Tag Archive: NRA

The Making of Sausages And Gun Laws

Bismark said “Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them being made.” Someone else might have said, “Too many cooks spoil the sausage.” In the case of New Jersey gun law reform the process has started off messy with over 30 bills introduced in the legislature – some moving forward, some being altered, and others unlikely to see the light of day. Then we have the cooks: the Governor, Sen. Barbara Buono, the Assembly, the Senate, NRA, NJ 2nd Amendment Society, Heeding God’s Call, and others. Part of making the sausages we can’t see as behind closed doors legislators, lobbyists and advocates across the spectrum have their own recipes. What we can see is often confusing and changes from day to day.

The governor’s violence task force recommended weak measures, such as limiting the sale of violent video games and changing rules on treating the mentally ill. The Governor’s personal response was tepid and failed to address key issues such as magazine size. Like others, he accepts contributions from the NRA and its advocates.

Sen. Buono called the governor’s plan “a shallow one that does nothing.”  Her proposals are more robust, and include smaller magazine capacity and face-to-face sale of ammunition.

Unlike the federal government and many other states, it does appear that our legislature will pass gun bills shortly. Our governor may even sign off on some of them. A few of the more innocuous bills are actually supported by the NRA, and some have received bipartisan support.

It appears that the rift between the Assembly and Senate is healing now that Senate President Sweeney has acquiesced to advocates who in recent weeks said the package was too weak. So far the Senate has passed 10 bills and the Assembly 22 bills. Further bill reconcilation between the two houses will be needed.

The final outputput remains unclear. The sausage recipes are undergoing development in this sloppy, sometimes secretive process. I happen to like robust sausages, but I suspect only a very few will be robust, some watered down, and many will never exit the factory. We will, however, have made progress and be able to continue the fight another day for saner gun policies.

Guns Don’t Shoot Children. Children Shoot Children.

promoted by Rosi

Shit.  I mean, just … shit.

An 11-year-old boy shot a 12-year-old child in the face in Camden, New Jersey on Friday in what authorities are describing as an accident. The child is being treated an area hospital and is expected to survive.

“We have the 11-year-old and the 11-year-old’s parents with us, they are fully cooperative,” Chief Scott Thomson of the Camden County Regional Police said, according to WPVI-TV. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of what happened.”

The bullet appeared to wound the 12-year-old child in the nasal area but avoided hitting the brain. A 19-year-old relative of the child was present at the time of the incident, but authorities are still investigating how they obtained the weapon.

Anyone want to call the NRA and ask how a good guy with a gun would have prevented this?

Let’s Follow Obama’s Advice: Get Our Reps on Record for Guns

promoted by Rosi

President Barack Obama asked us to help him get the Congress on board with new gun safety regulation.  

I ask every American to find out where your member of Congress stands on these ideas. If they’re not part of that 90 percent who agree that we should make it harder for criminals or somebody with a severe mental ilness to buy a gun, then you should ask why not? Why are you part of the 10 percent?

Less than 100 days ago that happened. And the country was shocked. And the entire country pledged that this time would be different and that this time we would do something about it. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten. I haven’t forgotten about those kids. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.

Let’s help the President, and most Americans, by crowd-sourcing our members of Congress.  After the jump are the DC and NJ phone numbers.  Contact your own Representative and both Senators as their constituent and ask them if they will support:

  • Universal background checks
  • Limits on magazine sizes
  • An assault weapon ban.

Post your information in the comment field. Together we can get this done and make sure our representatives are representing us and not the gun lobby.

Ah… The Life of Sportsmen

Enjoying a day in the country, camaraderie, teaching one’s child how to shoot and skin an animal, and bringing home to the family fresh meat for dinner. That was part of my early childhood with my father and his friends. I used a bb gun.

Shoot forward (no pun intended) to today’s powerful firearms and the massive industry lobbying. Meet the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) based in Washington DC with regional offices and state legislative caucuses. A N. Y. Times editorial refers to it as “a powerful voice arguing that gun safety measures will somehow undermine hunting, fishing, target shooting and other activities … And when it comes to insider influence on Capitol Hill, it has the ear of members of the sportsmen’s caucus, which has often supported measures embraced by the firearms industry.”

Meet your Congressional Sportsmen’s NJ Caucus members: Rep. Rob Andrews, Rep. Leonard Lance, Rep. Frank LoBiondo, Rep. Jon Runyan, and Rep. Chris Smith. And your NJ Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership: Sen. Donald Norcross, Sen. Steve Oroho and Assemblyman John Burzichelli.

