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One thing congressional Democrats agree on is that passing any new gun legislation will require a full-court press from the White House. President Obama has indicated that he plans exactly that. On other matters, however, Democrats are divided, both in terms of tactics and content:
Many Democrats, and some Senate Republicans, believe the only legislation that has a whisper of a chance of passing would be bills that are tightly focused on more consensus elements like enhancing background checks or limits on magazines, subjected to debate in committee and then brought to a vote after building bipartisan support.[...]

Others, particularly those senators who have long fought for gun control measures, believe a plodding process allows too much time for opposition to build, and prefer to fast-track measures by adding them as amendments to other bills, even blocking bills in ways that have angered Democrats, until they are granted votes on those ideas.

“We can’t sit around for months talking and letting the gun lobby run out the clock,” said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey. “If we’re going to make progress, it’s essential that we move quickly and start voting as soon as possible.”

The division also reflects the fact that many Democrats, especially in rural districts and in the West, represent constituents who view most gun restrictions with suspicion and may, in fact, hold those views themselves. They have generally been strong advocates of gun rights and have received good ratings, and even campaign contributions, from the National Rifle Association.

This means they may back what polls show Americans overwhelmingly support—universal background checks and tougher controls on gun trafficking via straw-man purchases—but reject the proposed assault weapons ban that would proscribe military-style semi-automatic rifles and shotguns and perhaps the proposed 10-bullet limit on the capacity of detachable magazines.

The New York Times reports that campaign aides say the Obama for America organization will be transformed into an organization for Obama's agenda headed by the president's former campaign manager, Jim Messina. New gun restrictions would be only part of its operations, but they might provide a first test of how effective the new organization can be. First Lady Michelle Obama announced the new group, Organizing for Action, Friday.

Given that Speaker John Boehner has made clear the House will wait for the Senate to act on guns, one of the restructured OFA's first tasks is likely to be bringing public pressure to bear on reluctant Senate Democrats: Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Mark Warner of Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Heitkamp, Landrieu and Manchin have made comments since the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre that pushed the gun restrictions into the spotlight that they will be hard sells. Obviously the organization will have its work cut out for it.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The senate won't act (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vote4Obamain2012

    Because they are too concerned about being re-elected than doing their job.

    An all out ban of all guns is the only way. Tell the gone lovers to get out now!

    •  I am a lover of gones (9+ / 0-)

      Gone away tonight, gone never come back....ducks for cover.

      Look, I tried to be reasonable...

      by campionrules on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:34:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Guns Gone's" a good gimmick but that IS ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight

      ... an approach that won't go forward.

      Nevertheless, a bill to do just that would be a good counterpoint to candy-a**ed half way, watered down measures.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:42:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you're arguing for a campaign.. (7+ / 0-)

      ...to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:42:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So are a lot of people (8+ / 0-)

        And if you look to the comment I made downthread, these are the kinds of comments that folks see and believe portends a lot more restrictions coming down the pipeline.

        I'm starting to believe that too, honestly.

        I've seen enough people here say the 2nd Amendment should be repealed that I see that my own views solidify in response and have to keep checking in with myself ethically. I can't imagine what this feels like for others; it's a pretty intense reaction, particularly because I really do not trust our police force to maintain law and order whatsoever and to not abuse power due to what I, myself, have seen and known to be true about California's law enforcement. And I'm pretty level-headed !

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:04:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would also add that I'm white, female, and (11+ / 0-)

          reasonably privileged when it comes to law enforcement. I think we've had very, very little conversation about how non-white people feel about this whole issue, particularly those who live in rural areas.

          I would like to hear more from these folks, personally.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:10:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  it doesn't work (4+ / 0-)

          for all the guns to go unless they also go from the police and from the military. All the guns are going to go, from everybody.

          •  I agree that this is part of why (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy, high uintas, aitchdee

            it's such a schism in California: our cops are more armed than most, and they're also pretty much the more conservative, more racist (I feel like I can say that since I've known so many, laugh...)

            I don't think that the military and police will be disarmed anytime soon.

            If they were, then I think that many more people would be less wary.

            Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

            by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:42:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's a very good reason to overhaul California's (0+ / 0-)

          law enforcement.

          But the upward trend in US population density and land development is ultimately responsible for the rising need to replace "rural" attitudes on guns with "urban" ones. Guns are fine when you live alone in your valley; they are not so fine if any shot you fire will hit a neighbor. We live increasingly in the latter sort of society, and gun control is inevitable.

