The Conversation

Gun Control: Issues and news about gun control efforts

Guns and Background Checks

Mar 12, 2013 12:07 PM PT

AWR over on Big Government has been covering Mr. Gabrielle Giffords recent purchase of an AR-15.  Mr. Giffords has been campaigning for more gun control laws via his new organization. He has recently testified in Colorado and appeared at the scene of his wife's shooting to rally for more gun control laws. When it was discovered  that Mr. Giffords had purchased this "assault" weapon, his explanation on Facebook was:

I just had a background check a few days ago when I went to my local gun store to buy a .45. As I was leaving, I noticed a used AR-15. Bought that too. Even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes. I don't have possession of it yet but I'll be turning it over to the Tucson PD when I do.

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Obama's gun stance creates trouble for Dems in 2014

Mar 11, 2013 5:00 AM PT

Politico notes that the biggest obstacle to Democrats' hopes of re-taking the House of Representatives in 2014 may be President Barack Obama. And the reason? His crusade for gun control:

Adding to the complications of running as a conservative Democrat is the lingering presence of billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has essentially declared war on pro-gun Democrats. Last month, Bloomberg funneled $2 million into his super PAC to sink the fortunes of a pro-NRA Democrat in a special primary election for an Illinois congressional seat. (A Democrat closer to Bloomberg’s gun stance is expected to win the general election.)

Polls consistently show Obama’s positions on issues ranging from immigration to the minimum wage to gun control picking up wide support across the country. But the 2014 battle for the House won’t be fought nationally — it will most likely be decided in several dozen districts, all but a handful of which favor Republicans.

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Connecticut Firearms Companies Take to the Airwaves

Mar 8, 2013 2:16 PM PT

One of the many consequences of the gun control rampage by the left is the very real effect of job losses, i.e. having gun manufacturers put out of business or move out of state.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the state of Connecticut, home to the Newton Massacre but also home to well-respected fire arms manufacturers such as Colt, Mossburg, and Stag Arms.

"The firearms industry has a long history in Connecticut and continues to have a sizeable economic presence and workforce in the Constitution State," says Jake McGuigan, director, government relations, state affairs for NSSF. 

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Herding the grassroots cats

Mar 7, 2013 9:01 PM PT

In response to Crumbs in exchange for party unity:

I suspect you're right about the likely results of attempting to herd the GOP's grassroots cats, with anything approaching the coordination Obama forced upon the gun control lobby.  One might go so far as to cite this as either a problem, or virtue, of the Tea Party movement.  They never had an "official" leadership to broker a big pile of carefully cut and measured ballots.  Individual Tea Party groups and activists tended to display loyalty toward their principles, which didn't always line up perfectly on an internal basis, let alone with the Republican Party at large.

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Crumbs in exchange for party unity

Mar 7, 2013 1:59 PM PT

I read this piece earlier in the morning and thought it was quite the insight into how the administration keeps people on its side in line.  I suppose that you could say that these gun control advocates are so desperate for something they could claim as a victory, that they would abide by the restrictions imposed on them.

I have a hard time imagining that the GOP would get the same cooperation from within the ranks, and instead we would see a group in opposition pop-up immediately and start fundraising. 

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How to keep your 'grassroots support' neatly trimmed and mowed

Mar 7, 2013 1:40 PM PT

Amazing Politico piece about gun control groups agreeing to fall in line, like good little soldiers, and mindlessly support whatever Obama does:

The White House knew its post-Newtown effort would require bringing key gun-control groups into the fold. So the White House offered a simple arrangement: the groups could have access and involvement, but they’d have to offer silence and support in exchange.

The implied rules, according to conversations with many of those involved: No infighting. No second guessing in the press. Support whatever the president and Vice President Joe Biden propose. And most of all, don’t make waves or get ahead of the White House.

In exchange: a voice in the discussions, a role in whatever final agreement is made and weekly meetings at the White House with Biden’s chief of staff, Bruce Reed — provided they don’t discuss what happens there.

