Exclusive from FoxNews:
The gunman who slaughtered 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to a psychiatric facility, according to a lifelong resident of the area who was familiar with the killer’s family and several of the victims’ families.
Adam Lanza, 20, targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown after killing his mother early Friday because he believed she loved the school “more than she loved him,” said Joshua Flashman, 25, who grew up not far from where the shooting took place. Flashman, a U.S. Marine, is the son of a pastor at an area church where many of the victims’ families worship.
“From what I’ve been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed,” Flashman told FoxNews.com. “Adam was apparently very upset about this. He thought she just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really, really angry. I think this could have been it, what set him off.”
A senior law enforcement official involved in the investigation confirmed that Lanza’s anger at his mother over plans for “his future mental health treatment” is being looked at as a possible motive for the deadly shooting.
(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Tim Scott (R.), whom South Carolina Gov. Nikke Haley has said she will appoint to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate, has been an opponent of Obamacare’s sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate, and a defender of traditional marriage, the right to life, and the Second Amendment.
“The Constitution grants all law-abiding Americans the right to bear arms, regardless of what some would lead you to believe,” Scott says in a statement posted on his congressional website. “Our Second Amendment right is a fundamental freedom and a cornerstone of our democracy.
“As Americans, we have the right to defend ourselves, our families and our property, and the federal government should never interfere with this right,” says Scott.
“I remain steadfast in my commitment to uphold our Second Amendment rights,” he says.
“I regard all life as sacred, and am proud of our values and traditions,” Scott says in another statement on his congressional website. “For this reason I will remain steadfast in my commitment to protect the unborn and continue to take a stand in defending traditional and religious values.
“I cosponsored two pro-life bills which have now passed the House of Representatives, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and the Protect Life Act,” says Scott.
“I also support traditional marriage, and spoke out against the president’s decision to no longer allow the Department of Justice to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court,” said Scott. “I absolutely believe in keeping the institution of marriage as one solely between a man and woman. We must not allow the government to distort the meaning of marriage and instead, focus on building stronger families across America.”
Senator-to-Be Tim Scott already showing more backbone and wisdom than 95% of lot in the Congress and Senate!!!
WASHINGTON — Speaker of the House John Boehner’s “Plan B” to avert the fiscal cliff would cut taxes for incomes under $1 million — a higher threshold than the White House demands, but one that had a powerful backer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
In May, Pelosi sent Boehner a letter calling for the immediate passage of a middle class tax cuts up to that level, while President Barack Obama was on the campaign trail calling for taxes to rise on incomes over $250,000. The White House has since revised that target at $400,000 in ongoing negotiations with Boehner, but has shown few signs it would accept the $1 million level.
“Democrats believe that tax cuts for those earning over a million dollars a year should expire and that we should use the resulting revenues to pay down the deficit,” Pelosi said in the letter.
Pelosi Letter to Boehner: Allow House to Vote Now on Permanent Extension of Middle Income Tax Cuts
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today called on Speaker Boehner to bring a permanent extension of the middle income tax cuts to the House floor immediately and use the revenues resulting from the expiring tax breaks for those earning more than a million dollars to pay down the deficit.
As Leader Pelosi said in her letter to the Speaker, “Without further delay, the Majority Leadership should schedule a vote on extension of the middle income tax cuts, as early as next week, to increase certainty for millions of American taxpayers and for the economy.”
Pelosi added: “We must ask the very wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. Democrats believe that tax cuts for those earning over a million dollars a year should expire and that we should use the resulting revenues to pay down the deficit… It is unacceptable to hold tax cuts for the middle class hostage to extending multi-billion dollar tax breaks for millionaires, Big Oil, special interests, and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”
Below is the full text of the letter:
May 23, 2012
The Honorable John Boehner
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Boehner:
Without further delay, the Majority Leadership should schedule a vote on extension of the middle-income tax cuts, as early as next week, to increase certainty for millions of American taxpayers and for the economy. We should not delay passing this legislation that will help afford all Americans the opportunity to reach their goals and realize the promise of the American Dream.
We must ask the very wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. Democrats believe that tax cuts for those earning over a million dollars a year should expire and that we should use the resulting revenues to pay down the deficit.
By ensuring that the middle-income tax cuts do not expire, we will put money into the pockets of American consumers, saving the typical middle-income family thousands of dollars per year. Extension of this middle-income tax cut will inject demand into our markets and strengthen small businesses. By investing in both the short-term growth of our economy and the long-term prosperity of our nation, it will empower the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people. We cannot afford another manufactured crisis that unnecessarily threatens the full faith and credit of the United States and jeopardizes our economic recovery.
