Biden: Proposed Gun Control Regulations Only the Beginning

During a conference call organized by the anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Vice President Joe Biden said that the proposed gun laws in the United States Senate, which includes universal background checks, are just the beginning of the White House’s push for tighter gun control measures:

Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday the expected upcoming Senate votes on gun control are only the beginning of the White House’s fight.

The fate of gun control legislation is unclear. A vote on a Senate bill, including expanded background checks and harsher penalties for gun trafficking, is expected next month.

The White House also has been pushing for limits on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, but those provisions won’t be part of the Senate bill. Instead they are to be offered as amendments, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says they don’t have enough support to pass.

“That doesn’t mean this is the end of the process. This is the beginning of the process,” Biden said during a conference call organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns pushing for the gun control measures.

Gun control talk is heating up

Second Amendment

After last week’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, politicians have made loud calls for increased gun control measures, including a reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban — nevermind that the .223 Bushmaster rifle used by Adam Lanza wouldn’t have been covered under that law.

Politico notes this morning that President Barack Obama, who has previously called for more gun control measures, has announced that he will form a “guns task force” to presumably look at gun control policies that the White House could pursue. Of course, pro-Second Amendment advocates see this tragedy being politicized by policitians who have long clamored for increased gun control measures.

We’ve hear gun control advocates talk about how these mass shootings are on the rise. Despite the rhetoric, the facts just don’t bear that out. In an article published the day after the shooting at Shady Hook, the Associated Press explained:

“There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.

The random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest, Fox says. Most people who die of bullet wounds knew the identity of their killer.

What Evil Lurks in the Heart of Man

This weekend has, for my family, been a case study in the dichotomous nature of life. For my family personally, it was a joyous weekend. On Friday, I took two of my boys into town for the afternoon. We got haircuts and then I took them to do their Secret Santa shopping for Christmas (in our family, with eight children, it can quickly get very expensive for the kids to try to buy each of their siblings a gift, so we put their names in a hat and then they blindly pick out the name for whom they will be a “Secret Santa”). Later that evening, back at home, we were joined for dinner by four young missionaries who are far from home this Christmas. With my own oldest son, Elijah, on a mission in Mexico, they’ve become a sort of proxy for him until he returns.

Saturday was even more special, as we gathered with family and friends for the baptism of my daughter Mahalie. For Christians, few events in life are more meaningful or precious as baptism, as we take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and promise to live like Him, knowing we’ll often fall short, even as we try each day to do better. Seeing my sweet little daughter, dressed in all white, representing purity and innocence, brought tears to my eyes. These milestones are, of course, bittersweet, since they remind us of how quickly time flies, and one day we wake up and our little babies have grown up and are living their own lives, going to college or on missions, or getting married and starting families of their own.

A Moment of Silence

Charlie Harper is editor of Peach Pundit, Georgia’s most-read political blog, and a columist at The Courier Herald. This has been reposted with permission.

I attended Sunday’s Falcons game at the Georgia Dome.  In addition to the usual presentation of our nation’s flag and the singing of The National Anthem, there was a moment of silence.  In days gone by, it would have been a public prayer.  Instead, we were instructed to be quiet for a moment of reflection on the lives lost last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut.  It was brief, but lasted long enough to make me wonder if we didn’t need a longer one, not just at football games, but across the whole country.

I became consciously aware of the shooting just after 1:00 pm Friday, not from the breathless news reports, but while reading Twitter and Facebook.  I made the decision not to turn on the television right away.  Unfortunately, this has become too familiar that I knew what to expect by doing that.  There would be pictures and stories of unimaginable tragedy, told with incomplete and often incorrect information for the first few hours.  I decided I could actually postpone reality for a bit, though I pieced together enough thoughts to post a request for “prayers for Connecticut” on my blog at Peach Pundit.

Then I checked out for a couple of hours.  It was time for a moment of silence.

Facebook and Twitter are now the rapid response sites for citizen-based commentary during all events.  When observing initial reactions there is a one general rule of thumb: You will lose faith in humanity reading knee-jerk responses and political solutions from instant experts while first responders are still trying to treat the wounded and remove bodies.

Sen. Feinstein, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the Second Amendment

Senator Dianne Feinstein is no friend of the Second Amendment.  After the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Sen. Feinstein called for a new assault weapon ban.  Now, however, she’s claiming that it’s even more important that these so-called “assault weapons” be taken off the streets in light of the tragic events last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

From Huffington Post:

“Who needs these military-style assault weapons? Who needs an ammunition feeding device capable of holding 100 rounds?” Feinstein wrote on her campaign website. “These weapons are not for hunting deer — they’re for hunting people.”

On Sunday Feinstein laid out details of the bill.

“It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession, not retroactively, but prospectively,” and ban the sale of clips of more than ten bullets, Feinstein said. “The purpose of this bill is to get… weapons of war off the streets.”