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Gun Control on the Menu at the Senate Judiciary Committee Today

Mar 7, 2013 4:19 AM PT

The Democrat led Senate Judiciary Committee has four gun-control bills on its agenda today. 

Besides expanding background checks, the other measures would ban assault weapons and ammunition magazines carrying more than 10 rounds, make gun trafficking and the purchase of firearms for people barred from owning them federal crimes, and provide more money for schools to buy video cameras and other safety equipment.

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Smith and Wesson Tripled Earnings Last Quarter

Mar 5, 2013 7:17 PM PT

On Tuesday, Smith and Wesson reported they tripled their earnings last quarter and raised it's outlook for the rest of the year . The company reported $17.5M in the quarter ending January 31, which is up $5.4M from the same quarter last year. 

The results were driven by "continued robust consumer demand for firearms," said Smith & Wesson CEO James Debney, who singled out sales of the company's Military & Police pistols and "modern sporting rifles."

Smith & Wesson said it expanded production in the quarter and has been at maximum capacity for a year. "Despite these capacity increases, the company was unable to meet the ongoing demand across all of its firearm product lines," the company said in a press release. 

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IL Democrat Proposes 'Junk Gun' Ban

Mar 4, 2013 2:17 PM PT

A democrat congressman from America's murder capital will introduce legislation to ban 'junk handguns.'    The bill is "designed to ban the production of low-quality handguns, known informally as 'Saturday night specials.' " 

While the emphasis and attention has been focused on the rarely-used-in-crime "assault weapon," Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is going after the much cheaper, more frequently used weapon of choice,the cheap handgun.  Gutierrez points out that 97% of Chicago's gun murders were committed using a handgun. 

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Video: Armed Bank Robber Thwarted By Gun Toting Civilian

Mar 2, 2013 7:25 PM PT

Yesterday afternoon, an armed white male entered the First Security Bank in Trimble, Missouri and loudly demanded cash. As the KSHB-TV reporter noted in the video below, "unfortunately for the suspect, he was not the only person in the bank carrying a weapon."

Fox 4 News reported that the suspect was shot in the face by the gun toting civilian. I would have thought that that would have disabled him, but he ended up leading the police on a high speed chase.

 Police apparently pursued the car down 169 Highway to I-435 and put down spikes to stop the car. The pursuit ended at I-435 just south of 152 Highway.

The man has been taken to the hospital. His condition is not known.

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Taking Joe Biden at his word

Feb 28, 2013 9:59 AM PT

Taking Joe Biden seriously is extremely dangerous - it can get you arrested or killed.  But setting aside the illegality of doing the things Biden says women should do to protect themselves with shotguns (everything he's suggested thus far is a felony offense), the Independent Journal Review decided to test his assertion that women will find shotguns easier to aim than AR-15s...

Reading the Chicago tea leaves

Feb 28, 2013 6:01 AM PT

In response to Biden: Chicago Election Shows Voters Want More Gun Control:

If the results of the special-election primary prove America wants more gun control, then what did the landslide victory of Jesse Jackson Jr. prove?  That America wants more insane levels of stupidity and corruption?  That we want more politicians who will empty our pockets so they can splurge on Michael Jackson memorabilia?  Or was America really hungry for Jackson Junior's plan to have Obama ignore the Constitution and hire every unemployed person in the country and pay them $40k per year?

Biden: Chicago Election Shows Voters Want More Gun Control

Feb 28, 2013 4:55 AM PT

Vice President Joe Biden stated yesterday that gun control enthusiast Robin Kelly's victory in the Chicago Democrat congressional primary is a sign that voters want stricter gun control and are turning against the all-powerful gun lobby. 

"For the first time since Newtown, voters sent a clear unequivocal signal," Biden told a group of state attorney generals, who were meeting in Washington.

The voters sent a message last night, not just to the NRA, but to the politicians all around the country. There will be a moral price as well as a political price to be paid for inaction," Biden said.