Financial sponsors of the foundation include firearms manufacturers such as Remington which advertises its AUTOLOADING MODEL 597™ and praises “the speed with which it zips out rounds, and Browning which promotes its AR5 which is “built to be the most reliable, fastest cycling, best performing and softest shooting recoil-operated autoloader on the planet.” Other sponsors include the NRA and Koch Companies. (Yes. Those infamous brothers.)

While the foundation supports a broad range of worthwhile sportsmen activities, it also opposes a ban on the military-style rifles and high capacity magazines used in mass shootings. The Vice Chair of its Board is Mark DeYoung, President and CEO of ATK Armament Systems (formerly ATK Ammunition Systems.)

We are a long time and far away from my father’s life as a sportsman using a single action rifle for hunting and today’s fearsome firearms used to kill 20 or more people in a matter of seconds. It’s time for legislators to show moral courage and determination. It’s time for new rules.

Beyond the fold: information about the above congressmen’s positions.

Ah… The Life of Sportsmen

Enjoying a day in the country, comraderie, teaching one’s child how to  shoot and skin an animal, and bringing home to the family fresh meat for dinner. That was part of my early childhood with my father and his friends. I used a bb gun.

Shoot forward (no pun intended) to today’s firearms and the massive industry lobbying. Meet the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), based in Washington DC, with regional offices and state legislative caucuses.  A N Y Times editorial refers to it as “a powerful voice arguing that gun-safety measures will somehow undermine hunting, fishing, target shooting and other activities …  And when it comes to insider influence on Capitol Hill, it has the ear of members of the sportsmen’s caucus, which has often supported measures embraced by the firearms industry.”

Meet your Congressional Sportsmen’s NJ Caucus members: Rep. Rob Andrews, Rep. Leonard Lance, Rep. Frank LoBiondo, Rep. Jon Runyan, and Rep. Chris Smith. And your NJ Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership: Sen. Donald Norcross, Sen. Steve Oroho, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, and Assemblyman Gary Chiusano.

Financial sponsors of the foundation include firearms manufacturers such as Remington which advertises its AUTOLOADING MODEL 597™ and praises “the speed with which it zips out rounds, and Browning which promotes its AR5 which is “built to be the most reliable, fastest cycling, best performing and softest shooting recoil-operated autoloader on the planet.” Other sponsors include the NRA and Koch Companies. (Yes. Those infamous brothers.)

While the foundation supports a broad range of worthwhile sportsmen activities, it also opposes a ban on the military-style rifles and high capacity magazines used in mass shootings. The Vice Chair of its Board is Mark DeYoung, President and CEO of ATK Armament Systems (formerly ATK Ammunition Systems.)

We are a long time and far away from my father’s life as a sportsman using a single action rifle for hunting and today’s powerful firearms used to kill 20 or more people in a matter of seconds.  It’s time for new rules.

Gun Safety Bills Pass in #NJAssembly

Today, the New Jersey General Assembly approved 22 bills to reduce gun violence and promote safety. Some of the bills, like a 5-year renewal term on firearms ID card, passed on or close to party lines. Others, like exempting firearms registration data from the Open Public Records Act, were passed unanimously.

So now these bills go to the Senate where they face an uncertain future. The Senate Democrats are not as unanimously supportive of some of these bills, and the Democratic majority is less than that in the Assembly. According to Senate Majority Leader Weinberg, these bills will be heard in the upper house in April, during the budget break.

So far, Governor Christie has maintained his long-term position of refusing to indicate where he stands on these gun safety bills and other related issues. This is a political issue, and the fate of some of these measures will depend on how he directs his Republican colleagues to vote.

To see how your Assembly member voted, go to this link (in a few days – the site is not yet updated).

You can find the list of bills passed today in the Assembly below the fold.

#NJAssembly Gun Safety Vote Scheduled for Thursday

Gun proliferation advocates are like mosquitoes on a damp summer day. No matter where you turn, they show up. They outnumbered the gun safety advocates at the governor’s task force meeting in Camden earlier this month. Their shouts at the Senate Majority Leader and Committee Chair at the Assembly’s St. Valentine’s Day hearings were palpable. Now, they’re preparing to make their voices heard in the Assembly chamber as that body is set to vote on gun safety legislation on Thursday. Among the bills to be considered is one that prohibit sale of guns to individuals on the terrorist watch list. Incredibly, no Republican on the Law and Public Safety Committee voted for that bill. Other common-sense legislation includes limitations on magazine size and armor-piercing ammunition.

