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Oppose S. 150--the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013" and The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

Senate Judiciary Committee Begins Consideration of Feinstein's "Assault Weapons" Bill

Posted on March 8, 2013

On March 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), began consideration of several bills, including anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein's S. 150--the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013."

The controversial bill has already been met with much resistance.  During debate on the bill, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) pointed out that "Congress and President Clinton tried a so-called assault weapons ban 19 years ago and we have the benefit of hindsight as well as some research to examine the lackluster results of that decade-long experiment.  According to the Department of Justice's own study it was completely ineffectual in reducing murder or violent crime rates."

Cornyn continued, "So, are we really going to pass another law that will have zero effect, and pat ourselves on the back and say 'We've accomplished something wonderful?'  Well, we tried this experiment once and it failed, and I think it promotes symbolism over seriousness to repeat that mistake."

Sen. Cornyn also offered an amendment to exempt all U.S. military personnel and veterans from Feinstein's proposed ban, but the measure was rejected by a 9-9 party-line vote.  During this portion of debate, Feinstein argued that a military veteran could be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (which she bizarrely claimed was a "new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq war"), and suggested that they should therefore be prevented from buying or "having a weapon like this."

Feinstein, herself, was quoted as saying, "I've been very concerned because the calls have been coming in as if this is some kind of wild eyed scheme."  We couldn't agree more.

The committee recessed in the midst of debating the bill and will resume markup of the bill next Thursday, March 14.

Please continue to contact your Senators and tell them to oppose S. 150--the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013."  To identify and contact your legislators in Washington, D.C., you can use the "Write Your Reps" feature at, or you can reach your member of Congress by phone at 202-224-3121.


Almost One-Third of State Sheriffs' Organizations Now Oppose Obama Gun Control

Posted on March 8, 2013

According to a recent Washington Examiner article, a total of 14 sheriffs' associations now oppose President Obama's proposed gun control measures. 

The article notes that sheriffs' associations in South Carolina, California and, most recently, Nevada, have joined the growing group of other state associations in demanding that Obama stop going after law-abiding gun owners and instead focus on improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 

"We have all seen what persons who have mental illness, who are users of illegal controlled substances, or are members of criminal gangs can do with weapons in their hands; any weapons, not just firearms.  As it currently stands, many of these individuals are not entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for a whole variety of reasons.  This must be addressed at the national, state and local levels," said the Nevada sheriffs.

"The sheriffs of the state of Nevada do not believe that the answer to this issue includes making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding individuals. As the old saying goes, 'As guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.' The answer lies within a myriad of approaches including education, addressing violence, keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, criminal gang members, and illegal controlled substance users, as well as prosecuting and incarcerating those who would use firearms to commit crimes."


You Can Help Defeat Proposed U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Posted on March 8, 2013

Just as NRA warned would happen, following last November's presidential election, the Obama administration immediately moved forward with its plans to support a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.  On Wednesday November 7, the U.S. Mission to the U.N. made clear its support for renewed ATT negotiations, casting a vote in favor of a resolution that calls for a "Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty" to be held in New York City from March 18-28.

If signed, the ATT would be a legally binding treaty that would require parties to the treaty to adhere to the treaty's provisions, many of which (as proposed in a month-long meeting last July) are incompatible with our Second Amendment rights.  For the treaty to be ratified it would have to be approved by a two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate.  During the July ATT conference, NRA conducted a successful campaign to stop the treaty.

The latest resolution notes that at the March conference, the last draft from the July conference will be the starting point for new talks.

On November 13, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) introduced his own resolution  strongly urging President Obama not to sign the ATT.

In a November 16 press release, Rep. Kelly said, "There is considerable cause for alarm regarding the UN’s renewed efforts to forge an Arms Trade Treaty that could trample the constitutional rights of Americans, and could seriously compromise our national security and the security of our allies, whom we will be less able to arm and less quick to defend due to the restrictions placed on us by the ATT. My colleagues and I stand committed to fighting this threat to our sovereignty and to standing up for the U.S. Constitution, which we are all sworn to support and defend.”

