Senate gun control hearing today

Bitter is liveblogging it.

Wed Jan 30 12:07:22 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ted Cruz defends the firearm industry from Rahm

Read the whole thing.  This is what every single Republican in the House and Senate should be doing.  Trying to destroy a legal industry through indirect regulatory pressure is unAmerican. 

To all of the gun manufacturers still located in New England and other unfriendly states, come on down to Texas.  Down here, we like you.

Wed Jan 30 08:34:00 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The police are outgunned on the streets! Oh no!

A writer at the Huffington Post debunks the persistent claim that the police are outgunned on the streets by criminals with assault weapons.  It is amazing how this claim just doesn't go away, despite statistics proving that more murders are committed with handguns and knives and bare hands than with rifles of all types.

Wed Jan 30 04:15:19 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Arizona considers declaring federal gun control unenforceable

Within days of opening its 51st Legislature, Arizona state lawmakers have begun considering HB 2291--a bill which declares any federal attempt to "ban or restrict ownership of a semi-automatic firearm... unenforceable" in the state.

Moreover, the bill also lists as "unenforceable" any federal ban on magazines for such weapons and categorizes any requirement for firearm registration as a non-starter as well.

Good for them.  If you're an Arizonian, call your legislators and support this bill. 

Wed Jan 30 03:30:49 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Two-thirds of gun owners would defy gun laws

A majority of poll respondents -- 52 percent -- revealed that someone in their home owns a gun. Those respondents were then asked, "If the government passed a law to take your guns, would you give up your guns or defy the law and keep your guns?"

Approximately 65 percent indicated they would "defy the law," including 70 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats who answered the question. Only 22 percent said they would "give up" their guns, while 13 percent were not sure.

People are not buying them in record numbers just to turn them in.

Let's take a step back here.

52% of people answering the poll admitted to owning a gun.  How many gun owning households said "No" and meant "None of your business"?

Of those who admitted to owning guns, 65% said they would defy the law.  How many admitted to owning guns and lied about whether they would defy the law -- because, seriously here, are you going to admit to planning to commit a federal felony? 

But let's assume the poll numbers are correct.  America has roughly 114,235,996 households (114 million).  52% have guns, or 59,402,717 (59M).  65% would defy the law, or 38,611,766 (38 million).

There are 1,426,713 people in the active duty military and 1,259,000 in the reserves, or 2.68 million people total.

Let's assume they follow the same percentages as the rest of the population -- though it would be more realistic to assume a higher percentage own guns than the general population.  So, 52% own guns (privately owned) = 1396570, and 65% of those would defy the law = 907770 people in the military own private guns and would defy the law.

That's over a third of the military, a million people with military training, and 38 million citizens (many retired military , police, or experienced shooters).

So when the government says it is going to pass a law and take our guns, I say: you want to imprison 40 million citizens and a full third of our military?  You think that will make things better?

Wed Jan 30 03:18:29 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bloomberg says the semiauto ban doesn't have the votes

... but lets keep up the pressure.  According to the article, 6 Senate Democrats are wavering, which means the measure could not muster the 50 + Biden votes needed to pass the Senate, never mind the 60 votes to break a filibuster.  This doesn't mean we can relax, though.  Even if the vote counting in this article is correct, we will need to stop not only the semi-auto ban, but universal background checks and a magazine ban. 
The five Democratic senators from traditionally pro-gun states who have expressed skepticism about the bill are Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Independent Senator Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats, also said he opposes a ban. Maine Senator Susan Collins, a Republican who supported similar legislation in 2004, has indicated she is unlikely to back the proposed ban in its current form.
When you write your Senators to instruct them to oppose the semi-auto ban, you should also instruct them to oppose the magazine ban and universal background check legislation.  No compromise on gun control.

The sad fact is, there will always be criminals who want to commit mass murder.  We can't stop them by putting huge legal burdens on law abiding gun owners. 

