Friday, May 16, 2003

House Speaker Dennis Hastert has opened the door to a vote on the assault weapons ban.

"Speaker Dennis Hastert opened the door Thursday to a vote on extending an assault weapons ban that expires next year, and the leader of House Democrats prodded President Bush to urge the Republican leadership to bring the bill to the floor.
Hastert, R-Ill., said he hadn't yet decided whether the GOP-controlled House would vote on renewing the ban, which was approved in 1994 on 19 military-style automatic weapons. 'I need to have some discussions with the president and (Republican) leadership before I make that decision,' he said.
Hastert made his comments after a statement earlier this week by Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, that the votes "are not there" in the House to extend the ban. DeLay's spokesman, Stuart Roy, later said Republicans have no intention of calling the bill up for a vote."

So it appears that Rep. Hastert is awaiting direction from the White House as to bring up the assault weapons ban renewal in the House.
I think that Bush, giving his past record on the Right to Arms, sincerely wants the Assault Weapons Ban renewed & possibly expanded upon. However he would either be a fool or have something very very significant up his sleeve to risk alienating gun owners who would account for a lot of votes in 2004.

"The issue cuts across party lines. While Democrats generally lead the campaign for such measures, some suburban Republicans favor gun control, while Democrats from rural areas or those with active hunting populations oppose it, and the issue has worked to the detriment of Democrats nationally in recent elections."

Again, judging votes by party doesn't work when it comes to gun control. In fact every federal gun control law enacted has had Republican support in some form.

as I said in a previous post:

Yes, I know we have a Republican controlled Congress. Yes I know there are more anti-gun Democrats than there are anti-gun Republicans. But there are more anti-gun Republicans than there are pro-gun Democrats & Republicans combined. Look here for the House of Representatives. Look here for the Senate. Anything less than a "B" rating means they are not oppossed to voting for gun control if it suits them. According to my calculations there's 18 pro-gun Senators & 176 pro-gun Representatives. That's counting the B minus among the pro-gun. !8 out of 100 & 176 out of 434.
There are 64 anti-gun senators & 205 anti-gun Representatives. That's counting D, F & Not Rated. 64 out of 100 & 205 out of 434.
In the Senate it would merely take the F,D & Not Rated Senators to vote for the McCarthy-Conyers assault weapons bill for it to pass. In the House it would take 13 C rated Representatives in addition to the F, D & Not Rated Representatives for it to pass. The Senate would have enough votes to negate a presidential veto, but it'd take 261 or so from the Senate, which would mean 56 C rated voters in addition to the F,D & Not Rated.

This is from a article about the vote on the Assault Weapons Ban renewal:

"The bill hasn't been discussed by the leadership yet, and I haven't had a discussion with the president yet so I'm not ready to make that decision,' about scheduling the bill, Hastert, R-Illinois, said."

The following refers to the earlier comments that DeLay made about not having the votes to pass it & it wouldn't be voted on in the House:

"But Hastert said DeLay was "caught off guard" when he made that comment. The House speaker, however, would not commit to a vote and refused to say whether he supported a renewal of the ban. He voted against it in 1994."

Now this I find most interesting:

Asked about Hastert's comments, DeLay said he still didn't believe there were enough votes to reauthorize the ban. 'We don't like to bring up legislation we don't think can pass,' DeLay said.
He said there is no bill on the issue and suggested it was premature to talk about the issue.
'Who brought this up? Who introduced it? There have been no motions,' he said. 'I think, quite frankly, that this is a media driven issue."

The last part either shows rep. DeLays dishonesty or his ignorance. Rep. McCarthy & Rep. Conyers along with almost 70 co-sponsors have introduced legislation to not only renew but vastly expand the Assault Weapons Ban.

There is an increasing possibility that the Assault weapons Ban will be renewed & possibly expanded. It all depends upon whether or not Bush wants to push the issue. I would like to say I have faith in Bush to do the right thing but considering his past I cannot. The only thing that could keep him from actively attempting to renew the assault weapons ban is political pressure from voters. I don't think he would risk the election over this, but then again I could be wrong. So perhaps if we all e-mailed, faxed, wrote letters & called to inform him that our vote depends on his respecting our Rights it might provide enough incentive for him to reconsider renewing unpopular & unconstitutional laws.

President George Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Fax: 202-456-2461 or 202-456-1907
Phone: 202-456-1414

President George W. Bush:
Vice President Richard Cheney:

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