Tag Archives: NRA

Compromise can work

Ted Cruz keeps demonstrating why he is such a loathsome politician, suggesting repeatedly why it’s better in his sick mind to go down on principle rather than seeking common ground.

The Texas Republican junior U.S. senator was one of 34 GOP senators to vote “no” on a bill crafted in part by his Texas Republican colleague, John Cornyn.

Cornyn was the lead GOP negotiator on a bipartisan effort to seek legislative remedy to the gun violence that continues to break our hearts, such as what happened not long ago in Uvalde.

OK, the bill ain’t perfect. It’s a start, though, toward curbing violent outbursts.

The National Rifle Association, naturally, has condemned the effort. The NRA doesn’t want anyone to mess around with what it says are constitutional guarantees of firearm ownership. Except that the bill doesn’t stop law-abiding Americans from owning a firearm. Ted Cruz is in the NRA’s hip pocket.

The Texas Tribune reports: The legislation does not restrict any rights of existing gun owners — a nonstarter for Senate Republicans. Instead, it would enhance background checks for gun purchasers younger than 21; make it easier to remove guns from people threatening to kill themselves or others, as well as people who have committed domestic violence; clarify who needs to register as a federal firearms dealer; and crack down on illegal gun trafficking, including so-called straw purchases, which occur when the actual buyer of a firearm uses another person to execute the paperwork to buy on their behalf.

U.S. Senate advances bipartisan gun legislation backed by Cornyn | The Texas Tribune

Is this the stuff of radicalism? Hardly. It’s a reasonable start.


Gun deal appears done

U.S. Senate Democrats and Republicans have come together to approve a deal that takes some important baby steps toward curbing the gun violence that has claimed so many innocent lives.

It isn’t the perfect deal. Then again, as the saying goes, senators sought to avoid letting “perfection become the enemy of the good.”

The package does a number of good things. As the Detroit News reports: The legislation would toughen background checks for the youngest firearms buyers, require more sellers to conduct background checks and beef up penalties on gun traffickers. It also would disburse money to states and communities aimed at improving school safety and mental health initiatives.

It isn’t perfect. I would have liked to see increasing minimum age requirements for buying firearms and strengthened universal background checks.

However, what has come out of the Senate deal negotiated by a bipartisan group of lawmakers is better than what we had already.

Which was nothing.

President Biden is going to sign the bill when it arrives in the Oval Office. The proposed legislation isn’t all that he wanted, either. However, he served long enough in the Senate to understand that compromise at times is the only way to achieve important goals.

Progressives want more legislative remedies. Archconservatives want nothing done. Neither extreme is correct.

The best answer lies in the vast middle ground. Senate negotiators have cobbled together a decent start on the quest to restore sanity in a nation plagued by senseless gun violence.


Gun lobby digs in on age requirement?

You have to be 21 years of age to buy a beer, a jug of wine or a mixed drink at your favorite watering hole.

To be emancipated from parental control? That’s generally accepted at age 21.

Some insurance companies won’t sell insurance to you until you turn 21, unless you’re in school.

What, then, is the reason we don’t require someone to be 21 years of age to purchase a firearm? The issue has burst onto the forefront in the wake of recent spasm of gun violence. The moron who shot those 19 precious children and two of their teachers to death in Uvalde turned 18 and then purchased an AR-15 rifle right after his birthday; he bought a second one days later.

President Biden has called on government to increase the age from 18 to 21. Republicans — naturally! — are digging in against even that modest notion.

The GOP is marching to the cadence called by the gun lobby.

These politicians are acting disgracefully.


Congressman quits … because he showed common sense!

An outrageous political development has just occurred that demonstrates how totally off the rails the once-great Republican Party has flown.

U.S. Rep. Chris Jacobs, a New York Republican, has ended his re-election bid because — and hold onto something with both hands — he said he favored a ban on assault rifles, a position that enraged GOP officials in his state so much that Jacobs has been forced to end his public service career.

Jacobs made the statement after the Uvalde school massacre and the Buffalo shopping market carnage.

“I want to be completely transparent of where I am in Congress. If an assault weapons ban bill came to the floor that would ban something like an AR-15, I would vote for it,” he said, according to Spectrum News 1. What’s more, Jacobs said he would favor increasing the minimum age of people purchasing a firearm from 18 to 21 years old.

That was too much for New York conservatives to handle. Jacobs, by the way, represents an area of suburban Buffalo, so he feels the community’s grief deeply.

What in the name of political sanity has gone wrong here?

