Gabrielle Giffords

Gun Control Activists Are Right: Guns Kill People

Gun control is in the news again. Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the Tuscon shootings, when alleged gunman Jared Loughner killed six people and injured thirteen — including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering from her injuries. The Daily Caller reports that despite lobbying from gun control activists the White House has offered little more than a nod in their direction, perhaps fearing the impact of any new anti-gun legislation on the president’s reelection efforts in key swing states such as North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. But gun control activists aren’t backing off; progressive news program Democracy Now! reports that one survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, Colin Goddard, is pushing for new gun curbs.

A very different story has also been in the headlines. A recently widowed teen mother, alone at her isolated home in Oklahoma with her 3-month-old son, shot and killed an intruder on New Year’s Eve. 18-year-old Sarah McKinley of Blanchard, Okla., said that she had to make a choice between her son and the intruder, 24-year-old Justin Shane Martin when Martin busted down the door to her home. “I chose my son over him,” said McKinley in an interview with CNN, describing her decision to fire the 12-gauge shotgun that killed Martin. No charges will be filed against McKinley and prosecutors have said that an alleged accomplice, 29-year-old Dustin Louis Stewart, may actually be charged with Martin’s murder.

Of Hobbits and Acid-Tongued Democrats

On January 8th of this year, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was one of nineteen people shot, six fatally, by crazed gunman Jared Loughner. For nearly a week the national press and Democrats excoriated the TEA Party in general, and Sarah Palin in particular, for creating the environment that nurtured this horrifying act of political terrorism. President Obama, apparently in another example of leading from behind, eventually called for “more civility in our public discourse”, and admonished us to refrain from “lay[ing] the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happened to think differently than we do”.

Democrats finally heeded their leader’s advice, although it is uncertain whether that resulted from an epiphany that such inflammatory rhetoric was producing more of the division they claimed to deplore, or because they’d lost the moral high ground when it was discovered that the shooter, supposedly driven to his murderous rampage by seeing target symbols on a map of political districts, was actually a liberal, anti-Christian pot-smoker who hated George Bush.

The civility truce was short-lived however, and soon liberal Democrats went right back to ascribing the worst possible motives to their political enemies, simply for holding opposing policy positions. This last week or so, though, has seen liberal vitriol march back into full attack mode. The TEA Party and conservative Republicans have been repeatedly called “terrorists” by the mainstream press and prominent Democrats.

What effect would a new assault weapon ban have?

Ever since the tragic shooting in Tucson, anti-gun forces have been wringing their hands. They see it as a golden opportunity to continue to demonize a mere object, a tool that protects far more lives than it harms, and score political points with their base. Many are proposing a new assault weapon ban, under the deluded idea that it would somehow have prevented the Tucson tragedy.

First, it has about as much likelihood of passing as Whoopie Goldberg has of winning Miss America, but let’s take a look at the reality of what a new assault weapon ban would actually have.

Obviously, we have to guess at what it would look like based on the previous assault weapon ban. Any new law could have significant differences that we won’t know until a bill is formally introduced and makes it through committee. However, much of the talk has indicated the bill will be without significant differences save for the lack of a sunset provision.

The focus for the new AWB will be magazine capacity. Previously, any magazine over ten rounds was deemed illegal to manufacture for civilian use. All so-called high capacity magazines were marked “For Law Enforcement Use Only”. It was illegal to have one of these magazines. However, magazines produced prior to the AWB were still legal.

Even under the old AWB, this wouldn’t have prevented anyone who wanted a 30+ round magazine from getting it, the law simply made them more expensive. Gun stores often hand some on hand, and internet websites still offered them for sale to those willing to use the web for their purchase. It wasn’t difficult to find them.

GOP picks up last House race of 2014 elections, now hold largest majority since 1949

Martha McSally

Though the 2014 Midterm elections were more than six weeks ago and Republicans were assured an even stronger majority than in the last Congress, one closely-watched race was just decided today.

In Arizona’s 2nd District — a seat once held by Gabrielle Giffords (as AZ-08, due to redistricting) — Republican challenger Martha McSally eked out victory by fewer than 200 votes. McSally challenged Giffords’s former district director, Ron Barber, who was elected after the tragic shooting that left 14 injured and six dead in a supermarket parking lot where Congressman Giffords was holding a community meeting.

McSally is a retied U.S. Air Force Colonel and the first woman to fly in combat since the ban was lifted in 1991.

Roll Call reports:

Republican Martha McSally has officially defeated Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., after a protracted recount in the Tucson-based 2nd District reaffirmed her lead.

MsSally won the seat by 167 votes, picking up six votes after the recount, according to elections officials.

Barber conceded the race shortly after the official tally was released.

“Today I congratulated Martha McSally on her victory, and wished her well in serving Southern Arizonans,” Barber said in a statement. “This result is not the one we hoped for, but we take solace in having spoken out loud and clear for the principle that every legal vote should be counted.”

Politico Worried that Senate May Miss “Best Chance” for Gun Control in 20 years


It’s not a surprise that politicians use a a time of heightened fear or a tradegy to pass legislation or pursue policies that aren’t necessarily in the public’s best interest.

