GOP Debate: Rubio scores, Jeb stumbles
Gunowners’ rights was not a primary topic in the Sept. 16 Republican debate with the issue only discussed briefly by several of the 11 presidential candidates, therefore a great deal of vetting remains to be done before America’s 90 million gunowners can be sure whoever wins the GOP nod will have their backs 14 months from now in the general election against the Democrats.
But the general consensus is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s comments are cause for alarm while Sen Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) gained a few points among gunowners.
Debate host Hugh Hewitt posed this question to Bush: “If a family member calls and says my child, my brother, my sister is disturbed, ought the state be able to go and get their weapon without a hearing?”
Bush responded: “I think there needs to be hearing, but the fact is, I think we need to encourage that kind of involvement.”
According to AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News, Bush’s response essentially means his only stipulation to arbitrarily stripping a citizen of rights is “that a judge needs to sign off on the confiscation before it takes place.”
Hawkins notes this is “the very path California took” after the May 2014 Santa Barbara attack in which Elliot Rodger stabbed and killed three people then shot and killed three more. State Democrats pushed through ‘Gun Violence Restraining Orders’ (GVROs) and Gov. Jerry Brown signed them into law in September 2014.
“The GVROs work just the way Jeb Bush outlined by opening the door for a friend or relative—or disgruntled former friend or spouse—to seek a GVRO against a certain person and, with judicial consent, have that person’s Second Amendment rights suspended and their guns confiscated,” he writes.
Bush, who is not a gun owner, is “going to have to ‘clarify’ his position, and soon,” Hawkins writes, or the former GOP favorite will continue to plunge into irrelevancy with the alienation of a critical voting component within the GOP.
Indeed, agrees BearingArms.com Editor Bob Owens, Bush “may have hurt his credibility with gunowners.”
Meanwhile, writes Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman, Rubio couldn’t have been a stronger advocate for gun rights because he “simply nailed it on the question of gun control.”
Here is what Rubio said: “First of all, the only people that follow the law are law-abiding people. Criminals, by definition, ignore the law, so you can pass all the gun laws in the world—like the left wants—(and) criminals are going to ignore it because they are criminals.”
“Send the man from Florida to the head of the class,” Workman writes. “It was the kind of statement that should be carved into the marble above the doorway to the Senate chambers, where everybody passing through would be forced to read it.”
There’s nothing new about the simple truth of this statement. It is, as Workman recounts, what Second Amendment activists and leaders have been saying for years “while the likes of Martin O’Malley, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Dianne Feinstein and other would-be gun grabbers have adopted the belief that the only way to disarm bad guys is to first disarm good guys.”
Rubio’s statement is a simple truth, something “far too many of his Capitol Hill colleagues, especially on the other side of the aisle, donít get,” Workman writes.
But it’s not just many Democrat leaders who don’t get it. Read what clueless Steve Benen, producer of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, wrote about what Rubio said.
Beren writes that the Rubio’s statement that gun control laws only affect those who follow gun laws and will not stop criminals from being criminals is “a talking point I havenít heard in a while.”
With insight like that, it’s easy to understand how common sense and reality can be foreign and frightening concepts to ultra liberals—in fact, to ideologues of all stripes and spots who dominate contemporary political discourse.
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Most Americans don’t think it’s ‘too easy’ to buy guns
According to an early Septemver CNN/ORC poll, most Americans do not believe current gun laws make it “too easy” for Americans to buy guns.
When asked, ìIn your view, do existing laws make it too easy for people to buy guns, too difficult, or are they about right?,î 49 percent of respondents said, ìAbout right.î Forty-one percent of respondents said current law made it “too easy” for people to buy guns and 10 percent said they made it “too difficult.” Only 1 percent of respondents had no opinion.
Key questions from the survey included, “If gun laws were changed so that more comprehensive background checks were put in place for all gun purchases, would it be Extremely Likely, Very Likely, Somewhat Likely or Not Likely At All to prevent those with mental health problems from buying guns and make it harder for law-abiding citizens without mental health problems to buy guns.
In response, 44 percent of people said that they thought it would make it either extremely likely or very likely to prevent the mentally ill from arming themselves, but 42 percent said the same about law-abiding citizens.