According to The Associated Press: “The last thing we need is an incredibly negative, half-truth-filled media attack funded by millions of dollars of special interest money coming into our community around this issue of guns and gun violence and gun control,” he said, according to footage of his announcement. “Therefore today I am announcing I will not run for the 23rd Congressional District.”

GOP Rep. Jacobs to retire after backing assault weapons ban (msn.com)

This is an utterly insane development in the growing debate over gun violence in this country. A House member speaks honestly and candidly about his views on gun violence and he is then forced to withdraw because his views anger the rigid adherents to a philosophy that is on the wrong side of history.



Don’t stop trying, governor

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided to stay away from the National Rifle Association annual convention in Houston, but he delivered a piped-in message from Uvalde, where he was visiting with the grief-stricken community seeking to recover from the rampage of a madman.

He then said something to NRA conventioneers that I found a bit disturbing. Abbott said the laws we have on the books already would not have stopped the shooter from killing those 19 children and two teachers. “They don’t work,” he said.

Oh really, governor? Here’s a thought: How about continuing to look for legislative solutions that would work?

Gov. Abbott seemed to my ears to be waving a flag of surrender. As if to suggest there isn’t a legislative solution to be found. What nonsense!

There’s a bill called House Bill 8, which the U.S. House approved a couple of years ago. It calls for mandatory background checks for every firearm purchased, even those bought at gun shows. It has been stalled in the Senate. Indeed, Golden State Warriors head basketball coach Steve Kerr aimed his barbs this week at the 50 Republican senators who refuse to enact the bill. His frustration is visceral … and I feel the same way.

That’s one piece of legislation that needs to become law. Would HB 8 solve the issue once and for all? Oh, probably not. However, it well might deter someone from committing a heinous act. Isn’t there value in that?

Yes. There is. Therefore, I refuse to accept the notion put forth by Gov. Abbott that gun-control laws “don’t work.”


‘Yes!’ on background checks

Someone will have to explain to me — in a persuasive manner — why the concept of “universal background checks” on anyone purchasing a firearm is so anathema to those on the right-wing fringes of political thought.

The issue has burst back onto our political consciousness in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre that killed 19 precious children and two of the educators who sought to protect them from the madness that erupted in their classroom.

Border Patrol tactical officers killed the shooter.

He purchased the weapons he used to slaughter his victims legally. How did he do that? Because he did not have to undergo a routine “universal background check” to look for any clues as to why he shouldn’t own the weapons.

Those in Congress — the men and women whose campaigns are bankrolled by the gun lobby — keep harping on Second Amendment freedoms. They suggest that any effort to legislate tougher gun laws runs counter to the Second Amendment guarantee of citizens to “keep and bear arms.”

They are wrong!

How can I explain this any clearer? Those who can pass a background check if they purchase a firearm have nothing in the world to worry about? The law-abiding citizenry can arm itself to the teeth. The Second Amendment stands strongly in favor of their right to own weapons.

A legislative remedy, though, does exist if Congress is willing to enact it as a deterrent against those who might have something in their background that can sound alarm bells.

Perhaps the details of such a background check can be worked out. There could be some serious negotiating into what constitutes a deal-breaker if someone seeks to purchase a firearm. Fine. Then work it out!

This so-called constitutional argument, though, against universal background checks is a canard. Those who seek shelter in the Constitution against such safeguards are seeking to frighten the rest of us into believing that government then will seize every weapon in every home from every law-abiding citizen.

That is demagoguery at its worst.


Don’t wait for ‘tipping point’

Bad news is tough to deliver, but I feel the need to deliver it to those who believe the Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket massacre is going to result in a “tipping point” that prompts legislation to prevent this kind of gun violence.

The nation grieves once again as it mourns the deaths of 10 innocent victims who were gunned down in a supermarket by someone who (allegedly) acted with intense racist intent. The suspect is a white teenager; virtually all of the victims are African-American. The suspect drove 200-plus miles to Buffalo to perform his dastardly act.

Tipping point? Will this event bring some Republicans in Congress to join their colleagues in seeking some sort of legislative remedy to this sort of senseless violence?

My “gold standard” for an event that would spur some action occurred in late 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A lunatic killed 20 first- and second-graders along with six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He then killed himself.

It was the darkest day of President Obama’s time in office. The president’s eyes welled up with tears as he told the nation of the slaughter that occurred. Did that event — given the context — result in any sort of legislative remedy? No. It didn’t.

Congress’s failure to act turned out to be the biggest disappointment in Barack Obama’s two terms as president.

I wish I could predict that this latest spasm of violence would prompt action from those who represent those of us who demand action. I cannot go there!

My profound fear is that we’re going to express our horror, offer our prayers to the family members of the victims and then wait for the next explosion of violence.



