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September 22, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Voters can trump NRA’s influence

Another view?

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Enough is enough. Recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that he will get his gun control agenda enacted by rehabilitating, not ousting, Republicans and other politicians addicted to the National Rifle Association’s threatening posture.

Simply put, they are addicted to the NRA because of the fear of being ousted. Are not 20 slaughtered children enough? It is time to make that fear of ouster come true.

There is only one group that can end the deadlock over gun control, and that is the American electorate. Surely, across this country, voters who love children over guns outnumber those who love guns over children.

If, with each election, politicians enthralled by the NRA — be they Republicans, Democrats or independents — are voted out of office, sanity would soon return to Congress and the deadly grasp of the NRA would be broken forever.

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  1. Freeman - Great stories! I'm sure the NRA will publicize them if they haven't already. Did any of these events require more than 10 rounds to be fired? Did any of the people defending themselves have to avoid a background check to buy a weapon? Can we agree that these two measures, along with vigorous prosecution of anyone falsifying information on gun purchase forms, are common sense measures?

  2. After Gov. Cuomo pushed through the latest gun control law in NY, so hurriedly he forgot to exempt the law enforcment authorities, polls showed his popularity dropped by 15 points. 15 points! Is this an indication of the national effort/politician poll ratings if the same knee jerk reaction is used for gun legislation? Time will tell.

    CarmineD

  3. I wish voters really would vote out representatives that vote in a way contrary to their wishes, but they too often don't.

    The reason the NRA has the power it does is because too many people sit on their hands or re-elect people who don't do what voters want. Advocacy groups, like the NRA, advocate and lobby in a multitude of areas, not just the gun area.

    Because our system in Congress is corrupt, these groups make our laws, set our taxes and control spending.

    If Mr. Begley really wants to see an NRA (and other advocacy groups) with less influence, he will join me in calling for Term limits, public financing of campaigns and lobbying reform.

    Michael

  4. Michael

    When was the last time you contacted your Congressman or Senators about an issue? If all they hear from is lobbyists, they will assume that there is no pressure from voters for an action. Why not paste some of your comments to an email to them if you don't already?

    Assume that politicians always act in their own self-interest and demonstrate where that self-interest lies by getting on their case and staying on it. Don't give up! That's what they want us to do.

    Jim

  5. Why is it guys on the left such as Weber cannot stop themselves from trying to impose their agenda on others? Weber doesn't want more than a 7-shooter. Fine. Who cares? If I want a bazooka or a tank, what business is it of his? None, since I am no threat to him, except intellectually. Time for you "non-judgmental" lefties to go about your business as you see fit and let us tend to ours!

  6. Jerry is harmless (well so HE says) and wants a bazooka and tank. Is he the only one and are all the others who want such things harmless?

    Meanwhile Reffy says don't look over there look here.

  7. Freeman -

    I did not suggest that gun laws are the only thing that's needed to curtail violence. That would be as ridiculous as your claim that the NRA is blameless.

    I totally agree we need to help black and hispanic ethnic groups escape a pattern of violence. You will note, however, that recent spree killings have all been perpetrated by white males.

  8. This is one of the rare instances in which ideologues on the left (Feinstein and Cuomo) are doing enormous harm to the country. The support for universal background checks is, well, universal. This is also a rare opportunity to convince those on the right to spring for improved mental health services -- it might even be a way to increase support for Obamacare.

    Instead, they're focused on outlawing production of scary looking rifles -- when less than 3% of gun violence involves rifles of any kind. The only thing they're accomplishing is galvanizing the right and preventing passage of measures that might actually make a difference.

    I don't question their motives, but in this case they're demonstrating extremely poor judgment.

  9. "Enough is enough. . .Simply put, [politicians] are addicted to the NRA because of the fear of being ousted. Are not 20 slaughtered children enough? It is time to make that fear of ouster come true."

    Begley -- how profoundly ignorant you are. Try looking beyond the headlines, like Connecticut has some of the most restrictive gun laws in this country, yet it happened. And what does anything there have to do with why our freedoms should be limited here?

    "Surely voters will see the need for family protection, self protection and family/self preservation."

    RefNV -- excellent point, especially about our own local geezer who refused to be a victim. How different it would have been if he'd been of Begley's ilk and lived in a pre-Heller hell -- fumbling with a disassembled or locked firearm while the invaders closed in.

