Newsweek article: "Obama gets gun-shy"


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grimjaw
April 14, 2009, 10:24 AM
Online now, but to be published in the 20 April issue. Sorry if it was already posted elsewhere. Of course the author seems to lament that the government just isn't doing what's needed to ban guns.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/193589/output/print

Obama Gets Gun-Shy

Despite a recent spate of killings, the president and fellow Democrats choose not to wage war on assault weapons.
Michael Isikoff and Suzanne Smalley
NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Apr 20, 2009

On the morning of April 4, Richard Poplawski had a quarrel with his mother. It was over a dog urinating on a carpet. Mom called the police to have her 22-year-old son evicted from her house, a brick ranch with a dirty aluminum awning in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Two officers responded to the call, figuring it was a typical domestic dispute. Margaret Poplawski greeted them by saying, "Come and take his ass." But the younger Poplawski, who had been laid off from his job in a glass factory recently, had other plans. He went to a private arms cache in the house, retrieved his guns and strapped on a Kevlar bulletproof vest.

Poplawski shot officer Paul J. Sciullo II, 37, inside the house and hit 29-year-old Stephen Mayhle on the stoop. Both men fell dead. Poplawski calmly stood in the doorway and fired two or three more bullets into Mayhle's body, according to a police affidavit from a witness. Then he retreated into the house and fired hundreds of rounds, using an AK-47 assault rifle and other weapons to fend off a police SWAT team for four hours. He killed one other cop, 41-year-old Eric Kelly, and wounded yet another.

It was the deadliest day in the history of the Steel City's police department. When police finally apprehended and questioned Poplawski, he was without remorse. "He said he wishes he could have killed more Pittsburgh police officers," says a cop who was on the scene but asked not to be identified talking about an ongoing case. (Poplawski's lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment last week.)

There was a time when a creep like Poplawski would have become a potent symbol in the debate over gun control. He wasn't your run-of-the-mill malcontent. A white supremacist, he frequented the chat rooms of racist Web sites, where he posted screeds about a "Zionist occupation" bringing the country to economic ruin. But Keith Savage, manager of the Braverman Arms Co., where Poplawski got many of his guns (but not the AK-47, Savage claims), says nothing seemed amiss when he filled out Form 4473—the standard questionnaire for federally required background checks. The gun-shop staff had no way of knowing, for instance, about Poplawski's January 2005 discharge from the Marines for what Lt. Josh Diddams, a U.S. Marine Corps spokesman, tells NEWSWEEK was a "psychological disorder" (he had assaulted his drill sergeant during basic training, says Poplawski's mother). They probably also didn't know that Poplawski's former girlfriend had gotten a restraining order against him, later in 2005, after he grabbed her by the hair and threatened to kill her.

In the past, national political leaders might have raised troubling questions about how such an unstable character could obtain easy access to high-powered weapons. They might have been even more motivated given that Poplawski's cop-killing spree was part of a near epidemic of mass homicides that have left 58 people dead over the past month. Or given that Mexico's insanely violent drug cartels are arming themselves with high-powered assault weapons purchased at U.S. gun stores and later smuggled south of the border. Yet many past champions of stricter gun-control measures are silent. These include top Obama White House officials who have squelched any talk within the administration about pushing further gun-control measures."It's weird," says Peter Hamm, the communications director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "When you see people like [Attorney General] Eric Holder or Hillary Clinton or [White House chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel become muted on this issue, you feel like you want to call up a friend and say, 'What's up?' "

Running for president in last year's Democratic primaries, Barack Obama promised to restore a federal ban on certain semiautomatic assault guns—a position that's still on the White House Web site. The ban was originally passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 1994 and lapsed five years ago. In recent years the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has also lifted virtually all restrictions on imports of foreign-made assault weapons, permitting a flood of cheap Romanian, Bulgarian and other Eastern European AK-47s to enter the country, according to gun-control groups. "There's been an absolute deluge of these weapons," says Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center.