Extending middle-income tax cuts that benefit nearly all Americans is not controversial. Congressional leaders across the ideological spectrum agree that we should not be raising taxes on middle-income people at this delicate time in our recovery from the worst recession in 70 years. It is unacceptable to hold tax cuts for the middle class hostage to extending multi-billion dollar tax breaks for millionaires, Big Oil, special interests, and corporations that ship jobs overseas.
I urge you to allow the House to vote on the permanent extension of middle-income tax cuts now and for Democrats and Republicans to work together to strengthen our middle class, create jobs, and grow our economy in a balanced and fiscally responsible way.
Thank you for your consideration.
Fox Business – In October, United Services Automobile Association (USAA), the country’s leading auto, home and life insurer for military personnel, received a patent for a data recorder that can be installed in a home for observation.
USAA’s device will record conditions that “have led to damage or destruction of the building” or to “forecast the possibility of future damage or destruction.” The device can track the temperature, wind speed and mechanical vibrations as they affect the house, as well as humidity, which could cause mold in the walls.
Sounds like a good idea? Yes, for the insurance company, but not necessarily for the homeowner.
Through the looking glass
A home data recorder isn’t a new concept. Companies like ADT and Tyco already provide sophisticated electronic sensor technologies to remotely monitor almost everything that happens in a house or office, including vibrations that could indicate a break-in. But USAA’s device offers increased leverage for the folks at the insurance company by giving them a looking glass into your house.
Spending Daily | December 18, 2012
Bankrupting America Releases “‘Twas the Night Before Cliff-mas”
Bankrupting America, a project of Public Notice, today released “’Twas the Night Before Cliff-mas,” a 14-page book that parodies the famous poem “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” with a clever take on the fiscal cliff negotiations and how we came to the precipice of fiscal disaster. “‘Twas the Night before Cliff-mas” comes as a friendly reminder that as the holidays approach, so does the fiscal cliff. Click here to read “‘Twas the Night Before Cliff-mas.”
Major Entitlement Reforms Still Missing From Obama’s Latest Offer
The Associated Press reports, “President Barack Obama has agreed to curtail future cost-of-living increases for recipients of Social Security and softened his demand for higher taxes at upper income levels, narrowing differences with House Speaker John Boehner in ‘fiscal cliff’ talks, people familiar with the talks said Monday. Speaking a few hours after Obama and Boehner met at the White House, these people said the president was nowseeking a higher tax rate beginning at incomes over $400,000, up from the levels of $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples that were cornerstones of his successful campaign for re-election. Obama’s willingness to reduce future cost-of-living increases in Social Security, government retirement and numerous other programs marked another clear concession to Boehner, although it came with an asterisk. The president wants lower-income recipients to receive protection against any loss from scaling back future cost-of-living increases, these officials said. … Democrats have said they would object much more strongly if the president would to accept a plan to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. He was ready to embrace that proposal in the earlier round of talks, but he would face opposition from congressional Democrats and the AARP as well as other groups in the current political climate.”
Boehner Moving to “Plan B”
USA Today reports, “With the ‘fiscal cliff’ looming, House Speaker John Boehner will tell fellow GOP lawmakers Tuesday that he wants to move forward with a bill that will raise tax rates for Americans making more the $1 million Plan B does not mean that Boehner has given up on negotiations with the White House, but the speaker believes that the threat of current tax rates expiring rising for all Americans is too great not to have a backup plan, according to a congressional source who was not authorized to speak on the issue.”
“Boehner offers debt-ceiling increase in cliff compromise”
The Washington Post reports, “House Speaker John A. Boehner has offered to push any fight over the federal debt limit off for a year, a concession that would deprive Republicans of leverage in the budget battle but is breathing new life into stalled talks over the year-end ‘fiscal cliff.’ The offer came Friday, according to people in both parties familiar with the talks, as part of the latest effort by Boehner (R-Ohio) to strike a deal with President Obama to replace more than $500 billion in painful deficit-reduction measures set to take effect in January. With the national debt already bumping up against a $16.4 trillion cap set last year, Congress risks a government default unless it acts to raise the debt ceiling in the next few months.”
