July 16, 2004

A Meme about Bush & the AWB

In the post below I promised a meme. Here it is:

If the "Assault Weapons" Ban is renewed will you vote Republican generally & Bush specifically this November? Please offer an elaboration on your answer.

As promised here are some additional links on this subject: (Updated 08-30-04 @ 03:30 MDT)

I'll link to any bloggers who answer this in a post of their own. For those of you without blogs feel free to answer in the comments section.

I'll keep this at the top of the page, but for the sake of full diclosure this was posted initially at 15:31 MDT on July 16th, 2004.

Countertop Chronicles explains why he'd vote for Bush

Miss Annika responds via e-mail with the following:

"...yes and yes. Please see my old posts on the Davis recall and Schwarzenneger for my rationale."

Also I started a poll at The High Road that addresses the issue, albeit in a more Bush specific tone. Just so you know I haven't voted in said poll & I'll try to keep from adding my two cents to that (& to this post as well) until later in the week.
So far two people have responded to the poll, both of whom will vote against Bush. (This is an hour or so after I created the poll & I expect the number to increase substantially over the weekend.)

As of 5:00 a.m. MDT there are 9 comments to this post (including Miss Annika's e-mail): 3 for Bush, 6 agin 'im.


I knew it'd been done before. KeepAndBearArms.com posed this question in a poll:

"If Congress votes to re-authorize the 1994 Clinton/Feinstein federal so-called 'Assault Weapons' ban, gives the bill to President Bush and he signs it into law, would you still vote for him in his bid for re-election to the Presidency in 2004?"

The answer? Look here to see how the 8,677 gun owners responded.

07-17-04 19:49 MDT:

Ted of Rocket Jones explains why he'd vote for Bush

James at Hell in a Handbasket elaborates on why he'll stick with Bush

Triggerfinger explains why he wont' vote for Bush

So, not counting those made previous to this post, we have 4 bloggers for Bush & 1 agin.

Looking at the comments to this post we have 12 now - 7 agin Bush, 4 for Bush & 1 comment that addressed a side issue.

To be fair, 3 of the bloggers who posted an elaboration on why they'd vote for Bush were also commentors in this post.

Going to the High Road poll, we find 40 agin Bush & 20 for Bush. To break it down even further that's 34 who'd vote agin Bush & 6 who'd reluctantly vote agin Bus versus 8 who'd vote for Bush & 12 who'd reluctantly vote for Bush.

There's a 4 page discussion that goes along with it, but most of it involves disputing a serious misunderstanding on the part of one poster about the firearms laws in geenral & the AWB in particular.

I'm still trying to stay out of it & let everyone else express their views, but I can't say it's easy.

I'll update again as links &/or comments come in.

07-20-04 03:30 MDT

A few things came in today.

The Hobbesian Conservative posts about why he'd still vote for Bush

Bitter Bitch points out a post of hers I linked previously. I'll write her shortly to see if she's cool with me printing all of her e-mail .

Say Uncle elaborates on why Bush hasn't earned his vote in regards to the AWB

That'd be 2 bloggers agin Bush & 1 for Bush this time around - though to be fair one of the bloggers merely reaffirmed what he said in the comments to this post. The grand total is 15 8 posts about this subject - 5 fer & 3 agin Bush - with 4 of the posts coming from bloggers who left coments to this post.

The poll I started at the High Road has a 6 page long discussion so far. The latest tallies are 66 agin, 12 reluctantly agin vs. 10 fer & 26 reluctantly fer. That'd be 78 agin to 36 fer if it was a straight yes or no.

16 comments on this post, but the only new commentor was Redted who won't vote for Bush, but it has nothing to do with the AWB. See this post for more of Redted's thoughts on gun control. Still looking at 7 commentors agin Bush & 4 fer Bush, with 4 of the commentors having written posts on their own blog to address the question.

I'll update again after a bit...

