Skip to comments.Democratic governors fear gun reform moment has passed
Posted on 03/01/2013 7:37:55 AM PST by Drew68
Gun-control advocates hoped the shattering December murder of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Conn., would upend the de facto non-aggression pact on federal gun laws that both political parties have consented to in the last decade. But now that expanded background checks seem to be the only initiative that may pass Congress, the most powerful bloc of gun-control proponents in the country is conceding that the gripping sense of outrage following the Sandy Hook massacre has ebbed.
Democratic governors fault Washington lawmakers for not acting more aggressively but, more strikingly, some even point a finger at Americans themselves for not keeping up the pressure on elected officials.
I think the public outrage at this has somewhat waned and that makes the consensus harder to achieve, said Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley, adding: [S]adly, after the funerals, for too many of us as Americans, our attention turns to other things and that makes it harder to achieve the consensus, and nothing moves terribly fast in Washington anyway.
OMalley, who has been one of the loudest voices for gun restrictions, recalled that he and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell both predicted after Sandy Hook that there would be a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban within six months.
It hasnt happened, said OMalley.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who was also governor in the 1990s during similar shooting sprees, also cited the now-familiar pattern of demands for action abating as the months pass following the tragedies and pro-gun forces mount aggressive lobbying campaigns.
The same thing happened after Columbine, same thing happened after Thurston in Oregon a number of years ago: theres this big coverage peak, people get outraged and a few days later the anti-gun control people begin to emerge and then theres a distance, Kitzhaber said. Asked whether the federal government is falling short on the gun issue, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy shot back: Sure it is. Sure it has.
We had a workable [assault weapons] ban, right? Malloy continued. We had a magazine size limitation. And in 2004 when it needed to be renewed, it was not renewed. So yeah, clearly we let a lot of people down as a nation. Now, even the most optimistic gun-control backers will concede its highly unlikely that any legislation limiting the sale of particular weapons could get out of the Senate let alone come to a vote in the House. Thats partly because the passage of time since Newtown has diminished the demand for action but its also because there remains a robust core of Second Amendment supporters who are effective at making their voices heard with lawmakers.
OMalley, a former Baltimore mayor, compared the efforts of the two sides in his own heavily suburban and urban state, where theres broad public support overall for gun restrictions but also a vocal element opposing such steps.
Were calling people together for a rally in Annapolis this Friday for sensible gun safety legislation, he said. Its going OK, but it doesnt happen by itself. Whereas the NRA is a group thats networked and now hyper-networked with the Internet, and was able to generate a giant crowd Theyre very effective with the small group of people who feel intensely about this. The gun-rights group has just as much sway in Washington, as the difference between what, legislatively, seems possible now as compared to in the days immediately following Newtown.
In an effort to show Congress that the NRA doesnt have always have the political upper hand, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has begun spending money on pro-gun-control candidates and won a victory Tuesday against a pro-NRA Democrat in a Chicago-area House district. He promises to do more of the same in 2014.
But governors arent waiting on the Beltway politics of guns to change.
So, instead of waiting on piecemeal legislation from Washington, some Democratic governors are moving to implement firearms restrictions in their own states that almost certainly could never pass the Republican-controlled House or a Senate with a bipartisan consensus on gun rights.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law in January strengthening his states assault weapons ban and limiting the number of bullets in gun magazines. OMalley is pushing legislation this legislative session that would ban all assault weapons, restricting the size of magazines and seeking to license handgun purchases. In conjunction with a trip by Vice President Joe Biden to Connecticut last week, Malloy rolled out his own proposals, which included an expanded assault weapons ban, background checks for all gun purchases, a ten-round magazine limit.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell actually pushed through some gun control proposals before Newtown, but is now attempting to get additional legislation relating to mental health and school safety to his desk.
Whatever happens at the national level, we in Delaware didnt feel like it would be the appropriate thing for us to wait, said Markell.
But its not just in the heavily-urban states where Democratic governors are taking action on guns. Even some governors whove previously been cautious on the issue are sounding off. In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper is seeking expanded background checks and has said he supports some curbs on magazine sizes. Kitzhaber has also signaled a willingness to support gun restrictions, including assault weapons bans and magazine size limits.
And Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, who in 2010 received an NRA A-rating and hails from a heavily rural state, said hed like to see federal action on universal background checks and restrictions on the size of magazines.
Yet even while such Democratic governors are taking action on guns, theres a frustration in their ranks about what is becoming a patchwork solution to what they see as a national problem.
The problem is California has very strong regulations but our neighboring states of Nevada and Arizona dont, said California Gov. Jerry Brown.
Malloy, previously the Mayor of Stamford, described what is the bane of many Northeastern mayors and governors.
As far as background checks, when you go up and down 95 you can do it in Philadelphia, you can do it in New York City or Bridgeport or New Haven or Hartford or Stamford for that matter you find a gun thats been used in a street crime, a hand gun and you trace it to the last place it can be traced to, more often than not it is [from a state like] Florida or Virginia, which allows sales that we would never allow, said Malloy. People buy them, put them in the back of the car, drive them up the streets in these communities and put them in the back of their cars. We do need federal action.
While they want more, the pro-gun control Democratic governors believe even incremental progress in Washington this year could breathe life back into the issue.
I think the president cant stop talking about it
and if he gets universal background checks, it gives momentum to states to do more, said OMalley.
Yep. The administration unloaded the criminals into every state, and those criminals are going to get desperate. Law abiding citizens are now going to have to defend themselves and their children from all the new oboma supporters who'll be slithering around in the shadows and looking for human targets to rape and plunder.
Oboma gave the American people no choice. Arm themselves, or become the victims of this legislation.
They should count themselves as lucky if this is indeed true. Otherwise they would have opened up a can of whipass fightback the likes their kind have never seen. There’s a saying, “Enough is enough!” And, to my mind, this issue is the straw that would break the camel’s back.
Politicians are scared to death that the Citizens might (will) come after them as the economy settles into the muck, and other failed policies become apparent.
We need a video of Obama and his staff threatening the nation with reduced law enforcement and national security.
Follow that with rolling script and voice over:
THIS is why American citizens NEED semi-automatic rifles with 30 round magazines.
To protect our families, our homes, our communities, and our nation, when the government FAILS in those responsibilities.
Yes, we might have dodged a bullet (no pun intended) on the national level but gun owners in a handful of states haven't been so fortunate as gun-banners have found greater success at the state level. I can't believe the crap my home state of Colorado is about to pass. Gun control would've been unthinkable in Colorado a decade ago, even after Columbine. I don't even recognize the place anymore and it pains me to say I'm glad I no longer live there.
At this point, the best that gun-owning residents of these states can hope is for the courts to toss out much of this garbage.
“Democratic governors fear gun reform moment has passed “
It certainly does not seem to “have passed” in Maryland.
The Washington Times reports this morning on the progress in MD of what may be the nation’s most restrictive gun control law yet:
Passage there looks to be a near-certainty.
Translation: reason and freedom have triumphed. WINNING!
You say that as if it's a bad thing. Two birds with one stone. Works for me.
So does non-compliance
Never let a good slaughter got to waste!
What evil and vile people they are!
So, where is the article giving thanks that the people rose up and protected the Constitution from the evil, power hungry MSM and politicians?
It would be every bit as fair as this article, and more logical.
The same libtard politicos who want more gun control laws never enforce the ones that are already on the books.