Republican members of the House of Representatives, where the party holds a majority of seats, discussed the killings in their weekly closed-door conference meeting and said afterward there was more willingness now to talk about regulating weapons.
“You are going to have some people who never, never go there,” Representative Steve LaTourette, an Ohio Republican, told reporters, referring to a small number of Republicans who will not countenance any talk of gun regulation.
“But yes, I think most Republicans are willing to have a very, very serious conversation about what this means and taking a second look at what the Second Amendment (guaranteeing the right to bear arms) means in the 21st century,” he said.
Boehner said the GOP’s strategy would be to examine the reasons that the mass shootings of recent years have been carried out, almost exclusively, by young, white males with mental illnesses, according to the lawmaker in the room.
“We need to have a discussion about guns,” the lawmaker said, relaying Boehner’s remarks, “and that doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we abandon the Second Amendment or the NRA [National Rifle Association] or anything like that. But there needs to be a discussion and everybody needs to participate and we need to depoliticize it.”
Boehner also told Republicans that they need to be “circumspect” in their observations, the lawmaker said, warning that “it’s not helpful” for lawmakers to call for arming teachers as a way to prevent mass shootings.
No reasonable person, and that includes millions of gun owners, wants to repeal the Second Amendment – though I suspect more than a few liberals would like to if they could. But no reasonable person can make the case any longer that civilians need semi-automatic weapons and clips that hold 100 bullets…
The First Amendment guarantees all of us freedom of speech. But we can’t shout fire in a crowded theater if there is no fire, and we can’t libel decent people with made up stories designed to hurt them. No rights are absolute.
Republicans would be smart to actually lead the move to ban assault weapons and not just follow the Democrats. This would help repair the damage done to the GOP brand by the crazies who think President Obama was born somewhere outside of the United States and the zealots who think that abortion should always be illegal, even in the case of rape or incest.
But on many issues Republicans aren’t smart. So when Congress convenes in January, and gun legislation is brought up on Day One, some Republicans will vote No on the assault weapon ban. If too many vote that way, it will be another self-inflicted wound for the GOP, more proof that they’re out of touch with the American people.
The reaction to the Newtown shootings spread to corporate America and to California on Tuesday, as a private equity firm said it would immediately sell the company that made the assault-style rifle used in shootings, while California lawmakers announced an effort to regulate the sale of ammunition more tightly…
In announcing the sale of the gun manufacturer, the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management made clear that the decision stemmed from the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn. “It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level,” Cerberus said in a news release.
The firm said it planned to sell the Freedom Group, which makes the .223 Bushmaster rifle used in the massacre. Cerberus acquired Bushmaster in 2006, later merging it with other gun companies to create the Freedom Group.
1. Institutions can change. The NRA has become an implacable foe of gun control but that doesn’t mean it will always be. There could be glasnost in the NRA Kremlin, a recognition that the world has changed. It’s not a perfect analogy by any means but auto companies opposed seat belts and then accepted them as standard equipment. They fought air bags and then accepted them.
2. Hunters might triumph over the automatic crowd. At some point, it’s possible that hunters will feel less threatened by the spectre of gun control laws and be willing to assert themselves more. Of course, hunters are no more monolithic than “drivers” or “students” but they may not see themselves as having a vested interest in enormous magazines.
3. The NRA supported the 1934 Firearms Act, aimed at “gangster weapons” and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 which prohibited interstate trade in handguns. Could the NRA be persuaded to support something to curtail the easy availability of guns of mass destruction? Right now, it’s inconceivable. In a year?
The partisan differences persist, however, across almost every demographic measure. White voters were substantially more likely to own guns than Hispanics, blacks or Asians. But white Republicans were more likely to own guns than white Democrats, Asian Republicans more likely than Asian Democrats, and so forth.
More elaborate data-mining techniques, such as logistic regression analysis, suggest that gun ownership is a more powerful predictor of whether a voter is Republican than her gender, whether or not she identifies as gay or lesbian, whether she is Hispanic, or whether she lives in the South, along with many other demographic characteristics.
And based on demographic inertia, the differences seem likely to grow over time. About 35 percent of Democratic voters aged 65 and older reported having a gun in their home, against about 25 percent of those aged 18 to 29. But gun ownership rates bore little relationship to age among Republican voters, and were constant at about 55 percent among all age groups. That might suggest that gun ownership will continue to decline among Democrats while holding steady among Republicans, further increasing the partisan gap.
Must every tragic mass shooting bring out the shrill ignorance of “gun control” advocates?…
The rate of gun ownership is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand-gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.
The few counter-examples offered by gun-control zealots do not stand up under scrutiny. Perhaps their strongest talking point is that Britain has stronger gun-control laws than the United States and lower murder rates…
There is innocent ignorance and there is invincible, dogmatic, and self-righteous ignorance. Every tragic mass shooting seems to bring out examples of both among gun-control advocates.
Click the image to watch.