Biden, other Democrats may skip Netanyahu’s speech

Benjamin Netanyahu receiving a standing ovation from Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner during a speech to Congress on May 24, 2011. (photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90)

Benjamin Netanyahu receiving a standing ovation from Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner during a speech to Congress on May 24, 2011. (photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90)

J Street lobby urges Boehner to postpone controversial Congressional address till after the Israeli elections

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Vice President Biden Ignorant on Guns

Gun Rights Advocate: Biden’s ‘Buy a Shotgun’ Remark Shows VP’s ‘Complete Ignorance’

Larry Pratt

Executive Director of Gun Owners of America Larry Pratt (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)


( – Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said Thursday that Vice President Joe Biden’s recent remarks about a shotgun being easier for a woman to handle than an AR-15 shows the vice president’s “complete ignorance about the nature of shotguns and AR-15s.”

“The vice president has been making a number of statements lately on firearms. Perhaps his most recent involved his opinion that a shotgun is easier for a woman to handle than an AR-15, and that frankly revealed to many of us the vice president’s complete ignorance about the nature of shotguns and AR-15s,” Pratt said Thursday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.”

During an online town hall meeting Tuesday sponsored by Facebook and Parents magazine, Biden advised women to buy a shotgun instead of an AR-15 for self-protection.

“You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim. It’s harder to use, and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun, buy a shotgun,” the vice president said.

“A shotgun is much more difficult to fire, much more difficult to hold and withstand its recoil than an AR-15, and for the vice president to suggest that a woman would be better off using a shotgun than an AR-15 shows that frankly, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Pratt said about Biden’s comment.

C-SPAN showed a clip of Biden speaking about the 2nd Amendment on Jan. 24.

“But just as you don’t have an individual right to go out and buy an F-15 if you’re a billionaire with ordinates on it, just like you don’t have the right to go and buy an M-1 tank, just like you don’t have a right to buy an automatic weapon, those judgments have been made that there are no … reasonable, societal justification or constitutional justification, for owning them,” the vice president said at the time.

“And so my view is that it is totally a guarantee, not negotiable that I am able to own a weapon for sporting purposes as well as my own protection, but there should be rational limits on the type of weapon I can own that exceed the need, that would go beyond what I need for my protection or legitimate sporting activities,” Biden added.

Pratt said Biden’s remarks about the 2nd Amendment also showed his ignorance.

“Yes, the founders did have a somewhat limited view on what kinds of firearms or what kind of arms were covered by the 2nd Amendment. Their view was that every man … of military age should have a rifle, military rifle, like the M-16 today and own it personally and be required to bring it with him if he were called up to militia duty,” Pratt said.

“The purpose of owning guns for the founders was not that which was articulated by the vice president, which was self-defense or sporting use, but it was protection against tyrannical government. And maybe because the vice president’s in government service now he doesn’t like to think about that possibility, but that’s actually what the 2nd Amendment’s all about,” Pratt added.


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Huckabee: Obama Shows Contempt for Constitution in Gun Grab – By Todd Beamon

Former GOP Arkansas Gov. and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee blasted the Obama White House on Wednesday for Vice President Joseph Biden’s suggestion that executive orders might be used to curb gun violence following last month’s mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

“Does this administration have nothing but contempt for the Constitution and the Congress?” he asked in response to an email query from Newsmax. “How can an ‘executive order’ trump not only the actual text of the Constitution, but the checks and balances of power in which no branch could act unilaterally and with indifference to the other branches?

“When Joe Biden and Barack Obama give up the vast amount of guns that protect them, then the rest of us will consider giving up the guns that protect our homes and our families,” Huckabee told Newsmax.

Meanwhile, conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh was just as critical on his afternoon radio program, saying Obama and the Democrats were “planning a gun grab” through executive order.

“When a bunch of liberals get together and start talking about guns — and include the possibility of executive orders, executive action that can be taken — what are they talking about?” Limbaugh asked, according to a transcript of the program. “Not involving Congress, but they’re talking about taking guns away.

“What are they talking about here? Executive action to do what? Shore up the Second Amendment? I hardly think so. “

He later asked: “What could a bunch of liberal Democrats worried about guns, talking about using executive orders do? What could it possibly be about? A gun grab. So make no mistake: They are planning a gun grab.”

And Larry Pratt, executive director of the Gun Owners of America, on CNN attacked suggestions that firearms should be banned from schools and other gun-free zones.

Responsible gun owners, he said, might have been able to stop or limit some of the carnage from such mass shootings as the Dec. 14 killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adults died.

“We’re not talking about making it so people can defend themselves properly in these gun-free zones that have been the scene of some our worst mass murders over the last 20 years,” Pratt, a former GOP member of the Virginia House of Delegates, told CNN. “If you’re keeping the same policy, year after year, and getting the same deadly results, you’re going to get the same deadly results the next time.

“We want to encourage people who are qualified to carry a concealed firearm in a school zone to be able to do so,” he said.

Laws prohibiting this “need to stop, because all of these mass murders have been occurring in gun-free zones. It seems that we have a fixation with the idea that no defense is a good defense — and that’s not a good idea,” Pratt said.

