Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Saturday, June 30, 2012

More on the Fast and Furious fiction novel

The real story about the ATF's "Fast and Furious" program may some day be written as a fiction crime novel. That is how it already reads. I would like to provide my readers with more cogent analysis of the Fast and Furious program and the poisonous and unprecendented vote taken in the House to censure Attorney General Eric Holder. Here is a New York Times editorial that calls this what it is- an NRA sponsored attempt to bring down Holder and smear the President of the United States:
"But it now seems clear that negotiations were never really possible. Beyond the usual hyperpartisanship on Capitol Hill, the National Rifle Association and the even more strident Gun Owners of America wanted a vote in order to push their bizarre theory that Fast and Furious was part of a secret Obama administration conspiracy to further a gun-control political agenda. They wanted it to be a recorded vote that could be used in their ratings of House lawmakers and potentially help defeat some Democrats in conservative-leaning districts. Sadly, 17 Democrats felt compelled to protect themselves by going along with the contempt citation, though many Democrats walked out in protest.
There is little chance that Mr. Holder will be prosecuted for criminal contempt, but a second House vote authorized Mr. Issa’s committee to pursue a civil court action against him — energy and effort much better spent developing a workable plan to stem the flood of American guns to Mexican drug cartels that gave rise to the disputed Fast and Furious Operation. This was a shameful exercise in political gamesmanship. House Republicans and the gun lobby, in making Mr. Holder the first sitting cabinet member in history to be held in contempt, came out looking a lot worse than their target."
The NRA hates President Obama. They have hyped up totally false claims about his agenda to take away guns and gun rights. Here, again, is the NRA's own Wayne LaPierre ranting and raving like a maniac about the administration and his fictional and paranoid accounts of the President's "agenda" to take away gun rights. I love this one really. It shows a man in the throws of desperation to keep his job and hype up his supporters:



LaPierre and his minions are wrong and dealing in fiction. The NRA does not deal in facts. Hyperbole, fear and paranoia are their dangerous mantra. It is a fiction that has become a reality no thanks to politicians who are complicit because of their unwarranted fears of an organization representing a minority of Americans. This is the danger of allowing money and influence to change the course of our elections.

I encourage you to read this blog post at the Penigma blog about the real corruption of the Fast and Furious program. The blogger is wondering why the main stream press is not investigating the real facts of what happened in the Fast and Furious case. As I wrote a few posts ago, so far, one person, Katherine Eban of Fortune magazine, has written a great exposé. Who is paying attention? Everyone should if they care about our nation's democracy and its' Constitution. And if they do, they will have to find Darrell Issa and his colleagues in the U.S. House at fault. If they find them to be at fault, the vote taken against Attorney General Eric Holder was a sham and a national scandal. From the blog:
For a long time, I have wondered why it is that anyone would believe the ATF or the DoJ simply overlooked the transfer of guns over our borders.  It has never made sense to me that they were just incapable of tracking those guns, or that they didn't care very much about NOT allowing firearms to fall into the wrong hands.  
That was implausible on the face of it.  Why would they do that?  The explanation of incompetence did not seem justified; the ATF and the DoJ are not incompetent, and when they have a failing - and agencies sometimes DO have failures, including some massive ones (the Department of Interior has had some horrific ones, for example), they aren't like this, they follow a different pattern.
When there are massive failures in government, regardless of which party is in charge, consistently if you follow the money trail, someone is profiting.  There was no such trail claimed or demonstrated in the case of the ATF and DoJ.  
No motivation was ever posited, except for another ridiculous conspiracy theory spouted by the NRA that was more full of holes than a target at a shooting range.
When you factor in that the program began under George W. Bush, but was only being used to discredit Obama so very selectively, the stink factor of something rotten from the right got much stronger.  
Common sense tells us all that this fictional and trumped up Congressional investigation is already a travesty and a sham. The real problem and the non-fiction section of this novel is that weak U.S. gun laws are leading to not only the senseless deaths of Mexican citizens but of our own citizens. If you read Katherine Eban's full account, you will see this to be true. If this was worth investigating, it was worth investigating the whole thing. Some parts of this novel were left out on purpose. But worse than that, this fiction is warping the very fabric of who we are as a country. This page in our country's history will go down as part of the NRA's dark and twisted version of America that led to a vote that should never have been taken in the U.S. House of Representatives.

