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I realize, as I write this, that some definitional dodge awaits the argument that the assault weapons ban may be killed by a filibuster. Just as gun enthusiasts whinge about just what constitutes an "assault weapon," preferring to derail the argument rather than actually address gun violence.

But the news I'm reading is that Harry Reid is working behind the scenes to terminate the proposed new AWB via a 60-vote requirement to get it into a final piece of legislation. And linguistic contrivance aside, that looks like a filibuster to me, intended to subvert the majority of the American people.

Keeping it quiet, Harry
After watching the news today, I can see that Obama went to Minneapolis because that city and its mayor, R.T. Rybak, have a record of effectively reducing gun violence in their city. Their Blueprint for Action treated youth violence as a public health epidemic, and included the kinds of cost-effective social programs that Democratic gun enthusiasts would probably advocate, and Republican ones would be prudent to support -- although they probably don't.

Mayor Rybak supports gun control measures as well, supporting President Obama's proposals, and criticizing Senator Harry Reid. The senator has apparently not even read the assault weapons ban that he is surreptitiously looking to kill, while doing his best to keep his and other Democratic fingerprints out of the legislative conspiracy.


Reid told ABC he was not sure if he would support an assault weapons ban. “I don’t know, she [Dianne Feinstein] knows I haven’t read her amendment,” Reid said Sunday.

MSNBC guest host Richard Lui asked what Rybak, who also serves as the vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, would like to say to Harry Reid.

“I respect him on a whole lot of levels, but he’s dancing around this issue, people are dying in this country and that is not news to anybody…What the president has done is, with all the stuff on his plate, stuck his neck out  and said look, we need to solve this. I saw what the president’s face looked like when he came out of meeting those victims. I’ve been there,” Rybak said.

Meanwhile, the President is out there pressuring Congress to at least hold a vote on banning assault weapons, although I question whether or not they'll even bother in the House to put representatives on the record.
"We should restore the ban on military style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines. And that deserves a vote in Congress, because weapons of war have no place on our streets," Obama said as uniformed law enforcement officers stood behind him at the Minneapolis Police Department's Special Operation Center.
Gun enthusiasts can queue up here to whinge about how "assault weapons" aren't technically "weapons of war," of course. I understand they harbor great passion for such pedantry. It must be right up there with tricking out their AR-15's to look like the "weapons of war" they most assuredly are not.

Thankfully Obama is still pushing the other gun control measures that he's proposed, and at least he won't let the entire enterprise die on the AWB. The more popular ideas may survive and become law -- even if the assault weapons ban does enjoy majority support. This is Congress, where majorities don't matter.

Speaking of which, I was interested to read on Slate how a top aide of Harry Reid (which one? who knows?) expects the AWB will not be included in the eventual bill brought up in the Senate. And that a 60-vote threshold is expected to kill it when it comes up as an amendment. This avoids the embarrassing spectacle for Democratic gun enthusiasts actually voting to strip it out should it somehow appear in the bill. Wouldn't want there to be any incriminating evidence, eh? Unless they find some advantage in publicly coming out and gunning down the AWB. This is how Slate reported on what probably can't (get done), and how.

What Probably Can't: Wall Street Journal: "Senate Democratic leaders expect a gun bill to move to the Senate floor that includes most of the proposals backed by President Barack Obama, with the notable exception of a ban on military-style, semiautomatic weapons, a top aide to Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said. The bill would likely seek to limit the capacity of ammunition magazines; expand background checks to include sales at gun shows and other private transactions; and require better record keeping to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental illnesses. It would also try to curb gun sales in states with more relaxed gun laws to buyers in states with stricter laws. ... The goal is to get the bill to the Senate floor next month, at which point lawmakers could then seek to amend the legislation by adding a ban on certain semiautomatic weapons or other provisions, the aide said."

How It Will Go Down: Huffington Post: "The ban will get a vote. But the purpose of that vote will be in part to facilitate its demise. The expectation is that there won't be 60 members of the upper chamber to support the bill's inclusion in the final legislative language. The likelihood that an assault weapons ban ends up in the legislative scrapheap is hardly unexpected .... The ban is the most controversial of four major components of the gun control platform that the Obama administration introduced and that congressional Democrats have touted."

