Biden Newtown Task Force Aims Big on Guns

After historic Biden-NRA meeting, the VP is expected to make three recommendations: extended background checks, limited access to high capacity magazines, and federal authority to track gun sales and crime weapons.

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Marco Grob for TIME

The White House decided not to let reporters witness the historic meeting taking place this afternoon between Vice President Joe Biden and James Jay Baker, the top lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. The two men have been fighting each other on legislation since the early 1990s, when Biden helped enact a crime bill that included a ban on certain types of assault weapons. Biden has been tangling with the NRA since the 1980s, when his effort to outlaw certain types of armor-piercing, so-called “cop killer” bullets, ran up against NRA opposition.

But Biden did give reporters something to chew on, by dropping big hints about the big things he is going to recommend on gun control. “There is an emerging set of recommendations not coming from me, but coming from the groups we have met with,” Biden said, before a meeting with hunting group leaders this morning. Then he listed three areas of gun control that the NRA has long opposed: Extending background checks to cover all gun purchases, limiting access to high capacity magazines for guns, and allowing federal agencies to collect data on gun sales and the weapons used in crime, information collection that has been blocked for nearly a decade by Congress.

“There has got to be some common ground to not solve every problem but diminish the probability that what we have seen in these mass shootings will occur, and diminish the probability that our children are at risk in our schools, and diminish the probability that weapons will be used and firearms will be used in dealing with aberrant behavior that takes place in our society,” Biden said, while reporters were in the room.

That common ground does not exist right now in the U.S. Congress, where House Republicans have made clear their opposition to expanding background checks, limiting high capacity magazines and where many members voted just a few years ago to bar the collection of information that Biden now suggests collecting.

That suggests there is a clear fight ahead. But then this is not exactly news. In announcing the task force, President Obama clearly suggested the direction he expected to head:

The good news is there’s already a growing consensus for us to build from. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all. I urge the new Congress to hold votes on these measures next year in a timely manner.

Interestingly, Biden made no mention today of the assault weapons ban, but there is no sign that he has taken the matter off the table. What is clear is that the recommendations he delivers next week to the President will be the beginning, the White House hopes, of a much larger consensus-building process in Washington, where for nearly two decades gun control advocates have had little success.

318 comments
reallife
reallife

and the NRA gets 250000 new members in a month - talk about backfire  hahahahaha

AfGuy
AfGuy

Looks like to GOP has gone to Ed Meese to weigh in on the legality of Obama's taking certain actions by Executive Order... what's legal and what's not.

Makes perfect sense... if anyone knows about conducting and providing cover for illegal activities while a member of the Executive Branch, it would be Ed "Yes, Mr. President, that's legal... now, remind me again, exactly WHAT was the question?" Meese.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

When a man takes a baseball bat and kills his wife; do we blame Louisville Slugger? Or when a woman takes a steak knife to her husband's chest; do with blame the knife company? Let someone shoot another person in cold blood, and who gets the blame? The NRA, the gun manufacturer, and the bullet manufacturer. As long as you beat or stab someone to death, it's pretty much not a big deal, but a gun, whoa now, that's a horse of a different color all together..

This whole thread has been about banning "assault weapons" which according to liberals are guns that look and shoot like military grade weapons. Every deer rifle made is as equally deadly as a AR-15, and it carries a much larger round. So, now you want to ban large capacity magazines, as if 20 rounds is too much compared to 15. The shooter at Sandy Hook fired over 100 rounds in one classroom, and there is not a magazine known to carry that many rounds, so he had to reload more than 3 times. 

What I find alarming is the passive attitude that some of you have towards your own rights. Do you not cherish them? What are they worth to you people? Planned Parenthood performed over 300,000 abortions in this country last year, and it passed through the news with not much fanfare except the hard right Jesus freaks kind of went crazy..Me, I have no opinion on abortion, never having one myself, and who am I to tell anyone what to do when they find themselves in that situation. My point? People have the right to end a pregnancy pretty much anytime they want. Whenever there is an election, liberals and conservatives both, start talking about abortion. One calls it murder, the other family planning. Liberals say that women have rights over their bodies, and take to the streets and airways to voice their rights to choose, but let someone walk into a school, and murder children, then those same liberals who want nothing to stop them from having an abortion, want to make me and people who are like me, law abiding citizens jump through hoop after hoop, to satisfy their thirst of control over my rights.. Why? I have not committed no gun crime, and never plan on it. You want the government to stay out of your medical records. Maybe there should be a registry for those women who have had an abortion, maybe make it public record. People could find out where you live, how many you have had, the whole nine yards... I would never support that in a million years, but you people want to know what' I'm carrying, and how many guns I own..How is this even fair?  

