Monday, April 15, 2013

Burr scorched for doing the right thing

Last week, we urged U.S. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina to back off his pledge to use a filibuster to stop Senate debate of tighter background checks on guns. Burr was one of 13 senators to sign a letter opposing legislation "that would infringe on the American people's constitutional right to bear arms." The letter promised a filibuster of any bill that did so. 

But when a vote came to the floor last week to allow consideration of a background checks bill sponsored by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Burr was one of 16 Republicans to vote for allowing debate on the measure. (No, we're not taking credit for his change of heart.)

To be clear, Burr wasn't voting for the bill, which would expand background checks to include firearms sold at gun shows, as well as online sales. He was merely voting to allow senators to discuss this issue so important to our country. Last we checked, that's what we send members of Congress to Washington to do.

So it's sad, but unsurprising, that Burr is now getting hammered for doing the right thing.

The pro-gun group Grass Roots North Carolina plans a protest tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Burr's office in Winston-Salem. The group's news release, sent to us this morning by president Paul Valone, calls Burr a "sellout." The GRNC web site says, incorrectly, that Burr and the other 15 "voted for universal gun legislation." They should vote for the Manchin-Toomey bill, but they haven't, and Burr is more than likely to vote against it when debate is finished.

That hasn't stopped the conservative blogosphere from also trashing Burr and the other 15.
The vitriol is enough to make you understand why North Carolina's Sen. Kay Hagan, who faces a tough reelection battle next year, hasn't given a clear signal about her feelings on the bill. (Update: Hagan's office sent over a statement emphasizing her support for the Manchin-Toomey bill, but not a ban of assault weapons or high-capacity magazines.)

We'd bet, however, that North Carolina voters are like the 90 percent of Americans who have told pollsters again and again that they support expanded background checks for gun purchases. We'd guess that number would be even higher if Americans were asked whether the topic is worthy of congressional debate. Burr should be applauded for voting to allow it.

Peter St. Onge



Skippy said...

Burr gets blistered and Hagan gets a hall pass for acting like the spineless politician that she has become.

Cecil James said...

<4% of the population is homosexual and you advocate for gay "rights" and gay marriage. >50% people own guns, whose rights are ostensibly protected by the US Constitution and have joined to form huge organizations. They are expressing themselves as they have a right to do according to the 1st Amendment. You suggest they are out of line based on the findings of polling of largely uninformed people with undisclosed questions.... just the media the sheeple deserve.

Zon said...

It's worth noting the people that scorched will most likely vote for him anyway.

Wiley Coyote said...

It's only the "right thing" from your perspective.

These laws will do nothing to prevent another Newtown. The sad part of this is, YOU know it.

I voted for Kissell because he voted against Obamacare.

I will vote against Burr and any other Republican who support tearing down the Second Amendment and making criminals out of law abiding citizens.

Because we want it said...

Whereas i do not care one bit if they ask for more background checks, I am extremely concerned about what happens next.

This new legislation is not going to do a thing to change the events or stop them from occurring.

So the media and the politicians have selected this law as a "FIX" what happens after the next tragedy.

How far will they go?

After all if you are going to boil a frog you can not do it all at once, you have put him in a luke warm pot of water and slowly turn the heat up.

Again I fear what the good idea fairy brings in on its next decision......

telamon said...

Since when is discussing the expansion of background checks to cover a wider range of purchasers "tearing down the 2nd Amendment"? I'm a lifetime member of the NRA and even I think those guys are getting too paranoid. Guns are dangerous and lethal and in my opinion should require a fairly high bar to own, at least on par for what is required to own, operate, and sell a motor vehicle.

I keep hearing the paranoid fear that establishing a registry or database is a first step to confiscation. Really? Does anyone think that a renegade government hellbent on confiscating weapons is going to care whether there is a list or not? No. They'd do it the old fashioned way by going door to door. Then all the prepper wannabes can play out their shoot-em-up bang-bang doomsday fantasies. It'd be a win-win.

sensible said...

What commenters like Wiley Coyote and others of his ilk continue to prove is that they think ONLY their voice is to be heard. They didn't even read the article to see that's it's simply Burr's position that a discussion of the matter should be allowed. Wiley Coyote, (and others like you) do you think the First Amendment should be abolished and replaced by the Second Amendment? If so, we now know that you're in favor of dictatorship, de facto.

Archiguy said...