          •  You have to make that case though to the (3+ / 0-)

            20% of Americans who live in census-designated rural areas. That's a significant demographic. While there has been a shift to increasing urbanization and gentrification, and while I've lived both in a wide number of places -- rural, urban, metropolitan, and suburban, plus the wilderness outright -- as well as in numerous different states with very different attitudes, the ultimate idea that everyone will move away from rural areas and to urban ones is not realistic, and also, not necessarily preferable. After having lived in all of these sorts of places, I most prefer living in rural or wilderness-type areas and  know plenty of others feel the same way (although I have a weakness for a few cities here and there -- and love to visit big cities in general).

            If there is one thing I strongly believe, it's that we must be fair and equal in thinking through American beliefs, and we must give voice to those who are minorities, particularly large minorities like the 1/5 people who do live in census-designated rural areas. California itself has a "frontier" designation for several counties as well, which is a step up from rural and more like "wilderness." You'll find towns and cities in rural counties though. Humboldt County is undeniably largely rural, for example, but outside of Eureka, it's wilderness.

            It's just not right and not fair to say that what works for those who live in cities works for those who live in mountains, forests, agricultural lands, bayous, prairies, deserts, and so forth. All voices need consideration. I stand firmly by that. And in California, many of these particular voices are liberal ones, so I really don't think it's appropriate to overlook these points of view whatsoever. On the same note, I wouldn't overlook those in urban spaces or metropolitan regions: my experience living in a barrio was interesting, as was living in New York City; the concerns of my neighbors in an 80% Latino district in California vs. those in Greenwich Village vs. those in a Jewish suburb of New York vs. those of indigenous Hawaiians in the jungle there are wildly different in regard to guns -- thus a national conversation must include all, not some.  

            Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

            by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:59:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem is that the 20% have been dictating (0+ / 0-)

              policy to the 80%. That has got to stop.

              And frankly, they won't be 20% for very long. About 50% of this country was still rural when I was a kid.

              •  I'm just going to have to disagree (3+ / 0-)

                that a significant voice of liberals in rural America (and this includes a large section not only of a white population, but also indigenous people, African-Americans in the South, and Latinos who work in agricultural zones) should in any way not be considered.

                It's really too silly to argue that some liberals views are less important than others. That way, danger lies as do all forms of cultural hegemony.

                Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 01:14:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is no reason why their "voice" should force (0+ / 0-)

                  me to be in danger of stray bullets coming through my thin urban apartment walls.

                  And if the 2nd amendment is the "reason", then, yes -- repeal it.

                  •  We're not going to be able to talk (3+ / 0-)

                    if you remain in your apartment, and I remain in my own bubble either.

                    So I say I've said an ample amount here and have really expressed all my views pretty well here. If you have any questions, I'm glad to respond although I'm about to start work. Beyond that, it's seems that this conversation is exactly what I'm trying to say is a problem: people cannot refuse to put themselves in the shoes of another. Also, I don't feel like your response really addressed the profound issue of cultural hegemony when some significant number of liberal voices are not addressed. To me, this is the justification for many forms of majority tyranny which are truly unsavory.

                    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                    by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 01:22:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well I've never owned a car (0+ / 0-)

                      and can't afford to jet around on my SSDI, so I'm afraid the only way I get out is by public transportation or by Internet. I currently live in a dense urban area in SoCal. I used to live in a dense urban area in NorCal (San Jose). I grew up in a dense urban area in the midwest (Chicago).

                      Personally, I'm tired of the cultural hegemony of macho American cowboy culture, and I would love to see it replaced by a more European culture.

                      •  I'm not talking about macho American cowboy (3+ / 0-)

                        culture. I'm talking about liberals who live in rural places, especially California. I'm talking about Latino farm workers. I'm talking about indigenous Americans who live on reservations and in other areas that are designated as wilderness zones, such as Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Alaskan Natives. And I'm talking about the very extensive network of rural black Southerners as well.

                        None of these are part of "macho American cowboy culture" at all.

                        None are probably going to embrace a more European culture either. That is nothing short of a colonial attitude, really. I personally love Europe and prefer it to the U.S. in many ways. But I don't think we can talk about replacing one culture with another when there are already many strong cultures here, such as those which I've just mentioned, and to which many more could clearly be added.

                        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                        by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 01:38:38 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Again, I simply want to be able to control guns (0+ / 0-)

                          where I live -- and where most other Americans live. I don't care if people who live in places where hunting is viable have hunting rifles.

