The Second Amendment Explained

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution has been grossly warped, twisted, and otherwise wrenched out of context.  In reality, it’s actually very simple and straightforward:

Second Amendment
Not Complicated

“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.”

Let’s break this down:

“A well regulated…”

The term “regulated” was commonly used in the 1700s instead of “trained.”  It’s modifier, “well,” simply means “properly,” especially to the extent of “fully.”  This, this phrase in today’s language might read, “A properly and fully-trained…”


Countless writings of our Founding Fathers firmly establish their view that every able-bodied man, woman, and child capable of carrying and properly using a firearm constitutes the “militia.”  This fact was deeply researched and properly documented in the 1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

“…being necessary to the security of a free state…”

The term “state” had multiple meanings, but a casual glance at the Constitution reveals that all references to state in terms of an actual state, such as Virginia or Maryland, or even collectively or as referenced generically, the term state was capitalized:  “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.” – Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

So, if it doesn’t mean a “State” as in one of the states in our Union, or a generic term for any state, what does it mean?  A quick check of Webster’s Dictionary reveals the first definition is appropriate:  “a mode or condition of being.”  So, to make this abundantly clear, are you in a state of slavery, or a state of freedom?  Being “necessary to the security of a free state” simply means it is something necessary to protect freedom.  But again, many writings by our Founding Fathers made this abundantly clear, and were reported in the 1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

“…the right of the people…”

First, the key word here is “right.”  It’s a right, not a privilege.  It’s called the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Privileges.  A privilege is something earned, or allowed so long as certain conditions are met.  It can be taken away, either by due process, or even on a whim.  A right is irrevocable because it’s not something that’s granted in the first place.  It’s an condition inherent in humanity itself.  It can be recognized, or trod upon, but it cannot be taken away, at least no without violating the laws of God and Godly men.

Second, the term “the people” has been firmly established as applying to all citizens of the United States of America, not only by the countless writings of our Founding Fathers, but also by the 1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, as well as numerous federal court decisions, and even two U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

“…to keep and bear arms…”

To own and carry.

“…shall not be infringed.”

There is no wiggle room on this last phrase.  It doesn’t say “will not.”  It certainly doesn’t say “may

Congressmen who support the Constitution
Congressmen who support the Constitution

not.”  Every Technical Order I was issued with regards to the operation of both the B-52H and the C-130E had a “may, will, and shall” section which defined these terms in no uncertain terms.  Bottom line, there was no wiggle room with respect to “shall,” the violation of which could damage the aircraft, it’s crewmembers or passengers, or result in fatalities of not followed to the letter.  Violations of “shall” items on checkrides were heavily critiqued, if not grounds for a downgrade or bust.

As for the meaning of the word “infringe,” I’ll simply reference Webster’s Dictionary:  “1.  to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another <infringe a patent>
2.  obsolete : defeat, frustrate ”

I like the second one better, and although it may be “obsolete” today, it wasn’t when the Second Amendment was signed into law along with the other nine Constitutional Amendments known collectively as our Bill of Rights.

Exercise your rights! If you don’t exercise the First Amendment in order to protect the Second, you may wind up having to exercise the Second Amendment in order to protect the First.”

Finally, be educated!

The Many Problems with Obama’s 23 Executive Orders on Gun Control

While only three are actually “executive orders,” all of what Obama spewed forth last week is troubling, if not outright illegal.  Without further ado, let’s just get to it:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

gun control
If you don’t want it … DON’T ALLOW IT!!! Our nation is one of the people, by the people, and for the people. Those guys in Washington? We elect them to serve our nation. They serve us, not the other way around.

What “relevant data” does Obama want released?  Does this include any sort of data currently protected under HIPPA?  Would this allow the federal background check system to deny a firearm permit on the basis of certain medications?  What about diagnoses?  Would a permit be denied for a simple mental health visit?

The problem with the first of Obama’s edicts is that it’s nebulous.  If acted on without regard to the Constitution and its amendments, countless rights violations would ensue.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

These “barriers” as Obama calls them, aren’t barriers at all.  They’re protections, specifically built into the system to protect the rights and the privacy of all citizens.  Attempting an end-run around them is unconstitutional.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

The current background check system allows states the option of conducting their own checks or using the FBI’s system.  As the FBI’s system does not meet the the privacy requirements of our State Constitution and its Statutes, our State conducts its own background checks.

This recommendation is nothing more than Obama’s way of back-dooring national gun registration, a step which historically has always lead to firearms confiscation, then oppression of the people by an ever-growing federal government.

