Kagan Wrote Clinton Ban on Imports


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From Volokh. Was she just following orders, or is she a true believer?
The Volokh Conspiracy Clinton staff: ?We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.? Kagan wrote the Clinton ban on gun imports.
Clinton staff: “We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.” Kagan wrote the Clinton ban on gun imports.

David Kopel • May 11, 2010 4:01 pm

The Chicago Tribune’s James Oliphant reports: “According to records at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., she also drafted an executive order restricting the importation of certain semiautomatic assault rifles.”

When ban was announced, Clinton staffer Jose Cerda stated, “We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.” [Los Angeles Times, Oct. 22, 1997].

The import ban was made permanent in the spring of 1998. Here’s an explanation I wrote, as part of an article on Rahm Emanuel for America’s 1st Freedom, which is a NRA member magazine:

In 1998, Clinton forbade the import of 58 types of firearms and their accessories. . . .

Emanuel defended the ban on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, repeatedly claiming that the banned guns were ‘military weapons, not sporting weapons.’

‘Those weapons were designed for one purpose—military—and they don’t belong on our streets,’ he insisted.

Emanuel asserted that Clinton had banned “the AK-47,” which was pure nonsense. The AK-47, which is a fully automatic rifle, was not covered by the import ban. Indeed, not one of the guns banned was an automatic, nor were any of the guns manufactured primarily for military use.

All the banned guns were used in target competitions. Some had names like “Hunter” or “Sporter.” So how did Clinton and Emanuel get around the 1986 federal law requiring that imports must be allowed if the gun is “particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes”?

Emanuel argued that it was permissible to ban the guns because [a Treasury study found that] comments from hunting guides showed that the guns were rarely recommended for hunting trips. As if the only gun that is a “sporting” gun is one used by people who can afford to take trips with a professional guide.

Emanuel further contended that the guns should be banned because they “accept rounds in the 20, 30, 40, in some cases 100 rounds at a case” [sic]. Of course, every gun that accepts a detachable magazine can accept a detachable magazine of any size. So Emanuel’s theory would actually set the stage for a ban on every gun that uses a detachable magazine.

Democratic Senator Pat Leahy, who was then the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to President Clinton that he “strongly believes that using a Presidential directive to avoid the normal legislative process regarding any changes to the assault weapons ban is the wrong way to go.”


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I know her brother

Hello, since we're talking about her, I'm in an Sen. AP World class in Bx Science taught by one of her brothers, Marc Kagan. Very interesting/good history teacher (better than most in our school), albiet sometimes he is a little left of center. He would often tell us stories of his days a TWU 100 official (a right hand man to the boss) and sometimes, I could actually see the slant (although slight) he gives in his teachings. Not really sure about their families positions on gun control, for all we know, Clinton asked her to help draft the Executive Order (who would refuse such a "prestigious" task). He seems to quite pro-union though.

"Here's a heretical thought: the actual purpose of unions is to improve workers' lives by challenging the free market: to win a higher than "market" wage, to make it hard for the employer to change working conditions or fire the higher-paid worker. We shouldn't hide these ideas under a rock like we're ashamed of them; just the opposite. When unions won the 8-hour day, or the weekend, or pension plans, unions defended the idea that working people's lives and rights were socially more important than employers' profits and rights. And we said that those victories would tend to spread, even into nonunionized sectors, and generally make people's lives better. And that was true, for decades.

"Today we are playing this movie backwards. As people in the nonunion sector have faced big roll-backs in wages and benefits, we hear them complain that unionized workers should also "give back." It's an indication that we have, at least temporarily, lost the battle of ideas in this country, that we can't successfully explain to our fellow workers that it is in their interests too if we are able to hold the line somewhere, rather than engage in a frantic race to the bottom."

I took this quote from here, Link Removed

not sure if his sister is the same thing, frankly it would be unfortunate if the gun laws got any stricter, I just turned 18 and I really want to get one of those Schmitt-Rubin K31s.


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This is really cool. It's called Elena's Inbox.

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All of the emails sent and received by Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan during her time in the Clinton White House were recently put online, and one of Sunlight's followers on Twitter had the idea for us to "put the just-released Kagan email dump into a Gmail-syle interface."

It was a great idea. So we gave it a go.

One of our developers hacked away at it over the weekend and built a site to take Elena Kagan's emails and make them readable just as they would be in Gmail - complete with emails categorized into "conversations" rather than just listed individually. It's incredibly useful.

While we're in the middle of Kagan's hearing for the Supreme Court, it's fascinating to get a sense of her through her public emails. And we already know it's been useful for journalists and bloggers. [One White House reporter (jokingly) even suggested a Pulitzer Prize for the site. Ha!]

So we wanted to make sure to share Elena's Inbox with all of you.

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We're always advocating for more government data to be available to the public online and in real-time, but we also know we can't just stop with data being released. The data has to be made accessible in useful ways through things like creative websites. In the midst of a busy week when the Senate is examining the life of a person who may potentially hold one of our nation's highest offices, we hope this is one of those examples when data being freed, AND being made really easy to use, shows the importance of the open government movement we're all part of.

Enjoy the site and have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

PS To join the national campaign to make ALL public, government data available online and in real-time, sign our pledge here: Link Removed

Elena's Inbox

A project of the Sunlight Foundation


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Most of us here agree that she is about as bad news as you can get. So here is the question. Are there enough patriots in congress to stop her or are the proceedings a complete sham and have the puppets already decided to vote her in?

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