outsider
outsider

When Tennessee weapons instructor James Yeager threatened Wednesday to “start killing people” if President Obama moved ahead on gun control, his infuriated rant went national, with dozens of media outlets and blogs expressing amazement.

In thousands of comments about Yeager’s YouTube video and another video the unrepentant Tactical Response CEO posted yesterday, Americans wondered if Yeager was breaking the law, or mentally ill, or a perfect example of the need for gun control. “Amazing, really,” wrote a commenter on the Hatewatch blog. “Simply amazing. These people are certifiably insane.” Said another, “These are the words of a real terrorist.” And a third wondered, “Can’t he be arrested for this?”

But the truth is that the death threats from Yeager — a man who is a former police chief, protective services contractor in Iraq, and owner of two companies that provide tactical weapons and training to police and military units — are not unique. Although Yeager said it more clearly than most, and with more profanity, the far right in America generally is reacting to the prospect of gun control with hysteria.

Yeager may well have been set off in the first place by the online Drudge Report, which earlier Wednesday compared the administration to Hitler and Stalin for considering using executive orders to facilitate some gun control measures. But Matt Drudge’s  was the only the latest in a series of furious attacks from the political far right.

The League of the South, a white supremacist secessionist group based in Alabama, on Wednesday said that “the biggest threat is the U.S. government itself” and described the Obama administration as “a criminal regime.” “Those in positions of power who exceed the limits of lawful authority ought to be made to live in mortal fear of their transgressions,” league president Michael Hill said.

A day later, Terry Jones, the Muslim-bashing Florida preacher whose burning of the Koran set off violence in the Middle East, sounded similar. “Every generation needs a revolution,” Jones said. “We must resist the disarming of the American people, if necessary, with violent aggressive opposition. The tree of liberty must be, from time to time, refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”


http://www.salon.com/2013/01/11/radical_right_well_start_killing_people_if_obama_enacts_gun_control/

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Sometime I would love to have a reasonable argument on gun control with a pro-gun person, but every time I do all I get are non sequiter arguments and the subject being changed ad infinium.

T.P.Chia
T.P.Chia

The Republicans and NRA have been absurdly and unpatriotically opposing new gun regulations.. They have wrongly argued that gun control is unconstitional and in violation of citizen's right to bear arms.  They are in opposition to banning semi-automatic riffles, high-capacity magazines, bacdgound check for new gun owners, and federal agencies collecting data on gun sales and weapons used in crimes.

The fact is that no one is taking away people's right to bear arms--but just to tighten gun control for the safety and security of the American people and the nation as a whole. The government has no right to ban private gun onership, but it has the moral and legal duty to minimize gun violence in the American society by taking measures and actions to ensure that the freedom to own guns is not abused.

The U.S. is far behind many developed nations in terms of gun control.  In U.K. Australia, Canada or Japan, handguns or semi-auto weapons are either restricted or virtually prohibited, and gun owners need to go through either a background chech or a mental and physical test..

The rise of gun violence in the U.S. is shocking. It is time that the President Obama tighten gun control though executive order. The future of America should not be left to the Rupublican-controlled congress.  America should be courageous enough to do the right thing for herself and her people.

outsider
outsider

This week, people were shocked when the Drudge Report posted a giant picture of Hitler over a headline speculating that the White House will proceed with executive orders to limit access to firearms. The proposed orders are exceedingly tame, but Drudge’s reaction is actually a common conservative response to any invocation of gun control.


The NRA, Fox News, Fox News (again), Alex Jones, email chains, Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, Gun Owners of America, etc., all agree that gun control was critical to Hitler’s rise to power. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (“America’s most aggressive defender of firearms ownership”) is built almost exclusively around this notion, popularizing posters of Hitler giving the Nazi salute next to the text: “All in favor of ‘gun control’ raise your right hand.”


