Like a true leftist ideological warrior, this past Wednesday, Obama prepared for a speech on new gun control measures by surrounding himself with children who’d written him about gun-related violent crime. Like a soldier behind a wall of sandbags, the children were used as an emotional prop to protect Obama from the projectiles of logic and reason bombarding his weak position on the Second Amendment. The children were there to deflect the blows of contrarian facts which undermine his argument. They gave him the ability to make the argument, as the left is so masterful at, that opposition to his agenda was proof that his opponents don’t care about protecting children.
Hypocritically, just an hour after Obama surrounded himself with children to announce nearly two dozen Executive Orders meant to infringe on the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, White House spokesman Jay Carney was whining to the press about an NRA ad which referenced the fact that Obama protects his own daughters by surrounding them by men carrying guns (as he should). Said Carney, “Children should not be used as pawns in a political fight.” If the irony was any thicker, you could pour it over pancakes.
The meeting yesterday between Vice President Joe Biden’s gun control task force and the National Rifle Association didn’t go that well. Biden is expected to hand his recommendations to President Barack Obama on Tuesday, who will, in turn, push for legislation from Congress to enact them.
In addition to reintroducing the assault weapons ban and trying to eliminate the so-called “gun show loophole,” Biden laid down some of the policies that will be pursued by the White House in Congress in the coming days:
Biden gave the most detailed description so far of what his panel will propose, telling sporting groups at the start of their session that there is broad consensus among those he has surveyed to require background checks on all gun purchases and to restrict the amount of ammunition that can be included in a gun magazine.
After the meeting the NRA issued a statement explaining, “While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.”
Some may be questioning why the NRA even entertained the White House when the outcome was so obvious. From a standpoint of public perception, it’s not like they had much of a choice. If they didn’t go, it would look like they weren’t even interested in a discussion. But if they did go, they provided the White House with a talking point that they had “met with the NRA.” It was a lose-lose for them.
National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre broke his organization’s silence since last week’s atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary by giving apress conferencethis morning. The press conference’s tone was rambling at times and it appeared to generally lack focus. The NRA gave some reasons they thought that there were mass shootings
There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like “Bullet Storm,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Mortal Combat,” and “Splatterhouse.”
LaPierre also went on to blame violent movies and music videos as well. LaPierre also appeared to claim that there was a media conspiracy to cover up the role of violent media by blaming gun owners.
The problem with blaming violent video games for crime is that its simply not true as is pointed in this piece in the National Review. Also, is the message that we need to gut the First Amendment to save the Second Amendment the right message we need to send right now?
LaPierre unfortunately wasn’t finished with his Joe Biden impersonation. He had some suggestions for improving school security:
Based on this from Cato’s Roger Pilon, apparently, the National Rifle Association only cares about some parts of the Bill of Rights:
NPR ran a story this morning, “NRA Targets One Of Its Own In Tenn. Race,” that nicely illustrates the perils of single-issue politics, although you’d never learn the principle of the matter from the NPR account. It seems that the NRA has launched a $75,000 ad campaign against state Rep. Debra Maggart, a long-time NRA member and avid gun-owner who a year ago had an “A+” rating from the NRA. Her sin? She and several other Tennessee Republican officials opposed a bill that would have allowed employees to keep guns in their cars while parked in their private employers’ parking lots.
The NRA’s Chris Cox, who’s spearheading this political vendetta and, in the process, is supporting Maggart’s tea-party backed opponent, invokes both “our First Amendment right to assemble to petition our government” and, of course, the Second Amendment, seemingly oblivious to the fact that neither is relevant here. In fact, the issue could not be simpler: individuals, including employers, have a right to determine the conditions on which others may enter their property.
Someone recently sent an email asking for a post on whether folks should join the NRA. Jason, probably knowing how much of a gun guy I am, asked me if I was interested in expressing my thoughts. Being the shy, unassuming person who never shares his opinions with a living soul…oh wait, that’s not me at all. Of course I jumped at it.
The National Rifle Association is a group I’ve been pretty critical of for some time. Their compromises gave us background checks for firearm purchases, among other things. Over the years, they have tried to compromise rather than digging in their heals for our Second Amendment rights, so there’s plenty to be critical of. However, that was the past. What about the now?
To me, all the questions about the NRA can be summed up with their argument against Senator Rand Paul’s proposed amendment that would restrict law enforcement’s ability to look at firearm purchase records. While the NRA was correct that district attorney’s could get grand juries to subpena the records in question, what was missed is that the grand jury is a form of judicial oversight.
Instead, the NRA pretend that law enforcement being able to demand access to records is preferable to a panel of American citizens deciding if there is probably cause to access those records. Anyone purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer has to fill out this paperwork, and the NRA’s position turns this paperwork into a de facto form of registration.
Way to go NRA. No suggestions on how to tweak it to make it more acceptable, just cover for allegedly pro-gun members of Congress to vote against the amendment in question without being labeled as anti-gun.
