Posts tagged "Gun Rights"

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW 

The NRA is a hostage-taking organization harming our country, and their goal of denying Dr. Vivek Murthy’s appointment as next Surgeon General.   

h/t: Sy Mukherjee at Think Progress Health


Chicago’s strictest-in-the-nation law banning gun sales within the city is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The judge said the law banning the weapons sale “goes too far,” but delayed the effect of the ruling to give the city time to respond, Bloomberg reported.

“Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms,” U.S. District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang wrote in a 35-page opinion.

The ordinance, which has banned gun shops in Chicago since it was passed by the city council in 2010, also prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes with a handgun — even into their garages or onto their porches.

Chicago previously banned handguns in the city for 28 years until 2010, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law.

The city, President Obama’s hometown, has struggled with gun violence and ended 2013 with 415 homicides, 88 fewer than in 2012 and 20 fewer than in 2011, according to an Associated Press tally. It was the fewest killings in the city since 1965.

Guess which Conservative pundit just got a book deal? If you guessed the St. Louis-based radio talk show host Dana Loesch, you are right on the money.

Her first book, Defenseless, which will be published in September 2014, examines the issues of the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership rights from a slanted pro-NRA viewpoint with flagrant distortions.

Center Street on Loesch’s book:

In Defenseless, Loesch examines the motivations of the political left to grab the guns of law-abiding citizens, leaving vulnerable millions of Americans, especially women. She digs deep into the history of the Second Amendment, looking closely at the advantage a no-guns policy would give to murderers, rapists, and other criminals. She urges readers to fight back against what she sees as a hypocritical and unwarranted federal intrusion by policymakers who themselves rely on guns for their protection. The always provocative Loesch – who was once banned from CNN’s Piers Morgan for her support of self-defense — will present new reporting and offer surprising insights about gun control, while also offering a plan for reclaiming our rights and the security necessary for our peace of mind.  
The book will publish in September 2014 and will be released simultaneously in hardcover and eBook formats. 

Oh boy. Loesch’s going for the crazy gold here.

(cross-posted from

(via winningprogressive)

I’m a member of the National Rifle Association and a former Army officer with assignments in the military police, artillery, and operations research and intelligence at the Pentagon.

I’m also Ted Nugent’s older brother.

Ted and I recently attended the NRA convention in Houston, where he delivered the gathering’s final speech and continued his ardent defense of the Second Amendment. Ted and I have hunted together for decades, and we legally own a large number of guns. We both understand that guns constitute deadly force, so safety is foremost in our minds. It’s part of responsible gun ownership.

And I agree with Ted that our constitutional right to bear arms should not be undermined. I want all those who are qualified to purchase a gun to be able to do so. But — and here is where I part ways with my brother — not everyone is qualified to own a gun, so expanded background checks should be a legislative priority.

I believe strongly that expanding and improving mandatory background checks will keep a lot of people who aren’t entitled to Second Amendment rights from having easy access to guns. As of today, a convicted felon can find a gun show or a private seller and buy a firearm without a background check. That loophole should be closed. Every gun transaction must include a thorough background check. Why would responsible gun owners want to protect people who threaten not only our safety but our gun rights?

The NRA has it wrong: Irresponsible gun owners are bad for everyone. If you shouldn’t have access to a gun, then there should be no way for you to access a gun! Can anyone argue with that?

Consider the mentally ill, one of the biggest threats to firearm safety. How do we preserve their rights to health privacy while keeping firearms out of their hands? It’s a huge concern, given the role mental illness has played in recent gun-violence tragedies. While some states have made progress, it’s far from universal.

But convicted felons, people with restraining orders against them and those with a history of mental illness can still find ways to purchase weapons. No one should stand for this.

The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, and the gun violence that claims on average eight children per day in the United States, require us to think differently about what the Second Amendment really means.

Enhanced background checks need not threaten the Second Amendment. Why are the NRA and the elected representatives who support it so slow to realize this? Or do they fear a slippery slope toward greater restrictions on gun rights? If they don’t want to burden a flawed system, they should be part of fixing it.