In his 1994 book, NRA head Wayne LaPierre dwelled on the Hitler meme at length, writing: “In Germany, Jewish extermination began with the Nazi Weapon Law of 1938, signed by Adolf Hitler.”

And it makes a certain amount of intuitive sense: If you’re going to impose a brutal authoritarian regime on your populace, better to disarm them first so they can’t fight back.


Unfortunately for LaPierre et al., the notion that Hitler confiscated everyone’s guns is mostly bogus. And the ancillary claim that Jews could have stopped the Holocaust with more guns doesn’t make any sense at all if you think about it for more than a minute.


University of Chicago law professor Bernard Harcourt explored this myth in depth in a 2004 article published in the Fordham Law Review. As it turns out, the Weimar Republic, the German government that immediately preceded Hitler’s, actually had tougher gun laws than the Nazi regime. After its defeat in World War I, and agreeing to the harsh surrender terms laid out in the Treaty of Versailles, the German legislature in 1919 passed a law that effectively banned all private firearm possession, leading the government to confiscate guns already in circulation. In 1928, the Reichstag relaxed the regulation a bit, but put in place a strict registration regime that required citizens to acquire separate permits to own guns, sell them or carry them.


The 1938 law signed by Hitler that LaPierre mentions in his book basically does the opposite of what he says it did. “The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition,” Harcourt wrote. Meanwhile, many more categories of people, including Nazi party members, were exempted from gun ownership regulations altogether, while the legal age of purchase was lowered from 20 to 18, and permit lengths were extended from one year to three years.


http://www.salon.com/2013/01/11/stop_talking_about_hitler/

reallife
reallife

@TerryCliftonyou might be expecting too much... it takes cojones to want to be free.... you have to remember that you're talking to a bunch of sheep...

baaaaaaaa baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


Heian
Heian

@TerryClifton Just...wow. I wanted to tackle the logical failings here but that task is tantamount to trying to alphabetize a garbage dump.

I seriously doubt anyone can slog through the whole mess without just... sighing, as faith in human intelligence escapes you. The start, likening a baseball bat to a gun, is so logically flawed it is astounding - that he bases an argument on such a horrifically flawed equivalence is a pretty good indicator for the rest of the essay that follows.

If you don't like the country, leave - the quality of our society will skyrocket.

outsider
outsider

@TerryClifton  

I find it alarming that someone mistrusts their gov't so much. 

You live presumably free, are free to say whatever you want (as witnessed by your posts), free to make a living, to live your life - and yet you think the gov't is somehow holding you back. 

I don't understand; this is how the majority of the county wants things (hence both parties - which aren't perfect, being elected repeatedly, while Ron Paul was an also ran - each time he's run). If you want total freedom, it's not facetious to say, go to Somalia where you can live out the libertarian dream. No one rules there. 

The fact is, most libertarians want the structure of society that the laws provide, without acknowledging the laws/rights/restriction that allows them to voice that opinion. 

If you find it alarming that people trust the gov't, why not leave, since the gov't seems to make you .. i dunno, unhappy? 

 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@TerryClifton Comparing abortion to owning military weapons solidifies your standing as an idiot. But than again according to you, it would be okay to own tanks, jets and nuclear devices as well if one can afford them.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@outsider2011  

After Sandy Hook there was hundreds of tweets calling for the killing of the NRA President and NRA Members..What's the difference? Also, there has been many instances of calls of violence against Tea Party Members..I'm utterly shocked that you failed to mention those..

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@outsider2011 

What is it about the idea of having unrestricted access to all firearms that makes some people so absolutely insane?  My only guess is horrible insecurities and paranoia.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@DonQuixotic  

I'm not pro-gun. I'm pro liberty, and freedom..What else could a man or woman want for themselves? 

Sue_N
Sue_N

@DonQuixotic Hey, Don, I'm a gun owner! Though I'm not sure we'd have a real argument, because I'm completely in favor of gun control. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity clips and enact universal registration. Kill the gunshow and private sale loopholes. Waiting periods? Bring 'em on! Also, training. Make it mandatory, like driver's ed.

