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HunterJim
07-24-2009, 8:31 AM
Gun-Shy
By Dana Milbank
Columnist
The Washington Post
July 23, 2009
< http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/22/AR2009072203282.html?referrer=emailarticle <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/22/AR2009072203282.html?referrer=emailarticle> >

How do you outgun the NRA? Very, very carefully.

Mark Pryor knows all about that. The Democratic senator from pro-gun Arkansas was nowhere to be seen on the Senate floor during Wednesday's showdown over a proposal, championed by the National Rifle Association, that would have gutted state gun-control laws across the nation.

After a morning of angry speeches, a vote was called at high noon. Toward the end of the vote, Pryor entered the chamber through the back door, took a few steps inside, flashed a thumbs-down to the clerk, and retreated as fast and furtively as somebody dodging gunfire.

Several minutes later, the Democrats had racked up more than enough votes to block the proposal. "Are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote?" the presiding officer inquired.

Pryor burst back in, this time through a side door. "Mr. President!" he called out. "Mr. President!" He stopped in the well to consult with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a gun-control advocate who was keeping the whip sheet. Schumer gave Pryor a nod, and the Arkansan -- reassured that his vote was not needed to defeat the proposal -- changed his vote to an "aye."

If Pryor wasn't exactly a profile in courage, keep in mind: The gun lobby has a lot of money and a lot of clout, not to mention a lot of guns. And it doesn't mind firing off a few rounds to keep lawmakers in line.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) served this function during the debate when he reminded his colleagues that the NRA would factor this vote into its ratings. "The National Rifle Association, the NRA, is a strong supporter of this amendment," he warned, and it's also "specifically scoring this amendment in terms of member votes."

Looking down the barrel of that gun, 20 of the 60 Democrats in the chamber defected to the NRA's side. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), a gun-loving lawmaker whose aide was charged in 2007 with trying to carry a loaded pistol and extra ammunition into a Senate office building, even spoke on the floor about how his Democratic colleagues were spreading "misinformation."

A couple of seats away, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), a gun-control supporter, raised his eyebrows and shook his head.

Only two Republicans went against the gun lobby, but that was enough to leave supporters just short of the 60 votes they needed. The slim margin was no accident: Other Democrats, such as Pennsylvania's Bob Casey and Colorado's Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, were said to have been willing to vote "no" if necessary. Twenty minutes after the voting began, Bennet and Udall left the cloakroom together and walked into the chamber. Bennet went to the well to consult with Schumer, who indicated that it was safe for Bennet -- a product of D.C.'s St. Albans School -- to vote with the NRA. Bennet looked to Udall, who gave an approving nod, and cast his "aye" vote.

Schumer found himself in the unusual position of opposing many of the moderate Democrats he helped bring to office as the head of Senate Democrats' campaign efforts, including Webb, Casey, Jon Tester (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.). "Senator," a reporter noted to Schumer at a post-vote news conference, "you were staring down some of the folks you were losing on the floor."

"No. I wasn't at all," Schumer replied. "There was no staring down at all -- none."

Lautenberg tried to defend his colleague. "He was, I thought, mellow, very specific, and not at all threatening or suggesting punishment," he offered.

Either way, it had been clear that Democrats needed some more discipline on gun-control measures. They had already lost votes earlier this year on proposals to allow the carrying of concealed firearms in national parks and to repeal most of the District's gun controls.

The D.C. measure passed with 62 votes. But this time, two Democrats, Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Arlen Specter (Pa.), were persuaded to switch sides -- and they weren't the only lawmakers caught in the crossfire between the NRA and gun-control forces.

Earlier this week, Lautenberg told reporters that Harry Reid (Nev.), the Democratic leader, would vote against the proposal. But Reid testily refuted Lautenberg. "I'm not going to explain why I'm voting for it," he explained. "I'm just voting for it."

Reid stayed out of view Wednesday while the true believers on both sides abandoned their usual positions

Urban liberals, who typically champion federal authority, lined up to proclaim their fealty to states' rights. "Leave us alone! Leave us alone!" demanded Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Her California colleague, Dianne Feinstein (D), even displayed an enlarged photo of the flag-draped caskets of police officers who have been killed.