But Obama and top White House aides have all but abandoned the issue. Emanuel helped orchestrate passage of the original assault-weapons ban when he worked in the Clinton White House. Now he and other White House strategists have decided they can't afford to tangle with the National Rifle Association at a time when they're pushing other priorities, like economic renewal and health-care reform, say congressional officials who have raised the matter. (According to his office, Emanuel couldn't be reached for comment because he was observing the Passover holiday.) A White House official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal strategy, says, "There isn't support in Congress for such a ban at this time." Ben LaBolt, a White House spokesman, says, "The president supports the Second Amendment, respects the tradition of gun ownership in this country, and he believes we can take common-sense steps to keep our streets safe," pointing to $2 billion in new funding for state and local law enforcement in the stimulus package.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat, is one of those who are impatient with their party's silence. She has reason to be: a gunman firing randomly on a Long Island commuter train on Dec. 7, 1993, killed her husband, Dennis, and severely injured her son, Kevin. But when she pressed Obama transition officials to take up the issue, they were clear about their priorities: "They told me that's not for now, that's for later."

The word didn't get through to everyone in the administration, resulting in mixed messages—and blowback from the NRA. In February, Holder called for restoring the federal ban on assault guns to help curb the flow of weapons to the Mexican cartels. As soon as he made the call, however, the NRA launched a fierce lobbying campaign—and 65 House Democrats signed a letter vowing to resist any gun-control measures. In the Senate, Montana Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester sent their own warning. "Senators to Attorney General Holder: Stay Away From Our Guns," read the press release.

Within days, White House aides instructed Justice officials to stop talking about the assault-weapons issue, according to congressional and administration officials who asked not to be identified because of political sensitivities. (A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.) Last week, in an interview with Katie Couric, Holder skirted questions about reinstating the assault-weapons ban and also about a gaping loophole that permits people to purchase arms at gun shows without background checks. "I understand the Second Amendment. I respect the Second Amendment," said Holder, after denying that he had been instructed to "back off" the gun-control measures.

The new Democratic squishiness on guns is all about politics. Democratic leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer are determined to protect the seats of "blue dogs" from rural districts who are essential to preserving the party's majority in the House. "The Democratic Party understands this is a losing issue … It's a dead loser," says Democratic Rep. Dan Boren, of Muskogee, Okla. "Its one of the reasons they lost the Congress in 1994 and Al Gore was not elected president in 2000."

Boren is a good example of the kind of young blue dog who now holds sway on this issue. A lifelong hunter who bagged his first deer at the age of 9—and has a stockpile of 15 guns at home—Boren is an NRA member who was elected last year to the lobby's board of directors. "I can tell you, that assault-weapons ban is just an excuse to take away a sportsman's shotguns," he says. Boren also understands the political dynamics of his district, in which Obama got only 36 percent of the vote (while Boren cruised to reelection with 70 percent). "For a Democrat to run in eastern Oklahoma, we can't support gun control. We shouldn't go back and refight old battles. This is an old debate."

The NRA loves blue dogs like Boren. The organization feels that it's stronger in Congress than it has been in at least two decades. Emboldened by a Supreme Court decision last year that affirmed Second Amendment rights, the lobby has pushed a series of congressional measures that are diluting gun restrictions. With virtually no public notice, the Senate recently passed an amendment to the budget bill that would reverse a post-9/11 policy and allow passengers to bring guns in their checked bags on Amtrak trains. (In passing the amendment by an overwhelming margin, the Senate ignored pleas by Amtrak officials that the measure could endanger safety.) More troublesome for Democratic leaders, an amendment eliminating most D.C. gun laws has been added to a historic bill giving the city's residents voting representation in Congress.

Gun-rights advocates argue that nuts like Richard Poplawski will always be able to kill people. He apparently bought his guns legally. His military discharge didn't count against him for gun purchases, because only a dishonorable discharge "adjudged" in a court-martial is a disqualifier for gun buyers. The restraining order against him had expired in 2006, so that didn't hurt him either. But gun enthusiasts argue that even if Poplawski had been banned from getting assault weapons, he would have found a way. One of the reasons he was stocking up on guns, says his mother, is because he feared Obama would take them away. "If you make guns illegal, only the people who don't follow the law will have them," says the Pittsburgh police officer who was at the scene of Poplawski's standoff.

Joanne Dubaniewicz, who watched much of Poplawski's massacre from her house across the street, thinks that's crazy. She is struggling with her memories of a wounded officer who was lying in the road. "The thing that is most upsetting is Officer Kelly started moving around," she says. "We watched him dying." Dubaniewicz is a trained nurse; she had a tourniquet and some bandages to help try to save Kelly, but she and her boyfriend—a combat war vet—were too scared to go outside. "Something is very, very wrong with the system," she says. That might sound like a sensible refrain. But you'll struggle to hear a leading Democrat repeat it these days.

