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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Congressional limits on guns? Don’t bet on it



This week’s slaughter of nine people in a South Carolina church left prospects that Congress will curb guns right where they’ve been for years — remote for now, according to lawmakers and activists on both sides of the issue.

Conceding that congressional action was unlikely soon, President Barack Obama said lawmakers will tighten federal firearms restrictions when they believe the public is demanding it.

“I am not resigned,” Obama told the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco on Friday. “I have faith we will eventually do the right thing.”

Others said there was little evidence that Wednesday’s killing of nine black parishioners by the white alleged gunman, Dylann Storm Roof, would make congressional action more likely, considering recent history.

“I’m skeptical it’s going to change peoples’ minds who weren’t converted by Newtown,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. Murphy was part of the Senate’s failed efforts to strengthen background checks following the 2012 massacre of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

If anything, the odds of congressional action seem slimmer with both the House and Senate dominated by Republicans, who traditionally have been less sympathetic to curbs on gun ownership. When the Senate rejected firearms constraints in 2013 prompted by Newtown, the chamber was led by Democrats.

“He couldn’t get it going after Sandy Hook with Democratic control” of the Senate, Erich Pratt, spokesman for Gun Owners of America, a gun rights group, said about Obama. “He won’t get it going with Republican control.”

Investigators were just starting to gather facts about Wednesday’s shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof, 21, faced nine counts of murder, and the Justice Department said it was investigating whether to classify the attack as a hate crime or even domestic terrorism.

“The question remains how we keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them without violating the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “There’s ample time to learn more about what happened and debate ways to prevent these kinds of senseless acts.”

Murphy and others blamed the potency of the National Rifle Association for Congress’ unwillingness to restrict firearms.

“Congress has failed to act because it’s filled with too many lapdogs for the gun lobby,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam would not address whether the Charleston shootings would change lawmakers’ attitudes, saying, “As the NRA has done for decades, we will not comment until all the facts are known.”

In 2013, the Senate’s bipartisan attempt to require background checks of all firearms purchasers at gun shows and on the Internet failed by a 54-46 vote. That was six short of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster against the bill.

A similar measure never reached the floor of the GOP-controlled House.

“I’d like to say these shootings in Charleston will be a turning point, enough for Congress to fight back against the gun lobby and take some serious action about gun laws. But I don’t want to be naive,” said Chelsea Parsons, who oversees gun policy for the liberal Center for American Progress.

Donald Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said McConnell had spoken twice Thursday on the Senate floor about Charleston but mentioned no legislation. Kevin Smith, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, did not immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment.

A check of the Congressional Record shows that while several legislators took to the House and Senate floors Thursday to express their sadness over the nine deaths in South Carolina and offer condolences, none called for federal legislation curbing firearms. The word “gun” was spoken seven times while “background checks,” ”gun control” and “firearms” were not uttered at all.

Congress was not in session Friday.


Copyright © 2015 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

17 thoughts on “Congressional limits on guns? Don’t bet on it”

  1. Amazing how the comments just light up whenever ‘gun control’ is mentioned. Church and State being conflated? Millions losing their health coverage? Colossal wingnut running for President? Ho-hum. But Gun Control…. Omygawd!

    I’d like a debate over just what the 3rd amendment means.


    • How about when a politician is caught with his or her finger in the help? THAT subject REALLY brings em out if the woodwork!

  2. Gordan Davis – So when are you going to buy that nuke?

    infringed – act so as to limit or undermine… Background checks, Sanity checks do not infringe, they in and of themselves do not stop you from owning a gun. So your retort of “shall not be infringed.” is nonsensical. Have you read your referenced Title 10 clauses? (311 – Militia: composition and classes), (313 – Appointments and enlistments: age limitations) other than defining the makeup and classes of Militia and the age requirements these two clauses have nothing to do with the toopic of this article and thread.

    Oh here is a link to an Assault Weapon (Military grade) available for purchase (

    Nice attempt to obfuscate, but a fail none the less.

    Kieth, Canada would have more guns if it were not for your gun control laws.

    • SDRSr

      The clauses you mention about the militia are NOT part of the US Constitution making your whole statement ludicrous when used with the 2A.

