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Over the weekend, Media Matters reported on the revival of the notion that the assault weapons ban cost Democrats in 1994 and will do so again. This particular mythology has taken hold here as well. It's unusual to be put in the position of mythbusting Bill Clinton, but as I saw when reading some of his book, even his version of the 1994 elections isn't as simple as gun enthusiasts make it out to be.

As for myself, I'm under no illusion that banning assault weapons will solve the nation's problems with gun violence by itself. As the President himself put it, however,

Because while there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there is even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try.

So, this is the myth, put simply. It's a shame to find it here so prominently, but I would be remiss in not mentioning it.

Moderate or extreme, we hold one common belief: more gun control equals lost elections. We don't want a repeat of 1994.
Likewise, Media Matters reports that this myth has been resurrected. For example: here in Arizona...
Brooks, who died Dec. 4, lost his House seat in the 1994 election as part of a backlash to the assault-weapons ban that is believed to have contributed to that year’s “Republican Revolution.”

Other political casualties included one-term Rep. Karan English, D-Ariz., whose vote for the ban likely was a factor in her loss to GOP challenger J.D. Hayworth. English’s district included part of rural Arizona, where many voters cherish gun rights.

...from McClatchy Newspapers...
Even Democrats have shied away from gun control since the 1990s – particularly after losing so many seats in the 1994 elections – when they realized it was working against them in marginal states. That’s why the shift among some now is so remarkable.
...from Politico...
And Clinton said that passing the 1994 federal assault weapons ban “devastated” more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers in the 1994 midterms — and cost then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley (D-Wash.) his job and his seat in Congress.
...and from the Detroit Free Press. This seems like a bit of overkill, but there is a point to it.
Never far from such Democrats' minds is what happened in 1994, when the party suffered widespread election losses after backing President Bill Clinton's crime bill featuring a ban on assault weapons. Clinton and others credited the NRA's campaigning with a big role in those Democrats' defeats. And when the assault weapons ban came up for congressional renewal in 2004, it failed.
This last article also mentions that "To succeed will require overturning two decades of conventional wisdom that gun control is bad politics." But that's the thing about conventional wisdom. Because it's generally accepted, does that make it true? Likewise for Bill Clinton; to cite him is an argument from authority, reasonably considered a good one where politics is concerned. But what has he said about this, and are his opinions supported?

Studying this issue meant looking at this "Republican Revolution". What I found was interesting, although it did not fit into the conventional wisdom that the assault weapons ban single-handedly devastated the Democratic party, to the point that we must never do anything like that again.

Large Republican gains were made in state houses as well when the GOP picked up twelve gubernatorial seats and 472 legislative seats. In so doing, it took control of 20 state legislatures from the Democrats. Prior to this, Republicans had not held the majority of governorships since 1972. In addition, this was the first time in 50 years that the GOP controlled a majority of state legislatures.

Discontent against the Democrats was foreshadowed by a string of elections after 1992, including the capture of the mayoralties of New York and Los Angeles by the Republicans in 1993. In that same year, Christine Todd Whitman captured the New Jersey governorship from the Democrats and Bret Schundler became the first Republican mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey that had been held by the Democratic Party since 1917.

