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2008 Democratic national platform demands re-instatement of AWB

Discussion in 'Activism' started by jlbraun, Aug 8, 2008.

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  1. jlbraun

    jlbraun Well-Known Member

    http://www.workinglife.org/storage/users/4/4/images/111/2008 democratic platform 080808.pdf

    If you are a Democrat, this needs to go. If you are active in a local chapter of the Democratic Party or are a delegate to state or national convention, you have influence in removing the bolded words.

    Here's what... someone... wrote for Daily Kos.


    Janet Napolitano is the chair of the DNCC committee that wrote this, and she's also the AZ governor.

    Here's her address.

    Write a letter or call.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    How do we go about getting this removed? Who do we contact? What should we be saying?
  3. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Danger, Will Robinson

    Realizing that there is a chance (where P > 0) that the Democrat Party could win in the General Election, it is not enough to simply ignore this and pretend that there is no threat.

    I don't expect to change spots on any anti-gunner leopards, but it needs to come home to the party that messing with gun rights is a non-starter.

    The question posted by hso above is valid.

    How do we go about getting them to think twice about this?
  4. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member

    The only "instructions" I could find on getting the platform revised were on a page talking about the 2004 platform.

    4 years out of date and looks like it hurts:

    Kinda interesting though - and I note that proxies aren't permitted in the standing committees.
  5. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Well-Known Member

    Make sure your state party platform does not have it either
  6. gp911

    gp911 Well-Known Member

    Actually it isn't code for not voting for Democrats. Here in Ohio we have a pro-2A Governor who is a Dem as well as people like Rep. Zach Space who are also pro-2A and Democrat. The party platform is anti but not all the members are.

    The reverse is also true here, as we have/had several Republicans who were left-leaning. For being such a bellwether state our politics looks like bizarro world.

    One could seek out the pro 2-A Dems and appeal to them to try to change the party platform. Letters, emails, best bet is to speak to them in person I think.

  7. Marcus84

    Marcus84 Well-Known Member

    Didn't SCOTUS say in Heller that common weapons could not be banned? I know that is yet to be defined but I would there be a good case to challenge an AWB in court?
  8. camslam

    camslam Well-Known Member

    This is exactly why I discussed the upcoming problems and the queasiness all gun owners should have, in this thread.


    We are in trouble. The Dems aren't going to come straight on after every gun, but with Obama, Pelosi, Schumer (Reid is a puppet), and 2 new radically liberal appointments to the Supreme Court, we are going to be in trouble.

    How do you fix it? I don't know, I have often asked myself and others that same question. A few suggestions:

    1. Convert someone to the sport or idea of owing and shooting guns. The more people we have on our side, the better.

    2. Contact your elected officials on a regular basis and let them know your views on the 2nd amendment and why you have them.

    3. Refuse to support any politician if they are not completely 100% pro-second amendment.

    It is an uphill battle we face, given what will probably happen this fall. I know guns and the 2nd amendment aren't the top priority for a lot of people that post here on THR, but really, if you are a gun owner and you are voting for Obama, there is something wrong with that picture. Still your choice though. Please choose wisely.
  9. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus


    When you're addressing someone who doesn't see "what's the big deal" with regard to crushing infringements of the Second Amendment, it is well to remind them that once the basic precedent of nullifying one amendment in the Bill of Rights has been established, that greases the slope for nullification of the others.

    And, with the Second Amendment effectively gone, and the Executive and Congress change hands again -- which they, of course, will -- the bulwark that would keep the other guys from oppressing them will be gone as well.

    For some reason, people who desire power and control -- all in the name of Democracy, of course -- and who have this grand vision of how it will be "once WE'RE in control" -- tend to forget that they will not ALWAYS be in power. Unless, of course, they plan to eliminate the democratic structure and process once they're "in charge."

    Which would explain why it's so urgent to eliminate effective tools of resistance.

    "So, Dude, when you give ALL the power to the government, what happens when the government changes hands, and the OTHER guys are in charge? You think your rights are compromised NOW? Vote for the guys you think will do the best job, but keep the power where it belongs: with the PEOPLE."

