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Gun-rights backers decry Leland Yee’s hypocrisy

By Josh Richman
Friday, March 28th, 2014 at 11:30 am in California State Senate, gun control, Leland Yee.

Gun-rights advocates are up in arms about state Sen. Leland Yee’s alleged double life – an ardent gun-control advocate in public, while secretly negotiating with purported mobsters to set up international gun deals.

“It appears that Leland Yee is not only an epic gun-control hypocrite, but also exactly the type of truly dangerous gun trafficking criminal who my clients have always urged authorities to throw the book at,” Chuck Michel, West Coast counsel for the National Rifle Association, said Thursday.

Leland YeeYee, D-San Francisco, famously has carried “bullet button” legislation, which would ban a common modification to semi-automatic rifles that lets users quickly swap out their ammunition magazines without running afoul of the state’s assault weapons law. His SB 47 was pulled from consideration last August, a few weeks before the end of the legislative session, but remains pending in the Assembly.

That bill was among eight that made up state Senate Democrats “LIFE Act” gun-control package last year.

“The prevalence of deadly, military-style weapons in our society has resulted in countless tragedies,” Yee said last April. “It is past time to put some common sense laws into place in order to prevent such tragedies in the future. The LIFE Act is a bold step forward in this effort.”

Yee is charged with conspiracy to traffic in firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms, and six counts of scheming to defraud citizens of “honest services.” Each corruption count is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000, while the gun-trafficking count is punishable by up to five years and $250,000. Free on $500,000 bond, Yee is scheduled to return to court Monday.

An FBI affidavit says Yee told an undercover FBI agent he could facilitate big shipments of guns into the country in exchange for campaign contributions. No guns actually changed hands, but Yee accepted a $5,000 contribution from a bogus company set up by the agent as their negotiations continued in a series of face-to-face meetings from January through March 14. At one such meeting, Yee allegedly discussed specific locations in the Philippines and Florida that might be ideal for moving the guns, which he said would include M-16-type automatic rifles.

Consider what Yee said last October when Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would’ve classified all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines as banned assault weapons.

“California’s Assault Weapons Ban has protected the public for decades,” Yee said at the time. “But we must work to make sure that it is capable of dealing with new threats that face California. In the Governor’s veto message, he spoke of the importance of our gun laws and the need to make sure they are carefully tailored. SB 47 will protect the public while keeping an appropriately narrow scope.”

Lots more, after the jump…

Yee also last year authored SB 108, which would’ve required firearms to be safely secured with a trigger lock or in a gun safe when the owner isn’t home.

“All too often, unsecured firearms are stolen and end up on the black market, or are found by a child with tragic consequences,” he said last May. “Safely securing a weapon when leaving it alone in your home is a responsible practice that should be required by law for the benefit of public safety.”

Yee even called the NRA out for hypocrisy for talking about the dangers of violent video games in the wake of the December 2012 school massacre in Newtown, Conn. Yee had authored a 2005 law to ban sale of violent video games to children, but the U.S. Supreme Court struck that law down in 2011 on First Amendment grounds.

“When our law was before the Supreme Court – while several states, medical organizations, and child advocates submitted briefs in support of California’s efforts – the NRA was completely silent,” Yee said in December 2012. “Now, rather than face reality and be part of the solution to the widespread proliferation of assault weapons in America, they attempt to pass the buck. More guns are not the answer to protecting our children, as evident by the fact that armed guards weren’t enough to stop the tragedy at Columbine High School. The NRA’s response is pathetic and completely unacceptable.”

Dallas Stout, president of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and a supporter of Yee’s legislation, declined comment Thursday, as did Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, another outspoken gun-control advocate.

Stout on Friday said he concurred with comments another Brady Campaign activist had provided to the Associated Press.

“I feel very dismayed and upset,” said Amanda Wilcox, whose daughter was a victim of gun violence, but “his actions don’t make what is good policy any less good policy.” Her husband, Nick Wilcox, said advocates are exploring other ways to move Yee’s bills forward; he said he can’t argue with opponents who view the alleged actions as the height of hypocrisy.

