Gun Owners Speak

Dec 23

“Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a strong ally of the National Rifle Association and its legislative priorities, told CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday that she could support tighter regulations of high-capacity magazines in the aftermath of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
“You know, I think we ought to be looking at where the real danger is, like those large clips, I think that does need to be looked at,” Hutchison, who is retiring from the Senate, said. She added, “it’s the semi-automatics and those large magazines that can be fired off very quickly. You do have to pull the trigger each time, but it’s very quick.”” —

Dec 21

“Rep. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico loves to hunt, has opposed an assault weapons ban and proudly touts his support of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
But on Monday, the former Albuquerque city councilor and father of two young boys said last week’s shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn., left him “deeply affected” and willing to consider “sensible policy” to keep guns away from criminals and the mentally ill as long as it doesn’t infringe on lawful gun owners’ rights.
“It’s no secret that I have always believed that law-abiding citizens should be able to own firearms for both sport and self-defense,” said Heinrich, who won election to the U.S. Senate in November and will be sworn into the upper chamber next month. “Like many law-abiding New Mexicans, I own guns for those very purposes. But I don’t need a 25-round clip for effective home defense, and I sure don’t need one for hunting. That’s just too much killing power. It defies common sense.”” —

I’m a gun owner, and this #NRA idea of an armed person in each school is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

— Drew Carey (@DrewFromTV) December 21, 2012

Dec 19

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Minnesota Democrat endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), said he is rethinking his opposition to a ban on assault weapons.

"I feel like I’ve got feet firmly in different camps," he said in an interview Tuesday. "Between the right of gun ownership and public safety."

Walz said that while he remains a “proud” defender of gun rights, he believes the gun lobby and other Second Amendment advocates are ready to show more flexibility as the nation searches for ways to prevent tragedies like the one in Connecticut on Friday.
Walz was one of 65 Democrats in the U.S. House who signed a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009 opposing any prospective moves by the Obama administration to ban assault or military-style weapons.

But he said the Connecticut school massacre has shifted the ground both in public opinion and in Congress.

"I would like to think you’re always evolving," he said. "It would be inhuman to not think you’re not touched by these things."

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On Tuesday’s NewsHour, Gwen Ifill talked to Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, who has earned an “A” rating from the NRA, about his thoughts on the assault weapons ban and gun control since Friday’s massacre.

Warner said his college-age daughters asked him what he could do, and he realized that “enough is enough.”

Warner said the NRA should be a voice in the conversation and should “reassure that nobody is going to be out trying to say we need to take away your shotgun or take away the kind of components that are part of American culture in terms of the right to hunt, the right to enjoy the outdoors with firearms.”

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Congressional gun rights supporters showed an increased willingness Tuesday to consider new legislation to control firearms in the aftermath of the Connecticut school shootings — provided it also addresses mental health issues and the impact of violent video games.
A former co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., and 10-term House Republican Jack Kingston — a Georgia lawmaker elected with strong National Rifle Association backing — were the latest to join the call to consider gun control as part of a comprehensive, anti-violence effort next year.

Among members of Congress, Thompson, the former Sportsmen’s Caucus co-chairman, was named to lead a Democratic task force on gun violence. He’s a hunter, a wounded Vietnam veteran and a conservative Democrat.

"The only experience I’ve had with assault weapons was the one that I was trained with when I was in the Army," Kingston said. "I know that this is not a war on guns. Gun owners and hunters across this country have every right to own legitimate guns for legitimate purposes and … we are not going to take law-abiding citizens’ guns away from them."

” —

Dec 18

“In Washington, a trio of new senators—all elected with National Rifle Association backing—said they were willing to discuss tightening gun laws. The White House also gave a stronger signal of President Obama’s support for reinstating a ban on assault weapons.” —

Jim Boeheim, in the spotlight after his 900th coaching victory, chose to use the moment to speak out on the issue of gun control in America. […] “If we in this country as Americans cannot get the people that represent us to do something about firearms, we are a sad, sad society,” he said.