While hearing about wavering Democrats is reason to be hopeful that we can stop this push for gun control, don't be fooled again:

The American gun owning public is being duped again, just like we were duped the two weeks before the election when we were convinced that Romney was ahead by several percentage points. The media, including our "friends" at Fox, Drudge, and other "conservative" outlets, are attempting to sell us the concept that the "assault weapon ban" legislation can't pass, and this is a lie. We are told that Bill Clinton sternly warned his party that they will be punished in the mid-terms, and that the NRA is "too powerful" for any real legislation to make it through congress. This is also a lie. Behind our backs, the political machine is crafting public opinion in what have become the majority voting blocks to convince national and state legislators that they are safe for the next election -- and they are safe. American gun owners didn't show up in force for the last election, and we are not feared as a voting block any longer. Don't be a fool and believe it when they tell us we can't lose. We are going to get beaten again if we don't act. And this time it isn't a slippery slope. This time they are going to outlaw an entire class of guns with no loopholes.

You must call and write your legislators today. Let them know that you know who they are. You know their name, and you will remember how they voted come election day. Don't just use the web form, and don't just call their Washington, DC numbers. Call their local numbers and tell their staffers that you and ever gun owner you know will be watching them, and funding their opponents if they vote for this ineffective and stupid legislation. At some point you have to take action, and you have to go that extra step, and now is the time.

When you are contacting your senators and representatives, tell them you oppose:
  1. Feinstein's ban on modern sporting rifles
  2. Any magazine ban, no matter what capacity
  3. Any form of universal background check
  4. Any other form of gun control

Remember, we have to stop everything they bring to the table.  Stopping the semiauto ban in return for a magazine ban or an effective gun registry is not a win.  A draw is stopping them cold and destroying their power for another 8 years or more, like we did after the battle in 2004.  A win is taking ground back.

Wed Jan 30 02:59:12 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why we need assault weapons

While Democrats attempt to ban "military-style assault weapons" like the AR-15, a Rochester Institute of Technology student used that very gun to thwart home invaders and save his roommate's life.

Christopher Boise heard noises in the basement of his apartment; when he went to investigate, he found two intruders. One of the men trained a gun on him. Boise screamed, which woke his roommate, Raymond, who grabbed his gun bag and took out his AR-15.

Note that there were two attackers here.
A 15-year old boy used his father's AR-15 to defend himself and his 12-year old sister against two burglars at their home just north of Houston, Texas.
Again, two attackers.
When confronted by three intruders in his home, Al Michaud invoked Colorado's Make My Day Law and opened fire.
Three attackers this time.

[UPDATE: Another case with three attackers against a single woman with children.]

[UPDATE: Five attackers.]

The AR-15 is the most popular modern sporting rifle in the United States.  It is lightweight, easy to shoot, accurate, has sufficient stopping power to defend your life, and sufficient magazine capacity for an ordinary person to defend against multiple attackers.  It fires one bullet each time you pull the trigger, just like a revolver or a semiautomatic handgun. 

Because it is a rifle, it is difficult to conceal or carry with you, making it a poor choice for criminal enterprises -- indeed, more people are killed with knives and other hand weapons than with rifles of any type.

Because it is lightweight and has limited recoil in the common 5.56mm NATO / .223 Remington cartridge, and can be fitted with an adjustable stock, it is especially well suited as a home defense rifle for women

The AR-15 is the most popular modern sporting rifle for many good reasons.  But the truth is we don't "need" them any more than we "need" the internet, or newspapers, or privacy, or cars that can travel over a hundred miles an hour.  We have a right to have them, protected by the 2nd Amendment, because they are effective self-defense weapons and self-defense is a fundamental human right.

It's not about needs and it never has been.  We don't need to justify the things we want -- the tools we use, the luxuries we enjoy -- to anyone, and especially not anyone in the government.

Wed Jan 30 02:46:40 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Supporters of Feinstein's semi-auto ban

A hat tip to no lawyers, only guns and money for this list of organizations that are lending their support to Feinstein's so-called assault weapons ban.

Law Enforcement

International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
International Association of Chiefs of Police
Major Cities Chiefs Association
Police Executive Research Forum
Police Foundation
Women in Federal Law Enforcement
Chaska (Minn.) Police Chief Scott Knight, former chairman of the Firearms Committee, International Association of Chiefs of Police
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck
San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne


U.S. Conference of Mayors
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Ventura County Board of Supervisors
Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Anthony Smith
Boston City Council

California mayors

Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox
Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan
Petaluma Mayor David Glass
Pleasant Hill Mayor Michael Harris
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed
Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido
Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant
Saratoga Mayor Jill Hunter
Tiburon Mayor Emmett O?Donnell

California cities

Calabasas, Calif.
Lemon Grove, Calif.
Los Angeles
Stockton, Calif.
Ventura, Calif.
West Hollywood, Calif.