Rep. Kelly now has an online petition that you can sign to help protect our Second Amendment rights by urging the president to reject the proposed U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. Again, the final ATT conference starts in less than two weeks!   Please take a moment--right now--to sign the petition by clicking here.  It’s time to stand together to defeat the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty!


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Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 14, 2013 at 9:08pm

Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 13, 2013 at 10:44pm

California Gun Confiscation Program to be “National Model”

gun california confiscationCalifornia’s Attorney General Kamala Harris wrote a letter to Joe Biden recommending that California serve as a national model for gun confiscation. “What do we do about the guns that are already in the hands of persons who, by law, are considered too dangerous to possess them?” she wrote. In total, about 20,000 Californians and 200,000 citizens nationwide own guns “illegally.”

Probably no other state tracks firearm sales as closely as California. They’re constantly cross-referencing their gun registry with criminal and mental health records. About 15 to 20 previously “legal” gun owners get added to the criminal or mental health records daily, all of sudden making them criminals for owning a firearm.

If someone was recently admitted to a mental hospital, that revokes that person’s 2nd Amendment rights. If someone had a restraining order placed against him, (whether justified or not) that revokes that person’s 2nd Amendment rights.

California’s Department of Justice has been going around door-to-door and actively participating in gun confiscation. Last year, they seized over 2,000. They also confiscated 117,000 rounds of ammo and 11,000 high-capacity magazines.

John Marsh, one of California DOJ’s supervising agents for the gun confiscation program, lamented that he got called the Antichrist by a resident who was outraged that he was taking people’s guns away. He assured Bloomberg News that they weren’t “contacting anybody who can legally own a gun.”

Yeah, but they’ll be saying that long after they’ve taken everybody’s guns away. They’ll claim that not one “lawful” gun owner had his guns confiscated. It just so happened that all gun owners in some way revoked their own 2nd Amendment rights, making their possession of firearms illegal, warranting gun confiscation.

This is how they’ll take everyone’s guns away supposedly without violating people’s 2nd Amendment rights. They’ll continue to champion the 2nd Amendment while they persist in keeping guns out of the “wrong hands.” They’ll just eventually consider every single non-government civilian as the “wrong hands.”

Lynette Phillips, one Californian whose guns were seized by the California DOJ, recently stayed involuntarily at a mental hospital for 2 days. That was enough for her to show up on their list of “illegal” gun owners and have her and her husband’s 3 guns taken away. She said that the mental health professional blew a situation out of proportion, and she was forced to stay in a mental health facility. That’s entirely plausible. But was she able to state her case to the police before they stole her weapons? Of course not. Once you show up on the list, that’s it.

We already know who Homeland Security deems to be domestic terrorists. Mental health professionals aren’t going to be any different, because they don’t want to “take any chances” of a gun winding up in the hands of someone who might have a politically incorrect opinion. After all, they’ll be held accountable for not turning someone in who ends up committing a crime. So, that’s their incentive for wanting to be overly cautious.

This is why conservatives should not at all be in favor of sanctimonious politicians trying to keep guns out of the “wrong hands” via background checks and mental health records. You and I are the wrong hands.

Part of the solution is for states to enforce penalties for murder, rape and other violent crimes. Murderers and rapists especially should be executed, regardless of whether or not they were “insane” at the time of the crime. And it doesn’t matter what weapon, if any, they used to threaten or kill their victim. The focus should not be on the tools used to commit the crime, but rather the criminal act itself.

The other half of the solution is to encourage all households to own and carry firearms for their protection. Cities and small towns around the country are starting to do this, but it needs to be much more widespread. Gun proliferation among law-abiding citizens is far more effective than a police state in combating crime.

