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Charles Schumer [above left] wants the world to know that he’s not a gun grabber. That gun grabbing is done—even as the Empire State senator attempts to ban the part of a gun that makes it effective for self-defense (i.e. “high capacity magazines”). His Kumbaya speech somehow fails to specifically refer to, or justify, the prohibition included in the Cyber Security Act of 2012 [click here for a pdf of the bill]. In fact, the closest Schumer gets to being OK with the 2a is when the Senator blesses your right to “your shotgun you like to go hunting with or a sidearm if you’re a store owner in a crime-ridden area.” Concealed carry for non-property owning law-abiding citizens? Ha! The gun grabbers’ new rallying cry is not “you’re not a militia member.” It’s “no amendment is absolute.” You have been warned . . .

“Mr. President — I like everyone else in America follow the terrible tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, just awful. I was particularly moved when I read in one of our local papers, the bios of the 12 who had died. So many of them were young, in the prime of life, in their late teens and early 20′s. So many of them were brave, protecting others, a child, a girlfriend, a friend. And you feel the — just I was so upset on reading this, seeing these people’s lives snuffed out just as they had great futures ahead of them. For nothing . . .

I had the same kind of feeling I had after the world trade center, of course magnified by much more because so many more people died and I actually knew some of the people who died. But the same senseless killing of innocent people occurred. And, of course, in the days after the tragedy and as the dust settled, it will never settle for the families whom my heart goes out to, we began our usual discussion about guns in America.
And there were many voices on all different sides, and somebody who has been very, very involved in these issues, I gave it some thought and just wanted to share with my colleagues and with my constituents and my country some thoughts about this. And the question that comes up is can we do anything about guns in society?

Of course, many would ask should we do anything about guns in society. Even the very thoughtful and erudite member of my own party, the Governor of Colorado said that a ban on weapons would not have stopped this tragedy from occurring in all likelihood. So I’d like to just share some of my thoughts briefly. The bottom line is, maybe we can come together once and for all on the issue of guns if each side gave some. And I’ve thought about this for a while.

As, you know, Mr. President, I was the House author, the leader, of course, was my colleague from California, of the assault weapons ban. I’m even prouder of the Brady law where I was probably the leader and that has saved so many lives. And so the question is why when we were able to pass those kinds of groundbreaking laws, why are we so paralyzed now? Now, part of the reason — and this hasn’t been mentioned — is that crime has actually decreased dramatically in America for a whole lot of reasons.

And I probably don’t share the views of some of my colleagues on this side of the aisle as to why it happened. I’m pretty tough on crime guy. But when crime went down, the broad middle that wanted to do whatever it took to stop crime — I remember how ravaged ravaged — it ravaged my city — stopped caring as much because they were safer. That’s logical. So they sort of exited the field, law enforcement, which had been some of our best allies in supporting the assault weapons ban and the Brady law, sort of left the debate.

And the debate was simply left to those who cared the most and a very small number on the side of more active laws against gun control and a much larger number on the side of those who were opposed. And I know you read in the newspapers the power of money in the N.R.A. I have to say this as somebody who has opposed the N.R.A. and been written up regularly in their magazines in not the most flattering way. The N.R.A.’s main strength is because they have two, three, four million people who care passionately about this issue, who may not care about other issues, and who are mobilized at the drop of a hat. And so when there’s a bill on the floor of the Senate, which a majority of Americans may support, a majority of Americans support the ban on assault weapons.

Even people in my state like New York hear about — hear much more from the people who are opposed to the assault weapons ban than the people who are for it. 20 years ago that wouldn’t have happened, again, I because more than any other reason because crime — crime was so ravaging our communities that people didn’t — people who, average folks would call and complain and worry about too many guns in society, which I think there still are now. So in any case, how can that balance now, given that situation which exists, that the activists, the people who care about this issue the most, not the majority of people, are on the side of no limitations or few limitations on guns, how can we address that balance?

And I think there can be a balance. And those on my side who believe strongly in some controls on guns have to acknowledge that there’s a right to bear arms. It perplexed many in the pro-gun movement how liberals would read the first third, fourth, fifth, sixth amendments as broadly as 0 possible but when it came to the second amendment they saw it through a pinhole. It only related to militias. Which frankly is a narrow, narrow, narrow reading of the second amendment. And there were many back then in the 1980′s and 1990′s in the pro-gun control movement month who basically felt there was no right to bear arms.