    "Advocacy groups, like the NRA, advocate and lobby in a multitude of areas, not just the gun area."

    wtplv -- your post would apply to our own legislature which just convened. Mankind seems to have a fatal flaw -- we take a good idea, turns it into an institution, then proceeds to corrupt it. Orwell's "Animal Farm" is instructive in that regard.

    "When was the last time you contacted your Congressman or Senators about an issue? If all they hear from is lobbyists, they will assume that there is no pressure from voters for an action."

    pisces -- another excellent post! We should all be in constant touch with our legislators on what concerns us. If they don't, why shouldn't they go with just the lobbyists? Everyone here should be doing that -- find your legislator @ http://mapserve1.leg.state.nv.us/whoRU/

    For the first time in 200+ years the U.S. Supremes clearly defined what the Second Amendment means to each of us. More importantly it more clearly defined government limits. Both the Heller and McDonald cases tell the real story in this current debate -- the Bill of Rights' biggest opponents were cops and prosecutors, all who had sworn oaths to support, protect and defend the Second Amendment. That and Begley's herdspeak scares me far more than new gun control laws.

    "This case illustrates that tragic facts make bad law." -- Wyeth v. Levine, 129 S.Ct. 1187 (2009), Justice Alito, with whom The Chief Justice and Justice Scalia join, dissenting.

  10. I'm doubt lvfacts101 presents so much of an intellectual challenge as he says. When I picture him with a bazooka or a tank, a bad-tempered Wile E. Coyote comes to mind.

  11. Jim,

    I do write to my representatives but all I get back is form letters. Truth be told, our representatives don't care about letters. They only care about their re-election. As long as we re-elect them, they will listen to the special interests and vote accordingly, because that is how they stay in office. Term Limits, Public Financing of Campaigns and Lobbying reform are the only solutions. The only way these common sense options are ever going to be enacted is if the public wants them and refuses to vote to re-elect people to office who don't enact these reforms.

    Michael

  12. Anybody who thinks the government wants to take away your guns is an idiot. The only threat to the second amendment are the people who refuse to accept any kind of reasonable gun control laws
    to reduce gun violence. If so called "law biding" gun owners can't accept universal background checks and gun registration to help reduce the number of guns in the hands of "bad" people, you have to wonder what they are afraid of. If we can do reasonable things to keep guns out of the hands of "bad" people, then we won't need so many "good" people with guns to stop them. Right, Mr. LaPierre?

  13. Michael

    Don't let the form letters slow you down. They might not read all their letters, but they do count them. Our power is in numbers, but if we cede that power we have no gripe coming because they took it.

    Jim

  14. Mr. Fink, since I don't know you from a hole in the ground, I have to take your word that you are no threat to anyone and should be allowed to own a bazooka or a tank. But then I remember that just about everyone sitting in our prisons says that they are no threat to anyone and should be set free. Are you willing to take their word for it?

  15. Begley,

    You asked "Are not 20 slaughtered children enough?" to give up our Second Amendment rights? The only logical, reasonable, and rational answer is no.

    Purgatory

  16. Jim,

    I haven't given up but I do know that most Americans have no idea how Congress really works and don't see how the people's will is being subverted. Until that changes, the status quo will rule.

    Michael

  17. Semi automatic weapons with large clips are the stock in trade of the bad guys and are required by the good guys to ensure they are not at a disadvantage when confronted--it must be their choice. The liberal koolaid drinkers who are in fact trying to establish a hopeless gun free utopia are not going to prevail in this current debate. Guns are not the problem. Mal intended people are. Society must concentrate on them,not the guns.

  18. Jim Weber: I've written Dean Heller four times: once as a Senator, three times as my Congressman. Once I received a "thank you" form letter back. The other 3 times not even a single paragraph acknowledging my interest or effort.

    I've written Harry Reid twice and received one letter saying basically "thanks for your opinion, but I really do disagree with you because..." and one (probable form) letter saying basically "thanks for writing."

    Reid I'll write - and MAY vote for - in the future (he really missed the boat on the filibuster, both last time and this time...) I may write Heller in future, but I will do so knowing exactly what to expect from him. His (lack of) action shows he obviously has no real interest in hearing from constituents. Except, maybe, only those constituents who can afford $50g - $100g campaign donation. . .

  19. Re Freeman: You open with a couple of nice stories. I'll be the LAST person to deny that individuals have, on occasion, used a pistol successfully for self defense. Let us know when/if you find an instance of one person defending himself by using a rapid fire rifle to spray the area with the full contents of a 50-100 round magazine, or even a 10-20 round clip.

