Knee-Jerk gun control reaches new low

What is as predictable as a threatened snowstorm bringing Atlanta to a standstill?  Answer – gun control advocates taking advantage of every shooting incident as an excuse to further restrict Americans’ Second Amendment rights.  The recent shooting incident in Tucson, Arizona — involving a clearly deranged individual who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a federal judge and several other innocent people – is no exception. 

Doctors had barely announced that Rep. Giffords had survived the shooting, than gun-control legislators in the nation’s capitol began trotting out their latest anti-gun schemes. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, Democrat of New York, was in the forefront of this effort.  Close behind Ms. McCarthy was her Empire State colleague, Republican Peter King.  While most anti-firearms proposals emanating from the Congress are simply ineffective or unworkable; King’s most recent proposal is utterly idiotic. 

In response to the Tucson shooting — in which the gunman showed up at a public, outdoor town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Giffords in the parking lot of a local shopping center — King has proposed what has to be one of the silliest pieces of federal legislation in many a year.  He has suggested the federal criminal code be amended to incorporate a new provision making it illegal for a person to possess a firearm within 1,000 feet of a Member of Congress. 

One might suppose that – were King’s proposal to actually become law — Members of Congress would have to walk around at all times with some obvious form of identification readily discernible to everyone within 333-1/3 yards of their presence; something that identifies them as a “Member of Congress.”  Perhaps it would be required that every Member at all times wear a large hat with the congressional seal emblazoned thereon; or a distinctly colored sweatshirt with the words, “MEMBER OF THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,” printed thereon in a bright, contrasting color.  

In the absence of such clearly identifying garb, it would be impossible for every individual to know for certain they were within 1,000 feet of a Member of Congress; in order to ensure they moved beyond the protective zone or so they could dispose of any firearm they might lawfully be carrying at the time.  Because such scenario would be unworkable in the real world, perhaps the alternative is what King and others really have in mind – forcing everyone to assume at all times that a Member of Congress might be lurking somewhere within 1,000 feet of them, and insofar as every such Member is not necessarily known to every other citizen, one would be forced to presume at all times that such person might be nearby and therefore it never would be safe to carry a firearm. 

The King legislation also would preclude a Good Samaritan lawfully carrying a firearm from using their gun to stop a deranged shooter; such as actually happened in Tucson. 

These possibilities illustrate the idiocy of even considering a federal law to prohibit the carrying of a firearm within a certain number of feet of a Representative or Senator; but it is unlikely King or other gun-control advocates in the Congress engaging in typical, knee-jerk reaction to a shooting incident, will be deterred. 

That it already is a violation of federal law to threaten a Member of Congress or other federal official with a firearm, or to use such a weapon, or even to attempt or conspire to do so, seems irrelevant to King and his anti-gun colleagues.  But in their world, the response to every problem is always to propose more laws rather than simply to recognize that not every deranged person can always be stopped before they commit random or premeditated acts of violence.  In their world also, better and more consistent enforcement of existing laws is secondary always to proposing more laws; no matter how idiotic.

 -by Bob Barr, The Barr Code

166 comments Add your comment

[...] Go here to see the original: Knee-Jerk gun control reaches new low – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

John

January 17th, 2011
6:28 am

Atlanta guy

January 17th, 2011
6:59 am

Bob Barr led with: “Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, DEMOCRAT of New York, was in the forefront of this effort.” [emphasis added]. What Bob omitted is that Carolyn’s efforts are directed only towards limiting high capacity ammo. A fairly reasonable idea, if you ask me. In Carolyn’s own words: “You have to understand, with the large amounts of bullets that were held in the magazine he was able to spray and shoot, unfortunately, an awful lot of very innocent victims.” [Ref: http://www.npr.org/2011/01/11/132826365/Rep-McCarthy-To-Propose-Ban-On-High-Capacity-Ammo

Carolyn’s position seems reasonable, assuming none of us want to become the NEXT batch of “innocent victims”. Bob, since you completely ignored Carolyn’s position in your piece, I must ask; do you disagree?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Doug Mataconis. Doug Mataconis said: RT @bobbarr: Barr Code: Knee-Jerk gun control reaches new low http://bit.ly/hjjwrr [...]

Aquagirl

January 17th, 2011
7:21 am

I like the idea forcing congressional reps to wear big silly hats and sweatshirts. Like guys with their pants on the ground, you’ll know you’re in the presence of a complete idiot.

Kilgore

January 17th, 2011
7:34 am

Bob Barr’s own knee jerk reaction to Big Brother is set on a hair trigger, and his finger is always itchy. He’s stays ready to fill the issue with lead(pencil).

Seriously, a member of congress must feel like a sitting duck the way the Rushannities constantly goad sociopathic time bombs into action. Rush Limbaugh’s unspoken mantra is as loud as his snorts to his cohorts: Bullets not ballots.