This idea is utterly abhorrent to everyone who has fought for the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.  It directly violates both the spirit and intention of the Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Tenth Amendment’s limit on the powers of the federal government.

Put simply, it’s un-Constitutional.  Even suggesting it violates Obama’s oath of office to support and defend the Constitution.  Any support of it would violate the oath of office of any civilian, military, or law-enforcement officer.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

This is a slippery slope upon which we must not step foot.  It’s the same slope used (rather, abused) by the Nazis to identify, then incarcerate “persons of interest,” those whom the government considers “dangerous.”  Dangerous to whom?  To others?  Or to the government?  Once this line is crossed, it only gets worse, until the feds will have rounded up every “dissident” simply for standing up for their Constitutional rights.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

Was the gun seized legally?  If not, this is a wide-open door to violate a person’s rights under the Fourth Amendment.  Law enforcement already has the authority to temporarily seize a firearm during routine traffic stops, along with the authority to run plates and a driver’s license.  How does that differ from a “full background check?”  If a person holds a concealed weapons permit, they’ve already had a “full background check.”

Furthermore, how long is this “full background check” going to take?  A week?  Ninety days?  If so, this is nothing more than an excuse to deprive an individual the right to keep and bear arms.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

There is currently no requirement for private sales to involve background checks.  Making it a requirement will have absolutely zero effect on illegal gun sales (sales to criminals) while imposing an expensive and unnecessary burden on law-abiding citizens.  A similar argument could be made about sales from gun stores.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

The NRA’s Eddie Eagle Gun Safety programs have resulted in sharp declines in firearms accidents

gun control
Whenever we allow compromise, WE are the ones who lose.

among children.  As it is, the CDC’s reports indicates some very interesting results.  They’re interesting because they indicate the death rate due to firearms is exceptionally low.  It’s so low, in fact, that it doesn’t even appear on the CDC’s top 15 list.  For example, in 2010, total deaths by firearms came to 1.24% of the total for all ages, and just 0.25% of the total for those aged 1-14 years.

The fifteen leading causes of death are: Diseases of the heart, malignant neoplasms, chronic lower respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, accidents (unintentional – includes motor vehicle crashes), alzheimer’s, diabetes melittus, nephritis and nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, influenza and pneumonia, intentional self-harm (suicide), septicemia, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease, parkinson’s, and pneumonitis due to solids and liquids (choking). Even this last comes in at 5.5 per 100,000, which is nearly double that of homicide by firearm.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

Firearms which must be locked up until needed are rarely accessible in a timely manner.  They’re next to useless in stopping home invasions, much less armed robberies.  They’re about as useless as seat belts which remain unfastened, or life jackets which remain in storage, which is why nearly all state and federal laws require seat belts to be fastened and life jackets to be worn.

Obviously, leaving a firearm unattended not appropriate, particularly around children.  However, the proper place for a firearm is in its holster, worn on one’s person.  For those of us who live alone, however, any requirement to keep it locked up puts us at risk of not being able to defend ourselves, and is unacceptable.

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

This is yet another back-door attempt at gun registration, without which such “tracing” would be impossible.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

I sincerely hope the first such firearms to be analyzed will be those lost and stolen guns from Operation Fast and Furious.  If not, if the DoJ is incapable of keeping track of their own firearms, it’s unreasonable to ask them to analyze information on the lost and stolen guns of others.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

When compared to their budget, the ATF has a dismal record.  It currently costs them approximately $115,000 for each and every person they recommend for federal prosecution for firearms possession just through the Project Safe Neighborhoods framework.  Many of those recommended for prosecution are never convicted.

Besides, B. Todd Jones, the acting director of the ATF, has already been nominated for the permanent position, subject to Senate approval, of course.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

Law enforcement, first responders, and school officials already have proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

This is so nebulous its not even worth addressing, except to note that the most effective means of preventing gun violence is to relax gun control laws.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

This was done during an earlier Democratic administration, and the answer wasn’t what was expected.  Basically, the three-year study published its findings in a 800+ page report which concluded that no amount of gun control legislation has ever had a positive impact on gun violence.  Instead, it found that that the most effective means of preventing gun violence is to relax gun control laws, to make it easier for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

Basically, it supports the wisdom that infringement on the right to keep and bear arms is a causative factor in increasing gun violence.  As for the other factors, suicide by firearm (0.79%) is nearly twice the rate of homicide by firearm (0.45%).  Even so, twice as many suicides are committed by means other than firearms, and the report stated that suicide by firearms has dropped while total suicides have remained steady on a per-capita basis.