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said his organization is “shocked and angered.”

“Hopefully it will cause a lot of people who are pushing the pro-gun-control agenda to step back and take another look,” he said. “I think the other side needs to be a little more careful about who they associate with.”

Organizations including Paredes’ and Michel’s in the past have criticized various Democratic, pro-gun-control lawmakers for hypocrisy; for example, many have criticized U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and former state Senate President Don Perata for having concealed-carry permits. Perata let his permit lapse before publicly giving up his handgun in 2008, though he said he still kept a shotgun at home for self-defense. Feinstein no longer has a permit, either.

“There should be no double standard, just because you’re an elected official doesn’t elevate you to a special status,” Paredes said Friday. “You should have to live with the laws that you pass just like everybody else.”

But the allegations against Yee “just go beyond the pale,” he said.

“This is the absolute total height of hypocrisy,” Paredes said, adding Yee has done all he can to deny law-abiding citizens their Second Amendment rights while allegedly negotiating to traffic guns himself. “We are emboldened to be more forthright in our defense of the Second Amendment – after this, nothing will surprise us.”

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  • RRSenileColumnist

    How old is that headshot of Yee you always post? On TV he looks 15 yrs older. Guess he’s under a lot of stress.

  • JohnW

    “It appears that Leland Yee is not only an epic gun-control hypocrite, but also exactly the type of truly dangerous gun trafficking criminal who my clients have always urged authorities to throw the book at,” Chuck Michel, West Coast counsel for the National Rifle Association, said Thursday.

    Publicly, the NRA is all for “throwing the book at” gun traffickers. They just don’t like giving law enforcement the tools they need to find the gun traffickers in the first place. NRA and people like Yee are platinum members of the same hypocrisy club.

  • Gregg Barnes

    I dont understand your post. Are you say the NRA is an organization of gun traffickers?

  • Neil Ringlee

    JohnW,

    That statement is simply foolish. The NRA is fully supportive of the National Instant Check System and fixing it. Yee is accused of belonging to an organized crime syndicate. The NRA is populated by primarily law enforcement and veterans. Get a grip on reality.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Let us reiterate (regulars, pls bear with me) the defendant known as Shrimp Boy is presumed innocent. Yee, on the other hand, is obviously guilty of all pending charges, is a disgrace to his office, and noxious to all law-abiding citizens.

  • JohnW

    The NRA and other gun rights organizations oppose universal background checks, oppose legislation to require gun dealers to conduct inventory checks to detect loss and theft (an important source of trafficked guns), oppose retention of background check records that could be used to identify and track down straw buyers, and constantly work to water down any proposed legislation to make it easier for authorities to prosecute and punish straw buyers. So, I stand by my comment.

  • JohnW

    First, I’m talking about NRA leadership, not membership. Second, see my comment in response to Neil Ringlee.

  • ElPolacko

    That’s very nice JohnW…tell us, when will you advocate legislation that actually affects criminals instead of honest gun owners. The criminals don’t buy guns at gun stores or get back ground checks

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    Huh? We don’t think that catching gun traffickers requires registering the firearms of honest citizens. Of course, I’m a little biased in the matter – my great aunt decided to attend graduate school in Germany in time to be chased out by Hitler for ethnic impurity, and the original proponents of national gun control, the Ku Klux Klan tried to lynch both my paternal grandfather and his father-in-law.
    Some of us have attention spans longer than that of a gnat.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    BTW, Feinstein had herself sworn as a US Marshal so she could continue to carry.

  • Gregg Barnes

    Yuo still have no idea what the NRA is about. I have been a member my entire life, and to the bst of my knowledge, they have never obstructed law enforcement from doing their jobs. They dont control statistics, they dont control the facts.

