Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

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John F
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Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:58 am

Amen.

A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip
By GABRIELLE GIFFORDS
Published: April 17, 2013

WASHINGTON - Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.

On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count.

Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.

I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending.

Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo — desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation — to go on.

I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth about the cowardice these senators demonstrated. I am asking for mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote. I am asking activists to unsubscribe from these senators’ e-mail lists and to stop giving them money. I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences.

People have told me that I’m courageous, but I have seen greater courage. Gabe Zimmerman, my friend and staff member in whose honor we dedicated a room in the United States Capitol this week, saw me shot in the head and saw the shooter turn his gunfire on others. Gabe ran toward me as I lay bleeding. Toward gunfire. And then the gunman shot him, and then Gabe died. His body lay on the pavement in front of the Safeway for hours.

I have thought a lot about why Gabe ran toward me when he could have run away. Service was part of his life, but it was also his job. The senators who voted against background checks for online and gun-show sales, and those who voted against checks to screen out would-be gun buyers with mental illness, failed to do their job.

They looked at these most benign and practical of solutions, offered by moderates from each party, and then they looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby — and brought shame on themselves and our government itself by choosing to do nothing.

They will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done — trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you — but their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest. I say misplaced, because to preserve their dignity and their legacy, they should have heeded the voices of their constituents. They should have honored the legacy of the thousands of victims of gun violence and their families, who have begged for action, not because it would bring their loved ones back, but so that others might be spared their agony.

This defeat is only the latest chapter of what I’ve always known would be a long, hard haul. Our democracy’s history is littered with names we neither remember nor celebrate — people who stood in the way of progress while protecting the powerful. On Wednesday, a number of senators voted to join that list.

Mark my words: if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/opini ... -grip.html
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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:02 am

April 17, 2013
‘A Pretty Shameful Day’ in Washington
By ANDREW ROSENTHAL

That’s how President Obama characterized the shockingly cowardly act by which the United States Senate betrayed the victims of the Newtown massacre and every American who has been killed by gun violence since then. Ninety-percent of Americans support expanded background checks, but 45 percent of the Senate killed a bill that would have provided that expansion – without infringing in the slightest way on the Second Amendment.

Mr. Obama was as angry and as clear as I’ve ever seen him. He said “the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied” about the background checks bill, which was a bipartisan proposal by two senators who are strong on gun rights – Senator Pat Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania and Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia.

Mr. Obama said, rightly, that “there were no coherent arguments” by opponents of the bill, which included four Democrats in the Senate. Their claim, for example, that the bill would have created a national registry of gunowners was a bald-faced lie. The bill actually created a new felony for using background checks to create a registry.

“Who are we here to represent?” Mr. Obama said. “I’ve heard folks say that having families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. A prop somebody called them. Emotional blackmail some outlets said. Are they serious? Do we really think that thousands of families who lives have been shattered by gun violence do not have a right to weigh in on this issue?”

Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son, Daniel, was murdered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, preceded Mr. Obama at the lectern in the Rose Garden. “What happened in Newtown can happen anywhere,”Mr. Barden said. “In an instant any dad in America could be in my shoes.”

Mr. Barden and Mr. Obama said they had not given up hope that America’s lawmakers can be persuaded to finally enact sensible, constitutional, unthreatening gun regulations. I admire their optimism. I don’t share it.

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/201 ... ashington/

Neither do I. Gabrielle Giffords has got it right. Throw the bums out.
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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:06 am

The Senate Fails Americans
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Published: April 17, 2013

For 45 senators, the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a forgotten tragedy. The toll of 270 Americans who are shot every day is not a problem requiring action. The easy access to guns on the Internet, and the inevitability of the next massacre, is not worth preventing.

Those senators, 41 Republicans and four Democrats, killed a bill on Wednesday to expand background checks for gun buyers. It was the last, best hope for meaningful legislation to reduce gun violence after a deranged man used semiautomatic weapons to kill 20 children and six adults at the school in Newtown, Conn., 18 weeks ago. A ban on assault weapons was voted down by 60 senators; 54 voted against a limit on bullet magazines.

Patricia Maisch, who survived a mass shooting in Tucson in 2011, spoke for many in the country when she shouted from the Senate gallery: “Shame on you.”

Newtown, in the end, changed nothing; the overwhelming national consensus to tighten a ridiculously lax set of gun laws was stopped cold. That’s because the only thing that mattered to these lawmakers was a blind and unthinking fealty to the whims of the gun lobby.

The National Rifle Association once supported the expansion of background checks, but it decided this time that President Obama and gun-control advocates could not be allowed even a scintilla of a victory, no matter how sensible. That group, and others even more militant, wanted to make sure not one bill emerged from the Newtown shooting, and they got their way. A vast majority of Republicans meekly followed along, joined by a few nervous red-state Democrats, giving far more weight to a small, shrill and largely rural faction than to the country’s overwhelming need for safety and sanity.

Guns had not been on the president’s campaign agenda, but, to his credit, he and Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. came up with a solid package of proposals after Newtown that would have reduced the number of dangerous weapons on the street and in the hands of criminals. Mr. Obama traveled the country to promote it in 13 speeches, and he has spent the last weeks unsuccessfully trying to pry senators out of the pocket of the gun lobby.

