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Streisand writes: "'A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.' - President Bill Clinton. The former president is absolutely right about what a great democracy should do. Unfortunately this is not the case in the United States today."

Entertainer/Activist Barbara Streisand. (photo: Parade)
Entertainer/Activist Barbara Streisand. (photo: Parade)


Why Is It Easier to Get an Assault Weapon Than to Vote?

By Barbra Streisand, Reader Supported News

07 September 13

 

great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon." - President Bill Clinton

The former president is absolutely right about what a great democracy should do. Unfortunately this is not the case in the United States today.

There have always been attempts by conservatives to restrict the franchise. It took women well over a century and painful struggle to get the right to vote. For African Americans in the South, activists were beaten and killed before the federal government stepped in to end "Jim Crow" laws against voting. Then it took massive voter registration drives in an atmosphere of intimidation to fully extend the right and access to vote for all citizens.

Until recently, there was a movement in the states towards making voting more convenient and accessible. Now, conservative governors and legislators are turning back the clock on progress.

Many Americans suffer from the difficulty of voting on a Tuesday in November instead of the weekend -- a relic of an agricultural nation. But it wasn't enough for some conservatives.

So, they discovered a "solution" in search of a "problem" -- the infinitesimal amount of voter fraud. But the real motive was stated by GOP Pennsylvania House Majority leader Mike Turzai, "Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."

According to the authoritative Brennan Center, since the beginning of 2011, 19 states have passed 25 laws and two executive actions restricting voting. The laws vary, but all have the same impact. In these states, it is now more difficult for those Americans who typically have the least access to power in our democracy to participate. Some of the restrictions are particularly perverse.

Texas allows a state-issued "concealed carry permit" for guns to count as a voter ID but not a duly authorized ID from the flagship University of Texas. Tennessee and North Carolina also prohibit university identification from their own systems. A student without a driver's license essentially loses his/her rights while a gun owner, simply by owning a gun, does not. On Election Day 2012, Florida had hours-long lines because of new restrictions on early voting. North Carolina also eliminated same-day registration and reduced early voting. Indiana now allows other voters to challenge and demand proof of registration from fellow voters before they can vote.

The purpose of these voter restrictions laws is to make it more difficult for the young, the elderly, the poor and minorities to vote. Our voter participation rates are already among the lowest in the world's democracies, but conservatives seem intent on lowering it further.

But guns, why, owning them should be easier than ever. Congress failed to renew the assault weapons ban, but one can buy an assault weapon from an individual or a gun show without having to show any identification. Even after the movie theatre carnage in Colorado and the slaughter of school children in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut by individuals wielding assault weapons and large ammunition clips, Congress failed to provide enough votes for simple background checks.

A recent study by two professors at Cleveland State University estimated that Americans own between 262 and 310 million firearms. The U.S. population is less than 314 million. Over 30,000 Americans die every year from firearms, and one person in three knows someone who has been shot according to the Brady Center. There are many suggestions about reducing gun violence in the United States. But allowing someone to buy an assault weapon without showing any identification surely is not one of them. Despite the paranoia fostered by the gun lobby, no government agency is going to come and take away guns from American citizens. In fact, the only national database of gun ownership is controlled by the NRA!

It is time to promote sensible reforms about gun violence and to stop further restrictions on voting. The only way this will happen is if enough Americans vote for politicians willing to oppose the NRA and its backers -- the gun manufacturers, and vote out those politicians who seek to restrict Americans' right to vote for their own narrow partisan reasons.



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-33 # MidwesTom 2013-09-07 15:12
In Illinois one has to show a photo ID to buy any kind of gun, but not to vote.
 
 
+33 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 18:46
The reason people are sometimes allowed to vote without a photo I.D. is that, it is known that photo I.D.s are hard to come by for the poor.

If a poor person who can't afford to drive, can't afford to get to the place where photo I.D.s are issued, wants to vote, do you think they should be denied the basic right of citizenship in a representative democracy?

Also, a photo I.D. isn't much to ask of someone who wishes to buy a weapon specifically designed to kill people.

I know you're trying to make a point here, but, if anything, you're just stating that Illinois has its priorities in the right place, on this issue.
 
 
+12 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-07 21:37
To: MidwesTom
You apparently are posting a fact applicable to Illinois. What is your point?
 
 
+6 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 22:41
I think the point is for the rest of us to quit whining, because, at least, Illinois ain't as bad as some of the states the article was actually written about.

In other words, quit complaining. It's not like we want EVERYONE to vote anyway.
 
 
-8 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-08 23:29
Barbara Streisand. Hmm? What does she do? Write something and then spend the rest of her days listening to old records? People like Barbara could make a difference in the national stage, if she............ .......?
 
 
+72 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 15:26
Simple answer to the question, "Why is it easier to get an assault weapon than to vote":

1. Conservatives always talk about how this "is not a democracy". They really mean it, and really don't think everyone should be allowed to vote.

2. Conservatives consider the ownership of a weapon, capable of killing everyone in one's neighborhood, to be a fundamental right. They like to blabber on and on about "the Constitution", as though they had actually read the thing for themselves, rather than having Glenn Beck read his "Cliff's Notes" of it, to them.

3. Conservatives are incapable of noticing their own logical inconsistencies , and are completely unaware of the hypocrisy of lecturing the rest of us about "our rights", while simultaneously telling us we don't HAVE the right to even VOTE.

4. Conservatives are in control of nearly every aspect of our government on all levels, and control the information and/or misinformation that is spoon-fed to our citizenry. They even control the way our national debates are framed, and the boundaries of acceptable territory for that debate.
 
 
-74 # Sunnyvaleken 2013-09-07 18:15
1) This is not a democracy it is a Republic.

2) The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Thomas Jefferson said the militia is the people, meaning individual citizens.

3) Your third comment is utter nonsense. Absent a single example of a)logical inconsistencies and b) "telling us we don't have the right to even vote", you may as well be selling used cars. Who says you don't have the right to vote?

