April 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- It was a procedural vote, part of the Senate's arcane process, but it brought tears to the eyes of family members of those killed in Newtown in December. The Senate voted Thursday morning to take the first step toward considering the background-check bill sponsored by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, and West Virginia's Joe Manchin, a Democrat. While the vote will only allow debate to move ahead, it opens the door to up-or-down votes on the background check bill as well contentious plans to ban assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines.
April 11, 2013
AN IMPORTANT victory in the efforts to curb gun violence - as well as efforts to bring a little sanity to Congress - could be in the offing Thursday. The Senate will take a procedural vote on gun-control measures, including one bipartisan effort crafted by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to require background checks on all commercial-firearm sales, including those at gun shows and on the Internet. The lack of such checks has created a big loophole for countless guns to be bought and sold to anyone - including criminals and people with mental illness.
March 29, 2013
THERE IS something about a late March snowstorm, a gentle finger wagging at us from heaven saying "I'm not finished yet. " There is something maddening in the thought that we do not control the seasons, that all our human capital amounts to nothing in the face of the winds and the rising tides and the steel-colored clouds. It is wholly appropriate that such things happen during this week of miracles, when Jews celebrate deliverance and Christians resurrection. It's a wakeup call that life is gloriously unpredictable.
March 27, 2013 |
Apparently, there will be no ban on assault weapons. Never mind that Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15 assault-type rifle to rip apart the bodies of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Forget the fact that James E. Holmes, the alleged Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooter, fired, among other weapons, an AR-15. Nor does it seem to make any difference that Jared Loughner - the man who shot Gabby Giffords and killed six others, including a 9-year-old girl - used a high-capacity magazine that the Clinton-era assault-weapons ban rendered illegal.
March 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Newtown, Conn., shooting and the images of its young victims were so wrenching that Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey had a change of heart. Long a pro-gun Democrat, Casey reversed his position in late December, saying he would support bans on assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines. He said he knew he was opening himself to criticism by shifting his position less than two months after winning reelection. The criticism may still come - the National Rifle Association expressed its anger this week - but the two measures Casey backed appear doomed.
March 22, 2013 |
THE RESPONSES are in to the questions I posed in a recent Daily News op-ed article regarding curbing gun violence . . . or should I say "nonresponses," because all four suburban Republican congressmen and Sen. Toomey refused to tell Daily News readers where they stand on several clear and important questions, specific and narrowly drawn. I am pleased to say that all three Democratic congressmen and Sen. Casey answered every question and said that they would vote to support universal background checks for everyone seeking to purchase a gun, back a ban on any gun clip or magazine with more than 10 bullets and support a ban on assault weapons (though recent actions in Congress have made it doubtful that the assault- weapon ban will ever be put to a vote)
March 22, 2013
WEDNESDAY'S New York Daily News ran a front page featuring photos of the children killed in Newtown, Conn., with the words: "Shame on us: Assault weapon bill is dead. " But we disagree: The shame is not on "us," the American people. Don't even blame the NRA. The culprits behind the death of the assault-weapon ban, authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, that was part of other measures heading to a Senate vote, are not anonymous Americans, or faceless members of a powerful gun-rights group.
March 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday declared politically dead the effort to ban military-style assault weapons, a setback for President Obama and gun-control advocates who are pushing the Senate to move quickly on bills to limit gun violence. Reid is preparing to move ahead with debate on a series of gun-control proposals when the Senate returns from a two-week Easter recess in early April. Although he has vowed to hold votes on measures introduced after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December, Reid told reporters Tuesday that the proposed assault-weapons ban was not holding up against Senate rules that require at least 60 votes to end debate and move to final passage.
March 4, 2013 |
For more than an hour, they stood on the corner of Court and Main Streets in downtown Doylestown: young men and elderly women, small-business owners and parents surrounded by children, a local candidate for sheriff, and several men carrying AR-15 rifles. Some waved signs: "Subversive Liar! We Don't Trust U," above a photo of President Obama and a communist hammer and sickle. "Support My Right to Protect My Family at Home. " All told, about 150 people gathered on the street corner Saturday morning - all in town for a brief Second Amendment rally organized by Concerned Gun Owners of Bucks County, a fledgling gun-rights group founded earlier this year by a handful of locals.
March 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - After weeks of arguing constitutional fine points and citing rival statistics, senators wrangling over gun control saw and heard the anguish of a bereft father. Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse, was among those cut down at a Connecticut school in December, asked the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to ban assault weapons like the one that killed his child. "I'm not here for the sympathy or the pat on the back," Heslin, a 50-year-old construction worker, told the senators, weeping openly during much of his hushed 11-minute testimony.