Tag Archive: NRA

In the Belly of the Beast – Part Deux

What do you call someone who hits himself in the head with a hammer and then decides that it was so much fun, he does it again?  Perhaps the answer is “deciminyan.”

After attending a Christie Town Hall 2½ weeks ago in Moorestown, I received an e-mail from the governor’s PR people letting me know that he would be doing an encore performance in Gloucester County today.  So I went, and wasn’t disappointed – at least by the crowd.  The small auditorium at the Washington Twp Town Hall was filled with the glitterati of the right wing – Christie acolytes and adorers from the NRA, birthers, 9-12ers, and the various strains of the Tea Party.  This time, however, I had some moral support, as my friend Jeff, who runs the anti-Christie Facebook page, was there with me. There may have been a few more closet progressives, and the teachers demonstrated outside, but for the most part it was like being at a Michele Bachmann family reunion.  The woman in front of me got visibly upset every time I turned off my camcorder, as if I were censoring the word of God.

More, including video clips, after the fold…

Lautenberg wants to Close “Terror Gap” In Gun Laws

Senator Lautenberg joined with Congressmen John Conyers and Bobby Scott to release an eye opening new GAO report yesterday:

People named on the government’s terrorism watch list have successfully purchased firearms hundreds of times since 2004, government investigators reported yesterday. In one case, a known or suspected terrorist was able to obtain an explosives license, the Government Accountability Office reported.

U.S. lawmakers requested the audit to show how people on the watch list can be stopped from boarding airplanes but not from buying guns. Under federal law, licensed firearms dealers must request an FBI background check for each buyer but cannot legally stop a purchase solely because someone is on the watch list. The study found that people on the list purchased firearms 865 times in 963 attempts over a five-year period ending in February.

The officials said that being on the Terrorist Watch List is currently not a disqualifying factor for buying firearms. You can view the complete GAO report here. The officials called it a “terror gap” and introduced legislation to help correct the problem:

Sen. Lautenberg’s measure, the “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009,” would:

  • Provide the Attorney General with discretionary authority to deny the transfer or issuance of a firearm or firearm or explosives license or permit when a background check reveals that the purchaser is a known or suspected terrorist and the Attorney General reasonably believes that the person may use a firearm or explosives in connection with terrorism;

  • Requires the Attorney General to issue guidelines describing the circumstances under which such discretionary authority will be used;

  • Include due process safeguards that afford an affected person an opportunity to challenge a denial by the Attorney General; and

  • Protect the sensitive information upon which terrorist watch lists are based.

  • The Senator’s office even noted that the Bush Administration backed the introduction of a previous version of this bill he wrote in 2007.

    “The special interest gun lobby has so twisted our nation’s laws that the rights of terrorists are placed above the safety of everyday Americans.  The current law simply defies common sense.  This new report is proof positive that known and suspected terrorists are exploiting a major loophole in our law, threatening our families and our communities.   This ‘terror gap’ has been open too long and our national security demands that we shut it down,”

    Pretty strong words from the Senator for a disturbing situation.  The GAO report is 47 pages and we’ll have to see if they have better luck this time around with the legislation. The Justice Department wouldn’t comment other than to say that they were reviewing the Senator’s bill.