Senate holds Hearing for Assault Weapons Ban

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee focused on assault weapons. The hearing was chaired by longtime gun advocate and author of the 1994 ban, Sen. Dianne Feinstein-CA and backed by President Obama’s administration. The committee discussed points about legislation to reinstate a new assault weapons ban.

The committee opened with emotional testimony from Newtown Dad, Neil Heslin, who spoke of his son, Jesse:

Neil's sincerity is impossible to deny. All of us can empathize with such an unspeakable loss of the person we love. He speaks of his son's final days and the simple moments of life-- to change so quickly and darkly at just 6 years old. Neil opens by saying how difficult it is to testify, but he does so in hopes that the laws will change and no one will ever have to make such testimony again.

"I'm hear to speak up for my son, because many things have to happen."

"It breaks my heart that something like this could happen in this country, at an elementary school..."

"Jesse grew up with guns, just like I did. I started skeet when I was 8 years old. My dad was a vice president for years at local gun club. He started taking me shooting when I was 8...He taught me respect guns, just like I taught Jesse..."

"Some guns just don't have any place in the hands of civilians. The assault weapons we're talking about today, their sole purpose is to put a lot of lead out in a battlefield quickly. That's what they do. That's what they did at Sandy Hook Elementary. That wasn't a killing' it was a massacre. Those guns and those clips let Adam Lanza massacre those kids. And my son was one of them."

"I've always thought it wasn't a real good idea for people to be walking around the streets with military weapons, but I probably wouldn't have said anything...But right now isn't about politics."

"Let me tell you, when you're sitting at a firehouse and it's one in the morning and you're hoping against hope that your son is still hiding somewhere in that school, you want any change that makes it one bit more likely that you'll see you boy again. If keeping those unnecessary weapons off the street would have let one more of those children leave that school building."

"I asked a question a month ago, what purpose those (assault weapons) served in civilian's hands or on the street. I never got an answer- but they did blurt the second amendment. It wasn't about the second amendment- I uphold the second amendment- I want to see that upheld and regulated and it hasn't been."

Jesse was killed along with 19 other elementary school children at Sandy Hook. As Sen. Dianne Feinstein opened the hearing, all the children's faces were displayed on a billboard just behind her head. If violence against our children will not cause Congress to end gun violence, nothing will. Please, stand with DFA and call on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban.

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Categories: Guns

LaPierre Preaches to Mislead the Choir

In Salt Lake City this Saturday, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre blasted forth the same second amendment post apocalyptic rhetoric again. As a featured speaker at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo, LaPierre renewed attacks on universal background checks. Most misleadingly he preached that universal background checks would create a national gun registry which would ultimately confiscate American’s guns. Of course, this is completely illogical yet that hasn't seemed stop the CEO.

Watch Full Video Here:

The video opens with a ‘Stand and Fight ’commercial—which could be easily confused as an ad for anarchy.

2:30—2nd amendment is “not a frivolous suggestion... the very heart of what this country was founded upon” Yes, excellent point, everything is pretty much exactly like it was when we had 13 colonies. After all, Queen Elizabeth could decide to reclaim the Americas at any moment.

4:05—Clearly, LaPierre believes Dianne Feinstein is an old cat lady sitting in dark cave biding her time till a horrific crisis takes place— then she will slap legislation on the table to take all ze firearms! Mwahahaha. #accurate

6:44—Powerful elites have security… like Obama’s daughters? I think we can all agree the American President’s daughters might need a security guard or two. Thanks.

6:53—“When the glass breaks in the middle of the night”—Yup, no idea.

7:33—LaPierre admits he is crazy.

8:04—LaPierre warns against “so called” background checks—not as reasonable as you think because: criminals do NOT follow laws. By this logic, why have any laws? Hooray anarchy again.

9:20—LaPierre brought footage! “One of the biggest gun haters on the planet” celebrating NY Senior senator Chuck Schumer’s strong stance on gun safety. Calling it the most honest moment in Schumer’s career.

10:17—Imagine your name on a massive government list. Let’s see Social Security, Voter registration, Drivers Liscenses, Taxes, petitions, hmmm… why am I not afraid?

Answer at 11:13, good old Wiki-leaks and China. Both care lots (and I mean lots) about how many guns Grandpa Joe and Aunt Ruth have.

