Wednesday, March 23, 2011

McCarthy Crowing

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy is crowing about how her bill, HR 308, has now reached 100 co-sponsors. She includes numerous congratulatory accolades from gun prohibitionists in her press release. Normally, 100 co-sponsors of a gun control bill like hers would be of concern. However, given that the co-sponsors are all liberal, anti-gun Democrats and the House is now Republican majority, HR 308 is merely something to keep one's eye on and not something that should cause great and immediate fear. While this bill make get a few more sponsors, I think it has come close to its high water mark.

By contrast, HR 822 - the National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Bill - now has 83 co-sponsors in less than a month since its introduction. It probably would have more sponsors added this week if the House wasn't on break this week for a "constituent work break". If your representative is having an event in his or her district, that might be a good time to ask them to become a co-sponsor if they haven't already. If they have signed up as a co-sponsor, make sure to thank them.

And now for some light reading courtesy of Rep. McCarthy.
Bill to Ban High-Capacity Ammo Magazines Reaches New Milestone
Wednesday March 23, 2011

H.R. 308 Now Has 100 Cosponsors in House, With More on the Way

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-NY04) bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines has reached a new milestone, with 100 cosponsors now supporting the proposal.

More cosponsors still are expected for H.R. 308, which aims to reduce injuries and save lives by banning the sale or transfer of magazines that allow shooters to fire more than 10 bullets at a time. In the recent mass shooting in Tucson as well as the 1993 massacre on the Long Island Railroad that affected Rep. McCarthy’s family, the shooters were stopped by bystanders only when they stopped to reload their high-capacity magazines.

The 100 cosponsors hail from every part of the country, and represent a broad coalition of Congress members representing urban, suburban and rural areas.

The rapid growth in support behind the bill – which was introduced on Jan. 18 – is the result of a two-pronged strategy being executed by Rep. McCarthy and a nationwide network of advocates.

On one level, Rep. McCarthy is going member-to-member on Capitol Hill making the case personally, reminding her colleagues of her unique perspective as a victim of gun violence herself. Her husband was killed, and son seriously injured, in the 1993 LIRR shooting.
On another level, groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and the Citizens Crime Commission of NYC are working tirelessly with local partners across the country to speak to members of Congress and their constituents directly in their districts.

“The broad and steadily growing coalition of cosponsors for the bill to ban high-capacity magazines is a clear sign that millions of Americans support commonsense measures to address gun violence,” Rep. McCarthy said. “Together with strengthening our background check system so that people known to be dangerous can’t get their hands on deadly weapons in the first place, this proposal is sure to reduce injuries and save lives in our nation.”

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence President Paul Helmke said: “We applaud this new milestone and are encouraged that Congress is waking up to the fact that sensible gun laws save lives. More members of Congress are beginning to understand that restrictions on military-style weaponry are necessary to help prevent mass shootings. We are encouraged by the support of these 100 co-sponsors and are determined to fight for the passage of this proven and effective law to reduce gun violence.”

States United to Prevent Gun Violence Executive Director Andy Pelosi said: “We applaud Rep. McCarthy's leadership and the growing Congressional support on this issue to re-establish the ban on high capacity ammunition magazines. No private citizen should have access to such high-power lethality. Our state-based gun violence prevention organizations have found wide support for this ban which will save lives.”

Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand said: “Increasing support in Congress for restricting high-capacity magazines demonstrates the public’s recognition that these devices have no legitimate purpose in a civilized society.”

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz said: “Representative McCarthy has shown yet again that she is a tenacious advocate. Reaching the 100 cosponsor mark in such a short amount of time is a reminder that Congress will have to consider this legislation sooner rather than later. Our Coalition has worked tirelessly to develop cosponsors and it is rewarding to see so many Members respond.”

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Executive Director Jackie Hilly said: "A ban on large capacity ammunition magazines is a sensible step to reduce gun violence and is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans. I thank each of the 100 cosponsors of H.R. 308 for listening to the demands of their constituents. The leadership shown by these Members of Congress, particularly Representative Carolyn McCarthy, will help save lives.”

Citizens Crime Commission of NYC and formerBrady Campaign President Richard Aborn said: "The fight for commonsense gun control has never been an easy one, but we're halfway there with Congresswoman McCarthy's outstanding leadership on H.R. 308. The issue is simple: this isn't about Democrats or Republicans, it's about protecting law enforcement and keeping the public safe. Congress needs to understand that cops should not be outgunned by criminals; it's not fair.”
Michael Bane made a comment a week or so ago that we as Americans tend to accord victims a special status. McCarthy always wants to play on that status by never failing to mention the murder of her husband on the Long Island Railroad in 1993 by a deranged individual.

Like McCarthy, I was widowed in 1993. My wife died from breast cancer at the age of 42. Neither event was supposed to happen but they did. As harsh as it may sound, life goes on and we need to deal with it. To expect - and even demand - continued sympathy from an event that happened over 17 years ago like McCarthy seems to want to do is sad. It is sad that McCarthy hasn't really moved on with her life and sad because she is using the tragic death of her husband as a means of political gain.

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