And I think in part because of that, those on the other side of the issue became kind of extreme themselves. Their worry was that the real goal of the left was not simply to have rational, if you will, laws that might limit the use of guns, what guns could be had, how many clips, who could have them, the mentally infirm, that was a smoke screen to get rid of them and there was enough evidence in the 1980′s and 1990′s that people wanted to do that. You look at the ads from the N.R.A. and the groups even further over, the Gun Owners of America, their basic complaint is that the Chuck Schumers of the world want to take away your gun, even if it’s the hunting rifle your Uncle Willie gave you when you were 14.

And I think it would be very important for us who are for gun control, some rational laws on guns, to make it clear once and for all that is not our goal. To make it clear that the belief is that the second amendment does matter, that there is a right to bear arms just like there’s a right to free speech and others, and if you’re an average, normal American citizen, you have the right to bear arms.

If I think if the people who are pro-gun and from the more rural areas and different than Brooklyn, the city I’m from, were convinced that there was a broad consensus even in the pro-gun control movement that there was a right to bear arms, they might get off their haunches a little bit. And I think that’s important for this part of the compromise. So that the Heller decision which basically said that and now is the law of the land but wasn’t until a few years ago should not be something that is opposed by those who are for rational laws on guns. And I saw that even the Brady organization, who I’ve worked very closely with, Jim and Sarah Brady helped us pass the assault weapons ban and the Brady law, and I’ve worked with them closely and have known them for decades, but even the Brady organization which in the past had not had that position is now beginning to embrace it. And I think that’s good and people should know that.

And once we establish that it’s in the Constitution, its part of the American way of life even though some don’t like that, but once we establish that basic paradigm that no one wants to abolish guns for everybody, or only allow a limited few to have them under the most limited circumstances, this is on a national level, then maybe we can begin the other side of the dialogue. And the other side of the dialogue is once you know no one is going to take away your gun if you’re not a felon and — your shotgun you like to go hunting with or a sidearm if you’re a store owner in a crime-ridden area, we can then say to those on the other side okay, we understand that it’s unfair to read the Second Amendment so narrowly and read all the other amendments so broadly and you’ve seen us as doing that.

But in response, we would say and I would say that no amendment is absolute. And whether it’s in reaction to what happened in the 1980′s or 1990′s or because of fanaticism or maybe fundraising reasons, it seems that too many on the pro-gun side believe the second amendment is as absolute or more absolute than all the other amendments. They’re taking the converse position to what I mentioned before. The left seeing the second amendment as minimum you’ll sexual — minuscule, but the right seeing the second amendment as broader than every other amendment.

Certainly the right believes in anti- pornography laws. That’s a limitation on the first amendment. Certainly most people in America believe what I think it was Oliver Wendell homes or Louis Brandeis said, you can’t falsely scream fire in a crowded theater. That, too, is a limitation on the first amendment.

Every amendment is balancing test. That’s what the constitution has said. No amendment is absolute or our society would be tied in a complete knot. And so we say to our colleagues — and this is not a partisan issue completely, there are some Republicans who are for gun control and some democrats who oppose it completely. It seems to be more of a regional issue and almost an — than almost an ideological issue. But we say to our colleagues from the pro-gun side of things, now look, there’s a right to bear arms and we’re not trying to take guns away from people who don’t have any reason to then admit that you can’t be so rigid, so doctrinaire there should be no limitation on the second amendment.

The Brady law is a reasonable limitation on the second amendment, saying that felons or the mentally infirm or spousal abusers shouldn’t have a gun. The Heller decision acknowledged that those kinds of reasonable limitations did not violate the Second Amendment just as the court has recognized that there are limitations that don’t filed the first amendment. All because it’s a balancing test. Soap by argue — we can find the balance in different ways — that not only is the Brady law a reasonable limitation on the second amendment, it’s not interfering with the average person’s right to bear arms, but neither is the assault weapons ban.

There was an argument between my colleague from California, who I agree with and my colleague from Colorado — from Wisconsin whom I don’t agree with that it is used for hunting but I have heard people say you should be able to buy a bazooka or a tank. My view is, the assault weapons ban that was passed which was a rather modest bill, less important in saving lives than the Brady law by many, many degrees, but I would argue it’s a reasonable thing to do.