“It’s difficult to believe that there isn’t at least some overlap in that group, so how are we to deal with the potential ‘trade off’ in stopping the mentally ill from obtaining weapons if it also impacts those who obey the laws?” writes Matt Vespa on Townhall.com. “Clearly a lot more public education remains to be done.”
The poll is also flawed because it doesn’t address the “ease with which criminals can buy weapons on the black market and our failure to enforce existing laws rather than dreaming up new ones,” Vespa writes. “Perhaps in the future CNN could consider asking something long those lines.”
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Gun control victories in Pacific Northwest signal a changing tide?
Gun control advocates are claiming two recent “victories” in the Pacific Northwest are proof that fighting for gun laws is becoming politically expedient rather than a death knell for elected officials’ aspirations.
In 2014, Washington, voters supported mandatory background checks on private gun sales. This year, Oregon lawmakers approved similar legislation. When gun rights supporters were unable to gather enough signatures to force recall elections for the billís supporters, it became clear that you fight, win and survive battles with the “gun lobby.”
“We are seeing it again and again, that this is actually a winning issue and you can vote to protect the American public and make the American public safe, and your political career will flourish,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, an anti-gun group backed by billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, told the Associated Press.
According to the AP, gun rights supporters scoff at the idea that their political power is eroding. Proposed federal gun control initiatives have stalled and, beyond left-leaning states such as Oregon and Washington, similar proposals elsewhere have gone nowhere.
According to Harry Wilson, a Roanoke University professor who wrote the 2015 book “The Triumph of the Gun Rights Argument,” what is happening in the Pacific Northwest represents nothing more than the status quo.
“What we saw after Sandy Hook, states that tended to have very strict laws made their laws even more strict,” Wilson told the AP. “But states that tended to have lenient laws in many cases made their laws even less strict. States continued on the path that they’ve run.”
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LEARNING NOT TO FEAR
Shooting sports rapidly gain popularity in high schools
Despite the demonization of gun ownership and a hysterical, ignorant bias against offering high school students training in the proper handling and maintenance of firearms, the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) recently reported that the number of students participating in its educational programs has grown from about 6,000 students four years ago to 13,000 now.
Tom Wondrash, national director of the SSSF’s Scholastic Clay Target Program, thinks that the sport is rapid growth in high schools in 42 states is due to its inclusivity and opportunity for participation.
“What separates shooting sports from stick-and-ball sports is that when it’s time for our kids to go to a tournament, all the kids can compete—heavy, thin, tall, short, fast, slow, boy or girl—it doesn’t make them any different,” Wondrash told the Washington Times. “That’s what really lends itself to our sport.”
Competitive shooting has become so popular and accepted in certain communities that some high schools award varsity letters for trapshooting. National organizations like the SSSF help students assemble teams, train coaches to teach athletes how to safely fire a gun and organize competitions and championships for teams.
The USA State High School Clay Target League (CTL), a trapshooting youth organization, also offers youngsters an opportunity to become familiar with firearms. While SSSF encourages community-based organizations in addition to the school-recognized teams, the CTL ensures that all of their teams are incorporated into the schoolís extracurricular offerings.
According to the Washington Times, in the past eight years, the CTL has seen its membership jump from 30 kids to almost 10,000. Some teams have as few as five athletes, and others have more than 80. The teams are coed, and students with physical disabilities are welcome. Teams only compete against other teams of similar sizes.
“It’s the safest high school sport,” John Nelson, the league’s vice president, told the Washington Times. “In 14 years we’ve never had an injury. None whatsoever. We’ve put more than 24,000 students through the program, pulled the trigger more than 12 million times, and never had an injury.”
Considering the main athletic equipment for the sport is a gun, there has not been a lot of backlash to school-sponsored trapshooting from gun control advocates. For example, gun controls in Britain are so strict that its Olympic shooting team had to train for the 2012 London Olympics abroad, and the government had to grant a special waiver for the contest even to take place.
But Ladd Everitt, director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said there’s nothing wrong with shooting clays.
“If a student in high school enjoys that activity, God bless them,” he told the Washington Times “That’s not something that’s of any concern to us. That’s supervised shooting, and that’s the way to do it—with adults in a supervised session.”
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