During Rand Paul’s campaign to become Senator from Kentucky, he held a few positions that gave some of his father’s supporters pause. Specifically, his disagreement with Ron over the issue of criminal trials versus military tribunals was a point of contention making it difficult for some to back his candidacy without trepidation. Rand thought we should keep the tribunals while Ron was vehemently opposed to any trial that didn’t give the accused the best protection of his rights.
After this past week, It probably isn’t far fetched to say that any trepidation one may have had about Rand Paul’s commitment to the principles of freedom has vanished.
Paul managed to single-handedly take control of the Senate chambers in a heroic attempt to move the Senate to consider and debate the Patriot Act - something shockingly absent since it’s first passage. In fact, in 2001, when the Patriot Act was first introduced, a single Senator read the bill before casting a vote. The vote cast was a resounding “NO” by Russ Feingold, coincidentally, the only vote recorded in opposition to the bill.
Rand’s efforts were unsuccessful if you deem passage of the Act’s extension the sole measure of success. However, Rand did far more than capture the imagination and attention of the country for a suspenseful 36 hours, 7 of which were spent on the Senate floor.
I was not going to post about this anymore because I’m tired of hearing about it. But last night, Jon Stewart gave a great monologue on the uproar over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque and it needs to be shared.
Like Stewart, I get the reason people are upset about the mosque. But the push back against the mosque has reached a point where it’s not about placing a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, the rhetoric has reached a point where most of the opposition are condemning an entire religion. They are placing the blame for what happened on 9/11 on an entire religion instead of 19 radical Islamists.
Around three minutes in, Stewarts shows video of Eric Bolling, who was appearing on Fox and Friends, laying out the alleged ties that Feisal Abdul Rauf has to various groups, including Hamas and Perdana. Bolling also speculates on whether or not Iran may be funding Park51, formerly the Cordoba House.
For perspective, Stewart shows a clip of Charlton Heston speaking at the NRA convention in 1999, just after the Columbine tragedy. In case you don’t remember, there was an uproar that wanted the NRA to hold their convention somewhere else.
During his speech to the convention, Heston said:
Tragedy always has been and always will be with us. Somewhere right now evil people are evil things. All of us will do everything meaningful, everything thing we can do to prevent it, but each horrible act can’t become an axe for opportunists to cleave the very Bill of Rights that binds us.
Stewart admits he was part of the uproar, but he also admits that he was wrong:
This week the National Rifle Association, universally considered one of the nation’s most powerful political institutions, endorsed Senator John McCain for President, a decision that has to leave many of its members scratching their heads. Whether or not you support the right of an individual to keep and bear arms, you have to question the reasoning behind the endorsement, given the specific candidate and the current political outlook.
Article excerpt from NRA’s Political Magazine “America’s1st Freedom” - June 2001
With Vice President Joe Biden making plans for another big push for new gun control measures, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is looking to challenge him to a debate on the issue.
During the National Rifle Association’s annual convention is past weekend in Houston, Texas, Cruz, who has been an outspoken advocate of civil liberties and conservative causes, poked some fun at Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and defended the Constitution before challenging Biden to a debate on gun control.
“The senior Senator from California explained to me that she is not a sixth-grader,” Cruz said to a humored crowd. “Well, you know, I’m not a sixth-grader either. And it seems to me that when the Constitution says the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” it means that right shall not be infringed.”
Cruz spoke about the disregard that the Left has for various civil liberties. He explained that the “Constitution matters — all of the Constitution.”
“It’s not pick and choose. It’s not take what part you like and get rid of the parts you don’t like. For some reason Obama liberals want to disregard the First Amendment and take away our right to speak and political speech,” said Cruz. “For some reason they want to disregard the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. And, for some reason the Obama liberals want to disregard the Tenth Amendment and implement Obamacare and take away our liberties. Every word of the Constitution matters. It is our fundamental protection of our liberties against the government.”
Free speech apparently doesn’t mean what it used to. Politico notes that a West Virginia middle school student was charged with “causing a disruption” during school because he refused to remove his t-shirt, which sported the logo of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a rifle:
A West Virginia student was charged with causing a disruption at a middle school when he refused to remove a T-shirt that displayed the National Rifle Association’s logo and hunting rifle.
Jared Marcum, 14, said the shirt did not violate Logan Middle School’s dress code policy.
Marcum’s stepfather, Allen Lardieri, said the youth was waiting in line in the school cafeteria Thursday when a teacher ordered the eighth-grader to remove the T-shirt or to turn it inside out.
Marcum said was sent to the office where he again refused the order.
“When the police came, I was still talking and telling them that this was wrong, that they cannot do this, it’s not against any school policy. The officer, he told me to sit down and be quiet. I said, `No, I’m exercising my right to free speech.’ I said it calmly,” he said.
Politico notes that the school’s dress code policy does prohibt clothing that displays certain messages, including items that use profanity, alcohol, and tobacco. It does not, however, prohibit clothing that displays a firearm or expresses support for one of the nation’s oldest civil liberties organizations.