Seriously, we should regulate guns and gun owners the way we do cars and drivers.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@T.P.Chia  

How is the government having more private information on citizens, freedom? There are plenty of laws on the books. When someone commits murder or uses a gun to infringe on the rights of others, then they break a law, thus they are a criminal. You want to take away guns from law abiding citizens who have committed no crime..That leads to tyranny, welcome to the club..

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@T.P.Chia 

Yes.  Thank you.

Stop being lemmings for the NRA people.  They don't care about your rights, they just want you to buy more guns.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@outsider2011  

So what your saying is that when Hitler came to round up the Jews, they had no way of protecting themselves from tyranny. Thus most of them were led to the concentration camps and gas chambers without firing a shot. Seems like you have no problem with that..

AfGuy
AfGuy

@Heian @TerryClifton Lets's see now...

1 kid killed or 26... what's the difference? After all, they weren't MY kids... I don't even know any of them... mine are home-schooled. The guy that did it will be punished... after all, he broke the law when he killed them - 1 or 26 is just a minor detail of scale.

The parents of those children should attend their funerals proud of the fact that they died defending the right of me or any other paranoid/psychotic to own whatever piece of hardware we want because.... FREEDOM!

That about summarize your philosophy toward others, Terry? I hear there's a community in the planning stage in Idaho for those who believe just what you do... and I'd LOVE to watch you try to coexist with a group who think just like you do. I'd give you a week before you start to "off" each other over what was said at the bar the night before... or what you IMAGINE was said.... or what SOMEONE told you was said.

Nobody tells YOU what to do...

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@Heian @TerryClifton  

Murder is murder, right?

 You should like one of those bible thumping conservatives, get out if you don't like the way it is, lol..

 

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@outsider2011 @TerryClifton  

You have a very skewed idea of what a libertarian believes. We live within the rules of society, and I would argue that I'm probably more liberal than you. What I don't subscribe to is the government trampling on my Constitutional rights.  

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@mantisdragon91 @TerryClifton  

How so? Everyone will agree that a woman has right to her own body, even though some will argue that abortion is murder.. You can have it both ways..

Heian
Heian

@TerryClifton @outsider2011 Referential material or link, please. Let's see if you can quantify any of the crazy, ignorant things you've said with more than a swift and illogical change of subject on your part.

outsider
outsider

@TerryClifton @outsider2011

Ok, couple of points here:

1) That was an article not something I wrote. So saying you're shocked I didn't mention threats against the NRA people is a bit ridiculous. If those things happened, it is incumbant upon the author to mention them, not me.

2) For the record, I don't condone threats going the other way either. I think there needs to be dialogue, not threats.

3) It is hypocritical for the TPers to complain about threats; they have been advocating "second amendment solutions" since Obama took office.

4) If the threats to the righties are as prevelant as you imply, you'll have links?

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

If only the Jews in Germany had you around to ease their fears of Hitler..Don't worry..What's the worse that could happen? It's all good, people, Shalom.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Sue_N 

Oh, I'm a gun owner too.  I just happen to understand the difference between reasonable restraints on what we should be allowed to own.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@Sue_N  

Do you honestly believe that's going to stop school shootings, mass killings, and senseless murders? Yep, lets make all the law abiding citizens jump through even more hoops to protect themselves and their families. Meanwhile on the streets of Chicago and other major cities people will die at the smoking end of a gun. But I'm sure that you will sleep much better that the government will have their hands tighter around our rights. 

Heian
Heian

@TerryClifton @outsider2011 And there you have it, ladies and gents; somebody who apparently cannot read is still posting! Give 'im a hand, he's overcoming obstacles to bring us that special, special opinion of his.

If you had read (huge leap of faith that such a thing could happen), you would have understood that the law signed by Hitler DEregulated gun control. So by arguing for less gun control (using your own 'logic' on the reverse, incorrect situation), you are agreeing with Hitler.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@TerryClifton @outsider2011 You idiot. As some one who lost relatives in the Holocaust, your attempt to claim gun ownership would have stopped Hitler is moronic and offensive. Guns would not have stopped Hitler, Stalin, Mao or any of the other evils in history that NRA drones like to point to.

outsider
outsider

@TerryClifton @outsider2011 


Did you read the article, or are you just not very bright?