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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 14, 2009, 10:45 AM
Two things: The underlying message pre-supposes that so-called gun control measures would actually HELP, not hurt, in curbing crime (which is the opposite of reality as we know).

Anyone who gives a lame excuse as to why they won't join the NRA has now had their lame excuse revoked, when the White House says they don't "want to tangle with the NRA". Lest there be any doubt as to the NRA's power - and joining will only make them stronger than they already are!

highorder
April 14, 2009, 10:46 AM
In recent years the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has also lifted virtually all restrictions on imports of foreign-made assault weapons, permitting a flood of cheap Romanian, Bulgarian and other Eastern European AK-47s to enter the country, according to gun-control groups.

Can someone shed some light on this? I was not aware that anything had changed from 1989.

A lifelong hunter who bagged his first deer at the age of 9—and has a stockpile of 15 guns at home—Boren is an NRA member...

Do people really think we just keep them in a "pile?" It must not sound as good to say:

A lifelong hunter who bagged his first deer at the age of 9—and has a properly secured, well maintained collection of 15 guns at home

Carl
April 14, 2009, 10:53 AM
When will someone learn that the term "semi-automatic assault rifle" is an oxymoron in its finest?

floods
April 14, 2009, 10:53 AM
A lifelong hunter who bagged his first deer at the age of 9—and has a stockpile of 15 guns at home—Boren is an NRA member...
Do people really think we just keep them in a "pile?" It must not sound as good to say:

A lifelong hunter who bagged his first deer at the age of 9—and has a properly secured, well maintained collection of 15 guns at home

It implies that owning 15 guns is deemed "excessive." Some readers are easily led.

Ben Shepherd
April 14, 2009, 10:56 AM
."It's weird," says Peter Hamm, the communications director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "When you see people like [Attorney General] Eric Holder or Hillary Clinton or [White House chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel become muted on this issue, you feel like you want to call up a friend and say, 'What's up?' "


What's up? Professional politicians aren't stupid. That's what's up.

The tone of the article(predictably) makes me want to :barf:.

fireman 9731
April 14, 2009, 12:21 PM
Yet many past champions of stricter gun-control measures are silent. These include top Obama White House officials who have squelched any talk within the administration about pushing further gun-control measures."It's weird," says Peter Hamm, the communications director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "When you see people like [Attorney General] Eric Holder or Hillary Clinton or [White House chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel become muted on this issue, you feel like you want to call up a friend and say, 'What's up?' "


Silence may be the sound of progress...

dobrzemetal
April 14, 2009, 12:51 PM
Yeah and hopefully they will keep silent, but who knows with all these antis pushing their agenda by focusing on stories like this :barf:, I almost think they like to hear about things like this, it gives them more ammo.

outerlimit
April 14, 2009, 12:57 PM
"In recent years the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has also lifted virtually all restrictions on imports of foreign-made assault weapons, permitting a flood of cheap Romanian, Bulgarian and other Eastern European AK-47s to enter the country, according to gun-control groups."

Can someone shed some light on this? I was not aware that anything had changed from 1989.

As far as I'm aware nothing has changed and things have actually gotten worse because of the Norinco ban enacted by Clinton and continued by Bush. And also, because the ATF went after parts kits a few years back. In addition, AK, FAL, AR & HK clone prices are higher than ever.

The author doesn't cite anything to support his statement and so as a result it is a statement typical of anti-gun rubbish articles that have no basis in fact.

camslam
April 14, 2009, 01:04 PM
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat, is one of those who are impatient with their party's silence. But when she pressed Obama transition officials to take up the issue, they were clear about their priorities: "They told me that's not for now, that's for later."

-Let me be clear, I'm more than thrilled that idiots like the following in no particular order have had to as much as admit defeat for now.

-Obama (Won't touch guns with a 10 foot pole)
-Clinton (Other than Mexico crap hasn't said boo)
-Emanuel (Really running the show and is keeping peoples mouths shut)
-Holder (Has been reigned in and told to shut his damn mouth) Love that!
-Durbin (60 minutes clip showed him admitting absolute defeat)
-Feinstein (Admitted defeat for now, on 60 minutes)

I would love to see the rest of the gun banning crew have to say the same things, but for now, I will humbly accept what we've gotten.