As for firearms homicides, no study is required to determine that there are three reasons:  Greed (robbery), hate (crimes of passion), and the least likely causal factor, mental instability/insanity.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

There is no “magic pill” with respect to firearms safety, and reliance on such technology diminishes the most effective safety protocol:  Human.  Jeff Cooper advocated four simple rules of firearms safety which, if followed, would eliminate nearly all firearms accidental deaths and injuries, and without any need for expensive gadgets which ironically tend to get in the way of the safe and effective operation of a firearm.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

My Second Amendment rights are none of my doctor’s business.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

gun control
It’s OUR Bill of Rights. It’s up to US, We The People, to protect it from those who would take our rights away from us.

Health care providers are not qualified to determine what constitutes a credible threat against a law enforcement authority.  Only sworn law enforcement officers and certain types of mental health care providers have the requisite training, and current law already allows for such reporting.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

That’s up to the States and the school districts.  However, the best incentive is protection of the children.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

While this is indeed a good idea, the critical fact which must be remembered is that the only effective way to stop a shooter is to shoot them.  Attempts at tackling a shooter usually winds up with the tacklers seriously injured or killed.  Tasers are ineffective against an armed gunman due to their very limited range.  The fact remains that more shooting sprees are stopped by citizens than by law enforcement, and more than 2/3 of the time that’s accomplished by armed citizens.

Another critical fact is that so-called “gun free zones” don’t work.  They’re a magnet for those who commit shooting sprees.  Only a known armed force will deter such shooters.  More than a month ago I outlined a plan for the screening and selection of a small group of armed teachers for each school.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

The last four recommendations, along with a few others, delve nebulously into mental health.  Without clearer, better-defined terms, however, along with restrictions protecting and respecting all existing Constitutional rights, including those provided by the various State Constitutions.

Right now, Obama’s recommendations make no such promises or provisions, which is why so many sheriffs around the country have lined up to oppose it.

Gun Appreciation Day

Today is Gun Appreciation Day, something I firmly believe Ronald Reagan would very much have liked to see.

I am a law-abiding citizen.

I will be wearing my properly-holstered firearm in plane view as I go about my business today.

This is legal not only in my own state, but in 44 of our 50 United States.  Only 15 of those states allowing open carry require a permit.  Colorado does not.

Our Constitution FORBIDS any an all infringements against our right to keep and bear arms.  Our municipal, county, state, federal, and even Presidential legislative and executive bodies are pissing in the wind if they even remotely believe any of their efforts to “keep us safe” will ever stand up in court.

Furthermore, they’re REALLY pissing in the wind if they think their efforts will do ANYTHING to keep us safe.  Sixty-seven years of FBI statistics says the most effective way to reduce crime is to eliminate gun control laws.  Criminals respect the fact if they target honest, law-abiding citizens who’re armed, they stand a good chance of winding up dead.

This fact has been far more effective than all the gun control legislation throughout our entire world.  Many countries have recognized this fact.  Our founding fathers recognized this fact.

Countries who have ignored this fact have implemented gun controls and found their crime rates sky-rocketing (U.K. and Australia).  A few more infamous countries implemented gun registration, then restrictions, and finally firearms confiscation, just prior to their confiscation and extermination (polite word for MURDER) of “dissidents,” which is another word for those of us who’re exercising our First Amendment rights “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

And now, I’ll conclude with my perennial:  Grow a brain.

UPDATE:  Gun appreciation day was a success!  Despite tens of thousands of armed law-abiding citizens marching on their State Capitols, not a single shot was fired!  No one was injured, and no skirmishes broke out.  They didn’t camp out for weeks on end, and reports indicate many folks remained afterwards to “clean up.”  The grounds wound up being cleaner than when protesters supporting our Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms first arrived.

Rules for Going to a Gun Fight

In civilian circles a firefight is known as a gun fight, so quite naturally the very first and most important rule when going to a gunfight is:

1. Have a gun.
1.1 Preferably, have at least two guns.

All additional rules are supplemental to that first rule.

2. Bring all of your friends who have guns.
2.1 Preferably, they will all have at least two guns.

3. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice.
3.1 Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
3.2 There’s no additional paperwork for shooting someone more than once.
3.3 Two in the chest, one in the head is not a bad plan

4. Only hits count.
4.1 The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

5. If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

6. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance or tactics.
6.1 They will remember who lived.