4) In fact it is the left, not true conservatives, who control the government and most of the media. Conservatives are not using the IRS to harass TEA Party groups. Conservatives are not using the EPA to shut down coal fired power plants. No Billy Bob, those are the actions of the hard left.
 
 
+31 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 19:49
Here we go with, "this isn't a democracy". Why do conservatives insist on this. I've proven you wrong on so many threads. PLEASE take the trouble to look up "direct democracy" vs. "representative democracy".

I know Glenn Beck has an agenda, but that doesn't mean you have to parrot him without actually fact-checking first.

I swear, I throw in bits about "democracy" just to trap conservatives who hate the very concept, but I was wrong. I don't really have time to do it tonight.

We are a REPRESENTATIVE democracy. We are also a republic.

These two things are not mutually exclusive.

As I said, PLEASE bother to look it up before mouthing off.

As for the rest of your tirade, "utter nonsense" and all, I'll have to pull a palin and get back to you tomorrow.
 
 
+29 # Regina 2013-09-07 20:20
And your statements, Sunnyvaleken, are the drivel of the ignorant right.
 
 
+30 # Michael Lee Bugg 2013-09-07 21:17
Sunnyvaleken, you are delusional or you have a death grip on denial! Why are Republicons working endlessly to prevent anyone from voting who is likely to vote for a Democrat? Actions speak louder than words and their action is to deny any voters they don't like. The Republican'ts are the biggest threat to this nation in the world!
 
 
+23 # economagic 2013-09-07 21:31
Sorry, Sunny, you simply don't know what you are talking about. I seldom reply to such ignorant blather for that reason. You are "conservative" only in the historical sense of defending the prevailing aristocracy, despite what you may believe. Learn to evaluate sources of information based on evidence and reason rather than agreement with preconceived dogma. Yes, many on the left are guilty of the same fallacious approach. That does not absolve you or anyone of the responsibility to learn and to think. You truly do not know your left from your right.
 
 
+2 # unitedwestand 2013-09-08 23:10
"Demos" the people + Kratia "power rule". I happen to like that we are a Democracy, it is the fairest system ever devised and has proven to work for long periods of time, until some greedy capitalists, and citizens buy into another way, and then it is all done. "Republic" is almost the same thing so why are some so wanting to make the word "Democracy" non-existing? I did hear it was because of the two power parties in the USA, and that Republicans don't want to remind people of Democrats. So what I've got to ask is: How juvenile can some of you people be to destroy the essence of what is good about us?
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2013-09-09 13:31
Quoting Sunnyvaleken:
1)

2) Thomas Jefferson said...

3) Who says you don't have the right to vote?

4) In fact it is the left, not true conservatives, who control the government and most of the media.




1) So, because Thomas Jefferson (a southern slave holder where in the south the "militia" was for all intensive purposes the "slave militia")said it that's the final word?

2) what about the 20-40,000 African Americans that were thrown off the rolls in Florida during the 2000 election (the only reason W "won")?

3) I wish "the left" controlled the gov't. What "left" There is no "left" that has any real power or influence in this country. If there was we would not have gone to war against Iraq, or "deregulated" our financial markets (i.e., done away with Glass Steagal) that led to the housing bubble/burst and our current economic crisis; passed "free trade" legislation like NAFTA and GATT that have further screwed the US working class etc. The right's fantasy that there is a "left" at all in this country let alone one that has any power or influence would be laughable if it wasn't so sad.

If you believe that Obama or Bill Clinton are "left" perhaps you need to read some real "leftists" neither of these guys are...in the Senate, the only "left" is Bernie Sanders and just look at how much power and influence he has.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-09-09 18:37
Thank you.
 
 
+19 # Jiovanna 2013-09-07 18:27
Is it great to live in the U.S. anymore? Every day the news gets worse on the loss of our liberties, like the ongoing NSA intrusions into our lives, the reduced voting rights backed by our Supreme Court, and a NDAA law that denies due process of law that means even if we protest en mass; then, Obama can call out the military or national guard and have us all arrested without legal representation. So it seems we are at the end of our democrat system but I'm glad Ms. Streisand still cares albeit I fear it's too late. We must begin again to rebuild the dream--I'm certain MLK is reeling from Obama's beating of the war drums. So sad.
 
 
+12 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-07 21:57
Think Barbara Streisand makes some excellent points. But, she forgot one idea. When she states "vote out the politicians" as a solution, that seems to be a very weak solution. What we do need to do is have the same kind of "heavy press" devoted to voter rights that was used to educate Americans on cigarette smoking. And look at the amazing results that were achieved. People were health educated vs. being "educated" by the tobacco companies. Frankly, I believe Americans are not smart enough one-on-one but might be as group to vote out politicians who answer to the NRA or the GOP. As mentioned, it would take a tireless and almost relentless national energy to accomplish this end. Democrats will most likely lose for some time on the voter rights issue because they are too disorganized, not enough powerful leadership. Bill Maher, OK, I like him, made a comment. Really has nothing to do with this subject but is informing:"Wiki pedia has several pages devoted to wars that the U.S. engaged in. The only one that the Libertarians really did not approve of was the "Civil War."
 
 
+7 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-09-07 22:57
In the food chain, most all of us know which animals are the predators. Republicans have now evolved in their national thinking as predators. They do an excellent job of finding people who hate government and those are the people who they financially back to run for office. Rand Paul is an excellent example. At some point in American history, another great Progressive such as was Martin Luther king, and his spirit still lives with us, will arrive on the scene and create
national enthusiasm for voter rights. And, it will be a great leader who we instinctively trust. Hope it will be in my lifetime. I'm 72 years of age. Americans like citizens of any other country react quickly to an impending disaster, but react much more slowly to a threatening but seemingly distant impending disaster like voter rights and climate change. One bright star:we are becoming a nation of "a majority of minorities." What the whites can not or could not do, perhaps our "majority of minorities" will do?
 
 
+1 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 20:45
Eldon,
You are quite eloquent; also a thinker.
I Pray what you say is correct.
I know we are becoming a nation of shades of color, as opposed to the history of those in the majority who kept everything in the status quo. I pray these folks making more decisions have the wisdom to do the right thing for ALL.
 