UPDATE- July 3, 2012

I offer this editorial from the Kansas City Star as more commentary about the fiction of Representative Darrell Issa's investigation into the Fast and Furious case. I am going to paste the entire editorial since it gets to the real problem with guns going into Mexico from the U.S. and fully supports my case in this post:

Issa’s sideshow is typical of our polarized politics


Rep. Darrell Issa’s joke of an investigation into Operation Fast and Furious needs a name. Operation Plodding and Pointless might do.
The probe into the failed federal effort to track U.S.-purchased guns trafficked to Mexican drug cartels has reached a new height of dudgeon. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives (along with a handful of Democrats) have found Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Issa.
The committee’s hearings on Fast and Furious have droned on for more than a year now. Yet, to date, no testimony has been taken to address the problem that lay at the heart of the so-called scandal: lax U.S. gun laws that benefit gun shops and do little to stop criminals from getting access to high-powered weaponry.
Issa saw to that when the inquiry began. He said no testimony would be admitted that commented on gun-control laws or legislation. As committee chairman, that’s his prerogative. But it’s a transparent tactic.
Instead, Issa has focused his inquisitorial zeal to achieve one aim: to give the Obama administration a black eye.
Fast and Furious was an ill-fated operation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The idea was to track sales of weaponry made in the U.S., and then trafficked, often through straw buyers to drug cartels. The crux of the inquiry is to find out if agents knowingly allowed guns to reach criminals, when they should have stopped the transfers.
An investigation by Fortune magazine has shredded the case that ATF agents knowingly let weapons “walk” — i.e., fall into criminal hands. And Issa has admitted that he had no evidence that Holder knew that they had walked.
What, then, is the point of Issa’s sideshow?
Here’s the context that Issa would rather not have discussed: The U.S. is a weapons warehouse — always open, always selling. Estimates are that 2,000 guns pass into Mexico every day. Mexico has stringent gun laws. So its criminal element looks to U.S. leniency to supply the weapons that have taken more than 45,000 lives since 2006.
The Greater Phoenix area alone has 853 federally licensed firearms dealers, according to Fortune’s investigation. Agents with ATF treaded dicey territory, attempting to build prosecutable cases and intercept guns before they reach criminals — but not interfere with legal purchases. And a legal purchase in Arizona can include someone paying $10,000 cash for multiple semi-automatic assault rifles, with few questions asked.
What made Fast and Furious a scandal was the death of a U.S. border agent in December 2010 as he was patrolling near the border in Arizona. Two semiautomatic weapons were found at the scene of his murder. The guns, initially sold at a Phoenix-area gun shop, had been tracked through Fast and Furious.
Holder’s antagonists believe that, because the transfer of those guns wasn’t stopped, the U.S. Department of Justice (of which ATF is a part) is complicit in Brian Terry’s death. Many Republicans believe, contrary to evidence, that agents knowingly allowed guns to reach criminals. Some believe this was part of a conspiracy to turn public sentiment against the Second Amendment.
The affair is sadly typical of American government today, with the ideologues of the opposition party willing to advance any story to put the president in a bad light.
It is also sadly typical of our politics that we cannot have a frank discussion of sensible gun laws. Representatives and senators of both parties walk in fear of the National Rifle Association — which declared the contempt vote on Holder was going to figure in its scoring of members of Congress.
For all we know, there may be a middle ground on gun control. Reasonable people, including strong advocates for gun rights, might be able to agree that changes are needed, and might even be willing to enact them — but for the long arm of the NRA.
And that is what truly ought to make us furious.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/07/02/3682199/fast-and-furious.html#storylink=cp
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Another UPDATE:

You might want to read this blog post at Penigma about the contradictions concerning Fast and Furious. From the post:
The glitch in the right wingnut crazy conspiracy theory is that arrests should have been made. The documentation is that those arrests were forbidden by the prosecutors, because of lax gun laws that made such transactions to drug cartels effectively legal.  Without prosecutorial approval, arrests could not take place. PERIOD. 
This does not make the ATF responsible for the sale and transfer of those firearms.  This just proves they witnessed and documented that such transactions occur daily, whether they are monitored or not. I was surprised to see that some gun nuts believe that this was some sort of sting operation, that there was some form of encouragement by the ATF to cause these straw purchases to occur.  That is not the case.  In those who claim to 'fact check', I have yet to see anyone debunk that 1. prosecutor approval is necessary for an ATF arrest; and 2. that there were no such arrest approvals received by the ATF from prosecutors. Rather it is clear that these prosecutors in states like Arizona with NRA sponsored lax gun laws routinely DO NOT PROSECUTE STRAW PURCHASES -- not through arrests by the ATF, or DEA, or local police, or state law enforcement. I have yet to see where anyone of the pro-gunner gun zombies can explain how useful it would be to make an arrest without prosecution, or at least reasonable expectation of prosecution. (...) 
As to the hysteria that Eric Holder did not produce documentation as requested, in fact he produced a considerable amount.  It was a relatively small subset of subpoenaed documents that were in question, and Holder made an effort to find ways to provide those, or at least most of those, to Congress IF - big IF - security for the information could be negotiated. (...)
The McCarthy House Unamerican Activities hearings are among the darkest, most despotic and tyrannical of our history.  The recent hearings on everything from Islam in America to the ridiculous and nasty contraception hearings that resulted in the Fluke scandal that so appropriately damaged Rush Limbaugh are not proper, honest hearings, and I agree with Holder that these are not members of Congress who have demonstrated that they operate in the scope of ethics that a Congressional hearing should encompass. 
So long as the right persists in being post-truth liars and deniers, so long as they engage and propagate conspiracy theories and fact averse disconnects from objective reality, there is a legitimate concern that these investigations are not genuine investigations, they are attempts to smear people.  A genuine investigation is based on a fair and thorough investigation that does not have a predetermined outcome.  
That cannot be said of any investigation so far conducted by Daryl Issa.(...) 
And yet, when the Democrats unanimously support something like the Brian A. Terry Memorial Act, and the President SIGNS it, they get no credit for it.  I would question why it is the President's job to popularize this.  Where was Issa?  He was the legislative sponsor for this.  Why didn't he publicize it instead of grandstanding fact-averse statements to the media?  Clearly Issa can get the attention of the media when it suits his purpose to do so.  One has to ask, why is Issa so uninterested in sharing the limelight on his legislation with democrats -- is it because it doesn't suit the agenda of his puppet masters, the NRA and other right wing special interests? From the excellent web site resource, govtrack.us: 
H.R. 2668: Brian A. Terry Memorial Act
112th Congress, 2011–2012
To designate the station of the United States Border Patrol located at 2136 South Naco Highway in Bisbee, Arizona, as the "Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station".
Introduced:
Jul 27, 2011
Sponsor:
Rep. Darrell Issa [R-CA49]
Status:
Signed by the President

17 comments:

  1. Thansk for the link to my post.

    The NRA story appeals to the nonsensical conpsiraacy theory crowd, who don't appear to be at all interested in facts, OR capable of critical thinking beyond their gun obsession.

    Effectively they can't let go their death grip on their 'gunz' (as our friend democommie would sarcastically spell it) long enough for the blood to rise to their brain so they can think.

    When one looks at the full article by Ms. Eban -- an award winning investigative reporter for both print and broadcast media -- and when one looks at how well regarded Fortune is as a publication, this carries so much more weight than the NRA to anyone who lives in a fact-based real world reality.

    Clearly, there were lax gun laws involved, but there are also serious questions raised about the actions (and integrity) of the prosecutors who sabotaged making any arrests in even the most egregious cases.

    The NRA was responsible for those lax laws, and therefore the NRA is responsible for letting those guns cross the border into the hands of crminals in Mexico - and into the hands of criminals in the U.S.

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  2. Here is an article from the Star Tribune about Minnesota connections to Fast and Furious- http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/160619285.html " The issue in both the Phoenix and Minneapolis operations was one of tactics: Whether to seize firearms from criminals as soon as possible or let them "walk" to identify higher-ups in trafficking networks."

    It's difficult to get guns out of the hands of criminals. Perhaps a better tactic would be to prevent them in the first place by passing more sensible gun laws to stop guns from falling into the wrong hands.

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  3. Dog gone’s post starts off pretty well asking the same questions I am asking (why?). But then she leads to this:

    Dog gone: “Follow the money -- who profits from this activity? The gun dealers do, and the gun manufacturers do, and there is a clear trail of money as well to the right wing politicians.”

