Part of this year's annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, which officially kicked off Friday in Houston, will encourage attendees to imagine a terrifying firearm-free alternate reality where the U.S. government has thrown gun owners into prison.
The vision comes from author Rob Olive, who is among 10 celebrities and pseudo celebrities from the worlds of conservative politics and punditry being given the chance to sign books and meet fans at the gun lobby's major shindig. Other authors include former government types like Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Ambassador John Bolton and Col. Oliver North; as well as a conservative commentators like rocker Ted Nugent and talk show host Glenn Beck. Olive may be the only fiction writer getting the NRA spotlight this weekend.
He will be on hand to sign copies of his book, "Essential Liberty," which is billed as a "thriller" that describes a future where federal agents confiscate guns and throw the owners in jail. According to Olive, the book is fictional, but depicts a perfectly plausible scenario based on the current direction of the country.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
A visibly angry President Obama tore into Senate Republicans on Wednesday for voting down legislation to expand background checks on gun sales, accusing opponents of the measure of deliberately lying to derail its passage.
"Families that know unspeakable grief summoned the courage to petition their elected leaders not just to honor the memory of their children but to protect the lives of all of our children," Obama said, standing alongside Vice President Biden and a handful of people whose lives had been affected by gun violence. "A few minutes ago a minority in the United States Senate decided it wasn't worth it."PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) spoke about his father's suicide during a speech about gun violence prevention.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
After the Newtown, Conn. massacre, a gun control movement that had been on the political sidelines jumped into the spotlight. This week, the coalition -- both its resurgent and brand new parts -- will show just how much power it has.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to to take up a number of gun control measures this week, including proposals to curb gun trafficking, ban so-called assault weapons and expand background checks to more firearms purchases. That last item has become the central focus for gun control advocates following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and they see a chance to leverage polls showing public support for background checks into bipartisan legislative action. And so as talk of gun control shifts to actual legislative language, advocates are taking to the ground and the airwaves in an all-out effort to push background checks over the finish line.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The president of the National Rifle Association has weighed in: comparing American politicians with gun control proposals to Adolf Hitler is doing it right.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
A Democratic congressman from California said on Wednesday he wants to make a late addition to the gun proposals being considered by Congress and the White House.
Expanded background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines have been all the talk in the push for gun control after the Newtown, Conn., schoolhouse massacre, but Rep. Mike Thompson said there should also be a discussion of paying states to take guns away from criminals and the dangerously mentally ill who are prohibited from owning them.
This week, Thompson introduced a bill that would do just that.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) ended the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about her ban on so-called assault weapons Wednesday with a bit of political analysis: "It's an uphill job all the way," she said. "But I believe we're right ... and we will continue to fight."
That pretty accurately sums up both the chances of a ban passing this year as well as the reasons why Feinstein, the White House and other gun control advocates continue to support one. Feinstein's hearing may not result in a political victory, but it did provide an outlet for one of the more emotional discussions of gun violence in Washington since the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Conn.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The National Rifle Association is rolling out what it calls "the big guns" this week to push back on the growing call for gun control.
Conservative commentator Oliver North, rocker Ted Nugent, NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre, NRA President David Keene and 2012 Olympic gold medal skeet shooter Kim Rhode will all take to the airwaves for what the NRA is calling a "#Gunversation" on The Sportsman Channel, a digital-tier cable channel focused on the outdoors.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is hitting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with a new salvo of gun control-focused TV ads ahead of this week's Senate hearings on a so-called assault weapons ban.
The ban remains part of the post-Newtown, Conn., massacre discussion in Washington, albeit playing second (or third) fiddle to talk of universal background checks and magazine capacity bans, and the PCCC believes focusing on assault weapons is the right strategy.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
A few weeks ago, Tom Teves, of Phoenix, sent his senators a letter. His 24-year-old son, Alex, was killed last year in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre, and he wanted to tell them Alex's story and encourage them to take action on guns.