“How to cut $100B from the defense budget”
Lawrence Korb, Alex Rothman and Max Hoffman editorialize in Politico, “In order to make a deal to avert the fiscal cliff and put the country on a more sustainable fiscal path, political leaders from both sides of the aisle agree that some cuts to discretionary spending must be part of the package. The defense budget, which accounts for about half of all discretionary spending, should bear a significant percentage of these reductions. … In order to make a deal to avert the fiscal cliff and put the country on a more sustainable fiscal path, political leaders from both sides of the aisle agree that some cuts to discretionary spending must be part of the package. The defense budget, which accounts for about half of all discretionary spending, should bear a significant percentage of these reductions.”
Military Families Worry Over Benefit Cuts
According to U.S. News and World Report, “Emerging from more than a decade at war, military families are confronting a new worry at home: the prospect that a Washington deal over federal spending cuts could chip away at military benefits long considered untouchable. … Military families and retirees worry any cuts could hurt assistance they depend on, including military health insurance, pensions or on-base services such as child care and commissaries. Military spouse Jeremy Hilton of Burke, Va. calls it ‘fear of the unknown.’”
Small-Business Owners in Michigan: “radical measures are needed to reduce the nation’s debt”
Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and citizens in the small town of Zeeland, a city within his district, commented on excessive government spending and the prospect of higher taxes in The New York Times: “‘That is the most important caveat in this whole thing: What are we going to do with it?’ Mr. Huizenga said of new revenue. ‘Are we just going to continue to spend it? Or are we going to do something that’s meaningful and changes the way we do business here in Washington, D.C.?’ … ’I’d be willing to pay a little more tax if government is willing to stop spending excessive amounts of unwarranted money,’ said Wally Ryzenga, 71, who lives in nearby Holland and retired from a steel manufacturing business he ran. ‘The thing that really works is working for more efficiency, and that’s what I would be asking our government to do. The same as I did in my business.’” Among [Zeeland small-business owners], there was no unanimity about paying higher taxes — except that ideally they would prefer not to. And they seemed to agree that radical measures are needed to reduce the nation’s debt.”
Video: Focus on Taxes “insane,” No One Wants to be the “grownup in the room” on Spending
CNBC’s Brian Sullivan makes the case that spending and entitlements are the real cause of our fiscal mess. Click here to watch.
“How Big Deficits Became the Norm”
The Wall Street Journal writes, “Big budget deficits haven’t always been with us. From the end of the Eisenhower years through the Carter presidency, the deficit averaged a modest 1.4% of the nation’s economic output. The budget was nearly balanced in seven of the 20 years from 1960 to 1979. And, as Bill Clinton reminds at every opportunity, the U.S. government was in surplus for four years at the end of his presidency. … When the CBO looked back over the decade in January 2012, it counted deficits that summed to nearly $6.2 trillion. It was off by about $12 trillion over 10 years. What happened? How did the U.S. spend more than $1 trillion above what it collected in revenue in each of the past four years…?”
Medicare Means-Testing for Fiscal Cliff Deal?
The Hill reports, “Democrats wary of accepting any entitlement benefits cuts are asking Republicans to show them their plans if they want to make Medicare means-testing a part of a lame-duck fiscal package. GOP leaders have floated the idea of hiking Medicare costs for wealthier beneficiaries – a proposal President Obama has repeatedly backed – as a condition of any deal to prevent a slew of tax hikes and spending cuts from taking hold Jan. 1. But Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the GOP’s point man in the negotiations, has declined to specify the Republicans’ wish-list for entitlement reform – at least publicly. And it’s unclear whether means-testing would be enough to win GOP support for a deal that would also hike tax rates on households with annual family income above $250,000.”
2014 Budget Already Delayed
Politico reports, “The year-end budget impasse is being felt already in 2014. The White House confirmed to POLITICO Sunday that it has deliberately slowed preparations for President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget until it has a better fix on the current talks with Republicans in Congress. The customarylate November pass-backs from the Office of Management and Budget—telling federal agencies what resources they can expect to get in the the president’s request—have been put on hold. ‘Yes. OMB has held off on pass-backs to agencies to determine if adjustments will be needed based on the current negotiations,’ an administration official said after POLITICO asked about the delay.”
Credit-Rating Agencies Eye U.S. Debt Burden
The Wall Street Journal reports, “As far as the U.S. credit-rating firms are concerned, Washington can send the country over the ‘fiscal cliff.’ Holding their fire for now, the firms are keeping a much closer eye on whether another looming debate is resolved—the need to raise the U.S. debt limit by February or March. … Wall Street and Capitol Hill are on edge over lawmakers’ ability to reach a budget deal before year’s end. Recent conversations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) have hinted at a possible breakthrough to avoid the coming spending cuts and tax increases, and both sides are voicing rare optimism about a deal.”