 
-29 # DaveM 2013-09-07 15:34
If you want to buy an assault rifle--as opposed to a rifle that looks like an assault rifle--you must go through a number of steps. You must submit to a complete background check, purchase from a dealer licensed to sell machine guns (that's what a genuine assault rifle is), pay a transfer tax of, I believe $200, and agree to keep the weapon in a locked cabinet or safe when it is not in your possession. The ATF is allowed to inspect your gun safe--or for that matter, to search you or your home at any time to insure that you are complying.

I have never been asked to do anything resembling this in order to vote. Mind, I am allowed to vote. For several reasons, I am not allowed to legally own an assault rifle, nor are a surprising number of American citizens.
 
 
+8 # Jiovanna 2013-09-07 18:28
reasons, please?
 
 
+15 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 18:48
It's also surprising the number of American citizens who are not allowed to vote. Which of these two priorities is more important to you?
 
 
-63 # egbegb 2013-09-07 15:39
Requiring a picture ID to vote is common sense. If a voter can manage to get to the registration site to register and get to the polling location to vote, I see no difficulty whatever in getting a picture ID.
 
 
+33 # mebemo 2013-09-07 17:49
Perhaps you could try looking at the difficulty from the point of view of someone too old or infirm to get to an office where their official picture can be taken.

Why is a picture ID "common sense"? I've been voting without one for years. What would a picture prove?
 
 
+25 # Regina 2013-09-07 20:34
So how often should we pose for a photo ID in order to vote? My very senior citizen's face bears no resemblance to my college graduation photo, or my wedding photo, or my driver's license photo, or any of my successive passport photos. Obviously the purpose of such a requirement is to bar people from voting by requiring hurdle after hurdle after hurdle.....
 
 
+68 # Doll 2013-09-07 16:13
Voting is a right, not a privilege. Owning guns is a privilege, not a right.
 
 
+18 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 18:49
Perfectly put. In 2 sentences you managed to put the whole discussion into persepective. Thank you.
 
 
-49 # Chrisp 2013-09-07 16:16
Taking guns from people will insure our lack of proteting ourseles from our own govenment. That is the reason the right to bear arms was instituted, as the British want to control the arms.
Never give up the rights of your neighbors to protect themselves and you.
The Canadians have more guns and much less violence than we do.
In 2010, there were 310 murders, while ONE MILE away from Detroit in Canada, there were ZERO murders.
This society, with the lack of MORALITY in the mainstream MEDIAS along with the increase of meaningless rules and laws are desensitizing Americans to LIFE and turning our people into animals.
 
 
+48 # jouster 2013-09-07 17:23
Canada has only about one-third as many guns per person as the USA and lower rates of gun deaths and homicide. *

United States
94.3 guns per 100 persons
International rank = 1

Canada
30.8 guns per 100 persons
International rank = 13


Gun deaths **

United States
10.30 (4.8 homicide) per 100,000 population

Canada
2.38 (1.6 homicide) per 100,000 population





* Data from Small Arms Survey 2007.
The Small Arms Survey is an independent research project located at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

** data from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
 
 
+29 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 19:00
GOD! I love facts!

I also love people who rely on them to make their arguments.

Thank you!
 
 
-1 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 21:55
Billy Bob..
When someone throws facts out there......stud y it for yourself. DO NOT TAKE SOMEONES WORD FOR IT.
ANYONE CAN SAY ANYTHING.
I just checked and as many as 70% of the CANADIANS HAD NOT REGISTERED THEIR GUNS, AS OF 1985. So, Jousters FACTS could be very wrong.
 
 
-2 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 21:32
Hey Jouster,
Where are you getting your info as to the numbers of Canadians owning guns? I searched and found according to wiki...and the school of thought that some 70% of the owners guns are NOT REGISTERED. I will past what I found...:
The registration portion of the Firearms Act was implemented in 1995 and the deadline for gun owners to register their non-restricted firearms was January 1, 2003.[7] There is disagreement on the percentage of gun-owners who complied with the registry. The Law-Abiding Unregistered Firearms Association estimated that over 70% of all firearms in Canada were never registered.[8] Meanwhile, the Coalition for Gun Control claimed that ninety per cent of all gun owners registered their firearms, representing ninety percent of guns.
 
 
0 # kochadoodledoo 2013-09-08 05:50
From my studies of history, there ain't no protecting ourselves from our own government. They are the possessors of bigger and better weapons and they know how to use them. Rarely in our history have the people won when they have dissented against the government. And what do you think is meant by "well-regulated militia?"
 
 
+6 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 13:07
The "well-regulated militia" was created specifically to SQUASH rebellion, not to encourage it. Shay's rebellion is the reason for the 2nd Amendment.

The idea that the 2nd Amendment "protects us from our government" is not only delusional, but it's a distorted perversion, intentionally meant to confuse people about the fact that its true history shows THE EXACT OPPOSITE.
 
 
+15 # fredboy 2013-09-07 16:18
Because this is not what one might call "a great democracy."
 
 
-48 # lorenbliss 2013-09-07 16:26
Ms. Streisand's claim, "no government agency is going to come and take away guns from American citizens," is so notoriously wrong I can hardly believe it is anything other than a deliberate lie. Her own New York City repeatedly uses its gun registration records to confiscate legally owned firearms and in fact does so each time it expands its list of prohibited firearms. Similar confiscation routinely occurs in California and, under new laws, is also now occurring throughout New York State. Brute-force confiscation of legally owned firearms -- not just by cops but by kick-in-the-doo r Blackwater mercenaries -- took place in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Sorry, Ms. Streisand, forcible disarmament by confiscation is as real as...well, “rain on your parade.”
 
 
+8 # economagic 2013-09-07 21:45
lorenbliss, you are not wrong to fear your government. But you are mistaken in believing that your government wishes to confiscate your guns. Your government promotes gun ownership, more avidly than any other in the world. See Jouster's accurate statistics above.

