Observations on the world today.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Repealing Prohibition: Part Deux 

Well, it's all over. Soon you will be able to walk into your neighborhood Wal-Mart and purchase an Israeli Uzi with a bayonet mount and a flash suppresser. John Kerry was quoted today as having said:
"Four years ago," Mr. Kerry said in St. Louis, "George Bush said he'd stand with and protect America's police officers by extending the assault-weapons ban, which keeps the most dangerous assault weapons off our streets, the same weapons that America's police officers want off our streets, not just to fight ordinary crime but to take on terrorists.

"In fact," the Democratic presidential candidate went on, "an Al Qaeda training manual recovered in Afghanistan included a chapter urging terrorists to get assault weapons in the United States. Why is George Bush making the job of the terrorists easier and making the job for America's police officers harder?"
That's pretty good, but the trick Bush used was that he actually did support the ban - sort of. (Not really, but most people won't realize that.)
But instead of using his bully pulpit to push for the ban's renewal, Bush is feigning support for the measure while effectively ensuring its demise. The reason is as simple as it is craven: It's all about placating the NRA, which has promised to withhold its presidential endorsement until after the assault weapons ban has expired.
I think Kerry would do much better by using a less subtly honest tack. In other words, don't lie, but point out with no nuance that Bush supported extending the ban. He did. He said he would sign it. In 1999, Bush said:
"It makes no sense for assault weapons to be around our society." Bush actually favors the ban, but he was such a weasel that he refused to push for it because he wants the NRA endorsement.

Is that strong leadership? Hey, Kerry, say that would ya? Is that strong leadership?

Hell no, it's not.


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