“Foreign holdings of US Debt hit record $5.48T”
The Associated Press reports, “Foreign ownership of U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in October, a sign that overseas investors remain confident in U.S. debt despite a potential budget crisis. … Still, the increase of $6 billion was the weakest since total holdings fell in December 2011. China, the largest holder of U.S. government debt, increased its holdings slightly to $1.16 trillion. Japan, the second-largest holder, boosted its holdings by a smaller amount to $1.13 trillion. Brazil, the country with the third-largest holdings, increased its total to $255.2 billion. The new figures show that investors are still seeking the perceived safety of U.S. Treasurys, even as lawmakers and President Barack Obama remain at odds over whether to raise the U.S. borrowing limit as part of a broader budget deal. But economists also said the slowdown in purchases of Treasury securities suggests that investors are more willing to buy other debt, including from European governments.”
Originally posted at the Center for Security Policy By Frank Gaffney, Jr.
The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama dodged a politically perilous “bullet” when he declined to nominate Susan Rice as the next Secretary of State. Had he done so, the President would have provided his critics a high-profile platform for exposing and critiquing his administration’s conduct with respect to Benghazigate and the larger, dangerous practice of “engaging” Islamists, of which it was a particularly dismal example.
Yet, President Obama is reportedly intent on creating what may prove to be a similar “teachable moment” by nominating former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to replace Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense. Sen. Hagel has been an outspoken champion of controversial and even radical policies firmly embraced by Mr. Obama during his first administration. Worse yet, they are likely to be priorities for his second term now that the President has, as he put it in his overheard side-bar with Russia’s Dmitri Medvedev last March, “more flexibility.”
In the event Barack Obama actually taps the former Nebraska senator, he will be inviting the sort of national debate that has long been needed, but generally missing, about his administration’s positions in several areas vital to U.S. security. As there is no evident daylight between Sen. Hagel’s views and those of this president, the opportunity must be seized to expose both. Consider several topics that cry out for such high-profile, critical examination:
- A Pentagon chief who favors U.S. disarmament? As Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon has reported, Sen. Hagel believes that, “The Defense Department, I think, in many ways has been bloated. So I think the Pentagonneeds to be pared down.” Do Republican senators want a former colleague to give political cover to President Obama’s insistence that the United States use reductions in defense spending as a source of half the revenue given up pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011 – even though the Pentagon receives only twenty-percent of federal expenditures? Do they want thus to be implicated in the inevitable, attendant dismantling of the sort of freedom-protecting presence the American military has had around the globe since the end of World War II, its ability to project power and its vital modernization programs? [While Mr. Hagel has correctly observed that "defense is not a jobs program," he - like President Obama - seems indifferent to a harsh reality: Such draconian cuts in defense expenditures will have an adverse impact on employment. In fact, an estimated one million jobs in the defense sector will shortly be lost as a result of the now-imminent, so-called "sequestration" round of budget reductions. Do Republican senators share this indifference?]
- Sen. Hagel has been defeatist about Iraq and Afghanistan. And he seems much given to what the late Jeane Kirkpatrick called the “blame-America-first” syndrome with comments like: “Our policies are a source of significant friction not only in the region, but in the wider international community. Our purpose and power are questioned.” A Hagel nomination would be a perfect opportunity to repudiate such sentiments and disassociate Republicans from them.
- Of particular concern is Senator Hagel’s enthusiasm for U.S. disarmament in the nuclear arena. His advocacy of a “world without nuclear weapons” affords a vehicle for challenging the President’s like-minded efforts to bring about the only thing that is remotely achievable – if unimaginably irresponsible: a world without U.S. nuclear weapons. As Mr. Obama is determined not to upgrade our arsenal or to test realistically its aging weapons or tomaintain the strategic “Triad” at present levels, despite growing nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran to China and Russia, every effort must bemade to challenge and counteract such recklessness. Again, a Hagel nomination is a good and very visible place to start.
- Speaking of Iran, Mr. Hagel has long been an enthusiastic proponent of direct negotiations with the mullahs, professing, “Engagement is not surrender. It’s not appeasement. [Rather it is] an opportunity to better understand [others].” He has long opposed military action and meaningful economic sanctions. He appears, in short, confident that we can live with a nuclear Iran. Do Senate Republicans agree? If not, are they willing to challenge a president who, despite his rhetoric to the contrary, seems to share that confidence – and oppose a Pentagon nominee who clearly would work to foreclose whatever options remain for precluding such a nightmare?
