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Posts Tagged ‘gun rights’

Terry McAuliffe has tried very hard to make Ken Cuccinelli look as extreme as possible, most recently on the issue of firearms. Last week McAuliffe sent out this tweet:

“In 2004, Ken Cuccinelli voted against making it a misdemeanor to carry a missile into an airport terminal,”

“Fast Terry” was referring to a 2004 bill that

Cuccinelli was one of 16 people in the 40-member state Senate that voted against that would have barred people from entering an airport terminal carrying a “gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind.” According to PolitiFact, it can be argued that the description does encompass missile launchers, but that’s an interpretation that doesn’t weigh the debate at the time the bill was considered.

McAuliffe’s tweet focuses on the term “missile” and suggests that the bill’s purpose was to ban warheads from airports. But the term “missile” is undefined in state law and could mean bullets, rocks, or even a cup of soda if it’s thrown maliciously.

So there’s a trace of truth to a deeply distorted and inflamed statement by McAuliffe. We rate his claim Mostly False.

I think that is a good way to rate McAuliffe’s entire campaign.

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A recent Reason-Rupe Poll found that 54% of Americans say Congress should cut spending from current levels and 62 percent say Congress should forget about gun control and move on to other issues.

You can hear Emily Ekins her talk about it below.

Hat Tip to Cam Edwards and NRANews

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Politico reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that targeting Democrats on gun votes could backfire and harm the party.  Bloomberg decided to ignor the warning.

Ads from the Bloomberg-funded Mayors Against Illegal Guns are going up soon in Alaska, Arkansas and North Dakota — three states with Democratic senators who broke with the White House on last month’s background checks vote.

The group is also moving as many as 60 field organizers into about a dozen states where senators — Democrats and Republicans — voted against bill, with the goal of building infrastructure and countering gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association.

In Arkansas, Bloomberg is placing ads in markets in Black communities, a segment of the voters that Politico notes Democrat Mark Pryor must carry to win re-election.  Senate Democrats want Bloomberg to focus on “flipping” Republicans who voted against the gun control legislation.  Biden, in an Op/Ed in this past weekend’s Houston Chronicle wrote:

In the end, I believe we will prevail. And those who wrote off gun safety legislation last month will come to realize that moment wasn’t the end at all. It was the turning point.

Biden pointed to poll numbers that suggest those who stood with law abiding gun owners have seen their poll numbers sink and those who want to criminalize private transfers have seen their poll number hold or increase.

We will see if those numbers hold.  In the end, it’s not about what the polls tell politicians, but what their constiuients tell them, and by most accounts, senators voting against Schumer, Manchin, Toomey heard from a lot more gun owners than they heard from gun ban supporters.  So, keep holding their feet to the fire and make sure they know we are watching.

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The vote count continues to be close but looks to be short of the 60 votes needed for approval, so Senators Manchin and Toomey are trying to sweeten the deal to appeal to rural senators who may be concerned about the requirement that advertised private sales be done through a licensed retailer because some constituents may not have easy access.  This from Politico:

Late Monday night, the New York Times reported that Manchin and Toomey are considering a possible revision to their bill that would exempt residents in rural areas living hundreds of miles from licensed gun deals from some of the requirements of the bill.

The revision, which would be added only as amendment if the Manchin-Toomey proposal is adopted, is designed to appeal to Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), said aides familiar with the issue. Manchin huddled with both Alaskan senators on the floor after a vote Monday night.

However, only four Republicans are voting for the bill at this time. They include Toomey, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona.

Other Republicans are on the fence and undecided, such as Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Dean Heller of Nevada. Democrats believe they will pick up some of these Republicans.

In related news, Virginia Senator Mark Warner just spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate and his comments indicate that he supports the Manchin-Toomey-Schumer background check amendment.  Please call Senator Warner and let him know that you do not approve of his support of this amendment.  Tell him that the amendment is not pro-rights but is actually a “Bonanza of Gun Control“.

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David Hawkings of Roll Call lists the senators that could decide the fate of the Manchin/Toomey/Schumer background check amendment to the senate gun control bill.

Among the Republicans, only four have so far committed to voting for the background check compromise: Toomey, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona.

And the rest of the lobbying attention is being focused on six of the GOP senators who voted last week to bring the bill to the floor in the first place. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and John Hoeven of North Dakota.

Hawkings notes that a key to knowing if they have 60 votes is if they bring up the vote early (i.e. Tuesday).  If the vote is put off one day, then they are likely close.  The longer it is put off, the less likely it is they have the votes and the harder it will likely be to get to the magic number.

Hat tip NRANews.

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The Hill reports that Vice President Joe Biden is contacting former colleagues on Capitol Hill on a daily basis, including GOP members, to round up support for the administration’s gun ban proposals:

Biden has already held private meetings with Republican senators including John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.), according to a senior administration official. The official added that Biden would also be spending considerable time on Capitol Hill in the weeks to come.

“There are always a lot of dark alleys on these issues, but he’s been trying to shake that all out,” the official said. “He’s making sure he’s hearing from everybody and knowing where the pressure points are.”

I’m betting that he won’t have much success with Graham and Isakson on this.  McCain is a question mark.
 
Some doubt just how effective Biden will be, as he tends to act more like a hammer than a chisel:

“His effectiveness depends on how you define his role,” said GOP strategist Ken Lundberg. “So far, his work has been to rally allies and berate opponents. In that role, he’s very effective but, as for reaching out to the other side, he’s impotent. He’s breaking no new ground and that’s probably by design.”

While the media continues to tell us that all but maybe expanded background checks is dead on arrival on the Senate Floor, the administration is at least giving the appearance that they believe they can win with enough pressure.  So we need to make sure our pressure is even more than that applied by the administration.

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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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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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