Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

On Thursday, For Newtown

This Thursday the US Senate will take up gun safety legislation. So far, several Senators have threatened to stop any and all legislation.

Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jerry Moran of Kansas, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Jim Risch and Mike Crapo of Idaho, Dan Coats of Indiana and Pat Roberts of Kansas.

Gabby Giffords wrote a piece denouncing the cowardice and ignorance of these Senators. I think she’s run out of patience:

But lately I’m not feeling too patient toward senators and representatives who are listening to the misinformation that’s out there about universal background checks instead of to their constituents, and saying they may not support common sense solutions to ending gun violence.

Last night I was looking at a few pictures of some of the Newtown victims and found this one:

 photo Princesses_zps7e9dd28f.jpg

I had seen the picture before but I didn’t focus enough to see that the girl on the far right, Josephine Gay, was sitting down. And I wondered:

“They said their daughter was “autistic and severely apraxic.” Apraxia is “a neurological disorder characterized by loss of the ability to execute or carry out skilled movements and gestures,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

“She could not speak, yet she touched the lives of so many around her – teachers, therapists, friends, neighbors, all loved and cherished her,” her family said. “Joey was social and affectionate. She smiled, she loved hugs and she even had a wonderful sense of humor. Her spirit was indomitable.”

While the event was horrific enough the fact that this girl was disabled and unable to speak…that’s beyond my ability to define in words. I didn’t think I could hear anything worse than the number of rounds fired (154) in less than five minutes.

I haven’t really seen a logical argument as to why we need assault weapons with 30-round magazines. Hell, despite 90%+ of America wanting Universal Background Checks the US Senate may not even pass that.

The system is definitely broken. Maybe we can fix this. If you haven’t yet, no matter if your Senator is ‘misinformed’ and on the above list, call or email today and let them know where you stand on this issue. They say we shouldn’t get emotional. Fine, I’m cold as ice right now. The only ones I see losing their minds are those who refuse to see the gun violence problem and work to fix it.

The list of Senators and their contact info is here.

Thank you.

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  1. cassandracarolina

    Perhaps these GOP miscreants should be required to view photographs of the bullet-hole-riddled children before launching into their filibuster. If they can still stand, or utter a coherent sentence after that, then they may proceed with their shameful plan to ensure further carnage.  

  2. wordsinthewind

    background checks as neccesary and not at a threat to any Constitutional rights I am despairing that this can not even have a debate much less a vote. I read today there is a group, Gun Owners of America, who is pushing the NRA to the right! How can this be? Their numbers are even smaller than the NRA which has never mustered a majority despite the money gun manufacturers have thrown at the cause. When something most gun owners support is blocked our government is out of control and perhaps this will make people look at this. In the meantime President Obama has directed money at enforcing the present background check laws. If these had been properly followed both the Virginia Tech shooter and the Arizona one would have been legally prevented from obtaining firearms. However in R controlled states there is this general feeling of f**k the federal government unless they make us we won’t cooperate. The fail is widespread in our gun violence problem in this country so we need to be looking at many solutions. Keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and violent felons is a very good start, I support enhanced background checks and I support making them universal for all transfers. Even the precious grandfathered ones because plenty of violence has been done with inherited firearms, they don’t need to be excluded from examination no matter how offended people get.

  3. A filibuster is how you stop legislation when you know that you don’t have the votes to stop it in a democratic way.

    Not surprisingly, Wisconsin’s one-term senator Ron Johnson is on that list. He has no clue what a legislator’s job is never having served in any legislative body … not even a school board. So he has tied his wagon to the tea partiers not realizing that Wisconsin is not the deep red state that all of those senators except one are from. Wisconsin has a lot of hunters and the gun lobby is strong here. But we have also had our share of gun violence, most recently the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek. He will pay a political price for his reflexive me-too-teapartyism.

    Thanks, Hedwig. I know you are passionate about this cause. It is hard to believe that any parent would not look at those faces and want to do everything possible to make sure it can’t happen again.

  4. I think it is time for him to use his powder: Reid Threatens Filibuster Reform With Nuclear Option

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threatened in his most explicit terms yet to use the so-called nuclear option to weaken the filibuster if Republicans keep blocking judicial and other nominees from coming to a vote.

    “All within the sound of my voice – including my Democratic senators and the Republican senators who I serve with – should understand that we as a body have the power on any given day to change the rules with a simple majority,” Reid told Nevada Public Radio in a little-noticed interview Friday. “And I will do that if necessary.”

    This is not his largest majority but it is the most progressive group of senators he has had in a long time. Those who remember something akin to “comity” in the Senate are long gone (Chris Dodd was one who fought against any reform). Now that Carl “But Republicans Care About America” Levin (D-MI) is retiring, maybe he will finally get on board with the Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) proposal.

