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July 30, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Don’t forget this vote on gun laws

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Republicans and some Democrats, ignoring the vast majority of Americans, bowed down and kissed the feet of the National Rifle Association by voting against strengthening background checks for guns sales. In my opinion, the next time someone is killed by an unregistered gun, these people are morally guilty of being an accessory to murder.

I hope voters will remember these politicians when they come up for re-election.

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  1. Voting out those legislators that voted against increasing background checks is fine, but will accomplish little in the big picture. I would suggest changing the system that gives the NRA and other lobbies such power.

    Don't let 'serving' become a 'career'. Advocate for term limits for Congress members. Advocate for the public to fund campaigns, so that lobbying groups money can no longer intimidate legislators that are supposed to represent the general public, not lobbyists for powerful interests.

    If we want better results, we must treat the 'cause' of the disease and not just the disease.

    Michael

  2. The letter writer is dead wrong. There were two unresolved controversies with the Toomey-Manchin compromise amendment for expanded background checks. This caused it's demise by a vote of 54 to 46 in the Senate. First, the bill did not address the matter of a central registry of gun owners, except to prohibit the U.S. Attorney General from doing it. Second, the bill did not decriminalize gun transfers between friends, family and neighbors without a background check. Both these issues were problematic to supporters of the Second Amendment NOT just the NRA. The bill could have addressed both but it didn't and was voted down. It's dead for this Senate session UNLESS and UNTIL Senator Toomey, a TEA-Party Republican, and Senator Manchin, a non-Obama Democrat address the two reasons in a revised bill and Senator Harry Reid has the political guts to bring it back to the floor for a vote in the current session. This is unlikely. Why? Because the President, true to form, attacked the Senators who voted against it both personally and professionally for doing so. Then lied to the American people about their doing so [voting against it] in the Rose Garden. Not a smart move for a President trying to move the country forward on gun restrictions.

    Carmine D

  3. Carmine, cute how you sort of slipped by the fact that the Senate vote was 54 to 46 IN FAVOR, not against, gun control.

    But, it is clear that the sleazes on Capitol Hill aren't going to stop the murdering of our babies. Sure, Gabby may be able to take down Mitch, etc. but in the end there is just too much money lined up against control. It will help if the demos ever get the courage to go ahead and face down the filibuster threat. If Reid and Obama decided to just LET the Tea Party go ahead and talk themselves to their graves, with nothing else being able to be addressed for weeks or months, and to come back with bill after bill addressing gun limits then people would eventually take note.
    The real change will have to come from LOCAL action. Even a town council could require stores to post a prominent sign on the front door stating whether or not guns are permitted inside. Some jurisdictions may try indicting gun sellers who break the rules as co-conspirators in killings! Things like that, to make social pariahs out of the carriers, will help and perhaps eventually win the cause for liberals.
    ODNelson

  4. We will.

    Senator Heller will rue the day when he decided to worry about his letter grade from the NRA. And not the grade from the good people of Nevada.

    Senator Heller, due to his vote striking down the background check legislation, is now directly responsible for gun violence the very next time something happens anywhere in America and the firearm was obtained at a gun show at the Las Vegas Convention Center...with absolutely no background check conducted.

    Feets to the fire time, Senator Heller. It's on you. And no one else.

    I thought Senator Heller was a bum before. Still do now. But now, due to his uncaringness for human life by placing more emphasis on doing what the NRA wants, I consider him the lowest scum in America. In the same league as three strikes and yer out felons.

  5. "Republicans and some Democrats, ignoring the vast majority of Americans, bowed down and kissed the feet of the National Rifle Association by voting against strengthening background checks for guns sales. blahblahblah"

    Wasserman -- you seem ignorant of this republic you live in. It's not a democracy -- public opinion, much of it manufactured for a gullible herd, does not displace the Bill of Rights and state counterparts. They were designed from the beginning to protect individuals from public opinion like this. Can you say "Jim Crow"?

