Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently sent out an email to his supporters warning them that Democrats "want to take your guns."
According to Salon, the email says, "you and I are literally surrounded. The gun-grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out-assault on the Second Amendment. On your rights. On your freedom."
It also goes into detail about the possible measures the Senate could take in gun control:
-The Feinstein Gun Ban, which will criminalize firearms by how they look.
-A thinly-veiled national gun registration scheme hidden under the guise of “background checks” to ensure federal government minders gain every bureaucratic tool they need for full-scale confiscation.
-An outright BAN on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
-And that’s not even close to the end of it.
The email was signed by McConnell's campaign manager Jesse Benton, and said "Mitch McConnell is not going to stand aside."
It ends by asking supporters to sign a "Defense of the Second Amendment pledge," and also states that the Senate is attempting to "gut our Constitution."
Several dozen clergy and other religionists claiming to represent 80 million Americans recently urged gun control legislation and denounced the National Rifle Association at a press conference held at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill.
The coalition urged assault weapons bans, universal background checks on gun buyers, and federalizing gun trafficking crimes at the January 15 event. The group includes the Catholic Health Association, the Islamic Society of North America, the Episcopal Church, the National Council of Churches, United Methodist Women and the Presbyterian Church (USA), whose D.C. lobbyist warned against a "false choice between guns and freedom."
Citing the coalition's "reasonable measures" such as banning assault weapons, the United Methodist Church's chief lobbyist omitted that his denomination favors a complete ban on handgun ownership.
IRD President Mark Tooley commented:
"It was appropriate that the anti-gun press conference convened in the United Methodist Building. It was built in the 1920s to sustain another religious utopian dream, which was to create a righteous America through abolishing all alcohol. The religious Prohibitionists then were genuine populists with direct support from millions of churchgoers. Today's religious crusaders for gun control are mostly activist elites whose influence beyond a D.C. press conference is dubious.
"The predictable hardcore Religious Left groups at the press conference did little to assuage the suspicion that their 'reasonable measures' are but first steps towards their utopian dream of a gun-free America.
"Typically religious voices of the left are more intensely focused on detailed politics because of their greater faith in perfecting society through politics. Gun control debates since the horrific Newtown murders exemplify this confidence, with the Religious Left certain that gun control is the main answer.
"A Washington Post account of the anti-gun religious coalitions shrewdly suggested that amid the de-institutionalization of American religion, such groups may no longer speak for large numbers. And the Post accurately noted that most evangelicals especially remain firmly opposed to gun control, with one August poll showing 68 percent of white evangelicals against stricter laws."
Americans of all political and philosophical convictions have grieved over the killing of innocent schoolchildren and adults in Newtown, Connecticut. In responding to this attack, we must consider with great care how to proceed to protect precious lives in a way that is consistent with our laws and traditions.
“The serious work to make society safer and stronger after events like the December 2012 Newtown massacre requires that constitutional and complex cultural factors be taken into consideration and that policy be based on a serious study of all of the evidence,” write two Heritage experts in a new Backgrounder.
John Malcolm, a senior legal fellow in the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies, and Jennifer Marshall, director of domestic policy studies and director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, raise issues to guide that serious study, with key principles regarding the following:
- The constitutional importance of the Second Amendment and evidence on the effectiveness of gun laws
- School safety
- Risks of violence related to serious mental illness
- The significance of cultural factors and the roles of families and communities
- Media production, consumption, and the First Amendment
Malcolm and Marshall remind us that “The constitutional right to keep and bear arms is an individual right that is fundamental to a free society, which depends, ultimately, on personal responsibility.” They write:
Americans must implement appropriate solutions in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution, including the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms, the traditional role of the states in our federal system, and the central significance of family.
Forget all this gun control nonsense, says Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Well, the governor certainly has his supporters on that one. Gun rights advocates strongly believe President Obama is overstepping his bounds by infringing on the 2nd Amendment. They question the validity of using executive orders, and you can trust we're in for a fight.
But Perry may lose many of his supporters with what should be done instead. Simply put, Americans should pray to the Man Upstairs for help. Or the Woman -- or whomever each American prays to at the end of each day.
Perry said: "As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children."
The problem with this tactic is this: Praying isn't a public policy. Praying is a personal choice and can't be conflated with legislative action.
Now, you may be dead set against gun control. That's fine. Maybe you support stronger background checks but no limitations on the types of firearm an American can own.