  • JohnW

    I’ll stick to the subject, not abortion, capital punishment or my “ilk.” Straw buyers buy guns from gun dealers and sell them at a markup to criminals. NRA bullied Congress into drastically watering down proposed legislation to punish straw buyers who knowingly sell arms to people who intend to use them for criminal purpose — which is how criminal gun trafficking works. It has been reported that about 30,000 firearms disappear annually from gun dealers stock, unaccounted for — which is the reason for proposals to require documented inventory checks subject to inspection, especially in the case of dealers suspected of participating in trafficking. NRA opposed that too.

  • JohnW

    Gregg, I do indeed know what the NRA is all about. As a Boy Scout, I learned firearms use and safety from decent rank and file NRA members who couldn’t have cared less about politics. Or if they did care, they didn’t try to propagandize me. Most NRA members are good citizens who happen to like guns and are very responsible about them.

    However, the NRA national organization is all about serving the interest of gun manufacturers. Anything that pumps up gun and ammo sales is good. Anything that slows down business is bad.

    Gun sales volume is up, but the percentage of homes with one or more guns is down. So, when there is a cry for any kind of gun control legislation, especially after a major tragedy, the NRA gets the rank and file (most of whom support background checks) all fired up that Big Brother is going to confiscate their guns. So, they’d better buy more while they can. It’s very effective. All of a sudden, the gun stores are sold out of popular weapons and ammo. Cha-ching for the manufacturers.

    If you think the NRA has not obstructed law enforcement, see my post in response to El Polacko, who apparently doesn’t like my “ilk.”

  • JohnW

    Well, assuming all this is true, and considering the alternatives, let’s be glad that your great aunt was “chased out” and that the KKK only “tried.” Last I looked, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly were not descendants of Hitler or the KKK.

  • JohnW

    Since when does being an “honorary” US Marshall entitle a person to a CCW permit? Is there some law about that? And since she already had a CCW permit from the city, what does being an honorary USM have to do with it?

    Most people think that she got into CCW after she found Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone dead. In fact, she had her permit and revolver before that and gave up the permit and gun and became a gun control advocate because of those murders. The revolver was melted down with other guns turned in during a buyback program. The melt was sculpted into a cross and presented to the Pope.

    My understanding is that she obtained the permit and revolver during the 1970′s, when she was targeted by an anti-Zionist terrorist group, the New World Liberation Front. An unexploded bomb was left at her front door, and the windows of her beach house were shot out. I would think that a public figure targeted in that manner would more than satisfy even SF strict standards for a CCW permit. I don’t see any hypocrisy whatever.

  • Gregg Barnes

    I don’t see it that way, unless you think that all the members are sheep. Neither myself or many of the members I know felt the need to run out and my more guns when there is a potential ban. I cant recall any of the mail I get from the NRA saying run out and buy more.All they ask me for is more contributions. So that would indicate its the MEMBERS reaction to whats happening in the government that causes a rise in gun sales.

    And believe me, I live in California, where at almost every meeting of the government, someone proposes a bullet button ban, a ban on ammo sales, ammo sale registration, or outright bans on many firearms. So I am constantly in the middle of the battle.

    I have often heard anti-gun people throw around the idea that the NRA is in cahoots with the gun company to promote more gun sales, but without seeing some proof, Im inclined to believe that is propaganda. .

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    John, you sound like a politician.
    Being sworn as a Marshal allowed Ms. Feinstein concealed carry not only in SF, but in then “gun-free” D.C.
    Yes, politicians are attacked – but I don’t understand why this qualifies them for carry permits while the same is not true for the average citizen. I know of a small SF merchant whose business has been repeatedly robbed – but he doesn’t qualify for a permit.
    BTW, what happened to her other pistol?

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    The hypocrisy part comes in when she suggests that everyone *else* should be required to turn them in, while her life is more important.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    Considering the recent scandal where gun dealers were forced to participate in trafficking by the BATFE, you will have to excuse many of us if we aren’t particularly convinced by your argument.
    “It has been reported” – by whom?
    There are already rather serious penalties for straw purchasers – yet no one charged the young woman who supplied the Columbine Killers because she had allegedly suffered enough already.
    Given the recent Leland Yee – Philllipine rebels – Raymond Chow scandal, I think it is pretty clear that gun control laws are unlikely to disarm criminals.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    You do realize that you have just made an appeal to emotion that is completely free of logical content?
    And also completely irrelevant to the fact that a disarmed minority group is incredibly vulnerable to a government gone mad?

