The Aw/mag Ban, Today In Senate !
Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:12 AM
Posted 02 March 2004 - 10:23 AM
What really PO's me about politicians is that they forget that they are simply to be representatives of majority rule. Each senator/congressman should poll their constituents, and vote majority rule...personal feelings should never enter into the job.
I would love to have that luxury in my job...then that dirty SOB who I had to talk out of dropping his infant son into a burning trash barrel would have simply ceased to exist instead of being allowed to return home to further terrorize his family. Perversely, I have to protect him...we must assist our prisoners into the cruiser so they don't bump their heads.
Posted 02 March 2004 - 11:20 AM
My buddy in NJ is trying to call Lautenberg's office, knowing all to well it is futile to change his mind.......Oh Kerry is talking now; that SOB never should have opened his mouth in 1970, betraying us troops still fighting the NVA in Nam.....Now his phoney dribble is coming out at the podium.He wants person to person gun sales to stop(gun show loop-hole), what a jack-ass........God Help us.................jw
Posted 02 March 2004 - 12:32 PM
Posted 02 March 2004 - 12:36 PM
Posted 02 March 2004 - 01:06 PM
3/1/04: Final Push – AWB Vote is Tomorrow, CALL AND FAX YOUR SENATORS!
Things are developing rapidly regarding tomorrow's vote on the Feinstein amendment to renew the so-called "assault weapons" ban.
• Charles Schumer (D-NY) this afternoon delivered a speech on the Senate floor in support of the ban that was totally off the scale in terms of misinformation, insisting that there is "no civilian use" for these guns (including target shooting and home defense), and implying that the ban has had a significant effect on crime. Keep in mind, the Clinton-era Department of Justice Study on the effectiveness of the ban stated conclusively that the ban had NOT had an effect on crime (or, more specifically, that "even the maximum theoretically achievable preventive effect of the ban on outcomes such as the gun murder rate is almost certainly too small to detect statistically"). Schumer also repeatedly predicted that tomorrow's vote would be VERY close, either winning or losing by 1 vote, or resulting in a tie (he requested the presence of Vice President Cheney in case a tie-breaking vote was needed).
• Reliably anti-gun senators and presidential candidates John Kerry (D-MA) and John Edwards (D-NC) have both indicated they will be present for tomorrow's vote, taking a break from their campaigns to win the Democratic nomination.
• The Brady Campaign is reporting that Sen. George Allen (R-VA) has "discarded his commitment and announced he'll vote against reauthorizing the assault weapons ban." Of course, given the source, this should be taken with a grain of salt. But it is nonetheless very encouraging.
• Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has indicated he will oppose the ban renewal, but did not rule out the possibility of changing his mind.
• Other senators considered to be "on the fence" and possible swing votes include: Feingold (D-WI), Voinovich (R-OH), Smith (R-OR), Fitzgerald (R-IL), and Lugar (R-IN).It is absolute IMPERATIVE that you call your senators tonight (leave voicemail) and tomorrow FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. This is particularly crucial if you happen to be represented by one of the senators listed above. We cannot stress this enough. If you have access to a fax machine, fax your senators a letter too.
If we lose tomorrow, our position is not compromised... we never expected to win in the Senate anyway, instead directing most of our efforts towards the House. But the fact that we appear to have a fighting chance in the Senate is a testament to what we all have accomplished over the past year or two. We are making our strong opposition to this ban known, and are forcing many senators to think long and hard about how they will cast their vote. Winning tomorrow's vote will effectively kill any chance of the ban being renewed this year.
You can reach your senators' offices through this toll-free number: 1-800-648-3516
Posted 02 March 2004 - 01:07 PM
Today, the U.S. Senate approved an amendment offered by Sen. Feinstein to the firearms lawsuit preemption bill that would renew the 1994 "Assault Weapons" Ban.
The vote was 52-47. In contrast, Feinstein's 1993 amendment was a more lopsided 56-43.
This certainly represents a defeat for us, but this is only the very early stage of the fight... the real battle, where we have the best chances of stopping the ban, will be in the House. The Senate bill, after being passed, will need to be reconciled with the House version of the bill (which, of course, does not contain an AWB renewal) in conference committee, where it will likely be stripped from the bill. If the bill does make it out of conference committee with the ban intact, it will need to be approved by the full House, and again by the Senate (if there were any changes made to the bill) before making it to the President's desk.
Some particularly disappointing votes that could have made a difference were those of Breaux (D-LA) and Smith (R-OR), as well as the Republican senators from Maine, Collins and Snowe.
Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) did an outstanding job representing gun owners over the past several days, and is to be applauded for his efforts in laying out the case for why the ban should not be extended.
So, let us lick our wounds, regroup, and get back to focusing our efforts on the House. Keep in mind, we never expected to win in the Senate, though it sure would have been nice!
Posted 02 March 2004 - 01:32 PM
Don't forget that senator from Va who claimed he heard "expert testimony from law enforcement" that a "significant decrease in crime has occurred over the last 10 years due to this particular piece of legislation."-and YES, he is a REPUBLICAN!! Significant probably means the two idiots dumb enough to hold up a Seven-Eleven with a pre ban AR-15 have now been in jail since 1998!!
Thanks for your common sense analysis of what happens next!
Posted 02 March 2004 - 02:27 PM
I realize that this is just preaching to the choir, but what happened to the America I grew up in?
I've only been around for about 1/2 a century, but the social changes I've witnessed in my lifetime are deeply disturbing. We have gone from a united nation of people proud of our heritage to a conglomeration of individuals who only want what they want and are not willing to hear the other side of any argument that is not their view. They view the constitution as archaic, open to their interpretaion, and changeable to their whims.
Wolfer113, while putting it in terms somewhat rougher than mine is correct. I see this everyday in my job. I take people to county lockup and by the time I've done my paperwork at the county EOC they sometimes have made bail and beat me back to town. Often these people never come to trial for their transgressions, usually copping a plea for probation. Where is the deterrent in that?
The intellectual elite want to stop us from owning weapons, praying, smoking, hunting, fishing, trapping, and all other forms of deviant behavoir. On the other hand we are supposed to accept two people of the same sex being legally married as normal. We are supposed to look at children playing army, cops and robbers, or cowboys and Indians (oops...Native Americans) as coming from homes where the parents should be investigated by child welfare for possible abuse. We can't hear God's name used on television...it's usually bleeped out unless used in cursing. but we are free to watch homosexuality, satanism, adultery, and other sickening subjects and enjoy it.
I have been all around the world in my life, and I've seen some of the places where no one in their right minds would go on purpose. At the same time we have elite citizens of this country traveling abroad and informing the worlds that the U.S. is a horrible crime ridden place with idiot leadership. (i.e., Natalie Mains, Jennifer Anniston, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin etal.) Let the Dixie Chicks try giving a concert in Guatemala or Laos the next time they want to run down the country...see how much sympathy they receive from the audience.
Despite all of this, I notice that we are still the number one place in the world where people want to go to escape where they are.
We as law abiding citizens grit our teeth, and shell out large sums of money for weapons and magazines that we will never use for anything other than sport shooting and are viewed as "dangerous persons." The real dangerous people are the ones with the voted in power to dictate our lives based upon their personal views. I feel that every politician should be subject to automatic recall the first time they vote against the majority wishes of their constituents.
The only light I see at the end of the tunnel are many of the young people I encounter today. Many of the generation now becomming adults strive for morality, and are freely enlisting in our armed forces to protect this country...in spite of the intellectual elite telling them they should not do so. They do not see evil in an individual owning a weapon...only in our enemies owning them. Perhaps when they come of age to run things they can right the wrongs now being done. If not, we as a free society are doomed.
Off my soapbox.
Posted 02 March 2004 - 03:43 PM
Posted 02 March 2004 - 04:14 PM
Six Democrats voted against extending the ban: Max Baucus of Montana, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Zell Miller of Georgia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Harry Reid of Nevada.
Ten Republicans broke party ranks and voted for the ban: Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Olympia Snowe of Maine, George Voinovich of Ohio and John Warner of Virginia.
Posted 02 March 2004 - 04:18 PM
Posted 02 March 2004 - 06:53 PM
Senate hands surprise defeat to gun lawsuit bill
By Joanne Kenen, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate in a surprise twist Tuesday killed popular legislation to shield the firearms industry from lawsuits after gun control advocates successfully tacked on their own top priorities and drew the ire of the powerful gun lobby.
Overcoming intense opposition from the National Rifle Association, gun control advocates passed amendments extending the 1994 assault weapons ban for another decade, instituting criminal background checks at gun shows and requiring trigger locks or similar safety devices to be sold with all handguns.
But shortly before the final vote, the NRA in an e-mail to senators repudiated the amended bill, and said senators' vote on it "will be used in our future evaluations and endorsements of candidates."
The legislation's chief sponsor, Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig, urged colleagues to vote against it. "I believe it is so dramatically wounded that it should not pass," said Craig, who serves on the NRA board.