12:48—More anarchy.

13:50—President Obama has Mexican friends. These Mexican friends... he’s gonna give them lists of all America’s gun owners.

17:00—“The vast majority of American people are behind us”—Funny, because I’m pretty sure they’re not… Moreover, every credible poll since Sandy Hook has shown overwhelming support from Americans including NRA members to see stronger gun safety legislation.

17:15—LaPierre:“By 2014, we’re gonna be a lot stronger.” –Ok, now I’m afraid.

17:55—Weird pause. Pretty awkward.

18:48—LaPierre tells the crowd to stand up. Like literally stand up which magically secures LaPierre a standing-O—probably the best show of tact he’s had all night.

LaPierre’s fanatical 'fears' or 'claims' about gun safety legislation are not only misleading, they're false. No one, not even the most progressive Democrats, are speaking about overturning the Second Amendment. LaPierre's goals are purely to distract the American people from taking aim at the gun industry he protects. All we are talking about is legislation that promotes responsible gun ownership so our children and families are safe. Comprehensive universal background checks are an effective way to do that. An assaults weapons ban would dramatically do that—and if you haven’t already, please, sign here and join our call to congress.

Stand up with DFA against the NRA and call for Congress to pass gun safety legislation now. Let us know what YOU think in comments. We need to come together to end the horrible gun violence in America today.

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Categories: Guns

Packing Heat For Pizza

 In Virginia Beach, All Around Pizza & Deli will give a 15% discount to customers who bring in a gun or show a gun permit.

The owner, Jay Laze claims 80% of his customers have walked in with a gun since his new discount began last week—including a customer carrying an AK-47—yup, that's a Russian assault weapon.

Laze says, “It’s been awesome.” In fact, he’s considering making the new business model permanent. Most incredible is that this crazy unsafe promotion is apparently legal. Because the state of Virginia has open carry laws—a person with a gun can go just about anywhere including a pizza joint, the bank, hospital, store, or a bar.

Most shockingly, Laze’s model isn’t the first. In Utah, a frozen yogurt shop “Farr’s Fresh” gives a $1 discount to customers who bring in concealed carry permits—it was this that inspired Laze’s move: “I though it was a great idea, and I was wondering why nobody here was doing it. It should be happening all around the country”

Thankfully, it is not happening all around the country. However, models such as this encourage the same irresponsible behavior that lawmakers and safety specialists discourage against. Despite this, Laze continues to promote this bizarre pitch, as he openly says he hires delivery men with gun permits.

It is truly mind-blowing that in this point in time, when most of the country is becoming more and more aware of how impotent are gun laws are—a restaurant promotes ‘packing heat for pizza’—with no satire. This is not an SNL skit, this is a real place in Virginia Beach and Jay Laze is a real business owner.

At DFA we are calling for an end to gun violence and a stand for responsible gun ownership.

Join our effort to take down the Tea Party Congress, and replace them with a more open-minded, open to compromise, rational Congress. We want to see real and rational change for gun safety. After you join, head on over here and donate to help fund our initiatives to bring more progressives to Congress in 2014.

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Categories: Guns

John Deserves a Vote

At the State of the Union, the President made an emotional appeal for improved gun safety -- an appeal echoed by the thousands of Americans whose families and communities are ripped apart by gun violence every year.

Americans like John Woods. John was a student at Virginia Tech when a shooter massacred 32 people, including John's girlfriend, Maxine. His message is heartbreaking and powerful -- and we're going to make sure it's heard in Washington.

Democracy for America has put together a new T.V. ad of John telling his story, in his own words. Watch it, then donate $3 or more today to help us put it on the air during this Sunday's edition of This Week.

Washington's lawmakers and power-brokers pay close attention to the Sunday news programs -- and they'll notice when we run our ad on Sunday's This Week. But we need to raise $25,000 by Friday to get our ad on the air for this Sunday's show.

This is going to be a tough fight. The gun lobby is already mobilized to crush even the most common-sense reforms, like universal background checks. They've had plenty of practice, and have the Hill connections and money to do it again.

But the tide is turning. The tragedies in Newtown, Aurora, and Blacksburg have moved millions of Americans to call for action. And this ad will cause more to step up and demand change. Because as the President said, the victims of gun violence deserve a vote.

Contribute $3 or more now to help put John's message on This Week.

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