The most important aspect of his proposal, in the eyes of many gun-control advocates, was the expansion of background checks, both because it closed an important loophole and because it seemed the easiest to pass. From 20 percent to 40 percent of all gun sales now take place without a background check, and the bill rejected on Wednesday would have required the check for buyers at gun shows, on the Internet and at other commercially advertised sales. It was sponsored by two pro-gun senators with the courage to buck the lobby, Joe Manchin III, a Democrat of West Virginia, and Patrick Toomey, a Republican of Pennsylvania.

The critical need for this measure was illustrated by a report in The Times on Wednesday that showed how easy it is for criminals to buy weapons on the Internet without a look at their backgrounds. One widely popular Web site contains tens of thousands of private postings of gun sales, and The Times’s investigation found that many buyers and sellers were criminals. Some of the guns have been used to kill.

A vote to continue this practice would be hard to explain to constituents, so lawmakers simply invented reasons to oppose background checks. Some insisted it would lead to a national gun registry, though the plain language of the bill prohibited that. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said it would raise taxes. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said it would require checks even when a gun sale is posted on an office bulletin board. (There’s nothing wrong with that, but it wouldn’t.) Mr. Obama, after the vote, said those who made these arguments had “willfully lied.”

It’s now up to voters to exact a political price from those who defied the public’s demand, and Mr. Obama was forceful in promising to lead that effort. Wednesday was just Round 1, he said; the next step is to replace those whose loyalty is given to a lobby rather than the people.

“Sooner or later, we are going to get this right,” he said. “The memories of these children demand it, and so do the American people.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/opini ... bills.html
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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:53 am

This is the roll of shame of the Senators who voted against the amendment to extend background checks for gun purchasers at gun shows and on the Internet and killed any possibility of gun control legislation.

Richard Shelby - R Alabama
*Jeff Sessions - R Alabama
Lisa Murkowski - R Alaska
*Mark Begich - D Alaska
Jeff Flake - R Arizona
*Mark Pryor - D Arkansas
John Boozman - R Arkansas
Marco Rubio - R Florida
*Saxby Chambliss - R Georgia
Johnny Isakson - R Georgia
Mike Crapo - R Idaho
*Jim Risch - R Idaho
Dan Coats - R Indiana
Chuck Grassley - R Iowa
*Pat Roberts - R Kansas
Jerry Moran - R Kansas
*Mitch McConnell - R Kentucky
Rand Paul - R Kentucky
David Vitter - R Louisiana
*Thad Cochran - R Mississippi
Roger Wicker - R Mississippi
Roy Blunt - R Missouri
*Max Baucus - D Montana
*Mike Johanns - R Nebraska
Deb Fischer - R Nebraska
Dean Heller - R Nevada
*Kelly Ayotte - R New Hampshire
Richard Burr - R North Carolina
John Hoeven - R North Dakota
Heidi Heitkamp - D North Dakota
Rob Portman - R Ohio
*Jim Inhofe - R Oklahoma
Tom Coburn - R Oklahoma
*Lindsay Graham - R South Carolina
Tim Scott - R South Carolina
John Thune - R South Dakota
*Lamar Alexander - R Tennessee
Bob Corker - R Tennessee
*John Cornyn - R Texas
Jose Cruz - R Texas
Orrin Hatch - R Utah
Ron Johnson - R Wisconsin
*Mike Enzi - R Wyoming
John Barrasso - R Wyoming

Once the vote was lost, Majority leader Harry Reid (D Nevada) switched his vote from aye to no for procedural reasons, so that Senate rules will allow him to bring up the measure again.

Republican Senators with the courage to vote for the amendment were Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Illinois), John McCain (Arizona), and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania).

* marks those whose terms will end in 2015 and may be running for reelection. Note that they include all but one of the Democrats who joined the shameful minority. Sixteen possible targets for Mayor Bloomberg's political action committee, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund.
Last edited by John F on Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:34 am

On gun control, courage in short supply
By Dana Milbank
Published: April 17

The gun bill was going down, but Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who reached a compromise to try to save it, went to the Senate floor Wednesday morning to give it one more try. In an unorthodox tactic, he appealed directly to the woman taking her turn in the presiding officer’s chair, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), one of the few remaining undeclared lawmakers.

“I think there is a time in our life, a defining time in public service,” he said, “when you know the facts are on your side and walk into the lion’s den.” Manchin, usually plain-spoken, was emotional and personal, making several references to Heitkamp and her state. “Even if politics are risky,” he said, “remember the words of Andrew Jackson: ‘The brave man inattentive to his duty is worth little more to his country than the coward who deserts in the hour of danger.’ ”

The newly elected Heitkamp turned to face Manchin and listened intently to his plea. Minutes later, her office issued a written statement saying she didn’t “see a path” to support Manchin’s proposal.

Courage was in short supply at the Capitol on Wednesday. The overwhelming majority of Americans favor the sort of background checks that Manchin and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) had proposed to keep weapons from the felonious and the insane. A majority of senators supported it, too. But too many cowered in the face of fierce opposition from the National Rifle Association.

