Saturday, August 11, 2018

Once Upon a Time, Republicans Supported Gun Control


Once upon a time the Republican party was a sane and serious faction that believed in compromise, fair taxation, and gun control.  The modern day Republican Party does not even believe in governing or government, indeed expressing so much disdain for the legislature, I marvel at the purpose of their existence. One would think they’d rather sell used cars than be a part of Congress. But then again, hypocrisy seems to be their lifeblood and so it is, when it comes to gun control.
Looking back: 
In 1967, the California legislature passed the Mulford Act.  The law 

“prohibited the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street." 

The law, aimed at stopping the Black Panthers affected all gun owners and was signed by then-Governor Ronald Reagan who believed violent crime would never be eliminated, with or without gun control.

In 1986 he signed The Firearms Owners' Protection Act . In fact, The NRA and other pro gun groups lobbied for passage of the legislation. It allowed licensed dealers to operate gun shows and excluded hobbyists and collectors from regulations. It permitted sales of ammunition without a license and banned the production of machine guns for civilian use.It also banned the ownership of any fully automatic firearms not registered by May 19, 1986. 
After his attempted assassination, Reagan voiced his support for the Brady Bill. In a 1991 New York Times op-ed, he wrote: 
the assassination attempt might have never happened if the Brady Bill had been law…This level of violence must be stopped.” 
In a speech, that same year, Reagan urged Congress to enact the Brady Bill without delay.
Three years later, Reagan joined former Presidents Gerald Ford (Republican) and Jimmy Carter (Democrat) in an open letter to Congress calling on members to pass a ban on assault weapons. The three former presidents said: 
"This is a matter of vital importance to the public safety. . . . Although assault weapons account for less than 1% of the guns in circulation, they account for nearly 10% of the guns traced to crime. . . .
"While we recognize that assault-weapon legislation will not stop all assault-weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals. 
”We urge you to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons.”
Gerald Ford

Reagan and Ford were not lone Republicans who believed in gun control. 

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon favored making handguns illegal and requiring licenses for hunting rifles. He called guns an abomination. 

President George H.W. Bush

President George Bush believed Americans should only be allowed to own weapons suitable for "sporting purposes”. He banned the import of "assault weapons" in 1989. 

Governor George Pataki

New York State Governor George Pataki signed gun control legislation that mandated trigger locks, background checks at gun shows and "ballistic fingerprinting". It also banned "assault weapons," and raised the legal age to buy a handgun to 21. 

Mayor Rudolph Giuliana

Perhaps, the most aggressive gun control advocate was Republican Mayor Rudolph "9-11" Giuliani. The Giuliani administration sued 26 gun manufacturers in 2000, while his police commissioner proposed a nationwide plan for gun licensing, complete with annual "safety" inspections. 

In the final analysis, a more lasting impact of Reagans policy on guns was the nomination of Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court. Both were on the bench for that important ruling on gun rights: District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and the insane, outdated interpretation of the Second Amendment we refer to today. 

Once upon a time the Republican party was a sane and serious faction that believed in compromise, fair taxation, and gun control.

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