                          But I don't see why even people in Montana or rural California need to amass huge caches of military weapons. And yes, the country as a whole can decide to prohibit that.

          •  Also, I have been fighting to overhaul (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theatre goon

            California's law enforcement for ages.

            I've never seen any significant reforms.

            I would say Oakland's been plagued by about the same sorts of problems since the 1960's/70's, for example, with police brutality.

            If anything, I've just seen more brutality and more militarism and more surveillance. Cops have tanks, wear combat gear, have helicopters, all sorts of weapons, paddywagons, and are eager to adopt the use now of unmanned drones.

            Yes. Unmanned drones for law enforcement.

            Many California counties spend 1/3rd of their general funds on the police force.

            It's not really going to work to say, "We're curtailing civilian gun ownership in x,y,z ways" while giving more and more weapons and tactical gear to a pretty lawless police force.

            Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

            by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 01:09:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That too is mainly driven by racism (0+ / 0-)

              We need a serious "populist" movement to de-pigify the police in this state, just as we need one to end the "war on drugs".

              •  Agreed although populists aren't really (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theatre goon

                the driving force behind California's Criminal justice reform efforts that I've noticed: most of this has been spearheaded by a coalition of groups ranging from the Black Panthers, the UFW, the Brown Berets, Socialists and Marxists of different stripes, some Progressives who have been empathetic and gotten on board here and there, and groups like the ACLU and NAMI or the Ella Baker Center for Civil Rights. I haven't noticed much of the kind of Populist movement in California as I have in some states, and definitely not one which has said much in regard to law enforcement problems?

                If they'd like to join in, great. As a Socialist, I believe in coalition-building.

                Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 01:17:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  An all out ban on all guns? (12+ / 0-)

      And who's going to enforce that?  And how are they going to enforce that?

      And most importantly, why?  

      You're just kidding, right?

    •  So any Democrat who doesn't support... (17+ / 0-)

      ...an "all out [sic] ban of all guns" should get out of the party?

      You realize that you're telling a pretty substantial majority of the Democratic Party that they're not really Democrats, right?

      And that if Democrats actually took your advice, there aren't a whole lot of places where we could win elections?

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:49:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And, what if it was "my" party before it was "your (9+ / 0-)

        party?

        Perhaps a new "Ban the Second" party could emerge.

        Good luck with that.

        I really get frosted with some of the "progressives" on dKOS.  We have a coalition...which means, I don't always agree with your position or pet idea, but I support you because democratic values and representation is more important than the subjects we disagree on.

        I've never seen such "hair on fire" antics out of the democrats before over the subject of gun control.

        Personally, you've pushed me too far on this.  And many like me.

        So, if you want support for your progressive agenda, you need to tone down the screaming on gun control.

        Violence and bad guys are the issue along with mental health.  Scary black guns are not.

        •  People who ascribe magical qualities (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharon Wraight

          to scary black guns are the problem.  The gun cult promotes the deification of the gun and it is not surprising that the mentally ill take the magical thinking to its logical conclusion.  

          •  That's an interesting way to put it, and it opens (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Boris49, greenbell, Sharon Wraight

            the door to a broader look at the problem.  Substitute anybody who is making money by pushing violence for "gun cult" and we might make some real leeway on figuring out who snaps when and why.

            And, maybe, not shy away from the issues of economics and race that create the conditions that endanger the lives of the kids whose deaths don't make national news.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:04:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The scariest gun out there is the 1897 Winchester (0+ / 0-)

            It is a shotgun.  Over 1 million were produced and production continued through much of the 1950's.  They are still in use today by hunters and competitive shooters.

            It is the only firearm I am aware of that the Germans complained about in WWI for its effectiveness at "clearing" trenches. While anecdotal, it was also used by a few well-trained infantrymen to knock down grenades thrown by axis soldiers at allied trenches, much like skeet shooting.

            Shotguns are really the scariest guns out there.  They will breach a door (no matter what the TV's say, you can't do that with a semi-auto pistol or an "assault" rifle).  They will take down any assailant within 50 yards, and with a 1 oz slug, will put a person in a ballistic vest flat on their back and they won't be getting up any time soon.  And, you can hunt for supper afterwards.

            I don't own an "assault rifle" right now.  I don't presently live in an environment where I believe it to be effective for my requirements.  There are, however, many areas of the country where a .223 Remington/5.56 NATO is, perhaps, the most effective method for the jobs at hand.