    "Voting out those legislators that voted against increasing background checks is fine, but will accomplish little in the big picture. I would suggest changing the system that gives the NRA and other lobbies such power."

    wtplv -- voting is one thing, since that's between electors and electees. All the NRA represents is a group of your fellow citizens exercising their First Amendment freedoms. If you want to curb lobbyist corruption, start by curbing the elected representatives' greed.

    "...the bill did not decriminalize gun transfers between friends, family and neighbors without a background check. Both these issues were problematic to supporters of the Second Amendment NOT just the NRA."

    CarmineD -- good point. Any proposed law criminalizing one making a gift of a firearm should be DOA.

    "But, it is clear that the sleazes on Capitol Hill aren't going to stop the murdering of our babies."

    ODNelson -- get real. It seems you support living in a police state, which our republic is fast becoming. Making us all "safe" at the expense of our liberties is not only hysterical and short-sighted, it's blatantly unConstitutional. As it is our governments at every level is on thin ice for authority.

    "Senator Heller will rue the day when he decided to worry about his letter grade from the NRA. And not the grade from the good people of Nevada."

    Colin -- see the above about manufactured opinion.

    "We must choose between freedom and fear -- we cannot have both. If the citizens of the United States persist in being afraid, the real rulers of this country will be fanatics fired with a zeal to save grown men from objectionable ideas by putting them under the care of official nursemaids." -- Scales v. U.S., 367 U.S. 203, 270 (1961), Justice Douglas dissenting

  6. "Wasserman -- you seem ignorant of this republic you live in."

    KillerB: You seem entirely ignorant of the Democracy that we live in. Republics are run by a small group of privileged people who work to deny the vote to those who descent. This is not a Republic, it is a Democracy. Unregistered guns are the dream of the gangs, drug lords and criminals everywhere and they have LOTS of loose cash.

  7. KillerB,

    And just how would you suggest getting rid of greed? It is part of human beings and certainly part of our society.

    We continue to place our elected representatives in a place where to keep a lucrative 'career' as a member of Congress, they must do the bidding of powerful interests with lobbyists and money. If we don't do something about how campaigns are financed, even fine people sent to DC are at the mercy of this terrible campaign setup. What do you expect these people to do under this system?

    Michael

  8. People can just wave off all discussion for comprehensive background checks and just label it "manufactured opinion."

    Call it what you want, but what Senator Heller did was beyond despicable.

    That bill could only pass with bi-partisan approval. Tea/Republicans could have easily helped pass this through the Senate. They chose to side with the NRA. And not the American people.

    Senator Heller chose his bed. Now he's gotta lay in it.

    The good people of Nevada are going to demand his political head on a platter for his downright mean, ornery, and stubborn greed as it pertains to his vote.

    Bet on it. This will politically linger with him. And if it doesn't. I'M GOING TO MAKE SURE IT HITS HIM SMACK BETWEEN THE EYES WHEN HE COMES UP FOR REELECTION.

    His vote siding with the NRA basically snubbed the good people of Nevada. People die due to gun violence because the gun show background check loophole isn't closed? Meh. Senator Heller could care less. He just wants them to sell guns and contribute to his campaign coffers.

    Wake up, people. Senator Heller is a predator. And his vote on this issue may not only lead to harm to the good people of Nevada, but to all parts of the United States.

    I cannot and will not ever vote for this man. I don't care if he has a sudden come to Jesus moment and performs a miracle. He's political persona non grata to me. The sooner the better it will be when he is voted out of office.

  9. "KillerB: You seem entirely ignorant of the Democracy that we live in. Republics are run by a small group of privileged people who work to deny the vote to those who descent. This is not a Republic, it is a Democracy."

    SunJon -- you should do a little research before sticking your foot in your, uh, keyboard. Our federal Constitution guarantees a republican form of government. Have a look at Article IV, 4.

    "And just how would you suggest getting rid of greed? It is part of human beings and certainly part of our society."

    wtplv -- there's the rub. So long as it takes cash to run a campaign nothing will change. The result is those who get elected are usually the ones who put on the best show everywhere. That leads to my view so long as We the people act like livestock, that's how We deserve to be treated.

