Sha-Na-Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) announced today that she would not be seeking re-election after serving nine terms in the US House of Representatives.  McCarthy, who made her name by pushing gun control bills in Congress, has lung cancer and has been undergoing treatment for the last six months.

From Newsday:

For the past 17 years, McCarthy has built a public career on her gun-control work, but she said her legacy also is about strong bipartisan ties and the legislation she has passed on health, education, and finance.

She became an activist and then candidate for Congress after gunman Colin Ferguson killed six, including her husband Dennis, and wounded 19, including her son Kevin, on a Hicksville-bound Long Island Rail Road on Dec. 7, 1993. McCarthy acknowledged she has become a public face for the cause of gun control after every tragedy since.

But after the outpouring support for legislation to curb gun violence following the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults in a Newtown, Conn., school in December 2012, she said she was convinced that others can step up as the new faces of the gun-control movement.

“It’s something that I have been thinking about really from the half past year,” she said, “and after what happened at Newtown, so many voices came out … and their voices were so strong.”

She cited Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman critically wounded in a shooting two years ago Wednesday, and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg as two of her key successors in advocating gun control.

Also retiring at the same time as McCarthy is Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) who is one of the few remaining pro-gun Blue Dog Democrats in the House. McIntyre has an A rating from the NRA-PVF and was endorsed by them in 2012. He won re-election by less than 1,000 votes. His seat will most likely go Republican in this year’s Congressional elections.

The first time I was labeled a “gun extremist” by Ladd Everitt and CSGV was due to a post I made about McCarthy’s efforts to pass her standard capacity mag ban (HR 308) back in 2011. I concluded that post with this comment and, what I said then, is still true today.

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.

And thus, on her retirement, I dedicate this to Rep. McCarthy. Some may call it cruel and classless but I still think it is quite appropriate.

It’s A Contest And The American People Lose

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) seems to be in a contest with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) to see who can make the most ignorant, most inane comment regarding firearms.

Rep. McCarthy is famous for response that a barrel shroud on a semi-automatic rifle or carbine is “a shoulder thing that goes up.” Yesterday at a public forum held by the Denver Post on gun control, Rep. DeGette launched into a disquisition on standard capacity magazine that illustrated merely one thing – she doesn’t have a clue about what she is talking about nor what legislation on which she is the lead co-sponsor would ban.

Asked how a ban on magazines holding more than 15 rounds would be effective in reducing gun violence, DeGette said:

“I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those now they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.”

It is a shame that Larimer County Sheriff Justin Justin Smith who was sitting next to her at the forum didn’t just take out a spare magazine, start unloading the cartridges, and then reload them. That would have said just about everything. As it was, the crowd just chuckled after her remarks.

David Codrea reports in the National Gun Rights Examiner that DeGette’s spokesperson doubled down on her boss’ ignorance.

A spokeswoman trying to deflect well-deserved ridicule and criticism made things worse in an issued statement, calling it “political gamesmanship” by “opponents of common-sense gun violence prevention trying to manipulate the facts to distract from the critical issue of keeping our children safe and keeping killing machines out of the hands of disturbed individuals.

“The Congresswoman has been working on a high-capacity assault magazine ban for years, and has been deeply involved in the issue,” Juliet Johnson said. “She simply misspoke in referring to ‘magazines’ when she should have referred to ‘clips,’ which cannot be reused because they don’t have a feeding mechanism.”

Of course, clips can be reloaded just like magazines.

Firearms Legislation Introduced This Week In Congress

Three more bills affecting gun rights and shooting opportunities have been introduced since Monday. Two are anti-gun and come from well-known gun prohibitionists and the third is a bill that would protect hunting, shooting, and fishing on public lands. It is interesting to note that on Carolyn McCarthy’s HR 437 that 70% of the co-sponsors come from states that severely restrict gun rights.