What better way to maintain control over all the people than not merely to set them against each other, but to empower them to kill those who disagree with them, usually over inconsequential matters?

Please study the history of tyranny and propaganda, not stopping at the propaganda of your favorite sources. Broaden your own understanding. You're damn right I'm a liberal, and in the conservative sense, unlike those who try to transplant the liberalism of the world of 300 years ago into the present with no grasp of the real differences between those times. Kings were the tyrants then, but not now. Elected governments today are not the rulers (see "propaganda," above). Who are they fronting for?
 
 
-1 # lorenbliss 2013-09-07 23:08
economagic, I'll warrant I'm way further Left than you are – have gone to jail for it too – so please don't browbeat me with "damn right (you're) a liberal." Indeed Google me by name, Loren Bliss, or check out my blog, “Outside Agitator's Notebook.” But that is really beside the point; it does not change the reality of forcible disarmament in the United States. The confiscations I cited are all fact; research them and see for yourself. Or as you asserted, "broaden your own understanding.” Then perhaps you'll acknowledge the hideous truth: that with our Constitution slain beyond any rational hope of resurrection and our political system so corrupted by capitalism there is no possibility it can ever be redeemed, the only thing standing between ourselves and full-fledged Nazi-type death-camp tyranny is an armed Working Class. Once that's gone, there is no force on earth strong enough to prevent capitalism from fulfilling itself as Ayn Rand fascism – complete with the methodical extermination of any 99 Percenter who is deemed not exploitable for profit. (Why do you suppose there is already a murderous war on any part of the socioeconomic safety net that sustains elderly and disabled people?) Please wake up!
 
 
-9 # shraeve 2013-09-08 16:52
"Ayn Rand" and fascism are diametrically opposed.
 
 
+1 # kochadoodledoo 2013-09-08 05:55
"I'm a liberal, and in the conservative sense..." I like that. Me, too!
 
 
+28 # angelfish 2013-09-07 17:05
We are no longer a "great Democracy", Barbara. We are an Oligarchy run OF, BY, and FOR Big Business. People no longer matter EXCEPT, of course, for their buying power, and even THAT is being manipulated by the Dark Side. This Country began heading for the Crapper with the advent of the Reagan Administration. As soon as Big Business realized they could get one of their Shills elected, it was all over but the shouting. All they've done since, is promote more and more malleable fools as their Candidates. I have hope that the American people are sorely tired of what has happened in this Country and will show these rapists and pillagers the door in the Mid-term Elections. Sadly, that's ALL I have.
 
 
+14 # Jiovanna 2013-09-07 18:35
There's more if people unite against electoral laws that enable those with money to buy their servants into the public arena--voting is no longer working to represent the people
 
 
-29 # GyraSol 2013-09-07 17:43
Rifles are used to commit less murders than hammers, baseball bats and tire irons. As long as the rhetoric is inflammatory and specious, no substantial understanding of effective firearm legislation is possible.
 
 
+13 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 18:58
Rather than trying to break down the number of gun-related murders into different types of guns (to arbitrarily try to make it look like a smaller statistic), why not just tell the truth that 67.8% of all murders committed in the U.S. are by guns?

Oh yeah! That's right! It wouldn't fit your agenda!

Dia you know that hardly any murders are committed by bazookas or hand grenades each year, yet very few people feel safe with them in their homes? Why not?

Also, guns are specifically designed to kill. That's their purpose. Try slicing a hunk of cheese with a handgun, and you'll see my point.

A person "COULD" be killed with a plastic spoon. The murder would take hours and not be very pleasant to witness, yet no one is calling for a ban on plastic spoons! Why not?

Oh yeah! No one is calling for a ban on rifles either!
 
 
+5 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 21:36
Oops! I almost forgot:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/baseballbats.asp

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8
 
 
-9 # GyraSol 2013-09-08 07:03
Actually, a ban on certain rifles was exactly what has been defeated a number of times on the Federal level and enacted in many states. Please! understand the numbers that you are throwing around! More murders were committed with blunt objects than with rifles. That's a fact, period. There is a hysteria that is generated by certain factions against contemporary in-line rifles by demonizing them as "Assault weapons". Just as your phone has evolved, so have firearms.
According to the info that you supply, more people were killed without a weapon than with rifles.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 13:39
Look up the phrase, "losing the forest for the trees".

And more people were killed by rifles than by bazookas, or hand grenades. Maybe it's a question of availability.

Not everyone has immediate access to a rifle when they suddenly have a psychotic episode.

EVERYONE has access to a blunt object.

Look up how many people killed 10 or more people with one blunt object.

Now, instead of trying to separate guns into different categories to arbitrarily try to lower the perceived statistic, let's just focus on how many people were murdered by... GUNS.

That's 67.8%!!!

If 67.8% of murders in America were by GUN, wouldn't that be more than "with blunt objects"? You do realize that 100% is the maximum number of pre-cent the gubber-mint will allow ya'll to have, right? 67.8% is substantially more than half of 100%.

I know! I know! Fewer murders were committed by pink guns with daisies on them, than were committed by chainsaws. I get it, BUT 67.8% of ALL MURDERS were committed...

WITH

GUNS.

PERIOD.
 
 
-4 # GyraSol 2013-09-08 17:33
But no one is proposing to abolish GUNS! The buzz is about a weapon used in a very small proportion of firearms crime. If there were real intent to restrict the number of weapons used to commit murder I would be 100% behind it but that's not the proposal. Instead, rhetoric that is impassioned but hollow and untruths are used to obfuscate the issues.
I'm sorry: I do not know what the statistics are on murder with chainsaws.
 
 
+5 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 21:24
You're right. The fear mongering about "confiscating our weapons" is just a manipulative tactic.

No one is proposing "abolishing" anything actually. But, some are proposing that assault weapons no longer be sold legally. Note, that doesn't mean any will be confiscated that were purchased legally, and it also ONLY applies to assault weapons.

Maybe a lot of people aren't murdered by assault rifles, as a whole, but there's something about owning a weapon specifically designed to mow down as many people as possible in the smallest amount of time, whether they be children, war vets, or cripples, that specifically bothers some people.
 
