St. Ronald Reagan: Gun Control Advocate

St. Ronald Reagan: Gun Control Advocate January 3, 2013

Once again we have an example of the difference between the Ronald Reagan who actually lived and St. Ronald the Magnificent, the Reagan who exists in the minds of conservatives. The real Reagan cut and ran, negotiated with and even armed terrorists and — uh oh — advocated gun control.

While there has been a Federal law on the books for more than 20 years that prohibits the sale of firearms to felons, fugitives, drug addicts and the mentally ill, it has no enforcement mechanism and basically works on the honor system, with the purchaser filling out a statement that the gun dealer sticks in a drawer.

The Brady bill would require the handgun dealer to provide a copy of the prospective purchaser’s sworn statement to local law enforcement authorities so that background checks could be made. Based upon the evidence in states that already have handgun purchase waiting periods, this bill — on a nationwide scale — can’t help but stop thousands of illegal handgun purchases.

And, since many handguns are acquired in the heat of passion (to settle a quarrel, for example) or at times of depression brought on by potential suicide, the Brady bill would provide a cooling-off period that would certainly have the effect of reducing the number of handgun deaths.

Critics claim that “waiting period” legislation in the states that have it doesn’t work, that criminals just go to nearby states that lack such laws to buy their weapons. True enough, and all the more reason to have a Federal law that fills the gaps. While the Brady bill would not apply to states that already have waiting periods of at least seven days or that already require background checks, it would automatically cover the states that don’t. The effect would be a uniform standard across the country.

Well isn’t that special?

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  • Yes, but the Reagan in conservatives’ minds — Zombie Reagan, if you will — is totally against gun control. And tax increases. And compromise. And science.

    In short, “Zombie Reagan” is for everything wingnuts are for and against everything they’re against.

    Just like the Bible and the Constitution.

  • regexp

    Zombie Reagan in liberals eyes is a dictator who ate puppies for breakfast and babies for lunch and slept through dinner. Zombie Reagan is everything liberals are against and for everything they’re against.

  • Dennis N

    Yeah but that’s different, he was preventing sale of guns to those people. It’s entirely another thing to deny True Patriots their AR-15s when they want to form militias in the woods.

  • Who Knows?

    Just as with their other God, what Reagan believes somehow precisely matches the desires of his followers.

  • I’m currently reading “Raising the Gipper”, a novel in which the republicans actually do summon Zombie Reagan during the 2012 RNC. Wackiness ensues. There’s a scene where Newt tells Zombie Reagan that the best thing he can offer the new administration is his brain and, well, you can guess what happens next.

  • Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    Being shot, and losing a colleague, despite having the best “good guys with a gun” money can buy to protect you, probably concentrates the mind on this issue – even a mind as vague and woolly as Reagan’s.

  • scienceavenger

    #6 Nick beat me to it. It’s remarkably consistent how reasonable conservatives can get when they have to deal with problems for real instead of just as rhetorical battles. Reagan gets shot, and suddenly reasonable gun policy doesn’t seem so unreasonable to him (though I admit to not knowing what his position was previous to that). Another case is George the Lesser, who, being a governor of a border state, had a most reasonable attitude towards immigration.

    Maybe there nees to be a new saying: A liberal is a conservative who has actually had to deal with a problem for real.

  • eric

    Talk of the Brady bill and waiting periods brings to mind the old SNL sketch where the guy goes in to buy a gun. Gun seller gives him a loaner mace (the club, not the spray) for the 7 day waiting period, and he gets robbed 6 1/2 days later. Ah, funny SNL, what happened to you?


    @7 – I have no evidence for this an am going purely on anecdote, but I would also hazard a guess that in many cases of politicians, a military moderate is a hawk that has actually had to serve in war.

  • Michael Heath

    While Ed has long-provided overwhelming evidence that the mythical god Ronald Reagan is not representative of the Ronald Reagan who was president for eight years, many liberals also continue to deny the reality of Reagan’s performance and attributes nor ever concede he had some big successes where he deserves some kudos. Exhibit A @ 6 & 7.

    The problem with the avoidance technique @ 6 & 7 deploy is the fact we can find many other examples of Reagan doing good without having to conjure up an imagined motivation one then projects onto another. E.g., Reagan promoting a more progressive income tax scheme and then passing such later in this tenure, Reagan compromising on budgetary deals as more important than ideological objectives, Reagan signing an anti-torture treaty which provided prosecutorial powers against U.S. citizens and politicians outside the U.S. – in spite of Bonzo’s having never been water-boarded.

    Now I’m sure that getting shot was a motivating factor for President Reagan just like nearly all politicians are more supportive of gay rights if they’re associating with out-gays. My point here is that we can predict with high confidence that every time someone reveals Ronald Reagan doing good or performing well, some liberals will attempt to maintain the false perception Reagan never did anything right or if they can’t deny even that, somehow still doesn’t deserve credit for the good he actually did. I find it even more repugnant than how conservatives worship the mythical Reagan.

  • Stacy

    St. Ron was pro-gun control when he was governor of California in the 1960’s. The Black Panthers were arming themselves and encouraging other African Americans to arm themselves–in order to resist governmental tyranny, (that’s what conservatives say the 2nd is for, right?)

  • Stacy @10:

    Now you’re just being silly. The government has no history of tyranny against African-Americans. Not in the way they’re oppressed those poor white male Christians.