HR.437 – Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [DNY-1] – 1/29/2013
Rep Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3] – 1/29/2013
Rep Brady, Robert A. [D-PA-1] – 1/29/2013
Rep Carney, John C., Jr. [D-DE] – 1/29/2013
Rep Cartwright, Matt [D-PA-17] – 1/29/2013
Rep Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1] – 1/29/2013
Rep Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9] – 1/29/2013
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-13] – 1/29/2013
Rep DeGette, Diana [D-CO-1] – 1/29/2013
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3] – 1/29/2013
Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [D-FL-21] – 1/29/2013
Rep Eshoo, Anna G. [D-CA-18] – 1/29/2013
Rep Esty, Elizabeth H. [D-CT-5] – 1/29/2013
Rep Frankel, Lois [D-FL-22] – 1/29/2013
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3] – 1/29/2013
Rep Hahn, Janice [D-CA-44] – 1/29/2013
Rep Himes, James A. [D-CT-4] – 1/29/2013
Rep Holt, Rush [D-NJ-12] – 1/29/2013
Rep Huffman, Jared [D-CA-2] – 1/29/2013
Rep Jackson Lee, Sheila [D-TX-18] – 1/29/2013
Rep Larson, John B. [D-CT-1] – 1/29/2013
Rep Levin, Sander M. [D-MI-9] – 1/29/2013
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA-19] – 1/29/2013
Rep Lowenthal, Alan S. [D-CA-47] – 1/29/2013
Rep Lowey, Nita M. [D-NY-17] – 1/29/2013
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [D-NY-12] – 1/29/2013
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6] – 1/29/2013
Rep McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4] – 1/29/2013
Rep McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2] – 1/29/2013
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [D-NY-5] – 1/29/2013
Rep Meng, Grace [D-NY-6] – 1/29/2013
Rep Miller, George [D-CA-11] – 1/29/2013
Rep Moran, James P. [D-VA-8] – 1/29/2013
Rep Nadler, Jerrold [D-NY-10] – 1/29/2013
Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. [D-NJ-6] – 1/29/2013
Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [D-NJ-9] – 1/29/2013
Rep Perlmutter, Ed [D-CO-7] – 1/29/2013
Rep Quigley, Mike [D-IL-5] – 1/29/2013
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9] – 1/29/2013
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [D-CA-28] – 1/29/2013
Rep Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [D-VA-3] – 1/29/2013
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [D-NY-15] – 1/29/2013
Rep Sherman, Brad [D-CA-30] – 1/29/2013
Rep Sires, Albio [D-NJ-8] – 1/29/2013
Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-25] – 1/29/2013
Rep Speier, Jackie [D-CA-14] – 1/29/2013
Rep Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15] – 1/29/2013
Rep Takano, Mark [D-CA-41] – 1/29/2013
Rep Tierney, John F. [D-MA-6] – 1/29/2013
Rep Tsongas, Niki [D-MA-3] – 1/29/2013
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [D-MD-8] – 1/29/2013
To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.
Referred to the House Judiciary Committee
(Since the text hasn’t been received yet, I am presuming that this bill is the House version of Feinstein’s S.150 – Assault Weapons Ban of 2013)

S.170 – Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
– 1/29/2013
A bill to recognize the heritage of recreational fishing, hunting, and
recreational shooting on Federal public land and ensure continued
opportunities for those activities. 

Referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

S.174 – Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [D-NJ] – 1/29/2013
Sen Murphy, Christopher S. [D-CT] – 1/29/2013
A bill to appropriately restrict sales of ammunition. 
 Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.

“It’s Too Hard For Women To Use” – Carolyn McCarthy

I know I shouldn’t be surprised when I hear nonsense about guns coming out of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s mouth. I really shouldn’t. That said, I’m just shaking my head over this little tidbit. It leaves you wondering just how someone like this could ever have been elected much less re-elected numerous times.

To read the transcript of this little interview, go to Breitbart.

Lautenberg Introduces Mag Ban To Senate

Today is the first day that Senators can introduce bills and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has wasted no time. I am presuming that Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) likewise has introduced her new “assault weapon” (sic) ban. The Library of Congress’ Thomas page has not been updated to reflect any bills introduced into the Senate.

While the exact wording of Lautenberg’s bill is not absolutely know, I am presuming that it will be identical to that of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s HR 138.

In the release below I find a couple of things interesting. First, Lautenberg implies that former President George W. Bush is in support of his bill. Second, that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is a co-sponsor of the bill. Franken has been a little wishy-washy in the last few weeks on guns as he looks to the 2014 election cycle.

From Lautenberg’s press release:

WASHINGTON, DC—On the first day for bills to be introduced in the 113th Congress, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today introduced his bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The proposal—which Lautenberg first introduced in January 2011—is a major component of the gun safety plan President Obama announced last week.