What he got in response, he said, were cold, impersonal form letters from Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans. Neither of the letters even addressed the Colorado massacre. In fact, they brought up an entirely different shooting, the schoolhouse killings in Newtown, Conn., and mentioned each senator's ongoing support of the Second Amendment. It was like Alex Teves' death hadn't gotten through to the senators or their staffs.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The woman who asked the standout question at this week's Parents Magazine online town hall about gun violence went on Fox News Friday to accuse Vice President Biden of mansplaining when it comes to self-defense.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The mother of a young man killed in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre told TPM on Thursday she was appalled at the way Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) handled her question about an assault weapons ban at a town hall event in Phoenix.
"I was very surprised that a senator, who has been in office for over 30 years, would address a grieving mother, who just lost her son exactly seven months prior -- yesterday was the 20th, I lost my son on 7-20-2012 -- to tell me that I needed 'some straight talk,'" Caren Teves said by phone.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The ground war over gun control after the Newtown, Conn. massacre has begun. Across the country, members of Congress are being hit with grassroots campaigns and ads aimed at pushing them to one side or the other in the current debate over gun violence.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Vice President Biden told an audience Thursday in Connecticut that things have changed in the gun violence debate -- the politician who has to worry now is the one who votes against new regulations on firearms purchases, rather than the one who votes for them.
That's a big change in the conventional wisdom, which has long held that taking on the gun rights lobby is at best risky and at worst suicidal. But Biden's not the only one saying it -- Democrats are gearing up to make support for gun control a key plank in their 2014 platform.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The National Rifle Association used an old conservative standby on Wednesday to make its latest claim that President Obama is an "elitist" bent on stripping firearms from law-abiding owners.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
As conservatives try to push Colorado legislator Joe Salazar's (D) comments about rape during a gun control debate into the national spotlight, one of the most powerful names in gun control came to his defense, even as it called his statement "inartful."PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Vice President Biden sounded skeptical Tuesday after he got a question at an online town hall hosted by Parents Magazine that once again led him to opine about the best gun to own in case of home invasion or social meltdown.
"Is this Parents Magazine?" Biden said. "I have Parents Magazine in my home. I've never heard anybody in Parents Magazine ask these kinds of questions."PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Missouri state Rep. Mike Leara (R) loves the Second Amendment so much he wants to make it a felony for state lawmakers to propose legislation he thinks would violate it.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Conservatives are calling a Colorado legislator the Democratic Todd Akin after he wandered into a discussion about rape while debating a gun control bill last week on the state House floor.
State Rep. Joe Salazar (D), a first-term lawmaker, spoke up during a debate Friday over a bill that would ban concealed weapons from college campuses in Colorado. Gun rights advocates have pushed for more concealed carry permits on campuses in the years since the Virginia Tech shooting. In an apparent attempt to respond to concerns that the proposed law would leave women defenseless against rapists on campus, Salazar opined that fearful women may shoot first and ask questions later, putting men at risk.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Forget the softer tone. The National Rifle Association on Thursday returned to the hardcore style of messaging that drew so much derision to the group just last month.
The gun lobby group rolled out an ad that flew in the face of the softer tone the organization struck earlier in the week by once again attacking President Obama's gun violence prevention plans as elitist hypocrisy.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The National Rifle Association may have tried out a softer tone this week in an online video criticizing the President's gun proposals, but the underlying message represents a longstanding view of the gun rights group that the Obama administration insisted Wednesday is just plain wrong.
The video, which was posted Tuesday before the State of the Union address, pointed to what it claimed was a memo from the administration that proved measures supported by President Obama to reduce gun violence will eventually result in the federal government confiscating firearms that are lawfully owned.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
President Obama called on Congress during his State of the Union address Tuesday night to give his gun violence prevention proposals floor votes. The language calling for action on gun violence was similar to that Obama has used on several occasions in the two months following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting -- but it could also signal support from the president for several votes on gun violence rather than one comprehensive package.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The National Rifle Association distanced itself Tuesday from a comment made by a lobbyist for one of its "chartered organizations" in Wisconsin, who said recently that gun rights proponents need only to wait out the "Connecticut Effect" before passing laws loosening restrictions on guns.
