Thursday, July 10, 2014

In An Earlier Life, He Was A Federal Prosecutor

When people say Governor Chris Christie is a big man, they're not talking about courage. reported Monday

Gov. Chris Christie said today that he declined to meet with parents of first graders who were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last week because he had already decided to veto the controversial gun bill.

Christie defended his decision to recently veto the bill to reduce the permitted size of ammunition magazines from 15 rounds to 10 and said he declined to discuss the bill with parents of slain children because the conditional veto was already signed by the time they requested a meeting.

“I already signed it,” he said during a news conference in Keansburg. “It would have been really hypocritical for me to sit down and act like I was listening to their arguments, again, when in fact I already signed the conditional veto.”

The comments from the potential Republican presidential contender in 2016 came less than a week after two of the parents — Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden — visited Christie’s office in Trenton last week to present more than 55,000 petitions supporting the bill to limit the size of magazines.

The parents contended that more lives would have been saved during the mass shooting — 20 children and six adults were slain at the school in Newtown, Conn. — if the gunman had taken more time to reload his weapon.

After the parents left the New Jersey Statehouse, Christie’s office released the conditional veto, which was received with harsh criticism by the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

Evidently, though, Christie had not signed the bill before a meeting was requested.  Barden, whose 7-year-old son was killed at Sandy Hook, maintained

Christie must have made his mind up to veto the bill weeks before it was announced, since he declined a meeting with them going back to May 21.

"It makes me scratch my head," Barden said. "If he made his decision back then, what was he waiting for? Everyone knows his track record for vetoing controversial bills on the evening of a holiday weekend on the hopes it wouldn’t get noticed," he said.

At a news conference three days after the veto, the Governor complained

Are we saying then that the 10 children on the clip that they advocate for, that their lives are less valuable? If you take the logical conclusion of their argument, you go to zero. Because every life is valuable. So, why 10? Why not 6? Why not 1? Why not zero? Why not just ban guns completely?

Maybe because in the view of the U.S. Supreme Court-which Christie may have noticed- banning guns by probably would be unconstitutional. Although it applied specifically to federal law and federal enclaves such as the District of Columbia, the Court's majority opinion in Heller held "the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home."   Two years later in McDonald v. Chicago, Justice Alito- writing for the majority- misleadingly contended “It is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty." In March, Justice Kennedy, refusing to block implementation of a law banning high-capacity magazines, found the burden "light" because "(m)agazines having a capacity to accept more than ten rounds are hardly crucial for citizens to exercise their right to bear arms" (visual below from Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence).

Someone ought to tell the Governor, once reportedly a U.S. attorney, that the Supreme Court apparently currently believes there is a constitutional right to possess firearms with magazines holding up to ten rounds. That could be why the NJ legislation specified a maximum of ten rounds, rather than 6 or 1.  Pretty simple for someone who purports to be a lawyer.   Even Christie fan Joe Scarborough, noting the presidential hopeful was pandering to the NRA, remarked "It was painful watching Chris Christie talking about, somehow limiting clips to 10 bullets means that you don't care about the 10 children that will be killed by those bullets... That is just one of the stupidest arguments I think I've ever heard. But when you have to push yourself to defend extreme positions, these are the things I guess you have to do." And Joe Scarborough is an expert on stupid arguments.

This is the Republican (along with Jeb Bush) the media touts whenever possible as presidential timber.  Sometime before Bridgegate, multi-millionaire Chris Matthews (effecting his common guy pose) commented "Regular people in my family and they’re very regular people —they like him because that ‘at-ey-tude’ — as we say in Philly, we pronounce it that way — ‘at-ey-tude.’”

He does have attitude- attitude which extends to the families of victims of gun violence.

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