Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mark Kelly calls out the NRA for working to make it "easier, instead of harder, for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to get guns."

Courtesy of Politico:  

I’ve been on the road lately, and everywhere I go, I hear huge determination to curb gun violence and real excitement about a simple, really important first step we can take: closing the so-called gun show loophole and instituting one simple system for background checks. 

But then I read the newspaper or watch TV, and I hear other voices — specifically, the leadership of the National Rifle Association — describing this proposed legislation in terms that are misleading at best. They’re calling on legislators to make it easier, instead of harder, for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to get guns. 

You read that right. Not harder, easier. Which isn’t what the more than 74 percent of NRA members in this country who are law-abiding citizens and responsible gun owners, as Gabby and I are, and who support expanding background checks, believe. 

Making the system of background checks fair and consistent isn’t hard to understand. If you don’t think there should be two different sets of rules, leveling the playing field and expanding the effective National Instant Criminal Background Check System is the way to go. For the same reasons we don’t make getting screened for bombs or weapons at the airport optional, or registering your car something you only have to do if you want to, having a giant loophole in the background check system just doesn’t make sense. 

I have said it before, but it bears repeating, that the single biggest threat to the NRA's ability to wait out the outcry for new gun laws after Newtown is Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly.

Gabby is a living reminder of the devastation done in this country due to ineffective gun legislation, and with Mark by her side they are a force that NO amount of NRA money will be able to minimize or defend against.

And they are not alone. This from NBC News:  

In the latest poll, 86 percent of African Americans, 82 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Hispanics, and 71 percent of urban respondents said they were in favor of stricter gun laws, all up double-digits from 2011. 

Urban: 71% (Feb. 2013) - 55% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +16 
African Americans: 86% (Feb. 2013) - 71% (Jan. 2011) Net change: +15 
Republicans: 37% (Feb. 2013) - 24% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +13 
Hispanics: 72% (Feb. 2013) - 60% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +12 
Democrats: 82% (Feb. 2013) - 71% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +11 
Men: 51% (Feb. 2013) - 42% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +9 
Women: 69% (Feb. 2013) - 61% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +8 
Suburban: 59% (Feb. 2013) - 51% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +8 
Whites: 55% (Feb. 2013) - 48% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +7 
Rural: 48% (Feb. 2013) - 41% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +7 
Independents: 49% (Feb. 2013) - 48% (Jan. 2011). Net change: +1 


You know we all said that this time it was different after the Sandy Hook shooting occurred and at the time I for one was saying that more hopefully than assuredly.

But do you know what? This time it IS different.

And those that do not see that are doomed to lose politically, personally, and morally.


  1. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Makes me think of the quote from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory: "So shines a good deed in a weary world."

    Myself, I am weathered by the political climate of hate and divisiveness, living in the worst of the Red States where the attitude is, "I've got mine! Too fucking bad for you." So it is a refreshing little glimmer of hope that their authenticity, intelligence and grace under the worst of circumstances is having an impact on people's opinions on this issue. Wishing them much happiness and strength as they fight the good fight.

  2. Leland10:35 AM

    What I find to be the most damaging piece of commenting for the people fighting this gun control movement was their own: "Bringing Gabby Giffords into this fight is nothing short of politicizing it!"

    Why is that damning?

    Does the name James Brady ring a bell?

    Unfortunately, this particular fight is just another bad example of Washington (and yes, I include the majority there) not paying ANY attention to information like what Gryphen has laid out here.

    The vast majority of people in this country want reasonable gun control. Many corporations - and people with LOTS of money - seem to NOT want it. Guess who wins.

    Another example of why the Citizens United Decision was a major mistake.