    You won't change the minds of the guys at the top, but if you can reach the folks down a few tiers and remind them that power corrupts, perhaps they can rein in the leadership a bit. The leadership will still want bans, but when it starts looking like it will hurt their broad popularity, it may give them pause.
  10. SCKimberFan

    SCKimberFan Well-Known Member

    Where are you getting 2 justices? At best, 1 liberal will retire, the other is a swing voye quite frequently. Unless they all retire, TEOTWAWKI is not coming yet.
  11. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Well-Known Member

    I wish the democrats would go pro RKBA and 2A. I really dislike the republican party and their infringements on our liberty and privacy(think PATRIOT act), but I don't like the idea of an AWB any better.
  12. jlbraun

    jlbraun Well-Known Member

    Here's what... someone... wrote for Daily Kos.


    2008 Dem platform demands reinstatement of Assault Weapons Ban, Dem election losses ahead? Hotlist

    Yes, you read that right. In this diary, I will lay out the history of this dubious policy, why it needs to be dropped from our Dem platform permanently, and what you can do about it.

    This diary is not going to provide a case for or against assault weapons bans on said ban's social utility or harm, nor is this diary meant as a discussion of the right to arms per se. Comments about such things do not belong here.

    What this diary is about (and what we should be discussing) is that regardless of your feelings on the assault weapons ban, it affects our election chances for the worse in close elections.

    Yes, you read that right. In this diary, I will lay out the history of this dubious policy, why it needs to be dropped from our Dem platform permanently, and what you can do about it. <strong>This diary is not going to provide a case for or against assault weapons bans on said ban's social utility or harm, nor is this diary meant as a discussion of the right to arms <em>per se</em>. Comments about such things do not belong here. </strong> <strong>What this diary is about (and what we should be discussing) is that regardless of your feelings on the assault weapons ban, it affects our election chances for the worse in close elections.</strong>

    First, here's the draft policy.

    We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition,
    and we will preserve Americans’ continued Second Amendment right to own and use
    firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together
    to enact and enforce common-sense laws and improvements, like closing the gun show
    loophole, improving our background check system and reinstating the assault weapons
    ban, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Acting responsibly
    and with respect for differing views on this issue, we can both protect the constitutional
    right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.

    So, let's begin.

    What is an assault weapon? Why are we even talking about them?

    The term "assault weapon" did not exist in either the common American lexicon or appear in any federal-level position paper before about 1992. Though the term existed previous to this, its usage was confined to individual states. Its first recorded national usage in 1992 was in a Republican position paper authored with the help of the Brady Campaign, then known as Handgun Control, Inc. This paper identified several characteristics of the newly-coined "assault weapon" definition, and pointed the finger at "assault weapons" and the features that made them especially useful in crime.

    The list of features that make a weapon an "assault weapon" change based on jurisdiction, political agenda, and wording. A gun may be an "assault weapon" if it has one or more of the following:

    *Ability to accept a detachable magazine
    *Ability to hold 10 or more rounds
    *Semi-automatic operation
    *A pistol grip
    *A folding stock
    *and many others including "military appearance", flash hiders, etc.

    This diary is not meant to be an exhaustive exploration of the "assault weapon" issue, and neither should the comments be. That information is easily available elsewhere.

    The federal assault weapons ban of 1994 and the 2000 defeat of Gore

    The original ban passed the House on 13 September 1994 and was signed into law the same day. It had several immediate effects. The first was a jump in prices of all magazines over ten rounds.

    The second was a galvanization of all gun owners under the umbrella of the NRA. Indeed, it can be said that the 1994 assault weapons ban finalized the transition of the NRA from a fairly politically bipartisan gun safety and marksmanship organization into a mostly Republican-controlled political machine (the NRA did not even endorse a candidate in the 1992 or 1996 presidential election). The NRA in its current right-tilted orientation could not exist without the 1994 law.

    The third was a small eruption of immediate losses in both the House and Senate in the 1994 and 1996 congressional elections, counting a total of 39 members of Congress from both parties. Here's a paperdescribing these races.
    An effort to repeal the 1994 law was stalled in the 1996 Congress after a repeal bill had passed the House, but was never allowed to come to the Senate floor for a vote.

    (I am aware that Clinton won the 1996 election despite his support and signing of the Assault Weapons Ban. It wasn't a close race, and there was no NRA endorsement of Dole. This diary refers to close races with NRA endorsements.)