  • JohnW

    There may be times when I can be rightly accused of using emotion rather than logic to argue my case. However, I wouldn’t expect that accusation to come from somebody who had just told me his views on gun control in the U.S. were informed by what Hitler and the KKK did that, if true, had nothing to do with guns. If you find my reference to Gabby and her Navy captain/astronaut husband “emotional,” then how about Bay Area Congressman, Vietnam combat vet and lifelong gun toter, Mike Thomson. Or West Virginia Senator and NRA member, Joe Manchin, or conservative Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey?

  • JohnW

    Gregg, I don’t make stuff up about the role of the manufacturers. Read the Business Insider link at the end of this post.

    Somebody is making all those guns and all that ammo fly off the shelves every time there is an “event” followed by more talk of gun control.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/gun-industry-funds-nra-2013-1

  • JohnW

    While I’m not saying for sure that Sen. Feinstein was never given some sort of U.S. Marshall status, I have not been able to find any credible source saying that she was. In fact, what I did find was the following link to a 1994 U.S. Marshall Service opinion that giving such status to members of the legislative branch would be unwise and an unconstitutional mixing of the legislative branch and executive branch (law enforcement). That sounds right to me, and I hope they stuck to that position.

    http://www.justice.gov/olc/depmar.htm

    I don’t think the “average citizen” needs or should be given a carry permit. My opinion. You don’t have to agree.

  • JohnW

    The reference to 30,000 guns was a 1997 ATF report. The link below provides a more recent and more complete picture of the relationship between licensed gun dealers and trafficking.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html

    By recent scandal, I presume you are referring to Fast & Furious, which has nothing to do with the topic under discussion.

    I was sitting in my office, five miles from Columbine, watching my TV monitor as the local stations covered the unfolding events from outside the school. I recall the news about the young woman who purchased one of the guns. She broke the law and should have been prosecuted, but I don’t believe there was ever any indication that she had a clue as to what evil Klebold and Harris had in mind.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    No, I don’t have to agree. You see, your attitude suggesting that some people are special and deserve to protect themselves while the “average citizen” should not be able to protect themselves is the same attitude that is beautifully explored in Orwell’s “Animal Farm” – and was given in instantiation by the shortage of lifeboats on the Titanic, a situation that led to a far greater percentage of First Class men surviving than of either Third Class women or children.
    In other words, you are explicit in your statement that the lives of some are unimportant.
    I don’t believe in aristocracies who have rights, while the population only has fungible privileges at the whim of the aristocracy.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    Fast & Furious has a lot to do with the discussion. You are suggesting that our general population should be unable to defend themselves while the government freely arms criminals to attack them.
    Whether or not the young woman involved in purchasing the firearms for the Columbine killers had any idea that they plotted mass murder is irrelevant as to whether or not she should be prosecuted. It was clear that they wished to obtain weapons illegally, without the knowledge of their parents. One would think that this alone would have given pause.

  • ElPolacko

    “Topic under discussion” is “How to stop crime committed by our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES”. And you, JohnW, want to talk about keeping firearms out of the hands of honest citizens. You must be an ADHD Lawer.
    Like I said, when are you going to talk about legislative criminals instead of honest gun owners. Making honest people helpless has nothing to do with politicians legislating us into criminals while trafficing in arms. Perhaps it’s time for your enema there , JohnW!

  • JohnW

    So far in this thread, people have brought up Hitler, the KKK, George Orwell and the Titanic. Very creative!

    Some people are indeed special, like fully trained law enforcement officers and soldiers who put their lives on the line. Not exactly the aristocracy of which you speak. As we all know, even fully trained cops make mistakes, sometimes tragic ones. We don’t need to exponentially magnify the odds of mistakes by having civilian carriage in public places as common as smart phones.

