Video: Reid backing away from assault-weapons ban?

posted at 8:01 am on January 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The possibility of passing a renewal of the 1994 assault-weapons ban looks even more remote after an appearance on a Nevada PBS interview.  Saying that everyone needs to “be cool and cautious,” Reid insisted that the answer to Newtown needs to be more comprehensive than just weapons restrictions — and wants to wait to see what Obama will do “administratively” before passing any new laws:

“The Second Amendment is something that was adhered to by Hubert Humphrey, John Kennedy,” Reid said. “So I don’t think anyone wants to diminish the Second Amendment, but I think everyone should just take a deep breath and realize where we are and where we need to go.

“We have too much violence in our society, and it’s not just from guns. It’s from a lot of stuff. and i think we should take a look at TV, movies, video games and weapons. And I hope that everyone will just be careful and cautious.”

Rather than commit to any specific courses of action, Reid said he’d wait to see what Obama will propose on guns — and through executive order. For now, the Democratic leader in the Senate said it’s time to take a breath.

“Let’s just look at everything. I don’t think we need to point to anything now,” he said. “We need to be very cool and cautious.”

Needless to say, this doesn’t fill TPM with confidence:

The Democratically-controlled U.S. Senate will not be a free-for-all of new gun regulations following the shooting at Sandy Hook, according to Majority Leader Harry Reid. Instead, Senators will focus on passing legislation that can move through the Republican-controlled House, Reid said.

That could spell doom for an assault weapons ban. Speaking on Nevada Week In Review, a news show on the PBS affiliate in Las Vegas, Reid said there’s no real chance of a new ban passing the House.

Reid says he was surprised to see the polling post-Newtown:

“We have to be fair. I was surprised with the poll results that came after this terrible situation that occurred at Sandy Hook. the numbers around the country — most people favor having the ability of people to carry guns,” he said. “So I think that the American people want us to be very cautious what we do. I think they want us to do things that are logical, smart, and make the country safer, not just be doing things that get a headline in a newspaper.”

Of course, the big headlines today are the polling from Pew and the Washington Post/ABC poll that shows support for an assault-weapons ban, albeit with plenty of qualifications. The Post/ABC survey showed voters more interested in economic issues than gun control, for instance.  Most support coalesces around initiatives to make background checks universal and tougher, and to consider mental-health issues along with criminal backgrounds, and even (by a 2-1 margin) to put armed guards in schools.

That’s hardly a mandate for a pell-mell rush into assault weapons bans.  It looks like Harry Reid has other plans for the Senate.


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Reid want Obama to write the new gun laws after which he will give it his rubber stamp. why does that make me think of the color red?

Gwillie on January 15, 2013 at 8:04 AM

“We have too much violence in our society, and it’s not just from guns. It’s from a lot of stuff. and i think we should take a look at TV, movies, video games and weapons. And I hope that everyone will just be careful and cautious.”

A very true statement, So, I reserve my right to be armed against such people who willfully wish violence on others for no reason other than the fact they’re criminals. When crime is controlled far better for a long time to come, I might be willing to talk.

But not before then.

Liam on January 15, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Why waste time with a frontal assault on the Constitution when you have a rat-eared Kenyan bastard willing to confiscate them by other means. Mark my words…. Those of us who respect the Constitution need to be very alert these next four years. Otherwise, the filthy bastard will join with anti-Constitution groups like the Brady Group to work around the law to do what they want. And just so I am clear here- I consider Sarah and James Brady to be as much of traitors to this nation as Obama and Biden.

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Video fixed.

Ed Morrissey on January 15, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Universal background checks serve to suppress gun ownership, because the law governs transfers, not sales. In other words, if I loan my brother my shotgun for the day when we go goose hunting, that’s a transfer and I’d need to run a background check on him first.

The siren call of the background check is strong, but it’s something the Left has lusted after for years. That’s reason enough to be skeptical.

JohnTant on January 15, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Not buying a word the jackhole Reid says. He’d ban everything right down to cap pistols if he could get away with it. Since he can’t though, his real target and the left’s for that matter, is ammunition. While the Marxist left publicly talks about gun bans they are privately going after the ammunition.

bgibbs1000 on January 15, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Funny thing about the Bradys was if memory serves Hinkley was using some kind of small revolver when he was hit. So that wouldn’t even be remotely covered by this nonsense they’re pushing now since wasn’t an “assault rifle” at all.

gsherin on January 15, 2013 at 8:13 AM

I don’t trust much what that sleaze has to say.

docflash on January 15, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Assault weapon ban it is not. It is the Cosmetic Weapons Ban. Scary looking stuff, like when you jump up on your chair when you see a spider. AR-15nuerosis.