7. Proximity negates skill. Distance is your friend.
7.1 Lateral and diagonal movements are preferred.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be doing something else.
8.1 Communicating, reloading or running are the preferred things.

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on the “pucker factor” than on the inherent accuracy of the gun.
9.1 Use a gun that works every time.
9.2 All skill is in vain when an Angel pisses in the flintlock of your musket.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun.
10.1 If they do, they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Always cheat, always win.
11.1 The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.
12.1 Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work.
12.2 If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn’t plan your mission properly.

13. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.

14. Flank your adversary when possible.
14.1 Protect your own flank.

15. Don’t drop your guard.

16. Always perform a tactical reload and then threat scan 360 degrees.

17. Watch their hands. Hands kill.
17.1 In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them.

18. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.

19. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

20. Be polite. Be professional.
20.1 Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

22. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a “4”.

23. Nothing handheld is a reliable stopper, even if it does start with a “4”.

How AMERICANS Feel About The New Gun Laws

Approximately 95,000 Americans have voted in this online poll about the new gun laws.  That’s thirty times as many responses as are required to obtain an an accurate statistical sample.

As of midnight, January 15, 2013, these are the results:

1.  Should the federal government regulate guns of any type?

75% of Americans say “NO.”

2.  Should Congress ban semi-automatic weapons?

82% of Americans say “NO.”

3.  If Congress does not act, should President Obama use an executive order to ban or strictly control the sale of semi-automatic weapons?

84% of Americans say “NO.”

4.  Do you agree that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to own and bear guns without infringement?

86% of Americans say “YES.”

new gun laws
Obama and Predecessors


A Word About Martial Law in the United States of America

A recent article asked, “Is martial law justified if ISIS attacks?”

Ben Carson has repeatedly stated that he believes there is a chance that the 2016 elections may not be held at all. Widespread martial lawanarchy gripping the country could be reason enough for the Obama administration to announce the implementation of martial law and the suspension of some, if not all, of Americans’ constitutionally protected rights — including the right to vote and hold national elections.

Obama himself has stated he believes that he can legally institute martial law throughout America.

He’s wrong.  Not only is federally-implemented martial law not justified in that situation, it’s not justified in any situation.  In fact, it’s patently illegal.

For all our sakes, if not for the sake of our entire country, let’s examine why federally-implemented martial law is illegal in these United States of America:

1.  The U.S. Constitution is “the supreme Law of the Land.” – Article IV of the U.S. Constitution.

There is no higher law or authority save that of God himself, even those Obama would like to think so.  No legislation, actions, or martial lawexecutive orders which violate our Constitution will stand up in court, much less the court of public opinion.  Furthermore, all sworn military, civil, and law enforcement officers throughout America are under oath to refuse any law or edict which violates the Constitution.  In fact, every U.S. Citizen shares this responsibility, if not duty, to oppose even the mere mention of federally-imposed martial law.

This is perhaps one of the most powerful checks against tyranny We the People have out our disposal.  If our government is not authorized to do something, We the People absolutely must be willing to stand up against them, en masse.

2.  Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution gives Congress (not the President) the power “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”  It also gives Congress (again, not the President), the power “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”

This brings up the question as to what is meant by the term “militia?”

In the 1982 Congressional Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (see Note 1), Congress made note of the opinion of our Founding Fathers, the ones who wrote our Constitution and the Second Amendment, both of which contain the term “militia.”  Specifically, Congress said:

“…the Framers used the term “militia” to relate to every citizen capable of bearing arms, and that Congress has established the present National Guard under its power to raise armies, expressly stating that it was not doing so under its power to organize and arm the militia.”

They also stated, “The modern National Guard was specifically intended to avoid status as the constitutional militia, a distinction
recognized by 10 U.S.C. Sec 311(a)” (p. 17)

So, when it comes to the need to “suppress insurrections and repel invasions,” that responsibility is given to the militia, which is martial law“every citizen capable of bearing arms.”  This is precisely why our Second Amendment specifically states, “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.”

We the People are that well regulated Militia, and we provide that security on the authority given us by our Constitution, backed up by our Constitution’s prohibition against infringing on our right to keep and bear arms.

Checking with our Constitution, we find another quote relating to protecting our union against invasion or domestic violence like the Ferguson, Baltimore, or L.A. riots:  “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.” – Article IV, Section 4, U.S. Constitution.