 
-1 # GyraSol 2013-09-09 07:00
My point is that if we are indeed wanting to reduce firearm violence,restri cting a particular color of rifle wont do it. "Assault weapons" is the pejorative term attached to a device which is involved in a very small proportion of crimes committed with firearms. The ergonomics of contemporary firearms are different than blunderbusses and 1940's "sporting" rifles. Because the silhouette is associated with those weapons used by military, the term "Assault Weapon" has been attached. The rifles in millions of gun safes across the country are not "Assault Rifles" and the current effort to criminalize them and their owners is not an effective violence reducing tactic.
Most years, according to the info that you supplied, shotguns are involved in more slayings than rifles. No one is proposing to restrict shotguns.
The vast preponderance of firearm violence involves handguns. There are no proposals to ban the sale or possession of handguns. Actually sales are way up.
So what are we actually doing by proposing this arbitrary restriction against a symbol? Nothing. No effect except to criminalize millions of law abiding persons.
To reduce firearm violence requires a very different approach which we as a Nation are not prepared to embrace.
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-09-09 10:06
I agree. It would require reducing the number of ALL firearms drastically.
 
 
-2 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 20:40
GyraSol,
You are absolutely RIGHT !
If we outlaw ANYTHING granted by our Constitution, it will leave the subject up to INTERPRETATION. ..which leaves the door open for twisting the meaning of the intent of the law, which will for sure restrict the POPULUS, and later create the opportunity for restricting ALL the GUNS...or any other subject of the Civil Rights, granted by the Constitution. We MUST NOT restrict ANYTHING which is GRANTED by the U.S. CONSTITUTION.
 
 
-2 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 20:47
The real reason for a ban on these guns, which as is said do little of the killing, is to restrict the pretection of the common man from his government.
 
 
-11 # letsfixit 2013-09-07 20:01
A person who never had gun training and a person to teach them responsible behavior - which will never happen with up to 72 percent of kids being born out of wedlock-

Has no idea that throwing ideas out like Barbara will never fix themselves by more laws.

It takes a family and a community.
 
 
-18 # Sunnyvaleken 2013-09-07 18:18
Obviously, neither Clinton nor Babs have attempted by buy a semi-automatic rifle in California.

It is by far easier to vote than acquire a semi-automatic weapon of any kind.

While he was alive, my Uncle always voted Republican. After he died, he started voting Democrat. Go figure.
 
 
-12 # letsfixit 2013-09-07 19:57
So true. So true.
 
 
+14 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 19:58
REALLY? Do you have proof that someone voted in your dead uncle's name? If so, report them.

It's a felony and punishable by prison time. Conservatives HATE this crime. That's why they are spending so many tax dollars investigating it. That's ALSO why they've been able to catch so many people committing this terrible crime. How many? Two? Three? That's quite a national crime wave huh?!?

By the way, it's STILL Democrat - IC. A person can be a "Democrat", but he votes "Democrat-IC".

Repeat after me:

The runner is a good athlete. He's very athletic.
The painter is a good artist. He's very artistic.
The voter is a Democrat. His oppinions are Democratic.

"ic", turns a noun into an adjective. No, REALLY! IT DOES!

Look it up!

If it scares you to associate "Democrats" with "democracy", don't worry. First of all, "democratic" is non-partisan, or it would be capitalized. Second of all, you don't even believe in democracy.
 
 
-2 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 20:56
The improper voting has not just taken pace on behalf of Democrats.
During the vote stealing in the Bush Election in Florida; a black soldier came back to find that JEB ( then Gov. of Florida ) had collected a list of names of those who werefelons who could not vote....putting this poor black soldier on the list. HE COULD NOT VOTE AS HE WAS SEEN AS A FELON, AND HAD NEVER BEEN TO JAIL..This happened a lot..during that election. That is why GORE lost FLORIDA by what ....some 500 votes...??? Where was the justice to the voting rights....which sent our country FINANCIALLY to hell in a handbasket, and killed some 2 milllion INNOCENT Iraqis and some 4300 Beautiful American Soldiers..
 
 
+5 # economagic 2013-09-07 22:20
YOU again. So in this one instance you take California to be representative of the entire nation when it suits your purpose? Please consider the possibility that the Land of the Fruits and the Nuts, aka the Bowl of Granola, could be right not only on these two issues but on others.

Please learn some real history, and while you're at it, consider a course in "critical" thinking (formerly known simply as "thinking," and before that as "philosophy"). "Truth" is ephemeral, but one can learn to distinguish between reliable sources of information, based on long trails of evidence, and unreliable ones, supported only by contradictory information and demonstrable falsehoods.

Reread I Cor. 13.11.
 
 
+14 # ganymede 2013-09-07 18:41
Aren't we getting tired of all these silly debates about guns? Hopefully, we've reached the tipping point. More guns equals more gun violence and death. No one is going to take away guns from law-abiding gun owners, but the arrogance of a small minority of gun owners and the NRA is the problem. I saved the picture of the gun carrying idiot who 'rode' into Newton, CT on the anniversry of the shooting - it will forever stay in my mind. It's a photo of a power hungry fascist who thinks his gun is a penis!
 
 
+7 # da gaf 2013-09-07 18:58
I DON'T THINK IT WELL EVER GET ANY BETTER- CONSTANT VIOLENT MOVIES BEING SHOWN ON TV AND ELSE WHERE...CHILDRE N ARE CONDITIONED TO THINK KILLING IS FUN...HENCE THE UGLY CONSEQUENCES..O NE DOESN'T NEED TO BE VERY SMART TO SEE THE EFFECTS OF THIS PRACTICE-IT HAS TO BE ON PURPOSE- THESE PEOPLE BEHIND THE PRODUCTIONS OF THESE MOVIES CANNOT BE THAT STUPID!..
 
