Archive for the ‘assault weapons ban’ Tag

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John Fugelsang:

This week the gun control debate welcomed a somewhat unlikely new player: the late former President Ronald Reagan. He’ll be here any second.

First, to counter NRA head Wayne LaPierre’s claim that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, this photo surfaced.

Here it is now. It shows President Reagan two seconds before he was shot in March of 1981. You’ll notice the president flanked by six good guys with guns who still weren’t able to prevent the shooting.

Then today, in his remarks on gun safety, President Obama invoked the 40th president when he reminded the nation that Reagan himself signed that letter supporting the ’94 assault weapons ban.

Now the right wing has a new talking point — that Ronald Reagan only supported the ban because he was afflicted with Alzheimer’s by ’94 and had no idea what he was doing.

Because of course, why else would a guy who’d been shot by a deranged gunman ever support gun control? When Reagan read that letter, and ran it by his staff, and signed his name, and had it presented to the world by his press office, it was just senile dementia. And of course his staff of all left-wing liberals put it out anyway.

Now following the president’s remarks, Erich Pratt, of the Gun Owners of America, actually made this very point to Andrea Mitchell:

Mitchell: What’s the problem with registering a gun? If you have a Bushmaster, what is the … I mean, first of all, why would you have a Bushmaster? What is the use?

Pratt: President Reagan owned an AR-15. Sen. Jay Rockefeller …

Mitchell: And [Reagan] supported gun control and he advocated for it.

Pratt: In his later years, and I think we have to keep that in account.

Mitchell: In his later years, he was almost killed by John Hinckley.

Pratt: All through his presidency he opposed gun control. That’s my point.

So as Reaganites like to say, “Let Reagan be Reagan.” Except when Reagan is being Reagan in a way Reaganites don’t want Reagan to be.

You see, these guys forget that in ’86 Ronald Reagan banned ownership of fully automatic rifles not yet registered.

They can’t recall that Reagan backed the Brady Bill with a seven-day cooling-off period. Their brains have been wiped clean of any memory that as governor of California, Reagan signed into law a 15-day cooling-off period, which I guess means they think Reagan was senile before he ever ran for president.

Because see, when you’ve devoted your life to Reagan worship but can’t remember he supported sensible gun control, or that he raised taxes 11 times, or that he gave amnesty to illegal immigrants, or that Reagan grew government by 61,000 jobs and never once balanced a single budget, you, my friend, have something worse than senility. You’re suffering from another kind of NRA — Neocon Reagan Amnesia. It’s an airborne virus, but nobody who has it wants to get cured.

So the next time someone tells you Reagan only supported an assault weapons ban because he had a memory problem, please remind them that today, the real Ronald Reagan would never be allowed into the party of Reagan.

Or just do what I do — say, “There you go again.”

But what do I know? I only wrote this whole piece to impress Jodie Foster.

http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/john-fugelsang-the-gop-just-cant-accept-the-truth-about-reagan-and-gun-control/

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Larry Alan Burns “Last month, I sentenced Jared Lee Loughner to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years in federal prison for his shooting rampage in Tucson. That tragedy left six people dead, more than twice that number injured and a community shaken to its core.

Loughner deserved his punishment. But during the sentencing, I also questioned the social utility of high-capacity magazines like the one that fed his Glock. And I lamented the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004, which prohibited the manufacture and importation of certain particularly deadly guns, as well as magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

The ban wasn’t all that stringent — if you already owned a banned gun or high-capacity magazine you could keep it, and you could sell it to someone else — but at least it was something.

And it says something that half of the nation’s deadliest shootings occurred after the ban expired, including the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. It also says something that it has not even been two years since Loughner’s rampage, and already six mass shootings have been deadlier.

I am not a social scientist, and I know that very smart ones are divided on what to do about gun violence. But reasonable, good-faith debates have boundaries, and in the debate about guns, a high-capacity magazine has always seemed to me beyond them.

……

To guarantee that there would never be another Tucson or Sandy Hook, we would probably have to make it a capital offense to so much as look at a gun. And that would create serious 2nd Amendment, 8th Amendment and logistical problems.

So what’s the alternative? Bring back the assault weapons ban, and bring it back with some teeth this time. Ban the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer and possession of both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don’t let people who already have them keep them. Don’t let ones that have already been manufactured stay on the market. I don’t care whether it’s called gun control or a gun ban. I’m for it.

I say all of this as a gun owner. I say it as a conservative who was appointed to the federal bench by a Republican president. I say it as someone who prefers Fox News to MSNBC, and National Review Online to the Daily Kos. I say it as someone who thinks the Supreme Court got it right in District of Columbia vs. Heller, when it held that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to possess guns for self-defense. (That’s why I have mine.) I say it as someone who, generally speaking, is not a big fan of the regulatory state.

……..

There is just no reason civilians need to own assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Gun enthusiasts can still have their venison chili, shoot for sport and competition, and make a home invader flee for his life without pretending they are a part of the SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden.

It speaks horribly of the public discourse in this country that talking about gun reform in the wake of a mass shooting is regarded as inappropriate or as politicizing the tragedy. But such a conversation is political only to those who are ideologically predisposed to see regulation of any kind as the creep of tyranny. And it is inappropriate only to those delusional enough to believe it would disrespect the victims of gun violence to do anything other than sit around and mourn their passing. Mourning is important, but so is decisive action.

Congress must reinstate and toughen the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Larry Alan Burns is a federal district judge in San Diego.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-burns-assault-weapons-ban-20121220,0,6774314.story

Note from Tim, the above quote is three excerpts from the letter, and it is really worth taking the link above and reading the whole letter.