Gun Stories of the Week: Democrats Trot Out Dead-Dog-and-Dead-Pony Show as Election Looms

TOP STORY
Democrats trot out dead-dog-and-dead-pony show as November looms

House Democrats have announced they will revive their dead-dog-and-dead-pony show after Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called upon her minions to stage yet another election-year made-for-TV moment crafted to produce results on November’s ballots, but purposely designed to fail in Congress.

Pelosi’s Sept. 14 Twitter pronouncement promises a continuation of what the Democrats began in June after taking over the House floor for a nearly 25-hour sit-in.

"We're not going away," Pelosi told Alex Moe of NBC News. "We're not going to stop until we enact gun violence prevention laws. We're not going to stop until we get the job done."

Democrats want to force another vote before Congress adjourns for its final recess prior to the November election on the same flawed bills to expand background checks for gun sales and to prevent those placed on secret no fly-lists from being able to purchase a weapon without due process to challenge the designation.

The strategy is clear: Put Republicans in the position of voting against the same tired, inadequate legislation that isn’t practical, doesn’t do what it is intended to do, and won’t survive court challenges.

These are nuances that won’t quite register with the TV-educated as Democrats capture fawning media attention in the weeks leading up to November’s elections. That—and that alone—is the motivation for the charade as Democrats capitalize on the reality that gun-owners’ rights vs. gun control is a front-and-center issue on the 2016 ballot for the first time in four election cycles.

Lost in these campaign stunts and the superficial coverage of important issues is the sheer hypocrisy of politicians pretending they are the solution when they’re the problem.

Among the most egregious examples of electioneering instead of legislating is Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy’s self-aggrandizing 15-hour filibuster in June before the Senate, forcing the Senate to reject a series of Democratic-endorsed gun control proposals and Republican-backed counterproposals. There was no surprise there. Murphy knew exactly what would happen and positioned himself to a crusader rather than a politically-motivated baiter, which is exactly what he is.

Buried by this dead-dog-and-dead-pony show is the fact that the measures proposed by Republicans are simply the better bills. One would have required more mental health information to be available in national databases and another would have—right now—delayed gun sales to people on a government terrorist watch list but offered Americans on the list their due process rights.

But who has time for that with the elections drawing nearer every day? It’s lights, cameras, and no action from here on in.

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‘GUN CONTROL THRILLER’
‘Miss Sloane’ to anoint anti-Constitution crusader as a Hollywood hero

Thank goodness Hollywood heroes have the backbone to do what our elected representatives are too afraid to do: Stand up to evil, comic-book boogiemen, such as that nebulous, shadowy, Constitution-defending hobgoblin otherwise called, “the gun lobby.”

If it wasn’t for celebrities taking time from their busy schedules to grace us with their soundbite wisdom on contemporary affairs, how else would the TV-educated know what to believe and feel about issues that require thinking and knowing?

So, brace for 'Miss Sloane,' a movie set to be released on Dec. 9 that, according to Joe Berkowitz on fastcocreate.com, is "a new film that renders gun control legislation exciting."

‘Miss Sloane’ is a drama starring Jessica Chastain, who “plays an indefatigable lobbyist pushing to pass gun control legislation by any means necessary, against overwhelming odds,” Berkowitz writes. “Wringing suspense out of what usually comes across as paint-curdling C-SPAN footage seems like a smart new approach toward how people view gun violence in movies. And at an appropriate time, to boot.”

Indeed, how exciting. Of course, since it will be released a month after the November elections, you can bet gun-control adherents would differ from Berkowitz’s assessment about timing. They’d say an October release would have been “appropriate.”

Surprisingly, not all of the fawning, dithering, celebrity-obsessed and superficial Hollywood media is gushing and oohing over a “gun-control thriller” guaranteed to make a mockery of a serious issue that does need to be addressed in a sane, sober manner.

The film “arrives in the thick of Oscar movie season,” writes Christian Toto of PJ Media. “That doesn't guarantee any awards. Still, since the vast majority of film critics lean to the left, expect reviews that lavish praise on its gun control theme, if nothing else.”

Toto writes that Chastain “is already playing coy with the film's message,” noting she hasn’t — as yet — said much about the film because it’s a divisive issue.

