Guns and Budget Deals: On the Brink

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (WVa) and Republican Pat Toomey (PA) are expected to announce their support for expanded background checks this morning. This could potentially head off a threatened Republican filibuster of gun control legislation. Meanwhile, President Obama's budget includes changes to Medicare and Social Security that many on the left are unhappy with. Hakeem JeffriesU.S. Representative (D-NY8) from Brooklyn, discusses the budget and gun showdowns -- and a possible emerging deal on immigration.


Hakeem Jeffries

Comments [46]

David from Fredericksburg ~

Sorry, cowboy. Unfortunately, not analogous or the point.

No one "deserves" any horrific thing that happens to them. But, intelligent folk can choose nonviolent methods to protect ourselves.

An ounce (a lock/alarm) of prevention is worth a pound of (AR-15 shoot 'em up where children and innocents die) cure.

I'm all sure the 25,691 folks of Fredericksburg need as many guns as they can get. It sounds like a REALLY scary place.

Apr. 10 2013 04:12 PM
David from Fredericksburg

@ dboy

"The three masked intruders were already in the home. They had apparently entered through an unlocked garage door."

By your logic, a woman that goes "where she doesn't belong" and gets raped was "just asking for it"

Apr. 10 2013 02:01 PM

David from Fredericksburg, VA~

"The three masked intruders were already in the home. They had apparently entered through an unlocked garage door."

Buy a lock instead of a gun.

...maybe an alarm system.

What if the three kids had a gun...or, found a gun in the house they were ransacking?? This is the simple fact that DELUSIONAL hero-fantasy gun nuts OVERLOOK - THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE. The bad guys always have the ADVANTAGE in this regard. Unless you're standing guard (AWAKE) with your loaded weapon in hand, 24/7, you are NEVER going to game this unfair advantage.

Life is full of risk. Live on the wild side...get the lock.

Apr. 10 2013 12:56 PM
Roy from Queens

@David from Fredericksburg, VA: If you're not to act like an adult, why should address like one.

Apr. 10 2013 12:36 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@Roy from Queens

"The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the Bill Of Rights are amendments to said law. They're linked but not the same thing in their details."

Hmm, so constitutional amendments are not part of the constitution. The supreme court will be really suprised to hear this.

Apr. 10 2013 12:32 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ hjs11211
"a register doesn't not stop u from owning a gun"

I never said it did. But listening to all the talk, it seems highly unlikely to be politically doable.

I listened to the "deal" that seems to be in the making for background checks. It was specifically stated that no records would be kept - so just how do they plan to enforce background checks with no records? The answer is that they won't - this will be just another pointless law cynically passed for politics only.

Apr. 10 2013 12:29 PM

David from Fredericksburg, VA~

LOCK AND LOAD, braugh!!

lock and load.


Apr. 10 2013 12:13 PM
Donald J. Sepanek from Bayonne, NJ

How would we distinguish between a straw man purchase and a private sale?

Apr. 10 2013 12:10 PM

David from Fredericksburg, VA
a register doesn't not stop u from owning a gun

Apr. 10 2013 12:04 PM

To protect children, end Gun-free school zones.
In August 2011, Congressman Ron Paul introduced a bill in the House that would allow teachers to carry firearms onto public school grounds.

Ron Paul argued that the Gun-Free School Zones Act protects criminals, asserting that such attacks as Columbine, Virginia Tech and Fort Hood “all occurred in government facilities where the private possession of firearms was prohibited.”

“It’s time to say NO to criminal safe zones,” Ron Paul said. “And a great place to start is the blatantly unconstitutional Gun-free School Zones Act.”

Paul’s bill would have allowed well-trained and trust-worthy teachers and staff to carry guns onto school campuses.

Apr. 10 2013 11:43 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ dboy

They are anyone entering my house by force in order to do me, or my family violence. Your code talk for racism is entirely incorrect. We have dirtbags of every color here & home invasions are on the increase and increasingly violent.

Just recently 3 of "them" invaded an elderly couple's home and held them for 90 minutes, until the man got hold of a knife and stabbed one of "them" at which point, these "brave" ones ran away like little girls. But in the meantime they beat the husband and wife.

I would be a "freak" if I willingly allowed my family to suffer this fate.

Apr. 10 2013 11:41 AM
Roy from Queens

@David from Fredericksburg, VA: The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the Bill Of Rights are amendments to said law. They're linked but not the same thing in their details.

As for the "assault weapon" issue, I'm talking about a firearm that's used commonly by those who are in the police and military.