The article just talks about how the right wing talking points are false. That's it. 


Your inference, once again, tries to distract from the core statement here (about Nazi's and gun regulations), and dialogue about gun restrictions. 


Don't try and tar me because you can't read properly. That's a result of the cuts to education. Which the GOP favors. 


DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@TerryClifton @outsider2011 

Idiotic analogy.  For one thing, if the Jews had been armed the SS would have slaughtered them anyways, just like if the government wanted to turn on civilians you wouldn't stand a chance.  Either way it just feeds to this false idea that the government is out to get you and you need your guns to protect yourselves from it.  You don't.

outsider
outsider

@TerryClifton @outsider2011 


Ok, i'll easily concede you probably know more about libertarian ideals that i do. No problem. 


But the constitution was designed to be changed; so the idea that you're living within it is fine; but if people want to change it, there is a mechanism in place, to change it to reflect the changing attitudes of society. 


So why can't we have a debate, without someone screaming about rights being taken away? 

Sue_N
Sue_N

@DonQuixotic @Sue_N But thanks to the NRA, voices like mine and yours calling for "reasonable restraint" have been left completely out of this discussion, and paranoia has become coin of the realm.

"They're gonna take our guns!" has become the rallying cry, despite the fact that no one is calling for a gun ban or confiscation. The only ones speaking in those terms is the NRA, just to gin up the base.

No right is absolute. We have freedom of speech, but can't yell "fire" in a movie theater. Our free press can't just slander whoever the hell they want. Freedom of religion doesn't include human sacrifice or "honor killings." And yet somehow the 2nd Amendment is supposed to be unrestricted?

I'm not allowed to own shoulder-fired missiles, and my life and liberty have not suffered one iota. I'm fairly certain I'll be able to soldier on without an assault-style weapon or a 100-round magazine. If I can't do what I need to do with a shotgun, a single-shot rifle or handgun, then I need to give up my guns entirely.

And this whole idea of "I don't wanta be in no gubmint database" is ridiculous on its face. We're already in those databases. We lost that fight long ago.

Heian
Heian

@TerryClifton @Sue_N The basis of your argument is so fundamentally flawed it is shocking that you would think it is valid. But then again, you've been spewing loud and senseless throughout, so it shouldn't be a surprise.

If the government's control was as tight as you think it is, they would be neutering people like you in a heartbeat.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

Love the Ben Stiller Avatar..Yeah, that's cool, and so original..

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@TerryClifton @mantisdragon91 It sounds to me like you are an idiot that lives in a fantasy world. Unlike the Bielski Brothers I don't see you or guys like you capable of a guerrilla lifestyle. The first night you have to spend outside with no food in freezing weather would be your last.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@mantisdragon91 @TerryClifton 

 You have the luxury of saying that from a very safe place, believe me. So I take whatever you say with a grain of salt. However, The Bielski Brothers killed scores of German Soldiers and saved many lives in the process. It sounds to me that you have great admiration for Hitler, and his killing methods. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@TerryCliftonWhat about them? They didn't stop Hitler, nor did they keep their country from being overrun No Terry, despite your fondest vision the outcome would not have been different. And you seem like the type of guy who will live on his knees and will eat crumbs. All talk.

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

What about The Bielski Partisans who fought back against Hitler, and saved Jews from the Death Camps? What did they use, their imposing stares to kill German soldiers? Yeah, I'm sure they didn't use machine guns or pistols, nah..

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@mantisdragon91 @TerryClifton @outsider2011  

Really? Guns wouldn't have stopped the genocide, really? Imagine if every Jew refused to give up their weapons and fought back against Hitler..The outcome could have been different, but they gave up their weapons out of stupidity. Be offended all you want, but at least when or if they come for me, I will not live on my knees, and eat the crumbs from a tyrant. Hitler had all the guns, remember? 

TerryClifton
TerryClifton

@DonQuixotic @TerryClifton @outsider2011  

That's why we have the 2nd Amendment. It doesn't matter if they were slaughtered or not, because they were anyway. Would you go out like that, or would you fight to the death for your life? Tell that to the people in Egypt. Tell that to Christians in the Sudan, tell that to people in Iraq..You can travel the world telling people not to fear their government, and you would be wasting your time.