and why.  You know what to do.

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The Hill newspaper reports that President Obama will use the 100 day anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to rebuild momentum for his gun ban agenda.  With Congress and recent polls indicating that few of the proposals still have support wide support, the White House is  battling the perception that the move is out of fear none of their agenda is going to pass.

Earnest also disputed the notion that Obama was pressing now over fear that momentum on a gun bill had stalled as time passed since the Newtown shooting. He noted that by the White House’s count, the president and vice president had held 20 events on gun violence since the shooting, and he said the decision to appoint Vice President Biden as the point man on the issue underscored the importance of the issue.
 
Time is not on their side.  Obama new the longer the country moved away from the shooting, the public would also move on and support for any proposals would drop with it.  That is why he wanted to roll out something within a month.  What he could not control was the timeline of Congress.  By the time the Senate takes up its bill we will be into mid to late April. 
 

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The Virginia Shooting Sports Association, the NRA’s state association has the story here.

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Roll Call’s At The Races Blog notes that Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor did not react to Bloomberg’s ads as planned:

“I’ve gotten a lot of questions about NYC Mayor gun ad. My response? I don’t take gun advice from the Mayor of NYC. I listen to Arkansans,” Pryor tweeted Monday afternoon.

Good response Senator.  Bloomberg is likely to get similar responses from the Senators in Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona, which are also states with pro-rights Senators to which he hopes to apply pressure.  The fact that a “vulnerable” Democrat has already dismissed Bloomberg’s powerplay does not bode well for his tactics.

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Roll Call reported yesterday after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre appeared on Meet the Press that the two are headed for a showdown over legislation now pending in the U.S. Senate:

Mayors Against Illegal Guns hopes to be a counterweight to the NRA in the weeks leading up to Senate action on legislation that would require more background checks for gun buyers and an amendment that would ban some assault weapons, Bloomberg said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He and LaPierre appeared in separate segments of the program.

Bloomberg told Meet the Press Host David Gregory that opinion polls show strong support, even among gun owners, for extending background checks on purchases at gun shows or other venues.  He even repeated the now discredited “40 percent of gun purchases occur in private sales” number.

On those polls, they tend to be push polls to generate a specific response.  I’m a little more interested in polls like this Gallup Poll that show only 38% of those polled are dissatisfied with current gun laws and want stricter laws while 43% are satisfied with current laws.  Granted, those dissatisfied are higher than it was before the Newtown shooting, the fact that even after Newtown (the poll was conducted Jan. 7-10, 2013) almost half of those polled thought that the nation’s gun laws were fine.

So, let Bloomberg delude himself there is this massive outcry for gun control that will result in political payback if legislators vote against them.  Gallup showed just ahead of the President’s State of the Union Address that the public is more concerned about the economy and jobs.  Gun control ranked 6th on the list of concerns with 6% of respondants saying it was the most important issue, well behind the Economy at 25% and Jobs/Unemployment at 19%.

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun ban group Mayors Against Illegal Guns is launching a campaign in states with senators considered to be persuadable on a package of gun control legislation making its way to the Senate floor in April.  Bloomberg confirmed on today’s Meet the Press that he plans to spend $12 million to run ads in at least 10 states.  He is trying to make them believe there will be a political price to pay for opposing gun control.   The ads are more of the recent attempts to drive a wedge between segments of gun owners and the NRA with the ads featuring what are supposed to be hunters who support gun control.  This from Fox News:

In one ad, the man says he’ll defend the Second Amendment but adds “with rights come responsibilities.” The ad then urges viewers to tell Congress to support background checks. 

In the other ad, the man, a hunter, is shown with the rifle and children playing in the background. 

“I believe in the Second Amendment, and I’ll fight to protect it. But with rights come responsibilities,” he says. “That’s why I support comprehensive background checks.” 

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who also appeared on the program was not impressed:

“He can’t spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the American public,” LaPierre said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “He can’t buy America.” 

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam went further:

“What Michael Bloomberg is trying to do is … intimidate senators into not listening to constituents and instead pledge their allegiance to him and his money,” said spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.
Bloomberg all but admitted this is nothing but exploitation of the Newtown shooting and its victims:

Bloomberg defended the ad buy Sunday , speaking on the same program as LaPierre, saying it would be a “great tragedy” if the momentum for gun control generated after the Newtown mass shooting withered. At the same time, Bloomberg said “I think we are going to win this.” 

We was blunt about the purpose of the ad buys. “We’re trying to do everything we can to press upon the senators this is what the survivors want.” 

We need to keep the pressure up on our U.S. Senators.  Both Mark Warner and Tim Kaine cast their first anti-rights votes this past Friday when they voted against an amendment that would prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty in order to uphold the Second Amendment. 

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So, I get my daily email from National Journal giving me the low down on the goings on around Washington and I see this:

THE ASSAULT-WEAPONS VOTE WAS A HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE SHAM.

Now, when you go to the article the title is not quite that provactive but the point is still the same.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote Thursday approving an assault-weapons ban was a sham—if you think the purpose was to ban assault weapons. If you think the committee’s vote offered an opportunity for lawmakers to parse and deliberate complicated and unresolved questions about the Constitution, guns, and violence, then it was a highly productive 90 minutes.

You can’t read an article about Feinstein’s bill without reading that it is doomed to failure.  If I was a tin foil hat type of guy, I would swear the fix is in to lull gun owners to sleep then surprise the crap out of them when a ban passes. 

But National Journal does have a point that we got to see what a sham the proposed ban really is.  Take amendments sponsored by Texas Senator John Cornyn:

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, made a point of highlighting the “absurdity” of Feinstein’s bill by offering several amendments carving out exceptions—for rural residents, residents near the U.S.-Mexico border, women victims of domestic violence, and recipients of protection orders. Even if any of Cornyn’s amendments had passed (they didn’t), he still would have had no intention of voting for the assault-weapons ban. His theatrics in committee were “designed to show the flawed logic in their bill,” said Cornyn spokeswoman Megan Mitchell. “Why have exemption for retired police officers, but not for veterans? Why not victims of domestic violence, et cetera?”

And of course there was the great questioning by Texas Senator Ted Cruz that really got under Senator Feinstein’s skin.

So, while I might not call it a sham, the vote was useful to see which of our representatives stand for Liberty and which stand for statism.

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