Make no mistake, if they thought they could GET AWAY with it, they would be after the guns ASAP.

-Thank you NRA for having the clout, resources, and focus to influence Congress correctly on this issue.
-Thank you every other 2nd amendment group that fights on the local, state, and federal level. Your efforts are needed and make a difference.
-Thank you to everyone that has educated, influenced, or introduced shooting and the 2nd amendment to someone new.

Let's keep fighting people, but you have to admit the last 3 months you have never seen as many frustrated, unhappy, reporters and stories, regarding the 2nd amendment.

Got to love it.

fucema
April 14, 2009, 01:07 PM
The problem is that given enough time and pressure, popular opinion may change -- and swing the favor over to those who would impose heavier legislation against private gun ownership.

More needs to be done to educate and inform the public about the lies and misstatements in many of these types of anti-gun articles.

Things like: gaping gunshow loopholes, mexican's armed with US guns, lethal assault weapons ...

You're average citizen that has zero experience handling a gun or carrying one for even self-defense will more likely be swayed by these false and often emotionally backed anti-gun arguments.

On my end, I try to discuss these issues openly with friends and family who are not as gun-saavy in order to provide some counter balance that seems to be missing in the media. I wish there was more articles and news in the popular public media that could provide a more balanced view on the issue.

markfh
April 14, 2009, 01:09 PM
Just think if that "combat war vet" had his own "assault rifle" he could have engaged the bg and possibly saved lives.

Some years ago an officer was shot in my neighborhood. While his partner and my neighbor were attending to his stomach wound and before other police could arrive my wife and I took up positions to cover them in case the bg came out of the house he had shot the officer from.

I was armed with an M4 and my wife with a .45 Glock. We were both more than willing to engage the bg to protect the two officers and our neighbor had he come out of his house.

After the event was over the commander of the swat team that was there came to our house and thanked us for helping.

The bg had killed 5 members of his family including his 3 little kids. He committed suicide with "two" shots to the head. :evil:

ServiceSoon
April 14, 2009, 01:36 PM
Silence may be the sound of progress...Now if we could only get Congress to do the same on all of the other "issues"...

Prion
April 14, 2009, 04:36 PM
What kind of AK is pictured in the latest issue of Newsweek? I can't get nice looking AK's like that in my area. All are really crappy looking next to that one. What are the nicer brands, where can they be purchased and what is the cost for a nice one? Thanks guys:)

sharkhunter2018
April 14, 2009, 04:44 PM
I haven't seen the latest issue.

A picture would be real helpful.

Lightninstrike
April 14, 2009, 05:08 PM
OP is this what you meant?

http://www.newsweek.com/id/193589

CoRoMo
April 14, 2009, 05:09 PM
Have at it...

http://ndn2.newsweek.com/media/22/obama-gun-control-NA01-wide-horizontal.jpg

Cannonball888
April 14, 2009, 05:14 PM
This isn't surprising. Barry wants to win a second term. If he succeeds then we're really screwed because then he'll have nothing left to lose. If he wins the hope is that any Dems in Congress will still be afraid of losing their jobs.

SpecialKalltheway
April 14, 2009, 05:22 PM
go around your area and take pictures of AK's and then develop the pictures in black and white and presto you have nice looking Ak's in your area! :D

cbrgator
April 14, 2009, 05:30 PM
Ugh, that article DRIPS with anti-ness. It makes it sound like the gun control legislation that has been debated the last few months is a blatanlty obvious answer to our problems. And also throws in little parentheses remarks to further quip at gun rights advocates. I really just can't take it anymore.

And nope, don't know what that AK is.

ezenbrowntown
April 14, 2009, 05:36 PM
"You're average citizen that has zero experience handling a gun or carrying one for even self-defense"

Not here in Texas! LOL. :)

Justin
April 14, 2009, 05:36 PM
Duplicate threads merged.

jakemccoy
April 14, 2009, 05:38 PM
...................

sharkhunter2018
April 14, 2009, 05:56 PM
AK ID - Looks like a Chinese AKS

Prion
April 14, 2009, 07:08 PM
Yeah, it was clearly anti. Expect nothing less from Newsweek. I read it because it's good to read both perspectives, 'keep your friends close, your enemies closer' kinda idea. Anyway, AK in article ID? Everything around here is CAI. All AK's can't possibly be that bad.