I'm really find it sad that people who want to have absolute freedom and be absolved from any possible consequences. That's not freedom. That's not morality. It's selfishness and anarchy, and, I'm ashamed to note, you wonder why Al-Queda bothered when this country's own citizens will do a better job in destroying the USA, as long as they're voluntarily paranoid and ignorant.

Apr. 10 2013 11:19 AM
oscar from ny

Ridiculesness to the point of no I'm veteran and I was trained to kill so when I get checked what are they supposed to look for?..who is not eligible?..what background are they trying to avoid? ..they're so many inconsistencys just like the stop and frisk can check everyone in the us background and you will find out that most of are equal until we have a bad day or something and ppl change all of the sudden..this is racism and they only want to have you in check..for bussiness purposes of course and the president should shoot a rife first so he can learn how fast the rounds come out in seconds, so the ppl that shoot for recreation are going to reload a million times and can only have fun for abiut 3 minutes...the ppl crying over their dead, shouldnt be a reason to let these bussiness politicians make their soundbites and advance their plans..

Apr. 10 2013 11:02 AM
Serena from UWS

Jgar and D from Virgin

Federal code allows for both "organized" and "unorganized" well-regulated militias, but several federal court precedents have ruled that while groups like these self-styled militias may be unorganized, they do not qualify as well-regulated and are therefore not entitled to constitutional protection. Additionally, the Second Amendment's "a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state," was not intended by the framers of the Constitution to create a means of resisting government authority. It would be impossible to provide a constitutional democracy if everybody thinks it was their right to take up arms when they lose in the political process. That's a recipe for anarchy.

Apr. 10 2013 11:02 AM
Jf from The future

Every single problem comming from illegal immigration is from it being illegal.we are bkrn on earth citezendhip is slavery.

Apr. 10 2013 10:55 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To dboy

I grew up the one of the worst housing and crime-ridden projects in Brownsville East New YOrk, and being the only white Jewish kid in the whole projects, and I felt if from time to time, and as you know the child of Holocaust survivors, but never thought of getting a gun either. And I wore a yarmulka too as a kid, going to yeshiva, to top it off. And I was indeed robbed and assaulted more than once. And I too don't have any desire to own a gun. And still live in a predominantly black neighiborhood, which thankfully today is virtually crime free. At least I don't see it.

But I support the right of others who decide otherwise to own a gun under the second amendment. Because we have a constitution that says so.

Apr. 10 2013 10:52 AM

David from Fredericksburg, VA ~

Dude, who's "them"?? Especially, in Fredericksburg, VA!!

I live, bookended by NYCHA housing projects - poverty and crime ALL around me - I have NEVER felt the ABSOLUTE NEED to own ANY kind of firearm...EVER!!


Apr. 10 2013 10:46 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Serena

So gun owners (of which I am not) will form militias. There is no ban against militias being formed. They will regulate their own militias, which will be used against those coming to take away their guns :)

Apr. 10 2013 10:41 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ Serena from UWS

You seem to be confused as to what country you're in. In the United States, we have rule of law, not of whatever YOU (or any other individual) think is right.

You want to regulate weapons? Step 1 is to get a constitutional amendment that repeals the 2nd amendment (the other 9 won't be far behind)

Apr. 10 2013 10:41 AM
Serena from UWS

Stop the madness. The 2nd amendment refers to the militia not private citizens. Confiscate all guns!!!!!

Apr. 10 2013 10:39 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ Roy from Queens

Again, please DEFINE an "assault weapon"

As to why I have a weapon, it's to defend myself and my family. You need to understand that the police are NOT obligated to defend you - there is case law on this point.

I am not a wild eyed gun freak that just can't wait to shoot someone. I pray I never have to shoot my weapon at another person, but if it's them or my family, the choice is entirely clear.

Apr. 10 2013 10:36 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

There are two main points: (1) we have a constitution, and without it we have no country. We have no first amendment either; (2) If we want to protect children from violent killers, armed guards is the most sane and effective answer.

We use armed guards to protect our money. We use them to protect our president. Why not our children?

Apr. 10 2013 10:33 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ Roy from Queens

Just how are the Constitution and the Bill of Rights two different things? Do you even understand about constitutional amendments?

Apr. 10 2013 10:32 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

So what does a "controlled" militia mean? Caller?

Banning "assault weapons" or restricting magazine sizes WILL NOT WORK.

Universal registration and background checks may.

Apr. 10 2013 10:31 AM
meesh ess from queens

oh phil... how much do you get paid to call and perpetuate right wing propaganda?

