Archive for the ‘gun control’ Category

NRA: Put armed cops in every school

The much-anticipated National Rifle Association response to the Sandy Hook massacre has arrived. The Washington Post has the full remarks from the no-questions “press conference.” Here’s the rundown from Phil Elliott at the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON —

The nation’s largest gun-rights lobby called Friday for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer “waiting in the wings.”

The National Rifle Association broke its silence Friday on last week’s shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead.

The group’s top lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, said at a Washington news conference that “the next Adam Lanza,” the man responsible for last week’s mayhem, is planning an attack on another school.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said.

He blamed video games, movies and music videos for exposing children to a violent culture day in and day out.

“In a …

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Your Daily Jolt: Boehner ‘they weren’t taking that out on me’

A few minutes ago, House Speaker John Boehner faced the press following last night’s Plan B Implosion and declared that he does not think that the conservative rebellion was about him, and he does not fear losing his gavel. Majority Leader Eric Cantor was standing just feet away and, based on the angle provided by CNN, did not appear to be holding a dagger.

“No, I’m not,” Boehner said when asked if he was concerned about his speakership. “You’ve all heard me say this and I’ve told my colleagues this: If you do the right things every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen. Though we were not able to get the votes last night … I don’t think, they weren’t taking that out on me. They were dealing with the perception that someone might accuse them of raising taxes.”

Last night’s non-vote leaves the fiscal cliff negotiations in limbo, and Boehner said he would continue to work with President Barack Obama but gave no specifics about meetings or phone calls or …

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Your Daily Jolt: A long-term Democratic majority?

Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz, a frequently cited scholar of presidential politics, has written a 31-page analysis of Barack Obama’s victory to be presented next month at the annual Southern Political Science Association meeting entitled: “The Emerging Democratic Presidential Majority.” According to an early copy provided to Jolt, Abramowitz concludes thusly:

The structural advantages that Republicans enjoy in House and Senate elections would appear to guarantee the party’s continued competitiveness in congressional elections for many more election cycles.  As a result, divided government will probably be a persistent feature of American politics for some time.  And at the state level, Republicans are likely to remain the dominant party in most of the South as well as a number of sparsely populated, predominantly rural states that are relatively insulated from the demographic and cultural trends affecting the rest of the country.  Republicans …

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Video: Jack Kingston spars with MSNBC host on gun control

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Let no one say Savannah Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston hides in a conservative media bunker. Today he had a tough interview with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts on the subject of gun control in light of Friday’s tragedy in Connecticut. Kingston said gun control laws should be under discussion, but the discussion should also include mental illness and other aspects of mass shootings.

A key moment comes around the 7:30 mark, after Kingston describes mass shootings in Europe that occurred in spite of strict gun laws:

Roberts: So there’s nothing we can do? …. We need to just be complacent in the fact that we can send our children to school to be assassinated?

Kingston: Thomas, I think one of the problems we have on the gun control debate is it immediately starts dividing people into: ‘You disagree with me, therefore you are the enemy.’ I’ve opened up by saying let’s put gun control up for discussion. Let’s …

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The chill on conversation at the state Capitol

Possibly, you’ve already seen this piece by me and my AJC colleague Andria Simmons:

Metro Atlanta physicians who participated in the General Assembly’s debate on new abortion restrictions say they warned lawmakers that they were being targeted for reprisals. And they are skittish about returning to the state Capitol next year when the topic is all but certain to come up again.

Lawmakers, too, say they’re worried.

Two burglaries and two fires at Atlanta-area women’s clinics and a burglary at the the main office of the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society are being investigated by the FBI as possible acts of domestic terrorism or civil rights violations.

Four of the five offices targeted are run by doctors who had voiced concerns — sometimes publicly, sometimes privately — about the so-called fetal pain bill, which shortened to 20 weeks the time frame during which women can have an elective abortion.

“These are despicable acts and if there is some relationship between …

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Obama at parity with three GOP candidates in Georgia

President Barack Obama is at parity in Georgia when matched with three of the four remaining GOP candidates, according to an automated poll conducted last night by 20/20 Insight for the progressive group Better Georgia.