    "People can just wave off all discussion for comprehensive background checks and just label it "manufactured opinion."

    Colin -- because that's what it is. The average person seems to know only what they see and hear. Besides, those background checks have been around for quite a long time -- I had to go through it in 1998 when buying my first gun. What you're suggesting is just more herdspeak because that's what the popular buzz is about. Have a look at that excellent piece by Maureen Dowd in today's Sun @ http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/apr...

    And if "Senator Heller is a predator," don't forget he's OUR predator.

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken

  10. "Extended background checks in NY has led to denial of gun permits and confiscation of any guns you own if they find out that your on prescription drugs."

    rusty57 -- a sobering point. I remember Katrina, since my kids were caught in it -- instead of rescuing people like their ads showed, the National Guard went door-to-door searching for and confiscating all firearms. Before people were allowed into that big sports dome they were searched and even cigarette lighters were seized. What went on in the dome afterward was purgatory -- complete anarchy, and people had all their weapons confiscated by troops sworn to support, protect and defend the very Constitution forbidding them to do what they did.

    By the way, it wasn't the NRA that sued to have those confiscated guns returned, it was some regional gun rights group.

    "I think you all know that I've always felt the nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" -- the late President Ronald Reagan on YouTube @ http://youtu.be/xhYJS80MgYA

  11. KillerB,

    I give you some credit because you at least understand that no matter who we elect, as long as the person that has the most support from powerful interests with lobbyists wins elections, and we (the public in general) will get screwed. Now you need to agree that we need public financing of Congressional campaigns.

    I cannot even get most people to recognize and admit the following: Without leveling the campaign financing playing field by limiting it to public financing at a fixed and consistent amount across candidates, we cannot get our representatives to represent 'us', instead of powerful interests with lobbyists.

    Michael

  12. At 4:41 a.m., CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio) repeated the fallacy, widely broadcast by the right, that the Toomey-Manchin compromise amendment "... did not address the matter of a central registry of gun owners, except to prohibit the U.S. Attorney General from doing it." A quick reading of the amendment readily belies this position. True, there is an addition to EXISTING legislation, prohibiting the Attorney General, specifically, from establishing a registry.

    There are, however, also the following statements: "Congress supports and reaffirms the existing prohibition on a national firearms registry" (Sec 2, para 2) and "Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed to-- ... allow the establishment, directly or indirectly, of a Federal firearms registry." (Sec 3, para 2).

    I cannot see how it would be possible to more specifically prohibit a "central registry." Perhaps CarmineD could suggest a way? It is clear that the right is once again resorting to its "Big Lie" propaganda technique: create an egregious lie; repeat it frequently and loudly; and people will decide it just HAS to be true because no one would possibly work that hard to spread that great a lie.

    Full text of the amendment is readily available at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc113/h1... I suggest that the supporters of a registry ban actually READ it.

  13. El Lobo,

    Much of what you write about former President Reagan cannot be disputed. However, your credibility is weakened when you so disparage the former President but seem not the least bit bothered by the fact that both parties and nearly every elected official in the Federal government, now and in the past show zero real effort to:

    Match spending and revenue, over time; address all the waste, fraud and duplication multiple bi-partisan commissions have found to exist; reform the income tax code, etc, etc.

    Reagan was not the President those on the right claim he was but NOBODY in government is doing what we need done.

    Michael

  14. Jon Ralston reports that Senator Heller seems to give out conflicting views on the gun background issue. Just a day or so before the vote, he seemed to respond to a constituent one way, but then votes another way.

    http://www.ralstonreports.com/blog/helle...

    Senator Heller is in the pockets of the NRA. He does what they say when they say to do it.

    It is irrefutable proof that polls showed 87 percent of Nevadans wanted background checks, but Senator Heller don't care. He works for the NRA. Not Nevada.

