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Bush and Guns, the answer remains No!

The always excellent Alphapatriot writes that we unhappy gun-toting libertarians should vote for Bush because Kerry is much worse for gun rights. I agree, he is worse. Kerry and Edwards, neither of which typically can show up for their day jobs to vote on legislation, made special trips back to DC to vote for more gun control. They do this while Kerry never misses an opportunity to pose with a shotgun. He’s a sportsman, ya know. And he was in Vietnam, ya know.

Bush on guns is mixed. He signed shall issue concealed carry into law in Texas. And he recently gave a speech in which he said:

We stand strongly for the Second Amendment, which gives every American the right to bear arms.

He stands so strongly for the right to keep and bear arms that he has promised to sign an extension to the Assault Weapons Ban if it reaches his desk. His apologists are quick to point out that he hasn’t really asked congress to get it to his desk, which is some sort of secret code for I don’t really support it but it’s in my best interest to say I do to get elected. The significance of the assault weapons ban is illustrated in this quote:

“In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea . . . . Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.” – Charles Krauthammer (columnist), Disarm the Citizenry. But Not Yet, Washington Post, Apr. 5, 1996

By voting for Bush, I let the Republicans know that I support their recent anti-gun positions. I also let them know I approve of the initial, symbolic step toward civilian disarmament. This is in addition to the big government actions they’ve recently taken.

I might change my mind by November if the ban sunsets, but don’t count on it. Publicola is running a poll on the issue, go leave your feedback.

Update: I am reminded that it was the Bush Justice Department recognized an individual right to bear arms. The 40 year policy of the JD has been that collective rights argument crap.

12 Responses to “Bush and Guns, the answer remains No!”

  1. Xrlq Says:

    By not voting for Bush, you let the Democrats know that they can do as they please when it comes to guns, since you’ll never vote for their more sensible opponents unless/until said opponents become unelectable purists.

    Bush is far from perfect, but he’s a hell of a lot better than what we’ll end up with if too many gun owners vote for “principle.”

  2. Thibodeaux Says:

    OK, I agree that Bush would be better than Kerry, but I think scare quoting “principle” is a little uncalled for.

  3. Xrlq Says:

    I disagree. There is nothing principled about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

  4. Thibodeaux Says:

    Perhaps, but some noted ethicists disagree.

  5. Xrlq Says:

    Cute. Not quite the way I remembered that verse, though. “And if thy face spiteth thee, spite it back by cutting off thy nose, for it is profitable for thee that one of thy face’s members should perish, and not that thy entire face remain unspitten.”

  6. Thibodeaux Says:

    I’m just sayin’. I don’t like clichés, and I don’t think it’s useful to denigrate people who aren’t so sanguine that Kerry would be that much worse than Bush. Maybe he would, but then again, maybe he wouldn’t. If you’re so sure, I’d like to borrow your crystal ball; our office football pool is getting cranked up.

  7. triticale Says:

    The place to send a message to the Republican party is in the primaries for our state and national representation. If Cain and Grothman win their respective races over the regular Republican candidates, it will do far more good than letting Bush lose.

  8. Manish Says:

    You can vote for Bush who might be slightly better than Kerry (i.e. he’ll sigh when signing the AWB extension, rather than Kerry who will rejoice), but you’ll most likely get the same infringements on gun rights.

    Kerry on the other hand wouldn’t have Ashcroft as his AG, and would curb his abuses of the Patriot Act.

  9. SayUncle Says:

    No, but he might have a Reno. Make no mistake, the branch davidian thing was meant to be a monument to gun control. It just went terribly wrong. We don’t need any more of that.

  10. Xrlq Says:

    Thibodeaux: I don’t like clichés, either. One of the ones I like the least is when unreasonably rigid individuals, rather tahn admit they’re being unreasonably rigid, pat themselves on the back for being “principled.” We really could have done without that “principle” in 1992, when we ended up electing the most rabidly anti-gun President in history on a plurality. If we had eschewed “principle,” held our noses and voted to re-elect Bush the Elder, we wouldn’t be debating the wisdom of Dubya’s (or anyone else’s) alleged intent to renew the “assault” weapon ban. The damned thing would have never passed in the first place.

    And no, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to know that a President Kerry would be signficantly worse (or, depending on your political orientation, better) than President Bush. All it takes is a brief look at each person’s record.

    Manish: The difference between Bush and Kerry isn’t between sighing while signing the AWB and doing so eagerly. It’s between the guy who says he’ll sign it if it reaches his desk but won’t lift a finger to make that happen, and the guy who will twist every arm in Congress to pass this ban now, and move on to other, stricter gun controls later.

    Please identify the specific abuses of the Patriot Act you think John Ashcroft is guilty of, and the reason why you think Kerry’s (as yet unnamed) AG would be any better.

  11. Manish Says:

    XRLQ: Personally, I just don’t see Sept 14th rolling around and Bush not feeling the heat by the electorate to renew the AWB, but that’s just me. In terms of more stricter gun control, again I don’t see it happening simply because I don’t see the votes being forthcoming. Its easier to maintain the status quo, than to initiate new regulations. All you need to do is look at the fight in Congress in 1994, versus today where it looks like it’ll be easier.

    In terms of abuses, the short answer would be using the Patriot Act in non-terror cases. Also letting the sunseting provisions to actually sunset.

  12. Xrlq Says:

    Even if you’re right about the AWB being renewed, it’s still better to have a President who would sign that gun law but nothing else, rather than one who sees it as the next stepping stone toward a broader anti-gun agenda. Also Bush would sign a national ban on lawsuits aimed at bankrupting the industry; Kerry probably would not.

    I’m still waiting for the *specifics* on your so-called abuses of the Patriot Act. Simply using a law to combat non-terrorist crimes is not, in and of itself, an “abuse” of anything. Shipping off common criminal suspects to Gitmo and holding them without trial as “enemy combatants” obviously would be an abuse, of course, though one of laws other than the Patriot Act.

Used three kinds of generics. I liked the Levitra Pills more, although the others acted quite well. Perhaps it all depends on the characteristics of each organism.