We can’t and shouldn’t depend on the police or mental health professionals for crime prevention. Yes, guns will end up in the hands of criminals, regardless of the laws. But I’d much rather have good people and bad people own guns than just the bad people. Besides, we outnumber the bad guys by far. But that won’t be true for long if California becomes the national model for gun confiscation.

Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 13, 2013 at 10:30pm

VA refuses to follow N.Y. gun law


Mental-health professionals won’t report names of patients

(AP) – The federal Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday its mental health professionals won’t comply with a new gun law in New York that requires reporting the names of patients they believe likely to hurt themselves or others.

That provision is set to take effect Saturday. Several veterans and their advocates warned it would deter many from seeking counseling and medications to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological issues. Veterans fear their rights would be taken away.

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Under the law pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the information would be used by state officials to determine whether someone should give up a gun license or weapon.

VA Spokesman Mark Ballesteros said Monday that federal protections of veterans’ treatment records take precedence. The agency’s lawyers had been studying the New York statute, which passed in January.

“Federal laws safeguarding the confidentiality of veterans’ treatment records do not authorize VA mental-health professionals to comply with this New York State law,” Ballesteros said in a prepared statement. “Under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, federal laws take precedence over conflicting state and local laws.”

Cuomo, addressing reporters Monday, acknowledged limits to the law, which he advocated in part to keep guns away from the mentally ill and avert mass shootings like the killing of 26 children and adults last year in Newtown, Conn.

“Depending on the institution or the organization, they have pre-existing legal parameters,” Cuomo said. “Some organizations just say at the beginning of the day, ‘All communications are confidential,’ period, ‘all information is confidential,’ period. So it’s going to have to be viewed in light of their legal structure in the first place. It’s up to them.”

Paul Rieckhoff, founder of the 200,000-member Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, based in New York City, said New York’s gun law has been a topic among veterans in New York and across the country. He said it would definitely have had a chilling effect on them seeking or continuing treatment because of confidentiality and overcoming the stigma of getting treatment for mental injuries.

“We’re already struggling to get folks to come out and get help,” said Rieckhoff, an Iraq vet, citing just a 52 percent utilization rate at the VA. He said the issue is even more complicated for veterans because they have been trained to use guns, which in some places are an important part of their culture.

Robert Green, a 64-year-old Vietnam combat veteran, who has joined protests in Albany against a state law he also regards as an infringement on his Second Amendment rights, agreed it would have deterred veterans from seeking help. He noted none of the mass shootings involved vets.

He would not say whether he had any issues connected to his service for the same reason he thought others would, explaining, “It could be used against me.”

New York’s law also sets a seven-bullet limit on magazines, tightens the definition of illegal “assault weapons” and requires owners of formerly legal semi-automatic guns to register them.

Derek Coy, a 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran now living in New York, who was in Iraq in 2005-2006 and diagnosed with PTSD in 2009, said he has gotten counseling and medication for symptoms including feeling numb and “crippling anxiety.” He said that it is hard enough for vets to admit they have a problem and get help, and that New York’s law threatened to put up another obstacle.

“I never had feelings to harm anyone else. I have had suicidal ideations,” he said. “I own guns. I like to hunt. … This will deter people from being honest and open.”

At the Mental Health Association of New York State, chief executive Glenn Liebman said the concern is not just veterans who won’t get treatment for fear of the stigma of being listed in the state database or who will hide serious issues from their therapists.

“We think it has been a mistake to equate mental illness and violence. There are so many other predictors that are so much more significant,” Liebman said. “Clearly, with regard to PTSD, the rates are much higher among veterans than the general population. … But there’s so much stigma associated with mental illness in general, and it’s very difficult for veterans to come forward.”

In February, a VA report said that in 2010 about 22 veterans committed suicide each day, at rates higher than the general population and higher still among women vets. That was based on 27,062 suicides by those with U.S. military service among 147,763 suicides total in 21 states.