Senator Reid's long love affair with the NRA is a matter of record, although it appears he's trying to suppress the incriminating evidence for that now, too. Little late for that now, pal, and not much point in crying 'screenshot or it didn't happen,' because they have one, a quote of Wayne LaPierre's proud support for Reid, which Reid himself was proud to put on display until just lately.

So none of this comes as a surprise to me -- not Harry Reid's opposition to the legislation, and not Harry Reid's parliamentary maneuvering, which resembles rhetorical assassination, well suited to the topic of gun control. Nevertheless I have made my opinions clear to the senator, and whatever he does will be publicized, despite his best efforts. I can't say without reservation that I would be glad to see him gone as the majority leader -- this is the Senate, after all, I bet they could do worse. But that may prove difficult.

5:26 PM PT: Currently watching Mayor Rybak on the Ed Show; he's really making the rounds today. May be able to add that clip to the diary later, when it's put up on MSNBC.

7:15 PM PT:

-- the Ed Show clip mentioned earlier (I hope). Mayor Rybak points out the political calculation that he thinks Harry Reid and others are making, and suggests it's wrong. If they're afraid of the NRA lobbyists, he suggests being afraid of those touched by gun violence. Hopefully we can make it so.

Originally posted to The Tytalan Way on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:32 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:32:54 PM PST

  •  Even so (11+ / 0-)

    for the last few weeks I've been hearing what a non-starter a renewed AWB is, and now it turns out it has to be held to the 60 vote standard in order to kill it in the Senate. If this is so, it indicates to me support for the ban is potentially stronger than many are letting on.  

    Your tax dollars at work folks. For some reason Gun Manufacturers are at the table alongside Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, the Auto Industry, Big Coal and The Pentagon. And way more than half the political establishment doesn't find it the least bit politically harmful to be seen as unmoved by massacres in the public square. Business as usual, nothing to see here, move along.

    •  Majority support may count for something (4+ / 0-)

      The results of Reid's latest filibuster negotiation were predictable, but it is sad to see him using it to kill legislation from his fellow Democrats. Now, I am sure he will try to spin it some other way...but I don't care for his spin.

      “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:54:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think there are 50 AWB votes in the Senate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      notrouble, annecros

      We should take what we can get passed in the Senate, because even that slimmed down bill will be difficult to pass in the House.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:00:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   I don't think there are 50 anti AWB votes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon, noway2

        theres only 20
        ha ha
        lol

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

        by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:16:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh look, trolling (0+ / 0-)

          You should either get lost, or behave. I will understand of course if you do neither. I imagine your behavior will prove quite popular, after all.

          “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:22:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  OM - I think we agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OMwordTHRUdaFOG

          that there are not enough votes in the Senate to pass Feinstein's AWB bill. I thought your diary did a good job of counting the votes.  

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:43:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm more interested (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus

        with getting people on record than I am in passing the bill, quite frankly. I think the only solution to the domestic violence issue will be far more rigorous control over what may and may not be sold to the public. Unfortunately it will take many more massacres before that day can come, in all likelihood.

        The fact that anti-regulation forces are seeking to prevent an accounting on the bill indicates to me that they are uncomfortable with voicing their opposition. To me that suggests fertile ground for a continued campaign of public awareness to increase pressure over time, just as happened in the campaigns to remove smoking from public places and ensure marriage equality. This is a generational issue, and over time the cracks in the gun manufacturer's power base will become widened until they crumble. May take a while, but it will happen.

        •  About the vote...that's my thinking as well (0+ / 0-)

          It seems to show a weakness, that they do not perceive a political advantage in attacking and destroying the AWB in broad daylight. It undermines the arguments against it that I've seen here.

