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Posted: 8/4/2009 2:44:52 PM EST
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/04/gun-foes-see-new-hope-with-sotomayor/?feat=home_headlines

After years of losing, gun control advocates say this week's vote on confirming Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court will be their long-awaited win that shatters conventional wisdom and proves that the Second Amendment is no longer the unstoppable force of Washington politics.

Proponents of gun control say the National Rifle Association (NRA) and similar groups have overreached. They point to a Senate vote last month blocking an effort to expand concealed-carry laws.

"The lesson that's going to come out of this is you can vote against the NRA and still win, and win in gun-friendly areas," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the nation's leading gun control group, which is billing this week's vote as a chance to defeat the NRA.

Gun rights supporters dismissed suggestions that they've lost their long hold on the Capitol. The NRA's spokesman dared lawmakers to test Second Amendment voters at their "own peril."

Since the 2000 elections, few lawmakers have bucked gun advocacy groups, and the NRA in particular. The powerful lobby had proved too often that it could swing elections in battleground states simply by sending its traditional election-time blaze-orange postcards telling voters how their elected officials scored on gun rights.

When an effort by Sen. John Thune, South Dakota Republican, to expand reciprocity for concealed-carry laws throughout the nation failed July 22 to overcome a filibuster in a 58-39 vote, gun control groups said they'd made a dent. This week, they expect Judge Sotomayor to be confirmed to the Supreme Court despite the vocal opposition of the NRA and Gun Owners of America (GOA).

The NRA said the Thune amendment vote should be cold comfort to gun control groups.

"Only the Brady Campaign will try to spin getting 39 votes in the U.S. Senate as a resounding victory," said Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's spokesman.

He said gun rights remain as potent an issue as ever.

Some Second Amendment supporters say that defeating Judge Sotomayor's nomination is not central to their mission, and that it was the wrong time to stage a fight.

The Brady Campaign counts seven NRA-backed senators who have said they would vote to confirm the judge.

"I think the NRA at some point has gone beyond its mission, and are perhaps allowing themselves to get hijacked by those who are in the extreme," Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, told the Hill newspaper.

Blogs on gun ownership also have debated the NRA's decision to take a stand on Judge Sotomayor, saying her confirmation is not directly related to their issue.

Gun rights groups said they realize some senators won't see Judge Sotomayor's nomination as a firearms issue.

"Any Supreme Court justice is an uphill battle because a lot of people put the issues on hold in their mind and they say, well, the president deserves their pick," said Erich Pratt, a GOA spokesman.

Still, the groups questioned Judge Sotomayor's judicial philosophy on guns, based on her answers during the Senate confirmation hearings, saying that alone was reason to get involved.

Mr. Pratt said some lawmakers who have had perfect ratings with the GOA will end up losing that distinction because of their Supreme Court vote. He said GOA is considering double-weighting the vote on Judge Sotomayor.

The NRA gives out a letter grade, and it's unclear how the Sotomayor vote will affect the group's ratings - particularly if other votes occur, such as efforts to renew the 1994 weapons ban law.

The NRA and GOA point to two events this year in Congress that they say show that the gun issue still resonates with lawmakers.

Gun rights supporters won a key fight over an amendment proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, to allow guns to be carried in national parks as long as state and local laws don't prohibit it.

Democratic leaders scuttled their own bill to grant a voting member of the U.S. House to D.C. residents after a gun rights amendment was attached in the Senate and had enough support to pass the House.

House Democratic leaders couldn't figure out a way to strip off the amendment because the committee with jurisdiction had too many Democrats who support gun rights.

The specter of increased gun control also can scuttle legislation. A Western Hemisphere treaty that President Obama wants the Senate to ratify is unlikely to come up for a vote because pro-gun Democrats are wary of crossing the NRA.

Clear pro-gun majorities emerged in Congress after Republicans won both chambers in 1994, but have extended even under Democratic control.

Since the 2000 presidential election, which analysts said Democratic nominee Al Gore lost at least partly because of his support for gun control, the issue has been considered untouchable.

The Democratic Party's 2004 nominee, Sen. John Kerry, went so far as to stage a late-campaign duck hunting trip in Ohio to try to boost his prospects, and Democratic leaders in Congress have tamped down on talk of passing gun control measures such as a renewal of the 1994 law that banned certain semiautomatic weapons.