And so, four months after the massacre of first-graders at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., families of victims and gun-violence survivors were watching from the Senate gallery as the centerpiece of gun-control efforts went down to defeat. “Shame on you!” two women in the gallery called out after proponents of the background checks came up short of the required 60 votes.

Vice President Biden, who had taken over the officer’s chair, gaveled for order, and Capitol police removed the women. But Manchin gathered with the families after the vote and expressed his wish that lawmakers could show “just one ounce of the courage” the grieving relatives had shown.

There were moments of courage on the Senate floor Wednesday. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), seriously ill with cancer, had traveled to Washington to cast his vote. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gave an uncharacteristically moving speech explaining why he was reversing his position and would vote for a ban on military-style assault rifles (the proposal failed, 40 to 60). Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) defied most in his party to speak, and vote, in favor of the background-check measure.

Bravest of all were Manchin and Toomey, both risking their “A” ratings from the NRA to follow their consciences. “This isn’t gun control, this is common sense,” Toomey told his colleagues in the closing minutes of Wednesday’s debate.

Just last week, lobbying efforts by Newtown families helped beat back a Republican filibuster. But in the end, even a modest proposal couldn’t compete with the gun lobby’s might. The four Republicans who supported the compromise were canceled out by the four Democrats who opposed it. But the victory was fleeting. The Post’s Ed O’Keefe chronicled the minute-by-minute demise of the Manchin-Toomey bill this week, as fence-sitters declared their opposition:

12:30 p.m. Monday, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).

8:23 p.m. Monday, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).

11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

5:56 p.m. Tuesday, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.).

10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).

12:28 p.m. Wednesday, Heitkamp.

Manchin, wearing a green pin on his lapel in memory of the Connecticut victims, labored for his bill throughout the day on the Senate floor. “I’m an A-rated, lifetime card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association,” he reminded his colleagues, before denouncing as a “lie” and “hogwash” the NRA’s claims about his bill.

As Republicans rose to criticize the compromise as a “slippery slope” toward a national gun registry (Chuck Grassley of Iowa) and “a legislative misfire” (Richard Shelby of Alabama), Manchin rose, too — politely asking them to yield and then reminding them of the facts. But by then, the outcome was set.

As the clerk called the roll, lawmakers on both sides gave Manchin consoling pats on the back. Toward the end of the vote, the doors parted and aides wheeled in the frail Lautenberg. Manchin walked over, leaned down, and planted a kiss on the cheek of his ailing colleague, who belted out a hearty “aye.” In a chamber of the feckless, the embracing men cut a profile in courage.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html
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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:37 am

The Senate misfires on gun control
By Editorial Board
Published: April 17

A cowardly minority of senators blocked a gun background-check proposal on Wednesday, in one vote betraying both the will of the American people and the charge voters gave them to work in their interest. But at least those senators avoided a rebuke from the National Rifle Association.

Expanding background checks on would-be gun buyers is an idea that almost everyone endorses, because it’s an obvious thing to do. It doesn’t infringe on Second Amendment rights. It doesn’t restrict what weapons people can buy, as an assault-weapons ban or restriction on large-capacity magazines would. It closes some glaring loopholes in the system that are more than a decade old, loopholes that allow people to buy vast quantities of deadly weapons at gun shows and on the Internet without having their names checked against mental health and criminal records. Ninety percent of Americans support this reform.

The proposal before the Senate on Wednesday would not even have required a background check before every gun transfer. Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) had worked out a compromise that would have allowed person-to-person gun transfers in non-commercial settings to occur without scrutiny. But, along with new measures to crack down on “straw purchases,” the plan would have helped keep guns from those who should not have them. The proposal was, in other words, the very least — the bare minimum — that lawmakers could do to prevent more guns from ending up in the wrong hands.

Yet most Republicans and a handful of Democrats — Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) — couldn’t locate enough backbone even to vote for the bare minimum.

Perhaps most insulting was the bizarre conspiracy theories on which many of the opponents grounded their disapproval. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), for example, claimed that passing the ­Manchin-Toomey plan would put the country “inexorably on the path to a push for a federal registry.” Yet the proposal specifically outlawed any national gun registration scheme — and federal authorities wouldn’t have been allowed to keep background-check records.

On the Senate floor, Sen. John McCain (R-Nev.) spoke of the political courage of Mr. Manchin and Mr. Toomey. Also on the list is Mr. McCain himself, who pushed against the political head winds to vote for the proposal, along with Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and red-state Democrats Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (La.). Though it seems odd to call what should have been an easy vote a courageous one, 46 of their colleagues failed that test.

Following Wednesday’s vote, President Obama said the episode was “just round one,” and he promised to keep pushing on gun policy. But it’s now unclear — at best — whether the Senate will manage to pass any gun legislation at all in the year following the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Conn., a tragedy that followed the carnage at an Aurora, Colo., theater, which was not so long after the mass shooting involving former representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson. Maybe more background checks and tools to fight gun trafficking wouldn’t have stopped all of these tragedies. But they could prevent another — and cut back on the horror of everyday gun violence that afflicts this country.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html
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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by sans maitre » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:33 am

Who Cares What the Majority Wants on Guns?
Whether Democrats like it or not, this issue concerns the Constitution.
David Harsanyi | April 18, 2013


Well, the unthinkable happened. The Senate's sweeping gun legislation came up short on the votes required to move forward. And despite all the idealistic calls for passage and despite the fact that many pundits and advocates seem to believe that something should be law simply because "the vast majority of Americans" support it, not every issue deserves a majoritarian decision.