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ABC's Claims It Made FLOTUS Edit "For Time"

Feb 27, 2013 9:02 AM PT

John Nolte has a follow up on yesterday's story about ABC and their edit of the First Lady's comments about a shooting in Chicago. ABC says the inaccurate comments the First Lady made were edited out "for time."

If this sounds familiar it's because the same excuse was given by NBC after they were caught editing the George Zimmerman 911 call in a way that made him appear racist. Their internal investigation determined "the person had cut the video clip down to meet a maximum time requirement for the length of the segment...and inadvertently edited the call in a way that proved misleading." In Zimmerman's case, it was just a coincidence that the edit matched the claims of racism that were surrounding the case at the time.

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Holder Defends Gun Grabs to States' Attorney Generals

Feb 26, 2013 11:33 AM PT

Attorney General Eric Holder defended President Obama's gun-control agenda to a meeting of states' attorney generals on Tuesday. The U.S. Attorney General  explained to the AGs that Obama's gun control measures "would not infringe on the rights of lawful gun owners." 

Constitutional expert Holder's DOJ oversaw project Fast and Furious, which was responsible for selling untraceable firearms to Mexican narco-terrorists.  

We will not rest until we’ve done everything in our power to prevent future tragedies like the one that killed Brian Terry took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” said Holder at the annual National Association of Attorneys General conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C.

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Reason #4,284,546 We Need Better Storytelling

Feb 22, 2013 8:37 AM PT

Stephen Kruiser has a great post, "While We Argue Gun Statistics, OFA Is Tugging Heartstrings with a Video."  He writes:

This is the thing that our side still doesn’t get. Pictures and video tell a more compelling story than just text and math. The other thing many don’t understand is that Democrats are working this stuff 24/7. OFA sent this video out today. It’s a sad story about about a boy losing his father in a mass shooting. It’s also being used to bolster support for an abrogation of the Constitutional rights of legal, sane gun owners who would never commit such a heinous crime.

I’ve read numerous stories in the past several months about people who have protected themselves and saved lives because they were armed. Read. Gun rights advocates should be making videos using the people telling those stories.

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Take Joe Biden seriously at your peril

Feb 21, 2013 4:03 PM PT

In response to 'Shotgun' Joe Biden:

It gets even better, Javier: following Biden's dim-witted advice would actually get you arrested in his home state, for aggravated menacing and reckless endangering in the first degree.  You're not supposed to discharge firearms at people just for trespassing on your property, and when you fire into the air, the round eventually comes down and hits something, or someone.  And yes, people really have been arrested for doing more or less what Biden just told them to do.

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'Shotgun' Joe Biden

Feb 21, 2013 2:46 PM PT

Vice President ‘Joking’ Joe Biden is telling Americans that don’t need to go out and buy AR-15 style rifles, but to go out and  “buy a shotgun” for home protection. I didn’t need Joe to tell me to buy a shotgun because I had already purchased this Mossberg 500 ‘Special purpose’ tactical shotgun for my own protection from lunatic leftist and criminals that may want to cause me  and my dogs harm.


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Absolute Moral Authority on Gun Control

Feb 21, 2013 7:56 AM PT

Instapundit links to this very important open letter from Evan M. Todd, a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre.  Read the entire thing here.  I think this excerpt is especially important:

Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others.

Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?

You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:

First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to run amok.

Sweden Doesn't Have a David Gregory Exception to Gun Laws

Feb 19, 2013 2:01 PM PT

In 2010 a Swedish tabloid did an undercover expose on illegal guns circulating in the city of Malmö (Sweden's 3rd largest city). The journalists involved decided to find out how easy it was to buy a gun illegally on the black market by buying a gun illegally on the black market. Turns out it was fairly easy.