But Mr. Helmke of the Brady Campaign said the last two elections have been eye-openers for lawmakers wary of crossing the NRA. He said in races in which the NRA and the Brady Campaign endorsed candidates, Brady-backed candidates won the vast majority - proving that gun rights groups can be bucked.

"The fact that they haven't had a major electoral victory in the last two cycles is starting to translate into less clout on the Hill," he said.

He said the Supreme Court's 2008 ruling overturning Washington's gun control law moved the debate into a new area, where the issue is less about fundamental constitutional principles and more about practical controls.

"The gun issue is becoming less and less of a wedge issue," he said. "We're seeing more and more of a consensus in the middle ground."

But Mr. Arulanandam of the NRA said lawmakers should be wary of thinking their constituents no longer care about the gun issue: "Any politician who follows Mr. Helmke's so-called words of wisdom does so at his own peril."
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 2:53:18 PM EST
I don't give a shit. I openly didn't obey the first AWB, and I won't be obeying other subsequent unConstitutional shit they may come up with.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 2:53:51 PM EST
I don't give a shit. I openly didn't obey the first AWB, and I won't be obeying other subsequent unConstitutional shit they may come up with.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 2:56:20 PM EST
These people are really stupid. Her being confirmed doesn't mean shit about gun rights. All she did was replace a liberal with another liberal. It doesn't tip anything in their balance. Fuck them.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:12:56 PM EST
Just think, if the "teach them a lesson" crowd, the ones who voted third party or didn't vote at all, along with the divide and conquer trolls hadn't succeeded in getting Obama elected, we might be getting a more conservative justice.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:24:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2009 4:27:05 PM EST by TheBernice]
It's disappointing, but Sotomayor being appointed doesn't change anything. Anti-gunners are just desperate to generate some good news for themselves. It's been a bad couple of years for gun control advocates; they lost a major SCOTUS case, they've consistently failed to get a new AWB on the congressional agenda, and even the most liberal administration in recent history is refusing to touch the issue. Gun control advocates are saying anything they can to keep it from becoming a dead issue.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:25:58 PM EST
Originally Posted By LARRYG:
Just think, if the "teach them a lesson" crowd, the ones who voted third party or didn't vote at all, along with the divide and conquer trolls hadn't succeeded in getting Obama elected, we might be getting a more conservative justice.


Don't worry Paul will win next time and fix everything.



JK
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:27:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By rcatesbiana:
I don't give a shit. I openly didn't obey the first AWB, and I won't be obeying other subsequent unConstitutional shit they may come up with.


+1 Why obey illegal rulings which clearly violate our 2nd Amendment rights?
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:39:28 PM EST
If the Brady Bunch has to drag this out as an example of a "great victory", I think it only highlights how much of a total failure and joke they really are.

Where is the victory? One anti-gun justice is being replaced by another. They gain nothing there. And Congress, though it has been in the hands of democrats for over 3 years, remains as pro-gun as it was when the republicans controlled everything.

The Brady Bunch has failed miserably to achieve ANYTHING over the past decade plus. In fact, quite the opposite of "victories", they've been getting their ass handed to them. They are pathetic. A joke. If they are as delusional as this article suggests, you almost have to feel sorry for the dumb asses.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 5:31:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2009 5:32:12 PM EST by BADZ06]

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
Just think, if the "teach them a lesson" crowd, the ones who voted third party or didn't vote at all, along with the divide and conquer trolls hadn't succeeded in getting Obama elected, we might be getting a more conservative justice.

Just think if we would have run a real candidate instead of McCain, we might be getting a more conservative justice.


Link Posted: 8/4/2009 5:33:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2009 5:34:11 PM EST by LARRYG]
Originally Posted By BADZ06:

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
Just think, if the "teach them a lesson" crowd, the ones who voted third party or didn't vote at all, along with the divide and conquer trolls hadn't succeeded in getting Obama elected, we might be getting a more conservative justice.

Just think if we would have run a real candidate instead of McCain, we could might be getting a more conservative justice.


What a crock of shit, the same old worn out excuse those that I mentioned always use. It was a simple choice, Obama or McCain, and anyone who thinks that what we wound up with is good in any way is insane.

This is the kind of shit that is gonna get Obama a second term.
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