Wednesday, January 30, 2013
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
Senate Begins Debate On Second Amendment
The Senate Judiciary Committee today began hearings on legislation aimed at limiting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American citizens. The committee began the hearing with an emotionally powerful statement from former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and critically injured two years ago by a madman.
In his opening statement, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, went straight to the core of some of the left’s key talking points. Here are some of his remarks:
“The 1994 assault weapons ban did not stop Columbine. The Justice Department found the ban ineffective. Scholars have indicated that refining or expanding such legislation will not cut gun violence.
“We hear that no one needs to carry larger magazines than those that hunters use to shoot deer. But an attacking criminal, unlike a deer, shoots back.
“Contrary to what you may have heard, Congress has never prohibited [the Center for Disease Control] from researching gun violence. Rather, Congress prevented federal research to ‘advocate or promote gun control,’ which some government researchers had been doing under the guise of taxpayer supported science. ”
Senator Grassley’s point about the effectiveness of gun control legislation cannot be overstated. It was reported last night that Hadiya Pendleton, a 15 year-old honors student who had performed with her Chicago-area high school band at President Obama’s inauguration, was shot and killed yesterday on her way home from school.
If strict gun control laws worked, Chicago would be the safest place in the country. But even the New York Times admits, the city with no gun shops or firing ranges, bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, is “laboring to stem a flood of gun violence that contributed to more than 500 homicides last year and at least 40 killings already in 2013.”
In fact, in the last decade more Americans have been shot and killed in Chicago than in Afghanistan.
Immigration Reform: Obama vs. Rubio
The latest debate over immigration reform has just begun, and it’s already off to a rocky start. A bi-partisan coalition of senators offered a set of broad outlines for reform on Monday. Their plan, as of now, hinges on securing the borders before illegal immigrants already in the country can begin down the so-called “pathway to citizenship.”
President Obama yesterday laid out his goals for immigration reform during a speech to a majority Hispanic high school in Las Vegas, Nevada, whose students interrupted his speech with chants of “Si se puede! Si se puede!,” (Yes we can! Yes we can!).
During his remarks, the president made it clear that border security is not his first priority. In fact, he implied that the borders were just fine. But illegal immigration is on the rise. The Border Patrol reported that it made more than 350,000 arrests last year, up 9% from 2011.
We are also learning today that Mexican drug cartels are not just trying to sneak into the country, but they also trying to corrupt our border security agencies.
The Washington Examiner reports that an internal study conducted by the Department of Homeland Security has identified at least “15 incidents in which known associates of Mexican drug cartels tried to infiltrate the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.” In addition, “146 agency officers and agents have been charged with or convicted of corruption-related offenses since Oct. 1, 2004.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) warned that Obama’s lax approach to border security could doom any efforts to reform the immigration system. Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, Rubio said that Obama seemed more interested in starting a “bidding war to see who can come up with the easiest, quickest and cheapest pathway to a green card.”
After the president’s speech, Senator Rubio said, “I am concerned by the president’s unwillingness to accept significant enforcement triggers before current undocumented immigrants can apply for a green card. Without such triggers in place, enforcement systems will never be implemented and we will be back in just a few years dealing with millions of new undocumented people in our country.”
He’s right, of course. That is exactly what happened after the 1986 amnesty and it is why the public reacted so strongly against the amnesty legislation that was proposed during the Bush administration.
Mahmoud’s Menacing Monkey
Iran made a big announcement Monday — it had launched a monkey into space. Many in the elite media mocked the report. “Big deal,” they said. “We did that in the 1949. Nothing to worry about.” They are wrong. This is a big deal, and we should be worried.
Iran is aggressively pursuing nuclear technology. Its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the map. Its supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, routinely refers to the United States as the “great Satan.” So, what does the space monkey have to do with any of that? As retired Israeli Brigadier General Asaf Agmon explained:
“[Iran’s] space program is connected to their missile program and the science you need to launch a monkey into space is the same that you need to send a warhead over the Atlantic Ocean, so there’s a connection and the world can’t ignore it.”