Jaybird78
April 14, 2009, 07:31 PM
and has a stockpile of 15 guns at home—Boren is an NRA member

I now officially have a stockpile at home. EEERRRRR I mean lost in that boating accident. :rolleyes:

alemonkey
April 14, 2009, 08:00 PM
Not exactly a balanced article, no surprises there.

"The president supports the Second Amendment, respects the tradition of gun ownership in this country, and he believes we can take common-sense steps to keep our streets safe,"

--------------------------

But when she pressed Obama transition officials to take up the issue, they were clear about their priorities: "They told me that's not for now, that's for later."


That shows exactly what kind of two faced liars we're dealing with. Obama's people say he supports the second amendment, while telling Washington insiders he's going after our guns as soon as it's politically feasible.

We can NEVER let up the pressure on these people. It needs to be ratcheted up higher and higher every day.

sm
April 14, 2009, 08:04 PM
Related:

EDITORIAL: Obama's bogus gun statistics

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/14/obama39s-bogus-gun-statistics-mexican-crime-is-not/

Halo is for Kids
April 14, 2009, 08:42 PM
Polytech side-folder in .223 (Chinese) Pre-ban and $1400-2000
http://ndn2.newsweek.com/media/22/obama-gun-control-NA01-wide-horizontal.jpg

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 14, 2009, 08:50 PM
If 15 is a "stockpile", then what do most of us on this board have?! :eek:

Animal Mother
April 14, 2009, 09:07 PM
If 15 is a "stockpile", then what do most of us on this board have?!

An arsenal.

Kind of Blued
April 15, 2009, 12:30 AM
I thought four was an "arsenal"? :confused:

I'm going to continue to not trust these insidious officials and assume that they're putting this on as an act so we'll stop buying so many guns and so much ammunition.

DocBoCook
April 15, 2009, 12:37 AM
I don't own an assault weapon. Those make more than one bullet come out on one pull of the trigger. But these idiots don't know the difference

MachIVshooter
April 15, 2009, 06:52 AM
Yet many past champions of stricter gun-control measures are silent. These include top Obama White House officials who have squelched any talk within the administration about pushing further gun-control measures."It's weird," says Peter Hamm, the communications director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "When you see people like [Attorney General] Eric Holder or Hillary Clinton or [White House chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel become muted on this issue, you feel like you want to call up a friend and say, 'What's up?' "


Silence may be the sound of progress...

It's the sound of pragmatism. I can't help but suspect that part of the goal here with all the "we're leaving it alone talk" is to generate complacency among gun owners and then slip new controls in as riders on little known bills. If there's one thing we know about congress, it's that they're one of the most sereptitious groups out there. Most of what they do is very clandestine.

krs
April 15, 2009, 08:46 AM
I can't help but suspect that part of the goal here with all the "we're leaving it alone talk" is to generate complacency among gun owners and then slip new controls in as riders on little known bills. If there's one thing we know about congress, it's that they're one of the most sereptitious groups out there. Most of what they do is very clandestine.

I agree, it's like the calm before a storm.

I don't think it'll be a clandestine series of small moves; I think it'll be much more energetic and all encompassing than that would be.

The studied avoidance of all things gun by people with well documented histories of support for gun restriction or removal from the national sphere leaves me thinking that there's a plan for an attempt to remove gun ownership entirely. They're quietly getting everyone on the same page for a rewrite of the second amendment during Obama's second term.

You heard it here first.

everallm
April 15, 2009, 09:03 AM
They're quietly getting everyone on the same page for a rewrite of the second amendment during Obama's second term.

You heard it here first.

You did actually stay awake during civics class I take it?

In case you've forgotten, here's a recap in how it works........:banghead:

The first method is for a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. This is the route taken by all current amendments. Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th, Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment (for example, see the 21st and 22nd).

The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

MachIVshooter
April 15, 2009, 09:17 AM
They're quietly getting everyone on the same page for a rewrite of the second amendment during Obama's second term.