While this does authorize federal intervention to deal with invasion and domestic violence (riots), it does not authorize the use of martial law, and Obama cannot arbitrarily decide otherwise or act in any manner whatsoever that infringes upon our rights.  Our Constitutional rights trump whatever cockamamie justifications he may invent, and the Constitution wins each and every time.

There may come a time, however, when We the People, including every civil, military, and law enforcement officer in the land may have to stand firm against Obama’s or the federal government’s attempt to implement martial law.  It is my sincere hope that everyone who took an oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic” will stand firm and refuse to follow orders that are patently un-Constitutional, regardless of the reason.

3.  The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states:  “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Clearly, if martial law isn’t a power delegated to the United States by the Constitution, and not prohibited by it to the States, it’s a power reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In fact, in 1943, following several years of unrest in Detroit, Michigan, that culminated into widespread riots, then Governor Kelly implemented martial law in Detroit as a means of last resort.  As the governor of a state, he had the authority to implement martial law.  Being at the federal level, however, Obama does not have that authority, because it was “not delegated to the United States by the Constitution.”  It’s a power “reserved to the States.”

4.  In summary, while the States do have Constitutional authority to implement martial law, neither Obama nor anyone else in the federal government has any such authority

5.  Finally, we need to remember the U.S. Supreme Court has made some key decisions surrounding this issue, decisions that We the People should keep firmly in mind, let any wayward individual in a position of authority get the wrong idea:

“An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no right; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.” Norton vs Shelby County118 US 425 p.442.

“The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and the name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.”16th American Jurisprudence 2d, Section 177, late 2nd, Section 256

It’s that simple, folks.  If you swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, here’s your chance.  Do what this fella is doing:

martial law
Sheriff Mueller Gets It Right


Note 1:  “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms” — Report of the Subcommittee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-Seventh Congress, Second Session, February, 1982.


I really don’t even know what to call this. Perhaps “my right to defend myself and my family.” I think our Founders nailed it, though: “

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Vice President Joe Biden finalizes a package of recommendations for the president to curb gun violence, the National Rifle Association predicted that Congress is likely to block any new laws that would ban assault weapons.

The NRA has so far prevented passage of another assault weapons ban like the one that expired in 2004. But some lawmakers say the December massacre in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman slaughtered 20 young children and six adults, has transformed the country, and Americans are ready for stricter gun laws.

Still, the NRA says it thinks Congress would likely prevent a new assault weapons ban.

“When a president takes all the power of his office, if he’s willing to expend political capital, you don’t want to make predictions,” NRA president David Keene told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “You don’t want to bet your house on the outcome. But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress.”

Biden is to meet Monday with House members to discuss ways to reduce gun violence. He is expected to give President Barack Obama a comprehensive package of recommendations Tuesday.

Senators plan to introduce a bill that would ban assault weapons and limit the size of ammunition magazines, like the equipment used in the Newton shooting where 20 children were shot multiple times with a high-powered rifle. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has promised to make a renewed push for a ban on assault weapons.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., responded with a flat-out “no” when asked Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” whether Congress would pass a ban on assault weapons.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a lifelong member of the NRA, has said everything should be on the table to prevent another tragedy like Newtown. But he assured gun owners he would fight for gun rights at the same time.

“I would tell all of my friends in NRA, I will work extremely hard and I will guarantee you there will not be an encroachment on your Second Amendment rights,” Manchin said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The NRA’s deep pockets help bolster allies and punish lawmakers who buck the powerful weapons lobby.

The group spent at least $24 million in the 2012 elections — $16.8 million through its political action committee and nearly $7.5 million through its affiliated Institute for Legislative Action. Separately, the NRA spent some $4.4 million through July 1 to lobby Congress. Keene insists the group represents its members and not just the gun manufacturers, though he said the NRA would like industry to contribute more money to the association.

“We know what works and what doesn’t work,” Keene said. “And we’re not willing to compromise on people’s rights when there is no evidence that doing so is going to accomplish the purpose.”

The NRA, instead, is pushing for measures that would keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, until a person gets better.

“If they are cured, there ought to be a way out of it,” Keene said.

Currently, a person is banned from buying a gun from a licensed dealer if the person is a fugitive, a felon, convicted of substance abuse, convicted of domestic violence, living in the U.S. illegally or someone who “has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.”

States, however, are inconsistent in providing information about mentally ill residents to the federal government for background checks. And, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said some 40 percent of gun sales happen with no background checks, often at gun shows or through private sellers over the Internet or in classified ads.


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