Giuliani on Guns

Having muddied the waters on abortion, Rudy Giuliani is now reworking his gun control positions to avoid alienating conservative voters in the Republican primaries. Recently he has spoken approvingly of the federal appeals court decision striking down the D.C. gun ban, asserted his support for the right to bear arms, and endorsed a federalist approach to gun control under which different areas of the country would have different rules. When he was mayor of New York, by contrast, he advocated licensing for gun owners, avidly supported federal gun control measures such as the Brady Law and the "assault weapon" ban, blamed lax gun laws in other states for violent crime in New York City, and participated in litigation that aimed to impose national restrictions on the gun industry. Writing in Human Events, John Veleco, director of federal affairs at Gun Owners of America, questions the sincerity of Giuliani's conversion.

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  • ||

    and endorsed a federalist approach to gun control under which different areas of the country would have different rules

    This is just a dishonest cop-out that gun controllers use because they know they can't ban guns outright. Sort of like when people say the same thing for abortion (but at least abortion isn't specifically protected by the Constitution).

  • B||

    Is there any reason to believe that Guiliani's previous position--which was the politically expedient one to have with NYC voters--is any more authentic than one that is now politically expedient among GOP primary voters nationwide?

    It seems to me that the "sincerity" of his position is nearly irrelevant...

  • ||

    OK, betting pool, how many posts until the war-socialist state-worshipping scuds-launched-from-Mexico-fearing ex-aide of a certain Congressman from Texas splashes down to promote Giuliani's libertarian credentials?

    My bet, 48. :)

  • ||

    I look forward to not voting for Rudy Guliani!

  • Guy Montag||

    I suspect politician trickery.

  • ||

    On his abortion straddle, I don't think "I'll appoing strict constructionist/originalist/non-activist judges" is going to cut it. There has a been a clear majority of those judges on the court for years, and they go and overturn Texas' ban on gay sex.

    Social conservatives don't want judges with a certain theory of constitutional interpretation - they want judges who will advance their social, political, and religious agenda. The highminded talk about schools of Constitutional interpretation is certainly very real when coming from conservative legal nerds, but it is largely a stalking horse for the real culture warriors. Just look at the myriad working definition of "judical activism" that get tossed about.

    I don't think Rudy is going to win them over by abstracting their hotbutton issues.

  • ||

    He doesn't have to be extremely pro-gun. He just has to be more pro-gun than the Democratic nominee.

    If the argument is he can't win the nominee due to his gun stance, then the polls are incredibly wrong.

  • ||

    He is very sincere in saying whatever he thinks is necessary to get your vote.

    wholesale panderbation, thats what it looks like to me.

  • dhex||

    "I don't think Rudy is going to win them over by abstracting their hotbutton issues."

    but his charming authoritarianism just might.

    i have nightmares about a hillary v. rudy showdown. who do you root for? or do you just pray for death?

  • ||

    Didn't Giuliani personally hunt down and kill bin Laden with a sword? I seem to remember hearing about that somewhere. Right after he saved New York from additional terrorist attacks by boarding a plane in mid-flight and killing the terrorists on board, ninja-style.

  • ||

    All I've been hearing for about 12 years is who people won't vote for and why. I've pretty much had it.

    Shit, they could nominate Snake-Fucking-Pliskin and some of you would find a reason not to like the guy.

    Wake me up someone actually has the balls to come out and endorse a candidate instead of hiding behind the thinly veiled protection of "I hate them all!" Until then.....I'm tired.

  • ||

    There are legitimate federalism/2nd amendment issues with the difference between a federal law banning the ownership of handguns, in Washington DC and state laws regulating the ownership of firearms.

    A legitimate case can be made that the phrase well-regulated in the second amendment indicates an intent to allow individual states to set their own rules on who could and could not own guns, while at the same time barring the federal government from infringing onm the right to bear arms. Like all other amendments the Second was initially intended to apply only to the federal government.

  • ||

    Holy Cow, these Presidential contests just keep sucking more and more. At least Giuliani didn't make a fortune via eminent domain and taxpayer subsidy, but I doubt he would be opposed to such an outcome.

  • ||

    Hey, if a guy with a record of principled federalism were to actually run for nomination with one of the two majors, I'd be inclined to support him, or at least strongly consider it. I don't see any such candidate on the horizon, however.

  • ||

    Sleeping,

    I'll vote for Ron Paul. I'm also on record as willing to vote for Snake Plissken, even though I thought he wuz dead.

  • ||

    Tarran,

    My vote is 30. Then he will run over the The Liberty Papers to call us all "Lefty-Libertarians."