          “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 Feb 05, 2013 at 08:20:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  mrb - Harry Reid will only let a bill come (0+ / 0-)

          to a vote if it is going to pass. He has no interest in having Senators vote on a bill "for the record" that could be used in a future campaign. Reid believes that pro-gun control votes hurts Dems in some regions, so he will be very cautious.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:14:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  On the other hand (6+ / 0-)

    The rest of these proposals will be a huge win in terms of strengthening background checks and reducing the flow of guns to gang-blighted neighborhoods, not to mention mental health care reform. As far as I'm concerned, that deserves the support of everyone here.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:45:14 PM PST

  •  i want a new majority leader (7+ / 0-)

    it's one thing for an individual senator to oppose legislation that both the president and a large majority of his party support, but it's another for the party's ostensible senate leader to oppose it. i want my majority leader to serve the national party and the country, not just himself or his state.

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

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 04:53:51 PM PST

  •  But why should he even let it come to an vote, (5+ / 0-)

    when it would fail to pass in the Senate, and even as you said, probably won't even get an vote in the House, but if it did it'd be defeated.

    All that would accomplish is to put a few of our Senators in an very difficult position - for no reason.

    We should go for things that probably/hopefully won't cause us problems in '14, yet have much more of an effect on gun violence than an AWB. Such as making it mandatory that the NICS is kept up to date by the states, both judicially & mentally; as well as closing the "gun show loop hole" by making all sales/transfers of guns (other than within family) go thru the NICS.

    •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino

      about this causing problems. See Tom Seaview's debunked mythology above. Although, even if it did, I would prioritize saving lives over political careerism.

      “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:20:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, because the AWB... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        deedogg, FrankRose, noway2

        ...would save no lives, while Republican governance is a proven killer.

        Nice try.

        Things are more like they are now than they've ever been before...

        by Tom Seaview on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:23:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No lives. interesting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          Thanks for reminding me how to accurately value the quality of your opinion.  :)

          “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:27:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Agree or disagree if you want. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon, deedogg, annecros

        I for one hope we don't find out in the next election cycle.

        But why would you disagree that trying to pass an bill or two that could actually pass, that would have a very large affect on gun control/violence - i.e. mandatory & improved reporting of NICS and making NICS checks mandatory for all sales? Instead, you want to try to pass an basically useless, non-passable, piece of legislation that will only hurt some of our Reps & Sen's....makes no sense to me at all

        •  Nope, sorry (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          You're disagreeing with a strawman, sir, as would be obvious to you had you read the diary carefully. In particular (should you even read this excerpt) note the word "thankfully" and consider its meaning. This is not an either-or argument. Mine is all of the above. I will take all over some, some over nothing, it's progress.

          Thankfully Obama is still pushing the other gun control measures that he's proposed, and at least he won't let the entire enterprise die on the AWB. The more popular ideas may survive and become law -- even if the assault weapons ban does enjoy majority support. This is Congress, where majorities don't matter.

          “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:40:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  typical "strawman" excuse - carry on... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            deedogg, FrankRose, theatre goon

            You said in your diary, and I replied to it: But the news I'm reading is that Harry Reid is working behind the scenes to terminate the proposed new AWB via a 60-vote requirement to get it into a final piece of legislation.

            That is "strawman" how? Please explain, sir

            •  If you don't like the label (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino

              then you can demonstrate where in the diary you got this argument, because your semi-quotation does not show it.

              But why would you disagree that trying to pass an bill or two that could actually pass, that would have a very large affect on gun control/violence - i.e. mandatory & improved reporting of NICS and making NICS checks mandatory for all sales? Instead, you want to try to pass an basically useless, non-passable, piece of legislation that will only hurt some of our Reps & Sen's....makes no sense to me at all
              Now, I have clearly stated, repeatedly, that I seek progress, and that I will take something over nothing, not "an basically useless, non-passable, piece of legislation". Until you can show this I have no problem dismissing your argument as a strawman. It's a textbook example of taking some modified, weaker version of my argument to bash down.

              “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:12:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not that I "don't like" the strawman label, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theatre goon

                it's due to the fact it's not true.

                Did you, or did you not say that Senator Reid either wanted an watered down filibuster reform, or was going to use the filibuster to "defeat" this new AWB? That is what I originally commented on, yet now you're crying "strawman".

                If you can't refute my first comment in an logical manner, then don't, but please refrain from the old "strawman" excuse.