      •  I'm from suburban NJ & I totally agree (3+ / 0-)

        I don't have guns but I've thought of getting one for protection (from the right wing; they scare the SHIT out of me).

        I support mandatory background checks & licensing/safety training. I've talked with gun owning friends on other forums (non-political ones) and they support the same thing.

        I also support a single payer health care system that covers mental health for EVERYBODY.

        We took the Senate in 2006 largely in part to guys like Jon Tester. I remember reading that much of his support came from hunters & sportsmen who like to hunt & fish and thus prefer Democratic policies on the environment as opposed to the "rape the land & give it to Exxon/Mobil/Monsanto because Jeezus is coming to rapture us anyway" policies espoused by the Repukes. In other words, unlike the Repukes, we DO have a big coalition & we need to preserve it.

        So we can have additional gun regulation but NOT elimination.

        Not knocking anybody else's opinion. This is just mine.

        A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

        by METAL TREK on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:57:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Damn fine thing you aren't in charge! nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, fuzzyguy, theatre goon

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:26:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let;s not repeat the same mistakes. (9+ / 0-)

    Start from the far far left and let the Republicans do the work they need to do to come to an understanding. Chasing the Republicans after they take the football away always fails.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:37:49 AM PST

    •  I think this one is a little different, actually. (4+ / 0-)

      I'm no lover of guns, but my take is that populism cuts funny on this issue.  Count me as someone who was content that this wasn't a wedge back in 2008, because I've seen it go sour before.  This isn't Social Security or Human Rights we're talking about, whatever the horrendous real-world consequences are of our policies. And it isn't particularly wonky either. Plus, in this one there's a very visible bad-faith actor that is not elected in the form of the onerous NRA.  It will be important for the white house to do what they've been doing so far on this, standing up for common sense against ideology.  That's the area that needs to be carved out. And held. The minute it's framed as a "far far left" agenda to take away rights, we're sunk.  And because this conversation is being driven by a tragedy, the running-out-the-clock thing is a real concern.  I've been very critical of Obama's negotiation methods throughout the first term, but I think it's almost uniquely important here that the white house and other dem leaders sell their gun control ideas as mainstream.

  •  Position the bill so there are hearings before ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness, Sharon Wraight

    ... a sympathetic committee.

    Visibility, publicity. Call witnesses on both sides - or better said on all sides. Let someone who's a good questioner, not the pompous posturing that usually stands for questions at Congressional hearings, ask pointed questions of all witnesses.

    Why go on about hearings? Because time and tide will disappear bills the leadership and key legislators are opposed to ... or even just lukewarm about. So strategize the bill(s) and its/their contents accordingly and move them forward now in the most effective way to keep the balls rolling.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:39:32 AM PST

    •  I agree: let's fast track this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bisbonian, dinotrac

      so we can get it done and move on to other important matters.  I kind of fear this will be the only accomplishment this year, which would be a shame.

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:48:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jobs are still priority one for a lot of people (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fuzzyguy, Sharon Wraight

        Taking sensible action and moving on -- not to mention not being paralyzed -- makes a ton of sense.

        Going into 2014 with a stagnant economy and millions of people who have been unemployed for two more years while nothing of consequence was attempted on their behalf does not sound like a winning hand.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:08:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and climate change (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, fuzzyguy, Sharon Wraight

          for a lot of the rest.

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:42:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

            Take the win that opportunity presents and move on to other very important things.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:43:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not either/or. Congress has many, many ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sharon Wraight

              ... committees, plenty of staff and lots of time for floor debate.

              IF they want to, they can hold more than one thought in their minds at once. It's the opponents of any of these "No. 1" priorities who will talk about clogging up the circuits with so many things to do ostensibly all at once.

              2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:07:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Congress has 24 hours a day, just like the rest (0+ / 0-)

                of us.  Like the rest of us, they spend some of those hours sleeping and doing other things.  Ditto for some of those days.

                Much work can and does get done by less than the full Senate/House.  Some work can and does not.

                For whatever reason, Congress has a way of getting consumed by single issues to the exclusion of all else.  Perhaps you've forgotten all of those assurances -- mostly during the process of getting ACA to law -- that boy, howdy, Congress sure would get to the issues of jobs just as  soon as it could?