This story reminds me of 2010, no gun control to blame then! But if there was growing discontent against the Democrats dating back to 1993, this casts doubt on the AWB having sole responsibility. Likewise, the Wiki article on the 1994 election itself cites a number of issues contributing to the Democrats' losses.
The Democratic Party had run the House for all but four of the preceding 62 years. The Republican Party, united behind Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, which promised floor votes on various popular and institutional reforms, was able to capitalize on the perception that the House leadership was corrupt, as well as the dissatisfaction of conservative and many independent voters with President Clinton's actions (including a failed attempt at universal health care and gun control measures).
As for Bill Clinton, since he is frequently cited by gun enthusiasts in support of the status quo, I have spent some time looking into his book, My Life, where he wrote about what happened in 1994. I pulled some quotes from the book a couple of weeks ago while debating the subject here.
Ironically, I had hurt the Democrats by both my victories and my defeats. The loss of healthcare and the passage of NAFTA demoralized many of our base voters and depressed our turnout. The victories on the economic plan with its tax increases on high-income Americans, the Brady bill, and the assault weapons ban inflamed the Republican base voters and increased their turnout. The turnout differential alone probably accounted for half of our losses, and contributed to a Republican gain of eleven governorships.
But to hear this story nowadays, it's all about the guns. None of the mythologists quoted above make any mention of anything else but the assault weapons ban. It's as if this one piece of legislation was created in a vacuum and "devastated" (as Politico puts it in quotes) the Democratic party all by itself. That is the story being peddled -- the myth. And even Bill Clinton exhibits more nuance, when he's not being selectively quoted.
After the election I had to face the fact that the law-enforcement groups and other supporters of responsible gun legislation, though they represented the majority of Americans, simply could not protect their friends in Congress from the NRA. The gun lobby outspent, outorganized, outfought, and outdemagogued them.
Bill Clinton's book has some warnings for us, that we would be well advised to heed. Not necessarily the myth blanketing the news media, but to expect a fight. Both before, and especially after passing any new law. Even the Politico article can be useful in this regard.
“I’ve had many sleepless nights in the many years since,” Clinton said. One reason? “I never had any sessions with the House members who were vulnerable,” he explained — saying that he had assumed they already knew how to explain their vote for the ban to their constituents.
These are lessons that the President and gun control advocates seem to have learned. I don't see Obama taking this for granted. I see him instead targeting the NRA for the enemy that it is. I see his supporters lining up more than voices and faces, but cash. Groups lining up to counter the influence of the NRA, which is already issuing talking points to its advocates in cable TV.
The National Rifle Association is using six cable TV shows its produces or sponsors to convey its talking points to viewers in more than 30 million homes, Reuters reported.

The shows, which air on the Outdoor and Sportsman channels, have ramped up their pro-NRA rhetoric as President Barack Obama has pushed for gun control. Last week he signed an executive order aimed at curbing gun violence.

The NRA deserves this attention, not necessarily because it has a proven track record of delivering election wins through spending its own money -- it doesn't... (see arrow below, pointing at the teeny tiny little bitty smidgen of win from all that NRA money)
...but because of this particular mythology, and the fear of the NRA it has instilled in the Democratic party, and because the media just laps up this conventional wisdom and repeats it so willingly.

But after all that's been said, that there are lessons to learn and preparations to make and actual data on the NRA's influence to consider -- has anyone looked back at 1994 with any more substantive analysis than Bill Clinton's reminiscing? For that, Media Matters cited an article from US News.

The truth, political scientists say, is that it can be attributed to a combination of factors, and the "assault weapons" ban was just one of several controversial votes that led to the loss.

With Democrats in charge of the House, Senate and White House, the 103rd Congress tackled a long, progressive wish list. The White House pressured legislators to take on healthcare reform (unsuccessfully), pass the North American Free Trade Agreement and raise taxes through a deficit reduction act, which was fraught with political land mines for congressional Democrats. None of the policies helped earn legislators points back home among their more conservative constituents.

"The vote for gun control mattered, but the vote for the tax increase and healthcare were more important," says Gary Jacobson, who has done a statistical analysis of what votes affected the outcome of the 1994 election.

Curiously, this seems to fit the narrative actually found in Clinton's book, as opposed to the selective quotation therefrom. Media Matters takes a bit more bandwidth to put this myth to bed, by the use of data and analysis as opposed to conventional wisdom.
According to Jacobson's analysis, the 1994 election results were largely due to a political realignment, with voters no longer splitting their tickets and instead voting for Republican congressional challengers in districts in which President Clinton had lost in 1992."Republicans won the House in 1994," Jacobson wrote, "because an unusually large number of districts voted locally as they had been voting nationally."

Indeed, as American Prospect contributing editor (and former Media Matters staffer) Paul Waldman has noted, an analysis of the impact of NRA endorsements during the 1994 election found that Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents received a 2-point boost from the endorsement; no other NRA endorsees received a benefit. Waldman points out that since only 9 NRA-endorsed challengers won by four points or fewer, "even if we were to attribute every last one of those nine victories to the NRA and assume that without the organization each race would have gone Democratic - an extremely generous assumption - the Republicans would still have gained 45 seats and won control of the House."

I don't expect that this analysis will stop the media from more breathless reportage on the dangers of passing gun control legislation. I don't even expect it to stop here. But this mythology lacks evidential support. And the vaunted authority, Bill Clinton, can tell us a lot about how to prepare for the NRA onslaught, how to beat it. We can do better than we did in 1994. History -- even this biased, gun enthusiasts' spin on history -- need not be repeated.