    Nikc

  • ||

    [S]trict constructionist/originalist/non-activist judges" is going to cut it. There has a been a clear majority of those judges on the court for years. . .

    A clear majority? What definition of "majority" are you using?

  • ||

    "My vote is 30. Then he will run over the The Liberty Papers to call us all 'Lefty-Libertarians.'



    Nick, I think you are going to win. At this rate, no way we're going to get more than 35 posts.

  • ||

    I reject the label "lefty libertarian." Rather, I am an "uppity libertarian."

  • ||

    "A legitimate case can be made that the phrase well-regulated in the second amendment indicates an intent to allow individual states to set their own rules on who could and could not own guns, while at the same time barring the federal government from infringing onm the right to bear arms. Like all other amendments the Second was initially intended to apply only to the federal government."

    In which case, Rudy should have no problem coming out in favor of repealing 18 USC 922(o), the Gun Control Act of 1968, and at least sections of the National Firearms Act of 1934.

    Otherwise, he's pandering.

  • ||

    I gotta agree with B. Does it really matter if he is authentic? Looking for all this salt of the earth bullshit resulted in our current president. Whatever Rudy says his presidential position on gun control is, I'll take his word for it. When he was mayor of NYC, pro-gun control made sense. On a national stage, it does not. Molehill, you will one day be a mountain.

  • ||

    "cab: If the argument is he can't win the nominee due to his gun stance, then the polls are incredibly wrong."

    This would be more convincing if the polls showed that Republican primary voters *knew* about Giuliani's record on gun control.

    Probably all that most of them know about him is that he was "America's Mayor on 9/11". The other candidates have scarcely begun to attack his record on social issues. (McCain and Romney may have a hard time doing so because of their own inconsistencies, but what if, say, Fred Thompson enters the race?)

    For what it's worth, polls in the year before election have been "incredibly wrong" before. Howard Dean was the front-runner for the Democratic nomination with Kerry far behind. (OK, maybe Republicans are less volatile, but the point is not so much that polls that far in advance are "wrong" as that they are necessarily based on things like name recognition and are therefore of limited value in predicting the winner. Pollsters do not pretend to be prophets; they are just taking a "snapshot" of public opinion at a given time.)

  • ||

    "He doesn't have to be extremely pro-gun. He just has to be more pro-gun than the Democratic nominee."

    This is true. But given the downright Orwellian stance the left has on guns, I have to say, the future doesn't bode well.

  • ||

    "I'll take his word for it. When he was mayor of NYC, pro-gun control made sense. On a national stage, it does not. Molehill, you will one day be a mountain."

    Disagree. After all, Giuliani attempted to circumvent the legislature and bring NYC-style gun control to other states by suing gun manufacturers and, iirc, retailers.

    Given his authoritarian stance on nearly everything else, I have a hard time believing that he has softened his stance on the issue.

  • ||

    "After all, Giuliani attempted to circumvent the legislature and bring NYC-style gun control to other states by suing gun manufacturers and, iirc, retailers."

    No, no, no. This was not "after all." This was while he was mayor of NYC and thus still politically expedient necessary if he expected to ever get elected again in NYC or NYS. The man has a lot of faults, but backing out on major campaign promises isn't really one of them.

  • LarryA||

    When he was mayor of NYC, pro-gun control made sense. On a national stage, it does not.

    Yes and no.

    NYC pro-gun-control "made sense" as far as getting him elected. It did not make sense in the "gun control controls crime" level.

    The Federalist argument was part of Dean's campaign, stated as "Maryland has a high crime rate, therefore it needs tough gun control. Vermont has a very low crime rate, so we can permit it to have lax gun control." (Empasis added.)

    This mindset is based on the unspoken presumption that gun control controls crime. But Maryland has had tough gun control for decades, and indeed prides itself on having the toughest gun control of any state.

    How can this be? If gun control controls crime, when is it going to control Maryland's crime rate? Why is it Vermont, with lax gun control, that has the very low crime rate?

    Politicians like Giuliani can't find these answers because they don't recognize the question even exists.

  • ||

    Your point is wholly valid. However, I just don't see why two similar cities couldn't have different results with similar gun regulation. It seems that the approach of the police department would have as much to do with any rise or fall in gun violence as the regulations themselves. Isn't it true that NYC gun crime (along with violent crime in general) went down under Giuliani? I'm getting into speculation here, but it would seem that NYC had success where others did not.

  • ||

    Giuliani's new campaign slogan: "Elect me and I promise that I'll eventually figure out what I believe in, if anything."

  • ||

    Giuliani's new campaign slogan: "Elect me and I promise that I'll eventually figure out what I believe in, if anything."



    But if he does, he'll stop giving Dondero a boner...