After writing about the experience for the paper the journalists turned the illegal gun over to the police. At this point, Sweden's version of the "David Gregory exception" to gun laws should have come in to play. Surprisingly, the Swedish police filed charges against the two journalists and their editor. Today, all three were found guilty of crimes by an appeals court:

According to the verdict issued on Tuesday by the Svea Court of Appeal, the reporter, Diamant Salihu, is guilty of gun crimes, while Mattsson was convicted of conspiracy to commit gun crime, alongside senior news editor Andreas Johansson who was convicted as an accomplice.

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NY Dems: Mandatory $1M Insurance Policy for Gun Owners

Feb 19, 2013 9:27 AM PT

Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn has proposed a law that would require gun owners to carry a $1M liability policy. 

Bill S2353 will require all gun owners in NY to obtain and “continuously maintain” insurance coverage of at least $1 million, or they will suffer “immediate revocation of such owner’s registration, license and any other privilege to own” a firearm.

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Ammunition Shortages Reported

Feb 18, 2013 7:34 AM PT

Gun dealers are reporting an ammuniton shortage. The reason: consumers are fearful of the potential gun control legislation coming down the road. Anyone who is gun owner looking to replenish their ammo supply has experienced this first hand. Even Wal-Mart is out of ammunition, much to my dismay. In particular, .22LR is hard to find. 

"We absolutely are in uncharted territory," said Larry Hyatt, of the family-owned Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, N.C.. "Our store is 53 years old, and we have never seen anything like this. We have had some spot shortages and busy gun times in the past. This is a level (of demand) never before seen." 

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Gun Ranges Wussing Out

Feb 16, 2013 3:13 PM PT

I just got back from squeezing off some rounds at a local gun range in Pompano Beach, Florida, and could help but notice that one of the targets the range was using, was that of a Terrorist armed with a RPG, and wearing the traditional terrorist garb.

What is the big deal? The Terrorist's skin was painted blue. Any part of the image that displayed the terrorist's skin was painted in blue. Is this too P.C.? God forbid that we  shoot at an image of a person who's skin is darker than the paper the image is printed on.

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Chicago: Four More Shot, One Dead, After Obama's Gun Speech

Feb 16, 2013 7:44 AM PT

Just hours after the President spoke in Chicago about the need for more "common sense proposals" on guns in that city, four people were shot, and another was killed, within a 90 minute span

In his speech, President Obama said "Americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun." Striking the same chord reminiscent of his message in the wake of the Newton massacre Obama said, "we may not be able to save every child from gun violence, but if we save a few, that starts changing the atmosphere in our communities." 

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Obama's Speech in Chicago's South Side, Just Another Photo Op

Feb 15, 2013 2:36 PM PT

In response to As Obama gets under way in Chicago: Joel, I agree with you here. But I think you're being a bit too generous. You're right, Obama has helped to downplay and undermined the idea of individual responsibility--but I fear the damage is far more devastating. Obama hasn't just undermined the notion of individual responsibility, he's nuked it. 

Obama's policies have pushed more American's into food stamps dependence in four years, than President Bush did in eight. From "Obama phones" to ObamaCare, the soul-crushing cancer of dependency is spreading at breakneck speed. While Obama pays lip service to civic responsibility, as you suggest, his government-growing actions fly in the face of responsibility. 

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As Obama gets under way in Chicago

Feb 15, 2013 1:29 PM PT

I've seen Obama speak in Chicago in person--in 2008, at a church on the South Side. Obama often repeats a message of responsibility in these settings: parents should read to kids, kids should do their homework, young people should help their communities instead of hanging around in gangs, etc. That message of responsibility is part of what built support for Obama among suburbanites more used to hearing the usual grievance rhetoric from city politicians. I fully expect Obama to use the same language in his gun control (sorry, "economy") speech today at a school in Hyde Park. I also expect to see the media fawning over it. And--all well and good, because more of that rhetoric is needed. The problem is more than rhetoric is needed, and Obama has done much to undermine the notion of individual responsibility to which he pays homage in these speeches.