Limerick on January 15, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Universal background checks serve to suppress gun ownership, because the law governs transfers, not sales. In other words, if I loan my brother my shotgun for the day when we go goose hunting, that’s a transfer and I’d need to run a background check on him first.

JohnTant on January 15, 2013 at 8:11 AM

You know, voting is a right just like gun ownership is a right. Liberals yell and scream that photo ID laws impermissibly burden the right to vote. The proposed new gun laws go substantially further. Maybe it’s time to point that out?

Outlander on January 15, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 8:08 AM

I don’t obey Obama’s executive orders. The worst he can do is order DOJ to stop issuing new retail licenses, not renew expiring ones, and and keep the FBI from doing background checks. Of course businesses being made to fail won’t go well across the country.

It seems a lot of crap. Reid doesn’t want to see a possible gun ban fail in Congress, and Obama really prefers Congress take the heat. These two jokers are playing ping-pong, probably wishing they didn’t have to handle the mess liberal knee-jerk reactions have caused.

Liam on January 15, 2013 at 8:18 AM

The real problem I see with requiring individual private sellers to do background checks is that means the background check system is available to everyone. Thus anyone can do background checks on someone else under the guise of selling them a weapon. This would seem to be something that even ACLU types would oppose.

MechanicalBill on January 15, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Funny thing about the Bradys was if memory serves Hinkley was using some kind of small revolver when he was hit. So that wouldn’t even be remotely covered by this nonsense they’re pushing now since wasn’t an “assault rifle” at all.

gsherin on January 15, 2013 at 8:13 AM

There is nothing that makes sense about knee-jerk legislation. If it looks scary, the left wants to ban it. They will rail against “high capacity clips” whatever the hell that is. It is all meaningless. Personally, I’m for developing a My Little Pony RPG- nobody could object to that since it will be pink and pretty unlike “assualt-like” weapons such as the AR-15 which only comes in menacing black.

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 8:25 AM

“We have too much violence in our society, and it’s not just from guns.

….no kidding Harry! I want to slap you with my hands until you can’t get up!…not hit!…SLAP!

KOOLAID2 on January 15, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Personally, I’m for developing a My Little Pony RPG- nobody could object to that since it will be pink and pretty unlike “assualt-like” weapons such as the AR-15 which only comes in menacing black.

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 8:25 AM

I prefer seeing a first-person shooter where a conservative and his family have to escape a liberal state, fighting against Obama’s civilian army and the state’s liberal forces of police and National Guard. We can call it, “Escape From New York.”

Liam on January 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Don’t tell that to morning joe ….loving those new polls

We are all extremists doncha know

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

These two jokers are playing ping-pong, probably wishing they didn’t have to handle the mess liberal knee-jerk reactions have caused.

Liam on January 15, 2013 at 8:18 AM

I gotta disagree with you on this point. The confiscation of privately owned weapons has been almost as much of a holy grail as socialized medicine. Why do you think they’ve moved so quickly on this? All they had to do is get with co-conspirators like the Brady Group and dust off schemes that they’ve had on the shelf for decades. All they needed was something like Sandy Hook to exploit after the rat-eared traitor got his second term. Mark my words the Brady Group and the Obama administration were high-fiving each other when the death toll reached twenty children. It is just the atrocity they were wishing and hoping for since 2008.

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Keep running little man.

thebrokenrattle on January 15, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Mark my words the Brady Group and the Obama administration were high-fiving each other when the death toll reached twenty children. It is just the atrocity they were wishing and hoping for since 2008.

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

I agree with you entirely on that. Sad, isn’t it, that we have such a low view of liberals nowadays?

Liam on January 15, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Never let a GOOD killing go to waste.

docflash on January 15, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Let’s call this push for gun confiscation what it is: tyranny.

kingsjester on January 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Dude, this is Harry friggin Reid. He only stops telling one lie so he can begin telling his next one.

You gonna take ANYTHING this guys says seriously? He’ll do whatever his lord and savior Barry tells him to do.

Sugar Land on January 15, 2013 at 8:43 AM

It looks like Harry Reid has other plans for the Senate.

What, killing the filibuster? It sure isn’t passing a budget.

2ndMAW68 on January 15, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Just an FYI: Last night, in Texas, a man stopped a robbery of an SUV in front of his house by shooting the two robbers with 13 shots from a single handgun. If he had to use a 7-round magazine (proposed law change), he would have been 6 rounds short of doing the job.

The Rogue Tomato on January 15, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Personally, I’m for developing a My Little Pony RPG- nobody could object to that since it will be pink and pretty unlike “assualt-like” weapons such as the AR-15 which only comes in menacing black.

