Skip to comments.Bush gun control plan is threat to homeland security
Posted on 05/03/2003 1:10:54 PM PDT by Enemy Of The State
Bush gun control plan is threat to homeland security
WASHINGTON, DC -- President Bush's support for renewing a Clinton administration ban on so-called assault rifles sends the wrong message to terrorists and other criminals, Libertarians say.
"Politicians who want to disarm vulnerable Americans at a time like this are a threat to homeland security," said Geoffrey Neale, Libertarian Party chairman. "The government simply can't protect everyone, all the time, but at least it can allow Americans to protect themselves."
The 1994 assault weapons law, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, and then-Rep. Charles Schumer, D-NY, banned the manufacture and importation of certain types of semi-automatic rifles and prohibited magazines of more than 10 rounds. Bush administration spokesman Scott McClellan set off a public furor recently when he said the president "supports reauthorization of the current law," which is set to expire in September 2004 because of a 10-year sunset provision.
But banning guns sends terrorists and other criminals the message that Americans are even more vulnerable than before, Libertarians point out.
"Fortunately, terrorists carrying semi-automatic rifles haven't yet stormed a shopping mall, an office park or a busy urban area, but they could," Neale said. "If that happens, shouldn't their victims be able to shoot back with the same weapons the terrorists are using?
"Of course, an assault weapon may never be used to thwart a terrorist assault. But if overturning this gun ban saves just one life, it will have been worthwhile."
The main justification for the gun ban -- that assault weapons are a favorite choice for criminals -- doesn't stand up to logical scrutiny, Neale pointed out.
"According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, assault weapons are used in less than 1 percent of violent crimes, and the FBI admits that far more people are killed every year by knives and blunt objects than by any kind of rifle, including an 'assault rifle,' " he said. "So banning assault weapons to protect public safety makes as much sense as banning knives and baseball bats."
The threat posed by assault weapons is so exaggerated that Joseph Constance, a deputy police chief in Trenton, NJ, once told the Senate Judiciary Committee: "My officers are more likely to confront an escaped tiger from the local zoo than to confront an assault rifle in the hands of a drug-crazed killer on the streets."
The bigger threat is that Bush will follow through on his promise to sign the renewed assault weapons ban, Neale said.
"When it comes to supporting crime-victim disarmament laws, Bush is a recidivist," he said. "Just eight months after terrorists commandeered four airlines on September 11, Bush opposed a House bill that would have allowed armed pilots in the cockpit. Fortunately, the president reversed himself in response to public pressure -- and the legislation was approved."
Now Bush seems to be repeating his mistake -- and that's bad news for homeland security, Libertarians say.
"Let's urge Bush to flip-flop in the direction of freedom again and let this gun ban quietly expire," he said. "It's time to stop the government's assault on public safety."
I must be missing something.
I live in Texas, and I've bought six guns in three years. Any gun I wanted to buy, I bought and, because I have a CCW, I took the gun home with me right away.
For all the frenetics here, Tom DeLay and John Dingell will never allow a AWB to get out of the House.
When I was in high school I recall a guy having to see the principal about having a gun in his pickup rack. The principal was not worried about him having a gun on school property, he was worried about it being stolen. My Father used to carry a .22 rifle to school and store it in the teachers closet then hunt on his way home.
Heck I was watching "Leave it to Beaver" the other day on tv and the teacher was having the students bring mementos of WWII or other wars in to class. One kid brought a musket and another a bayonet.BTW a few years ago some gunman shot up a Southern Baptist church in Dallas killing over a dozen. It received little attention because the victims were conservative. If one of the church goers had been armed he might well have saved many lives. Yes the idea of someone having a gun in church is really crazy. I remember Skeeter Skelton mentioning the Methodist Minister keeping a loaded .45 on the pulpit.
The first time was a Marlin lever action which I saw in a shop in Alabama. I was nearly 70 miles from home and when there was a delay, I just let it go because I didn't want to drive back to get it.
I have a spotless record. Have never been charged with any crime much less been convicted yet I get a delay nearly everytime I try to buy a gun. If I am away from home I no longer even try, so yes the damned law has caused a hell of a lot of inconvenience to me.
You don't live in California. I realize you're making the point that Texans have defended their rights and they enjoy the freedoms they've secured. But it's not so good in many other areas of the USA.
When they came for the trade unionists and socialists, I said nothing because I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the homosexuals and the gypsies, I said nothing because I was neither. When they came for the Jews, I said nothing because I was not a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I said nothing because I was not a Catholic. And when they came for me, there was nobody to say anything for me. --Rev. Martin NiemollerWhile you may not agree with each group of people pastor Niemoller felt guilty for not defending, that is exactly the point: you certainly wouldn't have agreed with the German solution to the "problems" they posed to German society. The same goes for weapons laws in this country.
Restrictive firearms laws aren't a problem in Texas? You're OK. California is a long way away. You're not a 50BMG shooter? No problem, nothing to worry about today. You're not an assault-weapon enthusiast? No problem, you've got your handgun. The problem is that each new generation of laws becomes more and more restrictive. Even those who live in Texas should be concerned with what is happening in blue states!
We stood by while laws were passed that slowly eroded our freedoms. The .50BMG ban proposal is in Congress again. All of this adds up to serious reduction in 2nd. amendment freedoms nationally, and especially in high-density population areas of the West (left) coast and the Northeast.
I think the NRA's "America's First Freedom" campaign is right on the mark. It's taken me a while to come to this conclusion, but 2nd amendment rights secure the 1st and all others.
One definition of politics is the art of the possible. Do you want a public stand or do you want the Assault Weapons Ban to just go away. I want the latter and I see this strategy as letting it go away and stay away.
Do you agree or disagree with the following two statements:
California a few years ago passed the point of no return, I think. Many companies and productive citizens have left or are leaving the state, forcing higher taxes on (and encouraging the exodus of) those that remain. I see no way to stop the slide of people demanding more and more goodies from a smaller and smaller pie.
I'd say it's far more important to "reinforce" the states near California against liberalism than it is to try to rescue the lost cause.
I believe you guys are probably right. This is essentially the same tack he took with McCain-Feingold. Opposing McCain and the Democrats was politically difficult, so he simply announced that if it reached his desk he would sign it. This put the onus on the Repubs in congress. They weren't willing to take the heat, of course, so they passed it, Bush signed it. It turns out to be worse for the Dems than for the Repubs, and the Dems are already violating it, and as of a day or two ago, the Supremes are going to throw it out.
It may be that he is counting on it dying in committee, thus eliminating it as an issue, or he will sign it again eliminating it as an issue, and expect that the Supremes will throw it out.
With a razor thin majority in congress, this may be the best we can do. But Bush's die-hards would forgive him for signing McCain-Feingold, knowing it was a manuever. They may not forgive him signing a weapons ban, and bolt. You and I might stick with him, but enough will bolt to hand the election to the Dems. It is a risky gambit. It must die in committee or get ready for a Liebermann presidency.
I like Liebermann. Think he would make a great ex-senator. Don't want to think about a Liebermann Administration.
As a patriotic citizen living and working in California, I feel I can't take this tact. You may be 99% correct, but I have to hold on to that glimmer of hope that things will improve if we show our concerns and explain ourselves.
I send E-mail to the governor and my congressmen (mostly ladies actually) and I try to make my voice heard. I love this state and I'm not going to give up on it until such time as I must leave for other reasons. And as long as I vote, I feel I have the right to argue and complain as much as I see fit.