Just after the 2008 financial crisis, President-elect Barack Obama was making a push for his $830+ billion stimulus package. His subordinates were making the rounds on cable news shows and in the press as they tried scare Americans into supporting the plan. In a rare moment of honesty from a politician, Rahm Emanuel, who would later serve as President Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, told reports that using the recession for political gain was imperative.

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” Emanuel said. “And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

During a trip to the European Union in January 2009, the newly minted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience in Brussels that the global recession provided an opportunity for countries to rebuild their economies with so-called “green energy.”

“Never waste a good crisis,” Clinton said, as quoted by Reuters. “Don’t waste it when it can have a very positive impact on climate change and energy security.”

The on-going push for new and expanded gun control measures in the Senate is largely based on the same political games — pushing long-held policies at a time when Americans have a sense of uncertainty. While there aren’t many members who’ll say that outloud, the media is certainly highlighting point for them.

Ted Cruz dismantles arguments for Assault Weapons Ban

Ted Cruz

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Assault Weapons Ban proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). While the hearing didn’t have the fireworks the media was looking for, it did give Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is in his first weeks in Washington, a chance to shine.

Cruz brilliantly explained that the Assault Weapons Ban is a “singularly ineffective piece of legislation.” Cruz then noted that those pushing the legislation are misleading Americans with their rhetoric by making them believe that machine guns, which are already illegal, are what they’re target.

You can watch Cruz’s full remarks and questions to witnesses before the committee — and believe me, you want to catch every minute of this:

Is the Navy being politicized?

The United States Armed Forces are somewhat used to politics.  Funding comes from some members of Congress who are eager to look strong on national defense, while it’s blocked by others who want to look like they care more about other matters.  Honestly, supporting funding can come from a variety of interests, as can blocking it.  The military knows this and has come to accept this as just the nature of the beast.

However, the United States Navy is now ignoring years of tradition on naming ships and now are just naming them after folks Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus thinks are swell, but have otherwise done nothing typically deserving of the honor.  Two examples are the new LCS, the USS Gabrielle Giffords and naming a ship last year after labor leader Cesar Chavez.

I use that term “honor” for a very good reason.  It’s been said that the highest honor the U.S. Navy can bestow on someone is to name a ship after them.  This was told to me when, at the ripe old age of 18, I was at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes in North Chicago, Illinois  Naming a ship after someone was a way to recognize their efforts for the Navy and this nation.

Now, Giffords is apparently not a bad person in any way.  What happened to her is tragic, to say the least.  Her recovery is inspiring to a great many people.  But to name a ship after her?

I’m not the only veteran who has an issue with this either.  The Daily Caller ran a piece yesterday with plenty of others expressing their displeasure at the move.

There are generally two kinds of people who get ships named after them: Medal of Honor recipients and presidents.  There are exceptions, to be sure, but they’re all either combat heroes or people who have done a lot for the United State Navy.  Giffords isn’t either, and neither is Chavez.

Debt deal passes the House

In case your head has been buried in the sand this evening, you know that the debt deal struck between the White House and leaders from both parties in Congress cleared the House of Representatives by a vote of 269 to 161. The vote was made even more surreal when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was the target of an assassination attempt during a constituent even earlier this year, showed up to cast a vote in favor of the deal.

The debt plan now moves over to the Senate where it is expected to clear tomorrow, though several conservatives, including Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Mike Lee (R-UT), are expected to vote against it.

We’ll have more on the deal in tomorrow.

[UPDATE] In case you’re wondering, Republicans voted 174 to 66 on the bill and Democrats were split down the middle, 95 to 95.

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Tuesday, February 15th

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

Rep. Giffords continuing recovery

A little over a week after being shot in the head by a deranged person, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) is continuing to put up a miraculous fight to recover:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords smiles at her husband and has even given him a back rub, her doctors said today.

The tracheotomy tube in the throat of the badly wounded Arizona congresswoman prevents her from speaking to her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, but the doctors said the smiles were important indicators.

“It implies she is recognizing him, and that she’s interacting perhaps with a more familiar way with him,” Dr. Michael Lemole, the neurosurgeon treating Giffords at University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., said at a news conference today.

The doctors reported that they performed surgery on Giffords’ eye socket to remove bone fragments Saturday. Within a few hours of surgery, Lemole said, the congresswoman was “waking up and through the weekend came back to the same baseline as before” the procedure.

“At this time, we’re hoping to continue tying up loose ends” to get ready for the third stage of Giffords’ recovery, rehabilitation, Lemole said.
Giffords’ condition was upgraded Sunday from critical to serious, a day after doctors replaced her breathing tube with a tracheotomy tube to allow her to breathe better and free her from the ventilator.

We haven’t covered anything on the shooting until we heard more about Giffords. Frankly, I’ve been incredibly disappointed - though not surprised - with the fingerpointing from both sides of the aisle in the aftermath of the shooting; even one of the victims has sadly resorted to absurd rhetoric and threats.

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