Judging Obama's gun policy by liberal media's 'racial code'

Feb 15, 2013 9:01 AM PT

President Barack Obama seems to think that different gun rules should apply to people in rural areas and people in urban areas. As I noted last month:

Curiously, the president attempted to draw a distinction between gun ownership in rural areas versus urban areas, according to the interview: 

Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were ten, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family's traditions, you can see why you'd be pretty protective of that.

So it's trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.

Were any other politician to have made such a distinction, they might well have been accused of racism.

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Obama to Push Gun Control Agenda in South Side Chicago...WAIT, WHAT?

Feb 15, 2013 7:15 AM PT

Obama is paying a visit on his post-SOTU campaign tour to the south-side of Chicago to push his gun control anti-gun violence agenda. 

Chicago, with a gun violence death count of 500 for the year of 2012, has some of the most restrictive firearm laws in the nation.  It's not clear what Obama will talk about to his audience, as they are largely restricted from legally owning a firearm.  He may ask them to support more background checks for the guns they can't purchase in the first place. Or perhaps he will ask the criminals who buy/sell firearms to intitute some sort of background check within the black market where these guns are sold and purchased.  

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The treasures of an advanced society

Feb 14, 2013 1:37 PM PT

In response to South Africa's domestic violence disaster:

The health of a society may be reliably measured by how well it treasures its women.  Abandoning them with children or demanding government-subsidized contraception, so they can be more easily treated as recreational devices, isn't so great either.  There are many ways to cultivate a bad culture; fewer paths to the nourishment of a good one.  And the volume of shame swirling through a culture does not diminish just because people refuse to feel it.

South Africa's domestic violence disaster

Feb 14, 2013 1:17 PM PT

It is shocking that Oscar Pistorius would (allegedly) murder his girlfriend. But such events are all too common in South Africa. In December, I wrote about a South African friend who was stabbed to death by her husband.

That culture of domestic violence is not a black/white issue. It persists throughout the country. There are no easy solutions to it--and banning guns is not the answer, since men seem willing to hurt women with whatever comes to hand. We don't have the same cultural problem in the USA, but culture is part of the problem.

Toy Gun Makers in the Crosshairs

Feb 13, 2013 6:32 AM PT

The toy gun industry has experienced a backlash, as they struggle "to strike a delicate balance between profit and sensitivity."

"I have heard that toy guns that look like real weapons have slowed down in general, but toy weapons that are whimsical, fun and colorful, those have not been affected," said Beaver Raymond, co-founder of the Marshmallow Fun Company, a toymaker.

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Time to tug the ol' gun control heartstrings

Feb 12, 2013 8:54 AM PT

In response to Gun Control May Be "In Vogue" But It's Not Popular:

Doubtless that's why we're getting a big gun-control show at the SOTU tonight, complete with human props.  This issue is the quintessential example of emotion triumphing over reason.  Gun control sometimes polls well for a while in the abstract, after a big gun-related media freakout, but support always evaporates when the public takes a deep breath and begins thinking about the specific proposals on the table.  It only takes about ten seconds for people to remember that the police will most likely be visiting the site of their violent murder to investigate the crime, not to protect them.

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Julia, Get Your Gun!

Feb 11, 2013 8:29 AM PT

For years the feminists' underlying message to women was that they needed the government to support and protect them.  How empowering!  In 2012 the Obama campaign told us the story of Julia -- a woman who needs government from cradle to grave. 

Before conservatives give up on the "women's vote," I saw this hopeful headline in the New York Times, "Rising Voice of Gun Ownership is Female."  From the article:

In the debate over firearms regulations, the voices of gun owners have largely been those of men. But at firing ranges across the country, a growing number of women are learning to use firearms and honing their skills.

Women’s participation in shooting sports has surged over the last decade, increasing by 51.5 percent for target shooting from 2001 to 2011, to just over 5 million women, and by 41.8 percent for hunting, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

Gun sales to women have risen in concert. In a survey last year by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 73 percent of gun dealers said the number of female customers had gone up in 2011, as had a majority of retailers surveyed in the two previous years.

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