                •  Ah, now the goalpost moving (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino

                  on schedule  :)

                  Your argument was about "an basically useless, non-passable, piece of legislation" vs. "an bill or two that could actually pass, that would have a very large affect on gun control/violence". Alas, your above comment is eternal, relatively speaking, and so your complaint now about filibustering is baseless.

                  So I've given this three tries, and that's enough time wasted on you, sir. Go ahead and take the last word as gun enthusiasts seem to enjoy. My arguments can stand on their own merit.

                  “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:03:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm moving no goalposts - be as (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    oldpunk, FrankRose, theatre goon

                    disingenuous as you want - I find it funny that you can't actually discuss or debate the part of your diary that I've been commenting on and referring to - if you can't back it up or at least discuss it, then you shouldn't have posted it.

                    I can't make it any more clearer to you, but did you not say this at the beginning of your diary: "But the news I'm reading is that Harry Reid is working behind the scenes to terminate the proposed new AWB via a 60-vote requirement to get it into a final piece of legislation. And linguistic contrivance aside, that looks like a filibuster to me, intended to subvert the majority of the American people."?

                    You did, and I replied to that. Yet you can't, or won't discuss it and have to resort to crying "strawman" or "goalpost moving"....You can't actually refute or discuss what I commented on?

  •  Anything that fails because it needs 60 votes... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, OldSoldier99, Sandino

    ...is something that failed because Reid didn't want it to pass. At any time he could, had he the spinal fortitude, use the Nuclear Option. He never will.

    Failure is easy. (Which will probably be paid back and reflected in the midterms.)

    •  I agree with Laurence Lewis on this one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino

      I want a new majority leader, too. I'm not interested in the pyrrhic victory of replacing him with the likes of Sharron Angle of course, but I think we can do better for a leader in the Senate.

      “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:15:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harry Reid: Dem from Gunnutistan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian

    And that is why we can't have filibuster reform.

  •  He may be trying to protect (4+ / 0-)

    his job.

    I believe he is representing Nevada. This bill may  not be very popular with his voters.

    As much as we seem to think these folks represent us all they don't. The represent a specific area that votes for them.

    NRA aside he may very well have found himself between the old rock and a hard place on this.

    Do recall the speaker of the house who supported the last assault weapons ban got voted out of office very soundly during the following election.

    I am fairly sure that is something he is well aware of.

    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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:45:27 PM PST

    •  Yep, I remember Tom Foley (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bisbonian, Sandino

      because I did some research about his loss not too long ago. Isn't it a shame that his problems weren't so simple?

      During his time in the House, Foley repeatedly opposed efforts to impose term limits on Washington state's elected officials, winning the support of the state's voters to reject term limits in a 1991 referendum. However, in 1992, a term limit ballot initiative was approved by the state's voters.

      Foley brought suit, challenging the constitutionality of a state law setting eligibility requirements on federal offices. Foley won his suit, with federal courts declaring that states did not have the authority under the U.S. Constitution to limit the terms of federal officeholders.

      However, in Foley's bid for a 16th term in the House, his Republican opponent, George Nethercutt, used the issue against him, repeatedly citing the caption of the federal case brought by Foley, "Foley against the People of the State of Washington." Nethercutt vowed that if elected, he would not serve more than three terms in the House (but ultimately served for five terms). Foley lost in a narrow race that coincided with the Republican electoral triumph of 1994. While Foley had usually relied on large margins in Spokane itself to carry him to victory, in 1994 he only won Spokane by 9,000 votes while Nethercutt did well enough in the rest of the district to win overall by just under 4,000 votes. At the time, it was reported that some voters believed mistakenly that if he beat Foley, Nethercutt would become the new speaker of the House.[2]

      Foley became the first sitting Speaker of the House to lose his bid for re-election since Galusha Grow in 1862. He is sometimes viewed as a political casualty of the term limits controversy of the early 1990s. President Bill Clinton attributed his defeat to his support for the Assault Weapon ban of 1994. [3]

      If Harry Reid doesn't want to represent the party, he shouldn't be majority leader. Because that's sort of the job he sought.

      “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:52:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like I said (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        notrouble, annecros, theatre goon

        I lived in the district at the time. I know remember what people were talking about.

