Pelosi: "We want them Registered."
When Nancy Pelosi said those words on Good Morning America she opened a can of worms she has been trying hard to keep hidden on a back shelf – but what was she really talking about?
Pelosi’s comments have generated quite a bit of rhetoric from gun-bloggers and some rights groups, and I’m not coming to her defense in any way, but while we are critical of our opponents’ distortions and inaccuracies, we need to be doubly careful about our own accuracy. Both Pelosi and the interviewer were struggling with spoken English during the brief interview and it is difficult to definitively say exactly what was meant by almost anything either of them said, but here’s my take.
The interviewer tried to get Pelosi to take responsibility for the "assault weapons" issue and Pelosi tried to dodge by talking about the DC voting bill and the gunowner rights amendment that was attached to that bill by the Senate. I believe her comments about registration and "crossing state lines" were in reference to that piece of legislation, not "assault weapons."
What is abundantly clear is that Speaker Pelosi is just as ignorant about guns, gun issues, and the Constitution as she has ever been, and would enthusiastically support any restrictive legislation she thought she and her party could get away with. But as I have repeatedly pointed out, she is smart enough to understand that there is very little she could get away with without serious repercussions in the next elections so she continues to duck the issue.
Below is the actual transcript of the interview. I think there are a few minor typos and lots of really, really bad grammar and twisted phrasing. You decide what you think she was really saying. (Keep in mind that the interviewer’s comments are not Pelosi’s.)
ROBERTS: Let’s bring it back here at home for a moment. There’s so many issues on people’s minds. This past weekend, and the past week, we’ve seen a lot of mass shootings.
ROBERTS: And the shooter in Pennsylvania, he was stated as saying that part of the reason why he purchased the AK-47, that he feared that under the Obama administration, that you would reinstate the assault weapon ban. And how do you reconcile that with the work that you have to do in trying to stem these types of surges in gun purchases?
PELOSI: Clearly, this is a sick person. So, whatever excuse he uses for his behavior is about that sickness. But, it’s important to note that since March 10th to April 5th, 53 people have been the victims of gun violence in our country. Four officers in Oakland, California. But the experience in New York more recent, and even many more people killed. We have to have answers to this. We have to find some level of compromise. Right now, we have the debate in Congress over the District of Columbia, wanting a vote on the floor of the House, something we all want. That’s a civil rights issue. And yet, they want to put a gun- a draconian gun bill- attach that to that. I don’t think that that should be the price is to pay to have a vote on the floor of the House. But we have to find some middle ground.
ROBERTS: Under the Bush administration, you pretty much said the ball was in their court when it came to reinstating the ban. Now, it’s a Democratic President, a Democratic House. So, is the ball in your court where this is concerned?
PELOSI: Yes, it is. And we are just going to have to work together to come to some resolution because the court, in the meantime, in recent months, the Supreme Court has ruled in a very- in a direction that gives more opportunity for people to have guns. We never denied that right. We don’t want to take their guns away. We want them registered. We don’t want them crossing state lines as this legislation would do in the District of Columbia. We wouldn’t tell any other state what to do. But Congress wants to tell the District of Columbia. So, in any event, there’s tremendous work ahead on this. And we have to rid the debate of the misconceptions that people have about what gun safety means.