I expect so. "sure is quiet"..........."yeah, a little too quiet"

We all know BHO's manifesto; I don't think any of us are so deluded as to think that he and his chronies will leave it alone for any longer than they have to. They're just being good little demagogues until the stars align.

That said, we can't deny that the results of his being elected have been serendipitous to our cause in one way. No other single event has inspired so many people to become gun owners; not even 9/11 and the fear of terrorism abounding in the following weeks and months. What were the figures? 1.2 million more 4473's filled out from November to March than in that same 5 month period of '07/'08, IIRC. And how many of those had multiple purchases on a single form?

MisterMike
April 15, 2009, 09:40 AM
I am gratified to hear that the anti-Second Amendment politicians are fearful of the repercussions of gun control legislation, but I don't believe for a second that they will fail to pounce the second they feel there's an opening.

Articles like this, which try to look objective, but drip with anti-gun sentiments, are found everywhere and pop up on a daily basis.

Here's what I'd urge every one of you to do when you see this type of article: If there's an option to comment on-line, write a polite, but strong rebuttal. Don't get caught up in arguing with the rabid antis who will attack you. Make these points: (1) the RKBA is a civil right, guaranteed by the United States Constitution (it is no less a civil right that the other rights enumerated the Bill of Rights); (2) sociological studies support the notion that law-abiding armed citizens significantly reduce violent crime; and (3) the purported "facts" used to support gun control are often exaggerated or outright lies (like the intentional confusion about automatic versus semi-automatic weapons, or the intentional lies of Mexican politicians).

A steady drumbeat of logical support for the RKBA from rational people can influence others opinions.

MisterMike
April 15, 2009, 09:51 AM
They're quietly getting everyone on the same page for a rewrite of the second amendment during Obama's second term.

You heard it here first.

You did actually stay awake during civics class I take it?

In case you've forgotten, here's a recap in how it works........

The first method is for a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. This is the route taken by all current amendments. Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th, Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment (for example, see the 21st and 22nd).

The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

Just to clarify, under either method (an amendment approved by 2/3 of each house or proposed by 2/3 of the state legislatures), an amendment only becomes law if approved by 3/4 of the states. I believe that's unlikely--at least at present--but this is a reminder that the Second Amendment is under constant attack on a variety of fronts.

krs
April 15, 2009, 10:14 AM
I know the mechanism quite well, and I think that the "gun lobby" or whatever you chose to call us frequently overestimates it's sway in this country.

What makes perfect sense to me, that no gun ever harmed anyone, is not so firmly known by the man in the street, if you'll allow that collective phrase, and that more of the populace are alarmed by the violence perceived than are not. I said 'perceived' because so much of public positioning is dependent upon what is fed the public -(why, you'd wonder if there's anyone who thinks for himself any more wouldn't you?)

There are strong anti gun elements in the country, we all know that too well. But so far there has not been a strong anti gun upswelling of collective zeal, and if one is ever begun here I think an amendment to alter the second would not be far behind. It was such zeal that took booze away from our daddies for ten long years and at that time there may have been a larger percentage of the populace who took a drink than the percentage of gun owners today.

A little sampling of the sort of zeal I mean imbued the country after 9/11 and now a bit of it has got us a president no one expected.

Plinkeriffic
April 15, 2009, 02:24 PM
I hope the author is honest about this being an editorial, as biased and slanted as it is (at the expense of the truth).

If the perp lied on his firearm buying form (they ask about military discharges, restraining orders, etc.) then it's the BATF's fault he was able to arm himself, and it's a lie to say the gun shop workers could not have known (again, unless he lied, which absolves them but NOT the BATF of responsibility).

What a worthless load of snivelling posturing . . .

Duke of Doubt
April 15, 2009, 02:59 PM
I'm surprised anyone here would admit to taking a red sheet like Newsweek.

thepenismightier
April 15, 2009, 04:18 PM
Seems there are a lot of preachers and a very big choir in this thread (granted, this is a gun forum). What're bizarre about the bile being spewed (by emoticon) on anti-gunners is that our argument with them is really over semantics.

I, for one, take the majority of anti-gunners at their word when they say they don't want to repeal the 2nd. What they want is some gun control, not abolishment. And most of us in this forum would agree with them about "gun control" as a concept.