Southerners, who historically promote states' rights, demanded that the federal government overrule the states on gun laws. John Thune (R-S.D.), who sponsored the measure, said that he was merely trying to "clarify this patchwork" of state laws, and he accused the Democrats of "wild exaggerations" and "scare tactics."

For once, the gun-control crowd won a shootout with the NRA. But nobody was talking about disarmament. "We know the gun lobby is strong," Schumer said after the vote. "We know they will be back."

-end-

Roadrunner
07-24-2009, 8:43 AM
So, by this article, it came down to who needs to be protected from the wrath of the NRA. Actually, that's a good thing. Now the NRA needs to shout the names of the politicians that voted no and do their dead level best to get them removed from office.

liketoshoot
07-24-2009, 9:23 AM
What's needed is the law to be writen so that all states require training to have a CCW, so that all people that have a CCW will have the same training and then they can not say there is a dispairity between the training received.

Roadrunner
07-24-2009, 9:51 AM
What's needed is the law to be writen so that all states require training to have a CCW, so that all people that have a CCW will have the same training and then they can not say there is a dispairity between the training received.

Cam Edwards on NRA News made a valid point by observing that states vary on how much training and education a person needs to obtain a drivers license yet once a person obtains a drivers license they can drive nationwide without question. I would observe that a person can drive internationally without obtaining special permission to drive a car. So why should all of the states require the same type of training and who among the states decides what the training will include? I would suggest that training of that sort would be very difficult to coordinate among the states since they vary on what constitutes a good self defense shooting.

Glock22Fan
07-24-2009, 10:15 AM
What's needed is the law to be writen so that all states require training to have a CCW, so that all people that have a CCW will have the same training and then they can not say there is a dispairity between the training received.

I have two problems with this.

1) There is no evidence (from states like Alaska and Vermont that require no training, and Utah , Florida etc. that require very little) that any training is required whatsoever -- even though we know that a serious gun owner will indeed want to get some training.

2) It's yet another infringement, hurdle and compromise.

The Wingnut
07-24-2009, 10:35 AM
...And it doesn't mind firing off a few rounds to keep lawmakers in line.

What?!

elenius
07-24-2009, 11:34 AM
Cam Edwards on NRA News made a valid point by observing that states vary on how much training and education a person needs to obtain a drivers license yet once a person obtains a drivers license they can drive nationwide without question. I would observe that a person can drive internationally without obtaining special permission to drive a car. So why should all of the states require the same type of training and who among the states decides what the training will include? I would suggest that training of that sort would be very difficult to coordinate among the states since they vary on what constitutes a good self defense shooting.

Is there a federal mandate that requires states to recognize out-of-state driver's licenses, or is it interstate reciprocity agreements?

Maestro Pistolero
07-24-2009, 12:35 PM
Driver licenses don't require training, only that you show competency by passing a test.

locosway
07-24-2009, 1:57 PM
Driver licenses don't require training, only that you show competency by passing a test.

That may be a per state issue, as CA does require drivers training by a certified instructor.

tube_ee
07-24-2009, 2:12 PM
That may be a per state issue, as CA does require drivers training by a certified instructor.

Since when?

I know that I walked into my local DMV and took a test. I was over 18, though.

Under 18 required training by a state-licensed driving instructor, over 18 did not... at least in the 1990s.

--Shannon

locosway
07-24-2009, 2:18 PM
Since when?

I know that I walked into my local DMV and took a test. I was over 18, though.

Under 18 required training by a state-licensed driving instructor, over 18 did not... at least in the 1990s.

--Shannon

Ahh, that's what it was. I was under 18 when I first got my license.

Glock22Fan
07-24-2009, 3:57 PM
I just took a test, but I did have UK license.

I was actually caught in a stupid system and unable to drive for six months.

When I first came over here, I was allowed to drive on my UK license.

Once I filed with the INS to become a resident, I was no longer allowed to used my UK license (partly an insurance complication), but I could not get a Ca license because I did not have any of the listed INS paperwork back from them.