But even if you do pray, that can't be substituted for discussion and eventual action. Because if it's the answer here, then why isn't it just the answer for every single problem that faces the United States? Pray for better infrastructure. Pray for higher employment. Pray for lower taxes.
Again, this is not intended to sound anti-religious. It's not. It's just that Gov. Ricky Perry is a political leader. He's the governor of a very important state and his words and deeds carry great sway.
But he's not a religious leader. He's not leading a congregation and we don't need him for spiritual advice. Praying isn't an answer. This isn't a strategy to stop massacres from happening again.
The debate over new gun control laws has been loud and ugly. It's been more divisive than Obamacare and recent wars. And it's only getting worse. You touch guns, you touch a nerve in America.
But for God's sake, leave Him out of it.
With the announcement of the president’s gun control plan, and the seemingly requisite public relations positioning of children at his side, we are witnessing the culmination of what I call a “change failure chain.” Undoubtedly, by the time you read this article, court action will have commenced and battle lines will be reinforced. Let the circus begin! While circuses can be entertaining, is this really the realm for effective change? Sadly, this appears to be a public relations attempt and not the way to effectuate a real and lasting difference.
It takes extraordinary steps to accomplish successful and enduring change. As an experienced change management consultant, I frequently witness organizations unintentionally assemble the links in a change failure chain. Typically, the best way to combat the change failure journey is to highlight the links and then engage in concerted efforts to break these links. Unfortunately, with the proposed changes and the methods for arriving at them, it appears that the administration is intentionally assembling these links. What are they?
Link 1 – Confusion
When the scope and/or goals of a change initiative are not clearly spelled out and then honestly communicated, the natural result is confusion. Considering the relatively short period of time that VP Biden’s task force has spent examining this issue, there can be no doubt that the scope and the goals are vaguely stated. In fact, the catalyst for the change hasn’t been clearly defined. Do we really need such legislative and executive actions? Do we have consensus as to the issue driving these actions? Whatever these answers may be, why the rush to implement a solution to a question not clearly defined? By predetermining the solution based on a likely preconceived agenda, the administration intentionally creates confusion with the misguided belief that any solution is better than no solution. After all, if you can’t beat them, confuse them.
Link 2 – Fear
We all have both clear fears and a general fear of the unknown. Typically, confusion begets fear. FDR’s words are never truer (All we have to fear, is fear itself) when it comes to changes. We don’t know what it really means or the long term impact unless it’s clearly spelled out. As part of the run-up to the proposed policy, the administration has stoked the fears of all sides on this issue. For everyone in general, the message is: accept these proposals or risk further gun related tragedies. For gun ownership groups and their respective supporters in Congress, the stance is: support these measures or deal with your conscience. The real fear stoking is for elected officials: don’t support the policy, or be labeled as unwilling to change in the face of Newtown or worse, tacitly encouraging those that would partake in the violence. Fear is not an overly effective motivator, but it does rile people up. Naturally, there is also a fear of the erosion of 2nd amendment rights.
Link 3 – Resentment
In a change initiative, if the change itself or the sponsors and/or change team are being resented, the change is in serious trouble. The best way to combat resentment is real inclusion of the affected parties. Their opinions and input must be seriously considered and considered with equal weight as to the others. Legitimate effort must be made to incorporate them into the planning, communication and execution. Without their real inclusion, the plan will likely be vigorously fought and its outcome will be in peril.
Without taking sides, it certainly appears that the NRA and gun ownership groups were given just a token seat at the table. Perhaps it was to show that they were included. If so, this effort publically failed and likely caused even further resentment. Whenever a large group is potentially disenfranchised with a possible solution, the planners (aka Biden’s team) should have taken extra steps to legitimately include them and from a very early stage. With some of the vitriol espoused, especially on the gun rights side, it is quite obvious that there was no real inclusion.
Link 4 – Push Back
This the final link on a change failure chain. At this stage, there is active dissent and continuous efforts, both publically and discretely, are being made to either completely derail the change or dramatically alter it. While it’s possible that somehow the change initiative can still succeed, this is not a wager most of us would make. After all, it’s next to impossible to work on bigger issues, when everywhere you turn there is another fire raging.
Even before the president’s policy announcement, the push back was in full force. With the probable court battles ensuing, any effectuation of this policy will likely be bottlenecked. Are we then any closer to a) identifying the real issue, b) legitimately including all the affected parties and most importantly c) being and feeling safer at schools, movie theaters, malls, etc.? If anything, this unnecessarily rushed and preconceived solution package, has moved us further away from a real and unbiased discussion that could lead to a real and lasting difference. And that is a tragedy in itself.
