Conservatives Have A History Of Supporting Gun Control, When It Suits Them

arsenal_5Tune into Fox News, conservative AM radio or any other conservative media outlet and you’ll inevitably hear someone invoke the late President Ronald Reagan, as if they were summoning a specter from beyond the grave to give credence to whatever their statement may be. During the 2012 Republican debates, if you took a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey (my favorite) every time you heard the 2nd Amendment mentioned or Reagan’s name used, you’d have died of an alcohol overdose well before the 4th commercial break.

The truth of the matter is that if Ronald Reagan was still alive today, he’d be considered a raging socialist liberal commie fascist gun grabber by the very people who place his legacy on the conservative altar for all to worship. From legalizing abortion in California to supporting gun control to expanding the size of government and deficit spending, Reagan did it all. Yet, it seems that almost every time a Republican runs for office, Jesus Christ, guns and Ronald Reagan are competing themes on the campaign trail.

So let’s look at Ronald Reagan’s actual record on guns. In 1994, he co-authored a letter to Congress in support of a ban on assault weapons.

May 3, 1994

To Members of the U.S. House of Representatives:

We are writing to urge your support for a ban on the domestic manufacture of military-style assault weapons. This is a matter of vital importance to the public safety. Although assualt weapons account for less than 1% of the guns in circulation, they account for nearly 10% of the guns traced to crime.

Every major law enforcement organization in America and dozens of leading labor, medical, religious, civil rights and civic groups support such a ban. Most importantly, poll after poll shows that the American public overwhelmingly support a ban on assault weapons. A 1993 CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll found that 77% of Americans support a ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of semi-automatic assault guns, such as the AK-47.

The 1989 import ban resulted in an impressive 40% drop in imported assault weapons traced to crime between 1989 and 1991, but the killing continues. Last year, a killer armed with two TEC9s killed eight people at a San Francisco law firm and wounded several others. During the past five years, more than 40 law enforcement officers have been killed or wounded in the line of duty by an assault weapon.

While we recognize that assault weapon legislation will not stop all assault weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals. We urge you to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons.


Gerald R. Ford

Jimmy Carter

Ronald Reagan


Also, 13 years before he was elected President, Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford Act which banned the public carrying of weapons. You see, conservatives in California had a real problem with black people carrying guns back then, especially the Black Panthers who were heavily armed and made a point to show off their weapons – much like some of the conservative open-carry rallies today.

The Panthers, however, took it to an extreme, carrying their guns in public, displaying them for everyone—especially the police—to see. Newton had discovered, during classes at San Francisco Law School, that California law allowed people to carry guns in public so long as they were visible, and not pointed at anyone in a threatening way…Don Mulford, a conservative Republican state assemblyman from Alameda County, which includes Oakland, was determined to end the Panthers’ police patrols. To disarm the Panthers, he proposed a law that would prohibit the carrying of a loaded weapon in any California city…

Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”

It wasn’t just Ronald Reagan who supported certain restrictions on guns. Throughout the history of the United States, especially after Civil War and the freeing of the slaves, conservatives have repeatedly sought to keep weapons out of the hands of those they wished to keep disenfranchised. Yes, I realize the KKK was founded by Democrats and they were conservative Democrats, the same ones who fled the party after the Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964. The surviving members of that exodus can now be found at Sarah Palin book signings or at The Villages in Florida with “Don’t Tread On Me Flags” hanging from their golf carts or Hoverounds.

Conservatives, by and large, support the 2nd Amendment. Some are absolutely obsessed with it and think that at any moment, President Obama will send police door to door to confiscate their stash of 12 AR-15s, 20 pistols and 20,000 rounds of ammo that they’ve hoarded. These aren’t necessarily the majority of conservatives, but they certainly are quite vocal – and extremely delusional. Sure, there are some nutty people on the left that would like to see all guns banned. The difference is that they don’t want anyone to have guns, and the right has a history of thinking only white heterosexual Christians “real Americans” should be able to keep and bear arms, along with many of the other rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Don’t believe that? Just get a few of your minority friends, put on some leftover “Hope and Change” t-shirts and head on down to your local gun show. I think you’ll find your answer right there.


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  • Jim Bean

    The House version of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported by only 61 percent of that Chamber’s Democrats versus 80 percent of the Republicans.

    More importantly, it was Republicans that ended a Democrat filibuster preventing a vote on this bill in the Senate. 82 percent of Republicans voted for cloture versus 66 percent of Democrats.

    In the final Senate vote on the Act, 82 percent of Republicans voted “Aye” versus 69 percent of Democrats.

    The same is true for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 when 94 percent of Senate Republicans voted in favor of the bill versus 73 percent of Democrats. The final vote on the House’s version was even more stark as only one Senate Republican voted against it compared to seventeen Democrats.

    In the House, 82 percent of Republicans supported the bill versus 78 percent of Democrats.
    (It wasn’t until Democrats figured out how to get the economically dissatisfied to consistently vote Democratic Party that they fell in love with the black community.)

  • Veritas vos Liberabit

    Conservative/Republicans are hypocrites on just about everything that doesn’t suit their agenda. This gun control issue can be traced as far back as the thirties. However, it wasn’t until after the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that it took a more drastic and controversial approach. Then and more recently, with the attempted assassination of President Reagan that subsequently injured Reagan and James Brady, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was introduced(better known as the Brady Bill) requiring a thorough criminal and mental health issues background check on gun buyers. Clinton signed it into law in 1993. The Brady Bill is more controversial and dubbed unconstitutional since it targets handguns. We still have the Brady Bill. Now, under the Obama Administration, Conservative/Republicans are up in arms(no pun intended) about the constitutionality of gun control, even though this gun control target weapons manufactured to inflict the most damage possible. The Sandy Hook and the Gabby Giffords incidents are true testimony that some gun control is imperative to the safety of those most vulnerable. State of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed the Safe Act law, similar to the Brady Bill. Again, die hard Conservative/Republicans, including the number one Sheriff in Erie County, Western New York, vowed to ignore this law and not enforce it, even after the State Supreme Court deemed most of it to be within the Constitution. Several amendments has been made to this law, however, the goal of Conservative/Republicans is to completely repeal it, or simply not follow it.
    Now, as for Ronald Reagan, history tells us the he was a crusader that brought the World to the brinks of a religious war..Even convincing the Vatican to support his religious ideologies against Islam. Result of those delusional thoughts are that Muslims anti-american sentiments increased and continue to increase with more violence against American interests, domestic and abroad.

    • buricco

      Erie County is just next door to me. Blue state NY my arm.

    • maryann26

      I am a liberal who supports gun rights. Liberals who support gun rights are rare, but we do exist. Criminals will never follow the law. Criminals have never had any trouble getting guns. Gang members and drug dealers couldn’t care less. Chicago and Washington D.C. have tough gun laws, and both are drowning in gun violence.

  • Pipercat

    With 300+ million firearms in this country, any firearm legislation, is akin to pissing up a rope…