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 8:25 AM

You could always buy the Hello Kitty AR-15

The Rogue Tomato on January 15, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Mark my words the Brady Group and the Obama administration were high-fiving each other when the death toll reached twenty children. It is just the atrocity they were wishing and hoping for since 2008.

Happy Nomad

Why do you think Obama was tearing up in his Sandy Hook speech? They were tears of joy over the gift he had been given.

xblade on January 15, 2013 at 9:06 AM

What will this do to sales of Post Obama Executive Order Compliant Assault Rocks?

JohnBrown on January 15, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Reid’s letting dear leader do what would be for him a messy back and forth for the senate. All kinds of things would come out that he would like to keep in a closet. Now, he can claim the high ground and doesn’t have to appear to be taking guns from his voters. Remember, it’s always about the votes or the money with these guys.

Kissmygrits on January 15, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Vegas is listening…. he needs to remain calm and cool.

johnnyU on January 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Translation: I’m going to abstain from doing my job, blame others for me not doing my job, wait to see what the President passes by executive order, then claim that it’s exactly the bill I would have passed if not for those obstructionists on the other side of the aisle.

Sgt Steve on January 15, 2013 at 9:33 AM

This is all about political cover. He knows that if congress attempts to pass anything like a Assault scary weapon ban the same thing that happened in 1994 will happen again. Congresspeople do not want to go on record of voting for anything like the crap Obama will exec order.

Corsair on January 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM

What will this do to sales of Post Obama Executive Order Compliant Assault Rocks?

JohnBrown on January 15, 2013 at 9:14 AM

You’re not far from where we’re going.

Yesterday afternoon, a local CT talk-show host read FBI statistics showing that violent deaths from “hammer attacks” were higher than deaths from gun violence. I’m not sure whether that statistic includes attacks only using hammers, or other object that could eventually be used to beat someone to death, such as a sledgehammer, axe, crowbar, baseball bat, etc.

But if Obama wants to ban “assault rifles”, but more people are killed by hammers, will he want to ban “assault hammers”, “assault axes”, and “assault crowbars”? I don’t own a gun, but if hammers are banned, how will I (or anyone else) nail two pieces of wood together? If all “assault weapons” that could conceivably be used to bludgeon or cut someone were banned, would this put Home Depot and Lowes out of business, to keep dangerous tools out of the hands of do-it-yourselfers who might beat their wives or kids?

While we’re at it, maybe Obama might ban baseball bats. You can’t let 10-year-old Johnny play Little League, because you never know if he’ll clobber his little sister with the bat. Don’t let little Jane play field hockey or lacrosse, because she might also beat her little sister with the stick!

Steve Z on January 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

I think they want us to do things that are logical, smart, and make the country safer, not just be doing things that get a headline in a newspaper.”

….you mean like passing a budget.

Baxter Greene on January 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I think they want us to do things that are logical, smart, and make the country safer, not just be doing things that get a headline in a newspaper.”

….you mean like passing a budget.

Baxter Greene on January 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Winner.

Washington Nearsider on January 15, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Just an FYI: Last night, in Texas, a man stopped a robbery of an SUV in front of his house by shooting the two robbers with 13 shots from a single handgun. If he had to use a 7-round magazine (proposed law change), he would have been 6 rounds short of doing the job.

The Rogue Tomato on January 15, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Sounds like somebody needs to spend a little more time at the range.

Thirteen shots for two guys? Unless there was a pitched gun battle, that seems like something a new york cop would do.

Other than that…kudos to the man for taking action.

Solaratov on January 15, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I don’t care what any liberal says. No legislation or executive order will take guns from criminals. What criminal registers his weapons?

skeeterbite on January 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Sounds like somebody needs to spend a little more time at the range.

Thirteen shots for two guys? Unless there was a pitched gun battle, that seems like something a new york cop would do.

Other than that…kudos to the man for taking action.

Solaratov on January 15, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Yeah, he only killed one of them.

However, there’s no crime against being a bad shot. Better to miss several times and have enough bullets to compensate for it than end up dead because you weren’t allowed to have 13 bullets in your mag and the bad guy was a better shot.

The Rogue Tomato on January 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Not totally surprising. He did almost get the NRA endorsement over Angle. And did actually manage to keep the NRA from endorsing Angle.

besser tot als rot on January 15, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Thirteen shots for two guys? Unless there was a pitched gun battle, that seems like something a new york cop would do.

Solaratov on January 15, 2013 at 11:09 AM

To avoid prosecution for homicide in California, 13 shots in self defense for 2 guys is better than 2 shots.

besser tot als rot on January 15, 2013 at 1:50 PM