The VA’s National Center for PTSD said experts think that 11 to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans — the number clicks up to 30 percent among Vietnam veterans — will experience that disorder.

The New York State Psychiatric Association, representing more than 4,000 practicing psychiatrists, said confidentiality is a core guiding principal in medicine, particularly in psychiatry, where patients’ disclosure of thoughts and feelings, including anger, hostility and resentment, is often essential to treatment.

According to the association, psychiatrists already have a duty to notify police when they conclude a patient presents “an imminent risk of harm to self or others,” but the new law contains no such time distinction. Richard Gallo, the group’s lobbyist, said “imminent risk” occurs when a patient reaches “a crisis stage,” and the association has proposed an amendment to say that.

Cuomo said Monday, “The law says it’s totally up to the health provider if they come forward or not; it’s totally up to them.”

However, the statute says mental health professionals, absent laws to the contrary, “shall be required to report, as soon as practicable,” the names of patients who, in their judgment, are “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.” There is an exception when physicians, psychologists, clinical social workers or registered nurses believe reporting will endanger them or increase the danger to potential victims.

Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 13, 2013 at 10:15pm

Sheriff Arming Civilians to Fight Feds! "No Hope Short of Bloodshed"

here is a sheriff in Michigan arming and swearing in civilians in order to fight the Feds. This is where America is heading.

Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 13, 2013 at 10:11pm

ACTION ALERT: Senate Judiciary Passes 'Universal Gun Registration'

Grass Roots North Carolina,  P.O. Box 10665, Raleigh, NC  27605, Fax: 919-573-0354


GRNC Alert 3-12-13

Senate Judiciary Passes 'Universal Gun Registration'

Flawed Bill Passes Committee...

The bad news is that today, the US Senate Judiciary Committee passed Senator Charles Schumer's (D-NY) bill, S. 374, the misnamed "Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013", mandating the "universal background checks" which are gun banner's code words for "universal gun registration."

The good news is that your input to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who was working a "deal" with Schumer which would have won Republican support, made him back away from the bill. As a consequence, the vote was 10-8 along party lines, with all Republicans voting against the bill.

But how bad is the bill? Let's look at its language:

  • If you left town for more than 7 days, and left your gay partner, or unrelated roommate at home with the guns, you’d be committing a felony. This should be called the “denying gun rights to gays act.” Remember that the federal government does not recognize gay marriage, even if your state does, thanks to DOMA. 5 years in prison.

  • Actually, even married couples are questionably legal, because the exemption between family only applies to gifts, not to temporary transfers. The 7 day implication is if you leave your spouse at home for more than 7 days, it’s an unlawful transfer, and you’re a 5 year felon. I suppose you could gift them to your spouse, or related co-habitant, and then have them gift them back when you arrive back home. Maybe the Attorney General will decide to create a form for that.

  • It would be illegal to lend a gun to a friend to take shooting. That would be a transfer. 5 years in federal prison.

  • Steals the livelihood of gun dealers by setting a fixed fee to conduct transfers. The fee is fixed by the Attorney General. What’s to prevent him from setting it at $1000?

  • Enacts defacto universal gun registration, because of record keeping requirements.

  • All lost and stolen guns must be reported to the federal and local government. This means everyone will have to fill out the theft/loss form, and not just FFLs. You only have 24 hours to comply. If you lose a gun on a hunting trip deep in the woods, and can’t get back home to fill out the form in 24 hours, you’re a felon and will spend 5 years in federal prison.

  • Want to lend a gun to a friend to go hunting? It’s a 5 year in prison felony.

  • No exception for state permits. All transfers must go through a dealer or 5 years in federal prison.

  • Teaching someone to shoot on your own land is a felony, 5 years, if you hand them the gun. Not an exempted transfer.



Next up in the Senate Judiciary Committee: Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) ban on semi-automatic firearms, which reportedly gets a hearing onThursday.