“The latest tragedy in Newtown was a wake up call for our nation, and now we must now turn our grief into action to reduce further tragedies. It is clearer than ever that there is no place in our communities for military-style supersized magazines like those used inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Aurora, and in Tucson, and I will keep working to reinstate the ban on them,” said Senator Lautenberg. “President Obama’s bold plan to address gun violence included my common-sense proposal to ban high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds, and we will get to work in Congress to pass this bill and other reasonable reforms that protect children and families. This is the kind of sensible reform that has the support of Democrats and Republicans, hunters and responsible gun owners, and it is time for Congress to listen to the American people and put this ban back in place.”

A companion bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy and has the support of 48 cosponsors.

“Senator Lautenberg and I have reintroduced the bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines because they’re the common thread in every major mass shooting in recent history and taking them off the market can have a major impact on saving lives in America. The horrific murders in Newtown have shown how our nation’s lax attitude towards gun violence has gone too far and we must take action to save lives,” said Rep. McCarthy

Senator Lautenberg’s “Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act” would prohibit the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that have a capacity of, or could be readily converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. From 1994 to 2004, these high-capacity ammunition magazines were illegal as part of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. Since that time, high-capacity clips (holding more than 10 rounds at a time) have been legal to manufacture and sell under federal law.

Senator Lautenberg first introduced his bill after a high-capacity ammunition magazine was used to carry out the shooting spree in Tucson, allowing the shooter to fire off 31 bullets in just 15 seconds. The shooter was subdued when he stopped to reload. In addition to the Tucson tragedy, high-capacity magazines were used in mass shootings at Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Aurora, Oak Creek, and Newtown.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Carper (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney have expressed support for reinstating the ban on high-capacity magazines in the past, and polls show that 65 percent of Americans support such a ban.

UPDATE: Lautenberg’s bill is S.33. It currently has 16 co-sponsors as mentioned above in his press release.

HR 138: Large Capacity Feeding Device Act

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy introduced HR 138 – the Large Capacity Feeding Device Act – as expected on January 3rd. It is a word-for-word repeat of her HR 308 introduced in the 112th Congress. It is a straight up magazine ban of all magazines with a greater than 10 round capacity or the ability to be converted or adapted to that size. Unlike the Clinton-era assault weapon (sic) ban, this bill will not allow you to transfer a pre-ban magazine. Of course, all governmental agencies and current or retired law enforcement officers are exempted from it.

The text of the bill is below:

HR 138 IH


1st Session

H. R. 138
To prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices, and for other purposes.


January 3, 2013

Mrs. MCCARTHY of New York (for herself and Ms. DEGETTE) introduced
the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

To prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act’.


    (a) Definition- Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after paragraph (29) the following:
      `(30) The term `large capacity ammunition feeding device’–
        `(A) means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or
        similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored
        or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; but
        `(B) does not include an attached tubular device
        designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber
        rimfire ammunition.’.
    (b) Prohibitions- Section 922 of such title is amended by inserting after subsection (u) the following:
    `(v)(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), it shall
    be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity
    ammunition feeding device.
    `(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to the possession of a
    large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed
    within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this
    `(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to import or bring into the United States a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
    `(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to–
      `(A) a manufacture for, transfer to, or possession by
      the United States or a department or agency of the United States or a
      State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, or a
      transfer to or possession by a law enforcement officer employed by such
      an entity for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty);
      `(B) a transfer to a licensee under title I of the
      Atomic Energy Act of 1954 for purposes of establishing and maintaining
      an on-site physical protection system and security organization required
      by Federal law, or possession by an employee or contractor of such a
      licensee on-site for such purposes or off-site for purposes of
      licensee-authorized training or transportation of nuclear materials;
      `(C) the possession, by an individual who is retired
      from service with a law enforcement agency and is not otherwise
      prohibited from receiving ammunition, of a large capacity ammunition
      feeding device transferred to the individual by the agency upon that
      retirement; or
      `(D) a manufacture, transfer, or possession of a large
      capacity ammunition feeding device by a licensed manufacturer or
      licensed importer for the purposes of testing or experimentation
      authorized by the Attorney General.’.
    (c) Penalties- Section 924(a) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(8) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(v) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.’.
    (d) Identification Markings- Section 923(i) of such title
    is amended by adding at the end the following: `A large capacity
    ammunition feeding device manufactured after the date of the enactment
    of this sentence shall be identified by a serial number that clearly
    shows that the device was manufactured after such date of enactment, and
    such other identification as the Attorney General may by regulation