    C’mon, guys. Fix this!  

  5. LeftOverFlowerChild

    an act of cowardice on the part of those 14 GOP senators. It’s their way of avoiding the rock and hard place. They can make up some stupid excuse when it’s time to hit the campaign trail–Why that bill was not reasonable enough, or didn’t go far enough, perhaps that it wasn’t clear just how invasive the checks would be. Whatever their twisted brains can contrive. But the bottom line is this their way having the cake and eating it too, no vote, no law enacted and the NRA money train keeps moving along.  

  6. Poll: Americans Think Gun Laws Are Much Stricter Than They Actually Are

    It’s emerged as one of the go-to talking points for pro-gun advocates like National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre. Why should we institute new gun laws, they argue, if we aren’t even adequately enforcing the laws that are already on the books?

    But a recent survey conducted by Democratic pollster Benenson Strategy Group on behalf of the Democratic National Committee revealed that Americans actually know very little about existing gun laws, and many believe the laws are much stricter than they really are.

    Many people think that military style assault weapons are already illegal, probably because they were until 2004.


    Bloomberg-Led Gun Control Group Will Give Letter Grades To Lawmakers

    Taking a cue from the National Rifle Association, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the gun control group led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), will release its very own scoring system on Tuesday to evaluate lawmakers’ votes and statements on issues related to guns, the Washington Post reported.

    According to WaPo, the Bloomberg-financed group will award lawmakers letter grades from “A” to “F” – not unlike the NRA’s own scorecard, which the pro-gun lobby has used effectively through the years to apply pressure on elected officials.

    Our list for 2014 will start there.


    Harry Reid is scheduling the cloture vote for Thursday.

  7. Top Republican: Conservatives Are Too Scared To Debate Popular Gun Safety Bill

    Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) joined the growing chorus of lawmakers calling for conservative to allow a vote on gun safety legislation, telling CBS’ This Morning on Tuesday, “we have not seen the final draft of the legislation that was produced…I think it deserves an vote up or down.” […]

    Rep. Peter King (R-NY) – one of the only Republicans in the House to support the gun package – added that the filibuster effort is “wrong” and “makes it seem like they’re afraid of something.” “I don’t know what they’re afraid of, but if they’re so sure of their position, let it come to a debate,” King said on CNN.


    Wednesday, April 10, 2013 11:28 AM EDT

    Senate Reaches Bipartisan Deal on Checks of Gun Buyers  

    A bipartisan collection of Senators on Wednesday announced a compromise measure to expand background checks for gun buyers, increasing the chances that a viable package of new gun safety laws will soon hit the Senate floor.

    Senators Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania have joined forces on the deal.

    Under the terms of the agreement, background checks for gun buyers would expand to gun shows and online sales – a huge portion of gun sales that are made without the background checks used by gun stores – and will maintain record-keeping provisions that law enforcement officials find essential in tracking criminal gun use, but which gun rights groups find anathema.

    Manchin and Toomey are not my go-to guys for this so we will have to see what this deal really includes.

  9. wordsinthewind

    as introduced seems like an improvement but no federal law is effective without mechanisims for enforcement built in. If the states are not penalized for failing to promptly update information the system will not succeed in catching the next mentally ill offender. Both Cho and Loughner had periods of involuntary confinement that should have disqualified them from legal purchase. The judge in Colorado is still deciding on whether the truth of who knew what and when about Holmes is going to be admissable but since his dr. took steps to protect herself from him I would say that she knew at the very least he was dangerous. Yet he was still a qualified buyer, so yes to background checks but a bigger yes to making reporting mandatory with specific penalties for non-compliance. Now the next thing gun control advocates need to take up is how to design requirements for mental health professionals that protect the public without violating patient confidentiality laws. Not incidental would be getting the insurance companies out of this decsion by clarifying liability so that those decisions are not made from a financial viewpoint.

  10. 6-Year-Old Boy Shot By 4-Year-Old In New Jersey Has Died

    TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) – A 6-year-old boy who was accidentally shot in the head by a 4-year-old playmate has died from his wounds, authorities said Tuesday night.[…]

    Prosecutor Joseph Coronato, speaking earlier Tuesday at a news conference, said the boy got the .22-caliber rifle from his home and it discharged accidently Monday evening.

    A neighbor, Debi Coto, reacts:

    “I’m sad for the children involved and their families, but I’m angry with whoever owns that gun and allowed a little child to get hold of it. A 4-year-old can’t load a gun,”

  11. Your Essential Guide To The Background Check Debate

    As Congress considers the measure and conservatives led by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rand Paul (R-KY) try to slow down debate, here is the ThinkProgress guide to the myths and misinformation surrounding background checks.

