The return of the gun control party

The fate of the ambitious gun control package Barack Obama laid out on Wednesday will be determined in the weeks and months to come. But the events that led to the president’s declaration of war on gun violence represent a dramatic shift for his party – one that will be felt for years to come. Essentially, Wednesday was the moment that Democrats re-embraced their status as the party of gun control.In a way, of course, they’ve always been the gun control party. It was a Democratic president, FDR, who targeted gangster weapons like sawed-off shotguns with a hefty tax in 1934 and who, four years later, signed a law requiring those selling firearms to obtain licenses. And it was another Democrat, LBJ, who pushed through the Gun Control Act of 1968, which banned sales of firearms by mail and to minors. Both FDR and LBJ initially sought more expansive regulations, only to see their plans watered down by Congress. More recently, it was Bill Clinton who signed the Brady Bill, which mandated a five-day waiting period for the purchase of a gun, and an assault weapons ban. And now it’s Obama’s turn to push for a renewed assault weapons ban, limits on high-capacity magazines, universal background checks (and a more comprehensive federal registry), and research into the roots of gun violence.Continue Reading…

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The return of the gun control party


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