Apr. 10 2013 10:30 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ Renter from East Village

Actually, I don't need to do anything to carry a weapon. Here in Virgina (and in many other states)a permit is only needed for concealed carry. In any state that open carry is not prohibited, it's permitted.

Apr. 10 2013 10:30 AM
Christine from Westchester

As noted earlier, "assault" rifle means what exactly? Automatic weapons are different than commerciallly availabe rifles. Is it what they look like? These are stupid terms and not helpful in this discussion. Far more murders are committed by handguns btw.

Apr. 10 2013 10:30 AM
steve from Manhattan

The Constitution was written, and still serves, to guide us as a democratic nation to allow us to live and prosper and grow. If I am killed by a firearm (or anything else), I cease to live and as such, the whole Constitution is rendered meaningless for me. Therefore, ANYTHING that is lethal must be regulated, so that it is used with basic common sense precaution. For why would the 2nd amendment supersede my right or the rights of my children to live? How shallow we've become when the hassle, cost and pain-in-the-ass factor of background checks is even compared with the "hassle", "cost" and "pain-in-the-ass" factor of burying a loved one prematurely???

Apr. 10 2013 10:29 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

No law is going to stop an OUTLAW. None. Outlaws laugh at laws. No laws stop drugs from getting into the country, nor illegal immigrants.

We protect banks with armed guards. We protect government offices with armed guards? WHy can't we protect children in schools with armed guards?

Apr. 10 2013 10:27 AM
kikakiki from wall street/harlem

What does one use an assault riffle for? What can you hunt for with an assault riffle? I agree family to family, but neighbor to neighbor I don't think so. Also with regard to registration, if I buy a gun and have a background check at 20 and become mentally ill at 40 I still have my gun? I truly want answers to these questions - anybody

Apr. 10 2013 10:26 AM
Roy from Queens

@jgarbuz from Queens: Can you, without referring to the Bill Of Rights (that and the Constitution are two different items), give a good reason why a person who isn't a police or military should have an assault firearm? If you can't, I feel sorry for you.

Apr. 10 2013 10:25 AM
Renter from East Village

Why not require the gun purchaser to get a background clearance certification in the same way a permit to carry a gun is required? The back ground clearance document would be needed to buy and carry a gun.

Apr. 10 2013 10:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

TO Dboy

Just finished playing CoD 2: Special Ops. Loved it! Don't own a gun, and have no intention of going out and killing anybody. But I support the 2nd Amendment of our fragile constitution.

Apr. 10 2013 10:25 AM
Jewell from NYC

Thank you Brian, for asking the question about family sales, in light of the Sandy Hook shooting. The loophole that is being talked about is the exact breakdown that allowed this young man to have access to guns.

Apr. 10 2013 10:24 AM
mick from Inwood

I believe in gun rights, I own a rifle, and in fact as a young adolescent I learned how to shoot through the NRA youth training program in my hometown. (But that was before the takeover of the NRA by right wing fanatics.) I also believe that there should be the expanded background checks on all gun sales and gifts. The right to own and lawfully use guns does not imply the unfettered, unregulated right to transfer guns or ammunition. My first rifle was a gift from my father and so I also believe that in this kind of case, where no exchange of money is involved, the background check can be simplified, but it should require proof of either enrollment in training or certificate of past training for the recipient.

Apr. 10 2013 10:24 AM
Christine from Westchester

I dont think we'll ever get 100% backround checks but there must be a way to cover more of the sales than are covered now. Like those at gun shows. Why no background check?

David: absolutley agree with your note: bantering the terms about loosely is a political crock. And this new knee jerk law in NY that limits the magazine size is likewise BS. Cuomo positioning for higher office.

Apr. 10 2013 10:23 AM
Bonn from East Village

I went to the 10th anniversary of "Bowling for Columbine" a few weeks ago. In attendance was a woman from Australia who lives in Newtown. She gave a very impassioned speech in which she explained that some years ago, Australia was experiencing a lot of gun violence, so the government passed very strict gun laws. As a result, the murder rate has gone way down. Why should the American people be held hostage to the NRA?

Apr. 10 2013 10:23 AM
Alan from New York

If the purpose of the second amendment is, as some say, to enable citizens to defend themselves against the government, then doesn't it make sense to amend the amendment to allow citizens to have mortars and bombs?

Apr. 10 2013 10:23 AM

Adam Lanza was not nearly as crazy as the INSANE lack of gun regulation and mental healthcare access that allowed his (also) unbalanced mother to stockpile an arsenal of assault weapons and feed her disturbed son Call Of Duty!!