At 68, Boeheim is only the third Division I men’s coach to reach 900 wins. He has four children and says he enjoys hunting, but remains upset after the deaths of 20 children and six adults at the school Friday.

“If one person in this world; the NRA president, anybody, can tell me why we need assault weapons with 30 shots in the thing…” he said. “This is our fault. This is my fault and your fault. All of your faults if we don’t get out and do something about this.”

” —

Jack Kingston, 100% NRA Rating

Interesting. Rep. Kingston (R-GA) on @msnbc just now: “Yes, put more gun control on the table, but don’t forget the mental health element.”

— Mike O’Brien (@mpoindc) December 18, 2012

Dec 17

Reid’s statement that he’s open to a debate on gun control is significant — not only because he has the power to schedule debate on legislation but also since he’s long been allied with the NRA. In his 2010 race, he went to lengths to project himself as a fierce defender of gun rights and the Second Amendment. The NRA stayed out of his race against Sharron Angle, a courtesy it did not afford other Democrats who were pummeled by the gun lobby’s attacks.

After Reid earmarked $61 million for the 2,900-acre Clark County Shooting Park in Nevada, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre called the majority leader “a true champion” of the Second Amendment. Reid also sent a mailer to voters and ran radio ads proclaiming his “lifelong love of guns” and pointing out how he started using his first rifle when he was 12 years old.

Reid’s campaign often pointed to a letter the NRA sent to its members, thanking him for opposing a renewal of the assault weapons ban. After he was the subject of an attempted car bombing as head of the Nevada Gaming Commission, Reid has said carrying a gun with him became a “habit.”

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LaPierre talks of gun confiscation being just around the corner, when he knows no such thing would ever happen in the United States. The irredeemably violent make good customers too, don’t you know? So whether the NRA is working to restore gun rights to violent felons [4], protect the ability of terrorists, drug kingpins and serial domestic abusers to purchase high-capacity clips at gun shows, or fighting for military style weapons to be available to the Jared Loughners, John Patrick Bedells and James Holmes’ of the world, you can bet that whatever comes out of LaPierre’s mouth, his only interest is protecting the real clients of today’s NRA: arms dealers [5].

This is made crystal-clear by the fact that the NRA’s own membership, many of whom joined only because of an outdated understanding of what the leadership of this organization actually stands for, agree with most Americans that our gun laws should protect our families, and not the financial interests of a clique of craven elites.

” —

Reid, Manchin, Warner: All endorsed by NRA, all now hinting at gun control. Wayne LaPierre is the new Norquist

— daveweigel (@daveweigel) December 17, 2012


Ronald Reagan supported common sense gun reform.


Ronald Reagan supported common sense gun reform.

(via gunswmd-deactivated20130407)

Too often — especially during an election year — hunters and N.R.A. members are lumped together as one and the same.

I’m a hunter and a sportswoman. I own guns, but not for self-defense. I support gun control laws. I would happily vote to repeal the Stand Your Ground law in my home state of Oregon. In other words, the N.R.A. does not represent me.

Among gun owners, I’m hardly alone. The N.R.A. has just over four million members. That sounds like a lot until you consider that about one in five American adults own one or more guns. That’s nearly 50 million people. That means roughly 90 percent of gun owners do not belong to the N.R.A.

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“The old NRA also promoted gun control. In the 1920s, NRA leaders helped draft the Uniform Firearms Act — model legislation for states to adopt that established new, restrictive rules on carrying firearms in public. Karl Frederick, the NRA’s president, said at the time, “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons… I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” The Uniform Firearms Act only awarded licenses to “suitable” persons with a “proper reason” for carrying and created a waiting period before a newly purchased handgun could be delivered to the purchaser. Today’s NRA, by contrast, fights to eliminate these very same requirements.” —