Ah, the old hunting argument. Before I address that though, I find it disgusting that the senator would choose to talk about her bill in light of what happened, especially since this most recent act had nothing to do with so-called “assault weapons”.  Adam Lanza is alleged to have used two semi-automatic pistols to commit his acts of voilence that horrible day, and unless this assault weapon ban proposes to just hit all semi-automatic weapons, it wouldn’t touch the murder weapons.*

I’d also like to take a minute to remind Sen. Feinstein on the exact wording of the Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Judge apologizes to Susette Kelo for allowing theft of her property

The Supreme Court case of Kelo vs. New London stirred outrage in the hearts of millions.  I freely admit I was one of them.  The idea that the government can take your property and essentially give it to someone else because they might raise more tax revenue disgusted me to no end.  Now, years after the decision, the land in question sits barren.  Now, no one is living there or operating a business there.  It is, quite literally, a dump.

And people question cosmic justice.

The Hartford Courant has a piece that is worth sharing.  It’s written by Jeff Benedict, who covered the Kelo case from the very beginning.  He’s since written a book about the case.  In the book, he shares a story about an encounter after a dinner honoring the Connecticut in may of last year.  He was giving the keynote address about the case.  There with him was Susette Kelo, the principle defendent.

Afterward, Susette and I were talking in a small circle of people when we were approached by Justice Richard N. Palmer. Tall and imposing, he is one of the four justices who voted with the 4-3 majority against Susette and her neighbors. Facing me, he said: “Had I known all of what you just told us, I would have voted differently.”

was speechless. So was Susette. One more vote in her favor by the Connecticut Supreme Court would have changed history. The case probably would not have advanced to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Susette and her neighbors might still be in their homes.

Then Justice Palmer turned to Susette, took her hand and offered a heartfelt apology. Tears trickled down her red cheeks. It was the first time in the 12-year saga that anyone had uttered the words “I’m sorry.”

It was all she could do to whisper the words: “Thank you.”

Remembering Kelo

On June 23, 2005, the United State Supreme Court dealt a fatal blow to private property rights with the decision issued in Kelo v. New London. chinaThis landmark ruling allows state and local governments to use the previously redefined meaning of “public use” from the Fifth Amendment (also known as the Takings Clause) to use eminent domain to essentially steal property from one private entity and transfer it to another.

In case you’re not familiar with Kelo, here is some background. The City of New London, Connecticut sought to redevelop the Fort Trumbull neighborhood in hopes of increasing the city’s tax base (“economic development”). Several property owners refused to sell to the city, including Susette Kelo, and condemnation proceedings were started by New London Development Corporation, a private body acting on behalf of the city. Ms. Kelo received her condemnation notice the day before Thanksgiving in 2000. The case worked its way through the courts and as we know, it was unsuccessful.

Fund Raising Will Be Key to Schiff’s Success

SchiffOn this Constitution Day, Peter Schiff made a major announcement as some of you know. He officially announced his intentions to run for Senator of Connecticut.

I have personally been following Schiff since last Spring. I read both of his books, and agreed entirely with his investment thesis. As a finance and political science double major one could easily see how I would naturally gravitate to someone like Schiff. A man who owns a stock brokerage that takes into account how government affects investments who is now running for Senate - It doesn’t get much better than that.

Though it can’t be called an automatic win for Republicans, it is more likely than not that whoever wins the Republican nomination in Connecticut will take out Chris Dodd in the general election. Dodd’s ratings are tanking in Connecticut; he’s simply not popular anymore. This likely outcome of the general election is good for Republicans, obviously, but has created a crowded field of candidates.

Today in Liberty: Lois Lerner to appear before committee, Alan Grayson accused of domestic battery

“In government, the scum rises to the top.” — F.A. Hayek

— Disgraced IRS official to appear before Oversight committee: Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the center of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, will appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this morning at 9:30. Though Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said Lerner would testify, her lawyer has denied that claim. You can livestream the hearing here. Should be fun.

Organizing for Action sinks to a new low

 Newtown Anniversary

We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the senseless, tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a madman killed 26 people, including 20 young children.

This shooting left a lot of questions about motive and rekindled a dormant debate over gun control in the United States, leading to a series of executive orders signed by President Obama that would not have prevented this tragedy, nor will the actions stop future incidents. The push culminated in the defeat of onerous new anti-gun measures in April, including policies long-pushed by gun control advocates.

Despite frequent talk of reviving the gun control issue, the White House and Senate Democrats have been unable to gather enough support to move any legislation forward. Still, activist organizations have been trying to gin up grassroots support wherever they can.

The latest example comes from Organizing for Action (OFA), a Leftist grassroots organization formed out of the remnants of President Obama’s 2012 campaign that advocates for policies pushed by the White House.

The organization is urging Leftist activists and gun control advocates to host “a Newtown Anniversary Event” on December 14 to mark the tragic shooting:

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