Rick Perry on Gun Control
Republican Governor (TX)
A: I think we have the laws in place; enforcement of those laws is what seems to be lacking. We see individuals who were obviously mentally impacted. These were individuals who I think that somewhere, somebody didn't do their job in the standpoint of enforcing the laws that are only on the book. I will suggest to you that these concepts of gun free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms to carry them.
After his speech, though, he sent mixed signals about the wisdom of debating gun laws in the wake of the tragedy: "It is healthy for us as a nation to have conversations, but I do have an issue that the knee-jerk from the left is always, 'We're going to take people's guns away from them,' when in fact there may be a host of contributing factors here."
When asked if Obama was exploiting the tragedy by raising the issue of better background checks, Perry said yes; "that's the knee-jerk reaction--that if we can just take the guns out of the hands of everyone in this country, these types of things won't happen again."
According to Perry, Vice President Biden's recommendations on gun control in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings "have nothing to do with what happened" at Sandy Hook Elementary. Moreover, Obama's "executive actions" betray "a pre-existing political agenda" that is markedly anti-gun.
Wrote Perry: "The piling on the by the political left and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The Second Amendment to the Constitution is a basic right and cannot nor will not be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president."
The natural question arises, How, then, do the laws get enforced? The Supreme Court made crystal clear in the US v. Printz case, involving the enforcement of temporary provisions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, that the federal government cannot commandeer state authorities to carry out federal law.
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The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Further restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms"
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