        Most here don't really care what an opponent says about a incumbant as long as that persons record lines up with  how our voting districts opinions. Nethercutt hammered on one issue. There were several, one of them was certain parts of the assualt weapons ban .

        Reseach and analysis is only as good as the understanding of the culture they are dealing with and how they think.

        This is not Georgia or New York, people I don't think realize just how different it really is.

        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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:28:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another way of reading that story... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notrouble

    is that Reid is rounding up 60 votes for a strong gun control bill, meaning passage through the Senate, and he only has to trade away the ugly gun ban to get those votes.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:49:16 PM PST

  •  tytalus I know how this might sound like a little (5+ / 0-)

    thing, but you know how you hate it when gun enthusiasts get all technical on what is an assault weapon?

    I've got one of those expressions that drive me nuts too. It's "gun violence". Usually when people use the term they don't mean suicide. When pressed they'll include it, but mostly they write all about "assault weapons" magazines that carry many cartridges without needing a reload, crazed people arming for Armageddon and so on. Yet "gun violence" is suicide, more than any other type of death, like homicide or justifiable homicide, or accidents.

    I see this all the time, here and in the major media. The story says gun violence or gun death and the overwhelming preponderance of both of those are suicide. Suicide is a horrible thing, don't get me wrong, wish less people chose that path, but what suicide has to do with Rambo guns is beyond me. 35 round magazines? Puhleez, suicides are one shot only.

    Maybe say gun homicide or gun assault if that's what you mean.

    Sorry, didn't mean to get side tracked, it's just that when you started in with that I had a hard time reading the rest, I didn't actually.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 05:55:24 PM PST

    •  Guns are a documented risk factor for suicide (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, Sandino, Recall

      I don't have a problem including suicide in the general category of gun violence, because guns make the problem of suicide worse. The general category of gun violence includes suicide by guns and mass shootings by assault weapons. I would be curious to see examples you've seen of gun control advocates conflating the problems of suicide via gun and mass shooting via assault weapon. It seems clear to me that when people talk about the AWB, what they seek to mitigate are mass shootings, not suicides.

      Even Adam Lanza, wish less people chose that path, seems to have pulled his handgun to kill himself. I doubt this would come as a surprise to many. Suicide with an AR-15 just seems...awkward. And he left the shotgun in the car.

      “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:08:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well you use it in your first and last sentences, (5+ / 0-)

        of your diary that is. Yet no mention of suicide, it's all about AWB and a photo of silencers (sound suppressors to be technical) Seems like I see the words everywhere. People use them to mean people killed by guns, like by crazed people at schools and stuff when it's mostly suicide.

        You'd think if folks say gun violence they'd mention the most common form.

        Didn't mean to sidetrack, just my pet peeve.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:48:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Suppressors (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          is a reference to Harry Reid's preferred form of legislative assassination. This particular diary is about the AWB; I've written about gun violence in regard to suicide before. I'm not satisfied with Obama's proposals in regard to the mental health aspect of this issue, but it's progress in that particular area.

          “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:00:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  so the senate majority leader is using his power (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpunk, FrankRose, annecros, theatre goon

    To block legislation that he:

    A) Personally opposes

    B) Thinks, and not without evidence, will hurt his party in the midterms.

    This is surprising exactly how?

    --Shannon

    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

    by Leftie Gunner on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:35:29 PM PST

    •  It's not surprising (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino

      although as you point out, it's a good argument for replacing him as majority leader if he is abusing his power, as you suggest.

      “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:49:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see it as an abuse of power. (4+ / 0-)

        I really don't, but it seems that you do.

        I'm curious as to why?

        --Shannon

        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

        by Leftie Gunner on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 07:41:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Harry Reid's position as majority leader (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          suggests he represents more than just himself or his state, and this is spelled out in some detail in the diary.

          “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:50:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's elected by the Senate, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annecros, theatre goon

            and by the people of Nevada.

            So, if we're defining who Senator Reid represents, it's pretty obvious. By constituency  and titles. he represents (a) the State of Nevada, and (b) the Democratic cacus in the Senate.

