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This is why we can’t have nice things May 16, 2013

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Gabrielle Giffords shreds the Senate’s gun vote in a scathing editorial. All the more admirable when you consider that she still has trouble speaking in complete sentences since that gunshot she took to the head.

Senators and how they voted.

“I’m a libertarian who played a role in reducing handgun restrictions in the nation’s capital. In 2008, in a landmark case I helped initiate, Heller v. District of Columbia, the Supreme Court declared for the first time that the Second Amendment protected an individual’s right to bear arms. But the stonewalling of the background check proposal was a mistake, both politically and substantively.

“The ATF is officially responsible for inspecting and overseeing licensed firearms dealers. But in 2004, the gun lobby successfully pushed a rider to specifically prevent the ATF from requiring dealers to conduct an annual inventory. As a result, tens of thousands of lost and stolen guns go unreported every year.” And other ways the NRA has blocked efforts to reduce gun crime.

“Letting a lawsuit go forward may not sound like a big deal, but Congress enacted a law in 2005 — under heavy lobbying from the NRA and the gun industry — that gives gun manufacturers and dealers broad immunity from being sued.

“When Zina Haughton, 42, got a restraining order against her husband, Radcliffe, last October — she told a court that his threats “terrorize my every waking moment” — he became ineligible to buy a gun under federal law. But he found a way around that: he bought a gun from a private seller he found on the Internet who, unlike federally licensed dealers, was not legally required to check his background.”

“Burdick began receiving, as she puts it, “the usual threatening e-mails” — as did a fellow gun control advocate in the Legislature, Mitch Greenlick. He told The Oregonian that the e-mail he received from gun extremists was often abusive, obscene and anti-Semitic. He predicted that gun legislation would go nowhere because legislators were too frightened to act.”

A spot of bright news: “A continent removed from Washington’s shameful resistance to new gun controls, California has just enacted a law that will speed up the confiscation of firearms from an estimated 20,000 people who bought them legally but were later disqualified because of a conviction for a violent crime, a finding of mental illness or a restraining order for domestic violence.” More changes like this, please.

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