Originally posted to The Tytalan Way on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:32 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

    by tytalus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:32:11 AM PST

  •  I don't think they were ever as (4+ / 0-)

    influential as they claimed.


    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:46:32 AM PST

    •  Good article (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, Smoh, SilentBrook

      That's a nice analysis of their endorsements. Part of countering the NRA can be busting the mythology of their influence. What I'm trying to do here, of course. As long as we still gear up for a fight.

      “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

      by tytalus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:50:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rec'd (5+ / 0-)

    I will at least credit Bill Clinton for not pushing the classic form of this myth (that the whole 1994 blowout was about the AWB) - as it said in the politico piece:

    And Clinton said that passing the 1994 federal assault weapons ban “devastated” more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers in the 1994 midterms — and cost then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley (D-Wash.) his job and his seat in Congress.
    Dems lost over 50 seats in 1994, so to say 12 or 13 of them could possibly have been won if not for the AWB, well that's at least a little more plausible.

    The part that makes it all hard to accept for me is that gun control was much more popular in the early 90s.  It's as likely to me that failure to do the AWB would have hurt Democrats among those who wanted the AWB too.

    Anyway, obviously 1994 was about a lot of things, and if you want to believe Dems could have held on to the majority by the skin of their teeth without the AWB, fine, but it's still disingenuous to say the AWB cost Democrats congress in 1994.  You'd need an explanation for the other 40 seats lost that weren't in pro-gun places.

    •  If I say this, maybe the local folks who believe (3+ / 0-)

      it won't have to be bothered. The 2013 version is that there have been 4 million recent gun background checks, all 4 million were first time gun purchasers, all bought becoming even more ardent RKBA supporters (single issue voters, really), and that all are/were Dems. "Were", of course, if the left dares lift a finger on the issue. And those 4 million lost Dem votes are just the tip of the iceberg because, like, a very large percentage of gun owners are rural current Dems who are also monolithically single issue voters. Projected net loss could easily be upwards of 20,000,000 votes, especially since (presumablY) nothing else that Pres. Obama will do now will, sadly, even possibly energize anyone on the left, let alone any new voters.

      Basically, we're doomed. So sorry!

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:07:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey there :) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose, meagert

        I have been watching all of my hard work at bringing my lot of former dems turned conservs back from the dark side. To get them to trust once again took years, only to watch them flee for the shade when this came up is to say the least frustrating.

        Most of them will agree the old assault weapons ban did not end the world. The problem has not been Obamas proposal but those who would go farther than that. Contrary to popular belief rednecks can read and have computers too.

        This is just one little area but one that delivered alot of votes for our newly minted Washington State governer. Such areas probably win him the election.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:41:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The premise, then is that the state that just (0+ / 0-)

          legalized pot likes to light one up so that they can all go out and light up the night sky with tracer rounds?

          That one seems like a bit of a tough sell to me.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 05:23:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  according to the mother jones article (0+ / 0-)

      the dem losses were 54 seats in congress

      GOP took control of the house for the first time in 40 years

      clinton is personally of the opinion that the AWB is directly responsible for losing 20 of those seats.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:50:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  paul waldman (5+ / 0-)
    One study directly examined the effect of the NRA in that election. This research, by Christopher Kenny, Michael McBurnett, and David Bordua, examined NRA endorsements and election results in 1994 and 1996, and did find an impact of those endorsements – but determined that that impact was limited and highly conditional. Their results showed that an NRA endorsement helped Republican challengers to a small degree in 1994, but had almost no impact for Democrats who were endorsed, Republican incumbents who were endorsed, or any kind of candidate in 1996. These results, as well as the magnitude of the effect they found – about a 2-point boost for Republican challengers, but nothing for anyone else – were almost exactly what I found in my analysis of the 2004-2010 congressional elections.

    As I explained in that analysis, there were few races in the last four congressional elections where such a boost from an NRA endorsement would have made a difference – only four races, in fact, out of the 1,038 times the NRA endorsed House candidates. In 1994, however, there were an unusual number of close races, and 12 Republican challengers won by a margin of 4 points or less. Of those, nine were endorsed by the NRA. The GOP needed a net gain of 41 seats to take control of the House, and their actual net gain on election night was 54 seats. So even if we were to attribute every last one of those nine victories to the NRA and assume that without the organization each race would have gone Democratic – an extremely generous assumption – the Republicans would still have gained 45 seats and won control of the House.