  • Call Harry Reid:
    Now we need you to do something which seems a little perverse: Call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) at (202) 224-3542 and THANK him for sending the bill to the full Senate. When you thank him, tell him it is because his actions will give usthe recorded votes that the 38 organizations of the National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban will use to target any legislator who votes for it. Tell him you will beparticularly interested to see how our own Sen. Kay Hagan will vote. (That would be the same Kay Hagan who says she won't "unnecessarily" infringe on your Second Amendment rights.)

  • Call Mitch McConnell
    Next, contact Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at (202) 224-2541, thank him for not caving, and let him know you expect a filibuster when any and all gun control hits the Senate floor.

  • Call all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and tell them to oppose S. 150, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's ban on semi-automatic firearms which is up for a vote on Thursday.

  • Support GRNC: If you are not a member, please join! If you have already joined, please contribute! If you have already contributed, please recruit friends and relatives! In this desperate battle, we need all available resources! 
    Go to: grnc/contribute


Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT): (202) 224-4242
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): (202) 224-3841
Chuck Schumer (D-NY): (202) 224-6542

Charles Grassley (R-IA): (202) 224-3744
Orrin Hatch (R-UT): (202) 224-5251
Dick Durbin (D-IL): (202) 224-2152
Jeff Sessions (R-AL): (202) 224-4124
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI): (202) 224-2921
Lindsey Graham (R-SC): (202) 224-5972
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN): (202) 224-3244
John Cornyn (R-TX): (202) 224-2934
Al Franken (D-MN): (202) 224-5641
Michael Lee: (R-UT): (202) 224-5444
Christopher A. Coons (D-DE), (202) 224-5042
Ted Cruz (R-TX): (202) 224-5922
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT): (202) 224-2823
Jeff Flake (R-AZ): (202) 224-4521
Mazie Hirono (D-HI): (202) 224-6361


Click the link below to Tweet your message to Sen. Reid:

Dear @SenatorReid, S.374 “Fix Gun Checks Act” will cost jobs. Yours. @SenatorBurr @SenatorHagan #GRNC


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Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 13, 2013 at 10:01pm

It Starts: Gestapo-like raid seizes guns of private individual

- Bill Wilson -

Can you imagine settling in for the evening and hearing an alarming pounding at your door only to find it is a team of black-clad heavily armed Department of Justice police wearing bullet proof vests when you answer. They come into your house, seize your guns and leave--that's the peaceful way it's done. You can imagine alternatives. This is reported by Bloomberg as occurring in Ontario, California on Tuesday March 5. The agents were California Department of Justice and they were confiscating legally purchased firearms from a person who had "lost his right" to own a firearm because of a mental health related two-day stay in the hospital. This California model may become the federal practice.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris told Bloomberg that  California is the only state that tracks and disarms people with legally registered guns who have lost the right to own them. She says there are some 20,000 gun owners in the state who are no longer legal because they are under domestic violence restraining orders, deemed mentally unstable, or are convicted felons. She says that California has one of the most extensive "archive of firearm owners" in America. While none of the conditions that require such disarmament are evidence for a search warrant, agents must talk their way into a residence to look for weapons. They take all the weapons in a house--even those who are not registered to the victim.

In the case above, the person who was disarmed was held involuntarily in a mental hospital as a result of a nurse who had exaggerated the magnitude of her condition. She says that she and her husband are law abiding citizens and both their guns were seized because of the hospital stay. Attorney General Harris has recommended to vice president Joe Biden that California's disarmament program be adopted as a national model. Harris has asked the California legislature to double the number of agents so she can confiscate more than the 2,000 weapons, 117,000 rounds of ammunition, and 11,000 high-capacity magazines that were seized last year.

