Bill Clinton on Gun Control
President of the U.S., 1993-2001; Former Democratic Governor (AR)
Last week, Bill Clinton was asked why he was supporting only niminy-piminy restrictions on guns, our current President, also with the freedom of a lame duck, replied testily: "Should people have to register guns like they register their cars? Do I think that? Of course I do." He didn't propose it only because Congress was opposed.
Convinced that the Brady Bill could be an effective way to reduce gun-related crimes, Pres. Clinton had publicly supported the legislation even before his election in 1992. The Clinton Administration & other handgun control advocates finally overcame the NRA's well-organized opposition to the Brady Bill and it passed Congress in Dec. 1993.
The ban prohibits the sale, transfer, or importation of 19 military-style assault weapons. Banned weapons include the AK-47, Uzi submachine gun, revolving-cylinder shotguns such as the "Street Sweeper" and the "Striker 12", as well as the deadly TEC-9 assault pistol, capable of firing more than 50 times before reloading. At the same time, the bill specifically protects more than 650 legitimate sporting weapons.
Since its passage, the Assault Weapons Ban has resulted in an 18% decline in assault weapons crimes in 1995. Moreover, the number of assault weapons recovered by police officers has declined nearly 48.6%.
We also have a law that bans the sale of 19 assault weapons-guns made expressly for killing people. What’s more, not a single hunter in America has lost a weapon or missed a season as a result of either the assault weapons ban or the Brady Bill.
CLINTON: I support the right to keep and bear arms. I live in a State where over half the adults have hunting or fishing licenses or both. But I believe we have to have some way of checking the criminal history, the mental health history, and the age of people who are buying them. Therefore, I support the Brady bill, which would impose a national waiting period, unless and until a State did what only Virginia has done now, which is to automate its records. Once you automate your records, then you don't have to have a waiting period, but at least you can check.
PEROT: The Brady bill is a timid step in the right direction, but it won't fix it. So why pass a law that won't fix it?
BUSH: I am not for national registration of firearms. Some of the States that have the toughest antigun laws have the highest levels of crime.
Make America the “Safest Big Country” in the World
After climbing relentlessly for three decades, crime rates started to fall in the 1990s. Nonetheless, the public remains deeply concerned about the prevalence of gun violence, especially among juveniles, and Americans still avoid public spaces like downtown retail areas, parks, and even sports facilities.
We need to keep policing “smart” and community-friendly, prohibiting unjust and counterproductive tactics such as racial profiling; focus on preventing as well as punishing crime; pay attention to what happens to inmates and their families after sentencing; use mandatory testing and treatment to break the cycle of drugs and crime; and enforce and strengthen laws against unsafe or illegal guns. Moreover, we need a renewed commitment to equal justice for all, and we must reject a false choice between justice and safety.
Technology can help in many areas: giving police more information on criminal suspects so they do not rely on slipshod, random stop-and-search methods; allowing lower-cost supervision of people on probation or parole; and making it possible to disable and/or trace guns used by unauthorized persons.
Above all, we need to remember that public safety is the ultimate goal of crime policy. Until Americans feel safe enough to walk their neighborhood streets, enjoy public spaces, and send their children to school without fear of violence, we have not achieved public safety.
|Other past presidents on Gun Control:||Bill Clinton on other issues:|
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)
Past Vice Presidents:
Natural Law Party