A limitation that says you shouldn’t be able to buy a thousand clips. It’s a reasonable — magazines that have a thousand rounds in them, I mean. That’s a reasonable thing to do. Rules that say we should be able to trace where a gun originated so that we can find those who are violating some of these limitations, like the Brady laws, gun shops that don’t check your background even though they’re required to by law is a reasonable thing to do.

Now, again, we can debate where to draw the line of reasonableness but we might, might, might — and I don’t want to be too optimistic here, having years and years of gone through this — but we might be able to come to an agreement in the middle where we say, yes, there’s a right to bear arms and yes, there can be reasonable limitations on the Second Amendment, just as there can be on others. And that is the place I’d suggest we try to go. Maybe, maybe we can break through the hard ideological lines that have been drawn on this issue.

Maybe, maybe, maybe we can tell those who are at the extremes on the far right and the far left that we disagree with you. And maybe, maybe, maybe we could pass some laws that might, might, might stop some of the unnecessary tragedies that have occurred or, at the very least, when you have someone who was mentally infirmed, like the shooter in Aurora, limit the damage that they are able to do. Maybe. But I would suggest that the place to start here is for us to admit there’s a right to bear arms, admit that the Heller decision has a place in the Constitution, just like decisions that supported the other amendments, and at the same time say that doesn’t mean that that right is absolute. So that’s just a suggestion.

I’ve been thinking about this since I read those horrible articles about those young men and women being killed. And I would welcome comments particularly from my colleagues on the other side of this issue, whether they be Democrat or Republican, on that — those thoughts. Just as we have fought over and over and over again on so many issues — and we’ve gotten into our corners — there may be none we’ve gotten into our corners than on gun  control. And maybe it’s time, like on these other issues, to come out of the corners, and try, people of goodwill who will disagree and come from different parts of the country with different needs, maybe there’s a way we can come together and try and try. Try and try to break through the logjam and make the country a better place.

With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum

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  1. each side give a little? there’s thousands of anti gun laws on the books and the only time his side gives any is when the courts force them too. and then they’re back the next day trying a back door manuver. chuck’s a reasonable fascist, he’ll let us sing on our way to the ovens.

  2. These narcissists love to hear themselves talk. Wonder what the yawn per minute count was by the time he was finished bloviating.

  3. FLAME DELETED The “right” is absolute. I will never compromise on a moral and natural absolute. I will never compromise away a Constitutional amendment that was put in place to guarantee the resistance to tyranny and protect free men from snakes like you.

    There is only one agreement, one compromise, between free men and the government when it comes to the 2A: you don’t be corrupt, and we won’t overthrow you. That’s why the 2A was created, that’s why FLAME DELETED fear it, and that’s why it remains not only the most important amendment, but an essential ingredient for a free society.


  4. As I was reading I kept scrolling faster and faster. Basically put there are enough laws that we have to challenge. Please don’t create any more.
    Trying to wedge it in under the cyber security bill is pathetic attempt to twist some arms on a bill I would actually support.

  5. “Certainly the right believes in anti- pornography laws. That’s a limitation on the first amendment. Certainly most people in America believe what I think it was Oliver Wendell homes or Louis Brandeis said, you can’t falsely scream fire in a crowded theater. That, too, is a limitation on the first amendment.

    Every amendment is balancing test. That’s what the constitution has said. No amendment is absolute or our society would be tied in a complete knot.”

    OK, I can agree to reduce the numbers of limitations on the 2nd Amendment to the same number of limitations that are imposed on the 1st Amendment. Let’s see – no pornographic pictures of guns (that rules out tasteless engraving), and no falsely shooting a gun in a crowded theater. Get rid of all the rest of the 20,000 gun laws.

    Alternatively, we could limit the First amendment by duct-taping Chuck-you Shumer’s mouth shut.

  6. I’ve always said to myself that this guy is an idiot… more along the lines that I don’t agree with him or his reasoning and not so much that I didn’t think he was at least semi-intelligent. However, while reading this letter, I had to pause a few times and read aloud to my wife. I honestly couldn’t understand what he was saying. Did he even proofread this? With so many commas, run on sentences, and incomplete thoughts, it feels like he’s almost incoherently rambling.

