Second Amendment Gun control fight just beginning

Discussion in 'Bill of Rights' started by Witch Doctor 01, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Gun control fight just beginning

    By Paul Waldman, Special to CNN
    updated 11:14 AM EDT, Fri April 19, 2013

    How gun background checks failed to pass
    • Paul Waldman: Background check failure another shameful day for a cowardly Congress
    • Senate undemocratic, he says; small rural states have outsized power
    • He says Sen. Chuck Grassley spread lies to kill legislation
    • Waldman: This time, Americans got to see power of NRA-stoked paranoia
    Editor's note: Paul Waldman is a contributing editor at The American Prospect and the author of "Being Right Is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success." Follow him on his blog and on Twitter.
    (CNN) -- When the Manchin-Toomey background check amendment, a modest gun restriction by any reasonable measure, was defeated, President Barack Obama called it a "shameful day in Washington." But as anyone who watches Congress knows, it has more than its share of shameful days.
    There the deck was stacked against not only this bill, but against any bill that would restrict the proliferation of guns in any way. If those seeking sanity in our gun laws want to succeed, they'd better prepare themselves for a difficult journey.
    Many people thought that the Newtown massacre changed everything about the gun debate in America, and that new legislation was inevitable. The first part of that belief is still true; the second part is not. The bill was doomed for a number of reasons.
    The Senate is an extraordinarily undemocratic institution, where outsized power goes to the small, rural states with strong support for unlimited gun rights. The 57 million Americans who live in California and New York get four votes in the Senate, all of which were in favor of background checks.
    Paul Waldman

    But the 1.3 million Americans who live in Wyoming and North Dakota also get four votes, and they were all opposed. And that's not to mention the filibuster, which allows the minority to thwart the majority's will. You might not have realized it if you watched the coverage, but this background check bill was supported by a majority of the Senate.
    And even if it had passed the Senate, the bill would have likely died in the House, which is tilted in favor of Republicans, mostly because the way Americans are distributed. More Americans voted for Democrats than Republicans in the 2012 House elections, but Republicans enjoy a 31-seat advantage, meaning their leader controls the agenda and can kill any bill he and his caucus dislike.
    Opinion: One way to fight guns
    So does this mean the NRA still inspires the same fear it long has among lawmakers? Not really.
    The truth is that most of the people who threatened to filibuster the background check bill aren't afraid of the NRA. They're on its side. They don't need to be intimidated or even persuaded.
    Take Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who many years ago was known as a straightforward, even moderate fellow, but who at some point decided that if he didn't like a bill, the best thing to do is to simply lie about what it contained, stoke fears or both.
    He did it when he spread the "death panel" lie during the debate over health reform, and he did it again this time, telling people falsely that the Manchin-Toomey amendment would mean a national registry of every American who owns a gun. He then warned darkly, "when registration fails, the next move will be gun confiscation."
    For the record, the Manchin-Toomey amendment specifically forbade the government from creating a gun registry, which is why Obama and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia -- a guy from a state Obama lost by 27 points in 2012, who got elected to the Senate with an ad showing him firing a rifle shot through a piece of legislation while the announcer trumpeted his NRA endorsement -- accused the NRA and its supporters of lying about it.
    But Grassley and others spread the lie, knowing it would energize the paranoid and influence the more cowardly of their colleagues. As one gun lobbyist gloated after the bill was defeated, "The gun registry defined the battle over universal background checks."
    We shouldn't have been too surprised.