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:26:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Nobody is going to act fast (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    I don't think anybody wants that.  Plus, the odds or more mass murders is high because the equipment is easily available.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:49:05 AM PST

  •  As a gun toting liberal I agree with (7+ / 0-)

    better background checks and limiting magazine capacity. For further explication of my views and relevant experiences see Have Gun, Will Carry With Great Reluctance

    The functional differences between so called assault rifles and other semi-automatic rifles is negligible and pump action shotguns can be fired faster than semi-automatic shotguns.

    The CDC and ATF are prevented from gathering, analyzing and publishing data on gun mortality and morbidity so that we are all shooting in the dark on this issue.

    The type of incidents described in my diary and some of the comments to it where a person brandishes a weapon in order to prevent an assault are generally unreported and do not show up in data that are collected. See for instance the comment by Stance Like Ptah, who like me lives in or near a high crime area:

     Israeli Arms sold for 80$ on 67/Flora (7+ / 0-)

    Guy has been in business since I was ten.  Through the Heroin wars, though the Crack Wars, through the 'Sewn Ups' (Marijuana wholesalers) currently going on.

    The cops don't give a shit about anything east of International and 11th.  They drive through, but if you ask, they'll tell you, "Nothing we can do, it's...political."

    I visit Oaktown 3x a week.  All my friends are there.  I maintain a variety of reasonable offenses, and gentrified safe zones are appearing as Whites get over their parents irrational fears.  Still, something will always drag you to East Oakland, just a matter of time.  I'm from the deep East Oakland (Murder Dubs/69 Ville Projects) and you have to be ready.

    If you look at the dead children in Oakland unmourned and causing hardly a ripple nationally, and then look at the flailing over the white kids at Newtown, I'm sure you can grasp my perspective on the current gun debate.

    My entire family has arsenals, but have had no incidents
    in 41 years, other than my Dad scaring off a few thieves.
    That's not trackable in gun defense metrics.  Neither is my daily stomp through bad neighborhoods.  The realities of urban living in Poverty are being ignored completely; not a shocker to the brown skinned.  Well, anyway, do your thing, we'll see what the House lets through.  Should be interesting.

    I greatly enjoyed your post.

    A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me. Frederick Douglass

    by Stance Like Ptah on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:25:53 PM PST

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:50:26 AM PST

  •  I've already heard many liberals who will not (16+ / 0-)

    support any major changes to the gun laws here in my area in California. I think everyone is supportive of some of the more sensible, meaningful things like the gun show loophole, but I also see that -- not because of Obama, but because of social media-based sites, mainly -- there's a huge conversation going on with many rural California liberal gun owners that I have access to from my Facebook and friends: too many restrictions will be a no-go and will result in at least these anecdotal losses. There is a strong sense, whether it's rational or not, that the Government is overstepping the Constitution and this is creating a sense of Governmental mistrust the likes of which I've never seen before. Ever.

    There's a strong wary streak that runs through some rural California liberals (note: I don't think I would say most here are Democrats; not sure -- must that I know are "Decline to State" type voters but who are liberal in general) on the issue of gun ownership, the majority of who could easily be alienated by some of the proposals floated. Again, not the proposals by the President, which seem sane. The entire ethers are afloat with a sense that this is leading somewhere bigger: to a total loss of guns. I believe these views stem from a combination of mistrust of law enforcement in a state with a strongly militarized presence, as well as a disdain for the police for tending to be more conservative, a belief in self-reliance or small community reliance, and a lack of familiarity with the kinds of problems those in more urban environments may have experienced plus a perfectly positive familiarity with no particular gun-related problems in these areas. When you've been around guns your entire life, and yet no one's ever lost their life to one, it's hard to believe that "guns are a problem" at all.

    I do believe Democrats would suffer some lost votes if they push for any radical reforms within at least this one demographic which I'm most acquainted with, and thus I take it seriously. Again, I'm seeing a lot of indignant talk from people who I know do value things like environmental preservation, sustainability measures, pro-LGBT rights, pro-marijuana rights, pro-unionized labor, etc. but on the issue of guns? Absolutely not into what is perceived as a request to "trust law enforcement to the police," more or less. Actually, that's an outright source of terror to many, whose only exposure to negative gun use has been when cops have shot citizens in-area.

    Also, Latinos in this rural district are categorically not fans, down the line, from what I've seen, because no way are they about to entrust their welfare to police after the kinds of Arpaio-esque things that have gone on. If Democrats are, in fact, courting the Latino vote, a fair amount of which is rural, at least in agricultural areas due to job issues, this is an area to be careful about.