  3. SHARON11:30 AM

    Everytime I see them together it is so overwhelming...the love Mark has for Gabby when he looks at her, they are such heros. There can never be a doubt of their patriotism, Gabby a dedicated Congresswoman and Mark, damn an astronaut. What she went thru in rehab alone is remarkable, and he was at her side every minute. They are living proof of what needs to be done and to devote their time and energy to this when they could easily live quietly is just another testament to their love of this country. Kudos to Mayor Bloomberg...putting his money where his mouth is, we are now playing by the GOP rules and Chicago was a great starting point for 2014. There will be so many GOP votes working against them coming this election and I hope the Dems use them all.

    1. Anonymous2:07 PM

      Why is everybody so impressed that Gabby Giffords married an Astronaut? He never served as the chief executive of a real city of almost 5,000 people, and never served a half term as governor either. And I'll bet that Mark Kelly doesn't have a degree in communications, neither. And he can't play a flute.

      Plus, have you seen Todd? He got a trophy for riding his snow mobile!!!

  4. fromthediagonal12:29 PM

    Yes, the Brady effort Does ring a bell, and it obviously did not succeed in any measure. May this time be different!

    1. Leland4:07 PM

      I don't know about you, but I cannot blame a LAW for someone's failure to enforce it! The Brady Law was a MAJOR step forward in those days. And only passed because Brady was a Repube on Reagan's staff. But pass it did and was the first of its kind that I know of.

      All the same arguments were used about privacy and all that crap. It still passed. Of course, it didn't go FAR enough, leaving all sorts of holes in purchasing that could be done without checks, but it was passed.

      I would hope, as I think you are intimating also, that this time those holes can be closed and steps can be taken to restrict assault weapons.

      Look to things like Congress' failure to support agencies with financing if you want to call something a failure. A law is only as good as the enforcement. Remember that, please. And also, recall that the Brady Law was an unfunded MANDATE to the states.

  5. Anonymous1:57 PM

    G, there's a good video & article over at Mediaite on the Senate hearing on gun control with bachelor #3 Lindsay Graham grandstanding like he's afraid he's going to be primaried in 2014. He gets punked by a Police Chief, despite Graham's drama and hysterics.
    It might be a good addendum to the Mark Kelly/Gabby Giffords post. I sent you the link via e-mail.


    1. Anonymous3:42 PM

    2. Anonymous4:56 PM

      The same police chief was on Anderson Cooper this evening. The PC was very good at explaining how blocked the courts would become if law enforcement actually prosecuted everyone who was guilting of not registering their guns. The PC's best point however was in emphasizing to AC how upset he was that the Senators left the room and did not hear any testimoney from anyone from Sandy Hook. They could care care less. All just interested in grandstanding.


  6. Anonymous2:59 PM

    Even with the injury and surgery, Gabby looks so much younger and 'vibrant' than Sarah Palin. Can you imagine what Sarah Palin would look like if she had been in Tuscon instead of Gabby?

  7. Anonymous5:05 PM

    "And those that do not see that are doomed to lose politically, personally, and morally."
    No, they are not, Gryphen.
    They know that the SOTUS will revamp/eliminate the voting act, and they know they will win next time again, because they already have been doing their darndest to re-district, and make sure that more ReaPukeLiCONS get a district than Dems, and then on top of that, they try to change the way the electoral votes will be counted, namely by how many districts, not by the # of votes they get, and thus they know they will win...

  8. Anita Winecooler7:23 PM

    Gabby and Mark are an amazing example of what a difference real commitment in a relationship means. I felt the "this time it IS different" vibe when Gabby was shot down and Christina Taylor Green died, but it was amplified by the tragedy at Newtown. THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT.
    Gabby and Mark are members of the NRA, so when Mark speaks, he speaks the truth. The leadership of the NRA don't represent the majority of it's members.
    What I don't understand is why don't the sane members break away and start their own group? Tightening the background checks and registration shouldn't be an issue, and could be the first bit of "common ground" both sides can work toward.

    Everytime I see the parent of one of the victims mistreated at public hearings, it makes my blood boil. Can't they show an iota of humanity and empathy for their loss? I can't even imagine myself walking in their shoes. Where they find the courage is beyond me.


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