Earlier in the day, the line drew the ire of Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who called on NRA leadership to "repudiate and reject" it. In an email to TPM, the NRA didn't do that, but it did say its organization had nothing to do with the lobbyist who made the comment.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
After carefully trying to thread the needle between the grief after the massacre in Newtown, Conn., and the push for new gun laws, the National Rifle Association has found itself in hot water over the words of one of its state lobbyists.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on Tuesday called on the NRA to "repudiate and reject" the idea from one of its state lobbyists that gun rights advocates simply need to wait out the "Connecticut Effect" until the call for new gun laws pass.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The gun rights community may not be doing itself any favors by giving Ted Nugent a seat at the State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
The outspoken rocker will be a guest of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), one of the most vocal opponents of new gun control legislation following the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. But proponents of things like creating universal background checks and other gun regulations predicted on Monday that Nugent's appearance will be a boon to their side and make it harder for gun rights advocates to make their case.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), who threatened President Obama with impeachment over his plan to reduce gun violence, has offered a ticket to the State of the Union to Ted Nugent -- whose criticism of the president once resulted in a sitdown with the Secret Service.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
President Obama's biggest speech since being reelected is also a big opportunity on Tuesday for gun control advocates to keep the pressure on Washington to pass gun control legislation after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.
Obama has been the main driver of the new push to reduce gun violence in America after the school shooting and his State of the Union address this week has been seen by gun control advocates as a big chance to move the ball forward on legislation.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Members of the House Democratic gun violence task force put a heavy emphasis on the Second Amendment when they rolled out their policy recommendations Thursday. From speaking directly hunters to telling a personal story of a family defended from roving bands of racist thugs, Democrats praised the right to posses firearms and promised they're not ever going to touch it as they work to reduce gun violence after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), the leader of the task force, spoke of his own hunting hobby (he hunts ducks.) The first bullet point in the task force's list of recommendations was "Support the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans." Lest any critics wonder what that means, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) told the story of a Civil Rights leader who, Clyburn said, made it through the movement thanks to his right to own a gun.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Women who don't usually vote in midterm elections -- the same women who generally drive Democratic victories -- will turn out in 2014 over the issue of guns, according to a recent poll.
The survey released by Women Donors Network, a self-described progressive "community of women philanthropists," found that a subset of women voters who usually don't vote in midterm elections are more likely to vote in 2014 on the issue of gun violence.
That echoes what former Rep. Steve LaTourette (OH), now a militant moderate leader in the Republican Party, said on Tuesday when he cautioned his party against sticking too close to the National Rifle Association in the post-Newtown legislative push to reduce gun violence. If the GOP is seen as being in the pocket of the NRA, he said, it could cost the party big with women in future elections.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The Expendables do not see eye-to-eye on gun control.
Two of Hollywood's most famous on-screen gun toters -- Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone -- are on very different sides of the debate over gun violence following the Newtown, Conn. school massacre. Stallone, who blasted everything that moved in the Rambo movies, favors new gun control laws including a ban on so-called assault weapons. Willis, who sees to it that many die extremely hard in the Die Hard flicks, says that any new legislation on guns is a slippery slope leading to an eventual hard death for the Bill of Rights.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Gun rights supporters have been talking a lot about women lately, claiming that any new gun regulations will impact the ability of women to defend themselves against attackers. Join the call for new firearms regulations, they've said, and you risk alienating the women voters.
Former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), leader of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership, told TPM Tuesday that view of things is exactly backwards.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
As the debate over guns after Newtown moves into the often bitterly partisan halls of Congress, President Obama flew Monday to the Midwest to remind the country there's more unity on gun control than the rancorous debate in the nation's capital might suggest.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
Since the massacre in Newtown, Conn., the gun control community has said the same thing over and over again: a new ban on so-called assault weapons sure would be nice, but we really doubt it's going to happen. From congressional leaders to the White House to gun control proponents to the very sponsor of the new ban in the Senate, there's no one who doesn't think the road to a ban is a steep uphill climb at best.
The latest sign the ban isn't in the cards after the Sandy Hook shootings came in Monday's Wall Street Journal. An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sketched out a plan for post-Newtown legislation to the paper that includes a lot of stuff gun control advocates want -- but left out the ban.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre said on Sunday that despite what pro-gun control politicians say or have written in draft legislation, the push for universal background checks is really a veiled step toward the government tracking law-abiding American citizens, most likely for nefarious purposes.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)