April 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Supporters of stricter gun laws have organization, money and - after the Senate blocked an expansion of background-check requirements - fury. What they don't have is a clear path to changing the political arithmetic of the U.S. Congress. None of next year's Senate races offers a good opportunity to replace a senator who backs gun rights with one who supports tougher laws. Three senators who voted against expanding background checks face tough elections next year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2013 |
The Senate voted Thursday morning to allow the gun debate to go forward. Looks as if this pistol-packin' nation may end up with a background check requirement after all -- though there's no guarantee that even that modest measure will ultimately become law, as my colleague Mike Memoli explains . I find myself occasionally in the position of trying to explain this country's attachment to guns, and it's not always easy. A few weeks ago, one of my doctors -- who happens to be French -- shook his head in the examining room and said, “I just don't understand this country and guns.” I was caught up short.
April 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate crossed the first of many hurdles Thursday in the drive to pass new gun legislation, with a bipartisan vote to begin what could be weeks of debate on the issue. By a 68-31 margin, senators moved to open formal consideration of a package of reforms to expand background checks, improve school safety and combat gun trafficking. Among Republicans, 16 voted yes, while two Democrats voted no and one did not vote. Next week senators will be able to offer amendments that pose the real test of whether the larger bill will succeed.
April 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In a lopsided vote, the Senate launched a debate Thursday over the most significant gun legislation in more than a decade, setting up a contest that could last weeks between reinvigorated advocates for stricter laws and conservatives who oppose them as a violation of the 2nd Amendment. The bipartisan 68-31 vote, which saw 16 Republicans join 52 Democrats and independents to begin consideration of gun legislation, was a setback for gun rights advocates who had threatened to block it. The bill includes provisions to spend more on school security and to increase penalties for selling guns to felons and others banned from ownership.
April 9, 2013
Re "Packing and preaching," Column One, April 5 So pistol-packing preacher James McAbee - whose law enforcement mother shot herself (twice), eventually leading to her death - proudly carries weapons without safeties, with a round chambered, in public and around his minor children. And he teaches gun safety? And of course he's right when he says it's wrong to blame the tool for a shooting. Indeed, guns don't kill people; carelessness does. Terry Snyder Los Angeles ALSO: Letters: Nukes and Iran's leaders Letters: Rat poison and human health Letters: Parents who care, gay or straight
March 31, 2013
Re "The power to lift and heal," Column One, March 25 Thanks to Randy Lewis for sharing his experience singing Mozart. Having sung in church choirs since 1972, and having more than once sung both Mozart's Requiem and "Ave Verum Corpus," I can say to Lewis, "Welcome to the club. " Here's an obscure quote regarding "Ave Verum Corpus" from a textbook that belonged to my great-grandmother: "We now give, as a last model example, a perfect masterwork of harmonic composition, chosen from among many as best adapted for this purpose on account of its pregnant character within small compass.
March 31, 2013
Re "Voice of sense in gun debate," Column, March 28 I enjoyed George Skelton's piece on Republican Rep. Mike Thompson, a pro-gun legislator from Northern California who, as Skelton notes, proves you can be "both a gun lover and a gun controller. " FOR THE RECORD: Legislator: A March 31 letter to the editor on gun control misidentified Rep. Mike Thompson, a Democrat from Northern California, as a Republican. - As a member of the National Rifle Assn., I was disappointed that the organization didn't take a more reasonable stance on current gun issues.
March 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The gun legislation set to hit the Senate floor next month will include universal background checks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Thursday. Reid (D-Nev.) plans to introduce a bill Thursday evening that will include provisions on background checks, school safety and gun trafficking. He had said earlier this week that he hoped the full Senate would begin deliberation on the gun control package in early April. The expansion of background checks has been the focal point of President Obama's gun violence prevention initiative.
March 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - An assault weapons ban will not be included in a package of gun safety legislation that will come to the Senate floor, the measure's champion, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, said Tuesday. The California Democrat said her party's leaders told her that her legislation, approved last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee in a party-line vote, could be offered as an amendment to the larger bill. Feinstein expressed disappointment that her attempt to revive the 1994 ban was dropped to clear the way for other measures.
March 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate will take up its first firearms measure since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, after the Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday to combat gun trafficking. The proposal, steered by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee chairman, would impose strict penalties for buying a firearm for someone who cannot legally do so, an act known as a straw purchase. The bill would also toughen punishment for selling a gun to a person prohibited from owning one. "Law enforcement officials have consistently called for a firearms trafficking statute that can be effective to go after straw purchasers," Leahy said.