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The latest senseless killings have renewed the hand-wringing over guns, with folks arguing in the same sentence that Democrats aren't trying to take anybody's guns but that they must do so to stop the carnage.

Republicans and their minions are certainly using stuff like Eric Holder's recent call for a re-instatement of the assinine Assault Weapons Ban to stir up fear of Democrat Gun Grabbers, and many here are doing all they can to help them. It's entirely possible that the guy who killed the three cops bought it.

I have previously addressed the AWB and its stupidity, as have others; we can rehash that in the Comments if necessary. I want to try to get folks to look at this from another angle.

The AWB was passed in 1994. The Republicans immediately regained majorities in both Houses, and added gains in 1996. There was little change in '98, Bush was awarded the Presidency in 2000, and Republicans gained again in 2002. THE AWB expired in 2004, and Republicans made minor gains.

Then Democrats shut the hell up about guns, and in 2006 took control of the House and moved into a tie in the Senate, gaining majorities across the board and the Presidency in 2008.

I am certainly not claiming that guns were the only thing going on in these years, but consider this: Democrats win only when they attract significant Independent votes, and many Independents own guns and wish to keep them. When Democrats are baying about taking guns, any guns, these Independents can easily just vote Republican, and with the incidence of razor-thin elections, can decide the results.

But that's not what this Diary is about.

While the Republicans had control of both Houses under Clinton they fought tooth and nail against anything that looked like environmental regulation or anything that improved health care. Once they had the White House too they aggressively rolled back what regulations there were and defeated every effort to improve anything, from OSHA standards and enforcement to the Clean Water Act, that might have any negative effect on business, no matter how many people these actions might sicken or kill.

It is my contention that Republicans in control of our Government kill far more Americans than guns do, and that any attempt to re-instate the AWB or other such meaningless but politically-charged nonsense will accomplish nothing except tipping elections back their way at a time when they desperately need Democratic help to retain relevance.

Hopefully, today's Democrats are smarter than that.

Originally posted to The Baculum King on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 11:43 AM PDT.

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