To begin with, whether Democrats like it or not, this issue concerns the Constitution -- where stuff was written down for a reason. That's not to say that expanding background checks or banning "assault rifles" would be unconstitutional (though you may believe they both should be). It's to say that when you begin meddling with protections explicitly laid out in the founding document, a 60-vote threshold that slows down stampeding legislators is the least we deserve.

The Founding Fathers worried that "some common impulse of passion" might lead many to subvert the rights of the few. It's a rational fear, one that is played out endlessly. Obama, who understands how to utilize public passion better than most, flew some of the Newtown families to Washington for a rally, imploring Americans to put "politics" aside and stop engaging in "political stunts." This is, by any measure, a preposterous assertion coming from a politician piggybacking tragic events for political gain. It would have been one thing, I suppose, if the gun control legislation written in the aftershock of a gruesome massacre had anything to do with the topic at hand. But what senators came up with would have done nothing to stop the shooter in Newtown -- or the one in Aurora, Colo. Passions can be aggravated by events, but in this case, events have little to do with the policy at hand.

Cabinet positions and judges should probably not be held up over ideological concerns. But if Washington is internalizing the 60-vote threshold as the barrier to pass legislation, voters should be grateful. Considering Washington's propensity to politicize everything and its increasingly centralized power (what your health care looks like is now up for national referendums, for instance), slowing things down can only help.

I'm not operating under the delusion that any of this is good national politics for Republicans -- though the arguments about obstructionism's dooming the GOP are probably overblown. No doubt, when the next disaster hits -- and it will -- Democrats will blame the overlords at the National Rifle Association and Republicans for the act of a madman. That's life.

But generally speaking, it'd be nice if Congress occasionally challenged the vagaries of American majority "instinct." Though it might seem antithetical to their very existence, politicians should be less susceptible to the temporary whims, ideological currents and fears of the majority. Theoretically, at least, elected officials' first concern is the Constitution. And if the need for gun control is predicated chiefly on the polls taken immediately after a traumatic national event, they have a perfectly reasonable justification to slow things down. In fact, if Washington internalizes the 60-vote threshold as a matter of routine, voters should be grateful. Considering Washington's propensity to politicize everything and its increasingly centralized power (what your health care looks like is now up for national referendums, for instance), this might be the only way left to diffuse democracy.

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:15 am

David Harsanyi wrote:this issue concerns the Constitution
It does not. It concerns the Senate's own rules of procedure which permit the filibuster, a privilege which the Republicans have been abusing for years. The Senate's rules are not written into the constitution and the Senate can change them by majority vote whenever it has the will and the good sense. There was talk of doing so after the last election, but the Democrats lost their nerve. If they hadn't and the rules had been changed, the gun control amendments would have passed the Senate. "Voters should be grateful?" Bull. They should be angry, and they should take their anger out on the politicians who, to protect their own jobs, knowingly and deliberately voted to thwart the ascertained will of the people - not a bare majority of the people but 90%.

It's easy to say that the House Republicans would have voted the bills down anyway, and probably they would have. But who knows? With a passed bill on their desks and the president eager to sign it into law, and with an eye on reelection next year when they will have to account to the voters, some Republicans might have heard the people's footsteps behind them and braved the NRA's power to buy elections. And maybe, just maybe, the people would have thrown some of the bums out. Maybe they will.
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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by slofstra » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:23 am

sans maitre wrote:Who Cares What the Majority Wants on Guns?
Whether Democrats like it or not, this issue concerns the Constitution.
David Harsanyi | April 18, 2013


Well, the unthinkable happened. The Senate's sweeping gun legislation came up short on the votes required to move forward. And despite all the idealistic calls for passage and despite the fact that many pundits and advocates seem to believe that something should be law simply because "the vast majority of Americans" support it, not every issue deserves a majoritarian decision.

To begin with, whether Democrats like it or not, this issue concerns the Constitution -- where stuff was written down for a reason. That's not to say that expanding background checks or banning "assault rifles" would be unconstitutional (though you may believe they both should be). It's to say that when you begin meddling with protections explicitly laid out in the founding document, a 60-vote threshold that slows down stampeding legislators is the least we deserve.

The Founding Fathers worried that "some common impulse of passion" might lead many to subvert the rights of the few. It's a rational fear, one that is played out endlessly. Obama, who understands how to utilize public passion better than most, flew some of the Newtown families to Washington for a rally, imploring Americans to put "politics" aside and stop engaging in "political stunts." This is, by any measure, a preposterous assertion coming from a politician piggybacking tragic events for political gain. It would have been one thing, I suppose, if the gun control legislation written in the aftershock of a gruesome massacre had anything to do with the topic at hand. But what senators came up with would have done nothing to stop the shooter in Newtown -- or the one in Aurora, Colo. Passions can be aggravated by events, but in this case, events have little to do with the policy at hand.