    In a post about wild cooked up conspiracy theories, she ends up implying it was actually the gun lobby and the right wing that was pulling the strings to boost sales by a couple thousand. Keep in mind, 9 million guns were made and imported in 2009, so the Fast and Furious guns represent 0.02% of that.

    The conspiracy theory (and it is just that right now- a “theory”) that F&F was started specifically to push an agenda of gun control is fueled by your side which keeps using Mexico’s problems as a reason to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban. It is hard to prove it was started for that reason, especially without access to all the documents, but it has and continues to be used to push for bans on certain firearms. You do that in the very same posts where you deride the theory, essentially saying “we need to stop wasting our time figuring out why this happened, and instead focus on passing more gun control.” So that is the type of language that fuels the theory in my opinion.

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    1. Your assertion that gun control folks are using this to reinstate the AWB is specious and unsupported. Yes, some people have said the AWB should be reinstated. It should be for very many other reasons, not the least of which is the carnage the type of guns that were banned is causing on the streets of our community. You gun guys can do very well without all of the types of guns that were banned and the ammunition rounds of over 30. You want them. You don't need them. We should be more concerned about the victims that have been become collateral damage to your side over the sale of guns into Mexico- most of which are coming straight from U.S. gun dealers who knowing sell guns to people when they can be quite sure that someone buying 50 AK 47s is not buying for him or herself. Fast and Furious should be all about the weak gun laws that caused our ATF agents to try what they could to stop the flow of weapons. That's the part you guys deny and don't want to deal with because you think somehow this is going to affect you personally. It was not started in any way for the reasons you state. There is absolutely no evidence of anything of the sort. That would imply that someone like me knew about the program and approved of it. Provide facts. You don't have them. We do need to pass gun laws to stop this flow of weapons. Do you want these guns going to Mexico to kill innocent people? What's your plan? I have yet to hear anything coming from your side that will stop this.

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    2. Japete: “That would imply that someone like me knew about the program and approved of it. Provide facts. You don't have them.”

      I thought I was pretty clear in explaining that it is a theory. The facts are not there proving this, but that is one of the things the congressional oversight committee is trying to find out. They have been met with a lot of resistance, and now a block from the President. The theory is derived from these facts, which are all undeniably true:

      -At the beginning of 2009, Holder himself said to the Mexican press that the administration will try to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban as a response to the problem of gun violence in Mexico.
      -The above was about the time the F&F operation started up. The former program, “Wide Receiver” had been pulled two days after head ATF officials in Washington got wind of it. The implication is that F&F must have come from above the guy who pulled the plug on WR (I believe his name was “Hoover”)
      -F&F increased the problem that Holder stated was one of the reasons to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban.

      So the conspiracy theory comes from just putting those three things together. Maybe that wasn’t the reason, but we are still yet to hear why this program was restarted without even the same effort used to track guns in the WR operation that was yanked as soon as Washington found it was going on.

      Japete: “We should be more concerned about the victims that have been become collateral damage to your side over the sale of guns into Mexico- most of which are coming straight from U.S. gun dealers who knowing sell guns to people when they can be quite sure that someone buying 50 AK 47s is not buying for him or herself. Fast and Furious should be all about the weak gun laws that caused our ATF agents to try what they could to stop the flow of weapons.”

      But see, this is what the case is about. US gun dealers would call the ATF and say “look some guy is trying to by 50 AK-47s. Obviously I am not going to sell to him, but I thought I would report it”. The ATF “ordered” these sales to go through as part of the program thereby increasing the guns flowing to Mexico. These are sales that would not have happened without the operation. I would think you would want the person who ordered this program to be held accountable (as in fired), and that this would be something our sides can agree on. If it goes all the way up to Holder, then he should be fired. If not, he should be the one firing whoever was responsible. Look, even if it is Holder, Obama still gets to be the one to appoint a new AG. It is not like you lose ground.

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    3. The theory is just a theory. But a committee of the U.S House voted to hold Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress over a theory. That is just plain wrong, to say the least. The gun guys love conspiracy theories. That is how and why the NRA exists. As to doing an AWB, obviously that would help keep those guns from not only getting into Mexico but also onto the streets of our own country. That is a no brainer and most of the public actually agrees with that one in poll after poll. Your "facts" in the last paragraph don't fit with the great reporting done in Fortune. That is another problem. An American Attorney General was censured on false pretenses. But you can believe what you want to believe. All in the interest of going after President Obama to bring him down. Things aren't going so well on that front given the Supreme Court rulings on Immigration and the Affordable Care Act. So maybe they will try something else. Maybe the birther stuff? I can't wait to see the next "theory" coming from the far right. It's sure to be a doozy.