Indeed, he writes, gun control is “divisive because so often the results simply don't exist. Consider the gun wars a-blazing in Chicago, a city with strict gun control measures, as Exhibit A. Or how often massacres occur in gun-free zones.”

Mr. Toto’s reality check may resonate in Kansas, but not in the Land of Oz otherwise known as Hollywood.

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STATE ROUNDUP
Maine voters leery of Bloomberg bucks meddling in state gun laws

Voters in at least five states will be presented with firearms-related ballot measures when they go to the polls in November.

According to Congressional Quarterly Roll Call’s CQ State Track, these proposed measures are:

— Maine (Question 3) and Nevada (Question 1) voters will see ballot proposals to require universal background checks on all firearms-related transactions, including private sales among individuals.

— A Colorado Campus Gun Ban Initiative seeks to outlaw firearms on public college grounds. Colorado is one of eight states that allow those with concealed carry permits to legally carry on public college campuses.

— Washington’s Initiative 1491 would expand the capacity for judges to issue court orders restricting certain individuals legal access to firearms, such as those under a domestic violence restraining order.

— A controversial ballot measure in California (Proposition 63) would require background checks for anyone seeking to buy ammunition. If approved, California would become the first state in the nation to require background checks for ammunition. The measure also bans “large-capacity” magazines.

If Maine and Nevada voters pass proposed measures on their November ballots, they will become the 19th and 20th states to extend background check requirements to include at least some private firearms sales.

In both states, former New York City Mayor Micheal Bloomberg through his various front-groups, such as Everytown For Gun Safety, has unabashedly surfaced as the chief financier of these anti-gun owner rights initiative.

That has drawn significant backlash. In Maine, where hunting and gun clubs are a way of life, signs declaring “Keep NYC Out of Maine! Vote No on Question 3!” are prevalent in the rural state’s small towns

Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Executive Director David Trahan told the Associated Press that many Maine voters — even those who might support expanding background checks — are leery of the Question 3 initiative because it is being forced upon them by interests outside Maine.

“Over the last hundred years, a culture has developed. We live with firearms. We hunt. We recreationally shoot and we do it safely,” he told the AP. “We should be looked at as a model state — not as a state for Michael Bloomberg to come in and change somehow.”

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IN THE COURTS
D.C.’s ’may issue’ clause goes before Circuit Court on Sept. 20

A three-judge D.C. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 20 will review challenges to the District’s concealed-carry gun laws, which require that residents have a “good” or “proper” reason to get permits for firearms.

While similar restrictions have survived legal scrutiny in other jurisdictions — such as in the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling in Peruta v. San Diego County — gun-owners’ rights advocates hope the decision in this case will reflect a fundamental recognition that citizens in a democracy should not have to explain why they want to exercise a Constitutional right to the arbitrary satisfaction of a local government agency.

Judges Karen LeCraft Henderson, Thomas B. Griffith and Stephen F. Williams will hear the two cases, Wrenn v. D.C. and Grace v. D.C. Brian Wrenn and Matthew Grace are D.C. residents who have challenged the city's requirement that anyone who wants to carry a concealed handgun show a "good reason" — “a specific threat to their personal safety” — to get a permit.

In May, Williams agreed with Grace, ordering D.C. to stop enforcing the good-reason provision. The city appealed and Williams stayed the ruling, pending oral arguments on Sept. 20.

The District’s concealed-carry rules are similar to those in Maryland, New Jersey, New York and some jurisdictions in California. In June, an 11-judge 9th Circuit panel upheld San Diego's concealed-carry law, which contains the same good-reason provision as D.C.'s in Peruta v. San Diego.

Should the Court of Appeals in D.C. decide differently than the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling, it could set the issue up for consideration in the U.S. Supreme Court. Many believe Peruta v. San Diego is destined to go before the High Court regardless of the ruling in the D.C. cases.

D.C. has “allowed” residents to apply for concealed-carry permits since late 2014, after a federal judge tossed out the city's ban on carrying handguns in public. Since then, according to city police, 88 people have been approved for concealed-carry permits. while 309 applicants were denied.

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