    • Like John Fritzed said above these gas bags are just transfixed by the sound of their own voices. And they don’t have to make sense because the people who vote for them have no sense. It’s a conversation between a liar and a bunch of hysteria prone idiots and amplified by a compliant infotainment industry.

  7. Here’s something telling. In Schumer’s speech, he said, “I” forty-nine times. So, what or WHO is this REALLY about Mr. Schumer?

    • I had a hard time reading all of it. His feigned conciliatory tone is a quite thinly-veiled load of CRAP. Do not give this mofo an INCH of “reasonable.”

    • Wasn’t it Arlen Specter who asked “who’s in this militia anyway” and received a telephone directory from a concerned citizen?

      • I wish more people would look at their state statutes. Every state has a militia. It usually is comprised of avg citizens who can be called up for national defense. I pulled the statute in Missouri to quell a debate with a fellow attorney. She chilled out when I showed her the specific statute. Then I should her there is a federal militia for all men up to age 45. That really freaked her out.

        • Yep, here is the definition of the federal militia:

          Section 311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, “Militia: composition and classes” in its entirety:

          “(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

          (b) The classes of the militia are —

          (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

          (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.”

      • I’m not sure who said this; “The only part of the American national security establishment that successfully defended America on 9/11 was the portion of the reserve militia on board United Flight 93, acting without orders, without hierarchy, without uniforms or weapons, by spontaneous organization and action.”

        That’s what the militia is. That’s what the American ideal represents. That free men and women can organize and direct themselves to accomplish great things.

  8. I understand where you’re coming from, but this took me aback:

    the part of a gun that makes it effective for self-defense (i.e. “high capacity magazines”)

    Are you telling me that all of the following are “ineffective for self-defense”?

    Pretty much every revolver on the market
    1911 .45 w/ standard 7 rd mag
    A wide variety of subcompact polymer pistols
    Any conventional pump-action shotgun, with or without mag tube extension
    M1 Garand
    etc., etc.

    • Point taken Dave.

      But need I remind you of a few cliches like “thin end of the wedge”, “give an inch”, “the camel’s nose”? I could go on and on but anyone who believes they would stop at this shouldn’t be reading TTAG.


      • Oh, I understand perfectly. But if you’re going to make a stand on principle, make a stand on principle. Don’t play their “why would you need X” game. That involves tacitly accepting the implicit claim that rights must be justified by needs.

  9. How would reenacting the “assault weapons ban” save more lives? It did not in the 90’s, and it is sure not going to now. Are lives being saved in California and in Chicago IL from the laws that they have enacted? They are clearly no (arguably less) safer than Dallas, St. Louis, Seattle, or Aurora Colorado.

    Telling law abiding citizens they can not have “high capacity” magazines or a AK-47 isn’t going to make the millions of them that people already have disappear. The only people who will use these magazines and weapons are going to be criminals who don’t care about your “assault weapons ban” or your magazine restrictions. James Holmes wouldn’t have cared. The kid at Columbine with the “illegal” Tec-9 pistol didn’t care either when him his buddy went on their rampage in 99′ during Clinton’s weapons ban.

    These laws will accomplish nothing besides allowing criminals to be better armed than the law abiding.

  10. Okay, Chuck, in the interest of dialog, let me say that I wouldn’t believe you if you said that the sun rises in the East. Why? Because you are a lying, gungrabbing scumbag, that’s why.

    I hope this brief explanation will cast some light on why we cannot get along. No need to thank me. I’m here to help.

    • Ralph, where I come from, your description of Mr. Schumer would be considered overly polite but still accurate. We use more “Colorful” language in describing him.

  11. This is a painfully drawn out poorly written letter that doesn’t even arrive at a real point in gun control. He makes no mention to any proposed laws, other than no 1,000 round magazines (sounds heavy) and saying the ony people who should be able to have a concealed handgun are store owners in high crime areas…because they’re the only people that are ever placed in harms way. The whole piece is just an emotion driven attempt ad stirring up more emotion, and emotion is not rational nor logical. Laws should not be based on emotion, but on logic and reason.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed he was trying to appeal to emotions and sweet talk his way into a position of just asking for an inch (so they can take the proverbial mile, and redefine it as that inch.)