  20. In 2011 there were reported to be nationally about 8,600 firearm murders. A number of them were committed in highly liberal strongholds like Chicago where there are gun controls. Gun controls are not the answer to the intentional infliction of harm in America. It is even questioned whether the Left who clamors for more gun controls is even focused on the greatest tragedy in America involving the intentional infliction of death by human will. In Roe vs Wade may be found a profound and lethal death trap to which left wing America steadfastly clings in the name of a woman's "choice". Between 2009-2011 the average estimated annual number of abortions in the U.S. amounted to a staggering 1,212,000. Planned Parenthood accounts for about 300,000 of these abortions every year.
    Before the liberals start to focus on the creation a of a gun free Utopia, they might take a look at the mass killings by abortion in America that are intentionally inflicted in the name of "choice". Where does the real ugliness and brutality rest in America's culture!

  21. renorobert says "Let us know when/if you find an instance of one person defending himself by using a rapid fire rifle to spray the area with the full contents of a 50-100 round magazine, or even a 10-20 round clip"

    Let's flip that around. Please cite the last gun murder that involved a criminal firing more than 30 rounds from a single magazine since you chose "spray the area with the full contents of a 50-100 round magazine" in your example.

    (Note that in while the Aurora shooting the gunman had a 100 round drum magazine, authorities say it malfunctioned with LESS than 30 rounds fired)

  22. isn't that department of homeland security one big attack on our fourth amendment rights ? The ATF has been neutered. The gun nuts should not really mention the bill of rights to support their position since their corporate buddies have greatly dispensed with it.

  23. teamster says "The majority of Americana want a new assault rifle ban. We can't let any more kids and teachers die from nuts with assault rifles."

    But, as usual, can not provide any explanation for how he thinks an assault weapon ban will prevent anyone form being killed by assault weapons.

    (hint: bans on heroin, cocaine, and math don't seem to have eliminated criminals getting those in the US....so why do you think an assault weapon ban would somehow magically keep assault weapons from getting to criminals?)

  24. Not absolutely positive, but I think I read that only one of the mass killing shooters in recent years had a criminal record---and it was a minor one. More extensive gun control laws WILL be enacted, and it will happen soon. A ban on assault weapons may not pass the first time, but comprehensive background checks and a ban on high capacity magazines may make it the first time through. The NRA is losing credibility with each passing day.

  25. "Before the liberals start to focus on the creation a of a gun free Utopia, they might take a look at the mass killings by abortion in America that are intentionally inflicted in the name of "choice". Where does the real ugliness and brutality rest in America's culture!" @ Bob Jack

    Here's a novel thought. Rather than use an Executive Order to ban assault weapons, President Obama should use his executive action to ban abortions.

    CarmineD

  26. "Does your hypothetical home invasion involve multiple attackers?" @ Freeman

    Excellent question. In the wild west days, it took a seasoned gunfighter with a six shooter standing alone to fend off a group of bad guys with six-shooters. The gunfighter had to have a good sense of who to shoot first, second, third and so on if he wanted to live. If the gunfighter miscalculated the correct order to shoot, he's dead. These days we don't have seasoned gunfighters save police. Even they often don't use their hand guns. The semi/automatic weapons equalizes the show down when one good guy faces a group of bad guys with guns.

    CarmineD

  27. "The NRA is losing credibility with each passing day." @ Linda Cervazos

    For the most part I agreed with your post here except this excerpt. The NRA is not losing credibility, just the opposite. In NY, Governor Cuomo's popularity dropped by 15 points after he rushed through the gun control law. 15 points is huge. I opine the same will happen in Congress if it rushes to judgment on gun controls. If I recall 15 Dem Senators are up for reelection in 2014. At least 5 have B+ and A ratings from the NRA and are HUGE NRA supporters. Reid is not going to risk their reelection by putting them in the precarious position of voting for a gun law that the NRA opposes. Reid doesn't want to lose control of the Senate to the GOP in 2014.

    CarmineD

  28. Wendor (Charles Gladu): You ask me to" Please cite the last gun murder that involved a criminal firing more than 30 rounds from a single magazine. . ."

    Why?? The subject is using firearms for SELF DEFENSE!!

    Charles further comments: "(. . . while the Aurora shooting the gunman had a 100 round drum magazine, authorities say it malfunctioned with LESS than 30 rounds fired. . . )

    True. But it's not because he didn't have the means and motive to spray the area with the magazine's full contents, nor is it because he didn't TRY!

