Defiant GOP Wants Broader Gun Rights, Unlimited Clips | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Defiant GOP Wants Broader Gun Rights, Unlimited Clips

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Republicans have strengthened the pro-gun-rights portion of their party platform, including a new call for unlimited bullet capacities in guns, in a defiant response to criticism that followed recent mass shootings at a Colorado cinema and an Arizona congresswoman's gathering.

The 2012 platform, approved this week by GOP convention-goers who nominated Mitt Romney for president, also endorses "stand your ground" rights for gun owners. That legal concept, which says gun bearers don't have to retreat if they feel threatened in a public place, drew national attention after February's fatal shooting of an unarmed Florida teenager by a neighborhood watch volunteer.

Republicans traditionally embrace gun rights in their quadrennial party platforms. The one approved this week went farther than those of 2004 and 2008.

Gun control advocates see it as an audacious answer to calls for firearms restrictions after a gunman killed 12 people in Colorado last month, and another gunman killed six people in Tucson, Ariz., early last year. Gabrielle Giffords, then a Democratic congresswoman holding an outdoor meeting, was gravely wounded in the Tucson assault.

"Gun control only affects and penalizes law-abiding citizens," the 2008 Republican platform said. This year's platform adds: "We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines."

The shooters in Colorado and Arizona used large-capacity weapons capable of firing many rounds quickly.

The 2004 GOP platform said "law-abiding citizens" should have the right "to own firearms in their homes for self-defense." This year's platform supports "the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a law-abiding citizen has a legal right to be."

It calls for federal laws "that would expand the exercise of that right by allowing those with state-issued carry permits to carry firearms in any state that issues such permits to its own residents."

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that, by making these changes, Republican leaders have "put themselves farther out of touch with their constituents."

His group supports bans on large-capacity weapons, which it says are "designed to shoot a lot of people quickly and efficiently."

David Keene, president of the National Rifle Association, told the NRA News that the 2008 GOP platform "was perhaps the most gun-friendly platform that any party had ever adopted," and "this year's Republican platform is even stronger in terms of dedicating a major party to the protection of the Second Amendment."

Presidential nominees, not to mention the general public, often ignore party platforms. Top Republicans in Tampa, however, implored the public to study the 50-page platform document.

"We invite Americans to consider this platform, a call for dramatic change in government," Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said in his convention speech Tuesday.

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Comments

BlackSheep1 5 years, 1 month ago

Why does the Republican Party seem to be a continuing complete conundrum to me. The far right are always screaming about "right to life" and get so worked up about this subject that they are willing to infringe on women's health rights. Yet with these crazy support statements for semiautomatic weapons with no clip restrictions, they lurch to the opposite side of the coin and come across like some derivative of a "culture of death" and fear much like a well known European historical party. Who says that multiple personalities don't exist? Personally I have given up trying to figure them out. They seem to be in a death throes. Loosing their white-knuckled grip on the country's throat. We don't need unlimited guns and bullets. I will not adopt a culture of fear.

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WMartin 5 years, 1 month ago

Black Sheep1 ~ It's simple really. Just think about it like this. The conservatives and libertarian wings of the republican party are about preserving the individual's rights and restricting the power of the government. Like, preserving your right to be able to defend yourself against criminals, crazed gun wielding dudes in theaters and tyranny. And even, yes, the right of an innocent child to be born. There is a lot of debate on when the fetus becomes a child. But almost everyone agrees it's at some time before birth. Some on the fringe left even believe abortion should be a right after birth. They are kooks on both sides. The real debate, like the truth, is somewhere in the middle.

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