    The 7 myths busted:

    – Background checks are ineffective and restrictive.

    – Criminals will avoid background checks.

    – Background checks will lead to a gun registry.

    – Background checks wouldn’t have prevented Newtown.

    – Obama isn’t prosecuting people who fail background checks.

    – Obama isn’t enforcing the laws on the books.

    – Background checks are an invasion of privacy.  


    Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:40 AM EDT  

    Senate Votes to Allow Debate on Gun Legislation  

    The Senate Thursday cleared the way for the debate on the first piece of major gun control legislation to be considered in that chamber in two decades.

    With families of victims of the Newtown massacre watching silently from the chamber, the Senate thwarted a threatened filibuster with a vote of 68 to 31 and will proceed next week to debate a package of legislation that would expand background checks for gun buyers, increase the penalties for criminal sales and a variety of other amendments. Those include the renewal of the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004. Twenty-nine Republicans voted against the measure, as did two Democrats.

    READ MORE ยป…  

  13. creamer

    Even if background checks gets approved in the senate, the house has so many gerrymandered safe districts (not to mention more tea partiers) that they can vote against it without fear. Boehner will get a lot of pressure from his right not to even bring it to the floor.

      A lot of people would look at the proposed legislation as being common sense and reasonable. Those traits are not often applied to the base of the GOP.

  14. Hello, all —

    For the first time since the 1990s, Congress might be on track to pass legislation aimed at reducing gun violence in the United States. And it’s because folks in Washington are starting to understand that the rest of the country isn’t going to sit by and let them ignore this issue. Your voices are the reason we have a chance to win this debate. The American people expect and demand a yes or no vote.

    But this is a critical moment. It’s been almost four months since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, thousands more Americans have died at the hands of gun violence, and time is on the side of those who would prefer that we do nothing.

    We want to make sure that your voices are impossible to ignore. So we’re asking people from all over the country to speak out online in concert — all at the same time. Will you join us?

    Pledge to speak out about the need to reduce gun violence.

    It’s easy to participate. Over the next few days, anyone can sign up to tweet or share a message to Facebook. Through that time, we’ll gather up as many people as we can. Then we’ll make sure that all these individual messages get posted together in the same moment for maximum effect.

    That wave of social media will get seen by millions and millions of people.

    We’re talking about common-sense reforms. Like the idea that any of us who want to buy a gun should have to go through a background check first — which 90 percent of Americans support.

    So let’s make sure that there’s absolutely no confusion about the public consensus.

    Pledge to speak out with us, and then forward this email to your family and friends:



    David Simas

    Deputy Senior Advisor

    The White House

  15. princesspat

    The Power of Loss

    Their grief is so immense, their sadness so deep, that when the parents of children slaughtered in Newtown, Conn., tried this week to make a political point, most people could not see beyond the swollen red eyes. It was all hugs and pats and God forbid, we can only imagine if that had happened to us.

    But if you listened to what this powerful lobby of the lost has been trying to say over the last few days, you heard several truths that may get through the fog of words concerning Americans and their guns. It’s a fog because the other lobby, the one that controls this issue with an iron fist, will not allow a real debate to take place.


    But, in a sliver of hope, a majority, 68 senators in all, voted down the obstructionists Thursday – a procedural move that will allow debate. Not passage of the bill, mind you, just debate. How did this happen? Thank those families who put their grief on the line.

  16. House Conservatives Urge Boehner To Kill Universal Background Check Deal

    Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) and 40 Republicans are passing around a Dear Colleague letter asking Republicans in the House to pressure Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) not to take up a bill expanding background checks for gun purchases “without the support of a majority of the conference.” Boehner has brought measures to the floor that are not backed by a majority of Republicans several times in the past, breaking the Hastert rule and outraging conservative members.

    Boehner said yesterday that the Hastert Rule is not really a “rule”.  

  17. Gun Background Check Deal Comes With A Giant Loophole

    The bipartisan Senate compromise on background checks appears to suffer from a crucial flaw that could reduce its effectiveness, experts and gun control advocates fear, although they broadly say it’s an important step toward preventing criminals from obtaining guns.

    The proposal unveiled Wednesday by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) would expand mandatory background checks to gun shows and Internet sales. But it would exempt criminal checks for private, non-commercial sales of firearms or transfers between friends or family members. The legislative language is not final yet but the senators have promised those exemptions to background checks for gun purchases.

    We need to focus on this part “it’s an important step toward preventing criminals from obtaining guns“. Just like the Affordable Care Act was essentially what we could get with the Congress we had (even while single-payer or Medicare For All would have been much better), this will help.

    Let’s get it passed.

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