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The Washington Times
www.washtimes.com

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McCain, Lieberman seek gun debate
Stephen Dinan
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Published 5/8/2002


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    Sens. John McCain and Joseph I. Lieberman hope to force Congress into an election-year gun debate over their measure to require background checks on all firearms sold at gun shows, arguing that it would help improve domestic security.
    Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, and Mr. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, introduced their bill a year ago but have recently begun to search for a suitable bill scheduled for action within the next month to which they can add an amendment with their gun-show provisions.
    "We've got to find a vehicle," Mr. McCain said, adding that this year is ripe for the issue. "We're in an election season."
    The public relations side of the campaign hits full gear today when Americans for Gun Safety (AGS), one of the groups backing the bill, begins running radio advertisements here in Washington in support of the provisions. The ads feature Mr. McCain and Mr. Lieberman talking about terrorists who obtained firearms at gun shows.
    "It just makes no sense to allow criminals and terrorists to evade background checks at a time when we are tightening homeland security," Mr. McCain says in the ad.
    In the past month, the organization has run radio ads in the home states of Sens. Wayne Allard of Colorado and Gordon H. Smith of Oregon criticizing the two men for not taking a public position on the bill. Both Republicans are up for re-election this year.
    But even if the measure makes it out of the Senate, House leaders said its prospects are dim.
    "I don't think anybody in the House is looking for an opportunity to fight about guns," said House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Texas Republican. "Were it at all possible to ignore it, we will. Otherwise we'll just have to fight it out in conference."
    Backers tout the McCain-Lieberman bill as a middle-ground measure that splits the difference between gun-control opponents and proponents.
    Existing law requires federally licensed gun dealers to put gun purchasers through background checks in a federal database — whether the sale is at the dealer's store or one of about 4,500 gun shows held every year.
    But unlicensed individuals, usually selling or trading from their personal collections, can sell a weapon at a show without requiring a background check of the buyer.
    The McCain-Lieberman bill would require those unlicensed individuals to obtain secondary vendor's licenses. It also would create a federal "special firearms event operators" license for show promoters, who would then have access to the background-check system and could run buyers' names through the system for secondary vendors.
    But Matt Bennett, a spokesman for AGS, said 18 states already regulate private sales at gun shows, and they have figured out systems that work for promoters and sellers.
    The bill has fierce critics on either side.
    Those who favor strict gun-control measures say the bill still has too many loopholes — they oppose the dual-licensing system for private collectors and the shortened time requirement for a computer background check to go through. They favor a more restrictive bill sponsored by Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat.
    On the other side of the issue are gun-show promoters, who say they will be driven out of business by the burdens that McCain-Lieberman puts on show promoters and the authority it grants to the Treasury secretary to regulate promoters.
    Mr. Bennett said backers feel good about their chances if Mr. McCain and Mr. Lieberman find a suitable bill to attach their provisions to.
 

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Sens. John McCain and Joseph I. Lieberman, two traitors who should be removed from any and all government offices.  Permanently.
 

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McCain has ridden his "war hero" image too long. His claim to that is that he got shot down and captured. I was in the same war, got shot. Does that make me a hero? Not by my lights. Any fan of Mccain should watch the movie "The Manchurian Candidate". Might come away with a new view of their hero.
DC
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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I'm really amazed that the "gun show loop hole" continues to get so much attention. During Clinton's reign, a government judicial department did an analysis that determined only 1.7% of the guns used in criminal acts was purchased at a gun show. Yet the politicians and media make it sound like a truck size "loop hole".

Here in Iowa, 82% or more of the gun deaths are the result of suicides, and the anti-gun folks advocate taking our guns away is the solution for that problem. Since that doesn't seem to be working, they have a different solution. Their representation at the Iowa State Fair last year was advocating that all guns must be stored at a central police location and not allowed in any homes. They didn't advocate any additional expenditures/help for the mental patients, just take the guns away.

Dan



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I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it amazes me that anybody could accept the notion that you can legislate behavior.  Criminals are by definition going to break the law and no amount of laws on the books are going to stop that.  I thought that was just plain old common sense.
 

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i'm waitin for them to start taking cars off the streets. drunks kill so many times more americans than any other form of weapons ever has. oh wait, then the politicians would have to hire a cab. what was i thinking. halfbreed
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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This morning's local paper has a column by the Tribune Media Services' Cal Thomas entitled, "Attorney General Interprets Second Amendment Correcty". In the article, Mr. Thomas references the 1982 U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution's carefully documented report on "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms.," including a history of events leading to passage of the Second Amendment.

He concludes that the Senate document is available through the Government Printing Office or at "http://www.constitution.org/mil/rkba1982.htm#01".  It's an interesting document to read and I'm keeping a .doc copy of it for future reference and use.

Dan
 
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