      The term assault weapon is another misnomer created by the anti-liberty trolls. is a joke so quoting from that website is like trying to prove that God exists to an scientist using biblical terminology. Its not logical and no going to work

      To defend Gordon – Buying a nuke…don’t be silly.. they are way to expensive and who the hell would sell you one. Where the hell would you keep it… now a machine gun thats a different story. 😉

    • Youre right.

      Canada never gave it’s citizens the “right to keep and bear arms” under the Canadian constitution. But some people do still have long guns for hunting. But it’s still a privilege, not a right. And, as you say, hand guns are tightly controlled.

      That probably may also help to explain why a murder committed with a firearm up here is national news…primarily because it’s so unusual. Yet, upwards of 10 people EVERY WEEKEND are blown away by guns in places like Chicago, New York, Detroit and LA…that fact barely registers on your local news. Ever wonder why?

      I don’t know about you folks, but NOT having to barricade myself behind iron-barred windows and doors in my own home (and keeping multiple firearms “at the ready” by my bedside or on my person for “protection”) is a truly wonderful feeling.

      Indeed, for most of us up here, getting robbed, mugged or murdered at gunpoint isn’t even on the radar.

    • “Military-grade” assault rifles are capable of select fire. Civilians cannot purchase assault rifles, unless they were registered as being in non-government possession on or before May 18th, 1986. And even then, they are prohibitively expensive ($25,000 or so for a M16A1) and very tightly regulated (ever hear of the National Firearms Act of 1934)?

      The military doesn’t use AR15s, so AR15s aren’t “military grade.” Except, apparently, in the delusional minds of left wing anti-civil rights people and organizations. Yet you probably wouldn’t bat an eye at me using a M40, M24 or Mk13 Mod5 sniper rifle…because they are COTS Remington 700 bolt-action rifles modified with COTS parts. Oh…but that “dangerous” S/A civilian-grade AR15…can’t have that!

      In fact, aside from their PHYSICAL APPEARANCE, there is absolutely no difference between an AR15 and any other “hunting” style semiautomatic rifle in this country. In fact, AR15s ARE hunting rifles in the 49 states that permit semiautomatic rifles for some fashion of hunting, and they are the most widely used recreational and competitive sport shooting firearm.

      For someone to CLAIMS to be “retired U.S. Army,” you sure don’t know anything about firearms. But then again, no one ever said the Army required any degree of intelligence. Now the U.S. Navy that I served in – another story all together.

  3. Ok so what most people seem to miss on this, cause of the second amendment that we have and so many persons have died to up hold our freedom. I thank all of those service persons that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country thank you. The question is more why has United States never been invaded countries have thought about it but never acted on that. Answer: the love affair that we have for the gun if you look at countries throughout history the common ground is they all have gun control or guns taken away from citizens. In this country a lot of us would stand and defend our country no questions asked so i say that is why we haven’t been invaded simply cause they know we are the second line of defense here take note

  4. The 2nd amendment ONLY protects your right to own, it says nothing about background checks, sanity checks, removal of military grade weapons from the hands of the public.

    When the constitution was written civilian and military weapons were essentially the same and that remained until the Civil War. Today, weapons with 20, 40, 60 round magazines and more are able to be bought by a citizen. Now, Mr. 2nd Amendment you explain to the public why any civilian would need that kind of fire power in todays age.

    High School member of NRA, took a gun safety class
    Retired U.S. Army, Tactical troop, qualified expert with M14, M16, M79, M60, M1911.
    Support Gun Control.

    • The public cannot own “military grade weapons,” with a few minor exceptions – pretty much a couple semiautomatic pistols (Beretta 92, Sig Sauer P226, Sig Sauer P228, various models of 1911 and the Glock 19 and 23), the Remington 700 (basis of the M24, M40 and Mk13 sniper rifles) and the KAC SR25 (basis of the Mk11 and M110 sniper rifles).

      All of those various AR15s sold to civilians? Yeah…they aren’t military grade. At least they aren’t if you are actually knowledgeable about firearms.

      Oh…and the Second Amendment also says “shall not be infringed.” So telling me I can’t own certain weapons is, indeed, an infringement on my right. And before you bring up the irrelevant militia clause, read 10 U.S.C. 311 and 32 U.S.C. 313.