 
+22 # MADASHELL 2013-09-07 19:29
I have reviewed the second amendment many times, tried to interpret it as, it would seem, most Americans do. The first words in the second amendment are "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". There was no State National Guard when this amendment was written. Now, each state has a National Guard. Isn't that the "well regulated militia" the framers intended? Clearly, they could not anticipate the creation of the deadliest of weapons nor the ease with which they fall into the hands of sociopaths. We need a Supreme Court that will question the common interpretation ... the "wisdom" ... of the second amendment.
 
 
+11 # Billy Bob 2013-09-07 19:59
Shhh! That's a secret. Don't let it out, or you might be shot by a "patriot", who hasn't bothered to read it.
 
 
-16 # letsfixit 2013-09-07 19:56
Barbara is writing drivel. She's using concealed carry permit as a measure of validity against a school ID? Does she have any idea of the requirement to get one? No.

The use of murder statistics are silly when the majority occur in large cities with the majority of them committed by one group over another.

People who were not raised to shoot a gun at ten years of age believe they will jump off a table of their own free will and kill. This nation is divided in their percentage of serving in the military and those who have not. If you haven't walked a mile- how can you relate?

She says people can't vote yet in NM there is a well documented case of illegals voting in a small town of 100 with 600 on the register. Most of them died during the civil war- all because no ID REQUIRED and if voted in the previous presidential election - the name stays active.

Some day we will get serious as a nation with broadband Internet and a tech industry that can put our identity on a iris scan or fingerprint register.
 
 
+2 # economagic 2013-09-07 22:27
Really? You advocate a universal registry of personal identity? Wasn't that the great shibboleth of your intellectual ancestors 60 years ago, the Social Security number tattooed on everyone's arm? Did you not know that you had intellectual ancestors? That could be because the traces they left were dimmed because of the contradictions in their ravings, some uninformed, some in the service of the elites they pretended to hate. Learn some real history.

"in NM there is a well documented case of illegals voting in a small town of 100 with 600 on the register. Most of them died during the civil war- all because no ID REQUIRED"

Show me your source.
 
 
-3 # letsfixit 2013-09-08 15:06
http://www.gao.gov/htext/d05478.html

use your brain.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 15:48
That's a 132 page document.

Can you be a little bit more specific for some of us too stupid to read 132 pages on a whim just to check your source?

How about a page number?

Between the "drivel" insult and the one about "using brains", you show all the signs of someone unwilling to just stick to making an argument on its merits.

If this is your resource without being a bit more specific, my response is that the collected works of William Shakespeare are a good read too. I'm sure there's something of value in there. Read it all and get back to me, unless you're an idiot.
 
 
-5 # letsfixit 2013-09-08 20:43
why don't YOU do a little work?
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 21:25
If YOU make a claim, then YOU should be able to back it up. Telling me to read a 132 page document to search for something, anything to back up claims I DIDN'T MAKE is a weak argument.
 
 
-7 # letsfixit 2013-09-08 20:44
anyone with two first names sounds like an idiot to me.
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 21:44
I think it's pretty ironic that you're making fun of my name, when yours is, "LET'S FIX IT"...

...you know...

...considering the fact that you support GOP efforts to "FIX" elections!
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 13:41
What economagic said!

Please show all of us your source.
 
 
-4 # letsfixit 2013-09-08 15:14
What will the voter fraud denialists say about this?

The New Mexico secretary of state’s office is cross checking the state’s voter rolls with a list of thousands of foreign nationals who have been issued driver’s licenses.

The work is far from done, but Secretary of State Dianna Duran testified during a House committee Tuesday that the review has turned up evidence of foreign nationals obtaining a license, registering to vote and casting ballots.

In case you were wondering, that’s not supposed to happen.

A spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez, Scott Darnell, says the initial report from Duran’s office should concern every New Mexican.

He says every illegally cast vote disenfranchises a New Mexican and this is another reason why the governor wants to stop issuing licenses to illegal immigrants.

Under a 2003 law, the state has issued more than 80,000 driver’s licenses to foreign nationals, including illegal immigrants.
 
 
-3 # letsfixit 2013-09-08 15:15
Several days ago, I asked you: “What do you think is the single greatest source of voter fraud in this country?” To me, the answer is obvious and intuitive: votes cast by illegal immigrants.

By all accounts there are far more than 10 million illegal immigrants in this country. Most estimates are around 12-13 million; some are 16-17 million; some are as high as 20 million. We have gotten about 500,000 new illegal immigrants per year every year since 2004; from 2000-2004 this number was even higher, ranging from 800,000 to 850,000 new illegals every year.

We all know that these illegals do much of what citizens do: drive, work, receive health care, etc.

Many do these things off the books, driving without licenses and working without documentation. But many others do these things with phony documentation, obtaining fraudulent licenses and filling out work papers with bogus information.

Why wouldn’t they vote, too?

It certainly seems logically possible that there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal votes cast in this past election. If this is true, it is possible that illegal immigrants decided this election.
 
 
-5 # letsfixit 2013-09-08 15:20
New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran has turned over a staggering 64,000 cases of possible voter fraud to the state Department of Public Safety for investigation.

That’s more than 10 percent of the 607,000 people who voted in the 2010 general election in the state, the Santa Fe New Mexican points out.

At a legislative hearing earlier this year, Duran said 117 foreign nationals had managed to register to vote, and at least 37 of them actually did cast ballots in the election.

She cited the figures while testifying in support of a bill that would have required voters to show photo identification at polling stations.

Duran’s office didn’t explain how 37 cases of suspected illegal votes had swelled into 64,0000.

It didn’t say how many of those cases were believed to be illegal immigrants voting. In most states, voter fraud cases often involve felons who have lost voting privileges.

Duran’s office said some of the cases may be due to clerical error, but didn’t estimate how many that could be.

“It goes without saying, as is the case with virtually any set of data files, that there may be data-entry errors," Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer told the New Mexican.


Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico, told the newspaper she was amazed at the volume of suspected cases
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 16:43
I'll have to check out your sources more after I put the kids to bed tonight.