    If I’m in a bank and somebody robs it, I don’t need some gun-toting hobbyist trying to play Clint Eastwood. If some jerk in a movie theater is fiddling with his smart phone during the show, I don’t need a bigger jerk shooting him in the head. If another jerk is playing loud music in a parking lot, I would prefer that the response be to move your car away rather than “stand your ground” with a gun and kill him. Both recent real life examples. And I don’t need a self-appointed neighborhood watch guy using a gun as his “courage” to get out of his truck and getting into a lethal encounter that should have been avoided. We don’t need people showing up at Raiders games with firearms or drinking in bars with guns, concealed or open. And, if you must carry a gun in public, I’d prefer that you do it in the open so that, I, an innocent person, can go where you aren’t.

  • JohnW

    I agree with you about the young woman. See how reasonable I am? But “intent” is always a factor in criminal prosecution. She should have been prosecuted, but probably not to the same degree as if she had known what those misfits were up to.

    Fast & Furious was a well-intentioned but poorly executed old fashioned sting operation intended to get to the gun-running big shots. It wasn’t the crime of the century.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    Orwell came into the discussion because your statements call up nothing so clearly as “Animal Farm” – and perhaps Lang’s classic silent movie, Metropolis.

    You are aware the firearms related homicides have been steadily dropping while the number of firearms in civilian hands has increased? There is a reason that Chicago and Oakland are far more dangerous than cities that allow armed civilians. This has become so obvious that the new police chief of Detroit, a man who once staunchly opposed civilians having firearms is now encouraging Detroit residents to arm themselves.

    You have told us you are opposed to the average citizen having concealed carry – yet you justify it for politicians. Ms. Feinstein could easily obtain a police guard. That was not the case for the woman who was stalked and stabbed to death in Fremont while walking to her night job at a nursing home. Apparently, you do not value the lives of people outside of an aristocracy that you have defined.

    My point is that the shift in power balance between government and populations is a major factor in democide, the leading cause of human deaths in the 20th C. Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with Rummel’s work. What those who commit democide did – Hitler, Stalin, the Young Turks, the Serbs, and others – is very dependent on disarming subject populations. At least as far back as the Great Khan and the Spanish Reconquista and Inquisition, those who would commit democide or genocide preferred to first disarm their victims.

    Given my family history with genocidal/democidal governments, I am afraid I don’t find your suggestions persuasive.

    Gabby Giffords and her husband suffered a horrible tragedy, one that would have been avoided had anyone bothered to enforce existing law – by the simple expedient of calling the proper authorities on the assailant, rather than simply suspending him from school until he sought evaluation. You demand stricter gun laws, yet you excuse the woman who supplied Klebold and Harris. Apparently you want more laws that you would prefer be selectively enforced.

    As for the opinions Mike Thomson, or Hunter S. Thompson, the appeal to authority is not particularly effective. I am disinclined to cede my rights because it pleases a politician or celebrity. Indeed, we women have great experience with hearing politicians and other leaders – ranging the cultural scale from Ken Kesey to Mother Teresa – advise us that contraception and abortion should be banned. Why should it surprise you that the appeal to authority isn’t persuasive? It hasn’t worked with contraception or abortion, either.

    In any event, your description of someone as “gun toting” suggests to me that you are confusing those who believe in the right to carry, and confuse self-defense with machismo signalling.

    You would rather that civilians not take it upon themselves to fight back in public places. Perhaps you should ask those who survived such attempted spree killings as the Clackamas Mall shooting and the Appalachian Law School if they would rather have had the individuals who stopped the attacks disarmed. I suspect that they might disagree.

    The problem is that in the light of cool thought, one hesitates to cede one’s rights to please an authority figure, no matter how charismatic or appealing that figure may be.

    I, too, would prefer open carry over concealed carry. As a small female, for a would be assailant to recognize I was armed would help prevent some of the unpleasantness that has occurred in my, and other women’s lives. For example, when I lived in Palo Alto, an individual and his friends attempted to enter my house using a ruse. When I wasn’t compliant, the individual at the door proceeded to try and rip the screen door open – he paused when he realized that I had a small revolver in my hand – an incidental occurence as I had removed it in the safe for maintenace reasons. I was very grateful that I had chosen that day to perform maintenance. He ran back to the car where his friends were and they left very quickly. I don’t like to think about what would have happened otherwise.