    RefNV (Re Freeman) asked " Does your hypothetical home invasion involve multiple attackers? A night attack? Am I banking on one bullet stopping an attacker or multiple bullets?"

    I intentionally did not address those issues. You will have the answers only if it actually happens. In the meantime - prepare. Note that one of the "bystanders" in Carson City when a nut shot up an "IHOP" said that he had his pistol with him. But he wasn't ABOUT to go up against that attacker. Sometimes the best defense is simply to say "Yes sir! Right away sir!"

    Incidentally, neither of you addresses my primary issue: "Let us know when/if you find an instance of one person defending himself by using a rapid fire rifle to spray the area with the full contents of a 50-100 round magazine, or even a 10-20 round clip."

    Would you perhaps try again? The key word is DEFENDING himself. Or herself, if you happen to find that.

    CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio): For what it's worth "Bat" Masterson is said to have earned his nickname by batting 'em over the head with his pistol - or whatever else was handy. Quite possibly apocryphal, but still a good story.

  29. "CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio): For what it's worth "Bat" Masterson is said to have earned his nickname by batting 'em over the head with his pistol - or whatever else was handy. Quite possibly apocryphal, but still a good story." @ Robert Leavitt

    His baptized name was William Bartholemew Masterson [sp?]. He changed it to William Barklay Masterson [sp?], which appears on his tombstomb. Here's the skinny on his nick name "Bat."

    "There are a number of stories about how Masterson got the name "Bat." Some say that it is a shortened version of Bart, which he was sometimes called. Another story says he gained the name from his use of a cane to "bat" lawbreakers over the head rather than shoot them. The most commonly accepted story is that he gained the name as a young buffalo hunter. His fellow hunters compared his skills to a famous hunter, Baptiste "Bat" Brown."

    CarmineD

  30. teamster says "If the assault rifle ban was in place, the mother of that nut would not have been able to buy the assault rifle and those kids and teachers would be alive today."

    Sorry, but that's far from "simple common sense". That you ASSUMING that lack of availability of one type of weapon would prevent a deranged individual from using a different type of weapon to commit the crime.

    If that were true, it would be supported by a decrease in violent crime corresponding to a decrease in availability of certain types of weapons.

    So let's see, did that happen in the US when we had a ban on assault weapons....nope.

    How about in the UK with a total ban on guns....nope.

    And so on.....

    Sorry but it can be statistically shown that bans on certain types of weapons consistently fail to drive a reduction in violent crime because criminals simply choose a different type of weapon.

  31. RefNV (Re Freeman): I totally agree with your 11:11 p.m. post. "Argumentum ad ignorantiam- where 'ignorance' stands for: 'lack of evidence to the contrary', is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false, it is "generally accepted".

    The argument is that high-capacity, rapid firing weapons must be kept around to allow homeowners to defend themselves against intruders. All I ask is for evidence of that - and you tell me that, since the proposition has not been proven false, it is accepted as being true. That is precisely my point! Nobody can prove the self-defense argument, so everybody accepts its truth on faith.

    Don't cite "lack of research"! The NRA generously paid Congress to bar the gathering of evidence by those best able to do so.

  32. At 11:30 a.m. Wendor (Charles Gladu) noted that there is a lack of proof that crime with assault weapons decreased when we had a ban on them. He fails to note that the original legislation contained a moratorium of ONE YEAR on the gathering of such data - yet the law was in effect for ten years. He seems to be correct: the stats don't really support a reduction in crime during the first year. What about the other NINE years? Who knows??? Congress prohibited gathering data for them!

  33. Sorry renorobert, but the FBI has violent crime data for EVERY year.

    I did not say "crime with assault weapons"....I said "violent crime".

    Since my point was that bans on certain types of weapons fails to reduce crime because criminals simply switch to other types of weapons it would be ridiculous to examine "crimes by only one type of weapon" unless you also examined crimes by every other type of weapon.

    So once again....The us assault weapons ban did not result in a reduction in violent crime in the us, nor did its expiration result in an increase in violent crime. The gun ban in the UK failed to result in a reduction in violent crime (violent crime actually went up by 89% since the ban). ALL of that data is publicly available.

  34. teamster "There will be a new ban on assault rifles and mega clips"

    Highly unlikely since you seem ignorant of the legal definition of "assault rifle".

    (Hint: "assault rifles" are fully automatic machine guns and have been regulated/banned for decades)

    Next time you might want to know what it is that you're demanding a ban of.