Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, March 05, 2004

A Little Less Blatant

The Atlanta Urinal Constipation Journal Constitution in an (unsigned, of course) editorial waxes poetic over the evil NRA:
Pry Congress from cold, deadly clutch of the NRA

Those who say that negotiating with the gun lobby is like making a deal with the devil owe the archfiend an apology.
WELL! Let's get off on the right foot. Nothing could be as evil as an organization with 4 million dues-paying members, right?
For months, the National Rifle Association has lobbied hard for passage of a bill that would make the gun industry immune to civil lawsuits. The measure -- the NRA's top legislative priority -- had already passed the House, and this week was close to passage in the Senate as well, until NRA lobbyists stepped in at the last minute and ordered that the bill be killed.

Why the sudden change of heart? Because Democrats and moderate Republicans had succeeded in attaching two quite sensible, reasonable gun-safety measures to the bill. One amendment extended the 1994 ban on military-style assault weapons that's set to expire in September; the other closed a loophole that permitted people to buy firearms at gun shows without having to undergo instant background checks.
As opposed to those quite sensible, reasonable Democrat legislators that just want 'the children' to be safe, right? There's only one right way to see this, and it isn't the NRA's.
Officially, President Bush backs both measures, although he has done nothing to support them.
Which is what being a politician is all about, I believe. Talk alot, say nothing.
According to a recent survey by the Consumer Federation of America, the assault rifle ban is also supported by a majority of the nation's gun owners.
Hell, that might even be true. There are, after all, tens of millions of gun owners and only a few million of us own evil black rifles. The Ducks Unlimited crowd doesn't have much love for us. But the Second Amendment isn't about duck hunting. It's not my fault that most gun owners aren't all that conversant on enumerated Constitutional rights.
The assault weapons ban is particularly important to law enforcement officers, who had pleaded with Congress to renew the ban and also close the gun show loophole.
Um, not quite. It's particularly important to politically connected law enforcement leadership groups. The rank and file generally know better.
According to the Justice Department, the proportion of banned assault weapons traced to crimes had dropped by 65.8 percent since 1995, most likely as a result of that law.
Really? After the Violence Policy Center claimed that one in five police officers killed with a gun were killed with "assault weapons"? I think we've got our messages crossed. The AWB was toothless, so it's got to be strengthened, but if it can't be strengthened it must be renewed. It didn't stop the sale of "assault weapons," but it kept assault weapons out of the hands of criminals. The gun-control crowd reminds me of John Kerry - they argue both sides of the case, but still want you to vote for them.
Nonetheless, U.S. Sen. Zell Miller was among six Democrats who voted against renewing the ban on military-style assault weapons. "First of all, the term 'assault' was dreamed up to give the weapons included a bad name. Who could be for an 'assault weapon'? The definition is really 'semi-automatic,' and about 15 percent of all firearms owned in the U.S. meet the definition," said Miller.
Simplistic, but relatively accurate, given what they actually want to ban.
Had the gun-immunity bill passed, it would have voided hundreds of pending lawsuits, including those filed by more than 30 cities devastated by gun violence and by dozens of shooting victims and their families. For example, it would have slammed shut the courthouse door to the families of the victims of Beltway snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. The families are suing Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, the Washington state gun shop where Malvo either bought or stole the semi-automatic rifle used to slaughter 10 people. Between 2000 and 2002, the gun shop somehow "lost" 230 other guns from its inventory.

Bull's Eye tried to have the case dismissed, but the courts ruled that the store had some responsibility to ensure its firearms didn't fall into the hands of criminals. The judge relied on the established legal principle that a person who carelessly furnishes a criminal an open opportunity to commit a crime can be held liable.
Excuse me, but they completely override the critical point here: These people are also suing BUSHMASTER, the manufacturer of the rifle. OK, if you can prove that the gun was sold under the table, then the previous owner of Bull's Eye might have some liability, but Bushmaster? Note that the AJS doesn't mention this. It doesn't fit their agenda. They might have to explain this themselves. Nor does the AJC mention that most of the lawsuits brought by the cities have been thrown out, appealed, and thrown out again on the basis that they are groundless attempts to legislate via the courts when the legislators won't do what the (minority) gun control groups want. That, too, doesn't fit their agenda.

And why doesn't anybody bring up the idea of suing the BATF for allowing Bull's Eye to keep running after they "lost" over 200 firearms from their inventory over several years. Doesn't that strike you as odd? Isn't it the job of the BATF to keep track of things like this? Don't they bear some responsibility here?
The NRA and its supporters want to give the gun industry an immunity to being sued that no other American industry enjoys.
They certainly do, as the gun industry is suffering an unjust attack through the courts that no other American industry is subject to.
As they have demonstrated, they want that immunity only on their terms, with no compromise and no tolerance for any effort that might reduce the toll in lost and broken lives attributed to guns. And while that absolutist approach is troubling, the docile willingness of so many in Congress to accommodate that extremism is more troubling still.
You don't like "zero tolerance" when it affects you, do you? We're done "compromising." We've learned that it means "we only give up half of what you want to take from us."

Welcome to the new world. We've had enough. We're fighting back.

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