    Just my thoughts and perceptions.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:57:47 AM PST

  •  I'm not comfortable politicizing Newtown (8+ / 0-)

    If it were up to me we would repeal the 2nd amendment but unless you are actually going to wage a war against the gun culture, I'm unconvinced that the effort here is worthwhile.

    I'd rather we were waging a war on poverty and to preserve the safety net.  

    If this becomes a distraction from the budget issues,  I see it as a net loss.  

    I'd rather have the votes on preserving Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid and education in underfunded schools and funding care and research on mental illness.

    Are we REALLLY going to fight this culture war?  I think not.  If not, then why pretend we are.  If we can get a few restrictions on gun clips, fine, but I don't take the party seriously on this and the more it is seen as politicizing a tragedy the more it's going to backfire.

  •  Holding up important things like... (10+ / 0-)

    a high-capacity magazine ban, or universal background checks, or a crackdown on interstate trafficking, in order to hold out for an aesthetics-based (not function-based, but appearance based) ban on "assault weapons" would be a massive strategic error.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:11:14 AM PST

    •  Well said. Limiting magazine capacity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy

      down to 10 rounds is unlikely to impose any hardship on competitors or small game hunters.

      If you want an EFFECTIVE 10 round ban, you must get the police to limit themselves to the same standard.  Then you can push for a buyback program for all magazines with capacities larger than 10 rounds.

      The police are key to this.  They will change the mindset.

  •  My view on the Senate action is to start with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco

    Harry Reid, and get him to stand up to the NRA, and do some arm-twisting to craft something that has a t least a moderate chance of getting thru the Senate.

    If Harry just stands idly by, nothing will happen----and any proposal l is DOA.

    •  Why should Harry walk the plank? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy, theatre goon

      That will guarantee he will lose his next election.

      I personally would rather see us stay in power and see us pass card check, national health care, NOT invade Iran etc.

      Right now all I'm seeing is the GOP may gain in the senate and keep the house.

      Is gun control worth seeing Dodd Frank and the ACA being dismantled for? Maybe for some but not me.

  •  I don't think OFA will be able to move (3+ / 0-)

    Begich, Baucus, Landrieu, or Johnson. Not gonna happen. NRA is way too entrenched in their states. Plus they are all up in 2014. Dems haven't demonstrated that they can or will punsish those who don't follow the President on this one. Doubtful.

    As for Tester, Heinrich, Bennet, Heitkamp, Warner, Casey and Manchin...they'll probably go with increased background checks and some extra money for mental health and that's about it.

    As for the AW ban, forget it. No way its getting through without a miricle.

    BUT, that doesn't matter because this is a long struggle and the President has BOLDLY laid out a strong plan. He wont get everything he wants now, but he's fighting for the best thing he can expect. And that's all we can or should expect of him.

    This is a long battle that wont end this year.

  •  We have a Moral Crises in DC, folks (0+ / 0-)

    This and a few other issues of late are allowing the Corporate Shills, regardless of party, to surface.

  •  You can forget Manchin and Casey (6+ / 0-)

    on the big stuff.  Manchin period.  I guess there is an outside chance that Casey would go along, given that he was just relected for 6 years.  But, as a PA resident, I can tell you,...if he supports gun control beyond background checks, he WILL be defeated in 2018.  Pennsylvanians have long memories, and gun control is a real hot button issue in this blue state.

    I know a lot of "rank and file" Dems, the Clinton Dems.  They are scared to death of "gun control".

    I don't think there is a snowball's chance in hell of passing anything but the background check stuff,...and even that might not make it through the House unless it is accompanied by cuts to SS and other entitlements.  

    •  Might be able to get Manchin on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vote4Obamain2012

      background checks and Mental health stuff. He's pretty safe as far as red state Dems go. Safer than most. Nobody questions his gun fealty.

      Casey...we can get him on mental heatlh and background checks that's correct. But he wont go with a ban even though he's safe too. He's the senior Democratic statesman in the state and he's thinking about winning back the state house for Dems.

      In fact, I'm willing to bet you that Casey becomes the key vote here on if ANYTHING gets passed. I'm sure McConnell will not filibuster and actually wants a vote.

      •  See here (0+ / 0-)

        http://wvmetronews.com/...

        “I’m not advocating banning anything,” Manchin said on Talkline two days later. “I’m advocating a conversation on everything.”