      The icing on the cake is his attempts to convince how previous bans had worked so well, ignoring the facts of where it did not stop a determined killer. The average American, who knows little of the truth about firearms and the laws made to control/restrict them, or doesn’t remember all that far back, won’t see the lie for what it is.

  12. I think this was a speech on the floor. Note how he surrendered the floor at the end.

    • Thanks Kelly, that’s what I thought. Kind of like CC on TV, you heard what the announcer said, but the CC didn’t even come close!

  13. If Schmucky and his party want to run on gun control this year let them. It tends to indicate that they are as foolish as I suspected. And to think that this guy is the real brains behind Obamas sock puppet Harry Reid. If they want 1994 all over again without having any more gun control to show for their efforts, then we should encourange them to keep the pot boiling.

    If you want to mess with the gungrabbers these days just make them try to describe what an “assault weapon” is, they can’t so they sputter and spout nonsense. Then hit them with Operation Fast & Furious and try to make them explain that. It drives them crazy and makes their pointy heads explode.

  14. Every state has a milita. In Missouri, every citizen is a member and the governor can call us up at any time up to age 64 to defend the state and/or country. Ok, so can Schumer now STFU ?

    • Dirk, I figured the 45 age limit was that it was written when the life expectancy was around that age, has it been updated to 64?

    • Despite whatever the Constitution, or federal and state statutes say that technically defines and or limits just exactly whom is in the militia notwithstanding, I would say that any American that is capable of answering the call when the need arises and can lend a hand in whatever capacity, is part of the militia. Celebrate diversity and inclusion. We all have a stake in making this great experiment work.

  15. Does anyone know the history of that picture?

    Chuck reminds me of how retarded Mike Dukakis looked riding around in that tank in 1988.


    • It was taken during the run-up to the “Assault Weapons Ban” of 1994. The pro-RKBA side conducted a range/weapons familiarization shoot at a range near DC for legislators to try to clear up some of the confusion about semi-auto weapons.

      Schumer went, and that’s why you see a snap of him holding the above weapon.

    • dukakis looked down right scared in that photo. machines as simple as guns intimidate the wet panty set. that tank must have had him squatting to pee for weeks.

  16. The whole speech could be boiled down to:

    I’d like to use this Aurora thing to see if we can resucitate the relevance of gun control. But we’ve been losing so badly lately I guess we’re gonna have to act like we support the stupid 2A if anyone is going to listen to us.

  17. Keep in mind that March 23, 1933 German Consitution was supended. They didnt think it could happen either.

  18. It’s too late for you to start using “Good Cop, Bad Cop” techniques, and you can’t schmooze a compromise out of one of my rights! If I give an inch, I’ll lose it forever, and I’ve lost too much yardage already!

    But just to show you that I’m not totally unreasonable and as a gesture of good faith, I’ll give you the 100-1,000 round magazines that you desperately want, and you’ll return to us full auto and silencer rights, no waiting and without “Tax Stamps”.

    I realize that since I’m part of the category 2 “Unorganized Militia”, that en lieu of the “Tax Stamps” and to help prevent hearing damage (from all the training), I’ll instead provide a doctors note for the silencers (should be as easy as a medical marijuana slip to get, from what I hear).

    And since you’re already overburdened with wait times at the ATF and down the road costs for hearing damage (covered through Obamacare) will be astronomical, this solution should more than compensate for the loss of some “Tax Stamp” revenues.

    Now I believe this to be a fair and just start to any compromise, and it’s just my way of being a patriotic citizen!

  19. Why is 10 always a magic bright line number for the definition of ‘high capacity’? Is it because it’s divisible by 10, 5, and 2? Is it because we have ten fingers?

    Why not 15, the standard capacity for a Glock 19? Why not 6, the standard capacity for a lot of revolvers? Or 8, the standard capacity for a 1911? Why not 17 or 20?

  20. “But I would suggest that the place to start here is for us to admit there’s a right to bear arms, . . . “

    The generous Senator advises the concession of the “right to bear arms” (notice he does not specify “individual” RKBA). A rather small admission, in light of the Supreme Court decisions which have already affirmed and incorporated it.
    He is a thief who offers to return some of the rights he has stolen from us, in exchange for more of our rights.

    Chutzpah, thy name is Schumer.

  21. Shoulders back, head craned foward, elbows bent, thumbs crossed, poop-eating smirk; he looks like such a pud in that picture.

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