    • The issue is not a matter of whether one “needs” a firearm or not, what kind it is or how many rounds per second it can fire. The problem also has little to do with what our forefathers “really meant” when they wrote the 2nd Amendment.

      Rather, the fact that there’s now more lethal firepower in private hands in the USA than there are people means the USA has now turned into an armed camp where the “law of the jungle” will soon reign supreme….if it hasn’t already.

      And no amount of gun registration, background checks or any other form of so-called “gun control” is going to alter the fact that any nut case who REALLY wants to do so can EASILY obtain a lethal firearm from the (literally) hundreds of millions now in private bands in the USA…and blow people away at will.

      Now, granted, here in Canada, we, too, have our fair share of nut cases.

      But, fortunately, only a tiny handful of them are also armed to the teeth like their brethren to the South.

      • Keith – the arms used by our forefather that wrote the 2A were the most advanced and powerful for their time, it would be the same for today’s modern arms. Arms change but the men who wrote the 2A knew that the change would happen, hence why the term is “Arms” and not muzzle loading long rifles and flint lock pistols.

    • hmmmmmmm.. I guess you do not understand the 2A or have heard the Heller vs Dc or McDonald vs Chicago SC statements. The 2A was created to insure that all those in the militia (all Americans.. not the national guard) would have access to the same “arms” that the regular military uses. This includes but is not limited to rocket launchers, machine guns, short barrel shotguns, suppressors, etc. The current SC stated that the government could regulate arms but not ban an arm unless it was dangerous “AND” unusual. None of the arms used by the military are dangerous and unusual. They are common weapons and would not be considered for use if the arm was dangerous for the soldier to use. The term regulate means just that it means “regulate” and does not mean BAN from the public. I disagree and think that even minor regulation is to far from the original intended meaning of the 2A. However In theory the SC stated that you should be able to purchase a post 1986 Machine gun legally but that the machine gun could be regulated by in the National firearms act of 1934. The tax stamp may be removed due to its closeness to a poll tax on a civil liberty (i.e gun ownership is a right)

  5. You can find non-political sites on the net that show that, even in the most restrictive fascist and communist countries, civilians own more guns that the military. It may not mean anything but it is interesting.
    The far left anti-gun crusaders need to be careful here. Some of the registration laws they have recently foisted have given rise to massive civil disobedience with hundreds of thousands of citizens choosing felon status rather than registering their high cap, semi-auto rifles. Even a demo-bully is not stupid enough to try to bring charges. The universal back ground check that Colorado and Oregon passed are not even remotely enforceable and nobody is paying attention to them.

    The result is spontaneous and comprehensive nullification of the whiny-heinie, bed wetting slobbering hive mentality much more of which will see the democrats neutered and tossed.

  6. The writer of these garbage kept the illusion that only GOP members voted against fire arms limits the Liberals wanted. Check the voting records and you will find that many Liberals also VOTED AGAINST these bills. They didn’t care they wanted to stay in office and voting to limit rights on fire arms would have been a death blow to their future as corrupt POLS. So Mr Don’t Let A crisis Go To Waste, tell the whole truth and nothing but and not what you want people to believe.

  7. I think I heard on the news that Roof was known to use illegal drugs. Eleminate drug use and gangs and watch gun violence spiral downward. Lets put the blame where it belongs.

  8. The second amendment says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That is a simple and straight forward statement. Giving that up would not be for the good and, certainly, not the right thing to do. Guns are not, never been and will never be the cause of criminal acts. No law will stop criminals from their desired goal. They would love it if all the law abiding people were disarmed. It would make them safer. The leaders of gun restriction have the ultimate goal of taking the guns away. Some have actually admitted it. Those who support the leaders are afraid of guns because they aren’t familiar with them. Guns are just tools. The do not think and act on their own. As with any tool, they can and are misused by some people. Just about any tool can be used to kill people. Some, other than guns, can be used to kill people in large numbers. I would ask, why are guns the only one that has been singled out to be restricted or banned? To me, the answer is simple. Guns are a threat to people who want to control the masses. I refer any doubters to read Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”. The first act to take over a country is to disarm the people.

  9. Just like every other Constitutional amendment Mr. Obama ignores, the one about the “right to keep and bear arms” is pretty clear. That, and the fact that there are now more firearms in private hands in the USA than there are people turns the idea of “gun control” into an oxymoron.

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