Cabinet positions and judges should probably not be held up over ideological concerns. But if Washington is internalizing the 60-vote threshold as the barrier to pass legislation, voters should be grateful. Considering Washington's propensity to politicize everything and its increasingly centralized power (what your health care looks like is now up for national referendums, for instance), slowing things down can only help.

I'm not operating under the delusion that any of this is good national politics for Republicans -- though the arguments about obstructionism's dooming the GOP are probably overblown. No doubt, when the next disaster hits -- and it will -- Democrats will blame the overlords at the National Rifle Association and Republicans for the act of a madman. That's life.

But generally speaking, it'd be nice if Congress occasionally challenged the vagaries of American majority "instinct." Though it might seem antithetical to their very existence, politicians should be less susceptible to the temporary whims, ideological currents and fears of the majority. Theoretically, at least, elected officials' first concern is the Constitution. And if the need for gun control is predicated chiefly on the polls taken immediately after a traumatic national event, they have a perfectly reasonable justification to slow things down. In fact, if Washington internalizes the 60-vote threshold as a matter of routine, voters should be grateful. Considering Washington's propensity to politicize everything and its increasingly centralized power (what your health care looks like is now up for national referendums, for instance), this might be the only way left to diffuse democracy.

Is there any reason to think that the proposed bill is non-constitutional? If so, wouldn't that be best left to SCOTUS rather than proxying for SCOTUS through a Senate vote?
I find the suggestion that Obama should not deal with the victims's families in Newtown appalling. This was an event that loomed large on the consciousness of the American public. Of course he should deal with the issue and with those people.
Up here in the great white north we sometimes think Americans are idiots. Really, it's a common theme, and often the things that are said are not pretty. But Canadians need to be reminded that most Americans want this legislation. Americans only look like idiots at times because there are powerful forces at work who don't care about the poor at all, and often don't care about the public. We are a very sanctimonious bunch up here, but we're going to head in the same direction if we're not more careful.

Here are the top comments on the story from Canada's leading newspaper, sorted by "likes":
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/wor ... /comments/

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:05 pm

slofstra wrote:Is there any reason to think that the proposed bill is non-constitutional? If so, wouldn't that be best left to SCOTUS rather than proxying for SCOTUS through a Senate vote?
The short answer is no. The editorials etc. that I've posted summarize the reasons that various Republicans gave for voting no, and reveal them as false and sometimes outright lies.

Also, the Supreme Court has no authority to rule on the constitutionality of a law until after the law has been passed, and more than that, until it has taken effect and been challenged in a lower-level court by a litigant who claims to have been injured by it and therefore has standing in the matter.
slofstra wrote:Up here in the great white north we sometimes think Americans are idiots.
Down here too, though some are knaves rather than fools.
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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:59 pm

John F wrote:
David Harsanyi wrote:this issue concerns the Constitution
It does not. It concerns the Senate's own rules of procedure which permit the filibuster, a privilege which the Republicans have been abusing for years. The Senate's rules are not written into the constitution and the Senate can change them by majority vote whenever it has the will and the good sense. There was talk of doing so after the last election, but the Democrats lost their nerve. If they hadn't and the rules had been changed, the gun control amendments would have passed the Senate. "Voters should be grateful?" Bull. They should be angry, and they should take their anger out on the politicians who, to protect their own jobs, knowingly and deliberately voted to thwart the ascertained will of the people - not a bare majority of the people but 90%.

It's easy to say that the House Republicans would have voted the bills down anyway, and probably they would have. But who knows? With a passed bill on their desks and the president eager to sign it into law, and with an eye on reelection next year when they will have to account to the voters, some Republicans might have heard the people's footsteps behind them and braved the NRA's power to buy elections. And maybe, just maybe, the people would have thrown some of the bums out. Maybe they will.
Besides, all the regulation included in the Senate legislation would pass constitutional muster even after the most recent Supreme Court decision, which nullified the "well-regulated militia" clause and declared that individuals have a right to own guns, without eliminating all possibility of regulations and restrictions. If this were not so, similar and even more restrictive laws in various states would have been struck down, a goal toward which I imagine the NRA is working 24/7.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by Modernistfan » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:03 pm

Utter gutlessness. These were reasonable, common-sense measures. How can a responsible gun owner (of which there are many) oppose background checks? As difficult as it might be, the Senate has reached a new low.

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by slofstra » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:18 pm

John F wrote:
slofstra wrote:Is there any reason to think that the proposed bill is non-constitutional? If so, wouldn't that be best left to SCOTUS rather than proxying for SCOTUS through a Senate vote?
The short answer is no. The editorials etc. that I've posted summarize the reasons that various Republicans gave for voting no, and reveal them as false and sometimes outright lies.

Also, the Supreme Court has no authority to rule on the constitutionality of a law until after the law has been passed, and more than that, until it has taken effect and been challenged in a lower-level court by a litigant who claims to have been injured by it and therefore has standing in the matter.
slofstra wrote:Up here in the great white north we sometimes think Americans are idiots.
Down here too, though some are knaves rather than fools.
The same applies here on Supreme Court rulings, but Parliament employs batteries of legal experts who anticipate what that reaction will be in terms of new legislation design. In fact, this has recently be an area of some controversy, as the Prime Minister's Office has not liked some of these assessments, and sought to limit release of any negative findings to Parliament or to the public.