This bill has 39 co-sponsors as of today and I’m sure more anti-gun representatives will be flocking to sign on after Obama’s unveiling of his proposals tomorrow. The co-sponsors, all Democrats, include:

Rep Brady, Robert A. [PA-1]
Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-7]
Rep Castor, Kathy [FL-14]
Rep Cicilline, David N. [RI-1]
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-13]
Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2]
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7]
Rep DeGette, Diana [CO-1]
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3]
Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [FL-21]
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5]
Rep Eshoo, Anna G. [CA-18]
Rep Frankel, Lois [FL-22]
Rep Fudge, Marcia L. [OH-11]
Rep Higgins, Brian [NY-26]
Rep Himes, James A. [CT-4]
Rep Huffman, Jared [CA-2]
Rep Israel, Steve [NY-3]
Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9]
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1]
Rep Levin, Sander M. [MI-9]
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-12]
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-6]
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4]
Rep Miller, George [CA-11]
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4]
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8]
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC]
Rep Perlmutter, Ed [CO-7]
Rep Quigley, Mike [IL-5]
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9]
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-28]
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-30]
Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [NY-25]
Rep Speier, Jackie [CA-14]
Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6]
Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-3]
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8]
Rep Yarmuth, John A. [KY-3]

An Idea So Off The Wall It Just Might Work

Gun control pushing politicians and their media supporters usually know squat about firearms. Most have seen the clip where Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) when asked what a “barrel shroud” was, answered she thought it was a “shoulder thing that goes up.”

In this vein, Frank J. Fleming has a suggestion about new gun control laws. Make them “pretend gun control”.

What we can do is pass a law banning a bunch of made-up things that
sound scary, and many gun control proponents already have great ideas
along this line. For instance, I read a column
in which Howard Kurtz mentioned a ban on high-magazine clips — we can
certainly do without something that nonsensical. And I’ve heard the
press before mention armor-piercing hollow points and plastic guns
(actually, I think we already banned that made-up weapon in the ’80s).
And as long as the NRA and Wayne LaPierre go apoplectic about it (“This
ban on sorcerer-enchanted guns is just a slippery slope toward
eliminating all witch-hexed weaponry!”), gun control proponents won’t
know the difference between this and actual gun control. And this will
help protect our most vulnerable people out there: politicians. Because
long after the gun control advocates move on to other things, like who
they want to tax next, gun owners will still be annoyed by any actual
gun control legislation. One of the greatest fears politicians have is
seeing an angry guy with lots of guns charging down the street, because
they know he’s probably on his way to commit an act of voting.

You know this idea is so off the wall that it just might work. While my preference is for no law, banning made up stuff just might satisfy those clamoring that “we must do something”.

Carolyn McCarthy On Her Magazine Ban Bill

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) will be introducing a bill today that will mandate reduced-capacity magazines and will ban sale and transfer of standard-capacity magazines. Checking the Library of Congress service Thomas, no bills are listed as having been introduced but I think there is probably some lag in the system.

This move by McCarthy and DeGette was fully expected. Sebastian feels that the magazine ban will be harder to fight than any AWB due to many on the center-right who feel it is reasonable. He makes a number of good points especially that the criminal class will have no trouble in obtaining magazines.

Massad Ayoob discusses why good people need standard capacity magazines in his blog in Backwoods Home Magazine. He concludes:

The reasoning is strikingly clear. The cops are the experts on the current criminal trends. If they have determined that a “high capacity” semiautomatic pistol and a .223 semiautomatic rifle with 30-round magazines are the best firearms for them to use to protect people like me and my family, they are obviously the best things for us to use to protect ourselves and our families .
In her statement below, McCarthy makes the semi-erroneous claim that standard capacity magazines are not allowed for hunting. Magazine restrictions as well as restrictions on semi-automatic rifles for hunting exist in some locations and not in others. We need to get away from arguing sporting purpose with regard to magazine-fed rifles and pistols. In my opinion, self-defense of self and family is paramount and Mas makes a very cogent case for why we need standard capacity magazines in his blog post.

McCarthy’s release on the bill:

WASHINGTON, DC (Jan. 3, 2013) — Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY4) and Diana DeGette (D-CO1) are reintroducing legislation today to ban the high-capacity ammunition magazines that have enabled high numbers of casualties in almost every recent mass shooting in American history.

