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Obama backs off Assault Rifle ban

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ConcordCowboy, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    First 100 days: Assault weapons ban


    Obama’s goal of permanently renewing the ban appears to be a longshot


    By Pete Williams
    Justice correspondent
    NBC News


    WASHINGTON - Campaigning before a church congregation on Chicago’s South Side one Sunday in July 2007, Barack Obama said an epidemic of big city violence was “sickening the soul of this nation.”

    Among the potential cures, he said, was permanently reinstating a ban on assault weapons.

    One-hundred days into his presidency, President Obama says it remains a goal. But it is one the White House has been forced to abandon.

    Voices of agreement

    President Obama and Vice-President Biden, “support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent,” the White House website declares. Shortly after taking office, members of the Obama cabinet added their voices of agreement.

    At his first news conference as attorney general, Eric Holder said, “there are just a few gun-related changes what we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban.”

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed the idea during her trip to Mexico in late March. “These assault weapons, these military-style weapons, don’t belong on anyone’s street,” she said.

    But the fire has gone out of President Obama’s goal of restricting the availability of firearms. “I don’t know of any plans,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, to seek an assault weapons ban from Congress.

    Attorney General Holder admitted as much when asked, during a recent session with reporters, whether he expected any push for a ban this year to curb the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico.

    His answer could have come straight from the National Rifle Association: “I think what we’re going to do is to try to, obviously, enforce the laws on the books.”


    Support evaporated

    Congress imposed a ban on what it called assault weapons in 1994, outlawing the sale and importation of 19 military-style weapons, copycat models with similar features, and high-capacity ammunition magazines. In a compromise with Republicans, the Democrats who controlled Congress agreed to let it expire in ten years unless it was renewed. By 2004, with Republicans in charge, support had evaporated.

    Democrats again control Congress, and a Democrat is once more in the White House, the same conditions that allowed the ban to be imposed 15 years ago. But the make-up of Congress is different, with little appetite for restricting gun ownership.

    The Senate’s majority leader is a westerner, Harry Reid of Nevada also known as Senator Balless, where gun control is political poison. And though the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi also know as House Speaker Worthless, comes from the more liberal San Francisco, she has shown no enthusiasm for reviving the assault weapons ban because of opposition among her colleagues.


    Sixty-five House Democrats wrote Attorney General Holder in mid-March, saying they “would actively oppose any effort to reinstate the 1994 ban” and predicting “a long and divisive fight” if the administration tried to push for one. Many of them represent rural districts, where gun control is no more popular than in Nevada.


    By the time President Obama made his trip to Mexico, he conceded the battle would be futile. “None of us are any illusion that reinstating that ban would be easy.”

    “What we’re focused on is how we can improve our enforcement of existing laws,” he said.

    Straw buyers
    Enforcement of the nation’s gun laws is primarily the responsibility of ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Its agents and inspectors check to see that gun dealers obey laws governing sales. They look for evidence of “straw buyers” – people legally entitled to buy guns who then sell them to criminals or others who don’t want any records tying them to a specific gun.

    ATF says such buyers are responsible for a large proportion of guns that wind up in the hands of violent drug cartels in Mexico.

    “These illegal purchases,” ATF’s William Newell told Congress last month, are “a key source and supply of firearms for drug traffickers.”

    The best way to improve enforcement of existing gun laws, said one veteran ATF agent, is to put more badges on the street.

    “Give us more people to inspect gun dealers, looking for straw buyers, in the states where the guns smuggled into Mexico are coming from,” he says.


    The number of ATF inspectors has remained remarkably flat in the past two decades, while support staffing has grown in other federal agencies, including the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.

    ATF had 764 inspectors in 1990. It has 771 today.

    The number of ATF agents has risen 32% during the same period, but it is a comparatively small agency. ATF has 2,441 agents today, compared to the FBI’s 13,040 and the DEA’s 5,235.

    It’s no accident that the size of ATF’s inspections force has remained flat. The NRA has successfully fought efforts to expand inspections, claiming that licensed firearms dealers have been harassed.

    “Despite its crime-fighting mission,” a recent report from the Congressional Research Service dryly observed, “ATF’s business relationships with the firearms industry and larger gun-owning community have been a perennial source of tension.”

    If new agents are hired, says the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, “You need to make sure they’re directed to go after the bad guys, because owning firearms is a right in the United States, and what you don’t want to do is harass law abiding people.”

    The NRA is on a roll. The Supreme Court ruled last year that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right of gun ownership, not merely the right of organized militias to arm themselves.


    Unless the mid-term election brings a substantial change in the composition of Congress, an assault weapons ban has little chance of becoming law under Barack Obama, and ATF will not be able to count on a larger force of agents and inspectors.