        “He stated that he wanted to have a conversation, but he stated it in the context of ‘I only need three rounds in my gun,’” said Keith Morgan, President of the WVCDL. “Ridiculous. Yeah he wants to have a conversation about banning guns is what he wants to have.”

        Its very possible Manchin could lose. For sure Capito is a shoe in for Rockefellers old seat now because nobody will want to give the dems an extra seat with gun control on the table.
  •  If the last 2 years have shown us anything (0+ / 0-)

    ... it's that this Congress is simply unable to pass anything with 'comprehensive' or 'grand' in the name.

    I worry that by trying for too much all at once, we might end up with nothing.  The ban will not pass the House (and probably not the Senate) while the 10 round magazine and federal registry stand a good chance.

    I hope cooler heads prevail, so we aren't stuck with the status quo.

  •  What A Coincidence! (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hollowdweller, noway2, Boris49
    Hidden by:
    Vote4Obamain2012

    President Obama campaigned for reelection by bringing the Democratic Party together behind an agenda in which gun control was completely absent.

    Now, even before the inauguration, we are told that we need to "bring pressure" on red-state Democratic senators, many of whom are up for reelection next year, to support an issue with which many of their constituents, and many of them personally, disagree. In the process, they ill hand their Republican opponents an issue, and the NRA and other advocacy groups will spend truckloads of money to defeat them.

    I'll say it again. President Obama's actions make much more sense if you assume that he's trying to damage the Democratic Party than they do if you assume he's trying to make it stronger.

    •  Feh. (0+ / 0-)

      This sounds a bit like the "crisis actors" thingie.

      The Obama campaign was smart enough to sidestep a divisive wedge issue in both elections.  There's a possibility to get a little something done on a ridiculously hard issue right now, and they're taking the chance.  Seems reasonable, long as they don't over-reach.

      •  "A Divisive Wedge Issue" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell

        I agree. And now they're going to "bring pressure" on other Democrats, with constituencies more hostile to gun control that the national Democratic constituency, to put their necks on the chopping block.

        President Obama will never be on the ballot again, and will be gone in four years. Sometime in 2018, people might wish that in 2013 Democrats had made a much higher priority of support for Social Security and Medicare, thereby strengthening the party with the voters and contributing toward the reelection of Democrats in red and purple states, rather than playing into the right's hands by validating their prediction that "as soon as Obama is reelected, he's going to come after your guns."

    •  Uprated. VoteforObamain2012 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy

      didn't even have the courtesy to explain his/her donut.

      Imbecilic.

      I don't necessarily agree with the commenter's position.

      •  I concur. Why did they downvote it? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boris49, fuzzyguy

        I think the post may have been a bit sarcastic, but I do think that there is truth to it.  A lot of D senators are up for re-election in 2014, it was stated well before the current gun issue(s) that it will be a tough year.  To try to force these senators to support a measure that is unpopular in their state is inviting them to get booted out.  

  •  Dear Sens. Tester, Baucus et al ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... if you fail to support meaningful gun safety legislation, next massacre, your finger's on the trigger and the blood of the victim on your hands.

    Is it worth it?

  •  As a rifle-owning liberal..... (6+ / 0-)

    even I can agree on background checks. I don't think the resistance will be insurmountable in that case.

    I bought my rifle (actually, my daughter's) for her 13th birthday after she showed interest in and talent for competition shooting. It's a .22, bolt action, and extremely heavy - perfect for the kind of shooting she does (bench rest shooting).

    I bought it with help from a friend - $200 cash. Went to his house and picked it up. I handed him $200, he handed me a rifle. All perfectly legal.

    And very, very unnerving to a degree. No one in any official or governmental capacity knows that I own it. No one asked me to pass a background check, get a license, or get insurance.  I keep it in a locked gun safe, with ammo stored in a separate lockbox. But I'm not required to. I just have to keep it away from easy access of children.  I couldn't very well shoot up a school with it, but a rifle is a rifle.

    And I'm starting to think you shouldn't be able to just buy one for cash with no background check, no matter the type.

    I think the NRA will lose that one. I think they may well win on the ban on certain semi-automatic weapons, but I think the background check and magazine capacity limits will get through. Just about all the gun enthusiasts I know in my rural area of MD can even agree on those.  