    Senator Heller is nothing but a typical Tea/Republican Party goon whose idea of protecting the U.S. Constitution only pertains to the Second Amendment. All those other numbered ones? Meh. They are there only for him to trample all over.

    There WILL be payback time coming for his despicable party politics geared vote. The voters out here will not forget these shenanigans.

  15. "Reagan was not the President those on the right claim he was but NOBODY in government is doing what we need done."

    wtplv -- except for your use of the herd's "right" label, amen to your post. As with any president nobody can righteously endorse everything he did. I used his quote because it's the truth. It doesn't mean I endorse all he did. For me he gets a big, fat black mark for the Contras -- that was the USA actually sponsoring and funding terrorism.

    "Indifference to personal liberty is but the precursor of the State's hostility to it." -- United States v. Penn, 647 F.2d 876 (9th Circuit, 1980), Judge Kennedy dissenting

  16. "Senator Heller is in the pockets of the NRA. He does what they say when they say to do it. It is irrefutable proof that polls showed 87 percent of Nevadans wanted background checks, but Senator Heller don't care. He works for the NRA. Not Nevada."

    Colin -- again with your same ol' same ol'. Meantime you completely ignore Heller took an oath to support, protect and defend the federal Constitution. That includes the First and Second Amendments. His oath trumps what the herd is mooing for, and he should be praised for that.

    "Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal." -- post-Civil War slogan found @ http://www.colt.com/ColtLawEnforcement/H...

  17. Mr. Wassermans statement about ignoring the vast majority of americans is not only a real leap of faith in something he could not possible know with any degree of certainty like most personal opinions today on any topic.
    It's really a shame that he feels gun registration is the answer to violence in america, and somehow background checks will deter the criminal element from commiting a gun related crime.
    The real issues we face is mental health not mechanical devices...
    I would highly recommend he read the constitution and all the ammendments that are in force her in the U.S.
    If he really doesn't like what he reads then there are several other countrys out there he can move to and enjoy.

  18. "This year will go down in history. For the first
    time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer,our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead into the future."
    - Adolf Hitler, 1935 - Barack Obama 2013

  19. "This year will go down in history....."

    tallison46 -- if Hitler actually said that, prophetic! Excellent post! Here's one backatcha --

    "That history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the ablebodied
    men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people's arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents. This is what had occurred in England that prompted codification of the right to have arms in the English Bill of Rights." -- District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. (slip opinion at 25) (2008)

  20. KillerB
    It is a quote from the Berlin newspaper in 1935...

  21. The Republican shills are out today,ranting with half truths again.

  22. "At 4:41 a.m., CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio) repeated the fallacy"

    Robert, and others who incorrectly quote the Toomey-Manchin Amendment:

    The "Amendment" aka "proposed Law" makes no such mention of a prohibition of the government from collecting data and keeping a central registry of gun owners. None. Notta. Zip. Zilch. The "Findings" Section of the Amendment does. "Findings" Section, as I pointed out here several times before to a columnist and poster IS NOT THE LAW. Let me repeat this again slowly for you. The Findings Section of the Amendment is not the Law. It is a narrative, BS, background and introduction FOR THE "proposed" LAW. The proposed LAW [aka Toomey-Manchin Amendment] is the body of the Law, Chapter and verse and paragraph. With the specific exception of a prohibition for the U.S. Attorney General from collecting and keeping a national registry, the proposed T-M Amendment does not prohibit another Federal Agency or Agency head from doing so. That was the issue. You bought into the same nonsense that others did. The President lied, the mainstream media lied, and you and others believe it.

    Carmine D

  23. "I suggest that the supporters of a registry ban actually READ it."

    Robert:

    I suggest you and others here read it now that you know the difference between the "proposed Law" and the BS intro to it called "FINDINGS." FINDINGS is not the law. The Law itself is the law. In this case "proposed law" because it did not pass the Senate vote for approval.
    Carmine D

  24. "Carmine, cute how you sort of slipped by the fact that the Senate vote was 54 to 46 IN FAVOR, not against, gun control."