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    4. They didn’t hold him in contempt over a theory- they held him in contempt for not releasing the documents the committee subpoenaed. How else are they supposed to investigate? Let me ask you this. Do you think someone should be held accountable for this? If so, what does accountable mean to you? Should they lose their job?

      Japete: “Your "facts" in the last paragraph don't fit with the great reporting done in Fortune.”

      What exactly doesn’t fit? I think the link you left for the fortune article is broken- it stays inside blogger when I click on it. My last fact was that F&F increased the gun flow to Mexico. Are you saying that it didn’t?

      Japete: “An American Attorney General was censured on false pretenses. But you can believe what you want to believe.”

      I don’t know what to believe. The reason I don’t know is because he has not been cooperative with the investigation. Maybe he is protecting himself or maybe someone else. Maybe there is a perfectly good explanation, but we don’t know until all the documents are released.

      Japete (from the previous comment): “Do you want these guns going to Mexico to kill innocent people? What's your plan? I have yet to hear anything coming from your side that will stop this.”

      Legalize pot.

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    5. That's a great plan, T.S. I'm sure it will stop all of the illegal weapons flow. As to the rest, yes, I believe the contempt of Congress vote came about as a result of a theory and not fact. The Fortune article points that out quite well. Here is the link- http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fast-and-furious-truth/

      Holder has been cooperative. He has released thousands of pages of documents. You are missing a very large point. If there was so much concern about allowing guns to get into Mexico, where was Congress when it was being done under Bush? This is a witch hunt.

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    6. I read the article, and it does not dispute any of the three facts I mentioned: The Obama administration wanted to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban, Holder used the problem in Mexico as a reason, and F&F made that problem worse. That is what is driving the theory. The article itself reinforces the theory. Look at this line:

      They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

      The program allowed sales to straw purchasers to happen, and they are saying that “weak laws” meant they couldn’t stop them from going into Mexico. Did the ATF not know about these “weak laws”? Why would they start a program (especially one so similar to a failed previous program) where the outcome was going to be losing the guns… and then complaining that their hands were tied without more gun control. That is kind of supporting the conspiracy theory, isn’t it? Not to mention that the “purposefully” word is contradicted by the DOJ in the same article:

      As political pressure has mounted, ATF and Justice Department officials have reversed themselves. After initially supporting Group VII agents and denying the allegations, they have since agreed that the ATF purposefully chose not to interdict guns it lawfully could have seized. Holder testified in December that "the use of this misguided tactic is inexcusable, and it must never happen again."

      Japete: “Holder has been cooperative. He has released thousands of pages of documents.”

      And withheld thousands of others. That is not being cooperative if he gets pick the documents to release that don’t show any fault.

      Japete: “If there was so much concern about allowing guns to get into Mexico, where was Congress when it was being done under Bush? This is a witch hunt.”

      Newell was behind both operations, and he is under investigation, so it is not like people who did this under Bush are being shielded. There is a lot of overlap. The big difference is that Wide Receiver didn’t make any news. F&F made news when an agent was killed. It is a shame, if the public caught wind of it, maybe there would have been enough pressure to not start up F&F. That is the big question- why was a failed program started back up under a new administration this time with no cooperation in Mexico and no RF tracking devices? Don’t you want to know those answers? Was F&F wrong in your mind? If so, why are you calling it a “witch hunt”?

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    7. I got as far as your first two sentences and quit reading because they are based on lies. That is what I have been saying. I know you don't agree but that's the way it will have to be. Your side is wrong and there is plenty of proof for that. I have provided it. I am done arguing with you about this TS. My views are clear from my post and my subsequent comments. No need to badger me. I won't be changing my view.

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  4. No goal of added gun control odd then that one of the people that worked on the 1884 ban would have directly oversaw the FF program.

