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 write of just this sort of event in Volume II of my Dragon's Fury Book Series
Below is a link to the excerpt I have up on my site regarding that event in the novel.
Bush will get very nearly zero votes from gun control proponents but he will lose a lot from freedom loving voters. I would never vote for any of the current democrats but I also will not vote for Bush if he pushes this.
If Bush renews the ban, he's a one-termer. Mark my words.
|So far we have a statement from the White House that GWB supports extending the Assault Weapons Ban unless and until his political operatives start really lobbying for this the bill will die in comittee and never make it to the floor. This gives Bush the best of both worlds the Rats vcannot use it as a campaign issue for the Succer moms and the AWB expires on Sept. 14, 2004.
You broke the code. This thing has zero chance of getting out of the House. None, nada, zip. Knowing that, Bush can play the Dems like a fiddle.
"Bush gun control plan" indeed. Don't these people understand that when you hold both houses of Congress plus the White House, you can choose where to kill it, and let the other guys play politics with it to bat the other party around? C'mon, let's enjoy our time in the Sun. We don't need to run like scared chickens all the time.
There are quite a few places where it is and has been legal for a long time to take your gun to church, the mall, etc. I don't recall there ever being trouble because of it.
Fact is tho that according to the only people who have ever really studied it scientifically, there are more than two million crimes prevented in the US annually by citizens with guns. The overwhelming majority of which are not fired.
You can't arm apathetic people at the last minute and expect them to defend your country against A10s, Apaches, and SAWs teams. It takes weeks of committed training and practice to become proficient with military grade rifles for a populace to be ready for anything like that. This is just one argument for us to strengthen our vigilance by eliminating bans like this (and the BMG50 proposals) so people can keep their skills sharp. It's also a strong suggestion that we should be thinking about citizen home defense tactics as well as simple target practice.
The McCain-Bayh Citizen Soldier initiative seems to have fizzled out, unfortunately. But it seemed like a step in the right direction: we need a formal way to organize in defense of our communities.
A call to service in a time of war
Short-term enlistment would entice even well-educated and well-off Americans to bear arms.
by Marc Magee and Steven J. Nider
"The United States does not consider it a sacrifice to do all one can, to give one's best to our nation, when the nation is fighting for its existence and its future life. It is not a sacrifice for any man, old or young, to be in the Army or the Navy of the United States. Rather it is a privilege."
"I'm asked all the time, what can I do to help? People say, 'Well, gosh, I want to be a part of the war against terror.' And my answer is, love somebody. Be a good mother or dad."
With America embroiled in a global war on terrorism, with the increasing likelihood of a conflict with Iraq, and with tensions rising on the Korean peninsula, public attention has turned to a crucial question: Who is doing the fighting and dying for all of us? President Bush has been silent on this question, choosing instead to make a call to part-time volunteerism the service component of his war mobilization. New Democrats, by contrast, have been working since 9/11 to reconnect national service and national defense.
On Dec. 2, 2002, this hard work paid off when the military pillar of the Bayh-McCain "National Call to Service" billa new short-term "citizen-soldier" enlistment programwas signed into law as part of the fiscal 2003 defense authorization. This initiative represents the most important change in military recruitment policy since the draft was ended. It enables volunteers to sign up for 18 months of service on active dutythe average enlistment now is four yearsfollowed by service in the Reserves and then either a period of availability in the Individual Ready Reserves or civilian service in AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. By shortening the length of enlistment and basing recruitment on a call to service rather than the current focus on cash incentives, this citizen-soldier plan offers the nation's most fortunate sons and daughters a voluntary equivalent of the old drafta way to contribute to America's defense without choosing a military career.
The military's current recruitment strategyone based on economic incentives and career-track enlistmentsdoes not entice many well-off or well-educated citizens. For example, the percentage of Americans in uniform with college experience is only 28 percent, versus 56 percent of the civilian population. The disconnect between American elites and the military is even greater. The percentage of congressional members with military service has declined from 75 percent in 1971 to less than 34 percent today. In addition, despite the large-scale military mobilization since Sept. 11, 2001, only a few members of Congress have a son or daughter in the armed forces, and only one of those is in the enlisted ranks.
The new short-term enlistment option offers a way to reverse this growing civilian-military divide. Research by Northwestern University professor Charles Moskos, the country's pre-eminent military sociologist, demonstrates that use of the new short-term enlistment track could help share the burden of military service more equitably by removing one of the most important barriers to military service for college graduates: the long-term enlistments, which graduates perceive as obstacles to their larger career goals. In addition, the enlistment of these citizen soldiers could help ease the growing strains on our military created by the long-duration campaigns of the war on terror by bringing more full-time soldiers into a force overly reliant on reserve personnel. Finally, even with the largest increase in defense spending since the Reagan administration, having the resources necessary to win the war on terror will require that we make every effort to get the most out of each dollar. By meeting our recruiting needs through a call to service instead of larger cash incentives, the enlistment of citizen soldiers will make certain that we have the resources needed to carry on this fight as long as necessary.
While the passage of the military pillar of the Bayh-McCain national service bill is a significant step forward, much more needs to be done this year to assure that we meet the challenges ahead. We propose three benchmarks for success in 2003. First, the new citizen-soldier program should be brought up to scale by assuring that important occupations with short training programs, such as military police, psychological operations, and military intelligence, are included in the initial implementation plan and by setting a target of recruiting 25,000 citizen soldiers in the program's first year. Second, the military pillar of service should be connected to an expansion of civilian service opportunities by increasing the size of the AmeriCorps program by 25,000 members in 2003 and dedicating one-half of the increase to homeland security projects. Third, the nation's leaders should go beyond the president's call for part-time volunteerism to make a clear call for full-time national service, including service as citizen soldiers. Only then will we begin to meet the challenges to our collective securityjust as President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for in 1941with the privilege of service to the nation shared equally by all its citizens.
Marc Magee is the director of the Center for Civic Enterprise at the Progressive Policy Institute. Steven J. Nider is director of foreign and security studies at PPI.
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.
If every assertion you make were true, the second amendment would still stand. Instead of berating us for our support of this country's laws, why don't you try to change them instead?
If there is any additional garbage added to the AWB and it somehow makes it to Bush's desk, he'll be able to sign it without breaking any promises whatsoever. It might not be a bad idea to convince someone like McCain to add something extra in there for that very reason [plus it would aid in the 'unelect John McCain' efforts].
If the thing does get out of Congress, things will be difficult, but that would be so whether or not Bush signs it, since whatever Republicans went along with it would have drawn bullseyes on their backs come election time.
California has put out the welcome mat for illegal immigrants. I very much doubt you'll ever have the demographics needed to compete with that.
Perhaps you should figure out how to convince California to secede from the U.S. Unlike the 1860's war, I think much of the U.S. would be glad to see California become its own country.
Indeed you do, and anybody who hasn't read it yet needs to do so. My copy of Volume III just got here :)
I think I will just let your latest post sit there for everyone to see. It really doesn't need anyone to point out the obvious nonsense.
At least you didn't try the old "I am a gun supporter" lead off, which most trolls use before you went off on your tirade against gun owners.