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:51 am

slofstra wrote:Parliament employs batteries of legal experts who anticipate what that reaction will be in terms of new legislation design.
The Senators who drafted the failed gun control bills took similar care, as jbuck919 says. Republican claims that the bills were unconstitutional were false.
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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:56 am

When Daley cools off, he may rethink whether he wants to oppose Democrat incumbents when their seats would then go to even more intransigent Republicans. But the Dems who voted on the wrong side do deserve a scolding.


Heidi Heitkamp betrayed me on gun control
By Bill Daley, Published: April 19

Bill Daley was White House chief of staff from 2011 to 2012 and secretary of commerce from 1997 to 2000.

I want my money back.

Last October, I gave $2,500 to support Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign to become North Dakota’s junior senator. A few weeks later, she won a surprise victory.

I have had a long career in government and politics, but I don’t donate heavily to political campaigns. When I contribute, it’s because I know the candidate well or am really impressed with the person. Heidi Heitkamp was one of the latter: She struck me as strong-willed, principled and an independent thinker.

But this week, Heitkamp betrayed those hopes.

She voted to block legislation to make gun background checks more comprehensive. Her vote — along with those of 41 Republicans and three other Democrats — was a key reason the measure fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage.

Polling has shown that nine in 10 Americans and eight in 10 gun owners support a law to require every buyer to go through a background check on every gun sale. In North Dakota, the support was even higher: 94 percent. Yet in explaining her vote, Heitkamp had the gall to say that she “heard overwhelmingly from the people of North Dakota” and had to listen to them and vote no. It seems more likely that she heard from the gun lobby and chose to listen to it instead.

Here in Chicago, we know how serious a problem gun violence is. Over Easter weekend, 25 people were shot in Chicago. Last year, more than 400 young people were shot in our city. Our mayor and police are working tirelessly to fight gun crime; over the past decade, the Chicago Police Department has taken 50,000 guns off the streets. But illegal gun traffickers don’t respect state lines, and easy access to firearms in other states helps fuel gun violence in Chicago.

Instead of getting help from Washington, 45 senators seem determined to make it easy for criminals to get guns, no questions asked.

And the truth is that gun violence is not just some big-city, blue-state problem. Which state has the country’s highest rate of death by gun? Alaska.

Yet both Alaska senators — Democrat Mark Begich and Republican Lisa Murkowski — voted against expanding background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those so mentally ill that they are a danger to themselves or others.

The other two Democrats who voted against background checks are Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Max Baucus of Montana. Like Begich, they will be running for reelection next year. And no doubt they’ll come to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other cities looking for money to fuel their campaigns. These cities, of course, are also too often the destination for illegal guns flowing in from out of state.

So I’ll have some advice for my friends in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles: Just say no to the Democrats who said no on background checks.

I understand that the gun lobby appears powerful. But I wish our U.S. senators could show half the courage of Pat Maisch, the hero from the mass shooting in Tucson in January 2011 that left six people dead and 18 others injured, including Gabby Giffords, then a member of Congress. Pat jumped in and wrestled the magazine out of Jared Loughner’s hands before he could reload. She is also the person who stood up in the Senate gallery after Wednesday’s vote and admonished the senators: “Shame on you.”

She’s right. It’s shameful when politicians put what they perceive is their own interest or that of some lobbying group ahead of what the great mass of the American people want.

For all those in Washington who disappointed the people on Wednesday, there were also some real heroes in the Senate. My hometown senators, Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin, were statesmen. Kirk, a Republican, not only voted for universal background checks but he also voted to ban assault weapons — a measure quite a few Democrats wouldn’t even touch. Other heroes include Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey, the senators with the A ratings from the National Rifle Association who fashioned the compromise on background checks. They stuck their necks out.

When I think about the Democrats I will focus on supporting in 2014, Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.) and Kay Hagan (N.C.) will be at the top of my list. Both represent states where Republicans typically have an advantage and where there is a long and deep tradition of gun ownership. Both had the wisdom to understand that making it harder for criminals to get guns protects, rather than endangers, the rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html
John Francis

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by Donald Isler » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:23 pm

I am sympathetic to the argument that if you think you need to be able to take up arms against the American government you shouLd be denied the right to own a gun on mental grounds.
Donald Isler

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by Steinway » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:12 pm

am sympathetic to the argument that if you think you need to be able to take up arms against the American government you shouLd be denied the right to own a gun on mental grounds."

Beautiful !!!

I hope that everyone of those disgraceful Senators who voted against this bill will pay the price on election day.

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by dulcinea » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:55 pm

John F wrote:Amen.

A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip
By GABRIELLE GIFFORDS
Published: April 17, 2013

WASHINGTON - Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.

On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count.

Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.
I have never had a gun in my hand, have never been a member of the NRA, nor have known personally any member of the NRA,
BUT!!!
the nuns at the Colegio Espiritu Santo taught me proper respect and reverence for the US Constitution, and one of the things they taught is that there is a proper established way to amend said document. So I say to all the parties concerned: play this game according to the rules that have been in effect since the 18th century, or else stay out of the game. If you will not follow the rules then you have no right to take part in this game.
Have the nuns of Colegio Espiritu Santo made themselves clear?
Dulcinea Quijano,
who was once robbed at knifepoint of the $2 in her purse and a couple of bracelets

I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending.

Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo — desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation — to go on.

I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth about the cowardice these senators demonstrated. I am asking for mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote. I am asking activists to unsubscribe from these senators’ e-mail lists and to stop giving them money. I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences.

People have told me that I’m courageous, but I have seen greater courage. Gabe Zimmerman, my friend and staff member in whose honor we dedicated a room in the United States Capitol this week, saw me shot in the head and saw the shooter turn his gunfire on others. Gabe ran toward me as I lay bleeding. Toward gunfire. And then the gunman shot him, and then Gabe died. His body lay on the pavement in front of the Safeway for hours.

I have thought a lot about why Gabe ran toward me when he could have run away. Service was part of his life, but it was also his job. The senators who voted against background checks for online and gun-show sales, and those who voted against checks to screen out would-be gun buyers with mental illness, failed to do their job.

They looked at these most benign and practical of solutions, offered by moderates from each party, and then they looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby — and brought shame on themselves and our government itself by choosing to do nothing.

They will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done — trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you — but their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest. I say misplaced, because to preserve their dignity and their legacy, they should have heeded the voices of their constituents. They should have honored the legacy of the thousands of victims of gun violence and their families, who have begged for action, not because it would bring their loved ones back, but so that others might be spared their agony.

This defeat is only the latest chapter of what I’ve always known would be a long, hard haul. Our democracy’s history is littered with names we neither remember nor celebrate — people who stood in the way of progress while protecting the powerful. On Wednesday, a number of senators voted to join that list.

Mark my words: if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/opini ... -grip.html
I have never had a gun in my hand, I have never been a member of the NRA, and have never met a member of said organization,
BUT!!!
the nuns at Colegio Espiritu Santo taught me proper respect and reverence for the US Constitution, and one of the things they most emphasized is that there is a proper established way to amend said document.
So I say to all the parts involved in this issue: play this game according to the rules established at the beginning of this republic, or else stay out of the game altogether. Whoever does not respect nor follow the rules of this game forfeits the right to take part in it.
Have the nuns of Colegio Espiritu Santo made themselves clear?
Dulcinea Quijano,
who was once robbed at knifepoint of her bracelets and the $2 in her purse
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by lennygoran » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:44 pm

dulcinea wrote: I have never had a gun in my hand, I have never been a member of the NRA, and have never met a member of said organization, BUT!!! the nuns at Colegio Espiritu Santo taught me proper respect and reverence for the US Constitution,
A sensible gun policy and respect for the constitution can definitely coexist--I'm afraid you're wrong again. Regards, Len :(

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:02 am

dulcinea wrote: So I say to all the parts involved in this issue: play this game according to the rules established at the beginning of this republic, or else stay out of the game altogether. Whoever does not respect nor follow the rules of this game forfeits the right to take part in it.
I'd remind you that human slavery in the U.S. was abolished by proclamation of President Lincoln while it was still constitutionally protected. No federal court overruled the Emancipation Proclamation, though the constitution wasn't amended until two years later.

The constitution is not a sacred text. It was written by certain men (no women) at a certain time under certain circumstances, and then ratified by only thirteen of our 50 states. Eighteenth century politics were a major factor, hence the protection of human slavery. Of course the constitution is binding as a legal document, and since those who wrote it made amendment extremely difficult, we're stuck with provisions that two hundred years of experience have shown to be problematic or even obsolete.

Some of these have been nullified by court decisions ostensibly in the spirit of the constitution though not the letter. The second amendment, however, has been broadened by court decisions beyond what it actually says. In recent decisions the Supreme Court has ignored a crucial clause - "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state" - and has thereby misinterpreted the constitution. But since, constitutionally, the Supreme Court has the last say, we're stuck with unlimited private gun ownership that has nothing to do with a militia and is insufficiently regulated.

As a result, in 2010 guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings, and 73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds. This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour. (http://smartgunlaws.org/gun-deaths-and- ... tatistics/)

Is that what you want?
John Francis

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:55 am

Max Baucus of Montana, one of the four senators who voted against the gun control bill, has now announced that he won't run for reelection next year. Having given the Republicans one of the votes they needed to kill gun control, is he now about to give them his Senate seat as well? Maybe not - I've heard that the Democrats have a potentially strong candidate in former governor Steve Schweitzer, who left office in January only because of a term limit and was succeeded by another Democrat. But Schweitzer is strongly opposed to gun control. Whatever, no thanks to Baucus, who's been on the wrong side of most of the important domestic issues in recent years and seems to have been or become a Democrat in name only.
John Francis

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:41 am

Baucus retires, a grateful nation cheers
By Matt Miller
Published: April 24

With one glorious stroke Max Baucus has made it possible for two of America’s more interesting politicians to play bigger roles on the national stage. Not to be churlish, but I’ll take Ron Wyden and Brian Schweitzer over a dozen Max Baucii any day. Never has a politician done so much to lift the prospects of the republic simply by saying goodbye.

