Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Background Check, Please!

By Bill Maher

Recent polling suggests that some of the senators who voted against background checks are taking a hit for it, and Joe Manchin, one of the sponsors of the bill, is saying he's going to bring it back up. But here's the problem: it's not a great bill in the first place, and even if it were, it could never pass the House of Representatives.

If the anti-gun people really want to get guns off the streets, they have to start thinking more like the anti-abortion people. Part of that is getting states and localities to restrict guns more -- that's already happening in places like New York and Colorado. But there's something else they could do: go after providers and make it unbearable for them to be in the killing machine business. This is essentially what the anti-abortion movement has done with abortion providers. The results? Today, 48 states have fewer abortion providers than in they did in 1978.


giovanna m d'andrea said...

apologies, wasn't sure where to post this....

berlusconi, "president"??!! of italy? really??!! c'mon, bill
you can do better than that!

still not setting my foot back in italy! such an embarrassment!

Just One Voice said...


Amongst all the chaos that our great but imperfect human race stirs up, there is, for sure, lots to say and complain about. No shortage of points on which to take a stand, voice an opinion, or "strike a pose." When some debate, however, reaches the watered-down-to-death point of insanity, certainly the sane among us must scream out. Can we, however, inject sanity into the insane? Can we use logic to sway the illogical? Can we rationalize with the irrational? Well, we can sure as hell try. We must, mustn't we?

We have, of late, watered down our all too recently impassioned debate over gun control in our fine land. Mere moths ago, in the wake of unthinkable tragedy, we were committed to real change. Common sense had, briefly, made its way into our national discourse on the matter. Progress was all but a foregone conclusion...

Enter the NRA, the radical right, and gun manufacturers. All three added together (sort of like saying all penguins, flightless arctic birds, and fast-swimming birds added together) making up a relatively small portion of "we, the people." A force, nonetheless, with which to be reckoned.

This force, in fact, was able to completely change, not only the winning and losing side of the debate...but also the debate itself. In just a few short months we went from "ready to pass real change in gun laws and make many weapons and magazines illegal" to "do we really need background checks?" Are you kidding me??!!

It's no joke, though. The "Christian" right gun-lovers have managed to convince our "representatives" that it is just too much to ask to have a waiting period for background checks on every gun bought or sold. The small number of insane among us have convinced leaders of both parties to ignore the 80% - 90% who would otherwise approve of such common sense legislation. And, in so doing, have somehow managed to also cloud their thinking enough to render them stupid.

Case in point: The pet argument of this small group of radicals speaks to their shock and dismay about even the thought of a background check interfering with the "handing down" of a cherished family weapon to a son or a nephew or a grandson. To which the "left" impishly replies: "We can certainly exclude family gifting of guns."

However, as is too often the case, this is just another example of the senseless changing the way the otherwise sensible argue. These family transactions being exempted should NOT be the point of retort. In a sensible, rational, thoughtful world (one in which we are far from living), the appropriate response would be: "Cletus, if your son or nephew or grandson cannot pass a routine background check, then our country, and our country's law abiding citizens, and our country's innocent, defenseless children do not want him having a gun."

A big wish, sadly, for a small bit of sanity.

Anonymous said...


While I really enjoy the show and overall tend to agree with you on most topics, I feel like the gun debate may be a little one sided too often.I agree background checks and government/health system inter-agency communication needs to be addressed, but I also assure you the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution doesn't have to be viewed as an outdated, unrealistic, or irresponsible right to continue to enforce. I may not say this as eloquently as some, but a lot of things you say about gun owners are far reaching to say the least. In the case of large cities and some metropolitan areas I can understand why the degree of gun violence insists attention. However I truly believe in less populated places hunting, outdoor recreation, and simply shooting at trash keeps gun violence down. We have extensive events that encourage family sportsmanship while insisting on responsibility. I won't claim there are any less if not more stupid people in the 'booneys', but the culture also differs in places where there IKEA is only a website with shitty, overpriced furniture. Where I live (pop. 210,000 ppl.) there hasn't been the same degree of gun violence that you see in large metropolitan areas. The blanket laws tend to make people here uncomfortable, me included and I am a young, educated, generally democratically minded gun owner and I feel like I am painted as a hillbilly with buck teeth in camo. What really got me fueled to post on your blog was the comment by one of your guests that most people don't hunt anymore?!? Uhhh, sorry but what is it that people think funds state Fish and Game departments, Wildlife Management Programs, or the enforcement of the protection of endangered species? You want forests? Then you want hunters because we pay for the studies, protection, and maintenance of wildlife. My only request is that you give some consideration to responsible gun owners and find out what the real reasons are that the rational, level headed, normal human beings who own guns are afraid of some of the "gun debates" that happen between democratic and liberal parties. Also, do some research...gun owners pay for a lot that no one wants to.

"Hunters also pay a truckload of special excise taxes. The Wildlife Restoration Fund under the Pittman-Robertson legislation collects these excise taxes on certain hunting equipment and apportions
them to state natural resource agencies for conservation and education, which includes habitat restoration, shooting ranges, wildlife research and more. For
fiscal year 2002, this program delivered more than $481 million to the states and territories of the United States"

I still love your show and the blunt, in your face, take it how you want nature of the discussions and commentary in the show.

Best Wishes

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