Moe Glenner is the founder and president of PURELogistics, a leading consulting firm that specializes in organizational change. He earned his MBA at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from Villanova University. Glenner's new book, Selfish Altruism: Managing & Executing Successful Change Initiatives ($13.95 | Amazon), explores best practices in organizational change. For more information, visit www.moeglenner.com.
History was made today as the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed a bill into law that contains the toughest gun control statutes in the country. Signed just after 5 pm EST, a little over one month since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre shooting, the law, called the New York Safe Act, is not only "the first bill," says Cuomo, but the "best bill."
The New York Safe Act redefines what an assault weapon is to incorporate a wider range of guns, and reduces the capacity of magazines from ten to seven bullets. In addition, the law makes background checks mandatory for the purchase of ammunition and guns, in public and private sales, increases penalties for illegal gun use, imposes a one-state check on all firearm purchases, and initiates programs aimed at ending gun violence in high-crime neighborhoods.
Cuomo's enthusiasm for this bill was evident as he announced, "I'm proud to be a New Yorker, becaue New York is doing something, because we are fighting back, because, yes, we've had tragedies, and yes, we've had too many innocent people lose their lives, and yes, it's unfortunate that it took those tragedies to get us to this point, but let's at least learn from what's happened, let's at least be able to say to people, yes, we went through terrible situations, but we saw, we learned, we responded, and we acted, and we are doing something about it. We are not victims."
One of the missions of the law is to ensure that guns will not be available to those diagnosed with mental illnesses. The act bestows judges with the responsibility of determining who might do harm to themselves or others, and then requiring them to receive the outpatient care they need. Any time that a mental health professional decides that a gun owner is a risk to others, it must be reported and the gun extracted from the household by the authorities.
One component of the law is called the "Webster provision," named after the two firefighters attacked on Christmas Eve in Wesbter, N.Y. This installment charges a person who kills a first responder with a life sentence and no possibility of parole.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns and a prominent advocate of gun control, praised the governor and the New York Legislature, stating that they "have shown that it's possible to act quickly- and in a bipartisan fashion- to enact gun laws that will make our communities safer. The responsible and comprehensive gun reform bills the governor signed into law today will help keep guns away from criminals and others who are already prohibited from purchasing them."
Not everyone is a fan, however, as the National Rifle Association reacted strongly to the law, "Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature orchestrated a secretive end-run around the legislative and democratic process and passed sweeping anti-gun measures with no committee hearings and no public input...While lawmakers cou;d have taken a step toward strengthening mental health reporting and focusing on criminals, they opted for trampling the rights of law-abiding gun owners in New York, and they did it under a veil of secrecy in the dark of night."
In a news conference following the signing, Cuomo attributed the appearance of secrecy and rush in the process, to necessity, "As soon as people found out that I was proposing a specific law that was going to ban the sale of assault weapons, we were afraid that would actually cause a rush on the market of people who wanted to buy assault weapons."
Despite the criticism from the NRA, Cuomo continues to stand by the New York Safe Act, stating, "You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and with common sense and you can make this safe a safer state."
Trash TV talk show host Jerry Springer has often been accused of destroying Western civilization by critics, whom he now agrees with (video below).
Springer appeared on HuffPost Live on Friday and described his TV program 'The Jerry Springer Show' as “an hour of escapism” with “no redeeming social value.”
Springer said: “Look, my show is stupid. It’s stupid, but it’s fun to do. I enjoy it. People obviously like it, otherwise they wouldn’t watch it.”
Springer insisted that the bizarre guests on his shows are not staged or scripted, but are actual people involved in strange situations.
Springer also claimed that gun rights advocates such as the NRA probably believe that an assault weapons ban is reasonable, but worried it would lead to a slippery slope of gun control regulations.
Indeed, polls have shown that most NRA members do support background checks for all weapons and bans on assault weapons, however, the NRA's leadership contradicts its members.
Springer said: “What happens with any interest group is they are always worried about the chipping away of their rights. So even though under a truth serum, if they were alone in a room with God and God said, ‘You gotta tell me the truth,’ they would say, ‘Well, yeah, we probably don’t need assault weapons.’ They’re worried that if you permit legislation that takes that away, then the next step, someone will come along and say, ‘Lets take this away, lets take that away.’”
