Skip to comments.Bush AWOL on Assault Weapons
Posted on 04/21/2004 3:41:45 AM PDT by raybbr
This week, the Bush White House had the chance to send a clear message about how September 11 had transformed our politics. Instead it ducked, preferring pandering to principle. Vice President Dick Cheney, armed with muscular rhetoric, was dispatched to woo the zealots of the National Rifle Association. Cheney looked them in the eye and ducked completely on the issue of the day whether the White House will renew the ban on the sale of assault weapons. Bush has gone AWOL once more.
The assault weapons ban is supported by police chiefs and police officers across the country. It has nothing to do with hunters or the right to own a gun. It simply bans military-style assault weapons from America's streets. The police want the ban renewed because these weapons are cop killers. And in an age of terror, the last thing anyone should want is for Al Qaeda zealots to be able to purchase military weapons over the counter in America. A group armed with these in a football stadium or a shopping mall could slaughter hundreds in the space of a few moments.
As Cheney spoke, Tom Mauser, whose son was killed by an assault weapon at Columbine High School, tried to get into the NRA convention to appeal to Cheney to support renewal of the ban, which will otherwise expire. "These are the weapons of gangs, drug lords and sick people," said Mauser, "weapons of war, and we don't want this war on our streets." But Mauser was turned away, with NRA zealots screaming at him, with no sense of irony, "to get a life." As Mauser says, the NRA has a "Field and Stream membership, but a Soldier of Fortune leadership."
It was to that leadership that Cheney pandered. He lied about John Kerry's position on guns just as the administration has lied about his position on taxes, on terrorism and on the war in Iraq. The Bush campaign clearly believes the truth hurts, so it peddles falsehoods, counting on its $200 million war chest and its right-wing message machine to drown out the truth.
The reality is that John Kerry is a hunter and a sportsman. Unlike Cheney and Bush, however, he served in the military on the field of battle. Kerry has seen what assault weapons can do. He joins police chiefs across the country in seeking to renew the ban on their sale in the US. Kerry also joins John McCain is seeking to close the loophole that would allow terrorists or criminals to purchase weapons at a gun show without any background check. All of this is simply common sense. But that didn't keep Cheney, who ducked fighting in the Vietnam War saying he had "other priorities," from lying about Kerry's record, impugning his patriotism and suggesting that he was weak on terrorism.
Yet, in the same speech, Cheney said nothing about the assault weapons ban. Admittedly, it would take some courage to speak candidly to the NRA leadership about the need for this ban. But when it comes to politics, this White House chooses pander to principle every time. The president has promised to sign the bill renewing the assault weapons ban if Congress passes it and places it on his desk. He makes that promise with a characteristic smirk, no doubt confident that the right-wing House majority leader Tom DeLay will keep the renewal from ever coming to a vote.
It would take one phone call from the president to DeLay to get the assault weapons bill on the floor. If it came to the floor, it would pass overwhelmingly. But Bush has not made that phone call. He wants the support of the extremists at the top of the NRA, who will spend millions libeling Kerry in the campaign. But he doesn't want to offend the vast majority of Americans who can't imagine that the White House wouldn't push to renew the ban. So the president goes AWOL, and refuses to make the phone call.
This is an ugly and dangerous pander to extremism. Assault weapons aren't about hunting; they are about war. We're fighting a war on terror, with threats here at home. It is simply deplorable that the President doesn't have the courage to pick up the phone and call DeLay and demand that the assault weapons renewal come to a vote. Bush's campaign theme is that he is a strong leader, but on this basic issue, he ducks and covers.
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You are what you eat: Jesse Jackson has eaten too much tripe in his life:
That's all you need to know, even if you didn't read the byline of the article. That line by itself tells you that the writer knows that he is objective. See tagline . . ..
He just defeated his agrument for renewing the ban.
I got a clue for you Jesse, the Second Amendment ain't about hunting either.
Only the liberal ones. It is not supported by the people that count most, the real Americans. The ones that truly love this country and it's constitution.
This entire topic is all fluff and politics. Give it rest already....
In a critical time when we are exposed to the possibility of terror attacks, it does not make sense from a practical standpoint to eliminate defensive weapons. The enemy has enough tools at his disposal without making the entire nation a gun-free killing zone. From a Constitutional standpoint, it is not in the American interest to disarm for a takeover by a despot. The German experience shows the danger of allowing only officials of the government to hold a monopoly on firearms.
Me, too. The 2A has nothing to do with NEED. When you think about it....we don't NEED cars, etc etc etc.
I can safely say that we don't NEED Jesse Jerkson.
Cops are killed with there own side arm more often than with any other weapon. Perhaps we should have Police Side Arm Ban instead.
And in an age of terror, the last thing anyone should want is for Al Qaeda zealots to be able to purchase military weapons over the counter in America.
Al Qaeda as with any other criminal is more likely to purchase their weapon of choice on the black market. Also Al Qaeda has displayed a definite preference for other types of weapons such as car bombs, and airliners (and maybe shoulder fired missiles). These types of weapons wound not be banned by the assault weapons ban.
A group armed with these in a football stadium or a shopping mall could slaughter hundreds in the space of a few moments.
Only if the intended targets milled around like sheep being led to the slaughter and did nothing to defend themselves or subdue the attacker. But of course that is what the less than Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. desires for the American public, that we be the defenseless sheeple of his dreams.
Jesse must have gotten a fax from Massa Terry...
Ahhhhh, yes, it doesn't have anything to do with rights to own a gun, it just bans the gun. Excellent. Looks like someone went to the 1984 school of writing! Hey everyone, is ignorance still strength? Freedom still slavery? MMM-kay, just checking.
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