Gun News of the Week: Poll Shows 92 Percent Americans Support Universal Background Checks
TOP STORY Democrats’ dead dog and dead pony show hits the road Sixty House Democrats took their dead dog and...
Democrats’ dead dog and dead pony show hits the road
Sixty House Democrats took their dead dog and dead pony show on the road June 29th, staging a “national day of action” with 40 coast-to-coast fiddlefests of feigned frustration that confirmed — once again — that these self-serving politicians will continue to foil attempts to effectively address gun violence as long as they believe gun-control gridlock will benefit them in November.
The fact that Senate Democrats adroitly sabotaged Republican proposals to adopt effective, transparent ‘No Fly, No Buy’ legislation by submitting four purposely flawed go-nowhere bills on June 21 was buried in a choreographed charade of righteous angst orchestrated by their House counterparts, beginning with a 25-hour Capitol Hill sit-in on June 22 and continuing with a road-show version a week later in state capitals around the country.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claimed the election-year political theater was all her idea in a June 27 letter to colleagues, urging them to hold sit-ins in their districts during their July 4 recess calibrated for maximum media exposure to ensure the TV-educated blame Republicans for failing to act in the knee-jerk emotional wake of the June 12 Orlando Pulse massacre.
Pelosi herself led a June 29 demonstration in San Francisco at the same time other California Democratic House members were staging a “roundtable” wherever they could find TV cameras in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile in Chicago — where the 300 aviation police assigned to patrol O’Hare and Midway airports are not allowed to carry firearms as part of the city’s “run and hide from terrorists” policy — six House Democrats led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky duped fawning adherents into believing they are the solution and not the problem.
In Baltimore, less than 40 people came out to hear four Maryland House Democrats — including Reps. Elijah Cummings and Chris Van Hollen — blather about keeping all of their options open about what they will do when they return from the July 4th recess this week.
Among those options should be a liberal dousing of House Chambers with some powerfully-scented Fabuloso to blanket the lingering stench left in the wake of their June 22 dead dog and dead pony show.
Apparently, not only can you can parade a dead dog and a dead pony around Washington D.C., where such absurdity has resonance, but in an election year, you can take them on tour with you as well
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JUST DON’T CALL IT ‘GUN CONTROL’
Quinnipiac Poll shows 92 percent support universal background checks
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released June 30, 92 percent of voters — including 92 percent of gun-owners and 86 percent of Republicans — support background checks on all firearms sales, revealing a dramatic disconnect between Congressional Republicans and the public when it comes to gun control.
But upon further review, as with all polls and statistics, Quinnipiac researchers acknowledged a partial cause of the disparity may not be grounded in numbers, but in words.
“In short, many voters simply don’t equate mandatory background checks with ‘gun control,’” Quinnipiac Poll Assistant Director Tim Malloy said in a statement published by the Associated Press, noting that only 50 percent of the same respondents support “stricter gun control laws” while 47 percent are opposed.
“Americans are all in on stricter background checks on gun buyers and on keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill,” he continued. “But when it comes to ‘stricter gun control,’ three words which prompt a negative reflex, almost half of those surveyed say ‘hands off.'”
According to Quinnipiac, the poll also found 88 percent of voters support the idea that people on the government’s terrorist watch list should be prevented from purchasing guns. Among voters in households where there is a gun, 83 percent support “No Fly, No Buy,” the poll said.
Currently, licensed gun dealers must do background checks to ensure felons, illegal immigrants, habitual drug abusers and the severely mentally ill cannot buy or own guns. The screenings, however, are not required of unlicensed vendors who may sell firearms without a background check unless they “know” or have “reason to believe” a buyer fits into one of the FBI’s prohibited categories.
Overall, according top the poll, voters are torn on whether or not they support stricter gun laws. The poll said 54 percent favor more gun control laws nationwide, and 42 percent are opposed, but that’s the highest level of support ever recorded in the poll.
When asked about “assault weapons,” 59 percent supported a nationwide ban on the sale of “assault weapons,” but just 47 percent said that ban would help reduce gun violence. Forty-nine percent said the ban would not be effective.
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Hawaiian punch-out for Island gun-owners
Democratic Gov. David Ige officially made Hawaii the only state in the union to put registered gun owners in a centralized database run by the FBI when he signed three gun control bills into law on June 23.
SB 2954, or Act 108, requires Hawaiian law enforcement agencies to enroll all gun owners, including those already registered with the state, into the federal “Rap Back” criminal watch list, which allows federal officials to notify Hawaii police if an owner is arrested anywhere in the country.
The FBI’s “Rat Back’ database is typically reserved for people who “hold positions of trust” such as school teachers and daycare workers or for those under investigations.
According to John Bat of CBS News, the legislation also grants local police the authority to determine whether an arrested gun owner should be able to keep his or her firearm.
NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter told Bat that while the law has no influence on the mainland, it may have far-reaching political and legal ramifications.
The bill “is an extreme anti-gun law that puts law-abiding gun owners on a criminal database for FBI monitoring, and therefore treats guns ownership as inherently suspicious,” she said. “Perhaps most upsetting, it does nothing to enhance public safety in the state as it will only apply to people who follow the law and register their firearms.”
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IN THE COURTS
Supreme Court: Domestic abuse conviction could mean lifetime gun ban
The U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 ruled those convicted of domestic abuse can be barred by federal law from buying or owning a gun for life—even if violence was “reckless” instead of “intentional.”
According to German Lopez of Vox.com, while the 6-2 ruling in Voisine v. United States “is a fairly technical,” it’s significant “because of what it didn’t do.”
“The court could have decided that gun laws don’t cover domestic violence crimes in which the abuser’s intent isn’t clearly violent — and that could have, depending on how some states and the feds apply their domestic violence laws, limited the scope of federal restrictions on guns for domestic abusers,” he wrote. “But the court instead allowed federal gun restrictions to remain more broad.”
“By moving to not limit laws that can take guns out of these abusive households, then, the Supreme Court gave gun control advocates — and those interested in preventing deadly domestic abuse — an important, if small, win,” added Vox’s Emily Crockett.
Unlike highly publicized mass shootings, domestic violence is sadly pedestrian and “extremely predictable,” Crockett continued. “It’s common for police to be called multiple times, sometimes dozens, for domestic violence incidents before a victim is ultimately murdered by her abuser.”
The ruling evaluated the constitutionality of the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act, which includes domestic violence misdemeanants with felons, in terms of prohibiting gun ownership from those convicted of a crime punishable by a sentence more than one year, which includes all felonies.
The case involved two Maine men who each had their guns confiscated several years after being convicted of domestic assault misdemeanors. They claimed Maine’s definition of domestic violence misdemeanor, which includes “reckless assault,” did not meet the threshold that would invoke the Lautenberg Amendment,
Among the most unusual aspects of the ruling is one of the two dissenting votes was cast by liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who joined arch Conservative Clarence Thomas in voting against the federal law.
She favored a broader definition of domestic violence: “Minor uses of force may not constitute ‘violence’ in the generic sense,” Sotomayor wrote. But even a small act of forcible touching “is easy to describe as ‘domestic violence,’ when the accumulation of such acts over time can subject one intimate partner to the other’s control.”
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