In the meantime, check these out:

UFO SIGHTINGS ARE MORE COMMON THAN VOTER FRAUD:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/voter-id-laws-charts-maps

MYTH OF VOTER FRAUD: http://www.brennancenter.org/issues/voter-fraud

THE VOTER FRAUD FRAUD:
http://www.thenation.com/blog/167217/voter-fraud-fraud#

------------

I assume that, since you rely on partisan republicans as a "non-biased" source to prove your point, you won't mind me citing an article from Mother Jones, right?
 
 
-3 # letsfixit 2013-09-08 20:41
and you rely on what?
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 21:42
I often rely on Reader Supported News.

Did you read this article, yet?

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/19278-florida-gop-led-voter-fraud-investigation-finds-nothing-except-gop-fraud

It's called:

FLORIDA GOP-LED VOTER FRAUD INVESTIGATION FINDS NOTHING EXCEPT GOP FRAUD.

Very interesting read. Very pertinent to our discussion, don't cha think?
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 21:35
To put it in less than 132 pages, do you have any sources who are not republican lawmakers, and right-wing rags, who support an aggressive agenda of purging the vote?

Long-winded republicans are not a good example of non-biased sources of information about the republican strategy of making it harder for poor people, elderly people, and college students to vote.

Instead of "suspected cases", why not focus on CONVICTIONS, where a court of law actually found people guilty?

Republicans are bending over backwards to use BIG GOVERNMENT SPENDING to fix a problem that simply DOES NOT EXIST.

Just saying it does, won't cut it. You have to PROVE IT.
 
 
+10 # tomtom 2013-09-07 21:30
About needing guns to protect us from our Government; we have a shit load of weapons, but, that hasn't stopped the Government from criminalizing and incarcerating us, allowing the banks to steal our homes, close our schools, waste our money on wars that profit Boeing, General Electric, etc., and perpetrate horrendous massacres on civilians around the world. No, guns aren't the Key to freedom.
 
 
+1 # brux 2013-09-08 01:34
The people haven't really rebelled yet ... so we are not really to the point that all of us have to protect ourselves from the government ... it might never happen ... or it might ... either way, the Constitution says we have a right to bear arms.

But I think the question asked - Why Is It Easier to Get an Assault Weapon Than to Vote? is a damn good one.
 
 
0 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 22:01
Tom...
Most people do not realize what you understand as a truth. I try to share how the Bankers and Corporations are the same investors..They ARE controlling America.
 
 
+4 # Andrew Chase 2013-09-07 22:22
Never liked her music, but I agree wholeheartedly with Streisand on this one.
 
 
+6 # sayenitnow 2013-09-08 00:11
Maybe the states with restrictive voting laws and those in the NRA's pocket will think more about their actions when they see a lack of fellow Americans vacationing or doing business with them. Maybe it is time for a boycott....
 
 
-6 # FDRva 2013-09-08 00:18
Ms Streisand's arguments are cogent--if irrelevant.

Does Streisand favor President Obama's apparent policy of starting a nuclear war with Russia--by attacking Russia's treaty partner--Syria?

Her celebrity is no excuse for military insanity. Perhaps, ex-US Senator--and ex-Marine Jim Webb could bring her up to speed.

I always liked Barbra Streisand--I just never thought of her as a cheerleader for World War III.

Live and learn.
 
 
+2 # barbaratodish 2013-09-08 01:24
Barbra is right, It may BE easier to get an assaut weapon than to vote. I was shopping for shoes by catalogue and made a phone call to what I thought was a shoe company and it was a missle company! This is the absolute truth!!!!!!!!!! !!!
 
 
+1 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 17:15
"These boots are made for walkin'
That's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots
Are gonna walk all over you"

-Nancy Sinatra (I don't know who wrote it)

This just seemed kind of appropriate to your comment.
 
 
+1 # brux 2013-09-08 01:32
> Why Is It Easier to Get an Assault Weapon Than to Vote?

F-ing well formed question Barb, you got a way with words.
 
 
+1 # ishmael 2013-09-08 02:01
Syria. Rwanda. Somalia. Afghanistan. Lots of access to guns by the cowards who use them.

Spend a while in a civilized country fora change. n eye-opener.
 
 
+4 # pernsey 2013-09-08 02:08
Yeah the rightwingers love to spout off about their right to have a gun...but hate to allow people the right to vote. The reason being is they know they cant get elected if they dont stifle the vote!
 
 
+1 # AreYouMadEnoughYet 2013-09-08 05:38
Voting does NOTHING. The left / right debate is a DISTRACTION. Jimmy Carter Says the United States is no longer a functional democracy.

Assault rifles require invasion of privacy and voting rights are not given, they are under assault. No matter who you vote for the Project for a New American Century has control of foreign policy, the Pentagon, our President and all that matters.

Voting is a distraction saying you have some say in any matter and you do not.We are a captured nation and whether we buy guns or vote will do not one thing to change it. The corporations, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Banks and those profiting from endless warmongering sucking our resources dry have complete and utter control.

Watch American Genocide and get it that Hitler got his ideas for destroying Jews from how WE destroyed the indigenous peoples here and you MIGHT begin to wake up. Stop fighting among yourselves and see a bigger power that believes in some weird reality: destroying the world and the people in it can allow them to thrive and be better off. You deserve to be free. Your children deserve to be free. Failing to trust yourself or your fellow man deprives you of that freedom. You do not need to stop each other from buying guns or voting. You need to stop the super elite from killing us all in pointless wars, with depleted uranium and chemical weapons which they sell to the people of distressed nations. Where else do you think these people get access to this shit?
 
 
-1 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 22:04
ARE YOU MAD..
AMEN, TO YOUR COMMENT.
( only 27% ownership of a corporation is required to control it ) The Bankers and Corporations are subjecting our citizens to, the loss of our jobs and monies, and the ability to make a decent middle class wage.
Prescott BUSH, ( Grandpa Bush ) was HITLER's BANKER.charged by the US. in the early 1940's FOR AIDING THE ENEMY AND PROFITTING from THE WAR WHICH CREATED GENOCIDE FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE IN GERMANY, as well as turmoil and death throughout Europe.
 