Any discussion on this issue is welcomed and anyone who disagrees with that thinks the Constitution consists only of the second amendment and a bunch of other unimportant words they care nothing about. One of the problems we have is the NRA pretty much shuts down any meaningful discussion on this issue. If they really believed in their cause, they'd welcome an honest debate.

Furthermore, all this wingnut paranoia about the government confiscating legally obtained guns insults everyone who actually understands what our democratic republic stands for.

"What happens next?" How about you take a civics class and pay attention this time.

Wiley Coyote said...


You didn't comprehend what I said.

The Observer's opinion is that Burr's position is "doing the right thing" to which I disagreed.

Opinions are like noses, everybody has one.

I posted my opinion just like you.

The First Amendment is no different than the Second and should be protected at all cost.

People of your "ilk" only want others to follow what YOU believe and that is what is dangerous.

Unknown said...

Wiley Coyote, I’m a veteran and a hunter. When I was in the military, when I arrived back to my base with my private gun I had to check it in to armory and they kept possession of my gun. When I went to shoot at the range I would check it back out and check it back in when I was done. You did not keep it with you on base. Did I raise hell about my 2nd amendment, no, but I protected yours. Sometimes things are just common-sense, just like gun-control. I have a message for all those who like those military assault weapons, join the military, serve your country, you’ll get to shoot them all you want. Sen. Burr did the right thing.

Wiley Coyote said...


Totally different scenario. The government owned your gun, just like the one issued to my son and he will also check his back in.

I know guns. My father was a gunsmith for many years and I too am a hunter.

Until laws are strengthened and enforced for felons caught with guns, more focus on those who are mentally ill and gun purchases and also tougher laws for those who use a firearm in committing crimes, leave law abiding citizens out of the discussion.

Unknown said...

Wiley Coyote,

No, this was my privately owned gun, not military issued. Leaving law abiding citizens out of gun control discussions is like me saying I should not be stop at drunk driving check points because I don't drink. As a law abiding gun owner, we should have a discussion of the right way to proceed with gun control.

Archiguy said...

The simple fact of the matter is that rarely are guns used in crimes obtained legally. They're stolen or they're obtained in some other illegal way.

By the same token, most domestic gun violence incidents and suicides are also committed by legally obtained guns, and by people who know each other. To keep talking about "keeping guns out of the hands of criminals" is just verbal slight of hand, obfuscation, obscuring the real issue.

And that is that there are simply too many guns in circulation. I'd love a government confiscation program - that would keep everyone safer - but that's not going to happen.

What should happen is prohibition on sale of military style assault weapons and large magazine clips. That would at least stop some of the more horrific incidents, or at least slow them down. Lives would be saved. And no hunter or target shooter or home defender needs such weapons. The Second Amendment does NOT guarantee such "rights".

The NRA and similar groups are a public menace because such common sense measures can't even be brought up for debate due to their actions. These groups must be marginalized, their influence diminished by whatever means necessary. Ridicule usually works the best.

Wiley Coyote said...


I stand corrected as to your personal weapon.

Still, I believe that with more activist judges getting on benches and left leaning politicians, that law abiding citizens will eventually be required to buy gun insurance and also register all firearms in your possession, regardless of the rhetori from politicians that will not be the case.

You want to trust them, go ahead. I don't..

Wiley Coyote said...


How many guns do you own?

tarhoosier said...

For those who say this law will be of no effect, then stand down and wait and watch for the "no effect" you predict. You may be proven correct.
For those who say criminals will not observe this law, then you deserve to live in anarchy since criminals will ignore any and every law. All laws are for those who abide by them. No law is passed to be observed only by criminals.
If you are against better and safer gun sale laws come up with a real argument.

Wiley Coyote said...


These proposed gun laws only came up after Newtown.

Every gun Lanza used was stolen from his Mother, who legally owned everyone of them.

Whether Lanza's stealing the guns from his Mother or a thief breaking in and stealing the guns and then using them in the same manner, none of these proposed laws if in place would have made any difference.

Illinois has very tough gun laws. I guess Chicago isn't aware of that fact.

Garth Vader said...

The Observer writes:

"Last we checked, that's what we send members of Congress to Washington to do."

No, we send Congress to Washington to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.


The Second Amendment has nothing to do with "hunting, target shooting, and home defense". Its primary purpose is to ensure that the states have the ability to raise militias to overthrow the central government when that government becomes oppressive in the manner of King George. Remember that the states were "free and independent" and that the purpose of the Constitution was to enumerate a small number of specific duties to a central government.

"Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it... When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government." - Declaration of Independence