“These assault magazines help put the ‘mass’ in ‘mass shooting’ and anything we can do to stop their proliferation will save lives in America,” Rep. McCarthy said. “These devices are used to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time possible and we owe it to innocent Americans everywhere to keep them out of the hands of dangerous people. We don’t even allow hunters to use them – something’s deeply wrong if we’re protecting game more than we’re protecting innocent human beings.”
“Since I came to Congress, I have been working to protect our children and our families from senseless gun violence,” Rep. DeGette said. “Recent tragedies have only heightened the need, and that is why Rep. McCarthy and I are reintroducing our bill to ban high-capacity assault magazines. While there is no single answer to stopping these massacres, this bill is a step that will go a long way toward making our country safe.”

The High Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, as the bill is formally known, bans the sale or transfer of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds. Such a standard was federal law between 1994 and 2004, when the assault weapons ban was in effect, and it is state law in many parts of the United States. Magazines are available today in capacities of up to 100 and even more. Law enforcement officials and analysts have cited the direct role that magazine capacity plays in ensuring the high numbers of casualties in mass shootings. Often, as in the cases of Tucson, Arizona and the Long Island Railroad, the carnage ends when the shooters run out of bullets and stop to reload, at which point they are stopped by bystanders.

Unfortunately, the devices are still easily available to the public and have been used in every mass shooting in recent history, such as: Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut; a shopping mall in Oregon; a temple in Wisconsin; a movie theater in Colorado; a Congressional event in Arizona; at schools like Columbine High School and Virginia Tech University; at a law office in California; and on a commuter rail car in New York. They were even acquired from the United States by mail order and used in the Norway shooting of 2011, where 69 people were shot to death.

In many cases, mass shooters intending to act don’t have access to a black market, but acquire whatever they can easily and legally, making a ban on high-capacity magazines a major obstacle for future mass murderers to carry out their plans.

The legislation had 138 House co-sponsors in the 112th Congress, under the number H.R. 308. One hundred and eleven House members signed on after its introduction after the shooting in Tucson, Arizona; two more signed on after the shooting in Aurora, Colorado; then 25 more signed on after last month’s shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Rep. McCarthy, a lifelong nurse, strode into a life of activism to reduce gun violence after her husband was murdered and son critically wounded in the 1993 mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad in New York. Her activism led her to Washington first to lobby members of Congress as an advocate for victims, and then as a member herself after running against her own congressman who voted against the assault weapons ban.

Rep. DeGette has been an outspoken supporter of measures to reduce gun violence and played a critical role in rounding up support for new cosponsors for the ban on high-capacity magazines after the most recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Her district includes Columbine High School and is adjacent to that which includes Aurora, Colorado. She is now, with Rep. McCarthy, the original co-sponsor of the legislation, which will receive a bill number shortly.

The bill to ban high-capacity magazines was carried in the Senate in the 112th Congress by Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. Sen. Lautenberg has helped lead the fight for safer gun policy for much of his decades-long career, writing the law to keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders and co-sponsoring the original Brady Law to establish background checks for handgun purchases, among other efforts.

Newsday Endorsement Of Carolyn McCarthy Triggers Pet Peeve

Perhaps not expectedly, the Long Island-based newspaper Newsday has endorsed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY-4). They say she has a “mind meld with the middle class”. Whatever.

However, that is not what triggered my pet peeve. This is:

A registered nurse, she was catapulted into public life by tragedy: A
husband killed and a son grievously wounded in a mass shooting on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993. McCarthy, 68, of Mineola, has grown beyond the gun control issue that prompted her first run for office in 1996, although it remains an important legislative passion.

While Carolyn McCarthy can be generically called a “nurse”, she is not now, nor has she ever been, a “registered nurse”. Rep. McCarthy trained as, and is, a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN.  She is a 1964 graduate of the Glen Cove Nursing School according to

A LPN is limited by the state-level Boards of Nursing in what she or he can do. While it will vary by state, a LPN has a limited number of tasks that can be delegated to them. For example, they are allowed to dispense medications in a long-term care facility. This is not to say LPNs cannot perform the tasks assigned to them well. They can.

However, LPNs are not trained to see the big picture. They cannot assess the patient, they cannot write a care plan, and are not trained to think critically. By contrast, a RN has more education, is trained to assess the patient, is trained to think critically, and can write a plan of care.

Why is this a pet peeve? Because the Complementary Spouse is a BSN-trained Registered Nurse with an advanced practice certificate. She also holds a Masters in Health Science.