 
-1 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 22:06
Are You Mad.
checkout the list of top international rankings by coutry on wiki..
You will find what the Rothchild Bankers want from the countries thay are going to make us invade for. We are their war machine, brainwashed and all.
 
 
-1 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 22:09
The latest that was found in the hair of the Syrian dead was.. Sodium Floride.
Well Hell, we are getting the SAME ONLY, slow death in our drinking water.They know what they are doing to us....and we swallow their lies several times daily.
 
 
+5 # Granny3M 2013-09-08 09:22
By the way, it's STILL Democrat - IC. A person can be a "Democrat", but he votes "Democrat-IC".

Repeat after me:

The runner is a good athlete. He's very athletic.
The painter is a good artist. He's very artistic.
The voter is a Democrat. His opinions are Democratic.

"ic", turns a noun into an adjective. No, REALLY! IT DOES!

Look it up!

Thank you, Billy Bob, for clearing this up for the uneducated out there. I'm sick and tired of people saying/writing Democrat when it should be Democratic, spitting it out like an expletive. What's the Republican[ic] equivalent--the re isn't any, except perhaps Tea Party.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 21:31
Thank you for caring about this.

Do you want to know why republicans say "Democrat" as an adjective?

It's plain and simple. Someone told them that "Democrat" ends in "rat". They're big believers in the propaganda war, and covert advertising. Strategically, their puppet-masters buy into the idea of subliminal advertising, and really think avoiding the "ic" would unsettle the stomachs of the weak-minded.

It's childish and stupid, but I don't think they always had this problem. It seems to only go back as far as the republican attack adds in 1996 (I think, maybe?) featuring the word:

democRAT prominently, in a traditional "sex sells" approach.
 
 
+9 # gotsmarter 2013-09-08 09:46
Extremists try to make the argument sound as if "The Government" wants to take away our guns. That couldn't be further from the truth, so don't allow that to stand unchallenged in an argument. In fact, most of We the People, including elected officials in "The Government," have a gun in the house. The truth is, We the People don't want more than 10 bullets in a magazine so we can't be mowed down in a mall or movie theater or school. We the People don't want war rifles on our streets. We the People want regulation and background checks. Simple. We the People want to vote.
 
 
+4 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 21:37
Great comment. Thank you!
 
 
-2 # Chrisp 2013-09-09 22:32
The Syrian war will be initiated to create a situation to invade Iran, which is an Ally of Syria, which is necessary to set up a central bank in Iran. Iran is only one of three countries left in the world without a Rothschild Central Bank, after the invasion of Iraq. The The US is being used as a WAR MACHINE of the Bankers to create this and every other war which moves forth their agenda, for the last 100 years.
Rothschild said In His book in the 1800's " if I can print a country's money, I can control its politics. " THUS, Having A POPULOUS RUN GOVT...IS IMPOSSIBLE.
Our government is being run like a dictatorship.
They setup of the US Central Bank in 1913...and have been pulling the financial and political strings OF THE USA since.
This latest info on the sodium fluoride shows how the US govt. is NOT run by us.
Nearly 100 years of war has been created by the Rothschild Banking System, which is completely on course to achieving their deadly agenda of world dominance.
They cannot control the WHOLE world without controlling the last 3 countries lackingt a Rothschild Bank..They are ....IRAN, N. KOREA, and CUBA.
 
 
-3 # lnason@umassd.edu 2013-09-08 09:51
The headline appears not to be true.

I vote in every election without incident but I cannot even get a gun permit here in Massachusetts much less obtain an assault weapon (ownership of which has been illegal for quite a while).

I do not approve of most of the measures that Republicans have been taking to limit what they see as fraud -- in-person fraud is pretty rare and, as this article states, a miniscule problem. But fraud does exist and it is sometimes serious enough to change the outcome of an election.

If Republicans were a bit smarter, they would investigate the actual cases of fraud and take steps to eliminate the sources which are generally insiders at inner city polling places miscounting votes to favor their preferred candidate.

A prime example would be the fact there were 59 precincts in Pennsylvania where Obama received 100% of the votes and Romney received zero votes. Given that at least a few people routinely make errors voting or can't see well enough to vote properly, this result is statistically impossible -- more impossible than the worst rigged elections held by Soviet-era pols in the USSR or Mugabe or Saddam Hussein or the Il family in North Korea.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-09-08 13:49
Not everyone is allowed to vote, even though EVERYONE SHOULD BE allowed to.

Everyone is capable of obtaining a gun, one way or another (they're literally everywhere in this country), even though NOT EVERYONE should be allowed to.

If you can't get a gun where you live, you can go somewhere else and get it. You can even bring it back with you. You can get a gun pretty easily. If you don't think so, you're obviously not looking for one.

If, for example, you can't vote in your precinct in North Carolina, where do you go? To Massachusetts? NOPE - NOT LEGAL.

In short, YOU'RE SCREWED.

Billy Bob
Earth, solar system, Milky Way, local group, universe, multiverse, twinkle in God's eye.
 
 
-3 # letsfixit 2013-09-08 15:09
excellent discussion. That is very important to look at the truth, which we don't want to do unless it fulfills an agenda.

what you mention is STATISTICALLY impossible but no one will acknowledge that. Too many dangling chads I guess.
 
 
+4 # Rcomm 2013-09-08 11:30
Any citizen of this country should be allowed to vote with as few hindrances as possible. Any politician, at any level, who works for or introduces legislation making it more difficult to vote does not deserve to serve as an elected office and should be removed as quickly as possible..
 
 
+1 # Lizspeace 2013-09-09 15:22
I am feeling very lucky living in NY State. They SEND me my voter registration card EVERY time there is an election. My signature is my bond.That's it! As far as gun control, the Second Amendment was written in a far different time. For f**k sake they had cannons and muskets when it was written. I'm sure they never envisioned assault weapons with 30 rounds in a clip with bullets that explode within the victim. i'm a nurse and have seen the destruction just one of those bullets can do.
 

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