No doubt, the NRA weapons-industrial complex is planning to bus in hundreds of the same boisterous advocates to the Thursday voting session. Hopefully, those who support gun safety laws will not be a silent majority. There’s at least one group that is busing folks from North Jersey to attend the session. Whether or not you can be there, be sure your Assembly members (and sadly, there are Democrats who are in the clutches of the NRA) know how important it is to strengthen New Jersey’s gun safety laws. There was a good turnout at the Jersey City rally on a cold January day (photo). Let’s repeat that and make sure our lawmakers know their constituents demand gun safety.  

Wayne La Pierre And His Kernel of Truth

“The border today remains porous to criminals whose jobs are murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping … After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark … Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money to pay for police protection. And the American people know it … Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face – not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival … We will stand and fight!”

– by Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President, NRA, in the Daily Caller

In addition to its inaccuracies, this was an incredible fear-mongering rant invoking immigrants, hurricanes, racism, and dystopia – a view which in LaPierre’s mind can only be solved by Americans buying more guns. This notion – what’s good for manufacturers of fire arms and bullets, is good for the U.S.A. – is not even believed by most N.R.A. members who in polls support reasonble gun safety legislation.

Apparently for LaPierre extremism in the defense of gun sales is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of gun safety is no virtue. As with comments made by failed political candidates Todd Akin (“legitimate rape”) and Richard Mourdock (pregnancy resulting from rape was “something God intended”) his attitude may work against the more zealous Second Amendment advocates and in favor of those with calmer minds.

Nonetheless, La Pierre touches on an important aspect of gun violence. Most of the attention recently has focused on mass shootings such as those in Newton, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Aurora, and not on  the daily pervasive gun violence in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 31,000 people a year in the United States die from gunshot wounds. In addition in 2010 there were an estimated 337,960 non-fatal violence crimes committed with guns, and 73,505 persons treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds.

In New Jersey last year there were 374 homicides – the largest numbers occuring in our urban areas. “It’s a proliferation of firearms on our streets,” Camden’s Police Chief Scott Thomson said. Firearms are readily available and casually sold from the trunk of a car. For people willing to purchase such guns, laws regarding the type of firearm, the number of clips in a magazine, and  proper I.D. card are not an important consideration.  

Some Thoughts on Yesterday’s Gun Safety Hearings

Yesterday, the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee held seven hours of hearings on 20 bills aimed at improving gun safety in New Jersey. This morning, GOP Assemblyman John Amodeo was quoted on the New Jersey Republicans’ Facebook page:

“One more gun death is too many,” Amodeo, R-Atlantic, said. “We need stronger penalties against those who repeatedly put other people’s lives in danger to stop them before another tragedy occurs.”

Well, actually that did not happen. The quote is accurate except I substituted “gun death” for “drunk driving.” Amodeo and his colleagues are touting legislation they introduced to increase drunk driving penalties. And I applaud their action.

No Republican voted for stronger gun safety standards yesterday. You see, the gun lobby is much stronger than the drunk driving lobby.

The arguments that the gun lovers used yesterday translate well into the realm of drunk driving.

“Let’s just enforce the existing drunk driving laws. That will get drunk drivers off the street.”

“If someone is driving drunk, they are already a criminal. So more laws will just detrimentally impact law-abiding citizens.”

24-Bill Gun Package in Assembly – @BlueJersey will live-Tweet

Here are some tools to follow along with the discussion today in the NJ Assembly on an audacious package of gun safety bills proposed by Democrats:

Follow our live-Tweeting coverage of the gun safety hearing in Assembly Law & Public safety – click @BlueJersey.

Follow hashtag #NJSafeGuns and hashtag #NJGunSafety.

Listen Live here to proceedings in the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee. Hearing is scheduled to begin 10am, but may begin late. Keep refreshing the page until “pending” becomes “listen”. You will need Windows Media Player, and there’s a free download at the bottom of the Legislature’s media page, linked above.

Read more here about the gun safety initiatives proposed today by the Democrats.

Bills are listed here.

Hat/tip Deciminyan for the live-Tweeting.