Thursday, February 22, 2018

Has Gun Control's Moment Come Again-- Despite Cowardly Politicians?


Cameron Kasky, one of the students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School brought down the house at the CNN forum Wednesday night when he asked his senator, Marco Rubio, if he would stop taking NRA money. Rubio-- like every single blood-soaked member of Congress from either party who takes NRA bribes and votes for their sick, murderous agenda, said that the NRA buys into his agenda, not that he buys into theirs. Maybe Rubio even believes that. But the kids didn't. They boo-ed him loudly and repeatedly. Rubio's not up for reelection again until 2022. It was gracious and somewhat courageous of him to jump into the lion's den.

Trump immediately went for the most simple-minded and idiotic right-wing suggestion-- arm the teachers. Even Rubio said he wouldn't support that idea. I asked my friend who works at a public school in Compton. He said that it's a crazy idea that not only wouldn't work but that would result in more than half the teachers he knows retiring. "You think there's a teacher shortage now," he said, if Trump manages to push this through, the whole school system will collapse. Maybe that's just what DeVos wants to see happen." He also told me he's buying bulletproof clothing for school.

Rubio told the audience he's going to try-- an impossible task?-- to get unanimous consent to bring the background check bill-- FIX NICS-- to the floor. I can't see that happening... and even if it does, Ryan will stop it in the House by keeping it attached to the concealed carry reciprocity bill, an NRA strategy which will prevent Democrats from voting for it. Rubio said he favors raising the age for legal assault rifle purchases from 18 to 21-- a total non-started for the gun manufacturers lobbyists-- and says he will back mental health background checks gun violence restraining orders and limiting the size of magazine clips. When confronted by a student on his refusal to back limits on large capacity magazines in the past, he said he's "reconsidering that position... While it may not prevent an attack, it may save lives in an attack." That would be enough for the NRA to go to try to make an example of him for other Republicans.

This morning, Marc Caputo termed that "a striking turnabout for Rubio, who never met a gun-rights bill he didn’t vote for in the Florida legislature and in Congress."
Rubio said he would leave it to law enforcement to suggest what the right magazine size would be.

That wasn’t enough for the audience, even as Rubio chided them that politicians should be allowed to change their minds. And it wasn’t enough for the other people on stage.

“The time for talking in Washington about to do about guns is over. It’s over. We know what to do,” said Rep. Ted Deutch, who represents the district where the school is located, in the city of Parkland.

But Rubio steadfastly refused to consider banning semiautomatic rifles outright. And he said he would not refuse money from the National Rifle Association, which has steered $3.3 million in contributions to him over the course of his career and given him an A+ rating-- support he might not be able to count on after Wednesday night.

In June 2016, Rubio cited the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as a major reason he leapt back into his Senate race, which he’d been weighing doing for months after failing in the presidential primaries. Rubio said that massacre had “impacted” him and made him feel he had to return to the Senate. He won, with NRA support. But in the nearly two years since, he has not championed any new gun legislation in Congress.

...The evening didn’t start particularly well for Rubio, either, when he was questioned by Fred Guttenberg, whose 14 year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed last week in school.

“Were guns the factor in the hunting of our kids?” Guttenberg asked.

“Of course they were,” Rubio replied. “Number one, Fred, I absolutely believe that in this country if you are 18 years of age you should not be able to buy a rifle and I will support a law that takes that right away.”

Rubio was met with applause and went on to say he supports banning “bump stocks,” which can make a semiautomatic fire like a machine gun. He also voiced his support for better background checks and mental health funding.

But when Rubio said an “assault weapons ban” would not have prevented last week’s murders, the boos rained down.

“It is too easy to get,” Guttenburg said. “It is a weapon of war. The fact that you can’t stand with everybody in this building and say that, I’m sorry.”

Yesterday we looked at Ron Brownstein's ideas about what kinds of districts the Democrats could win to build a House majority. This morning, writing for The Atlantic, he reiterated his analysis in the light of the reinvigorated national gun debate. Trump-hatred in the suburbs is going to help the Democrats and the gun issue is going to amplify that.

Despite the widespread Democratic defection from outside the major urban centers, the Brady and assault-ban bills passed because Clinton drew support from dozens of suburban Republicans inside those metropolitan areas. Fifty-four House Republicans backed the Brady bill in 1993, and 38 supported the assault ban the next year; the latter number grew to 46 when the ban was included in the final version of Clinton’s crime bill. Of those 46 Republicans backing the overall bill, most were from heavily suburban, Democratic-leaning states, including eight from New York; five from New Jersey; and three each from California, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

In the years since, the GOP’s geographic base has shifted away from major metropolitan areas and its demographic base has tilted further toward older, blue-collar, evangelical, and rural voters. Reflecting those changes, GOP congressional leaders have tightened their alliance with the NRA and hardened their opposition to gun control. The remaining Republicans from suburban districts, even in the bluest states, have bent compliantly to that current. Compared with their counterparts in the 1990s, suburban House Republicans now vote much more in lockstep with the NRA.