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-contributor-who-helped-enact-assault-weapons-ban-ran-fast-and-furious

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  5. Robin sent me an article from the great and unbiased news service- cns. Here's more about that organization ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybercast_News_Service) From the article: " CNSNews.com was founded on June 16, 1998, under the name "Conservative News Service" using the domain name, conservativenews.org.[2] The web site originally operated with a staff of two editors, four reporters, and a three-year budget of $5.46 million entirely funded by private donations.[2] The name was eventually changed to the Cybercast News Service and the domain name was changed to CNSNews.com.
    As of 2007, CNSNews.com described its role as serving an audience which puts a "higher premium on balance than spin."
    "In response to these shortcomings, MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell III founded CNSNews.com in an effort to provide an alternative news source that would cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission. CNSNews.com endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story and debunk popular, albeit incorrect, myths about cultural and policy issues." [3]
    CNSNews.com's motto is "The Right News. Right now."[4]
    CNSNews.com's editor from 1998-2005 was Scott Hogenson, who took a leave of absence in November, 2003 to serve as the director of radio and online operations for the Republican National Committee in the 2004 election cycle. Hogenson's leave of absence expired on November 15, 2004 when he returned to CNSNews.com in his original capacity. CNSNews.com has staff in Washington, D.C., London, Jerusalem and the Pacific Rim. Editor-in-chief David Thibault (deceased) became top editor in April 2005 when Hogenson accepted an appointment as a deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Public Affairs. Thibault died on July 20, 2007 as a result of complications with his cancer treatment.[5]
    Terence P. Jeffrey became editor-in-chief in September 2007. Jeffrey was and remains an editor-at-large for the conservative weekly newspaper Human Events. He wrote editorials for The Washington Times from 1987–1991 and was research director for the presidential campaign of Patrick J. Buchanan in 1992. Jeffrey was Buchanan's national campaign manager in his 1996 campaign."

    And then this about "Media Research Center" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Research_Center)
    " The Media Research Center (MRC) is a conservative content analysis organization based in Alexandria, Virginia, founded in 1987 by conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III. Its stated mission is to "prove — through sound scientific research — that liberal bias in the media does exist and undermines traditional American values" and to "neutralize [that bias's] impact on the American political scene".[1]"

    I guess we can take with a grain of salt what is contained in that article since the sole purpose is to debunk what is perceived as "liberal media bias."

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    1. So other than being a right wing news source do you dispute what it says? It seems as if it would be easy to find out if he was ties to the 1994 ban and the Fast and furious program. His wiki page seems to verify just that.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_K._Burke

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    2. So you are saying that no Republicans or no NRA members or the NRA itself gave campaign contributions to Darrell Issa and the Republicans on the committee? What's the difference? Democrats give campaign contributions to people who have similar views. Republicans do the same. What's your problem? The AWB should never have been allowed to expire. Even President Bush said he would support the renewal of the ban to get elected in 2004 and then changed his mind. Why? Money and influence from the NRA? Can you tell me that there is a difference between the parties when it comes to who gives to who. It's the Republicans who are benefitting from the big corporate money and the Koch Brothers. And speaking of the Koch Brothers, they have given millions if not more to ALEC and money also to politicians who do their bidding- most especially for the passage of the Stand Your Ground laws. What's that all about? Do you have a problem with that?

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  6. Bush never vetoed/signed a ban because one never made it to his desk. Unless I missed a bill that would have extended the ban.

    From wiki
    On March 2, 2004, with the 'sunset' of the ban on the horizon, assault weapon ban supporter Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) attached a ten-year extension to the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban to the Senate's Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. With the Feinstein amendment, the bill was voted down 8-90.

    It looks like another big storm just blew through Duluth I hope like last time everyone is OK.

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    1. Of course he didn't veto/sign the AWB. We all know it was allowed to Sunset. Here is what Bush said ( http://articles.cnn.com/2004-09-10/politics/assault.weapons.ban_1_assault-weapons-ban-gun-control-supporters-vote?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS) He would have signed the bill if it had made it to his desk. He most likely knew that the NRA would never let that happen so he was safe in saying it.

      The storms were fierce but no large damage. I am at my cabin. There was lots of lightning but not a lot of wind. It rained hard however. Thanks for asking. It's like the tropics up here. Climate change at work.

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    2. With a vote of 8-90 I would agree that was a pretty safe bet. It also seems that if the NRA had a hand in influencing votes they went a bit overboard.

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