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Bridget Johnson


June 12, 2013 - 7:19 am

Gun-control advocates will double-team the Hill next week as families of victims in last week’s Santa Monica College shooting join Newtown families for a meeting with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The Santa Monica gunman who killed five, John Zawahiri, was kicked out of a continuation high school in 2006 for “disturbing behaviors” centering “around his discussion of weapons and violence,” the Los Angeles Times reported today. Police officials said the 23-year-old carried an AR-15 and .44 revolver and had 40 magazines packed with 30 rounds each strapped to his body and in a bag he was carrying.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) laughed talking to reporters yesterday on the Hill when asked if there’s “a snowball’s chance” of gun-control being successfully revived in the House.

“I’m very doubtful what with the House leadership has any intention of bringing a bill to the floor. I think that’s unfortunate. I think background checks — 85 to 90 percent of Americans believe that having a background check for somebody to purchase a weapon makes common sense. The NRA supported it 10 years ago and, opposes it now. I don’t know what their rationalization is. I’m sure they have one,” Hoyer said.

When asked about the meeting with victims’ families, Hoyer said he believes Boehner is “an empathetic person.”

“I mean I think that you know he’s not a hard-hearted person. I think these folks have sustained a loss, they want to meet with the Speaker and I think it shows respect for them that he will listen to them. But I don’t know that they will move him to action,” Hoyer said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said recently that he wants to revive gun control in the upper chamber.

“Every single time something like this happens, I think this does give us wind at our back,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said on MSNBC after the Santa Monica shooting.

“Whether it’s with staunch opponents or senators on the fence, they can be powerfully persuasive, and show that this bill is very much alive and well,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said on the visit by victims’ families. “We’re not standing down. The bill will be brought back. The majority leader has promised that it will be. And I think we’ll have another vote before the end of the year.”

Hoyer said he presumed the Republican appointed to temporarily fill the seat of late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Attorney General Jeff Chiesa, will support gun control.

“Which means that Senator Reed still needs to get five additional votes. I don’t know whether he can do that, I hope he can. I commend him for bringing it back up and, I think it makes sense,” he added. “And I would hope we would move it here, but I don’t see any indication, Republican leadership being that Mr. Boehner or, Mr. Cantor or Mr. Goodlatte — I guess that this committee would be in each committee has any intention of doing so. So we’ll see.”


Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (6)
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The shooter's possession of all those guns & ammo was already illegal in Commiefornia. Didn't make one speck of difference, did it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would like to ask a single question of any lawmaker interested in increased gun control --

What are you willing to do, OTHER THAN PASS LAWS, to make us safer?

Because we should bloody well have learned our lesson by now -- laws don't constrain the lawless. The Santa Monica shooter had committed multiple felonies before he began his rampage; would one more law have stopped him? Would ten more laws? Of course not. (And what would such laws say -- that, in Santa Monica, it will henceforth be illegal to murder your father and brother and set your own house on fire before going off on a killing rampage with illegal weapons?)

So I don't want to hear about laws intended to stop him, or others like him. And I'd like our legislators to understand, once and for all, that we have problems their laws cannot solve.

About the only thing more laws would do, at this point, is to UN-restrain the law-abiding. I'd be very willing to have THAT conversation!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He got those guns, magazines, and ammunition in the state that has had strict gun control since before he was born, including, I believe, background checks for all legal purchases. I don't know why we on the right can't squelch this crap about there being some lack of background checks! The last gun I bought in a gunstore without a background check was in Alaska in 1976. Even in very gun-friendly Alaska, you've had to have a background check for a very long time. In Atlanta in the early '70s to buy a handgun you had to have a background check, had to go to the cops to get it, and there was a waiting period of I think three days, maybe longer. 'Course every black thug on the streets had a ".32 gun in his pocket for fun" and you know he didn't have no stinkin' background check or waiting period.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Because the gun control in CA has worked out so well, right?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The orgasmic ecstasy with which gun controllers clutch onto a murderous tragedy for their sick gratification is perverted and disgusting. Does it appear in DSM-V? It should.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Two psychological aspects: displacement and sublimation. They are not allowed to vent their rage directly at the perpetrator. He's protected by the State, and a liberal cannot defy the State. So they sublimate their rage, transforming it into the socially- and politically-acceptable goal of "making the world a better place" by getting rid of guns. And they displace their rage, directing it at society, gun manufacturers, conservatives, Republicans, the NRA, etc. That's why they're so venomous when they talk about people who disagree with them.

And it's why their efforts ultimately do nothing to stop real criminals but usually criminalize sane, law-abiding citizens. We're compliant, easy targets. Punching bags on which idealists take out their frustrations with the harsh world.

This behavior is now built into our culture. It's almost a cliche. Something bad happens to you, you start a political movement dedicated to stamping it out. Again, this is not a practical solution. It's purely therapeutic. Criminals and crazy people will keep murdering the innocent, but at least you'll feel better about yourself.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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