Of course, I would have supported a ban on firearms within 500 feet of a Beatle after what happened to John. Beatlemania was a fatal disease for the Beatles. Accounts from the Fab Four relayed the fear they felt many times by the mindless American zombie-fans crowding them and nearly squashing them to death. Are we baby boomers simply monsters? Is Bob Barr our Dr. Frankenstein?

“PuttinontheReeeeetz” (in grotesque falsetto).

sean smith

January 17th, 2011
7:44 am

Bob, they shouldnt walk around with a “member of congress sticker” They should all wear Corporate stickers like NASCAR so we could know who bought and paid for them.

Dont worry Bob, there is going to be no new gun laws out of this tragedy. We wont have any gun laws until a republican member or two of congress and their families is killed. (Not calling for shooting anyone) This hasn’t gotten personal for them yet so they simply don’t care.

The most well protected person on the planet got shot closeup Ronald Reagan proving the fallacy of everyone carrying a gun for protection yet that didn’t sway people. No were stuck with the wild west.

Congress is the problem, not the solution

January 17th, 2011
7:49 am

A thousand feet is not realistic. It is illegal to carry a gun to a public gathering and that did not stop this nut. It is illegal to kill and that did not stop this nut. Do they really think a thousand feet will help?
In Gainesville GA there are 3 gun stores within a thousand feet of the courthouse; how will that be handled?

Pablo

January 17th, 2011
7:56 am

What no one has been able to explain to my complete satisfaction is why a new law would help prevent a crime that could be easily prevented by existing laws, IF criminals abided by them. People tend to forget that criminals, by their nature, do not follow the law so any law enacted to curtail gun crime is going to be to them just another piece of paper with words in them that they will not follow…

dudogger

January 17th, 2011
7:58 am

What a complete yutz! Barr, the mega has-been, likely walks around all day with a .45 Blackhawk barrel firmly embedded up his…

stephen

January 17th, 2011
8:02 am

One of the most disturbing and bizarre news videos came from Arizona a couple of years ago when some of these gun nuts were strutting their automatic weapons in front of Obama at a rally.

Most of us don’t care if you want to own a gun but if intimidation is your goal, most will tell you where to stick the barrel. Some sanity as applies to gun laws is not taking away your gun rights. It is protecting the public. That too is in the constitution.

A36

January 17th, 2011
8:03 am

@Atlanta guy – Limiting high capactiy magazines (as opposed to “ammo’, which I don’t know what that is) has nothing to do with controlling crime and everything to do with banning something because McCarthy (and you, apparently) don’t like it. We tried that silly “high capacity magazine” ban in 1995 and fortunately, Congress was at least smart enough to let it expire several years ago. So you limit magazines to 15 rounds (or 10 rounds as it was previously) – then criminals will carry two or three guns. Doesn’t that seem patently obvious? So then just ow has that proposed legislation done anything to impact crime?

It is rather insulting to the principles of this country that gun control advocates like to take any tragedy and bend it to their advantage to work up hysteria for unworkable solutions that they tout as “reasonable”. The fact remains that intentional killings by firearm are still an extremely low percentage compared to the number of lawful and legal uses each year, including target shooting, hunting, AND self-defense. Moreover, you both fail to grasp the concept that this country was founded on freedom. You don’t remove the entire public’s freedom to do something simply because a few misguided individuals abuse that freedom. Well, maybe you and McCarthy do, but anybody with any sense doesn’t. Perhaps that is why Bob didn’t waste space commenting on it.

Snidely Whiplash

January 17th, 2011
8:09 am

Congress sets the tone for giving the likes of the shooter an ability to walk among us because of a lacking to profile the obviously mentally ill adult. Instead of working the individual (we’ll call the root problem), some squeaky wheels in Congress finds it easier and more politically correct to work the method of destruction (we’ll call it a gun). The deranged are federally protected. The safety of the masses is not.

carlosgvv

January 17th, 2011
8:10 am

Once more a deranged individual commits mass murder with a gun leaving behind death and grieving families. How many more murders have to happen before we outlaw private ownership of guns and authorize them only for the police and military? Are a guaranteed thousands of gun murders every year worth your “right to keep and bear arms”? If so, your moral bankruptcy shouts out loud and clear.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 17th, 2011
8:11 am

Maybe we could require all congressmen to wear a large gold star, right over the heart. Prior similar regimes have had similar laws.

Millard

January 17th, 2011
8:23 am

carlosgvv – guns ARE virtually outlawed in DC, NYC and other big Cities in the Northeast. When are you folks going to learn. Murderers don’t care about your silly gun laws.

Mark

January 17th, 2011
8:26 am

Why are the rights of the congress-persons more important than my rights?