You see how this works? It starts with gun registration, which sounds very reasonable. Then it steps up to confiscation of those who the government says shouldn't have guns because of various conditions, and that sounds very reasonable. Then it moves to abuse of that concept. Perhaps conservative, pro-life Christians who believe in the 2nd Amendment are deemed as having a "disqualifying event" and their guns seized. In April 2009, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report saying that such Christians were an extremist threat. All of a sudden it is not so reasonable and it is the reason for a police state. You have become the frog in the boiling pot. Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you."  

Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 13, 2013 at 8:25pm

Check Out the Hidden Gun Transfer Junk in Schumer’s Gun Bill

Posted on: March 13th, 2013

Shumer had kept the bogus “background check” bill under wraps, only putting forth a shell bill with no specifics. Well, he applied the text through an amendment at the last minute, before it passed. John Richardson has the details, including the text. I’ve only skimmed the details, but here’s the key problems:

If you left town for more than 7 days, and left your gay partner, or unrelated roommate at home with the guns, you’d be committing a felony. This should be called the “denying gun rights to gays act.” Remember that the federal government does not recognize gay marriage, even if you’re state does, thanks to DOMA. 5 years in prison.
Actually, even married couples are questionably legal, because the exemption between family only applies to gifts, not to temporary transfers. The 7 day implication is if you leave your spouse at home for more than 7 days, it’s an unlawful transfer, and you’re a 5 year felon. I suppose you could gift them to your spouse, or related co-habitant, and then have them gift them back when you arrive back home. Maybe the Attorney General will decide to create a form for that.
It would be illegal to lend a gun to a friend to take shooting. That would be a transfer. 5 years in federal prison.
Steals the livelihood of gun dealers by setting a fixed fee to conduct transfers. The fee is fixed by the Attorney General. What’s to prevent him from setting it at $1000?

Continue reading at

Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 13, 2013 at 6:43pm

Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 12, 2013 at 10:06pm

Race Baiter Alert: R. Simmons – “Black people ain’t got no time for the NRA”

By Clash Daily / 11 March 2013

Colion Noir, a young African American who is conservative and pro-gun, is the National Rifle Association’s newest spokesman, but apparently this has proven too much for rap and entertainment mogul Russell Simmons.

After seeing the NRA’s intro video of Noir’s upcoming NRA News show, Simmons took to Twitter to tell the gun group, “Dear @NRA, we don’t trust you. Sincerely, Black America.”

Simmons then wrote a longer attack at, saying that “black people ain’t got no time” for the NRA.

Music entrepreneur Simmons criticizes the NRA’s hiring of African American Noir and says it is “deeply troubling” that the NRA is encouraging the black community “to pick up guns again and start poppin’.”

Simmons went on to say, “With smokescreens and a barrage of bullets, the NRA is intentionally playing into the fears of a very few people. Very, very few.”

Read more:

Comment by Gordon Ray Kissinger on March 12, 2013 at 10:02pm

Obama staying out of negotiations on gun bills


(AP) – With gun legislation taking shape on Capitol Hill, President Barack Obama has kept a low profile on an issue he has made a critical part of his second-term agenda.

The president has not been highly visible in the debate during the past three weeks as gun bills are being written. He’s been embroiled in a budget battle that has dominated his time and for now is letting Vice President Joe Biden bang the drum for tighter firearms laws.

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White House officials say the president plans to speak out on gun control as the issue moves toward a Senate vote in the coming weeks. But for now, he’s staying out of delicate negotiations among lawmakers. The White House says he will become more vocal if the legislative process hits a roadblock.

Obama called for a gun control vote in his State of the Union address on Feb. 12 and followed up three days later with a speech on shooting violence in his murder-plagued hometown of Chicago. He’s barely mentioned gun control publicly in the time since, other than during a minute of remarks Thursday, shortly after a Senate committee approved a bill to increase gun trafficking penalties. He thanked the senators who supported it and urged other lawmakers to pass it into law.