    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:57:42 AM PST

  •  The issue is also not entirely political. (7+ / 0-)

    There is a moral imperative at work here.  Same as in 1994.  Difficult votes on difficult issues always have political consequences.  This doesn't mean they shouldn't be taken.  Fortunately, this time, we can look back to the 1994 fiasco and learn to mitigate some of the damage, as the diarist points out so well.

    "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

    by TheFern on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:59:00 AM PST

  •  I've held that it's not so much the actual (0+ / 0-)

    language of legislation that is potentially damaging, but the way they go about it and how it can adversely affect perception of the entire brand.

    The idea of "they gonna take mah gunz" is easily transferred to the perception of government overreach and reinforces right-wing memes whether deserved or not.

    This administration did a piss-poor messaging campaign on health-care and allowed the right to crapify it up because they ran through the gaps unanswered and controlled the narrative.  I think we were extraordinarily lucky with that one, and have reservations about an issue that is more tangible for many.

    I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.…We're better than this. We must do better. Cmdr Scott Kelley

    by wretchedhive on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:11:28 AM PST

  •  Gun owners are the largest block of single (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankRose

    issue voters, and many are Dems. New gun control legislation needs to be done with care so that we don't lose the gun owning Dems in the South, Southwest or Rocky Mountain West.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:21:57 AM PST

    •  Curious (3+ / 0-)

      That may be, but I can't find any support for it, and when I do look up single issue voting, what I find are articles about abortion. I agree that we need to be careful and to count on resistance from the NRA, they need to be countered with words and with money.

      “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

      by tytalus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:32:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "pro-life" single issue voters make the same claim (4+ / 0-)

      ...that they are the largest block of single issue voters. Lobbyists representing several different constituencies probably use that line on politicians frequently. It's a point to weigh, for true, tho' it's also a point that can be easily overweighted.

      Cheers.

      •  That may be true, but 'pro-life' single issue (0+ / 0-)

        voters are largely mitigated by pro-choise single issue voters.
        There really isn't a pro-gun control voting block..virtually every single person whom bases their vote on the issue of gun control is against it.

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:54:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is not a simple issue (4+ / 0-)

    I suspect you will lose some votes and you will gain some votes by passing gun control legislation.

    Are the single issue anti-gun-control voters more or less likely to be in swing districts? An awful lot of them may well be in rural Republican districts already. Some of the people on the other side who might be swayed into the Dem column (say, suburban moderate women) by passage of legislation might be more likely to be in competitive districts. I don't think we can be certain right now that it would only go one direction. Current polling would suggest otherwise.

    •  That's a much more reasonable position (3+ / 0-)

      one supported by the facts, too, that we might lose some votes. It suggests caution and preparation, so I advocate that, not some reverse myth that it'll all be fine. Realistically we are in for a fight, but not a disaster. Fights we can win.

      “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

      by tytalus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:45:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Assault weapons are not exactly a red herring, but (4+ / 0-)

    if there is any one class of weapons the elimination of which would do the most to reduce gun violence it would be handguns. The attention being paid to assault weapons seems to be obscuring that.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:42:21 AM PST

    •  I agree with this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tytalus, billmosby, Glen The Plumber

      We need to look more broadly rather than dealing just with assault weapons and be done with it.

    •  I understand... (3+ / 0-)

      and that's why I quoted Obama at the top of this diary. It has the appearance of being a big fight over a small thing, although anyone touched by the rash of mass shootings courtesy of assault weapons might have a different opinion.

      Whatever we end up doing, handguns aren't going to end up banned. I might like to see that, eventually, but it's not going to be this year. Even if the NRA claims as much to drum up money and support. The universal background check is a measure that could affect gun violence via handguns.

      “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

      by tytalus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:49:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amen (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billmosby, Glen The Plumber, jung123

      "if there is any one class of weapons the elimination of which would do the most to reduce gun violence it would be handguns. The attention being paid to assault weapons seems to be obscuring that."

      Amen.

      We're going to have a big drawn out fight on an issue that just won't make a difference.  That is not reality-based.  IF we're going to have the fight, have it on the REAL issues, not whether one group of guns look dangerous while ignoring another group of guns that don't look, but are, just as dangerous.

