It seems Nancy Pelosi, the majority leader of the House (and a Democrat), isn't about to pass an assault weapons ban. The Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (also a Democrat) says he won't be passing one either. That's two separate smackdowns for Hope and Change from his own side, never mind the Senate vote counts suggesting that the bill has little chance of acquiring the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate. It looks like the Obama administration is pretty much on its own in pushing the issue, assuming it even was pushing rather than sending up a trial balloon. If it was a balloon, well, I think the answer's pretty clear.
UPDATE: Even the false-flag gun control group American Hunters and Shooters Association is coming out against this idea. Probably attempting to get some free credibility since it seems to have no chance of passing anyway.
"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few
gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be
to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Mr. Holder
said. "I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a
Since when are laws in the United States dependent on what will help Mexico? Since when are Constitutional Rights subject to infringement based on what is good for Mexico?
And that assumes that the passage of a new Assault Weapons Ban would actually help the situation in Mexico. It won't. For all intents and purposes, guns are banned in Mexico. Insofar as guns in Mexico are a problem, they are purchased illegally on the black market... often frommilitary or police sources.
How do we know these firearms aren't coming from American gun shows?
Their arsenal ranged from semi-automatic rifles
to rocket-propelled grenades. When the smoke finally cleared and the
government had prevailed, Mexican federal agents captured 540 assault
rifles, more than 500,000 rounds of ammunition, 150 grenades, 14
cartridges of dynamite, 98 fragmentation grenades, 67 bulletproof
vests, seven Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifles and a Light Anti Tank
You won't find (live) grenades, dynamite, or anti-tank weapons at gun shows; they are heavily regulated to the point of being essentially illegal. You might find an assault rifle, but you won't find 500 of them, and the paperwork to get your hands on one will probably take months. Assuming your state allows you to own one, and your local police chief will sign a letter stating that you are an upstanding citizen.
You will find semiautomatic rifles in many different shapes and sizes. Some of them look like military assault rifles, but they fire one shot each time you pull the trigger just like any other semiautomatic rifle. They are actually less powerful than your common hunting rifle.
Say, if gun shows really were supplying the Mexican criminal cartels, wouldn't both governments be paying a lot more attention to securing the border?
Anyways. If you are reading here, you already know what's wrong with the whole concept of the assault weapons ban. So let's get to some political analysis.
There are a couple possibilities. This might be Obama sending up a trial balloon to measure public response to the issue, or trying to pressure a reluctant Congress to advance legislation. Or, it might be Holder speaking off the cuff (since the remarks came in response to a question, rather than as prepared remarks) without understanding the impact his personal opinion will have.
Either way, the best response is to communicate back to your Congressmen (HouseSenate) and the Obama administration that the gun issue is radioactive. Be nice, be polite, but let them know. Even if your legislator is anti-gun, you need to express your opposition to this move. So long as legislators perceive this as a dangerous move that will cost them votes, they will be reluctant and resist pressure from Obama. Many of them remember what happened in 1994, following the original assault weapons ban, and it is our job to remind them. Loudly.
Gillibrand is the new Senator for New York, now that Hillary Clinton has taken the Secretary of State position. She originally represented a Republican-leaning district (though she is a Democrat) and as a state representative had an A rating from the NRA. There is hope that as a Senator, she will retain her pro-gun positions -- but it would be tough to hold those positions and win a statewide election (since, after all, New York City is not exactly pro-gun).
I may have linked to this before, but I've been going through old emails and found it again. If you haven't seen this detailed article on the Heller case in Reason, it's worth a read. It covers a lot of the aspects of the case that aren't often mentioned in media coverage -- specifically the opposition of the NRA (seeking consolidation with the Seegars case, then seeking to overturn the DC law through Congressional legislation before it could b heard).
It also has one tidbit that almost surprised me:
"It makes all the difference in the world that this one guy went down
and filled out an absolutely meaningless piece of paper which you knew
in advance was a futile act," Neily says. "It was not intentional on
the part of Alan, Bob, and myself, but it was intentional on the part
of Dick and Dane, and it was very important that Dane had that insight
and did that." Heller slid in because he had a permit denied: a clear
injury with a paper trail.
I picked up on the importance of Heller's application from basically the first moment that standing came up as a possible issue. In fact I remember complimenting Alan and the rest of the legal team at a very early stage for having thought to include it. I was surprised at the time that they were reluctant to take credit for the idea, and didn't necessarily think it would make a lot of difference. There was case law (based on the First Amendment) to back them up on the idea that making an application was not strictly necessary to challenge a law. Yet, having made that application became absolutely crucial.
It's Rahm Emmanuel speaking to, or for, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. He's talking about what he wants to get in terms of gun control. He thinks that gun owners have lost whatever influence we had, and that he can ram through another assault weapons ban, as well as adding a check against the terrorist watch list for handgun purchases.
The assault weapons ban is nothing but political deception, taking advantage of the general public's confusion over "machine guns" to ban weapons that look like "machine guns" but actually function like common hunting or target rifles.
The terrorist watch list is similar. It's nothing more than a way to inconvenience a lot of people in a way that makes it look like "something is being done". Right now, it just affects whether you can fly in an airplane and how much extra screening you get if you try. But it's a list that has absolutely no due process associated with it at all. Names are added to the list based on inscrutable intelligence processes, with no chance to defend yourself and no judicial review of who is added. To date, the only way to be removed appears to be getting elected to national office*.
I know people whose names are either on the list, or similar to names on the list, despite clear records and no hint of risk. Many similar cases have been reported in the media.
The utter lack of due process involved here is bad enough when the consequences are merely a minor annoyance when travelling. When that same lack of due process is applied to restricting an enumerated Constitutional right, it's tyranny.
* There is a also purported appeals process that seems to revolve around proving that you, personally, are not the terrorist whose name was added to the list, just someone with a similar name. The process is run by beaurocrats, not judges. Reportedly, Senator Edward Kennedy was placed on the list at one point.
Holder has been confirmed by the Senate as Attorney General. This is a very bad candidate on gun rights, as I've mentioned in the past. I am at least happy with my two Senators, who both voted against confirmation. David has the roll call.