07-20-04 22:00 MDT

The Hobbesian Conservative expands on his disagreement with an earlier post of mine.

Bitter Bitch posts her e-mail (that I mentioned earlier) explaining why she won't vote Republican this time around.

The Heartless Libertarian weighs in about why he won't vote for Bush

That brings the total number of bloggers who posted on this subject to 13 (if we count both of the Hobbesian Conservatives posts as well as Bitter Bitch's posts) with 5 bloggers fer & 4 bloggers agin Bush, or 6 posts fer Bush & 5 posts agin Bush (that's counting posts, including multiple posts by the same authors).

There are now 23 comments...4 to 3 fer Bush since last time, which brings the totals to 10 agin Bush to 8 fer him.

Looking at the poll on The High Road we see 7 pages of discussion & the following totals:

72 will vote agin Bush, 16 will reluctantly vote agin Bush. 12 will vote fer Bush while 28 will reluctantly vote fer Bush. Grand total is 88 agin & 40 fer.

It seems to be fairly consistent going by percentages with roughly around 55% saying they'd vote against Bush & 15% saying they'd vote against him reluctantly. Same on the other end: 20% reluctantly will vote for Bush while 10% will simply vote for him.

More later...

7-28-04 14:40 MDT

From The Heartland explains why he'll vote for Bush.

That brings the total number of bloggers who posted on this subject to 14 (if we count both of the Hobbesian Conservatives posts as well as Bitter Bitch's posts) with 6 bloggers fer & 4 bloggers agin Bush, or 7 posts fer Bush & 5 posts agin Bush (that's counting posts, including multiple posts by the same authors).

The Poll at the High Road was closed a few days back. As sometimes happens the discussion went sufficiently off topic for a modrator there to shut it down.

Final tally: 55% agin Bush, 12% reluctantly agin Bush, while 9% are fer Bush & 23% are reluctantly fer Bush. This is from 139 responses.

There are 24 comments to this post, with the totals on that being 11 agin Bush & 8 fer him.

08-30-04 03:30 MDT

Two new comments came in.

There are 24 comments to this post, with the totals on that being 12 agin Bush & 9 fer him. None of the other totals have changed.

I'll keep this at the top of the page & update it as any new information warrants it.

Posted by Publicola at July 16, 2004 03:31 PM

If I vote at all in November, and I hate to encourage the statists by doing so, I won't vote for either wing of the Boot on Your Neck party. I'll vote Libertarian. If I could vote for "None of the Above" and have the office be vacant for four years should that win, I'd do that.

Posted by: Bill St. Clair at July 16, 2004 04:00 PM

I'll most likely vote Libertarian, regardless of whether the AWB is renewed. I don't like either party.

Posted by: jed at July 16, 2004 06:26 PM

I'm sick of throwing my vote away on Republican turncoats. Bednarik or bust! I think we're beginning to get past that delicate moment in time where it's too late to work within the system and too early to start shooting the bastards, to paraphrase Mr. Shamaya.

Posted by: Buzz Krumhunger at July 16, 2004 08:31 PM


What guns?

Posted by: Billll at July 16, 2004 08:49 PM

3 options i'm mulling if the ban is re-enacted:

1 - vote kerry in an effort to tell the Rs to get it right or fuck off

2 - vote my conscious for badnarik or the constitution party

3 - stay home

Posted by: SayUncle at July 16, 2004 08:55 PM

The Libertarian Bednarik will surely be the best choice. As you have stated, the Republican Party needs a wake up call, although it chills me to think of having to put up with the likes of Kerry and the Demacratic Party. But the lesser of two evils is increasingly becoming less defined.

Posted by: HK Latham at July 16, 2004 10:32 PM

"....will you vote Republican generally & Bush specifically this November?"

As a self defense instructor who deals with victims of violent crime, I have always had a problem with people who want to outlaw guns. They simply don't realize that firearms are essential to protect innocent people from those that want to hurt them.