Bob – “it would be impossible for every individual to know for certain they were within 1,000 feet of a Member of Congress; in order to ensure they moved beyond the protective zone or so they could dispose of any firearm they might lawfully be carrying at the time. ”

If I wear my firearm where they can see it, why don’t they vacate the premises, moving beyond the protective zone? Why should I have to dispose of my property just because they come closer than I want them?

J McCormick

January 17th, 2011
8:30 am

The only thing that is wrong with this article is the fail to mention the fact that Ms. McCarthy has been working on this legislation for a long time. This is not a new concept being introduced, it’s one that could save lives, but not stop someone from committing acts like this. It just might slow them down, or keep them from killing/wounding 20 people. The fact is, Loughner was able to shoot 30 rounds, striking 19 people. If there had be limit on the high capacity magazines, he might have only really been able to hurt half that. And, maybe he would have concentrated more on his target than the public that was there.

What we should be concentrating on is, making the military report things like high drug abuse, or even if they suspect mental instability to the background checking system. If they had reported this young man, he wouldn’t had been able to obtain the gun legally in the first place.

bigdrew4u

January 17th, 2011
8:30 am

I still don’t understand how new laws will help when criminals don’t give a crap about the exixting laws. “When seconds count the police are only minutes away”

bigdrew4u

January 17th, 2011
8:32 am

Existing…sorry

Ken

January 17th, 2011
8:41 am

Bottom line… Control Of The American People… only a few steps are left… 1) Control of your speach.. nearly done, at first you were just politically incorrect, then you were “hate” minded, now we are rewrighting the “classics”. It’s now “free speach” with prior approvals… 2) Limiting the travel of the public… think, High Fuel Cost, Mass Transit, and Limited Distance on the Electric Car. Controling your travel, and labeling it Politicaly Correct. Now add in #3), Gun Control. Limit the whole from being able to protect itself from an idiot or two…. OOPS…. A Rationally Challenged Individule with a Personal Control Disorder….

carlosgvv

January 17th, 2011
8:41 am

Millard

Gun laws, like any other laws, are only as good as their enforcement. Our politicians have a very bad habit of passing laws with no intention whatsover of enforcing them. I’m talking about banning guns and STRICTLY enforcing that ban.

mountainpass

January 17th, 2011
8:44 am

Just how would a 1000 ft “gun free zone” have stopped this shooting?

It wouldn’t. Gun control laws are silly.

Maybe we need to pass a law against murder.

[...] Read the original here: Knee-Jerk gun control – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

WAR

January 17th, 2011
8:46 am

as a law-abiding citizen who pays taxes, votes, and carries a firearm, i dont want my rights infringed upon because of a nutjob. hope gifford gets better and fully recovers.

WAR

January 17th, 2011
8:47 am

carlosgw

if guns are banned, then with what should i defend my family, property, and self? slingshots only helped david versus goliath… man has progressed since then.

JWG

January 17th, 2011
8:50 am

It always amazes me to see the idiocy come out of the wood work after such a heinous act as the one in Arizona. Do you really think the guns will go away from criminals if you band them all? Criminal will get gun with or without your laws…if not guns then they will find another way. Perhaps we should band all knives, baseball bats, how about a pen…all of which can be used as a weapon if someone wants it to be used as such. This gun control issue is not about senseless acts it’s about control period. These congressmen and women think they can simply dictate what they want when they want it’s not about their security. They already have the security if they want it through various government agencies. I am so tired of this nonsense…it’s not about the guns idiots…it’s about a lunatic and a lunatic will find a way with or without guns. It is amazing though, since Clinton era gun laws have gone away The national crime and murder rate has gone down. But I suppose idiocy will always be idiocy no matter what the situation. You just can’t educate stupid now can you?

mountainpass

January 17th, 2011
8:50 am

WAR I guess carlosgw means you can stand behind the law to protect yourself.

q

January 17th, 2011
8:57 am

The reason that there are so many people out and about with firearms is they are part of a popuation that is fearful and insecure and feel they are part of an out of control population. To feel more in control, they arm themselves.

Now, I am no psychologist. These people have to address their insecurity needs. I suspect, in many instances some of these armed to the teeth anomalies was deserted by his mom when he/she was a child. So therefore they have to address this issue. Once the insecurity is addressed, these heavily armed citizens will put their armament away and face the new day with a fresh breath of confidence knowing that they are free and safe from their nagging insecurity and be happy.
I know I have hit it right this time. I feel a little insecure myself, but I live with it knowing that there are unresoved issues to be attended to.

WAR

January 17th, 2011
8:58 am

mountainpass

i rather stand behind my springfield!

mountainpass

January 17th, 2011
8:59 am

JWG,

I was in a city here in GA that has the silly knife length restrictions recently. In the restaurant that night on my table was a knife that was illegal(way to long) to carry around. I looked around and these long dangerous weapons(read tools) were just laying on every table.