Gun safety (sic)

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Violence Policy Center
Washington CeaseFire

Education and child welfare

20 Children
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Federation of Teachers
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Child Welfare League of America
Children?s Defense Fund
Every Child Matters
Moms Rising
National Association of Social Workers
National PTA
National Education Association
San Diego Unified School District


African Methodist Episcopal Church
Alliance of Baptists
American Baptist Churches of the South
American Baptist Home Mission Societies
American Friends Service Committee
Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America
Camp Brotherhood
Catholic Charities USA
Catholic Health Association
Catholic Health Initiatives
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
Catholics United
Church of the Brethren
Church Women United, Inc.
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Disciples Home Missions, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Dominican Sisters of Peace
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Health Ministries Association
Heeding God?s Call
Hindu American Foundation
Interfaith Alliance of Idaho
Islamic Society of North America
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Reconstructionist Movement
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Mennonite Central Committee, Washington Office
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Council of Churches
National Episcopal Health Ministries
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Pax Christi USA
PICO Network Lifelines to Healing
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness
Progressive National Baptist Convention
Rabbinical Assembly
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
San Francisco Interfaith Council
Sikh Council on Religion and Education, USA
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church
United Methodist Women
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Washington National Cathedral
Women of Reform Judaism

Health care

American Academy of Pediatrics
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Surgeons
American Public Health Association
Doctors for America
National Association of School Nurses


Alliance for Business Leadership
American Bar Association
Black American Political Association of California
Grandmothers for Peace International
National Parks Conservation Association
Sierra Club
Washington Office on Latin America

Wed Jan 30 02:10:25 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Vermont gun range bans police over gun control proposals

I fully support the gun range here.  Police are routinely exempted from gun control laws. They are not exempt from the opinions of private businesses.

Wed Jan 30 02:09:45 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The President is not a skeet shooter

"If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos? Why hasn't he referenced this at any point in time?" Blackburn said Monday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."   "I tell you what I do think," she later added. "I think he should invite me to Camp David, and I'll go skeet shooting with him and I bet I'll beat him."
Because he isn't a skeet shooter, and never has been.  That's why it never came up before, and it's why there are no pictures of Obama shooting skeet.  Or anything else.  Obama's claim to be a regular skeet shooter is nothing more than his version of the classic anti-gun platitude, "I'm a gun owner, but..." or "I'm an NRA member, but..." that you see all the time in articles calling for more gun control.  Generally speaking, it's a blatant lie, nothing more than a rhetorical tactic to persuade the reader by asserting similarity.

Kudos to Rep Marsha Blackburn for calling the President's bluff.

Wed Jan 30 02:09:16 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Newtown parent says gun control is not the answer

His answer seems to be civility.  He has a good point, even if it's not a complete answer.  There are no complete answers.

Tue Jan 29 05:07:43 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

San Diego Police Chief Lansdowne wants to disarm Americans within a generation

Lansdowne has gone on record saying: "I could not be more supportive of the president for taking the position he has. I think it's courageous with the politics involved in this process. [And] I think it's going to eventually make the country safer."

He also has personally advocated for a legislative solution that would allow current lawful firearms owners to keep their assault weapons if new sales are banned, but prohibit assault firearms from be passed down to living relatives after death, meaning the weapon would be destroyed when the current owner dies.

He made it clear that it may take "a generation," but new laws could eventually take all guns off the streets.

That's San Diego chief of police William Lansdowne.  Thank you, Mr Lansdowne, for making your agenda clear. 
"We're seeing an increase in the quality of weapons, in the types of weapons we're seeing... even though we have a ban here in California."
He admits the ban doesn't work, but wants to impose it nationally.
"The officers in many cases face people better armed than they are."
Better armed than the police?  Really?