So, I was stuck in limbo for a long time. The only good news was that I couldn't get a job either, so at least I didn't have to get to work.

Maestro Pistolero
07-24-2009, 4:04 PM
When I first came over here, I was allowed to drive on my UK license.

How about that! You can drive a potentially deadly vehicle with a license from another country, but in some states you can't carry a deadly weapon with licenses that, in my case, make me legally able to carry in 33 other states. :confused:

RobG
07-24-2009, 4:09 PM
I have two problems with this.

1) There is no evidence (from states like Alaska and Vermont that require no training, and Utah , Florida etc. that require very little) that any training is required whatsoever -- even though we know that a serious gun owner will indeed want to get some training.

2) It's yet another infringement, hurdle and compromise.

+1 Another begging and pleading with the gov't to allow us to exercise the rights given to us by the constitution and affirrmed by Heller.

NagantHunter
07-24-2009, 5:54 PM
Dianne Feinstein (D), even displayed an enlarged photo of the flag-draped caskets of police officers who have been killed.


Good lord that woman drives me nucking futz!!!!

How many cops have been killed by CCW holders you crazy old bag???? Um - NONE. Did you happen to shoot any cops when you had your CCW?

Wild Bill
07-24-2009, 6:10 PM
And I do believe that more cops have been killed by cars than guns held by ccw.:cowboy:

7x57
07-24-2009, 6:29 PM
2) It's yet another infringement, hurdle and compromise.

As an irrelevant side note, this is why I like Glock22Fan even when he's burdened with defending the guy in the big hat. :thumbsup:

7x57

M. D. Van Norman
07-24-2009, 7:57 PM
Another begging and pleading with the govít to allow us to exercise the rights given [sic] to us by the constitution and affirrmed by Heller.

Heller still wonít keep us out of prison for exercising our Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

locosway
07-24-2009, 7:58 PM
Heller still wonít keep us out of prison for exercising our Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Which is sad. What would it take for CA to recognize the courts decision? I was under the impression that states must follow federal laws.

7x57
07-24-2009, 8:07 PM
Which is sad. What would it take for CA to recognize the courts decision? I was under the impression that states must follow federal laws.

A savage beating in federal court, administered across the buttocks.

On an unrelated topic, just the other day I saw Gene buying a pickup load of peeled willow switches. I can't imagine what he needs them for, however. :43:

7x57

locosway
07-24-2009, 8:15 PM
I have a dodge 2500 long bed he can borrow for more switches...

1JimMarch
07-24-2009, 8:22 PM
As a former ferret owner, I have to object to portraying the US Senate as "weasels".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHcDT6wla2Y

Real weasels are a lot more fun :).

nick
07-24-2009, 8:51 PM
There's quite a few videos titled "my ferret steals ..." :p

gunsmith
07-24-2009, 10:05 PM
To start refusing to let other states drivers drive on their roads.
i.e NV not letting CA trucks operate on their roads...."state rights" Y'know

Paladin
07-25-2009, 5:47 AM
At last a news article that gives outsiders a glimpse into the "sausage making" of politics. This article should be mandatory reading for all gunnies (or at least linked at the NRA's website).

This shows you how politicos of both parties try to "game the system" and thwart the NRA's scoring of them. This is why, to a large extent, we who do not live and breathe "inside the beltway" politics must simply trust and follow the NRA's leaders when they say who/what to support or oppose. They know all the games these politician play to try to fool us.

These politicians are playing a game of "Survivor" (lying, being two-faced, deceptive, treachery, etc.), but with our 2nd Amendment rights at stake -- the very rights that ensure both our lives and our liberty!

Get as many pro-gun people as you know to sign up for a FREE NRA Annual membership and get them plugged into to the NRA's email Alert system, CalNRA's email alert system, and CGN! Look at the link in my sig line for "16 things YOU CAN DO" to help protect our 2nd A RKBA.

yellowfin
07-25-2009, 6:17 AM
It is disgusting and an outrage that our freedom is a game to them.