Craig later acknowledged to reporters that the bill was most likely dead for the year -- although he also vowed to block any attempt to revive the assault weapons ban, which is supported by many law enforcement groups and big city mayors.
Until Craig's unexpected repudiation, the bill, the NRA's top priority, had been coasting toward passage in the Senate. President Bush also strongly supported it.
Its sponsors had easily overcome procedural hurdles and beaten back attempts to narrow the legal protections it offered to the gun industry. They had said they expected any anti-gun amendments to be easily stripped out in negotiations with the House, which has not hesitated to kill Senate gun control measures in the past.
Asked what it would take to get the House to accept those measures, Arizona Republican John McCain, part of the bloc of Republicans who joined most Democrats in backing gun control measures, joked, "a tsunami."
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN ISSUE
The controversy is likely to echo in the 2004 presidential campaign. Both John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina interrupted their campaigns for the Democratic nomination to cast votes for the key gun control measures.
The White House has been pushing for a "clean" liability bill with no amendments, giving Bush's critics an opening to accuse him of backing away from his 2000 campaign pledge to support extension of the assault weapons ban.
"When his support was most critical ... he was not there," said Rhode Island Democrat Sen. Jack Reed, saying Bush "played both sides against the middle and then ended up with nothing."
Craig and other backers said the liabilty legislation would have shielded the gun industry against politically inspired "junk" civil suits like cases filed by some cities that attempt to hold the industry responsible for urban gun violence.
"There are those who benefit from job-destroying lawsuit lotteries," said Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn.
But foes said the language of the bill would give the industry far more sweeping immunity, even blocking suits by people whose relatives were killed by the Washington-area snipers in 2002.
"It would be a license for irresponsible behavior, unconstrained by any civil suit," Reed said.
Craig blamed Democrats for planning to use Senate rules to obstruct House negotiations on the bill.
The 1994 assault weapons ban, designed to keep "military-style" weapons off U.S. streets, expires in September unless Congress acts. New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg said assault weapons are "intended to kill as many people as possible in as short a period of time" and don't belong on the street.
The vote to close the "gun show loophole" would require people purchasing weapons at a gun show to undergo the same criminal background checks as they would have to through a licensed firearms dealer.
The Senate passed similar legislation after the 1999 Columbine high school shootings, but the House killed it. (Additional reporting by Jackie Frank and Vicki Allen)
Posted 02 March 2004 - 07:32 PM
What did I miss? I thought S1805 got passed by the Senate by six votes and had the renewal of the AWB attached to it. The next step should be to go to the House, right?? Where did I go wrong??
Posted 02 March 2004 - 08:12 PM
I don`t see the significance of this bill in the first place...if all the courts are overthrowing the lawsuits and the state legislatures are passing state laws to stop these suits...then what is so important about giving the scumbag antis an opportunity to tack on the extension...seems like we just gave them another chance to abuse the constitution,...something they are real good at..just like that bastard tip oneil in 86...voice vote my ass...that guy couldn`t hear nothin` but a cork poppin`...anyway I digress,seems like this bill was redundant...but we did see who voted for and against...and the NRA taking some action...my .02,out.
Posted 02 March 2004 - 10:09 PM
By John R. Lott Jr.
Gun-control advocates should fear the votes today in the Senate, but not for the reason that most peoplethink.Despite claims that letting the ban on some semi-automatic weapons expire will cause a surge of police killings and a rise in gun crimes, letting the law expire will show the uselessness of gun-control regulations. A year from now, it will be obvious to everyone that all the horror stories about banning what has beenlabeled"assault weapons" were wrong.
Today's votes center on reining in reckless lawsuits against gunmakers, and no one seems to doubt that the Senate will grant gunmakers some immunity. The vast majority of Americans understand that Ford Motor or General Motors should not be liable if a speeding driver gets into an accident and kills a pedestrian. And Americansunderstand that's the type of suits being brought against gun makers. No protection is being granted for selling defective products or when the company committed a crime. When even liberal Democratic congressmen,such as Charles Rangel from New York City, vote for the bill in the House, it is hard to claim that the bill is a product of the "gun lobby."
While the main issue is not contested, there is however today a debate over whether the lawsuit bill will be loaded with amendments requiring more gun-control regulations. These "poison pills" may make it difficult to get through a conference committee with the House. Last week, the Senate passed a provision on gunlocks and today more votes are scheduled, including whether to regulate gun shows and ban some types of ammunition.
One of the more contentious issues will be extending the ban on some semi-automatic guns. Seven states now ban certain types ofsemi-automatic guns, and the federal ban, in effect since 1994, is set to sunset this September. Yet, despite the heated rhetoric, there is not a single academic study showing that either the state or federal bans have reduced violent crime. Even research funded by the Justice Department under the Clinton administration concluded merely that the ban's "impact on gun violence has been uncertain."