Ghost guns: yes on this order

Does it surprise anyone that the National Rifle Association would oppose President Biden’s executive order to get rid of that thing called “ghost guns”?

I didn’t think so.

The NRA has condemned Biden because he wants to stop the basement manufacturing of guns that have no serial number or any identifying features that allow authorities to track their origin.

According to The New Republic: “These updated regulations make clear that parts kits that can readily be converted into assembled firearms will be treated under federal law as what they are: firearms. And the manufacturers and sellers of these kits will be subject to the same federal laws as all other gun manufacturers and sellers,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in an op-ed published in USA Today on Monday. The new rule will amend the definition of “firearm” and “frame and receiver” to cover kits and components that create ghost guns, allowing them to be treated like firearms under federal law. It will also require manufacturers who sell components to assemble into ghost guns to be licensed and run background checks on potential buyers.

Biden Finally Makes a Move on the Ghost Gun Scourge | The New Republic

I want to understand the notion that the NRA is going to pitch that regulating the manufacture of these weapons infringes on the Second Amendment guarantee of the “right to keep and bear arms.” It doesn’t.

This needs to be restated: Law-abiding citizens need not acquire these weapons to “keep and bear arms.” They can purchase mainstream firearms manufactured by actual gun makers. These firearms have appropriate serial numbers that allow authorities to keep tabs on the source of these firearms — without affecting anyone’s ability to own them.

I applaud the president for signing this order.

As John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety noted, “Ghost guns look like a gun, they shoot like a gun, and they kill like a gun, but up until now they haven’t been regulated like a gun.”


POTUS makes another run at gun violence

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden well might beat himself senseless with this initiative but he deserves credit for bringing needed attention to a national scourge.

That would be gun violence.

Biden says clearly that “it has to end.” To be sure, the president is getting push back from — get ready for it — the Republican caucus in Congress. GOP lawmakers blame the progressive movement and its “defund the police” mantra for the spike in gun violence. I guess that means Republicans won’t do anything about it. They’ll continue to sit on their hands, continue to obstruct any effort to legislate a remedy to what has become an all-too-common event: mass shootings.

USA Today reports: “Folks, this shouldn’t be a red or blue issue,” Biden said in the White House State Room. “It’s an American issue. We’re not changing the Constitution. We’re enforcing it, being reasonable. We’re taking on the bad actors doing bad and dangerous things in our communities.”

In a speech from the White House, Biden announced a “zero-tolerance policy” for rogue gun dealers and a new focus by the Justice Department to try to stop the illegal sale of firearms.

Biden also emphasized that cities and states can use their portions of $350 billion in direct aid from Biden’s COVID-19 rescue plan, approved by Congress in March, on public safety efforts, including hiring more police officers.

So, the resistance will come from those in Congress who believe liberals are to blame, which gives them a pretext to oppose legislation that seeks to target bad actors out there who contribute to the carnage.

‘It has to end’: Biden targets illegal gun sales, rogue dealers in strategy to combat rising crime (msn.com)

It’s hard to say how much of an impact President Biden’s initiative will have on the plague of gun violence. But my goodness. Why in the world must this resistance continue to obstruct good-faith efforts to deal forthrightly with what every sensible American must believe is occurring on our streets?

I have no intention of giving up this fight and I will continue to stand with those in power who see gun violence against innocent Americans as the existential threat it has been for far too long.

Assault weapons have their place, but …

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This picture showed up overnight on my Facebook news feed and by golly it pretty much sums up what I believe about assault weapons.

They have their place. They belong in the hands of fighting men and women who are in battle against enemies of the state. They are built to kill lots of people in rapid fashion. Should our military personnel carry them? Abso(freakin’)lutely, man!

What role does a weapon that packs dozens of rounds of ammo have in civilized civilian society? None. Zero. They are used too often by lunatics to kill innocent human beings in fits of rage.

So it is that this debate has been joined once again in the wake of the Indianapolis massacre at the FedEx facility. Eight people died in that mayhem before the lunatic shooter killed himself with the weapon he used against his victims.

Gun-rights enthusiasts/fanatics continue to harp on the notion that the Second Amendment guarantees their right to own whatever weapon they want to own. Even those that carry high-capacity magazines that the weapon can empty in seconds. For what purpose?

As the sign I posted with this blog item declares, it ain’t to kill lots of critters in the forest. Their intent is to kill human beings in short order.

I’ll be clear on this point: We shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for Congress to exhibit any semblance of sanity by banning these weapons. Nor should we expect any sign of courage among those who are willing to stand strongly against the gun lobby that keeps lying about what the Second Amendment allows.