Is there a soul outside Montana who is mourning Baucus’s decision not to run for a seventh term? Baucus helped George W. Bush pass his big tax cuts in 2001, making him an accomplice in the biggest fiscal mistake of this generation, squandering the hard-won surpluses that Bill Clinton (with Newt Gingrich’s help) had bequeathed.

Then weeks ago, Baucus kept a bad thing going by voting against the new budget crafted by Senate Democrats, saying it raised too much revenue (even though its taxes wouldn’t suffice to cover what Ronald Reagan spent as a share of the economy decades ago). When talk turns to tax reform, Baucus, again, has repeatedly refused to concede that when the dust clears from any “simplification” or “base broadening,” revenue has to rise in an aging America. This is the fantasy of math and demography that Republicans persist in embracing.

“His guiding principle has been to get reelected,” says one former Senate staffer, “not to lead and to educate.”

The Montana senator was the delayer-in-chief on President Obama’s health reform, persuading the White House to let crucial time pass in 2009 while he tried and failed to secure Republican Chuck Grassley’s support. Baucus’s *** gave the GOP an opening to demagogue Obamacare and move public sentiment against it. Baucus isn’t to blame for the White House’s communications failures, but his ineffectual delay helped inflict scars on Obama’s signature initiative that have never healed.

These are just the most depressing Baucus “accomplishments” that come to mind. A fuller indictment would toss in Baucus’s opposition to the Dream Act and his vote against universal background checks for guns just the other day, even though Baucus surely knew he was about to step aside. A profile in courage Max ain’t.

But those who stand to gain by his departure are much more promising.

Start with Wyden, the Oregon policy wonk who’s next in line to chair the Senate Finance Committee (his Democratic elder, Jay Rockefeller, has already announced he’s not running again). I’ll confess a bias here. In general, when I’m thinking through a thorny public-policy challenge, my first instinct is to ask what Singapore would do (I know, that’s another column – which I’ve actually written here and here). But my second instinct is often to wonder what Ron Wyden would do.

On health care, for example, Wyden is virtually the only politician who bangs the table about the obvious need to move beyond our archaic employer-based health-care system (something the president chose to ignore). He fashioned a bipartisan bill with then-Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah to do just that, and it garnered more bipartisan support than any other plan in 2009’s toxic debate...

Brian Schweitzer, Montana’s popular governor from 2005 to January of this year, would bring fresh spice and perspective to the Senate. He’s not just another lawyer or heir or wealthy businessman. Schweitzer earned degrees in international agronomy and soil science before working on irrigation projects on five continents. He worked for years in Saudi Arabia and Libya, and speaks Arabic. His outsized personality and homespun style make him accessible – and formidable.

“I’m the kind of guy that, when I see a broke-down pickup, I’ll get out with my tools and try to fix it,” Schweitzer told the Hill Tuesday. “And I can tell you looking at Washington, D.C., from Montana, there is no bigger broke-down pickup than the Senate in Washington, D.C.,”

Sounds like the man’s running. We’ll know in a few weeks.

So thank you, Max Baucus. I’m sure Montanans have reason to appreciate your decades of service. But the rest of can be forgiven for concluding that you’re serving America best by finally retiring to that dream house near Bozeman.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html
John Francis

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by Ricordanza » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:58 am

John F wrote:
dulcinea wrote: So I say to all the parts involved in this issue: play this game according to the rules established at the beginning of this republic, or else stay out of the game altogether. Whoever does not respect nor follow the rules of this game forfeits the right to take part in it.
I'd remind you that human slavery in the U.S. was abolished by proclamation of President Lincoln while it was still constitutionally protected. No federal court overruled the Emancipation Proclamation, though the constitution wasn't amended until two years later.

The constitution is not a sacred text. It was written by certain men (no women) at a certain time under certain circumstances, and then ratified by only thirteen of our 50 states. Eighteenth century politics were a major factor, hence the protection of human slavery. Of course the constitution is binding as a legal document, and since those who wrote it made amendment extremely difficult, we're stuck with provisions that two hundred years of experience have shown to be problematic or even obsolete.

Some of these have been nullified by court decisions ostensibly in the spirit of the constitution though not the letter. The second amendment, however, has been broadened by court decisions beyond what it actually says. In recent decisions the Supreme Court has ignored a crucial clause - "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state" - and has thereby misinterpreted the constitution. But since, constitutionally, the Supreme Court has the last say, we're stuck with unlimited private gun ownership that has nothing to do with a militia and is insufficiently regulated.

As a result, in 2010 guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings, and 73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds. This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour. (http://smartgunlaws.org/gun-deaths-and- ... tatistics/)

Is that what you want?
Yes, we're stuck with the Second Amendment and we're also stuck with the erroneous Supreme Court decision that, essentially, ignored the first clause of the Second Amendment. But the fact still remains the every right in the Bill of Rights--freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to counsel, right to jury trial, etc.--is subject to regulation, and that's all this bill was: reasonable regulation.

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Re: Gabrielle Giffords: A call to arms

Post by John F » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:11 pm

Quite so. Laws don't enforce themselves; how they are to be enforced is determined by regulations which specify what may and may not be done.
John Francis

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