In December, all but 10 suburban House Republicans voted for legislation to override individual state gun laws and require every state to honor a concealed-carry handgun permit issued in any state. In February 2017, all but two House Republicans (New York’s Peter King and Dan Donovan) voted to overturn a regulation from former President Barack Obama that required the Social Security Administration to share information with the national background-check system about anyone deemed incapable of managing their benefits because of mental illness.

Many of the Republicans who voted with the NRA on both measures represent white-collar suburban seats atop the Democrats’ 2018 target list. That includes GOP legislators near Denver (Mike Coffman); Los Angeles (Dana Rohrabacher, Mimi Walters, and Steve Knight); Minneapolis (Erik Paulsen and Jason Lewis); New York (Lee Zeldin); Northern Virginia (Barbara Comstock); Omaha (Don Bacon); Des Moines (David Young); Houston (John Culberson); and Dallas (Pete Sessions). Except for King and Donovan, every other top-target metro Republican-- from Carlos Curbelo in Miami to Leonard Lance in New Jersey-- who voted against the concealed-carry reciprocity bill voted for the repeal of Obama’s Social Security regulation.
Goal ThermometerAmong those Republican politicians Brownstein wrote are now vulnerable because of their unswerving support for the NRA is David Young, the pius hypocrite who Austin Frerick is taking on in Des Moines and southwest Iowa. Austin ripped into him this morning: "I’ve personally become even more driven to defeat Congressman Young knowing that’s he’s taken the 3rd most money from the NRA and continues to do their bidding tragedy after tragedy. He's just a do-nothing hollow man who does the bidding of his largest donors. After the Law Vegas massacres, Congressman Young said that he couldn't think of a good reason why bump stocks exist. His solution was to write a letter to the ATF, but the ATF doesn't think it can act. Did he do something after that ATF decision? No, but he did have time to visit a gun store whose owner was very concerned about his comments on bump stocks, and wanted to show him why they were fine."

Katie Porter is running for the Orange County seat NRA ally Mimi Walters claims to be representing-- although she doesn't live there. Katie told us she's "tired of seeing our elected officials like my opponent Mimi Walters offer her thoughts and prayers after every mass shooting, and then voting however the NRA wants-- regardless of our families’ safety.The gun lobby has spent decades perpetuating this idea that there’s nothing we can do to stop gun violence in this country. That is just ridiculous. To reduce deaths from lethal weapons, our leaders in Congress just need to find the courage to stand up to the NRA and its special interest money. Not only has my opponent received thousands of dollars of contributions from the NRA, but she is voting against the will of her constituents. 60% of CA-45 voters voted for Proposition 63, a common sense gun initiative, in 2016-- more proof that Mimi Walters votes with special interests, not her constituents."

Lillian Salerno, the progressive in the race to replace Pete Sessions in Dallas, has a similar perspective. "Pete Sessions," she told us today, "has been in the pocket of the NRA since his initial run for Congress twenty years ago, and there is no sign he will change course now. Even after hundreds of children have lost their lives to gun violence, the NRA knows they have an unwavering ally in Sessions. And what did it take to secure his allegiance? $150,000 in contributions and outside spending from the NRA. $150,000 is the price Sessions puts on the lives of children and families. And as a member of Congress, I will never, under any circumstance, take money from the NRA."

Another GOP incumbent Brownstein singled out: extremist Steve Knight (CA-25). And his progressive opponent, Katie Hill, has been reminding voters in Santa Clarita, the Antelope Valley and Simi Valley what a danger he is. "Steve Knight has prioritized special interests like the NRA over constituents since he joined Congress," she told us. "We need an elected official willing to stand up and do the right thing. I support the immediate ban of bump stocks, silencers, and assault weapons. There is no compelling reason for a civilian to own weapons of war and it is time that the law reflected it."

Now watch Derrick Crowe:

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At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has the moment come again? Yup. Another high body count in a target rich environment.

Will it make anything different? Nope. Won't happen.

What WOULD make a difference is voters electorally murdering the NRA-fellating, gun loving assholes in congress, state houses and city councils.

When will voters electorally murder these blood-soaked motherfuckers? In the usa in the 21st century? won't happen. voters are too stupid and there are too many more important issues to consider -- like whether someone should be compelled to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

The little bitch Rubio knows that none of these kids vote and their parents, who do, will keep voting for him for his hatred of those they also hate.
By the time the kids are old enough, they will have forgotten, mercifully, the day their friends were slaughtered in front of them by a guy enabled by the little bitch. And there will be a vile democrat (or democrap) to vote against, so the little bitch will enjoy their support.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it came. Again, it's gone. Once the media began spreading Radical Republican lies about the students protesting and taking action, it was all over but the shouting. It's as obvious as the lies that spew from Trump which no one refutes.


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