Reducing gun violence and protecting the Second Amendment is not an either-or idea. I challenge the NRA’s leadership to partner with groups such as Evolve, which I recently joined, that seek to protect gun rights while creating a culture of responsibility, safe gun use and prudent access to firearms.

Can we imagine an NRA capable of taking that on? Or are we doomed to the uncompromising philosophy driving everything the organization does? I want to be proud of being a member of a proactive NRA.

I attended this month’s NRA convention to better understand what the organization is thinking and advocating. Speakers such as Glenn Beck and my brother are extremely articulate and connect with that audience, while Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, excels at creating a strident stand-and-fight mentality that does not speak for the majority of gun owners. Ted and I have talked about these matters over the years, but more often lately. I concede that he is right on some points: In some instances, cities and states with less-strict gun laws have less violent crime. But that does not argue for arming America. Ted is someone who speaks in extremes to make his points. It reflects who he is, and it works for him and his audience.

h/t: Washington Post

But passing into the District of Columbia with firearms is a violation of the law and we’ll have to treat it as such.

HOUSTON (AP) — The incoming leader of the National Rifle Association has a long history with the powerful gun rights lobby and a penchant for bold statements that are sure to enflame an already explosive national debate over gun control.

James Porter, an Alabama attorney and first vice president of the NRA, assumes the presidency on Monday after the group’s national convention wraps up in Houston. He didn’t wait until then to ignite a new furor over gun control, telling the NRA grass-roots organizers on Friday they are the front line of a “culture war” that goes beyond gun rights.

“(You) here in this room are the fighters for freedom. We are the protectors,” Porter said.

Porter, 64, whose father was NRA president from 1959-1961, is part of the small, Birmingham, Ala., law firm of Porter, Porter & Hassinger. The firm’s website notes its expertise in defending gun manufacturers in lawsuits.

Porter takes over the organization as the NRA finds itself in a national fight over gun control in Washington, D.C., and state capitols around the country. The NRA had a major victory regarding gun control with the defeat in the U.S. Senate of a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales. But it lost ground in some places as several states passed laws expanding background checks and banning large ammunition magazines after December’s mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Porter has called President Barack Obama a “fake president,” Attorney General Eric Holder “rabidly un-American” and the U.S. Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression.” On Friday, he repeated his call for training every U.S. citizen in the use of standard military firearms, to allow them to defend themselves against tyranny.

Gun control advocates say Porter makes outgoing NRA President David Keene look like a moderate on gun issues, even though Keene had said the NRA would try to punish lawmakers who voted in favor of expanded background checks and other gun control measures.

Keene had worked to offer a softer, if equally staunch voice for the gun lobby’s ideas when compared with Wayne LaPierre, the fiery executive vice president who remains the NRA’s most prominent voice on the public stage.

Porter as president, “pulls (the NRA) more into the extremist camp,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “With Jim Porter, they’ve gone full crazy.”

New President, same extremist agenda at the NRA.


The Missouri Senate voted to eliminate all funding for the state’s driver’s license bureau on Monday due to concerns about its keeping records of concealed-carry holders. The Raw Story reports that the chairman of the appropriations committee, Kurt Schaefer (R), admitted that the cut was made to send a message to Governor Jay Nixon (D) and his administration, and said, “They will not be able to issue any drivers’ licenses.”

The state of Missouri is reportedly only state to have its driver’s license bureau also be the agency that issues concealed carry permits. According to The Raw Story article, the state gave that power to the bureau ten years ago for the purpose of allowing law enforcement to be able to identify people who carried concealed weapons. However, Missouri lawmakers have gotten more concerned about the possibility that these records would be shared with the federal government, leading ultimately to confiscations of guns from law-abiding citizens.

Gun-confiscation paranoia has been around for quite awhile in our society. Much of this is due to the widespread slippery slope argument that the NRA makes, and that lawmakers, particularly Republican lawmakers, parrot, when it comes to universal background checks or other records tracking gun ownership and purchase, or any tiny bit of regulation regarding firearms.