The federal assault- weapons ban applied to semi-automatics that fire one bullet per pull of the trigger. Rebuilding semi-automatic weapons into machine guns is very difficult, as completely different firing mechanisms are used. The term "assault weapon" simply describes cosmetic features of the gun, not the way the gun fires bullets.
Ironically, notorious "assault weapons," such as the 223-caliber Bushmaster rifle used in the D.C.-area sniper killings, are not even allowed in most states for hunting deer or larger animals. The reason: It is such a low-powered rifle that it will too frequently wound rather than kill the deer.
The ban arbitrarily outlaws some guns based upon brand name or cosmetic features — such as whether a rifle could have a bayonet mount, a pistol grip, a folding stock or a threaded muzzle. Not only could someone buy some other semi-automatic gun that wasn't banned that fired the same bullets, at the same rapidity and with the same damage, but even the banned guns can be sold under a different name or after, say, the bayonet mount was removed.
Too often the debate misleads people about the guns being banned. Sen. John Kerry, the obvious Democratic presidential nominee, supports extending the ban because he claims, "When I go out there and hunt, I'm going out there with a 12-gauge shotgun, not an assault weapon." Yet, the ban has nothing to do with shooting birds with machine guns. The guns' names or cosmetic features make them no less well suited for hunting.
Proponents for keeping the semi-automatic "assault" gun ban argue that 10 of the 50 police officers shot to death annually over the four years from 1998 to 2001 were killed by these guns. But the Violence Policy Center, which put these numbers together, never examined whether the guns used to kill police possessed two or more of the features defining the mas"assault weapons." Rather, the guns were counted as assault weapons if it was possible that they had at least two of the banned features.
It is hard to convince some people that gun control doesn't reduce crime, but the continuing extreme claims by gun control advocates won't be forgotten a year from now. Somehow, the obvious failure of the semi-automatic gun ban will be a fitting epitaph for one of the gun control movement'shallmark pieces of legislation.
Posted 02 March 2004 - 10:14 PM
3/2/04: Stop the Presses! AWB Renewal Dies as S.1805 Shot Down.
Just as everyone following this issue was evaluating the aftermath of the Senate's vote to add a renewal of the so-called "assault weapons" ban to a widely supported bill, Senate Republicans dropped a bombshell by killing their own bill, taking the assorted anti-gun amendments such as the AWB renewal and gun show "loophole" measure with it.
S.1805, a bill to protect the firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits, was voted down 90-8.
Most observers expected supporters of the bill to send it on to the House, which already overwhelmingly approved a "clean" version of the bill, and attempt to strip off the anti-gun amendments in conference committee, or, if all else failed, kill the bill altogether. Virtually no one expected the NRA to torpedo the bill in the Senate.
While killing the AWB (for now, at least) without having to rely on the House was the safest route, it is unfortunate that the much needed lawsuit protection bill that it was attached to was lost in the process.
News stories on today's events are reporting that the vote "virtually ends any chance for gun legislation to make through Congress this year." In addition, Charles Schumer (D-NY), a strong supporter of the AWB, has stated that attaching the ban to S.1805 would be the only chance this year of renewing the ban, though it remains to be seen whether this will hold true or not.
One particularly interesting aspect of all this, something that should be pointed out, even if we all know the answer already... if what Schumer says is true, that this was the only chance of the ban being renewed this year, why did he, Feinstein, Kennedy, Clinton, DeWine, Durbin, Boxer, Kerry, Murkowski, Reed, and all the other anti-gun senators vote NO on final passage of S.1805?
Opposition to the concept of "immunity" to the gun industry is not an adequate excuse. Remember, when this ban expires, according to what these senators have been telling us repeatedly, "Uzis and AK-47s will flood the streets, countless police officers and innocent children will be slaughtered, etc." If this is truly the case, isn't losing the ability to sue gun makers a small price to pay for the implied "thousands of lives" that would be saved as a result of the ban being renewed, especially if this bill was the only chance for this to happen?
As John R. Lott, Jr. pointed out in the editorial above, "gun-control advocates should fear the votes today in the Senate, but not for the reason that most people think. Despite claims that letting the ban on some semi-automatic weapons expire will cause a surge of police killings and a rise in gun crimes, letting the law expire will show the uselessness of gun-control regulations. A year from now, it will be obvious to everyone that all the horror stories about banning what has been labeled "assault weapons" were wrong."