- Last for the present purpose, but hardly least, there is the problem of Senator Hagel’s longstanding hostility towards Israel, A FACT RECOGNIZED EVEN BY IRAN’S STATE MEDIA. He favors engaging its enemies, including terrorist groups like Hamas. While in the Senate, Mr. Hagel declined to condemn Hezbollah. His anti-Israel and pro-Islamist views have earned him accolades from the Muslim Brotherhood front known as the Council on American Islamic Relations.
To be sure, Sen. Hagel’s enmity towards the Jewish State tracks with that of President Obama. The question is: Do Republican Senators, and for that matter Democratic ones, who disagree wish to intensify the undermining of Israel in this administration by elevating someone with these credentials to the job of Secretary of Defense?
It is deeply regrettable that the last campaign – which was a perfect opportunity for a teachable moment with the American electorate about the dangers posed theObama presidency to U.S. security interests – was not used for that purpose. The next best thing may be a nomination fight over Mr. Obama’s choice as Secretary of Defense of a man who so aggressively embraces the worst of his policy proclivities.
Discovery News – In the past, schools and cellphones didn’t mix. Teachers saw them as a distraction, and many schools banned their use in the classroom. But in the wake of school shootings over the past 13 years, school districts are beginning to change their policies.
Since the 1999 killings at Columbine High School in Colorado, school districts and law enforcement authorities have worked together on strategies to respond to violence in schools. Plans include how to protect students inside buildings, evacuate them and notify parents. Students and teachers practice lockdown drills, steps to secure the school so that no one can enter or exit.
And technology is a big part of more recent plans, now that cellphone use among kids has grown. While most high school students wouldn’t leave the house without their phones, children just starting school have cellphones, too. More than 1 in 10 kids between the ages of 6 to 10 already have their own cell, according to data collected during the first six months of 2012 by YouthBeat, a research firm that focuses on the use of technology by kids from preschool up to age 18.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican leaders have done it once again. Their latest fiscal cliff proposal capitulates on core conservative principles, yielding woefully inadequate concessions from President Obama in the process. Will they ever learn?
The latest GOP offer essentially ignores Washington’s real problem — spending — and puts a $1 trillion tax hike on the table. It’s so bad that conservatives are now left with only one unfortunate alternative — passing a temporary measure that avoids a doomsday scenario until the end of March. It’s the best possible outcome with the days dwindling on the remainder of 2012.
In a city where kicking the can has become a routine course of action, it’s hardly the preferable outcome for lawmakers. But it would be better than just going over the fiscal cliff and better than the current $1 trillion tax increase offered by Boehner, which, not surprisingly, was summarily rejected by Obama, who proceeded to counteroffer with an even bigger tax hike and even fewer spending cuts. At this point, no “grand bargain” is going to result in the spending cuts that are needed to reduce the debt.
Yesterday, Heritage’s Alison Acosta Fraser outlined a few reasons why Boehner’s latest proposal is just plain bad policy:
- Higher tax rates discourage all the activities that lead to a stronger economy. That’s even something Obama acknowledged when he signed legislation preventing a similar tax hike two years ago.
- Dollar-for-dollar tax increases and spending cuts — Boehner’s plan — won’t fix what’s broken. Spending cuts, not a $1 trillion tax hike, should be the GOP’s focus.
- After two years of running the House, there’s still no clear plan how Republicans would cut spending. Even as of this late date, they have provided few real guiding principles or details on spending reforms. It’s the $800 billion question.
- Relinquishing control over the debt limit to Obama for a year would take away one of the only points of leverage for conservatives. It ensures no meaningful reforms will happen in 2013.
These factors make it clear that any deal this year will be a disaster. That’s why Fraser recommends kicking the can until the end of March. This alternative is hardly ideal, but given the situation created by lawmakers, it’s the best possible outcome for Americans.
So why March 31? Heritage’s J.D. Foster, the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, said it will give conservatives an opportunity to “live to fight another day” with better leverage at the negotiating table.
Here’s how the temporary plan would play out, according to Foster:
- The measure would postpone the dreaded fiscal cliff until next year, extending all tax rates and all spending policy without sequestration cuts.
- Legislation funding the federal government expires on March 31, meaning that Congress must act by that date to prevent a shutdown.
- The debt ceiling would increase, but only enough to allow the government to continue to operate until just after March 31. Congress would retain control of the debt limit.