“I urge Congress to move on other areas that have support of the American people – from requiring universal background checks to getting assault weapons off our streets – because we need to stop the flow of illegal guns to criminals,” Obama said before signing a revitalized Violence Against Women Act. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to resume voting on gun bills Tuesday, including an assault weapons ban and background checks that Obama wants.

Biden, a multi-decade veteran of negotiations over gun laws, has been more vocal in the White House’s gun-control campaign with speeches, interviews and private negotiations.

Biden regularly meets with and calls his former Senate colleagues to talk about guns, including holding a White House meeting last week with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in which they discussed negotiations on background checks that could win support from Republicans. He’s even gotten involved at the state level by calling legislators in places like Colorado that are debating gun legislation. And when Obama convened the first Cabinet meeting of his second term earlier this week, he said he would turn the floor over to Biden to talk about their gun initiatives.

Matt Bennett, spokesman for gun-control proponent Third Way, said it’s good for Obama himself not to get too involved because he’s seen as such a lightning rod on the issue and might stir up more opposition from Republicans. “We don’t want Republican attitudes about him to get in the way of a deal,” Bennett said.

There’s polling to back up that point. When the Pew Research Center asked about Obama’s gun proposals in January, 31 percent felt Obama’s proposals on guns go too far, 13 percent said they didn’t go far enough and 39 percent said they’re about right. But a majority of respondents to an Associated Press-GfK poll around the same time indicated support for his proposals when his name wasn’t attached to them – 84 percent in favor of standard background checks, 55 percent favoring a ban on military-style rapid-fire guns and 51 percent supporting a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines holding 10 or more bullets.

Despite the high public support, all the measures face a tough fight that will require a well-coordinated campaign to pass in a Congress that has a tradition of defending gun ownership rights.

That campaign is being run out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, located next to the White House, where the vice president’s staff meets each week with representatives of gun-control groups around a leather-covered conference table. The administration officials and the advocates share updates on the debate and work with Justice Department attorneys on language they can support in the legislation.

Among those who attend are Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group started by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Third Way, a centrist organization that advocates on many issues including gun control; the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, named after the White House press secretary seriously wounded in the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981; and Americans for Responsible Solutions, recently started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband, Mark Kelly.

Mark Glaze, a lobbyist for the mayors’ group, said the White House is doing something right – whether it’s by keeping Biden at the forefront or by Obama hanging back. “Whatever they are doing or not doing is working,” Glaze said. He pointed to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month that found 61 percent of respondents believe laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter, up from 56 percent the month before amid the more immediate wake of the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 students and six workers.

That’s encouraging news for the White House, where Obama acknowledged in the days after the shooting that public outrage over the deaths could fade. “I would hope that our memories aren’t so short that what we saw in Newtown isn’t lingering with us, that we don’t remain passionate about it only a month later,” Obama said at the time. He had given Biden a month’s deadline to recommend steps to reduce gun violence. “I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this,” Obama said then.

Biden seemed like a natural pick to lead the White House effort since as a senator, he authored a crime bill that included an assault weapons ban that became law and lasted a decade. This time, both sides in the gun debate say an assault weapons ban is unlikely to get past Congress. They agree that the trafficking and background check provisions have better chances of becoming law.

Still, Obama pushed Congress in his State of the Union address to take all the measures up. “Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote,” Obama said.

The remark could be seen as an acknowledgement that the measures may not pass – he was asking lawmakers to vote, not to pass everything. But White House officials have said Obama wants to increase pressure to stop opponents of gun control from keeping the legislation tied up without a vote, a common Senate practice that can bring effective death to legislation.

Forcing a vote on an assault weapons ban that isn’t likely to pass also could give political cover to some moderate Democrats to vote for background checks and trafficking bills. Then those senators can tell gun owners back home that even though they supported background checks or anti-trafficking bills, they didn’t support anything that would take away a single gun from law-abiding citizens.






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...let them BE !

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"The Fox, Golden Gate and Mohammed's Daughter"



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