Right now we have a bigger problem. Indescribably violent fanatics are willing to die just so they can take a few of us with them. They've been trying to get a nuke for the past 30 years, and eventually they'll get one unless we change the culture that produces these asshats.

Kerry said that he'll basically bend over and let the UN call the shots in Iraq. An organization that tried their best to stop our invasion, an organization that hasn't seen a ruthless dictator they didn't want to lick, is going to get a significant say in our future.

So you want to vote for the Libertarians, huh? Throw your vote away if the AWB is renewed?

And you guys don't see this as being dangerously irresponsible?

Of course, the US is a big place. No matter the method, the chance of you or someone you know being killed are very remote. So it looks to me like you're willing to allow the chances for someone else dying to increase just as long as you can focus on your own concerns.

Me, I'm voting for Bush. It's the best chance we have for saving lives, and that's the most important thing to me.


Posted by: James R. Rummel at July 17, 2004 12:11 AM

Well, I just put up a detailed post in response to this question. Right now, I am still unsure what I am going to do, but leaning Republican nevertheless for a number of reasons.

My analysis is here.

As far as the Libertarian Party goes - Bednarik is pretty much a felon and his nomination this year will probably spell the end of that worthwhile experiment. Its a shame, but after Ross Perot destroyed what was shapping up to be an excellent opportunity to expand the party in 1992, its been pretty much downhill ever since. Maybe its time for the mercy killing?

Posted by: countertop at July 17, 2004 12:18 AM


The quote that you attributed to Angel Shamaya is the opening paragraph of Claire Wolfe's classic "101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution", now out of print. The exact quote is, "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

Posted by: Bill St. Clair at July 17, 2004 07:20 AM

I posted my response over at my place, then came here to read the comments. James said things I wanted to say, and I'd fear steps towards an international version of gun control, courtesy of the UN (and probably only enforcable in the US, Canada and parts of Europe) if John "friend to the whole world" Kerry were elected.

Posted by: Ted at July 17, 2004 08:18 AM

Perhaps you should have also asked "if the AWB does not get renewed will you vote republican?"
Then at least we would know if that is what is the factor in people throwing their votes away by not voting or voting for a thrid party.

I can't see sending a message if it will result in the Dems getting into office which will do more harm to the country than anything Bush will do. Make no mistake not voting for Bush or not voting is a vote for Kerry.

Posted by: Starhawk at July 17, 2004 01:44 PM

It would be difficult voting for Bush even with the AWB lifted; if he extends it, there's no chance he would garner my vote.

Ted, James, etal.,
This war on terror thing's probably gonna last a few decades, if you favor the optimistic estimates. And when it's finished a new, possibly more malignant, threat will emerge. Just as the Cold War preceded the W.O.T. and was itself preceded by WWII; thus it has always been and shall ever be. The same arguments have been presented countless times, 'sure it needs to be changed, but let's wait until the other threats pass.'
How long should we wait? 5 decades maybe 12? Would 2054 be a good year to consolidate the Rights we have remaining? And then, if the global threat matrix looks favorable, in 2124 we can actually work to recover what we'd lost, in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

I agree saving lives is an important thing, but I'd argue it isn't the most important thing. This Country was, in part, founded to preserve a viable amount of individual liberty. The revolution didn't seek to save lives; it consumed them by the cartload.

Posted by: Jasen at July 17, 2004 02:51 PM


I chose the question for a reason. There are more than a few people (myself included) who wouldn't vote for Bush if the AWB sunsetted, but the point is to show that the AWB is a big deal to some people, many of whom would fit in the demographic of the republican base.

I've often heard that voting libertarian or constitution party is voting for a dem, so that would mean it subtracted from votes the republicans felt some entiltement to claim. I disagree with that theory, but I'll concede it for the moment.

What I'm trying to demonstrate is simply a dissatisfaction in the republican base, or the potential republican base, with Bush over the AWB. My goal isn't to show that all gun owners, or even a majority see this as a big deal, but to show there's enough discontent to possibly shift the outcome of the election.