Gag at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

mountainpass

January 17th, 2011
9:00 am

WAR I somewhat agree…..I’ll stand behind my Glock.

WAR

January 17th, 2011
9:00 am

q

i’m not insecure about carrying a weapon nor am i armed to the teeth. i have a family and want to protect them from the very people who want to take away our fresh breath of confidence. i would put my gun away if criminals put their guns away…but they have to do it first.

WAR

January 17th, 2011
9:02 am

q

should women who work late hours be escorted to their cars by security officers who dont carry weapons?

mountainpass

January 17th, 2011
9:03 am

q,

You are the one that needs help. I bet the majority of ones that legally own guns were raised in a loving home.

David Beall

January 17th, 2011
9:04 am

What some of you repeatedly fail to understand is that criminals do not obey laws. Someone who wants to kill is going to make every effort to do so; and will violate every law on the books to accomplish this. The Second Amendment is quite clear. The right to keep and bear arms WILL NOT BE INFRINGED. It is designed to make it possible for law-abiding Americans to engage in self-defense. It mentions nothing about firearms “suitable for a sporting purpose,” or whether or not some government official thinks we do or do not “need” a certain magazine capacity. When will you gun grabbers stop????

Jack

January 17th, 2011
9:08 am

Once again blaming firearms, this is like blaming my pencil for all my spelling errors!

Ugatiger

January 17th, 2011
9:08 am

Criminals are not affraid of our justice system! This guy is guilty! everybody saw him do it! He planned (pre-meditated) and orginized it! We need a fast trial cause we no he is guilty! Does not matter if he is sick, execute his sorry a_ _ ! Stop giving criminals rights, what rights do the people lhe killed have now! Gun laws will not work!

Mike

January 17th, 2011
9:10 am

People are getting shot & murdered everyday in this country. Just watch Atlanta TV. It’s all they show, especially WSB. It takes something like this to get Congress to address it. Gun use in crime is out of control in this country.

mountainpass

January 17th, 2011
9:14 am

Mike gun use by criminals IS out of control, so why should we punish law-abiding citizens by passing laws that only they will honor?

Donny Corleone

January 17th, 2011
9:20 am

People who scream for increased gun control are probably the same people who want to “uninvent” nuclear weapons. Use some common sense people. Criminals don’t care if it is illegal to have and carry illegal weapons because by definition they are criminals. Only law abiding citizens are affected by unrealistic and unconstitutional gun laws.

BULLSEYE

January 17th, 2011
9:21 am

I want a new gun to carry. I currently own a Tarus PT-99 9mm auto that is a Brasilian copy of the Italian Berreta. I like it alot, but it’s a bit to large for concealed carry. Any thoughts?

Chuck

January 17th, 2011
9:23 am

Good article Bob. I’m glad someone at the AJC answered Jay Bookman’s idiotic rant from last week. I’m a conservative Democrat but in this area, I glad that the Republicans control Congress so this proposal will never become law.

mountainpass

January 17th, 2011
9:25 am

Bullseye,

Open Carry it.

poison pen

January 17th, 2011
9:25 am

Carlosgvv,………….. Maybe we can enforce your law the way we enforce illegal immigration. I am sure all the crooks out there will just turn them over if you ask politely, another brilliant post by you.

carlosgvv

January 17th, 2011
9:28 am

The republicans and the gun industry have been using the same brainwashing and propaganda methods used by advertisers to con you into actually beleiving the Government wants to take away your rights as often as they can. What the gun industry really wants is your money so they will stop at nothing to get as much of it as they can. Republicans support this because it means more campaign money for them. Lawmakers know no law will work unless it is STRICTLY enforced and Republicans block gun law enforcement any way they can. As long as you believe their lies you are nothing more than a tool of the Republicans and the gun industry.

Dave from Rome

January 17th, 2011
9:28 am

George Washington: “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.”

Adolf Hitler – “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make
would be to allow the subject races to possess arms.
History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject
races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.”

jimg9x21

January 17th, 2011
9:29 am

Atlanta guy, I would call your attention to the fact that the original high capacity ban didn’t remove a single magazine from circulation. It ban the manufacture, sale, distribution and importation of the magazines. Currently there is something like 250,000,000 firearms in the hands of private citizens in this country. A good 30 to 40 percent of them are semi auto and can accept high cap magazines (holding over 10 rounds as per the original ban), that amounts to 75,000,000 such guns. If only 10% of those owners have high cap magazines, that’s 7,500,000 of them. Just what are you and McCarthy proposing that would eliminate seven and a half million items from private hands? Be careful what you wish for.

BULLSEYE

January 17th, 2011
9:30 am

I hear you Mountain, but would still like an alternative.

mountainpass

January 17th, 2011
9:30 am

Chuck,

I’m starting to see a lot more just like you. Hopefully it’s a trend.