At the start of a meeting earlier on Wednesday with gun-control advocates and groups representing victims, Biden said: “The president and I are determined to take action. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

Biden called it a moral issue, adding that “it’s critically important that we act,” according to the Weekly Standard.

The vice president will meet on Thursday with representatives from the National Rifle Association, which opposes new restrictions on firearms, and from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer of guns, ammunition and accessories.

Biden’s recommendations are due at the end of the month.

Among the options are reinstating a ban on military-style assault weapons that expired in 2004, closing loopholes that allow gun buyers to escape background checks, and limiting use of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Biden added that the panel will examine ways to increase mental-health programs in schools and steps to alter a culture in the U.S. that glamorizes guns and violence.

Other recommendations include making gun-trafficking a felony, getting the Justice Department to prosecute people caught lying on gun background-check forms, and ordering federal agencies to send data to the National Gun Background Check Database.

But the Senate’s top Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, warned that Congress may not get to consider any gun legislation until spring.

“The biggest problem we have at the moment is spending and debt,” McConnell said on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. “That’s going to dominate the Congress between now and the end of March. None of these issues will have the kind of priority as spending and debt over the next two or three months.”

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the former Connecticut Attorney General, has proposed requiring background checks for those buying large quantities of ammunition.

“There is no rational reason why a person can walk into a store, fill their shopping cart with hundreds of rounds of ammo, pay up, and walk out without so much as giving their name,” Blumenthal told reporters on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Democrat who was wounded in a 2011 shooting in Tucson that killed six people, and her husband, Mark Kelly, were forming a political action committee to push for new gun laws.

The announcement brought a $1 million contribution on Wednesday from Steve and Amber Mostyn, the Texas trial attorneys.

Steve Mostyn, one of the top contributors to a super PAC that backed Obama’s re-election bid, is listed as treasurer of Giffords’s organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions.

Mostyn said the group would have a nonprofit operation, which will be used to conduct a public education campaign and that he’ll promote it to other Democratic Party donors as a counterweight to the NRA.

“It’s time to stop the NRA from bullying common sense out of the discussion,” he said in an interview.

According to Federal Election Commission records, the NRA’s Political Victory Fund spent $16 million in the two years leading up to the Nov. 6 election, the Associated Press reports.

An NRA nonprofit affiliate, the Institute for Legislative Action, made another $7.5 million in independent expenditures to help NRA-friendly candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, based in Washington, the AP reports.


White House to Act on Gun Control With or Without Congress

After the first meeting of the White House’s gun violence task force, Vice President Joe Biden said executive orders could be used to implement gun control measures, signaling action could be taken without Congressional approval. – By Paul Stanley

“The president is going to act. Executive orders, executive action, can be taken,” Biden told reporters before meetings with groups representing survivors of mass shootings. “We haven’t decided what this is yet, but we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the Cabinet members.”

Efforts to ban guns such as the 1994 assault weapons ban passed by Congress and sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein required passage of both the House and the Senate prior to being signed by the president. An “executive order” sidesteps Congress and is an order that can only be issued by the president.

Executive orders have been issued since the earliest days of America’s history and carry the full force of law. However, they are made in pursuance of certain Acts of Congress that give the president power to act on an issue. Congress frowns upon them if they are used too often or to override existing law.

Wednesday’s meeting was the first in a series of meetings before they release their suggestions later this month. The first round consisted of representatives from gun control groups such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Arizona for Gun Safety, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.

Colin Goddard, who was shot four times in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting and also representing the Brady group, confirmed the White House’s possible intention to use their executive authority to bypass Congress.

“My job is to represent the voice of the overwhelming majority of Americans … that want some comprehensive, common sense changes to our gun policy,” he told CNN Wednesday. “There are common ground solutions that respect the Second Amendment.”

Newly sworn in freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is off to a fast start defending gun rights. In a statement posted on Facebook after Biden’s comments, he poked fun at the vice president’s noted verbal missteps.

“Let us hope that this is just another one of the Vice President’s infamous gaffes and not another end-run of Congress and the Constitutional balance of powers through unilateral action by the President,” wrote Cruz. “I stand ready to defend the Second Amendment and efforts to undermine our God-given rights.”

Some of the same groups that are advocating tougher gun restrictions are also critical of Thursday’s meeting between Biden and gun advocacy groups such as the National Rifle Association and leading retailers such as Wal-Mart.

“We are sending a rep to hear what they have to say,” said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA, adding that the organization accepted the invitation when asked on Jan. 4.

The NRA and the White House have never agreed on much of anything politically and some on Capitol Hill feel the political pressure to implement gun control options is merely an attempt to punish groups like the NRA that have defeated Democratic candidates who expressed and voted for liberal positions on gun bills.

The NRA has recently called for armed guards on school campuses. The idea was not well received by many school administrators and gun control advocates.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest gun retailer will also be in attendance during Thursday’s meeting. “Knowing our senior leaders could not be in Washington this week, we spoke in advance with the vice president’s office to share our perspective,” he said. “We underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person, so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate.”