  •  In the state of Washington (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jung123, FrankRose, meagert

    it was the last straw. In 1994 We were still  dealing with a 40% unemployment rate in some parts Rural Washington due to Bill Clintons decision to allow the export of raw logs that had previously cut here in our sawmills. Speaker of the house Tom Foley did nothing.

    On this issue we had gotten a "Trust us things will be alot better this way" from both Bill Clinton and Tom Foley they lied. This was followed by a lot of "Stupid redneck" style bashing by environmentalists while people with no hope were committing suicide so their families could have their life insurance.

    Many who hadn't hunted since they were kids had to take it up again simply because they needed to try to make ends meet on a quarter of what they had once made.

    Then he got on board with the assualt weapons ban against his districts express wishes. He became the lightening rod for our anger.

    Now we are hyper sensitive to anyone who goes against the wishes of the district that votes them in.

    The gun debate has torn open some really bad wounds here. My neighbors are fleeing for the far right once again. These same people were fledgling democrats in November. It will not matter what is said and what the policy is they will not trust it. They have been lied to one to many times and the democrats are no longer credible in their eyes.

    I am just thankful our governer is newly elected and has 4 years for this to die down.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:46:09 AM PST

  •  Politics is won by votes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ancblu

    Gun control, by virtually anybody's metric, losses votes.

    People seem to forget that elections are won and lost at the margins.
    Although Gun Control means nothing, electorially, on the coasts and in the south, in virtually every swing state, its a net loser.

    40% of Democratic leaning households have a gun in the house.
    If only 1 out of 10 of them switched to GOP, in the swing states, then Obama would have lost Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, Iowa, Florida, NH, Penn, Virginia & would have lost in an electoral  landslide to Mitt F-ing Romney....think about that, one of the most charismatic Dem candidates of the past 50 yrs would have lost-and lost badly- to Mitt (47%) Romney.

    As much as many would like to deny it, there is a reason why the Dems haven't touched Gun control in 20 yrs.

    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

    by FrankRose on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:08:42 AM PST

    •  Three reasons, actually (4+ / 0-)

      the ones you're selling here, there's a name for that.

      “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

      by tytalus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:16:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clinton, Howard Dean & the Dem party at large (0+ / 0-)

        seemed fairly certain about the electoral consequenses.

        There is a reason why the debate about the AWB centers around how much of a negitive impact it had/will be & not how many voters it did/will gain.
        Its a net loser by virtually everybody's metric. The only debate is how much of a loser it is.

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:46:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, this diary (4+ / 0-)

          specifically addresses the appeal to Clinton (authority). And no, the debate has not been about how much of a negative impact. Nothing so nuanced. That would be an interesting argument, and there's links and data in the diary to consider. Instead, the debate has been this.

          more gun control equals lost elections.
          This diary is intended to put a stop to that extremity.

          “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

          by tytalus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:59:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fair enough. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            meagert

            But I think that's the wrong question, the question should be "does it gain or lose voters".
            I think that the answer to that is a clear 'no', as such it certainly can  led to lost elections.
            What it certainly can't do is win elections.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:18:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  or the opposite could be true... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckydog, tytalus, SilentBrook, Miggles
      82% of gun owners support criminal background checks for gun purchasers (74% of NRA members voiced support for background checks).

      Sixty-eight percent of NRA members believe that individuals who have been arrested for domestic violence should not be eligible for gun permits.

      75% of NRA members believe that concealed weapon permits should not be available to people who have committed violent misdemeanors.

      NPR


      We are not broke, we are being robbed.

      by Glen The Plumber on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:23:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But the dems are currently (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose

        demanding an assault rifle ban as well.  That is the major rub.  You won't have much push back from expanded background checks.  The moment you ad a ban on semi-auto rifles, you will lose many votes and I happen to be one of those people who you will lose.

        •  you would be in the minority... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheFern, luckydog, Miggles
          Would you support or oppose banning assault weapons?

          Support    63
          Oppose    32

          Daily Kos/PPP


          We are not broke, we are being robbed.

          by Glen The Plumber on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:51:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think you get the point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FrankRose

            Banning semi auto rifles will push more repugs to the polls.  It will also remove some dem voters like myself.  The dems in turn won't get more turn out from these laws, they will get less while it will also motivate the republican base in a huge way.