What does Mr Lansdowne issue to his police officers?  As of 2004, it appears to be:
San Diego Police Department
Issues the 919mm Beretta Mod 92FS pistol, 919mm Ruger PC9 semiautomatic carbine, 5.5645mm Colt AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, and 5.5645mm Ruger Mini-14 semiautomatic rifle.
Uses the Cadillac Gage Peacekeeper 44 armoured car.
The Beretta 92FS can accept up to 32 round magazinesThe Ruger PC9 carbine can accept a 15 round magazineThe Ruger Mini-14 can accept up to 30 round magazines and has a select-fire versionThe Colt AR-15 semiautomatic rifle can accept up to 100 round magazines and is a semi-automatic version of a fully-automatic firearmThe Cadillac Gage peacekeeper is an armored vehicle that can mount a full size machine gun or a 40mm grenade launcher.

All of these firearms, or their magazines, would be banned under the laws Lansdowne supports.  But police officers could still carry them.

Why does Lansdowne want to be able to carry firearms that he wants to prohibit honest, law-abiding citizens from owning?

Tue Jan 29 04:53:17 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida is anti-gun

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida is Anti-Gun.
Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has called for any new gun control laws to include a ban on assault weapons, and he has at least one supporter from the local law enforcement community.  Nelson said as an avid hunter, he owns several guns, himself, but would support a ban on assault weapons. He also said he wants to see universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazine clips.  He said magazine clips found in the hands of criminals in Orange County were more than double what deputies carry.
He wants the full trifecta: assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and a magazine ban.  He uses the "police are outgunned on the streets" lie and, of course, claims to be a gun owner himself. 

If you're in Florida, tell him what you think of his anti-gun positions.  Politely, of course.

Tue Jan 29 03:09:10 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Interesting thoughts on guns in school

Toy guns, that is, including a child's hands, or a piece of paper in the appropriate shape.  Robert Small argues that the children are being deliberately conditioned to reject violence in general and the 2nd Amendment in particular. Is he right? 
Punishing kids for finger guns has nothing to do with school safety; they know the difference between a finger and a gun as well as adults do. It has everything to do with "moral disarmament."
I'm not sure about the deliberate part.  If I was reaching for an explanation, I would look more to the gender gap in the teaching profession -- teachers are predominantly women -- combined with almost two decades of horror about school shootings.  It's easy for someone who spends their days working with children to indulge in magical thinking and try to prevent a school shooting by banning the symbol of shooting and hoping that has an influence on the young minds in her care. 

Anyone who looks at it rationally can see that it's nonsense.  Millions of Americans played cops and robbers or cowboys and indians as kids, and are none the worse for it today.  If "shooting" people with your hand doesn't cause actual school shootings, preventing children from playing childhood games won't prevent school shootings either. 

You get back into a gray area when you are talking about a high school in a high-crime area, where such a childish finger-gesture could be meant to convey a very real threat.  Any teacher worth their salt could tell the difference between the two, though; it's the desire to avoid liability by avoiding that sort of decision making that drives zero-tolerance policies.

Once you have a zero-tolerance policy in a high school dealing with a gang crime problem, well, it's easy to trickle that policy down to kindergarten.  It doesn't make any sense, but someone would have to think about it to stop it.

All that said, the effects of such repression of childhood warrior-play are undesirable.  Gun owners understand that violence is not inherently evil; violence is a means to an end.  That end can be taking someone's property or their life; it can also be protecting your own life and property.  If we allow our children to be taught in school that violence is never acceptable, they will be left at the mercy of those are all too willing to commit violence. 

Tue Jan 29 02:57:59 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

UN opens probe into drone strikes

The question is whether such strikes violate international human rights laws.  I say, if they don't, then international human rights laws aren't worth anything.  What the UN can (and is willing to) do to stop the US from engaging in drone strikes is less clear, but probably hovers somewhere between "nothing" and "send a firm letter of protest."

Note: Just because it violates international human rights laws does not mean I am opposed to all drone strikes.  From the accounts I've read, though, I think I would be a bit less casual about it.

Tue Jan 29 02:28:03 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bloomberg's Bodyguards Bully Blogger

... after he asks them to disarm, in the name of gun control, to save just one child's life...