"Oh, but Adam Lanza stole those guns!" The fact is the guns that Adam Lanza used were LEGALLY owned firearms kept in the home that HE lived in. Adam Lanza had ACCESS to LEGALLY owned firearms.

This issue is about proliferation. It's about access. The more military grade hardware lying around the more opportunity for someone's emotionally disturbed father/mother/brother/son/daughter etc. to pick one up and wreck havoc. Mental health is fluid. "Sane today, not so tomorrow. We are all a pink slip, bankruptcy or divorce away from being a potential danger to ourselves or the world at large. Talk to ANY mental health professional (PLEASE, talk to a mental health professional!!). Identical to physical health, mental health can change in an instant. "Fit" assault weapon owner one day, potentially unbalanced homicidal maniac the next. How many fewer dead kindergartners would there be in Newtown today if Nancy Lanza had been limited to a shotgun and a single-action hunting rifle??? And fewer still, if she had the help and support of a compassionate mental healthcare system???

Even with all the quality mental healthcare, there is still no accounting for fundamentally poor judgement. Sane people make VERY bad decisions every single day. Talk to any LEGAL gun owner who has lost a child that happened upon a loaded firearm in the home.

NO ONE should have these weapons lying around for ANY reason.

True courage is demonstrated when we decide that we're willing to risk our lives...willing to be vulnerable...willing to face our fears...willing to put down our weapons to make the world a little bit safer for all of us - especially our children.

Buying an assault weapon to fight a perceived tyranny is the easy solution. You may feel stronger in the short term but, it doesn't change the condition that provoked your fear - nor does it actually protect you from a $711 BILLION dollar military machine. The tough option is the decision to do the hard work required to change your world. The decision to chose brains over braun. Demand more of your elected representative. All the AR-15's in the world are not going to remove the corporate tyranny that owns our government.

It's really pretty simple, even with all the paranoia.

Imagine a better world.

Apr. 10 2013 10:22 AM
Smokey from LES

You have to register a car no matter who you give it to. Why should guns be exempt?

Apr. 10 2013 10:22 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

There is no right to own a car in the constitution. But infringement on the right to bear arms is prohibited by the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. So the right to own cars can be infringed upon by the government, and is with regulations, registrations, taxes, etc. But arms are a different matter. That right was specifically protected by the US Constitution, though any amendment can be overturned if 2/3rds of the country wants it to be.

Anyhow, what do we do about knives? Or baseball bats? Or box cutters? Maybe we should have another amendment to ban possession of those?

If we want to protect children in school, put well-trainded, well paid armed guarnds into schools.

Apr. 10 2013 10:22 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

The scenario presented by Sen. Rish (sp?)is too broad. A simple fix is to require transfers go through an 'authorized' dealer who CAN DO a background check.

This still would not keep the gun out of the Newtown shooter's hands.

Rather than find the point of conflict on the gun issue, where are the reasonable people who will go after the 'low hanging fruit' in this issue. The low-hanging fruit is safe gun handling and storage practice.

Yesterday's news has three examples: Two shootings by four year olds, one here in New Jersey. The gunowner needs to be charged as an accessory in these shootings. The third is the knife attack in Texas. Imagine if that wacko had had a Bushmaster.

Apr. 10 2013 10:21 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ hjs11211

You, and your son, have no constitutional right to own or drive a car.

Apr. 10 2013 10:21 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

A couple of items:

What, exactly, is an "assault weapon"? Please bear in mind that a fully automatic weapon, such as those used by the armed forces, are not obtainable by private citizens. ANY automatic weapon requires a federal permit and private citizens can only buy those manufactured before a certain date (something like 1984).

Second, how exactly would private sale background checks work? A lot of people speak about not having a database - so how would this law be enforceable? Also, how about inheriting a weapon? A gift?

It's hard to envision how this private sale background check could be done in a workable (and politically acceptable) manner.

Apr. 10 2013 10:20 AM

If I sell my son a car it must be register with the state.
Why is a gun so different?

Apr. 10 2013 10:16 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Once we start messing around with the constitution, and start to "infringe" on the right to bear arms, we start sliding down a slippery slope. In any case ,just yesterday, a guy with a knife when on a rampage cutting up 14 people and killing 2.
Now, we have the right to infringe on the right to carry knives, but with guns you're stepping on the constitution. Article 2 of the Bill of Rights can be amended or overturned by a constitutional process if the country wants that badly enough.

Apr. 10 2013 10:15 AM

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