            The fact that an assault rifle ban will do nothing as far as gun violence is concerned means the law is illogical and emotionally based.  Not a good starting point.

          •  Couple of issues (0+ / 0-)

            1) The polls are all over the place on this issue (expected, as this is a debate that hasn't been had for 20 yrs)  I currently can't link, but check out pollingreports aggregate page. For instance CNN has it 55-44.

            2) The question is less 'how many support this issue' and more 'who is willing tovote on this issue.
            This is an issue that creates single-issue voters & virtually every single one of those single issue voters will be against it. There is no demographic that will jump ship in support of the AWB. However, there are demographics that will jump ship in opposition of it.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:04:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You would vote republican (4+ / 0-)

          On behalf of your rifle?

          "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

          by TheFern on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:58:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would never vote for a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FrankRose

            republican or a democrat that voted to take away my right to own/purchase rifles I do in fact use most weeks.  I have never committed a crime and am a responsible member of society.  To go after guns that create a tiny fraction of actual gun violence means that politician doesn't really care about gun safety.  They really care about taking away guns.  For many years this hasn't been an issue which was great.  It allowed many of us to focus our attention on other issues we care about.  Going after any of our guns is a deal breaker however.

          •  I will not vote for anyone that suppots (0+ / 0-)

            infringing on the liberties of innocent Americans for percieved security.
            I didn't for warrantless wiretaps & I won't for the AWB.

            That, at worst, means I will abstain.....and I have been a strait-dem voter (except for Nader in 2000), in every election.

            But there are people that will vote GOP.
            The only question is how many.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:12:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is where you lose me. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Glen The Plumber, Miggles

              I understand that this is a big issue for you.  One might say you are a single issue voter when it comes to gun ownership.  "Vote to take my guns away, I will vote against you."  Thing is, the only viable party that doesn't want some gun restrictions is... the republicans.  So if this is your issue, then you are in the wrong party.  
              Of course the republicans come with a bunch of smelly baggage, but when it comes to extending gun rights they're your best shot.  As for your other liberties, well, I guess you roll the dice.  The democrats are coming for the ugly guns. Many people are glad they are.
              You could always go back to voting for noted Pro-Gun advocate Ralph Nader (kidding).

              "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

              by TheFern on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:16:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Couple of issues.... (0+ / 0-)

        1) Its the AWB & magazine ban that is the 800 lb gorilla. Even the NRA argues to "enforce the laws on the books" (whether or not they mean it is a seperate issue, but their statements on this are telling). As such the AWB & mag ban will be my focus.

        2) Every long term poll that has surveyed Gun Control since at least 1994, shows that Gun Control is far less popular today than in 1994.

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:51:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  so says you...the polls say something different. (0+ / 0-)

          n/t.


          We are not broke, we are being robbed.

          by Glen The Plumber on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:54:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Um.....no (0+ / 0-)

            Not at all, actually.
            Every long term poll shows less support today than in '94

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:06:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Every time a maniac shoots up a school (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tytalus, Glen The Plumber

              or a playground, or a park, or a shopping mall.  That number moves.  Obviously.  This will not go on forever.  Either the gun culture fixes its problem, or the public will.

              "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

              by TheFern on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 01:38:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How is the murderer in any way, shape or form (0+ / 0-)

                the responsibility of innocent people?

                Try this: is there any other group you can say that statement about without diving head first into bigotry or total logical breakdown?

                Would you say "either the phone culture fixes its problem, or the public will" is a viable argument for warrantless wiretaps, in the wake of 9/11?

                Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                by FrankRose on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:15:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The murderer kills the innocent people. (0+ / 0-)

                  He is not the responsibility of the innocent people.  The abilitity for gun owners to disown the perpetrators of gun violence always amazes me.  I see the bumper stickers: "Gun control is putting two bullets through the same hole".  No.  Gun control is keeping guns out of the hands of people who would kill innocent people.  Something the gun culture has shown no interest in doing.  I'm sorry you feel victimized.  You are not.  The gun culture will not fix its problem.  Are we just supposed to wait to get shot?

                  "Goodnight, thank you, and may your God go with you"

                  by TheFern on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 10:28:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If you are so certain that you either have to (0+ / 0-)

                    infringe on the rights of innocent Americans or get shot, then I would suggest leaving the US.....
                    Or you can just drop the eye-rolling hyperbole.

