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Mon Dec 17, 2012, 10:19 AM

When Democrats won on guns

Gun control advocates want to replicate their biggest ever victory over the NRA. Will the president lead the fight?

BY STEVE KORNACKI


Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who has been at forefront of the debate over gun access for two decades, said on Sunday that she’ll introduce legislation to revive the federal assault weapons ban when the new Congress convenes in January. She also said that she expects President Obama, who vowed at Sunday night’s memorial service in Newtown, Connecticut to ““use whatever power this office holds” to prevent future tragedies, to join the fight. But even though there are hints that the political climate on guns really is shifting, the odds of Feinstein’s bill becoming law still aren’t that good.

To understand what Feinstein and other gun control advocates are up against, it’s worth recapping the history of the assault weapons ban, which was first enacted in 1994 and expired without congressional action in 2004. Since then, there has been intermittent talk of trying to bring it back, generally in the wake of mass shootings like the one in Connecticut last Friday. But in the eight years since it lapsed, neither the House nor the Senate has ever voted on restoring the ban, and even though President Obama says he supports doing so, he’s not made it a legislative priority.

The original ban grew out of widespread public anxiety about the soaring violent crime rates of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The issue of crime consistently ranked as a top voter priority in elections and the national Democratic Party – along with a scattering of individual Republicans – aggressively advertised its support for gun control initiatives. When Bill Clinton came to power in 1993, he enjoyed large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, which put the party in position to finally deliver.

First up was the Brady Bill, named after Ronald Reagan’s first press secretary, Jim Brady, who was paralyzed during the attempted assassination of Reagan in 1981. The bill, which called for a five-day waiting period and mandatory background check for handgun purchases, had languished for years, but in November ’93 it made it to Clinton’s desk and was signed into law.

-snip-

http://www.salon.com/2012/12/17/when_democrats_won_on_guns/

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 10:25 AM

1. 1994 turned out to be not such a good year for Democrats. nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 10:26 AM

2. Yes, all that "victory" cost us was 54 seats in the house.

No big deal! Full speed ahead!

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Response to Indydem (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 01:20 PM

3. Exactly.

Supporting gun control only costs us come election time, as it did in both '94 and again in '00. It's a losing issue that will end up costing us EVERYTHING.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 02:03 PM

4. Feel Good, Do NOTHING legislation...

 

If you're going to do something make it thoughtful and substantial.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 02:16 PM

5. How in Hades can you say this was a win for Democrats?

 

It cost us the Senate, the House, and it sunset after 10 years because not even Dems were willing to sacrifice themselves for a do nothing law.
It also didn't reduce crime one iota and it didn't ban anything. All it did was ban cosmetic features on firearms.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:05 PM

6. Gun vote as a deciding factor is a 2ndA mythology myth

Supporting gun control only costs us come election time, as it did in both '94 and again in '00. It's a losing issue that will end up costing us EVERYTHING.

That's a myth, that guncontrol efforts swing enough gun owners to vote republican. Those who oppose guncontrol will vote republican no matter what. To dems, gun control rarely induces them to vote republican. Independents are more volatile but would split to both sides, guncontrol & progun.

There are other factions that determine elections, you can't just say when repubs win, it was the gun vote - correlation does not prove causation. Latin americans, minorities generally support guncontrol but we can't attribute 'guncontrol' as the deciding factor in election 2012. Nor was it in 1994.
Tho the nra always speciously claims credit when repubs win, and always gives guns credit, when it's rarely really due.
It's just another chapter in the 2nd Amendment Mythology Bible, their armed fantasy doctrine where more guns means less crime, an armed society is a polite society, guns don't kill but people do.

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Response to jimmy the one (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:46 PM

9. That's not entirely true

Many of these gun freaks are hicks who otherwise wouldn't bother to haul their drunk asses out of their lawn chairs to go vote. To them, the Republicans are "just as bad as the Democrats." BUT, they will go out and vote IN FORCE when anti-gun legislation is being considered and in their simple minds are convinced that some federal gov't agent is going to break down their trailer's door in the middle of the night and take their guns.

Countless Democrats who represented rural districts lost their seats in '94 because they voted for the assault weapons ban. In 2000, the gun issue cost us precious votes in Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, and West Virginia.
Just look at the disasterous consequences our country experienced because we lost those elections.

"You are the reason Al Gore isn't in the White House!" -- NRA Executive President Wayne LaPierre, in a speech to NRA members (2002 NRA Conference)

He wasn't lying.

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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:35 AM

10. other reasons for gore's loss other than gunnuts

Countless Democrats who represented rural districts lost their seats in '94 because they voted for the assault weapons ban. In 2000, the gun issue cost us precious votes in Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, and West Virginia.

No, this is pro gun mythology, it isn't true, except for negligible application.
Firstly you shouldn't use the word 'countless' when speaking of a few hundred lost seats.
Secondly, in 2000, al gore was victimized by clinton's recent improprieties with monica lewinsky, which cost him enough votes to lose the election (al gore even said this, more or less, and animosity developed between al & bill, & ted & alice).
Thirdly, in 1994 bill clinton's approval rating wasn't that high, around 40 percentile iirc, so he wasn't that much in favor as he later would be, with the surplus & dotcom boom. 1994 Voters reacted in recoil thinking that they'd made a mistake by electing him & switched about.

"You are the reason Al Gore isn't in the White House!" -- NRA Executive President Wayne LaPierre, in a speech to NRA members (2002 NRA Conference)
He wasn't lying.


It can't be proven one way or the other whether he was lying, but when something comes out of lapierre's mouth it generally is what should be coming out his butt. Giving this rightwing cretin any credibility is beneath you bluedem, hate to say it since I don't know you that well (don't take it personally you know? sincerely).
.. but that's what the nra is, progun rhetoric bravado hyperbole mixed with misrepresentation & one sided half truths.
.. his sentence 'you are the reason al gore isn't in the white house' could be applied as well to christian bloc, pro lifers, white people, the south, florida, and sadly, bill clinton due monica.
.. All lapierre did at the nra convention was give his fellow gunnuts a convention orgasm, which is what conmen do very well.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:33 PM

7. You can't be scared politically if you are doing something right for the country.

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Response to Filibuster Harry (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:39 PM

8. Especially when recent polls show that said country is behind you...

Go, DiFi!!

Glad to see that even Joe Manchin is on board.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:20 AM

11. The 1st AWB was the greatest gift the NRA ever got

their membership and bank account grew and it turned them into the political juggernaut we see today.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 05:02 PM

12. They already were political juggernauts, but yeah the assault weapons ban made them even stronger

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