Thursday, February 26, 2004

several things bother me about what's happened in the Senate. The first is that, unless it was part of a prior agreement, there needn't have been any votes at all on any gun control amendments. They got cloture which limited the debate to 30 hours & limited amendments that could be offered as well as giving Sen. Frist the power to deny an amendment out of hand. But now we're having amendment after amendment offered up & it'll be Tuesday before a vote happens on the bill as its amended.

If a deal was necessary to bring it to a vote, I'd have reconsidered pushing it through the Senate. However at the least they could have set a limit on the number of amendments offered up. They let our bill get a vote, in turn we let one amendment of theirs get a vote. But offer as many as they want?

Another thing is the Boxer trigger lock amendment: most people will say it's an aggrevation but practically it's harmless. However the danger lies not in paying $10 to $10 more for the trigger lock (you didn't think the gun industry was gonna give them away as a thank you for risking our rights like this did ya?) but in the precedent it sets. This is a perfect set up for a smart gun bill. The Boxer amendment was passed under the guise of safety & that's the same BS they'll use to push a smart gun law. This Boxer amendment if made into law will establish firmly congressional authority over this area & they'll use it. Now it's not like they wouldn't use any number of other excuses to do what ever the hell they want, but this makes things a little more legit; a little easier & most important less startling.

The main danger in this amendment is that it conditions us yet further to accept government regulation of our Rights in the name of safety.

& for what it's worth Frist voted for the Boxer amendment. Makes ya feel all comfy about our "pro-gun" leadership doesn't it?

The other two gun related amendments were basically nothing. they identified two groups of people & said they were excepted from the provisions of the underlying bill if they met the requirements for exception in the underlying bill. Just a little political word play to legislatively shout down two very bad amendments that would have made the underlying bill worthless.

Now here's something from the AP.

I'll just give you some higlights from it:

"Kohl said the bill 'is not a panacea. It will not prevent every single avoidable firearm-related accident. But the fact is that all parents want to protect their children. This legislation will ensure that people purchase child-safety locks when they buy guns. Those who buy locks are more likely to use them. That much we know is certain."

True - those who buy locks are more likely to use the locks they buy than those who don't buy locks, who aren't terribly likely to use the locks they didn't buy.

Sadly that was probably the thing from the anti's that made the most sense.

"A test vote earlier this week garnered 75 votes for the measure, with Democrats agreeing to vote for the measure after the GOP agreed that firearms makers and distributors would not be immune to suits involving defective products or illegal sales."

Now if that's accurate then why the hell did we need to work a "deal" where every gun control idea under the sun gets to be offered as an amendment to our 1 pro-gun bill?

"For example, leaders in the GOP-controlled House already have said they do not plan to approve an extension of the expiring assault weapons ban. But Senate Democrats say they are close to getting enough votes to add that measure to the gunmaker bill."

lemme repeat the key part in case ya missed it:

"...Senate Democrats say they are close to getting enough votes to add that measure to the gunmaker bill."

'nuff said.

"The Senate's overwhelming approval of the gun lock amendment shows that senators are not listening to that advice and could be convinced that the assault weapons ban and other Democratic legislation should be added to the package, Boxer said. 'Senators are not buying the argument that the bill should be clean."

More than enough said.

"Democrats are very close to having enough support to reauthorize the assault weapons ban for 10 more years, she said. The ban expires in September.
'We believe we can get to 51,' said Boxer, referring to the number of votes needed to add the measure to the gunmaker immunity bill."

Is the message getting through yet?

So the way things are looking an assault weapons amendment is likely to be added to this bill, in which case I urge you to call your Senators & the NRA & demand they oppose any bill so amended.

But tell ya the truth I'd rather they just went ahead & pulle dthe thing right now. Whiel the anti's are offering up everything under the sun, all our side is pushing for is getting the underlying bill passed w/o too many objectionable amendments. This epitomoizes our strategy as gun owners & why we're int he shape we're in: we go for one thing that's beneficial but on the periphery while our opponents are allowed to make a wish list & see what they can get away with in exchange for considering our 1 thing.

If they want to make things interesting, then why don't they propose an amendment to eliminate the Hughes Amendment to the FOPA? Or to repeal the GCA of 68? Or dismiss the NFA of '34? No. Our bold move is to use wordplay to defeat anti-gun amendments (it is a cute strategy I'll admit). We're playing defense yet again & no matter how good the defense is (should be great since that's all we ever practice) a few are always gonna slip by.

The Senate picks thing up again at 9:30 a.m. EST. Head over to GeekWithA.45's place & SayUncle for the latest on what'll be going on tomorrow.

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