    The last, of course, was the defeat of Gore in the close 2000 election. Gore failed to win even his home state of Tennessee (uncommon in Presidential elections), as well as the swing states of Arkansas, Florida and West Virginia. Polling indicated that Gore's support of the assault weapons ban contributed to these key losses (USA Today), and even Clinton acknowledged the NRA's role in hurting Gore (CBS interview). Yes, I know they cheated in Florida. You know they cheated in Florida. But did we have to make it so damn easy? Florida has the epithet "Gunshine State" in some circles. Think Gore's support of the assault weapons ban helped or hurt him in FL?

    Again, it doesn't matter what you think about the NRA. What matters is that even Clinton acknowledged that they successfully hurt Gore's chances in a very organized effort.

    And ask yourself - would we be in Iraq right now under a Gore presidency? Don't answer that yet.

    The 2004 sunset of the original ban and the defeat of Kerry

    On 13 September 2004, the 1994 law sunset. Efforts for a renewal were fierce. Our nominee, John Kerry, was extraordinarily vocal in his support of the renewal, and even pointedly came off the campaign trail to vote for the renewal and issued a press release giving his reasons. The NRA kicked into high gear, throwing off press releases and member notifications weekly. They called him "the most anti-gun Presidential nominee in United States history." Mostly wrong, but with a kernel of truth.

    He lost. Again, gun-owning swing states like OH, TN, FL, WV, and IN were the deciding factors, and FL and OH were very close. Could not the election results have been different?

    And ask yourself - would we have been on a better track towards leaving Iraq if Kerry was in office? Or some other Dem that wasn't so dead set on renewing the Assault Weapons Ban? Don't answer that yet.

    The 2007 attempt at reinstatement and its complete failure

    In 2007, the bill was again introduced (don't we learn?) by Carolyn McCarthy - and this time without any expiration date. She famously appeared on CNN to tout the bill, but when questioned on even the most basic parts of the law "what is a barrel shroud?" she had no idea what the terms in her own bill meant, thus adding "shoulder thing that goes up" to the national lexicon. It could hardly be easier to make us Dems look like complete morons.

    Despite gathering 66 cosponsors (mostly Dems - WHY?) the bill died before being brought to the floor. 66 cosponsors is more than enough to usually get a bill out there for a floor vote. Why didn't this one get out?

    Massive grassroots opposition, headed by the NRA.

    There is currently a 2008 version of this bill, but it (thankfully) isn't going anywhere.


    There is at least some correlation between Democratic support for federal level gun control and Democratic election losses, and the NRA has an effect. What the exact degree of this correlation is I will not venture to explore, but it is enough to say that it exists and that it is not insignificant. What the exact degree of the NRA's effect is I will not venture a guess either, but it is enough to say that it exists and it is not insignificant.

    So, now some talking points for my fellow Dems, explaining why not supporting a federal assault weapons ban won't hurt us and might help

    First, there is a non-zero correlation between Democratic gun control and Democratic losses at the federal level. I've shown this above.

    Second, the US cultural environment regarding guns has changed towards liberalizing gun laws. Since 1994, more and more states have signed legislation liberalizing concealed carry, affirming the right to defend your home, and making the confiscation of firearms in natural disasters illegal. Moreover, a lot of these bills have been introduced, sponsored, and voted for by Dems.

    Third, the judicial environment regarding guns has changed. Does Heller vs. DC ring a bell? Simply put, an assault weapons ban might have flown before this case, but with Heller recognizing that there is at least some right to have a gun for defense in your home, a federal ban now has much shakier ground (some would say no ground at all) to stand on.

    Fourth, gun ownership is election-deciding for pro-gun people and a non-priority for everyone else. Polls right now have Obama and McCain in a statistical dead heat. If we Dems stay neutral on guns with a plank like "we will support Americans' 2nd Amendment right to own firearms" and end there, it only costs the votes of a tiny splinter our party while ensuring more stay with us. Sure, some people might want more regulations of some kind, but they've repeatedly shown that they're not going to vote based on it. For those that want more liberal gun laws, they have shown that they will vote on it. And voting issues are what matter. If we go negative on guns, all 25 million Dem gun owners (yes, 25 million. 39% of gun owners are Dems) have reason to start putting Dem candidates under a microscope. And all gun owners are already skittish because of our party's "ban semi-autos, ban concealed carry, ban assault weapons, register all guns" past. Not all gun owners are Republicans, some are Dems - and we desperately need to keep them.