If you think about it, Carolyn McCarthy’s views on gun control are, in many ways, a reflection of her training and experience. A gun was used in the murder of her husband so therefore guns must be restricted. She cannot see beyond this to realize that the disturbed individual could have used a knife, a container of gasoline, or a black-powder nail bomb to kill the six victims or that a legally armed individual could have limited the number of victims. She wasn’t trained to see the big picture or to think critically and it shows.


Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Carolyn McCarthy say they want to give ATF more tools to stop smuggling and straw purchases. More tools? Reading their release you can’t help coming to the conclusion that the only tools in question are the aforementioned representatives.

Straw purchases are already illegal. Smuggling of arms is illegal under the Arms Export Control Act as Dave Hardy makes clear. Possession of a firearm (or ammunition) by a felon is a felony in and of itself. If a drug cartel or other organization is conspiring to buy guns by using straw purchasers, you have RICO as a tool to combat it. This bill is nothing but a means to get some airtime and glowing accolades in the New York Times and Washington Post.

The other thing of note in this release is where it says that they have released the testimony of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson given on July 4th. You have to ask yourself if this was to build support for their bill or to alert Eric Holder and his minions in the DOJ just what Melson had to say. My guess it is the latter as Rep. Cummings has been a synchophant of the Justice Department throughout the whole investigation.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced the “Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act.” The legislation establishes a dedicated firearms trafficking statute to empower law enforcement to keep high-powered firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals, including Mexican drug cartels.

“This legislation gives law enforcement the tools they need to do their job,” Rep. Maloney said. “It prohibits the transfer of a gun when an individual knows the gun will be transferred to a person who is prohibited by law from carrying a gun or to a person who intends to use the gun illegally. This is a sensible solution to a severe problem and will ensure that weapons do not end up in the hands of criminals– and drug cartels– by specifically prohibiting firearms trafficking in the criminal code.”

“We have to move beyond the all-or-nothing rhetoric of the current gun debate and work toward common-sense measures to help our law enforcement authorities combat the Mexican drug cartels without infringing on anyone’s right to own a firearm,” Cummings said. That’s exactly what this bill does.”

“Straw purchasers represent a significant problem in the United States. It is long past time that we take concrete steps to fight back against these individuals who funnel weapons into the hands of criminal and terrorist organizations. I’m proud to join Representative Maloney in taking this step to make our country safer,” Rep. McCarthy said.

“This legislation will provide Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms with the tools to keep illegal firearms from making their way into the hands of convicted felons who move guns across the southern border, utilizing a network of straw purchasers in the United States. These straw purchases act as an intermediary party for organized crime networks and the cartels by purchasing guns on their behalf”, according to Chris Schoppmeyer, FLEOA’s Vice President for Agency Affairs. The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) is the largest professional police organization that represents over 26,000 federal agents and officers from 65 agencies in the United States Government, including the ATF.

“This legislation would give law enforcement a strong, new tool to fight the gun trafficking that feeds lethal violence in Mexico, and American communities as well. There is no Second Amendment right to supply drug gangs with the firepower of an army,” said Dennis Henigan, Acting President of the Brady Campaign. “Mexican families, and American families, have the right to live in peace. That’s what this valuable legislation is all about.”

“The U.S. civilian gun market is stocked with military-grade weapons—both domestically manufactured and imported—and has extraordinarily weak controls on their sale. This has transformed the United States into a virtually unregulated bazaar of military-style firearms. Traffickers can stock up on their weapons of choice: AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles and pistols, 50 caliber sniper rifles, and high-capacity armor-piercing pistols. The ‘Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act of 2011’ is a crucial step in meeting the United States’ responsibility to address cross-border gun trafficking,” said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, a national non-profit gun violence prevention organization.

The Members released testimony by Acting Director of ATF, Ken Melson, which was obtained as part of the Oversight Committee’s investigation of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, stating that law enforcement officials “absolutely” need a firearms trafficking statute to effectively attack these criminal trafficking rings. Additionally, the Members released a letter from the Mexican Ambassador to the United States that stated his support for firearms trafficking legislation.
As a part of the Oversight Committee’s investigation of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, law enforcement agents on the ground have warned Congress that the lack of a dedicated firearms trafficking statute means that criminals who supply Mexican drug cartels with weapons of war are typically charged with mere paperwork violations – dealing in firearms without a license – and often only receive a sentence of probation.

This legislation is narrowly tailored to fill that void and help law enforcement stop illegal firearms trafficking.