    I tried to come up with something clever. This is the best I could do.

    by duck on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:24:42 AM PST

    •  I don't have a problem with the background check (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave1845, fuzzyguy

      provision either, but I think this question bears asking:

      No one in any official or governmental capacity knows that I own it. No one asked me to pass a background check, get a license, or get insurance.  I keep it in a locked gun safe, with ammo stored in a separate lockbox. But I'm not required to. I just have to keep it away from easy access of children.
      Why in the hell should anyone in the govt have to know you have it?  What business is it of theirs?  Do you really want to be on a list for something and what good do you think would come of such a list?

      Most importantly, is there any reason that you can't do the responsible thing and keep it stored safely and properly without someone from the government looking over your shoulder?

  •  So here is follow up question for everyone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fuzzyguy

    If there is a chance at getting legislation through congress, but it was understood that an AWB and magazine limits were DOA and would not be part of it, what sort of things would you want?

  •  All I gotta say is ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... I'm going to press charges against Meteor Blades for breaking and entering to take that photo of the wall above my mantel.  Where I live much of the year, a fellow has to be well armed to defend against the marauding box turtles, ticks and hicks.  Just kidding about the box turtles -- the worst I've ever molested those little guys and gals is to paint numbers on their shells to see if the same ones come back from year to year.  They do.

    On topic, it appears the pressure of the 2014 elections might sway enough House and Senate Democrats from enacting the most stringent gun proposals, thus saving the country from a jump off the Constitutional rails as potentially damaging as Bush's damnable Patriot Act.  Knee-jerk legislation is always a mistake.  This Congress and this president have a responsibility to deliberately design and sign legislation that will help prevent tragedies without creating a larger one.  

    My calcified old brain tells me that the answer, if there is one, is in careful screening of gun buyers, with emphasis on mental health.  Banning of certain types of rifles and limiting magazine size won't make much difference, and some of the current proposals being floated would probably eventually be shot down by the Supreme Court.  And, despite the NRA's obvious corporate bootlicking, there is some sense in increased use of guards at schools and other public places.  

    As I mentioned in a post several days ago, in Israel, even though it's very difficult to purchase firearms, there are an awful lot of openly and heavily armed citizens, and the rate of violent crime is relatively low, despite the prevalence of guns.  Actually, the murder rates in both Israel and the United States are fairly low, 72nd and 63rd in the world in 2004, according to NationMaster.  Turkey tops the list.  

    In America, at least in this century, we likely won't see guns banned, nor should we.  Yeah, I know that places me at odds with most of the folks here, and that's okay.  I didn't join to enjoy a kikel nechvenin, but rather to better understand today's liberals.  I'm related to a few liberals, including a granddaughter who is a lesbian, and who hates the fact that I support gun rights, but who loves my long term support for minority rights groups.  There's always some common ground if we look hard enough -- in real life and online.  

    On topic again, the Second World War is still too close for me to believe that unarmed citizens are safer than armed ones.  I'm descended on my maternal side from Polish Jews, Posen area weavers and Warsaw merchants who moved here in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Of my family members who did not leave Europe prior to Hitler, not one survived.  Some of them were killed not by government, but by citizen thugs.  It can't happen here?  European Jews said that, too.  I doubt many members here would understand how much it would have meant to have a few truckloads of privately owned firearms in the Warsaw ghetto.

    There has to be another way, a better solution to these mass crimes than disarming the citizenry.

             

  •  I've long been ambivilant (0+ / 0-)

    about gun control. Raised in a firearm-friendly family of historical, antique weaponry enthusiasts, which meant I wasn't much in touch with the self-defense & modern  military power weapon fanatics, although I knew many hunters of all sorts.  Clearly, there is a madness in American gun culture now not so evident when I was a  kid, the fringe taking over the center, as has happened in the Republican Party & religion. We have to embrace new technologies in firearm safety, gun & ammo identification, as well as getting control of the soft market in gun sales. But we also need to roll back gun culture itself, which will prove as difficult as fighting racial bigotry & homophobia, but is hardly impossible. The NRA, extreme at it may seem, is a corporate lobbying group &  does not have the power to silence the individual madmen speaking in defense of military-style weaponry. We have to let those crazies come through loud & clear. These repulsive people refute their own arguments that they are protecting themselves against crazy people.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:41:09 AM PST

  •  It will be a long, slow process to civilize (0+ / 0-)

    Americans... but it's encouraging to see that OFA is actually willing to try to organize something other than a presidential election campaign. This was supposed to happen in Obama's first term... but I guess the risks were considered too high.

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