    I agree that we don’t need drunks with firearms – as Ted Nugent notes, no one in their right mind combines alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives.

    You are completely inaccurate in your portrayal of “stand your ground” laws. Stand your ground was not an issue in the trial of the neighborhood watch leader who was acquitted – nor was it an issue in the case of the murderer who shot someone over loud music.

    But I think you confuse firearms with violence. Not long ago an elderly veteran was assaulted and murdered by two young men outside the local veteran’s hall – they did NOT use a firearm. My own great-great grandfather was murdered in Arizona Territory – he was sandbagged – NOT shot – during a robbery. Recently, not five miles from where I sit a homicide was committed by a woman using a sledgehammer.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    She should have been prosecuted because the law does not require that she understand the “intent” of the individual she intends to illegally provide with firearms. She knowingly provided firearms to inelegible persons.

    Fast & Furious was not well intended. It has led to more weapons in the hands of criminals. No gun-running big shots were ever caught, however, a Border Patrol agent was murdered with one of the guns the US government chose to give to the cartels.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    Yes, I do find such appeals emotional. I also think you should read Rummel’s work on democide.

    You should also take a good look at the conduct of criminal gangs in such strict gun control cities as Chicago and Oakland. No witness will come forward because the gangs are heavily armed, and the decent citizens are disarmed. People recognize that testifying is a form of suicide.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    No, John, the NRA is not an arm of the firearms manufacturers. They have their own organization. The NRA is overwhelmingly composed of, and funded by, small donors.

  • JohnW

    Something can be well-intentioned but go awry. Happens all the time. Do you think the agents and U.S. Attorney’s office in Arizona who planned F&F were “ill-intentioned?” They were trying but failed to get the bad guys.

    If you do some basic fact-checking, you will find that ballistics tests from the two guns left at the scene did not determine one way or the other whether the bullet that killed Agent Brian Terry came from one of the guns sold as part of Fast & Furious.

    Even if it did, that would not make Fast & Furious the cause of his death. Those bandits likely would have been armed one way or another. The real unfortunate consequence of Fast & Furious was that ATF lost track of 1300 guns that ended up in the wrong hands. But that’s only a tiny fraction of the guns that were trafficked across the border from Arizona that year alone.

  • JohnW

    You mention Hitler and the KKK. I mention Gabby Giffords and her husband but also mention four gun-friendly members of Congress who proposed background checks legislation. On the 1 to 10 “emotional appeal” scale, I think Hitler, a great aunt, the KKK and a grandfather and great grandfather-in-law win hands down.

  • JohnW

    Sigh! Did you even bother to read the Business Insider link?

  • JohnW

    The guns used by gangs in Chicago and Oakland come from gun trafficking, some of which can be traced back to unexplained inventory shrinkage of licensed gun dealers.

    I’m well aware of the circumstances you describe, which is why I am so pissed at people who sit in the ivory tower comfort and safety of Livermore or Walnut Creek and use the cloak of Second Amendment rights to justify opposition to measures that could reduce or virtually shut down trafficking.

    If the law abiding citizens of gang-infested areas thought more guns was the answer, they would easily and quickly find a way to get guns for protection. More guns is the last thing most of them want.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    Actually, I don’t live in Livermore, Pleasanton, Palo Alto, or Walnut Creek. I don’t find people in those areas particularly in favor of the Second Amendment – they’d prefer “police discretion”, which is code for “rich white person.”
    The problem with the measures proposed for “shutting down gun trafficking” is that they have little or nothing to do with gun trafficking and vastly more to do with registering, controlling, and confiscating civilian firearms. The most notable issue with stopping gun trafficking is the failure to prosecute – as in the Columbine case. Straw purchasers are usually friends and family – and the government seems disinterested in prosecuting. I note that you, too, are disinterested in prosecuting the actual offender, as in the Columbine case.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    No doubt. But since you opened the door to emotional appeal, I’m willing to discuss it. The reality is that the greatest cause of human death in the 20th Century was democide, an act that almost requires a disarmed victim population unable to resist.