  • ||

    "Giuliani's new campaign slogan: "Elect me and I promise that I'll eventually figure out what I believe in, if anything."

    ...in the meantime, crime goes down, real estate goes up, the local sports team wins it all (how's he gonna pull that one off?), a few unarmed kids are shot, and the GOP goes further and further to the right.

    I wish we could put more emphasis on personality and other worthless indicators of merit. I don't particularly care what he believes in. I'm interested in what he produces. GWB has proven to us that beliefs don't mean shit. If Rudy's the prez, he ain't my damn minister. He keeps taxes low, uses the military only when necessry, and rebuffs the Christian bizarro world, he brings a certain decision-making process to the mix and many people think that process works.

  • The Left||

    given the downright Orwellian stance the left has on guns

    Such as: We support federal gun control measures.

    But we do support states' rights if the states enact gun controls that are even more restrictive than the federal ones.

  • ||

    Dammit,

    I lose again.

    Nick

  • LarryA||

    Isn't it true that NYC gun crime (along with violent crime in general) went down under Giuliani? I'm getting into speculation here, but it would seem that NYC had success where others did not.

    NYC started passing gun control in 1938. By the time Rudy was elected the main laws regulating NYC firearms had been in effect a couple of decades.

    The crime rate went down because of stricter enforcement, particularly of scofflaw offenses, and several other factors unrelated to the legal sale or possession of firearms.

    As I recall national crime rates were falling at the same time.

  • ||

    "started passing gun control in 1938. By the time Rudy was elected the main laws regulating NYC firearms had been in effect a couple of decades."

    So you are pretty much admitting that gun control can work if the laws are enforced. At least that's progress. Surely you didn't think NYC made such a turnaround by arresting vandals and squeegeemen? Look at any interview from the period, and you'll see that enforcement of gun regulations was a cornerstone of Rudy's program.

  • ||

    The drop in NYC's crime rate began under Mayor Dinkens - which is not to say that Guiliani's policies played no role, just that there is a lot more to the story.

  • ||

    "So you are pretty much admitting that gun control can work if the laws are enforced."

    Studies conducted by (iirc) the CDC have shown that stricter gun control does not correlate to lower crime rates.

    Infringing on a basic human civil right, on the other hand, seems to be the raison d'être of gun control.

    Look, Lamar, I know that you're all hot for Rudy, and that you can't understand the affectation that all of us overall-wearing hayseed hickoids out here in flyover country have for our Blastomatic 8000's, but Rudy's stance on gun control is a matter of record.

    Your claim that Rudy isn't anti-gun is at best woefully ignorant. At worst, it's chock full of elitist condescension.

  • LarryA||

    So you are pretty much admitting that gun control can work if the laws are enforced.

    NYC gun control laws have been rigorously enforced since way before Guiliani was mayor, to no measurable result. Bernard Goetz was convicted of illegally possessing the revolver he legitimately used to defend himself in 1984. The NYC discriminatory firearm license system has prohibited possession and carrying by all but the politically connected since the early 1970s.

    Surely you didn't think NYC made such a turnaround by arresting vandals and squeegeemen?

    No. Much of the difference was in actually prosecuting criminals arrested and incarcerating them, instead of the former catch-and-release policy.

    Look at any interview from the period, and you'll see that enforcement of gun regulations was a cornerstone of Rudy's program.

    No liberal crime program is complete without cornerstoning on gun control. It's part of the rhetoric. That doesn't mean gun control actually contributes to the results.

    By the way, I'm distinguishing between traditional gun control (as in laws preventing the legal possession of firearms) and the much more successful programs that target known criminals with felon-in-possession charges. Several NRA-sponsored programs in different states that increased Federal prosecution of criminals caught carrying were successful in dropping violent crime rates.

    One positive note on the Bush administration is that Federal felon-in-possession prosecutions rose sharply after the neglect of such laws under Clinton's Justice Department.

  • ||

    I wish we could put more emphasis on personality and other worthless indicators of merit. I don't particularly care what he believes in. I'm interested in what he produces.

    Ah, a "make the trains run on time" theory. So, in other words, you are interested in the quantity of whatever President Rudy would produce, rather than the quality. Each to their own, I guess.

  • ||

    "NYC gun control laws have been rigorously enforced since way before Guiliani was mayor"

    Bernie Goetz is your example of enforcing firearm regulations? What would happen if everybody started shooting at thugs who ask for money? Even if that's a good thing, Goetz killed people in the subway. It isn't really "enforcement of firearms regulations" when you arrest somebody for homicide with a smoking gun in their hands.

    Mediageek: I don't know how hot for Rudy I am, but why is it that when somebody is competent, people like ChrisO have to make them out to be Mussolini? Is there something inherently fascist about competence?