I'm somewhat sympathetic to the security detail here.  The reporter is clearly not friendly to Bloomberg and they are reacting to that.  They don't actually lay hands on him.  Following him and getting identification information based on a lie about jurisdiction is legally questionable, but wanting that information (based on a clearly hostile if peaceful encounter) is not unreasonable for a protective detail.

But all of that just makes the irony more delicious.  Bloomberg demands gun control for the people while surrounded by armed thugs who interrogate anyone who embarrasses him by asking uncomfortable questions.  What are people who can't afford a 5 person security team supposed to do to protect themselves?

Tue Jan 29 02:16:06 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Give up on the Constitution?

It seems that the left -- or at least the portion of the left who work at CBS News -- has decided that they are tired of all this living document bullshit and are ready to give up on the whole thing.  Just declare it irrelevant and unnecessary and stop following it.

This is good.  It's good to have clarity.  It's good for them to openly advocate for this.

It reminds us what we are up against.

Tue Jan 29 01:54:57 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Contact Colorado Senators Udall, Bennett

They are both Democrats, but they remain "uncommitted" to the Assault Weapon Ban. Let them know that the ban violates the 2nd Amendment and is contrary to Colorado values.

(Let them know to oppose the magazine ban and universal background checks, too).

Tue Jan 29 01:50:55 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senator Manchin is working on background check legislation

Manchin, a moderate Democrat with an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association, has also recruited his close friend, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), to help with the background check legislation. Kirk, who is much more moderate than Coburn and hails from a state suffering from urban gun violence, also plans to unveil legislation next week with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to make illegal gun trafficking a federal crime.
I don't think you'll keep that "A" rating much longer, Senator.

Mon Jan 28 04:51:30 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senator Mark Kirk is working on anti-gun background check legislation

Manchin, a moderate Democrat with an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association, has also recruited his close friend, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), to help with the background check legislation. Kirk, who is much more moderate than Coburn and hails from a state suffering from urban gun violence, also plans to unveil legislation next week with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to make illegal gun trafficking a federal crime.
Illegal gun trafficking is already a federal crime.

Mon Jan 28 04:47:10 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senator Coburn is working with Anti-Gun Democrats

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is working with Democratic senators on a bill that would mandate background checks for all gun buyers, with some limited exceptions.

In an interview Friday with a Tulsa television station, Coburn said he is working with Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) on plans to keep weapons away from criminals and the mentally ill.

Coburn's office didn't immediately respond to requests for comment, but other Senate aides familiar with the negotiations confirmed his involvement. If a deal involving Coburn pans out, his ruby-red Republican reputation would lend significantly to any bipartisan effort to draft gun-control legislation.

"I think there's lots of good things that can happen in terms of mental health screening and checks," Coburn told KRMG-TV Friday.  "If you transfer your car, you have to have a license to transfer, it has to go through that. That's a responsibility of freedom. I have no problems with us making sure that we don't allow guns to get in the hands of either felons, or people who are a danger to themselves or other people. I'm willing to work with Manchin and Schumer on that, and going to."

It sounds like Coburn needs to hear from his constituents.

We oppose universal background checks because:
  1. Dealers are already required to do background checks.
  2. 85% of gun transfers already have background checks.
  3. A universal background check system is tantamount to registration of firearms -- and the next step is confiscation.
  4. Criminals don't have to do background checks on each other

Hat tip and more info available from a Keyboard and a .45.

Mon Jan 28 04:44:52 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Feinstein has introduced a draconian semi-auto ban

It is vital that every gun owner, everyone who has even considered owning a gun, contact their representatives today and tell them to oppose any and all gun control, and especially Feinstein's semi-auto ban.

Millions of Americans will be fingerprinted and placed on a federal government registration list if Feinstein's legislation becomes law.  You will need to beg your local police chief for permission to keep your semi-auto rifle.

Contact your senators and representative today.  And tomorrow.  And the day after.  Every day until the bill is voted down.

While you're talking to them, tell them to oppose the standard-capacity magazine ban and the gun registry universal background check, too.

UPDATE: The list of cosponsors.

Mon Jan 28 04:14:29 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A waiting period for laws?

After every tragedy, legislation gets rushed through that's typically just a bunch of stuff that various folks had long wanted all along, but couldn't pass before. Then it's hustled through as a "solution" to the tragedy, even though close inspection usually reveals that the changes wouldn't have prevented the tragedy, and don't even have much to do with it.