  • JohnW

    You are correct about the Detroit Police chief. Most of his peers don’t agree with him.

    Chief Craig also has an aggressive program to confiscate illegal weapons and get them off the street. He favors banning so-called “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines and supports fixing the gun show background check loop hole, and more regulation of internet sales of firearms and ammo.

    One of my Michigan State University roommates is a retired Detroit police officer. My younger brother lives on the outskirts of Detroit. And I recently stayed in a downtown Detroit hotel and walked around the neighborhood. I can definitely relate to all the problems that would cause the chief to change his position on carrying handguns. But I don’t think it’s the answer.

  • JohnW

    I don’t think the handgun you would like to carry around will do you much good against “democide.” The prospect of such horrors in the U.S. is not high on my list of concerns. But then, of course, I’m not a descendant of native Americans.

  • JohnW

    How in the heck do you get to “you, too, are disinterested in prosecuting the actual offender,” when I expressly stated that the young woman who bought guns for the Columbine killers should have been prosecuted?

    It’s not accurate of you to say that “straw purchasers are usually friends and family.” According to the “Don’t lie for the other guy” campaign jointly sponsored by ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the “friends and family” share of straw buying is 40 percent. If you don’t want to believe ATF, then believe the NSSF.

    It’s also misleading to suggest that proposed anti-trafficking measures have little to do with trafficking and more to do with registering, controlling and confiscating civilian firearms. See the link below for comments on how the NRA has shut down proposals that have everything to do with trafficking. And none of the proposals involved gun registration.

    http://gunvictimsaction.org/blog/straw-buyers-the-nra-likes-them-just-fine/

    As for gun registration, I confess. I’m all for gun registration as an anti-trafficking and crime-fighting tool. It won’t happen, but I’m for it.

    Confiscation? Give me a break. The 2nd Amendment or the lack of gun registration would never stop a government determined to confiscate firearms. Canada has no 2nd Amendment. Last I checked, there were no “jack-booted thugs” banging down doors and confiscating firearms there.

  • loveofcircus

    but there is that pesky 2nd amendment thing.

  • JohnW

    Courts are still deciding what that pesky 2nd amendment thing means when it comes to carry permits.

  • loveofcircus

    and they have decided that states that forbid cc ae in violaton of the 2nd amendment aka Illinois

  • JohnW

    So far, two federal appeals court rulings have come out against bans on concealed carry: the Illinois case you mentioned and the San Diego case decided by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit. However, appeals courts in New York, New Jersey and Maryland have upheld the bans. So, all of this will be resolved by the Supreme Court.

    In the Heller Supreme Court decision that overturned the D.C. ban on handguns in the home, Scalia wrote the following:

    “Like most rights, the Second Amendment is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: for example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues…The majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.”

    I won’t predict what the Supreme Court might decide. However, Scalia’s reference to the 19th-century (1800′s) rulings is potentially significant. In some gun cases, the courts have commented that decisions made during that period were more likely than later cases to reflect the intent of the authors of the Second Amendment.

  • MichaelB

    Sorry JohnW but the “any kind of legislation” that you are trying to spin as “reasonable” from gun control advocates after the Sandy Hook incident was a call for the renewal of the failed federal “assault weapons” ban. Followed by Andrew Cuomo calling for gun confiscation from law abiding people and ramming through the “SAFE” act without following the usual legislative/hearing process in New York State.

    Confiscation is not banning something?

    Speaking of “Big Brother”, law abiding people in Connecticut are now felons if they didn’t register their “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines with the state.

    Your “ilk” doesn’t believe in the right to bear arms and uses major tragedies to promote public disarmament schemes, not to “make deals” with law abiding gun owners. There just never seems to be enough gun laws to pass that are supposedly “reasonable” – but simply ignored by criminals.

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