Probably one of the most pertinent facts that people who trumpet the slippery slope argument regarding background checks and other recordkeeping ignore is that a national gun registry is illegal. Furthermore, the bi-partisan background check amendment thatfailed in the Senate last week, despite widespread support in the populace, made creating a federal gun registry an actual crime.

It was not, as the NRA and various right-wing news sources reported, a statement regarding how the White House intended to make such policies effective, nor how they were planning on moving towards a federal “gun-grab.”

You can read the memo itself here. [PDF]

The main problem with the slippery slope argument, for any issue, is that it assumes one specified action will follow a previous action, and another specified action will follow after that, and so on. It completely ignores the possibility that there are other actions that could occur, that things could easily stop far short of the fateful endpoint, or that nothing further will occur after the initial action is taken. Firearms regulations don’t necessarily lead to disarmament and tyranny; there are many nations with various types of firearms regulationsthat are far more stringent than ours that are still peaceful and democratic. In other words, it’s an extremely narrow viewpoint to take on an extremely complex issue that requires a much broader view.

h/t: Rika Christensen at

For much of its more than 140-year history, the National Rifle Association promoted gun ownership, shooting, and hunting as good, clean, constitutionally-protected fun. That changed in the past four decades as the NRA transformed into a hardline group closely allied with the gun industry and the conservative establishment whose only solution to gun violence is ever more guns. Watch the shift unfold in this collection of ads promoting the organization from the early 20th century to the present.

1920: “Rifle shooting is a mighty fine sport.” This Remington ad in Boys Life declared that the NRA was “a United States Government organization.” It wasn’t, but that gives you a sense of just how tight the gun group and the government once were—before the NRA entered its current state of perpetual freak-out about the feds coming for Americans’ guns. 

1970: “Hunters Beware!” Sounding more like the contemporary NRA, this ad warned about “powerful forces—possibly well-intentioned but ill-informed—working eagerly yet relentlessly to curb and eventually abolish the hunting rights, privileges and freedoms you enjoy today.” Bonus: A guest appearance by future pro football Hall of Famer Chris Hanburger.

1982: “I’m the NRA” This famous campaign, launched in 1982, was intended to demonstrate the NRA’s broad appeal. Ads included kids (such as eight-year-old BB-gun enthusiast Bryan Hardin), women, African Americans, cops, and clergy. A more recent version of the campaign has featured NRA celebrity board members Tom Selleck and Karl Malone.

i'm the NRA

Late 1980s: “Why can’t a policeman be there when you need him?” Fears about violent crime fueled these ads promoting concealed-carry laws. The notion that gun laws are ineffective because criminals break them remains a core NRA argument, as does the idea that armed citizens routinelyfend off attackers.

concealed carry ads

1995: Bill Clinton is “daffy.” With the number of hunters on the decline, you’d think the NRA would embrace high-profile recreational shooters. Yet in this poster sold to its members, the NRA unintentionally distanced itself from its longtime stance that hunting was central to gun rights, declaring that “Mr. Clinton, the Second Amendment is not about duck hunting.”

bill clinton ducks

1997: “Gun rights are lost on our kids.” Heston promised to lead a $100 million, “three-year crusade…to restore the Second Amendment to its rightful place as America’s First Freedom.” For the kids, of course.

charlton heston and kids

2013: “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” All the anti-government paranoia, fear-mongering, and liberal-baiting of the past few decades culminated in this video, produced in the wake of the Newtown massacre. By opposing putting armed guards in every school in America, Obama proved himself to be “just another elitist hypocrite” whose kids are protected by the Secret Service.

H/T: Mother Jones

On Thursday, the senate will take-up a comprehensive gun bill that seeks to expand the background check system, enhance penalties for gun trafficking, and invest in school safety. The action will represent the first Congressional debate about firearm safety since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The vote to proceed to the measure will come just one day after Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) announced a bipartisan agreement to require background checks for gun sales at gun shows and online websites. Under their amendment, sales of firearms in these venues will be treated in the same way as gun purchases at federally licensed gun shops: individuals will have to undergo background checks that will be recorded with a federal licensed dealer. “All personal transfers are not touched whatsoever,” Manchin said.

h/t: Think Progress