The goal, thus, is to prevent close inspection through a combination of heavy-handed legislative techniques and bullying rhetoric: If you don't want to pass our bill without reading it, you must hate the children.

Over the years, we've gotten a lot of lousy legislation this way -- the Patriot Act, for example, about which I wrote a column something like this one back in 2001. We've gotten it because politicians like to manipulate voters and avoid scrutiny.

But why let them?

Why indeed?

Probably because politicians like the ability to rush things through, even if the people don't.

Mon Jan 28 04:10:48 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reactions to Feinstein's gun control bill

Senator Feinstein introduced her new assault weapons ban last Thursday.  I'm rounding up reactions in this post.

Reason Magazine:
Even if you accept Feinstein's false premise that there is something especially assaulty or murdery about the guns she wants to ban, her bill would not actually get rid of them, since millions of existing "assault weapons" would remain in circulation. Feinstein says her aim is to "dry up the supply of these weapons over time." But guns are durable products that remain usable for decades, not a puddle that evaporates when the sun comes up. Feinstein claims her bill will "help end the mass shootings that have devastated countless families and terrorized communities." How exactly will it do that?
Senator Ted Cruz knows his stuff.  This response is pretty much exactly what I would tell him to say:

"Washington politicians shouldn't be taking advantage of recent tragedy to try to push an aggressive gun control agenda. Real assault weapons -- machine guns -- are already functionally illegal, and they have been since 1934. This proposal would have done nothing to prevent the terrible murders in Newtown, but it would limit the constitutional liberties of law-abiding citizens. And gun control doesn't work -- the empirical data overwhelmingly demonstrate that strict gun-control laws consistently produce more crime and more murders.

The Second Amendment exists to ensure that law-abiding Americans can protect their homes and families, and I look forward to helping lead the fight to defeat this bill and to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms."

PowerLine's John Hinderaker:
Congress has passed a lot of dumb laws, but it isn't going to pass this one. I doubt that it can get through the Senate, let alone the House. Perhaps some modifications to the background check system can pass. So what's the point? Gun control is part of the Democrats' permanent campaign. They see a political advantage in pushing for draconian legislation, not because it has any chance to pass, or would do any good if it did, but because it fires up the party's base in anticipation of the 2014 election. Hence the showmanship and even religious fervor that accompanied Feinstein's announcement of her legislation.
The National Rifle Association:
Senator Feinstein has been trying to ban guns from law-abiding citizens for decades. It's disappointing but not surprising that she is once again focused on curtailing the Constitution instead of prosecuting criminals or fixing our broken mental health system. The American people know gun bans do not work and we are confident Congress will reject Senator Feinstein's wrong-headed approach.
I hope they're right.

I've still seen nothing from Senator Cornyn publicly opposing Feinstein's bill or any of the other gun control measures.  There is a response posted on from Cornyn that is ... better than nothing:
As a former Texas Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General, I have firsthand knowledge of crime-fighting policies that work, and I believe that citizens' Second Amendment rights should not be restricted because of the actions of criminals. Rather, we must focus our attention on the source of violent crime: criminals who use firearms to commit crimes. I believe that strictly enforcing the law?and meting out tougher sentences for career criminals and those who use firearms when committing crimes?will reduce crime more effectively than gun or equipment bans, which primarily serve to take firearms away from law-abiding citizens.

I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate, and you may be certain that I will continue working with my colleagues to protect our Second Amendment rights. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
It shouldn't take multiple constituent emails to drag a pro-2nd Amendment position out of a Senator from Texas, for crying out loud.

Mon Jan 28 03:54:17 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lanny Breuer leaves DoJ

During Senate hearings in 2011, Breuer conceded that he had failed to alert other Justice Department officials that federal agents had allowed guns to illegally flow into Mexico and onto U.S. streets between 2006 and 2007. The practice, known as "gun walking," was also a key part of the Obama administration's Phoenix gun-tracking operation, "Fast and Furious."

The operation came under fire when many of the weapons later turned up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States, including two where a Border Patrol agent was killed.

It's almost comical how desperate they are to link gunwalking to Bush and protect Obama from Fast and Furious.

Mon Jan 28 03:43:58 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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