                    "disown the perps"
                    It amazes you that the innocent have no responsibility for the actions of the guilty?
                    I would hope you are consistent and take responsibility for knife murders & unarmed murders both of which are used in far more murders than the guns covered under the AWB.

                    "I'm sorry you feel victimized"
                    This from the person that claims that--unless other Americans have their liberties taken away--you will be shot......

                    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                    by FrankRose on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:35:21 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  "Bill Clinton to Democrats: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankRose, meagert, ancblu

    Don’t trivialize gun culture "

    While some polls show that the public by-and-large supports several proposals for increased gun control, Clinton said that it’s not the public support that matters — it’s how strongly people feel about the issue.

    “All these polls that you see saying the public is for us on all these issues — they are meaningless if they’re not voting issues,” Clinton said.

    Clinton closed his remarks with a warning to big Democratic donors that ultimately many Democratic lawmakers will be defeated if they choose to stand with the president.

    “Do not be self-congratulatory about how brave you for being for this” gun control push, he said. “The only brave people are the people who are going to lose their jobs if they vote with you.”

    http://www.politico.com/...

    It's an interesting article. Bill Clinton may be right.

    •  Yes, that's the one I found (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, luckydog

      I take Clinton's warnings seriously. Talking to donors, though, might mean the party is taking it seriously too. If they have any hope of not being "devastated" again, they will need the resources to fight back and support any vulnerable Democrats. Clinton's hindsight was in part that he hadn't supported them enough.

      “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

      by tytalus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:37:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I really hope so (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose, meagert, ancblu

        I don't think this is about guns as much as it is about people who have been mistreated. Bill Clinton has alot to regret in this. That he learned something makes actually consider liking him again just a bit.............

        Please listen to what he says.

        This is opening some really nasty wounds that have nothing to do with gun safety.

        The bigger picture is being lost.

        How do we build a sustainable economy that walks more lightly on the earth. How do we include everyone in this including those we are currently belittling and marginalizing in the gun debate.

        How can we move forward.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:00:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gun control is a dangerous subject. It turns you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus

    into a dick and can get you banned from dkos if you go against a RKBAer.   /s

    My gun control petition was shot down.

    by 88kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:42:52 AM PST

    •  Now, now (3+ / 0-)

      Coincidentally, this diary quotes from the group's mission statement as a myth to be busted. How long do you think I have?

      I think I'll be just fine. It's not just criticism, but how one chooses to be critical. Dickosity is ultimately a subjective standard, but I have written many diaries critical of the NRA and for gun control without a moderation issue.

      If I do get banned, feel free to stop by Wordpress and mock me  :)

      “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

      by tytalus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:54:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was more of a snark than anything. But what I (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, Glen The Plumber, TheFern

        was saying, not too clearly, is that even among so-called friends here at dKos, the gun control/no control debate is a burning ring of fire.

        Out there in the real world the gun control enthusiasts have to tread softly or James Yeager will kill them.  James Yeager has to stand in the gun permit suspension corner for a few days, because he came right out and said it.

        The "Supreme" Sheriff of the county has ruled and found Yeager is not in violation of the Constitution.  Yeager does not need to follow any stinking federal gun laws.  Yeager needs his arms to protect himself against some gun control enthusiast shooting off her mouth.

        It is past ridiculous.  And it the mean time kids are getting mowed down.  I feel like Janet Reno.  It is an awful place to be.  The kids are being hurt but any attempt to save them will blow up the whole damn place.

        My gun control petition was shot down.

        by 88kathy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:05:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This particular mythology (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankRose

    the proof is in the pudding, sonny.
    If the desire 4 mo gun 'control' polls are true, we will see gun control passing in BOTH the senate, house and gun control advocates running for office in swing districts & winning.

    Me ? Im putting my money on InTrade

    Who is mighty ? One who turns an enemy into a friend !

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:44:46 PM PST

    •  Sorry, Mr. RKBA (0+ / 0-)

      but the myth is demonstrated through the facts presented. The NRA's clout does not result in 'more gun control equals lost elections'. The construction is not 'gun control should equal elections won'. Figured there'd be some late sniping, though. Thanks for living up to expectations.

      “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

      by tytalus on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:31:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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