At CNNs anti-gun ownership “town hall” circus in Florida Feb. 21, where Dana Loesch was threatened and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) turned into a punching bag, CNN’s Jake Tapper actually asked a question few are asking – why didn’t the Democrats renew the assault weapons ban or any serious gun legislation during the key two-year period – 2009-2011 – -when they controlled the White House and had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and huge majority in the House?
In response, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who was in the Senate at the time, said: “Our priority was getting the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) passed, and no, it [gun legislation] was not a priority.
“When the Senate had 60 votes until Ted Kennedy died , that’ s how we got the affordable health care passed and yes, gun legislation under those circumstances should have been considered because there were a lot of massacres up to that point.”
Lots of massacres, indeed, and nobody in the media or even Republican circles is holding Democrats responsible (as always). Only Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Assn., held Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) accountable for failing to fulfil a promise he made – in 1993, when Democrats also controlled both Houses and the White House – to insert mental health records into the background check system.
But John Massoud, in his excellent piece on these pages last week, noted the failure of Democrats to do anything during this period:
Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Ted Cruz introduced a bill which would have required federal agencies to report crimes to the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) and Harry Reid had this bill filibustered. In 2010, 48000 felons and fugitives lied and illegally tried to purchase guns, and the Obama DOJ only prosecuted 44 of them. Cruz, in fact, was on Joe Pags’ radio show Sunday, listing a series of mass shooters who never would have gotten guns for their sprees had his legislation passed.
I have been circulating the Massoud piece to a number of media people because it basically shows that Democrats and gun-control advocates have no credibility on this issue. They choose only to demonize the NRA and gun owners, and Republican elected who support them. Their efforts in Congress and the state legislatures are reactive AFTER mass shootings and ONLY when Republicans control Congress and or the White House. It’s all about getting votes, not saving lives.
The table below, taken from Wikipedia, shows that while the Democrats controlled both houses – 2007 to 2011 – and the 2009-2011 period when Obama was president, some 97 people were killed in mass shootings –31 being killed during the time the Democrats were in complete control of Congress and the White House.
But during the two years of full Democrat control, in reality, some 17 pieces of legislation were introduced by members of Congress to address gun issues and none advanced beyond the committee stage. The renewal of the assault weapons ban was not among them, according to my research on Congress.gov.
Politifact says Obama, himself, did not call for reinstating the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban that was passed by a Democrat Congress and signed into law by Democrat president Bill Clinton, until his SECOND administration, specifically after AFTER the Newtown, CT, massacre of 27 children and adults. And then, the legislation was killed by Democrat Senators siding with 2nd amendment advocates.
Tapper’s question was re-stated during daytime commentary on CNN and a Democrat spinmeister was quick to defend the Dems by saying “the gun lobby probably killed those bills.”
However, online searches show no massive effort by 2nd amendment advocacy groups to kill legislation in committees. The only legislation related to firearms that was enacted during 2009-11 concerned the excise tax.
So, this renewed interest in legislation in the aftermath of the Parkland, FL, killings is about politics. Gun control and liberal groups, aligned with Democrats, smell political blood for the 2018 elections and are flocking to this liberal Florida community to use teachers, students and parents as “poster children” for their cause to elect more Democrats in the fall.
I really do not foresee any significant action on guns and again, any new rules are laws are not going to solve “the problem” unless it stiffens NCIS.
Democrats are not going to support Trump legislation unless “it goes further” and Republicans are not going to rankle gun owners in their districts, who can document their need for guns like the AR-15, as this fellow did on the liberal Vox blog The combined membership (and there could be overlap) of the NRA and Gun Owners of America, is about 6.5 million.
Finally, any gun restrictions will be PROSPECTIVE and will not cover the estimated 350 million firearms in circulation, of which 15 million are AR-15-style guns, nor all the extended magazines and “bump stocks” in circulation.
I think it would be wiser over the next few weeks for Congress and Trump to focus on passing a real federal budget, trade reform, infrastructure, immigration and of course, MAGA.
|Perpetrator & Age||month day||year||Location||Dead||Injured|
|Wong, Jiverly Antares, 41||3-Apr||2009||Binghamton, New York||13||4|
|McLendon, Michael Kenneth, 28||10-Mar||2009||Kinston, Samson & Geneva, Alabama||10||6|
|Stewart, Robert Kenneth Wayne, 45||29-Mar||2009||Carthage, North Carolina||8||2|
|Sodini, George A., 48||4-Aug||2009||Bridgeville, Pennsylvania||3||9|
|Zamora, Isaac Lee, 28||2-Sep||2008||Alger, Washington||6||2|
|Thornton, Charles Lee, 52||7-Feb||2008||Kirkwood, Missouri||6||1|
|Hawkins, Robert Arthur, 19||5-Dec||2007||Omaha, Nebraska||8||4|
|Peterson, Tyler James, 20||7-Oct||2007||Crandon, Wisconsin||6||1|
|Cho, Seung-Hui, 23||16-Apr||2007||Blacksburg, Virginia||32||17|
|Total killed and injured||92||46|
34 shot to death in mass shootings while Dems controlled White House and Congress (2009 to 2011)
58 additional dead while Democrats ONLY controlled both Houses of Congress (2nd Bush administration)