- Some 28 million taxpayer would avoid paying the Alternative Minimum Tax. A patch for 2012 would save an average of $2,250 for those taxpayers.
- Doctors wouldn’t face deep cuts for Medicare payments in January.
Let’s be clear: Kicking the can is not the preferable outcome. But, sadly, it is better than the only available alternatives.
From NBC Chicago:
Sen. Dick Durbin wrote an Op-ed for today’s Chicago Tribune, calling for new gun regulations after Friday’s murder of 20 children at a grade school in Connecticut. Writes Durbin:
We must institute reasonable, common-sense limits, such as barring those with a history of mental instability, those with a history of violent crime or adjudged dangerous and subject to restraining orders, and those whose names have been placed on a terrorist watch list from owning weapons.
And those “straw purchasers” who are literally fencing for drug gangs as well as the gun dealers who look the other way must be dealt with firmly.
Certain classes of weapons that are strictly military and have no useful purpose in sport, hunting or self-defense should not be legally sold.
Magazine clips with more than 10 rounds should be prohibited from civilian use.
No one should be allowed to purchase more than two firearms a month.
And those who own firearms that are within the reach of children should have protective locks on their weapons.
What holds us back are political organizations that are well-funded, well-organized and determined to resist even reasonable limitations. There is a close political parallel between the gridlock in Washington on dealing with our economy and national debt and the eerie silence in Congress as the list of horrific gun crimes grows by the day.
That “well-funded, well-organized” political organization is the National Rifle Association, no ally of Durbin’s. In 1994, as a congressman representing Central Illinois, Durbin voted in favor of the assault weapons ban. As a senator, he has an “F” rating from the NRA, for these votes, among others:
1. No on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains. (Bill passed, 63-35.)
2. No on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. (Bill passed, 65-31.)
3. Yes on background checks at gun shows. (50-50 tie broken in bill’s favor by Vice President Al Gore.)
4. No on tabling an amendment making it unlawful for manufacturers to sell handguns without trigger locks. (Motion passed, 61-39.)
As a congressman running for re-election in 2008, Sen. Mark Kirk also earned an F from the NRA, making him the only Illinois Republican to receive less than A-. Kirk was not in Congress in 1994, but his mentor, John Porter, on whose staff he once served, was one of the few Republicans to vote for the assault weapons ban.
By Chuck Muth
On December 14, 2012, a gunman entered a public school in Newtown, Connecticut, opened fire, and killed six adults and twenty little children.
In the interest of the children’s “safety,” the school was a well-known gun-free zone. None of the adults, survivors or slain, were armed with the ability to shoot back to defend themselves, their colleagues or those innocent children. As such, all were proverbial lambs to slaughter.
Makes my blood boil.
Coincidentally, it was EXACTLY six years to the day – December 14, 2006 – that the Las Vegas Review-Journal published the following in a story:
“Students do not go on shooting rampages at schools where teachers are armed, state Sen. Bob Beers believes. As a result, the Las Vegas Republican said Wednesday that he’s preparing a bill that would permit teachers and other school personnel who complete a course on firearm safety to carry a gun while they teach classes.”
Then-Sen. Beers, now on the Las Vegas City Council, noted that “We have banned guns in schools in Nevada and most of the rest of the nation for the last 20 years” and yet guns are regularly confiscated from students on campus.
Then-Clark County School Superintendent Walt Rulffes told the newspaper that an armed school staff might make a school less safe. “The more people who have guns, the more likely it is that there will be a shootout.”
Oh, if only there had been a shoot-out in Newtown, where the defenseless victims would have had a fighting chance instead of being executed!
Then-school board member Sheila Moulton said of Beers’ proposal at the time, “I’m not for putting guns in the classroom even when teachers are trained on how to use them.”
Really? I wonder if Ms. Moulton would be willing to look in the eyes of the parents of those dead children and say that to their grieving faces today? In fact, I dare her to.
The simple fact is mentally deranged nutcases who are willing to slaughter innocent children aren’t going to be deterred by some ridiculous, paper-tiger gun control law. The only people who have guns taken out of their hands by gun control laws are law-abiding, unarmed victims.
And look, not everyone needs to be carrying a weapon to have a deterrent effect. A shooter who doesn’t know if someone might be carrying a concealed weapon has to think twice. The gunman in Newtown had no such worry. He knew going in that not a single adult in the building, the true first responders, would be capable of shooting back.
Bob Beers was ridiculed by many for his proposal six years ago. But he was dead-on right. It’s not time to ban guns; it’s time to ban gun-free zones.