Given the survey’s 3.5 MOE (773 registered – rather than likely — voters polled), any of these November general election match-ups would qualify as a toss-up:

– Mitt Romney, 46 percent; Obama, 45 percent;

– Newt Gingrich, 46 percent; Obama, 45 percent;

– Obama, 47 percent; Rick Santorum, 44 percent;

Click here to check all the top lines, methodology, and question content – all of which can have an impact on survey results. On other topics:

Drug testing: 64 percent of those polled support drug-testing for those who receive welfare and unemployment benefits. But 83 percent support drug-testing of state elected officials and senior government appointees. Slightly less popular (68 percent) is drug-testing for CEOs and senior executives with corporations that …

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A sign that guns-on-campus push may fall short

Just finished a conversation with state Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour, R-Snellville, who asked his chamber today to delay action on SB 350, his bill to require law enforcement to return weapons used in crimes to their owners – at least, the innocent ones.

Let’s say a pistol stolen in a burglary is later used to rob a convenience store. Under this measure, ultimately, that piece would be returned to its legal owner. Not a big deal.

The bill is more significant for what it doesn’t contain. Four years ago, Balfour was a key figure in the business-backed fight against a bill pushed by the National Rifle Association that would have allowed legal gun-owners to keep firearms in locked cars on their employers’ parking lots.

It was a very large fight, very nasty, pitting property rights against gun rights. Balfour was the fellow who applied the coup de grace to the legislation.

But in the four years’ since, the Senate rules chairman has had a change of heart – the result, he said, …

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Ga. Tech crime sparks NRA-backed push for campus guns

Jason Stubbs, left, of Georgia Students for Concealed Carry on Campus sets up a booth with Georgia Tech College Republicans' Andrew Mullins during a December debate on campus. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com.

Jason Stubbs, left, of Georgia Students for Concealed Carry on Campus sets up a booth with Georgia Tech College Republicans' Andrew Mullins during a December debate on campus. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com.

Nearly five years ago, a disturbed English major at Virginia Tech killed 32 of his fellow classmates and wounded a score more.

The campus massacre occurred at the height of that year’s session of the Georgia Legislature. A bill to rewrite the state’s gun laws — and overturn bans on where firearms could and could not be carried — was stopped in its tracks.

But every yin has its yang. The recent spate of robberies and assaults on or near the Georgia Tech campus near downtown Atlanta is about to unleash an equal and opposite reaction — a furious debate over the place of guns in public spaces long declared gunpowder-free.

Including, and perhaps especially, in college dormitories and classrooms.

Representatives of the National Rifle Association were in town and stopped at the …

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Win any election, and win the right to pack hidden heat

With the Legislature in a weeklong recess, we have the opportunity to examine details of several bills that have escaped scrutiny.

A Gwinnett County reader pointed us to SB 102, another measure to redefine where concealed weaponry may and may not be carried in Georgia.

Name the political body you would most want to see packing concealed heat in Georgia:

  • Senate Republicans
  • Lieutenant governors
  • House women’s caucus
  • Atlanta Board of Education
  • Cobb County Board of Education
  • City of Dunwoody planning and zoning board (All right, it’s not elected, but still.)

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The bill passed the Senate last month on a 41-11 vote, and now in House committee. Most significantly, the bill would permit those properly licensed to carry concealed handguns in churches, synagogues and mosques. Such sacred ground is currently off-limits.

But there was one amendment to SB 102, sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, that might have escaped …

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Your morning jolt: U.S. Justice Department looking into Lilburn denial of mosque expansion

The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice is looking into the circumstances surrounding the city of Lilburn’s decision to block the expansion of a local mosque, Mark Winne of Channel 2 Action News reports.

Members of the Dar-e Abbas congregation begin to arrive at the Lilburn  in January. Bita Honarvar, bhonarvar@ajc.com

Members of the Dar-e Abbas congregation begin to arrive at the Lilburn in January. Bita Honarvar, bhonarvar@ajc.com

A federal official confirmed the probe, but declined further comment. Richard Carothers, attorney for the city, said the local government is cooperating.

“We think that we are being discriminated against. We think they don’t want the Muslims to continue to worship in the city,” said Doug Dillard, attorney for the Dar-e Abbas Shia Islamic Center.

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Joe McCutchen, the sage of Jasper, sends word that U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, broke his foot on Thursday during a game of basketball. He’ll be on crutches for a while.

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On Thursday, live camera trucks from both CNN and Fox News parked themselves in front of the state Capitol to hear former …

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