I can already feel the flame coming, but think about it. Some people draw the line at "civilians shouldn't be able to legally own nuclear weapons". For some people the line is "if it can be carried/operated by one person it's fine, if it takes support (tanks, artillery, belt-fed machine guns) it should be illegal". For some people it's "no fully automatic weapons, everything else is just dandy". For anti-gunners it's "no big guns that scare me!"...and of course that's a fluid designation which is where you get into real trouble. For a few anti-gunners it's "no guns, period, never ever," and those people are just kidding themselves.

I only know ONE person who's line is "If the government is allowed to have one, I should be allowed to have one". And good for him, but I'm leaving him and his ilk out of this conversation. The majority of us, pro- and anti-, just disagree on where the line is drawn.

Now the fact that so many antis, as DocBoCook pointed out, don't know the damn difference between a semi-automatic and a genuine "assault weapon" certainly makes them harder to reason with, and points to a need for more firearms education. Clearly people who don't know what they're talking about should stay the hell out of the decision making (like that ever happens).

But I think it's a mistake to assume, like Rep. Boren does, that an "assault-weapons ban is just an excuse to take away a sportsman's shotguns." I'm sorry, but that's just crap. Maybe there are some people in the government who would happily subjugate the general citizenry just for the heck of it, but by and large what we're dealing with is far less nefarious. Anti-gunners aren't concerned with sportsmen and they aren't concerned with shotguns. They aren't even really concerned with Assault Weapons! They're concerned with gun deaths, and they have every reason to be concerned, as do we all. If anti-gun legislation has no hope of preventing gun deaths then it's up to us to explain that to them.

And it's also up to us, as responsible gun owners, to take seriously and debate reasonably solutions that actually DO stand a chance of reducing gun violence. Let's not just generally hate on people whose primary intent is a good one...to see fewer Americans getting killed. Let's tell them why they're going about it the wrong way.

KBintheSLC
April 15, 2009, 04:59 PM
"Something is very, very wrong with the system," she says. That might sound like a sensible refrain. But you'll struggle to hear a leading Democrat repeat it these days.

Yeah, blame it on the system, not the individual... sounds like typical, moronic socialist sentiment to me. If the Dems are smart, they will avoid this issue now and later. They better not think for one second that if they shut up about it, we will forget and let down our guard. I/we will be watching them like hawks for the remainder of their little tenure.


...

thepenismightier
April 15, 2009, 06:22 PM
moronic socialist sentiment

Fixing the "system" by taking away everyone's guns sounds more like a Fascist sentiment, actually. A truly socialist solution would be "Guns for everybody! But everyone must have the same type and number of guns, and they must be paid for with tax dollars." :D

Nugilum
April 15, 2009, 06:38 PM
Ahh, the un-biased, objective media... :fire:

Duke of Doubt
April 15, 2009, 10:36 PM
The Penis Mightier: "Maybe there are some people in the government who would happily subjugate the general citizenry just for the heck of it, but by and large what we're dealing with is far less nefarious."

That's what they thought in England. Gun owners there made the mistake of using "sporting purposes" (fox hunting and target shooting) as a sort of "Alamo." Eventually the sporting purposes were destroyed -- fox hunting via class warfare and animal anthropomorthism, target shooting by inconvenience and hardware isolation (guns and ammunition must be locked up at the target range).

Don't underestimate the antis -- they want us disarmed. That's the only way they can move on to the next phase of their agenda. And any agenda that begins with crushing guns ends with crushing people.

thepenismightier
April 16, 2009, 11:12 AM
Hey! You can't say my name like that without using a faux Sean Connery voice: http://www.vidstogo.com/player.php?vfname=snl6a&ext=wmv
:evil:

As far as what's happened in England, I think there are some intrinsic sociological differences to keep in mind. England, and nearly all western european countries, have a long history of forking over a certain number of personal liberties in exchange for what they see as "security" from threats. Some of it's cultural. Much of it comes from so many different countries, often with different agendas and beliefs, bordering each other so closely with easy movement between them. And maybe there's something to their being nations with a historically feudal power system.

We've got a very different situation here in terms of geography, attitude and history. While I won't say that what happened in England couldn't happen here, I'd say that it's incredibly unlikely. We can be vigilant, but let's not panic.