Vice President Joe Biden has been meeting with groups on both sides of the gun control debate this week and announced today that he would be making his recommendations on gun violence to President Obama next Tuesday.
Biden may have given the public a preview of next week when he suggested today that the Obama administration is considering outlawing unregulated "private" gun sales, reports CNN.
Biden said: "And so the kinds of things that there's an emerging set of recommendations, not coming from me but coming from the groups we've met with. And I'm going to focus on the ones that relate primarily to gun ownership and the type of weapons can be owned."
"And one is, there is a surprising, so far, a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks. Not just close the gun show loophole but total, universal background checks, including private sales."
Vice President Joe Biden and other members of President Obama's gun-safety task force are meeting with the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups on Thursday, one of a series of discussions as the task force prepares its recommendations for Obama after last month's massacre of 20 first graders in Newtown, Conn.
On Wednesday, for example, Biden met with gun control advocates and gun-violence victims groups — then freaked out gun control opponents by saying that Obama is considering unilateral action to reduce gun violence. That spasm of angst was probably unnecessary — as Dave Weigel at Slatepoints out, there's little the president can accomplish by executive order — and the NRA won't budge in its absolutist stance against any new restrictions on gun ownership. Another participant in Thursday's roundtable, though, should make the gun lobby nervous, says Bill Scher at The New Republic: Walmart, one of the nation's biggest firearms retailers.
If Walmart and other major gun sellers partner with the White House, the gun lobby would be divided between manufacturers and retailers, potentially neutralizing the airwaves and preventing the NRA — heavily backed by manufacturers — from positioning itself as the sole voice of gun-owning America. Would Walmart go for it? It's plausible. Unlike edgy gun shows that serve niche markets, Walmart needs to maintain an image with broad appeal, beyond those who dream of assembling a militia in their backyard.... Seeing the danger of an Obama/Walmart partnership, conservatives are pushing the "crony capitalist" charge in hopes of rendering such a liberal-corporate alliance ineffective. [New Republic]
Walmart originally declined Biden's invitation, citing scheduling conflicts, then changed course at the last minute, explaining that the company "underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person." But gun-safety advocates shouldn't get their hopes up, say Anna Palmer and Reid J. Epstein at Politico. "Walmart sells a lot of guns, and has a lot of gun owners for customers, so the retail giant doesn't want to look too close to the White House's anti-gun push either, one source familiar with the company's stance said."
We've certainly been down this road after previous mass shootings — Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora — with rumblings about stricter gun laws fizzling out in Congress, says Howard Kurtz atThe Daily Beast. Obama himself hardly mentioned tightening gun laws during his first term, which included several mass shootings.
But this time does feel different: A month after the Sandy Hook Elementary killings, the media hasn't dropped the topic, "despite predictions that the story would fade once reporters pulled out of Newtown." And Biden's passionate on-camera vow Wednesday that he and Obama "are determined to take action," unilateral or otherwise, shows that the White House will "follow through and take on one of the capital's most entrenched lobbies."
And Team Obama must have more than Walmart up its sleeve: Biden wouldn't "stage that kind of show and then bring forth a popgun."
Conservatives are rolling out the President Obama-Adolf Hitler comparison as they did during the battle over health care in 2010, but this time it's over gun control (video below).
The conservative website Drudge Report posted the headline “WHITE HOUSE THREATENS ‘EXECUTIVE ORDERS’ ON GUNS” with photos of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
The Nazi headline linked to Vice President Joe Biden telling reporters that President Obama might use an executive order to deal with guns.
Biden said: "The president is going to act. There are executives orders, there's executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet. But we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required."
"As the president said, if you're actions result in only saving one life, they're worth taking. But I'm convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of Americans and take thousands of people out of harm's way if we act responsibly."
Conservative radio host Lars Larson appeared on Fox News later today to warn viewers with his Nazi-Obama comparison over gun control.
Larson said: “It will be, ‘[give us] your papers please,’ like Nazi Germany. We’re going to register everybody then you won’t be allowed to transfer that gun… So that the day that grandpa dies and you don’t know that he’s got an AR-15 locked up in his safe and the police come for whatever reason and discover it there, the family is guilty of possessing a gun and possession of which is a felony.”
Larson also worried that any effort to strengthen mental health checks would mean: "If you go to see a doctor or marriage counselor and say, ‘Our marriage isn’t working out well, we yell at each other a lot.’ And the marriage counselor says, ‘Well, there go your Second Amendment rights.’”