    I guess I understand why flyover folks get into a dander about how Rudy turned around the violent crime rate in NYC with gun control being a cornerstone. Perhaps it's condescension, but NYC is not a little podunk excuse for a town where people go to church and live right. Gun control seems to have worked in NYC (though I understand the arguments to the contrary), so naturally we assume that Rudy is a fascist who wants to take away everybody's guns. I can't buy into the alarmism.

  • ellipsis||

    Lamar,

    Self defense isn't homicide, and a few States now implicitly protect people in situations like Goetz from prosecution.

    Maybe you think that's a bad thing; I think that's a good thing. But I also think Rudy's full of shit. I guess everybody has their own reasons for their opinion. C'est la vie.

  • ||

    "I don't know how hot for Rudy I am, but why is it that when somebody is competent, people like ChrisO have to make them out to be Mussolini? Is there something inherently fascist about competence?"

    Perhaps because when it comes to the gun issue, Giuliani's stance is quite similar to Mussolini's? His quashing of gun rights in NYC is still an infringement of a basic civil right of every non-criminal New Yorker, which makes him wrong, even if your dubious claim that NYC gun control led to a lower crime rate is true.

    But then I guess that I'm a bit fuzzy as to how prosecuting citizens for paperwork infringements and failing to jump through egregiously byzantine bureaucratic hoops leads to a lower violent crime rate.

    Also, perhaps you can back up Rudy's claim that he's all for letting laws vary by locality if you point me to where he has called for repealing 18 USC 922(o), the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the National Firearms Act of 1934.

    And, again, I remind you that he supported the federal ban on so-called "assault weapons" as well as attempting to force New York-style gun control on other states by filing a flurry of lawsuits.

  • ||

    ellipsis: I don't know too much about the Goetz case, I just meant that they arrested him for homicide (and not on a gun regulation charge). It is my understanding as well that he was acquitted of that charge, and rightly so.

    I don't think the enforcement of handgun laws in NYC is focused on paper violations. I think you are confusing suburban and rural enforcement with big city enforcement. Many of the guns come from vandalism busts and the like. I guess the downside is that the catch only the stupid criminals who bring a gun to tag a wall, but then again, having the stupid criminals off the street may make it safer for bystanders.

    As to the guns in NYC, it is kind of bullshit that I have to pay $450 to get a license, but it isn't really a ban. I know, lame argument, but I do want to put it out there that there is no per se ban on hand guns. Businesses can have guns and people can have them in their homes.

    I really can't address whether he would repeal a law that's been on the books since 1934. I assume he wouldn't, but then again, if it has been on the books since 1934, I suspect nobody's going to do it.

    Interesting aside: What Is Manhattan's Gun-Friendliest Locale?
    Of the 3,637 firearms dealers in the state, the West Side Rifle and Pistol Range in Chelsea is the only gun retailer in Manhattan that also operates as a full-service shooting club. The club's most popular gun: the Glock 19, a nine-millimeter semi-automatic ($595). Some groups within the club: Women on Target, the Lawyers Gun Club, and the Pink Pistols, a group of twelve gay men who don't show up all that often. ("They don't seem to be overly organized," says owner Bob Derrig.) West Side Rifle's busiest time of year: Valentine's Day.

    Here are NYC's permitting rules, so that you can further rip Rudy a new one.

  • ||

    "I don't think the enforcement of handgun laws in NYC is focused on paper violations."

    Really? Gee, I wonder what Ronald Dixon would say about that.

  • ||

    Also, it's my understanding that your permit only allows you to own the pistol, but it does not allow you to carry a defensive sidearm.

    On top of that, NY has a ban on so-called "assault weapons."

  • ||

    "I don't think the enforcement of handgun laws in NYC is focused on paper violations."

    Really? Gee, I wonder what Ronald Dixon would say about that."


    You mean the part where he used the gun? Hard to say it is a paper violation when he shot a robber. Justified or not, there are rules in place. Also, he was NOT charged with the firearm violation, instead getting disorderly conduct (he was able to prove the gun was legally purchased and that he had applied for a license). So, Ron Dixon would probably have said, "boy, if I hadn't followed the rules, I would have gotten in trouble. Instead, I got a pissant fine for jumping the, er, gun. And oh yeah, my family is still alive contrary to what all the gun nuts down south say happens in highly regulated areas."

    I know you keep saying that NYC bans this or bans that. Honestly, so what? You put 9 million people on top of each other, and now you want them to carry, license-free, handguns and high-capacity semiautomatic rifles? Let me know when that happens so I can get as far away from the powder keg as possible.

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