    Last, and most importantly, it's self-contradicting policy. The plank says: "we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne." But a federal assault weapons ban is in fact saying that what Chicago wants dern well better work in Cheyenne. How's that for talking out of both sides of your mouth? Let's just drop it.

    How can you help remove this election-losing plank from the platform?

    First, if you're a local party member, resolutions need to work themselves up from the ground level. Use these talking points at your local meetings. Propose resolutions and try to get them implemented locally - and pass them up the chain.

    Second, write letters to your Congresscritters asking them not to support further bans, as it might cost them their jobs and as a Dem you want to see them stay in Congress.

    Third, write Janet Napolitano, the author of the DNCC platform and AZ governor.

    Her address is:

    DNCC Chair
    The Honorable Janet Napolitano
    Governor of Arizona
    1700 West Washington
    Phoenix, Arizona 85007

    Telephone (602) 542-4331
    Toll Free 1-(800) 253-0883
    Fax (602) 542-1381

    Write real letters. Emails, online polls, all mean squat. Goes the old saw:

    1 email means that 1 person out there feels the same way.
    1 fax means that 10 people out there feel the same way.
    1 telephone call means that 100 people out there feel the same way.
    1 snail mail letter means that 1000 people out there feel the same way!

    Again. This diary is not about gun rights, and comments about gun rights aren't on topic. It doesn't matter what you think about gun rights, what matters is if you want to see us Dems win the Presidency. What is on topic is discussing the seeming correlation between Dem support of assault weapons bans and Dem losses - and what we should do about it.
  13. jlbraun

    jlbraun Well-Known Member

  14. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Well-Known Member

    You know, this is a good point. One of my colleagues is a socialist. I mean, truly, the guy is trying to move to Norway because he likes government controlled everything. Anyhow, he said he wishes the US was the same way. I said, what you're saying is you want left-wing socialism. What happens if after a decade or so the government changes to a right-wing socialist government? He left the room in a huff. Anyway, it's always a possibility.

    I remember during the Clinton years, people were advocating for the AWB on the basis that, "we didn't need military weapons, because we're not really at the risk for foreign invasion, nor will we likely have a dictatorial and corrupt president..." Of course, low and behold, turn to 2004-present and the left won't shut the hell up about Bush being a dictator. Also, for a group so damn afraid of the military, they seem very willing to give up their own guns and thus be possibly subjugated.

    Anyway, my point is, according to their logic, we still do need these weapons to defend ourselves against domestic enemies.
  15. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Well-Known Member

    It has been political death for democratic politicians to espouse any form of gun control for the past few years.

    The liberal think tanks have advised that anti-gun democrats run saying, "I support the Second Admendment and the ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizens, IN CONJUNCTION WITH SENSIBLE GUN LAWS . . .

    In other words, they "support" the second admendment to avoid losing votes, while pushing new SENSIBLE gun laws.

    Who the hell do you imagine will define what is meant by SENSIBLE gun laws onces these anti's get in power? "Sensible" to who? Not to me or you.

    By then it will be too late, and soon you can expect them to state that it is "sensible" to ban virtually all your guns!

    Sensible my azzzz . . .

    There's a foul wind a'blowin.'

  16. taprackbang

    taprackbang member


    What is 'common sense' about infringing upon the rights of Americans to arm themselves against tyranny?
    These dems think they are 'common sense.' (Common sense Communists)
    And if I remember correctly, McCain supported the ridiculous 'gun show loophole' bullcrap too.

    It's like, "Democrat or Republican?" OR "Coke or Pepsi?" Pick your poison!

  17. Old Guy

    Old Guy Well-Known Member

    Did not the wording of the Second amendment victory state that a citizen conscript of yester year with a muzzle loader now translates to a modern equivalent, IE a AR15? Therefore making a ban on hi cap magazines, or semi auto weapons a non starter?

