Did Cantor & Boehner Allow NRA Fanatic Cliff Stearns To Cost The GOP A Dozen House Seats?
Last week Florida psychopath Cliff Stearns' off the rails National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 (H.R. 822) passed the House 272-154. It's one of the most extreme gun bills ever passed by Congress and it trampled on the rights of states to regulate their own gun control laws. Three Republicans from New York state broke with Boehner and Cantor to vote against it-- Peter King (Long Island), Bob Turner (Brooklyn/Queens) and Michael Grimm (Staten Island/Brooklyn)-- but that was more than made up for by NRA-fearing Democrats (43 of them) who rushed to join the parade of madmen.
Before passing the bill, the House rejected (150-276) Memphis Democrat Steve Cohen's amendment to allow states to bar citizens of other states who were under 21 years old from carrying concealed handguns and David Cicciline's amendment would have kept guns out of the hands of terrorists and child sex predators. Republicans and their Blue Dog allies voted that down by even greater numbers, 146-277.
Blue Dog extremist Heath Shuler, who co-sponsored the bill, joined Stearns in writing a deranged and misleading editorial in the Washington Moonie Times pimping the legislation. It was very different from the NY Times editorial that pointed out the gross hypocrisy of the legislation's intent.
House Republicans usually claim to be champions of both small government and states’ rights, which makes it hypocritical, and downright reckless, that they are obsessed with taking away the authority of states to decide who is allowed to carry a concealed and loaded handgun.
At least 36 states now set a minimum age of 21 for carrying concealed guns, and 35 states require some sort of gun-safety training. Thirty-eight states prohibit people convicted of certain violent crimes like misdemeanor assault or sex crimes from carrying concealed weapons.
The act would override those rules, requiring states with tight restrictions, like New York and California, to allow people with permits from states with lax laws to tote concealed and loaded guns in their jurisdiction. Wording added by the committee exempts people with a concealed-carry permit from one state from having to meet eligibility standards set by the state they are visiting.
The measure, pushed by the National Rifle Association, would undermine legitimate states’ rights by nationalizing lenient gun rules most states have rejected for themselves. It would increase the chance for gun violence and make it harder to combat illegal gun trafficking.
Connecticut, according to their Attorney General, George Jepsen, "has one of the lowest per-capita rates of death due to firearms in the country, due in large part to our sensible gun-control laws that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals." He's urging the Senate to oppose the Stearns/Shuler bill the House just passed.
Suburban Republicans outside of the Deep South are worried that their votes for this extreme measure will hurt them in their reelection bids next year. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey congressman who once worked hard to pass himself off as a mainstream conservative has now gone all extreme right-- on this and everything else. The mask is off and Lance voted for the crazed gun bill last week. His Democratic opponent, Ed Potosnak-- a candidate endorsed by Blue America-- chastised him for ignoring serious work on job creation and opting for these kinds of crackpot social engineering projects Lance has embraced in the past two years.
Instead of creating jobs and improving the economy, the Republican Congress continues to stagnant America's recovery by focusing on legislation that is not putting people back to work.
Last Wednesday, the GOP passed the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 822). A bill allowing gun owners, which also includes those with a criminal record, to carry hidden weapons across state lines.
How does this bill get people back to work? It doesn't. Republicans are failing to address the needs of our families and businesses. Instead, they are expanding the role of the Federal Government to create federal mandates onto States that put New Jerseyans lives at risk. This bill does not create a single job and is an affront to the tough gun laws of our state by allowing a person to register to carry a concealed weapon in another state with lax rules and then carry it with them in New Jersey to the mall, sporting events, restaurants, and bars. It drags New Jersey's gun laws down to the lowest common dominator of state laws.
The disregard of the Republican Congress for our safety and state laws, coupled with their inaction on job creation measures proves once AGAIN that Congress is broken.
We need NEW representation and that begins with me. When elected to Congress, I will fight every day to stop the radical Tea Party Republicans from holding our nation hostage to their extremist agenda. I will ensure America's future is strong with a vibrant economy, high quality education, clean air, and water and ensure that bills like these do not get passed.
Even more extreme and off the rails than Lance are Republican congressmembers in Ohio who actually represent congested urban areas-- like Mean Jean Schmidt (Cincinnati), Steve Chabot (Cincinnati), Jim Renacci (Canton), Mike Turner (Dayton), and Steve Stivers (Columbus). Mary Jo Kilroy, running for her old Columbus-based seat, has a strong record for working with law enforcement on sane gun legislation that will keep the public safe as a real priority. And she has a strong understanding for the problem Boehner and Cantor have created for the few mainstream Republicans left.
"House Republicans who represent urban or suburban districts often claim the title of "moderate." Yet moderate voters in urban areas tend to support sensible gun laws. So it is hard to see how they are voting their districts, or living up to the image they projected when elected as a so-called "moderate" by sponsoring or voting for the "National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act."
"Looking at it another way, Republicans who have campaigned against "big government," decrying what they see as the federal government forcing its will on the states, are shown to be hypocrites. These former "states' rights" champions have no hesitation in voting for federal laws that effectively overrule a concealed carry law a state legislature may have enacted with some level of restriction, (such as age, no history of crimes of violence, no history of drug or alcohol abuse, evidence of having completed training) by mandating that those states must allow someone with a permit from a state like Utah, with virtually no restrictions, not even residency, to carry a concealed weapon. The laws of New York or California, for example, would be subject to this back door veto.
"I find this another example of the power of the NRA to scare Members of Congress. It is incredible to me that in the 10 months following the attack on Rep. Gabriel Giffords, including the deaths of 6 people in Tucson, that no progress has been made on closing the gun show background check loophole, or prohibiting high capacity magazines that allow for a mass slaughter to occur in seconds. Instead, federal law is being used to make it easier to carry a concealed weapon, no matter what the laws of your state would require."
Ed Potosnak and Mary Jo Kilroy are both on the same page-- when it comes to gun control and when it comes to Blue America. If you can, please consider helping these two win seats in Congress, seats that will be part of the solution to the country's problems, not seats that are held by people exacerbating those problems with extreme ideological mania.