    But one of the salutary effects of this debate is how it has brought to wider public attention the kind of unhinged conspiracy theorizing, paranoia and outright hate most Americans wouldn't know about if they hadn't been attending NRA meetings or reading pro-gun Web sites in recent years.
    The insanity of some of those who opposed this bill was captured by the Minnesota radio host who said to the Newtown families, "I'm sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don't force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss."
    That's right -- having to get a background check when you buy a gun at a gun show is worse than having your child murdered. For good measure, he added that if he had the opportunity to meet those families, "I would stand in front of them and tell them, 'Go to hell.' "
    Opinion: Loved ones lost to bullets
    Most gun owners would hear that and be disgusted, just as most gun owners think universal background checks are perfectly reasonable. So now, gun safety advocates have to change how they think of their cause. It would have been nice if we could have made our gun laws a little more sane in this first try, but sometimes, change takes longer. But change is already underway.
    For 15 years, the debate on guns in America was no debate at all.
    One side would scream, "They're coming for your guns!" and the other side would respond, "Can't we talk about something else?"
    Now we actually have a debate with two sides. Democratic politicians (and a few Republicans) are no longer so afraid to say that the right to bear arms is not infinite; like every other right in the Constitution, it's subject to reasonable limits.
    The money from the gun manufacturers and the NRA will be met with an equally well-funded campaign -- and maybe more well-funded -- from Michael Bloomberg.
    In fact, this defeat may be just what the gun safety movement needs to energize its supporters.
    Talk to liberals a day after the vote, and you'll hear anger, frustration and disgust at the craven senators who couldn't stand up to the gun lobby. Those emotions are exactly what spur people to become involved. If they want to succeed, in the coming months and years, they'll need to make sure their voices are as loud as those of the NRA and its supporters.
    A number on a poll, like the 90% of Americans who support universal background checks, isn't politically meaningful unless it inspires some fear in lawmakers.
    This time around, they obviously weren't afraid enough. But if support for new gun measures can become an actual movement again -- with letters and phone calls and contributions and door knocking and an unmistakable message to candidates that there will be a price to be paid for going against it -- then next time around, they may be.

    Ignorance shows through in this op-ed... apparently the reporter doesn't know anything about representative democracy... the senate is a balance to keep a large state (read NY and California) from placing there will over other state due to population. the House is designed to give those more populous state a representation proportional to their population... the house would have over thrown the bill even with proportionally more votes from the large states.... I guess he wants to stir up unrest because his agenda (Gun Control) failed.... if the large states had voted against the bill and the small state had voted for it he would have complained that large state were over powering smaller states...

    oh well maybe he should have been homeschooled or stayed awake in class....
    ghrit, Yard Dart and tulianr like this.
  2. Donldson

    Donldson Monkey+

    Most democrats seem to love the idea that they are for the 90%+ but that the big bad "1%" are controlling everything. If it's not the 1% super-rich it's the 1% of US that are NRA members. Because OBVIOUSLY only the richest have any affect on the economy and only NRA members believe in 2A.

    (with apologies to the few liberal monkeys that do believe in freedom)
  3. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    Didn't read the article, not going to. He (and Reid) are right about one thing, the Gun Control fight IS just beginning, just not how he thinks. And it will only get worse with time if they keep pushing it.
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I read everything, if for no other reason than to "know thine enemy". He wants gun control, and they plan to get it by harping on the word "reasonable", meaning anyone who agrees with them, is reasonable, and anyone opposed is unreasonable. Then by claiming any kind of mental impairment is reasonable cause for removing your weapons. Then, of course, anyone back from the wars, would be under stress, and it would be reasonable to believe them a danger to themselves and others, so the weapons got to go. And anyone opposed to them, is obviously unreasonable, and therefore dangerous, and again those weapons got to go.
    Biggest problem I see, is they think they are the standard to be measured against, not the disease to be cut out. We are the standard, the template, they are the deviation from the path.
    Yard Dart and tulianr like this.
  5. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    The fact that the Senate actually worked as designed, and prevented the more populous states from steamrolling the less populous ones, is one of the very few rays of sunshine I've seen come out of Washington D.C. in a very long time.
    STANGF150, bfayer, ghrit and 5 others like this.
  6. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Agreed, notice how the writer said democracy? This is a republic not a democracy. It is working perfectly keeping huge states full of liberals in check from riding rough shod over the rest of us. Kingfish
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    DemoGogs always trot out Democracy... Republicrats always trot out the Constitutional Republic.... This has been the way since 1790, and will continue as long as Politicos ply their trade. I stand with the Constitutional Republic crowd, but NOT with any Politico, from either side.....
    STANGF150, tulianr and Kingfish like this.
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