            It's pretty clear that the people who hired him to be one of their Snators don't want an assault weapons ban, so that takes care of that constituency. He pretty clearly thinks that pushing this legislation would also harm his other constituency, the ones that made him Majority Leader. So by that standard, it's hard to call this an abuse of power. It's a use of that power that a lot of Demcrats don't like, and if enough of them are unhappy about it, he may well lose one or both of his jobs, (assuming that those Democrats are either residents of Nevada or Senators,) but I can't see it as an abuse.

            To the larger point about who the Senate Majority Leader is supposed to represent, while it is certianly true that the people who hold leadership positions in Congress ofen see, and often refer to themselves as "leaders of all the people"... all too often with a self-aggrandizing sneer... they aren't, and we should discourage them from thinking of themselves as such. At the very least we shouldn't buy into it. These people are our employees, not our leaders.

            --Shannon

            "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
            "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

            by Leftie Gunner on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 11:34:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, this is funny (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Recall

              because I was ready to believe you about the people of Nevada -- I had them figured as more gun enthusiasts than not, like here in AZ. And they are. However...

              On the flip side, there was 57 to 33 percent support in favor of a nationwide ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons. The support was far greater among females, 63 to 27 percent, than males, 50 to 40 percent. Democrats also favored the ban 71 to 19 percent, but Republican response was a virtual tie between support and opposition.
              So, I would say that it is not pretty clear. If anything, it may be clearer than the people who hired Reid do want the assault weapons ban. You can try to dispute that with data; but you cannot support that claim of clarity today.

              “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 Feb 05, 2013 at 08:11:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  "Just as gun enthusiasts whinge about just what... (4+ / 0-)

    ...constitutes an "assault weapon," preferring to derail the argument rather than actually address gun violence."

    Since "assault weapons" are used in less than 1% of gun violence how can banning them "actually address gun violence"? This is a total non sequitur.

    As if we needed any more proof that the War on Drugs is stupid, a Kennedy is supporting it.

    by wishbone on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:39:44 PM PST

  •  Reid is smart (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankRose, annecros, theatre goon

    He knows that an AWB won't see the light of day in the House, so why even vote on such a hot button issue like that when those votes will be used against candidates in 2014?  

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:51:08 PM PST

    •  A few reasons (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, WakeUpNeo, Recall

      It's what the majority of Americans and a majority of Democrats want; its appearance in the Senate bill requires Republicans in the House to negotiate it away; and the vote he seems to be instigating can be held against candidates in 2014, too. We already have good reasons to believe the NRA's influence is not what it's been made out to be, either in 1994 or now.

      “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 Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:40:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So we run the government on polls now? (0+ / 0-)

        I believe the majority of Americans favored invading Iraq at some point.  Doesn't make it the right thing to do.  

        "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

        by Texas Lefty on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:09:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, those are just the political reasons (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Recall

          I figured you would already know that banning assault weapons will result in saving lives, which I think is the proper thing to do. Even some watered-down, grandfathered-in cup of weak tea may at least cut back on their proliferation, and therefore less gun violence.

          I'll keep your comment about running the gov't on polls in mind, though. You might let FrankRose know about it. He's a bit fixated on selective poll results.

          “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 Feb 05, 2013 at 08:04:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We could get rid of the 4th Amendment (0+ / 0-)

            and save lives.  More searches on people and homes would result in a much safer society, so why not just do away with it to save lives? If it's all about saving children and saving lives, why stop at the 2nd amendment?

            "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

            by Texas Lefty on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:06:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you want to make that case (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Recall

              in spite of the many exceptions that already exist for the 4th amendment, feel free. I think that the history behind the adoption of the 4th amendment contradicts your claim that more searches would result in a safer society; it was inspired by abused writs of assistance. In the meantime, the 2nd amendment is not even being challenged by any of the gun control proposals currently being considered in the Congress.

              It is interesting, though, how gun enthusiasts freely invoke a pair of contradictory arguments -- the current legislation is hopeless, never going to pass, political suicide; and somehow it's also a slippery slope to losing the 2nd amendment, to gun confiscation, even genocide...I don't need help making these pro-gun arguments absurd, really, but thanks for the assist.

              “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 Feb 05, 2013 at 10:25:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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