My methods are far from scientific but I feel they'll show that Bush would be far better of renouncing his support of the AWB & actively opposing it than to think that he'll win enough soccer mom votes to compensate for the gun owning base that's voting third party or staying home this time around (should the AWB be renewed).

& keep in mind I don't care for Bush or Kerry. I'd rather have a Libertarian or a Constitution Party candidate win. But if changing Bush's mind about the AWB will keep him in office & keep the AWB from being renewed then I'll take that as a plus - not because I think Bush is best qualified for the job, but because no matter who's at the helm we need to steer away from gun control.

Posted by: Publicola at July 17, 2004 08:22 PM

"This war on terror thing's probably gonna last a few decades, if you favor the optimistic estimates. And when it's finished a new, possibly more malignant, threat will emerge."

This is a good point, and if things were further along then I'd agree with you.

Being a student of military history, I've seen where many fledgling states died on the vine due to lack of support. Iraq is in a delicate position right now, with a government too weak to survive on it's own without support from the US. Not only support, but it also needs to be relatively free from outside interference.

Kerry was saying at the beginning of his campaign for the Democratic nomination that he would turn any security obligations over to the UN and pull the US out odf Iraq. This would, in my mind, be a disaster.

So you're asking how long we should support the Republicans? Well, you said it yourself. The war will last a few decades (probably). Until the Dems get a more realistic foreign policy, they shouldn't be in charge. Since the choice is Dems or Republicans,....

Well, I think you can see where this is going.


Posted by: James R. Rummel at July 18, 2004 04:19 AM

I also understood the question and it's slant. My response was to explain why gun control issues are important to me, but not my primary reason for voting one way or another this time around.

Perfect world? A pro-gun and fiscally responsible President with the foreign policy of President Bush.

Posted by: Ted at July 18, 2004 06:13 PM

Well, I will be voting against GWB on basic competance grounds, so the ban itself won't affect my vote.

I offer lukewarm support for the ban, since I know that my preferred legislation would never ever pass: ban all hand guns and all concealed carry; legalize all long guns including automatic rifles.

But then, I am more worried about drunken neighbors than about home invasion. Your neighborhood may vary.

Posted by: Ted K at July 19, 2004 03:04 PM

Well, I was going to post a long, impassioned defense of why I'll vote for Bush no matter what, but I see that James Rummel has already done it for me.

What he said.


Posted by: Scott at July 20, 2004 10:35 AM

If Mr. Bush signs an AWB then I will not vote for him again.
If Mr. Bush does not sign an AWB then I might vote for him.
I will not vote for Kerry.

Posted by: Jim at July 20, 2004 11:24 AM

Let's see here. Bush has doomed us to beyond massive debt for probably several generations at least. He has signed into law a bill that grants law enforcement agencies far too much latitude in their actions. He has signed into law a bill that is a blatant attack on the First amendment. He has utilized the sickeningly laughable practice of creating "Free Speech Zones". He has done what the Democrats have wanted, get a universal health care system going. He has started a war on bogus claims and scary stories. And my favorite, he has declared that people who are not government employees should not have "Assault Weapons", and that the moment a reauthorization bill hits his desk, he'll sign it so fast his own head will spin.

I reckon that if Mr. Kerry wants to be any worse than that, then he'll have to either ban all guns, or beg the UN to come over and learn us how to run a country. Because Bush has him beat in pretty much every other category of doing bad things to the country.

Posted by: Garrum at July 20, 2004 11:29 AM

Badanik and their adherence to an isolationist forien policy no matter what, plus the Randian's conrol of the parties upper echelon has fianlly after 20 years made the Libertarian Party a non-starter for me. If I chose to vote against Bush, I'd write in "None of the Above", and make sure we made him serve out his term if elected.

