Skip to main content

From the way the right wing and the NRA talk about the issue, one would think that Obama was the biggest threat to 2nd Amendment rights ever, and that conservative Republicans have always been staunch opponents of gun control of any kind.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

For instance, did you know that Richard Nixon admitted that, if he could get away with it, he would outlaw all hand guns?

In 1969, journalist William Safire asked Richard Nixon what he thought about gun control. "Guns are an abomination," Nixon replied. According to Safire, Nixon went on to confess that, "Free from fear of gun owners' retaliation at the polls, he favored making handguns illegal and requiring licenses for hunting rifles."

Maybe living in an era when major political and civil rights leaders were being gunned down right and left made someone like Nixon particularly cognizant of the very real threat posed by firearms.

Did you know that the first President Bush banned the import of assault weapons in 1989?

Not to be outdone was the sainted Gipper himself:

It was Governor Ronald Reagan of California who signed the Mulford Act in 1967, "prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street." The law was aimed at stopping the Black Panthers, but affected all gun owners.

Twenty-four years later, Reagan was still pushing gun control. "I support the Brady Bill," he said in a March 28, 1991 speech, "and I urge the Congress to enact it without further delay."

Obviously Reagan had a very personal experience with firearms and therefore a very personal reason to favor imposing reasonable restrictions on them.  But bear in mind, this is the icon of the conservative movement, a man who apparently could do no wrong in a right winger's eyes.

In their terms as elected officials of New York, Governor George Pataki and Mayor Rudy Giuliani did much to curb gun ownership:

One of the most aggressive gun control advocates [of the late 1990s and early 2000s was] Republican mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York City, whose administration sued 26 gun manufacturers in June 2000, and whose police commissioner, Howard Safir, proposed a nationwide plan for gun licensing, complete with yearly "safety" inspections.

Another Republican, New York State Governor George Pataki, on August 10, 2000, signed into law what The New York Times called "the nation?s strictest gun controls," a radical program mandating trigger locks, background checks at gun shows and "ballistic fingerprinting" of guns sold in the state. It also raised the legal age to buy a handgun to 21 and banned "assault weapons," the sale or possession of which would now be punishable by seven years in prison.

All this goes to show what an incredibly powerful organization the NRA has become in just the past decade, when even Democrats are terrified into running to the right of the likes of Nixon, Bush Sr., Reagan and Giuliani on this issue.  

Heck, even Mitt Romney, when he was governor of MA, did more to pass laws restricting guns than Obama ever has as President. 2004 Romney signed what the AP would later call “one of the toughest assault weapons laws in the country."

But you'd never know it from the way Wayne LaPierre paints Obama as being just one eager pen-stroke away from confiscating every single gun from every single American gun owner.

It's at least good to have this little bit of historical perspective on the issue the next time some gun nut tries to make that ludicrously paranoid case.

Originally posted to Rolandz on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by Right to Keep and Bear Arms and History for Kossacks.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  We've mentioned it before, but this is a NICE (11+ / 0-)


    Republished to RKBA.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:17:43 PM PDT

  •  Starting With the Most Famous Republican Gun (9+ / 0-)

    control enforcers, Wyatt Earp and brothers, who banned carrying altogether within town limits.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:21:46 PM PDT

  •  Republished to History for Kossacks. nt (8+ / 0-)
  •  It is interesting to consider wether gun issues (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north, KVoimakas, ER Doc, oldpunk

    can even be discussed in the context of typical left right politics.

    The reason gun control was always a Republican issue up until a few years ago is that Republicans represent the owners, they have no need of guns they have people with guns already.

    I think the extreme emotions worked up by the fear of gun restrictions plays into a sense of powerlessness felt by most working class guys I know. (I'm a blue collar gun owning hunter, and I even have a diesel pickup). Our wages have gone down our whole lives, a doctor's visit could mean losing our houses, ethnicities and languages we don't understand are mainstream. How this jives with typical company owning gated community country club Repubs I just don't know.

    I think the Republican party is bipolar.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:21:03 PM PDT

    •  Lets not ignore the institutional racism (6+ / 0-)

      that frames most gun control laws, in the course of American history.

      The diarist gave us an example with Reagan.  I maintain Lyndon Johnson knew full well what the Gun Control Act of 1968 contained, and wrapped it in Martin Luther King Jr's death, claiming the GCA '68 was good for persons of color.

      MLK was not shot by an African-American Felon.

      The scary El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) certainly had an arrest record.  Certainly had enough of what crumbs white America would toss in the direction of a man-of-color, a black man.

      LBJ knew what he was doing all right... and the motives of Richard Milhous Nixon were no different.

      Importantly, the sainted NRA sold the rights of Americans they didn't see as heir to the endowment, down the river since the turn of the century:

      Immigrants.  Communists.  Jews.  Persons of Color.

    •  The ownership class, for example, is always (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, KVoimakas, ER Doc, oldpunk

      guaranteed permits, in systems where permits are required and "may issue" (they put the local sheriff or DA into office, and can make sure he's removed if he doesn't play ball). They can always hire bodyguards, and get their permits through the system. The can always pay onerous fees.

      The ownership class has always been for restrictions on rights; because they know these restrictions will never be applied to them.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:03:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Repeat after me: IOKIYAR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Robobagpiper, ER Doc

    Republican presidents NEVER take heat for anything they do about gun control.  Also remember that the NRA in the 1970s was not the intransigent unit it is today.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 07:58:21 PM PDT

  •  Gun control will come (0+ / 0-)

    if not after this massacre, then after the next or the next or the next.  Because they will continue only until we get tired of innocents being slaughtered in the course of daily life.  The shrill, unrelenting voices of the gun-nuts will one day be seen for the self-serving, adolescent purposes they serve.  These are men who want to be men...but need a gun to prove it to themselves.

    Even the NRA was in favor of gun control until their leadership was deposed by a tea-bagger-type assault in the '70's.

    The rest of the world's countries (Somalia, etc., excused) understands the importance of life without encouraging bloodbath scenarios.  Why can't ours?

    Only weak men fear strong women

    by john07801 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:19:06 PM PDT

    •  We already have plenty of gun control - too many (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas, ER Doc, oldpunk

      laws, not enough resources to enforce the good ones among them.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:04:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site