    Here's what I said verbatim:

    "This caused it's demise by a vote of 54 to 46 in the Senate."

    Stop arguing on words of nonsense.

    Carmine D

  25. "ATF is already prohibited. M-T prohibits FBI and DOJ."

    Allowing other Federal agencies and Agency Heads to do so [maintain a national registry].

    Carmine D

  26. "CarmineD -- good point. Any proposed law criminalizing one making a gift of a firearm should be DOA."

    Killer B:

    I said before the bill went to vote, and you agreed, that the Toomey-Manchin Amendment had to address this issue to pass. I opined it would. I was wrong BUT it didn't pass so it's a moot point. In particular citing the case of a family heirloom, a World War 1 Officer's hand gun, that belonged to my grandfather that I wanted to pass along to my nephew. I can now without a background check on my nephew: An upstanding family man, employed, and a pillar of his community in NJ.

    Carmine D

    BTW, the gun has never been fired to my knowledge while in family possession and has no ammo.

  27. "Perhaps CarmineD could suggest a way?"

    Robert:

    Yes, I can. Put language in the body of the Law which codifies the "statements" in the "Findings" Section of the Law. A good start is to prohibit ALL FEDERAL AGENCIES and Agency Heads from developing a central registry of gun owners not just the U.S. Attorney General.

    If and when that happens, along with reform of the gift and private gun transfers and sales, then and only then [assuming the President is more conciliatory with those who initially voted against it] will Toomey-Manchin have a chance for passage.

    Carmine D

  28. Only one of those statements was in the "Findings." The other was a rule of construction. Look that up, for example at legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/construction Read the amendment itself not the Faux News version.

    Putting language in the law itself is problematic - look at the sequester fiasco. How many exceptions will ultimately pass Congress? Our Congress-critters put their mouths in motion without putting their brains in gear - look at the result.

  29. "The other was a rule of construction. Look that up, for example at legal-"

    Robert: Not the "proposed" Law.

    If these statements in FINDINGS and CONSTRUCTION were truly the "proposed" Law, and not feel good fluff, then tell me the reason that the chapter and verse of the body of the "proposed" Law specifically includes the prohibition for the U.S. Attorney General. If the statements you and others profess to be the "proposed" Law, were truly so, then why would there be any need to specify the U.S. Attorney General? No need is the correct answer.

    Carmine D

  30. "Putting language in the law itself is problematic"

    It was in the case of Toomey-Manchin. The reason in part 46 Senators, including Dems, voted against it. Not as the President said, and you and others believed, it was a shameful day in Washington. It was the Senate doing the right thing by ensuring the "proposed" Law is right and correct before enacting.
    Carmine D

  31. El Lobo:

    When Uncle tells uncle what he can and can not gift to his nephew, then Uncle is no longer Uncle. He's BIG BROTHER.

    Carmine D

  32. Carmine: Poor wording on my part. "Proposed amendment" would be better. And the language re the Attorney General WAS in that proposed amendment - as an amendment to earlier legislation which seems to have had no reference to a registry. If it was in the original proposed, please cite Chapter and Verse as I did with Toomey-Manchin.

    There were 46 votes (Note: NOT a majority) against the Toomey-Manchin Amendment - allegedly because it failed to prohibit other agencies from establishing a registry. In fact, Toomey-Manchin DID include such specific language as a "Rule of Construction," stating that nothing in the amendment (and therefore the original legislation) could be construed to ALLOW a registry.

  33. Congress passed legislation to ALLOW the FAA to use $253 Million in UNOBLIGTAED FAA FUNDS to defray furloughs of air traffic controllers. Senate [as in Democratic] passed first and the House [by an overwhelming bipartisan majority] approved and sent to the President. President still hasn't signed yet? Do you know why?

    Because apparently there is a spelling error in the language of the proposed FAA law. A spelling error? The Toomey-Manchin amendment failed to codify the prohibition on a national gun registry and decriminalize private gun gifts and transfers, and the President called the Senate shameful for voting against it.

    Carmine D