As it is, I'll probably vote Republican for the first time since I started voting - just because I want to see Kerry lose and the Deomcrats and Anyone But Bush people have a collective aneurism.

Petty? Possibly - but less petty than the Democrat Collective has gotten these last four years.

I'll be blunt: I want to see the Democrats and the Left implode and become a political nonissue in my lifetime. We can work on reforming the Conservative Wing of the Democrat Party errmm... Republicans next.

Posted by: Ironbear at July 20, 2004 12:05 PM

I expect that I'll very firmly hold my nose and vote for Bush, since he does seem to have a tiny chance of winning Minnesota. If he didn't, it would be some third party candidate, probably whomever the Libertarians have nominated.

(There's not a lot out there for pro-gun, pro-choice, ... anti-nanny-state voters.)

Posted by: htom at July 20, 2004 02:26 PM

If Bush renews the AWB because the Dems manage to attach it to some must-pass bill that House Majority Leader DeLay cannot stop, than I will 100% definately vote for the Libertarian Party candidate.

I've worked as a political professional for over 10 years. I held my nose in '96 because I knew Dole, even though he was about as milquetoast as a R can be on the issue, was better than Clinton. And I neutrally pulled the lever for Bush in '00 because there was no way in hell I would vote for Gore.

But this year is different. I've worked too long to make sure this lousy law sunsets, and if a politician I consider a "comrade" screws me for a supposed political gain, than he will not have my vote.

The only way Bush could regain my vote after signing a AWB extension is by going on national TV before the election, apologizing for his mistake, AND then actively pardoning every "crime" committed under the auspices of the AWB, the 1986 McClure-Volkmer Act, the 1968 Gun Control Act, AND the 1934 Nat'l Firearms Act. Nothing less would regain my vote.

Posted by: Poshboy at July 20, 2004 04:30 PM

Bush. Kerry is downright scary. Particularly with his choice advisors going down in flames:
Wilson and Berger. The LP has gone looney-toons.

Posted by: David R. Block at July 20, 2004 04:52 PM

yup, I'll vote for Bush if the AWB sunsets, otherwise I'll vote libertarian or constitution. I even sent an email to the white house stating same, doubt it'll even get read.

Posted by: ben at July 23, 2004 04:04 PM

The war on terror is the most important problem facing this country. I'll vote for Bush in any case. It's Republican or Democrat, like it or not. I'm a Libertarian Party member, and Badnarik is a moonbat on the WoT.

Posted by: Morenuancedthanyou at August 18, 2004 02:06 PM

I was going to vote for Bush, considering the way my political slant has been going recently.

(there is no way in hell i'd vote for kerry!)

but when i checked his 'issues' and saw that he supported renewing the aw ban, i thought 'i can do better than this'. so i looked around. and being libertarian, i found that this years libertarian canditate distinctly supported retiring it. being a newly minted gun owner and holder of a ccw license, it was no contest. i settled for what i wanted and believed in rather than the 'lesser of 2 evils'.

it's libertarian for me!

Posted by: Robert at August 25, 2004 08:33 AM
November 02, 2004
A Meme about Bush & the AWB

In the post below I promised a meme. Here it is: Continue reading "A Meme about Bush & the AWB"
Posted by Publicola at 03:30 PM | Comments (26)

November 2, 2004? Is this from the future (it's September 07, 2004 where I am).
And what's with all the comments dated July 16 - August 25?

Posted by: Nobody Important at September 7, 2004 01:35 PM

If you open up the post you'll see when I originally posted it. I used a future date to keep it at the top of the page.

Posted by: Publicola at September 7, 2004 02:05 PM

Why on earth would anyone wish to see fat and neurotic people with assault weapons?

Is this one of these Darwinian things?

Posted by: JadeGold at September 9, 2004 08:00 PM


If you cannot restrain yourself from childish insults & if you cannot stick to the topic being discussed then I will ban you from here.

Posted by: Publicola at September 9, 2004 10:46 PM
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