As for this...
Don't underestimate the antis -- they want us disarmed...And any agenda that begins with crushing guns ends with crushing people.
You're predicating this assessment on the agendas of those antis with federal power. Assuming "crushing people" is the end game of every anti-gun politician (which I highly doubt that it is), that still says nothing of the average anti-gun civilian who has no political axe to grind. What's their end game? Why do they want us disarmed? Is it because they're masochistically looking to get "crushed" by their government? Or is it because they equate - whether correctly or not - firearms proliferation with firearms crimes?

The question I often ask antis myself is, what about Canada? We have an example of a traditionally pro-gun culture, where firearms ownership is very high, but where gun crimes are not as prevalent as they are here. I'm not saying that there's something in their system we should be emulating (and I know they're up to some gun control nonsense these days as well), but I think Canada is a useable reference when talking to antis to say, "Look...the guns themselves aren't necessarily the problem. Something else is. Let's work on the something else."

JWJacobVT
April 16, 2009, 11:24 AM
The Pen have you chatted with any gun owners in Canada???? IE what they can have for guns and how many and the amount of ammo, When they can use them (have to call local PD to go to range with PD permission to sight in rifle for hunting, then call PD when gun is back home),etc.
It is not as bad as England, but don't tell me I have to shoot high power matches with my sharps 45-70, because my Garand is illegal. OOPS can't use 45-70 as it's a military caliber and almost a 50.

thepenismightier
April 16, 2009, 11:32 AM
Right you are, and I'm ignoring Canada's specifc gun policies and focusing on how their historically pro-gun culture and ratio of guns owned to gun deaths recorded points to a problem other than guns themselves.

bigione
April 16, 2009, 12:15 PM
Isn't it interesting, all these high powered assault weapons! I'm still looking for the low powered one!!!

dudester
April 16, 2009, 01:29 PM
"Look...the guns themselves aren't necessarily the problem. Something else is. Let's work on the something else."

That is the key right there IMHO.

Duke of Doubt
April 16, 2009, 06:07 PM
< seanconnorius voce>: The Pen is Mightier: "As far as what's happened in England, I think there are some intrinsic sociological differences to keep in mind. England, and nearly all western european countries, have a long history of forking over a certain number of personal liberties in exchange for what they see as "security" from threats. Some of it's cultural. Much of it comes from so many different countries, often with different agendas and beliefs, bordering each other so closely with easy movement between them. And maybe there's something to their being nations with a historically feudal power system."

For centuries Britain required all men to train as archers. For centuries Switzerland required all men to train as riflemen. For centuries Prussian and Russian youth hunted as a necessary rite of passage to manhood. Europe had a long and proud tradition of marksmanship.

"You're predicating this assessment on the agendas of those antis with federal power. Assuming "crushing people" is the end game of every anti-gun politician (which I highly doubt that it is) ..."

That's what they said in [pick almost any European country in 1944].

"... that still says nothing of the average anti-gun civilian who has no political axe to grind. What's their end game? Why do they want us disarmed? Is it because they're masochistically looking to get "crushed" by their government?"

Believe it or not, yes -- I actually do believe that.

"The question I often ask antis myself is, what about Canada? We have an example of a traditionally pro-gun culture, where firearms ownership is very high, but where gun crimes are not as prevalent as they are here. I'm not saying that there's something in their system we should be emulating (and I know they're up to some gun control nonsense these days as well), but I think Canada is a useable reference when talking to antis to say, "Look...the guns themselves aren't necessarily the problem. Something else is. Let's work on the something else."

Drive through Toronto, then drive through Chicago. Remarkably similar cities. One major exception.

Gunnerpalace
April 16, 2009, 07:58 PM
One on Fox this morning,

"The gun dealers in the US are shipping the guns to South America who then send them to Mexico"

peacenik
April 16, 2009, 09:52 PM
... the implicit justification for stricter gun control (the message of this article) is the actions of one deranged lunatic, at the end of his road. No mention of even one of the hundreds of cases where a citizen uses a firearm in self-defense, for example this recent case in my town:

http://www.wltx.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=72671&catid=2

And no mention of the thousands of knifing deaths that take place in England every year since the banning of guns, which might lead some to believe that loonies, who have the will, can find ways to kill people with or without guns.

And then the broad brush - anyone who supports 2nd amendment rights is not a 'real democrat', and by implication, a rational being.

Shameful.

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