    Gun control, once considered a soccer-mom issue popular in suburban America, is again radioactive.


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30389664/
  2. irvin4evs

    irvin4evs Benched

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    What is the point of assault rifles, again? So I can mow down 50 burglars who show up at my house? So I can turn a herd of deer into a colossus of smoldering lampshades?
  3. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    so i can have one. what difference does it make to you? how come the way YOU think is the way you seem to feel EVERYONE should think?

    btw - your ignorance is showing. assault rifles you and i can buy are single shot. 3 round bursts are law enforcement and military only.
  4. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    Speaking of that...

    What's the point of sports cars? What, you need to drive 100 mph or something? You think you're some kind of NASCAR driver?

    And what's the point of 50 inch HD TVs? What, you can't see good enough on a 45 inch TV? What, regular reception isn't good enough for you... do you need more than 3 channels or something?



    I have the mother of all assault rifles. It's a thing of beauty and a joy to shoot. I'm happy to hear that Obama and the Dems don't have the political support to pass this silly ban now. I hope it stays that way, but I'm not optimistic.
  5. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    i just got a DPMS AR15 M4.
  6. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Staff Member

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    Read the Second Amendment. It effectively lays out the reasoning behind the right to keep and bear arms.
  7. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    What is the point of 60" TV's... houses over 2000 square feet... SUV's... cars that go over 70 mph...

    It's a right... it's all you need to know... you worry about yourself and let the rest of us exercise our second amendment rights...

    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean we should have it taken away...
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    This can not be, I was assured by many paranoid people that he was going to go door to door and take all of our weapons away, not just assault weapons.

    Oh Noes.

    Puts on tin foil hat.:p:
  9. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Can the Apocalypse really happen now?
  10. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    [IMG]

    The horror... the horror...
  11. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    And the funny thing is, the Second Amendment would definitely seem to support more militaristic weapons ownership. :)

    I don't hunt, and the only weapons I am really interested in and collect are military ones.
  12. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Nice.
  13. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Staff Member

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    Most definitely.

    To be honest, I've always been envious of the Swiss model. Switzerland has very few professional soldier. An armed citizenry is the country's primary protection; consequently, its citizens are allowed fully automatic weapons.

    A citizen army is probably unrealistic for a country of our size and power, but it's noble concept nonetheless.
  14. irvin4evs

    irvin4evs Benched

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    Let's not compare weapons designed to kill things in a rapid succession with petty luxury items. Thanks.

    And I'm not the person who will take seriously analogies of excess. I don't support any of the things you people talk about. See a trend? I don't see the inherent virtue of doing something just cuz I ****ing can.

    To fight the federal government? You won't do that.

    The logic of the 2nd Amendment makes equally justified the possession of nukes. Go ahead and tell me how it doesn't.
  15. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    You're right. There's no right to own petty luxury items in the Bill of Rights.
  16. irvin4evs

    irvin4evs Benched

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    The Constitution and Bill of Rights as a whole is a very ambiguous document made several eras ago. I don't understand the dogma towards it.

    Even the 1st amendment we all love so much was never meant to actually be granted to us. it was expected that the states would crush all acts of sedition, leaving the federal government uninvolved and the 1st amendment as it is worded preserved.
  17. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Staff Member

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    I won't? According to whom?

    This is humorous. First, you say this:

    Then, you say this:

    Talk about excess. Your point is absurd. How many people in the US actually have the wealth and means to acquire a nuclear weapon?

    The topic of nuclear weapons is an interesting one. A few years ago, I read an article at MSNBC.com. It stated that any threat of a nuclear attack on American soil would probably involve a dirty bomb rather than an actual nuclear warhead.

    A dirty bomb consists of radioactive materials strapped to a conventional explosive. When the bomb explodes, it throws the radioactive material into the air, and disperses it over a wide radius, poisoning and killing many people without causing substantial damage to buildings and infrastructure.

    Now, here's the canker: The radioactive material necessary to create the bomb is so prevalent in industry that it's virtually unregulated and accessible to almost anyone. So, literally anybody can make these bombs.

    Once again, gun control only provides the illusion of security, not actual security. You question the virtue of doing something just because you can. Similarly, I question the virtue of circumventing our constitutional rights (either via anti-gun legislation or illegal wiretaps) solely to engender a false feeling of safety.
  18. SuspectCorner

    SuspectCorner Bromo

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    So explain why some perps have the kind that mow down under-gunned cops and herds of civilians with a ferocity.
  19. SuspectCorner

    SuspectCorner Bromo

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    To my way of thinking, there is no reason for a civilian to have a high-capacity automatic weapon other than to kill men. In bunches.
  20. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Staff Member

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    Because they acquire them illegally, regardless of gun laws.

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