    Maybe in reading those many legal tomes bent my perception?
  18. yourang?

    yourang? Well-Known Member

    i tried

    a few weeks ago, the local branch of the democratic county committee
    had a platform meeting, where it was requested that planks for the
    platform be discussed and offered to the national committee "from the
    ground up", as if they really wanted to know what were the issues
    that concern the "feet on the ground" local democrat

    they wanted to have us offer the top three concerns

    i went and tried to get 2A/gun control discussed as a plank on the
    upcomping national convention

    well, i was basically blown off, being told "this is not an issue"

    so the basic issues of national security, econony and fuel were
    the issues that "won"

    it was very frustrating, but i tried, with no success

    this is the true political "third rail"

    if the democrats dont want to deal with that, they will have to
    accept the results of losing the election over a simple three
    letter phrase that is hidden in their national platform: AWB

    ps....i am a lifelong democrat and involved in politics on the local level
  19. elChupacabra!

    elChupacabra! member

    Here's the letter I've written, and am mailing out today:

    DNCC Chair
    The Honorable Janet Napolitano
    Governor of Arizona
    1700 West Washington
    Phoenix, AZ
    Dear Governor Napolitano:
    I am writing to you in regard to the Democratic National Committee platform’s insistence on reinstating the so-called Assault Weapons Ban. As a proud, free American citizen, I deeply value the right defended by the Second Amendment to possess efficient, effective arms for the lawful defense of my home, my family and my country. I believe that any attempt to ban the most efficient and effective arms currently available to civilians, rifles classified as so-called “assault weapons,” is a direct infringement of this right, and must be opposed at all opportunities.

    As a currently registered Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic Primary election, I, just as you, wish to see a change in the Executive office of this country away from global expansionism, disregard for international relations, and favor to the most privileged few at the expense of the rest of the American citizenry. I would gladly support any Democratic candidate who could restore an element of honor to the Office of the President.

    Be this as it may, I cannot, in good conscience, cast my vote for any candidate or party who advocates or intends to strip the most precious of American freedoms from their constituents – namely, the bearing of arms. I believe that, in truth, bearing effective arms – such as were borne by our forefathers who defeated the tyrannical British government with military rifles – is the final line of defense the American people possess against tyranny and oppression, and is, ultimately, the defender of all our cherished liberties.

    Therefore, I urge you and the Democratic National Committee to reconsider your stance on what you allege, dishonestly, to be “reasonable” and “common-sense” restrictions against a right the Constitution specifically states “shall not be infringed.”

    I assure you, I am but one of many voters who has no love for Republican politics, but will most certainly vote against any Democratic nominee to any office of this Land who would endeavor to strip any Constitutionally guaranteed civil right – especially the bearing of arms – from my Countrymen and myself.

    Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

    Now I don't necessarily like BHO even if it wasn't for guns... but for the most part it's true, and maybe it'll get someone's attention ;)
  20. elChupacabra!

    elChupacabra! member

    Also, I got my wife to sign this letter I drafted on her behalf (she's not pro-gun but she's not an anti either... shes relatively ambivalent on the issue, but I'm working on her - she used to be VERY anti!)

    DNCC Chair
    The Honorable Janet Napolitano
    Governor of Arizona
    1700 West Washington
    Phoenix, AZ
    Dear Governor Napolitano:
    I want to write you today in reference to the Democratic National Committee’s recently released draft of the 2008 Platform – specifically, the statement that the Democratic party intends to reinstate the “Assault Weapons Ban.” As a lifelong voting Democrat, I believe that pressing this issue will seriously impede the Democratic Party’s efforts for a successful November election.

    Historically, pushing for increased gun control legislation has not drawn any additional votes for the Democratic party who would have, otherwise, not voted, yet the inverse is certainly true – those who OPPOSE gun control legislation come out of the woodworks to vote against any party or candidate who would advocate these laws. Pushing for additional gun control legislation is suicidal for a Democratic party which desperately needs every vote it can get in this political dead heat.

    My husband is an excellent example. He voted with me for Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic Primary election and sincerely desires to see change in this Nation’s government – but he will staunchly refuse to vote into the Office of the President ANY candidate who advocates any gun control measures, especially an assault weapons ban. In the swing state of Tennessee, you can be certain that he isn’t the only one, and his vote may well be the one that costs the DNC the Presidency.

    Please, in the interest of our country, I urge you and the Democratic Party to remove any language from the platform that advocates a reinstatement of an unpopular and ineffective law that cost the Democratic party control of both the Senate and the House in the 1990s, as well as the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections. Do not let 2008 be the third Republican Presidential victory over an issue that is marginal to Democratic interests and central to Republican ones.

    Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this critical issue.

    Just some more food for thought to any of you who are considering writing in and don't know what to say, though please don't copy and paste it directly, as I worked hard to make these letters original and thought provoking... anyway, FWIW :)
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