WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Governor Markell's 2nd Inaugural today (Tuesday) a day after unveiling of gun-control package

I'm in Dover this morning & midday to assist with our stations' coverage of Governor Jack Markell's second Inaugural.

In can't remember another time where the pageantry of a Governor's Inaugural is overshadowed, however, by the announcement of a legislative package touching on one of the third rails of U.S. politics: Guns.

As reported on our stations, the threesome of Governor Markell, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn, and Attorney General Beau Biden held a news conference to lay out their legislative vision on guns: Banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; mandating background checks for all private gun sales; ordering compulsory reporting of any lost or stolen firearms within 48 hours of the disappearance or theft; restricting firearms possession within one thousand feet of schools (but exempting residents who happen to live near those schools).

Republicans and pro-gun forces immediately pushed back, saying the proposals were cosmetic: Chipping away at 2nd Amendment rights while failing to address the real problems -- school safety and mental health.

An N.R.A. statement declared Governor Markell was "not as interested in protecting our children as he is in pushing the anti-gun agenda he first announced in his 2008 campaign." The Delaware State Sportsmen's Association issued a similar statement.

State House Minority Leader Danny Short (R-Seaford) - with whom I spoke on-the-air Monday afternoon - complained Republican legislative leaders were not included in the initial deliberations about the package. He said the proposals lacked specificity. Short also complained that Beau Biden kept saying there was going to be a "fight". (Although, as a practical matter, isn't that true?)

Supporters of gun constraints insist they have bipartisan support. Indeed, ex-state Senator Liane Sorenson (R-DE) attended Monday's press conference. Left unsaid: The obvious upstate/downstate split over guns, and the likelihood that a Democratic-dominated General Assembly will pass all or much of this.

Posted at 6:24am on January 15, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 6:40am
Pass all the gun laws you want. Ain't gonna change anything.

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 8:19am
With Delaware's left-leaning General Assembly, there won't be any problem getting this gun-control legislation adopted. It isn't akin to Congress, where the NRA has a much louder bark, and a far greater influence on legislators.

While I've always been wary about passing 'reactionary' laws, the set of proposals from Markell is all about common sense: Nobody needs an assault weapon; people should have a thorough background check; and guns should not be anywhere near a school.

For once, I can say 'bravo' to the governor for taking steps to protect our schoolkids.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jan 15, 2013 8:20am
Mr. Pizza: As has been said before, we do need to try to lower the risk, we won't stop it, but make it less likely we and our loved ones are shot. Just as we've done with automobiles, making them safer, laws governing who gets to drive, required insurance, etc., the same idea with guns.

So let's make it more difficult to get assault weapons, require background checks for all sales of guns, including gun shows and private sales. That way, the risk of a "knucklehead" with mental issues is reduced. For every bullet NOT fired is possibly a life saved. THAT's the bottom line.

The Gun-rights folks aren't willing to work with the rest of the nation to lower the risk, so finally folks have had enough of doing nothing, and this is the result.

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 10:01am
This bill does an excellent job of protecting the guns already owned by responsible people, while making the use of them for criminal activity more difficult.

In other words, Markell's and the Democrats' bill protects the 2nd amendment for all those safe people who won't ever commit a crime. What's not to like about that?

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 10:07am
The NRA and Sportsman Associations have totally lost it.... I'm sure they both knee-jerked without even looking at the proposals that got mention. As well, Rep Dan Short from Seaford, said some really crazy stuff yesterday; I hope it is on podcast, because listening to it live, it sounded like he was having a stroke and not making sense.

I think everyone hearing your broadcast was going: what on earth is he talking about.

And something these Republican lawmakers have to realize. Since these bill have protections galore for those who already own weapons, to not vote in favor, would make them pro-criminal, since criminals are the only ones hurt by this bill, which makes Rep. Dan Short sound even more "way out there."

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 1:39pm
Since we are debating giving up civil rights, why is there not a bill allowing mental-health professionals to raise an alarm on patients they consider dangerous? This would include patients with suicidal tendencies also. The majority of the mass killings are public suicides. Also, how many of the mass murderers purchased their own weapons? If there is no more than a gun law, then we have political grandstanding, and reactionary measures. As a curiosity, if any of our Democratic lawmakers should vote against this legislation, does that make them pro-criminal also?

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 1:52pm
Sorry guys, I have to go with the NRA on this one. I understand that politicians like knee-jerk legislation so they look like they are earning their salaries, but none of these measures will prevent criminals or unstable people from obtaining and using guns.

What are "military-style assault weapons?" The military uses automatic weapons. These are very expensive and difficult to own legally. I've never met anyone with a fully automatic gun. Do they mean scary-looking black rifles? This is purely cosmetic.

Background checks for all private gun sales? Do the politicians really think that gun-shows are how criminals get guns?

Reporting firearm thefts? What possible benefit would we get from this? Do you think that all of a sudden the police will get busy when one more gun is loose somewhere?

Restricting firearms possession within one thousand feet of schools, while exempting residents and those with a carry permit? How is this different from current laws?

How about a law against disturbed children taking their parents' guns and shooting up a school?

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 2:06pm
Actually tonyi, that bill similar to what you recommend is going to be introduced this session.

Since you are new to our conversation here, allow me to get your opinion. We always like fresh perspective. If you were to come face-to-face with one of these mentally unbalanced people we are talking about, would you want him to be armed with two revolvers with 6 shots each? Or two assault weapons capable of spraying 600--900 rounds a minute?

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 2:24pm
Dunmore. here are some answers to the questions you raise.

Military-assault weapons would have to be defined. Of course, lobbyists will be part of the process as they were in the previous ban. Anyone familiar with guns knows that 'military-assault weapons' is a very vague term. They also know that with the last ban, some of the banned guns with some ludicrously simple modifications, could be made legal...

Perhaps as these details leak out, the majority, 80% of Americans who want guns banned entirely, will weigh in and push us towards a ban similar to that of Australia. But, Australia I don't believe, has a large gun-manufacturing industry to fight-back against its own people..

40% of gun-sales are unregulated because they are private. If you are a criminal and can't steal a weapon but have money, this is where you go to get them. Closing this loophole does not completely shut-off every criminal's access to guns, but it does slow the flow.

Reporting stolen firearms is important. It is needed to hold someone accountable for when a firearm is identified at a crime scene, and the owner says... "oh that was stolen", when he was actually a co-conspirator. With this law, a detective now has a probable cause to take them in for further questioning. They broke a law by not reporting it...

Having a state law, as opposed to federal law, broken by a gun in a school zone makes prosecution easier for it lets local courts process the charge instead of having to go through the federal court system, which is so backed up.

These are some of the reasons why this law is a balanced approach to limit some of the violence without impacting the Constitutionality of the 2nd Amendment.

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 3:19pm
Kavips, I don't know that 80% of Americans want to ban guns entirely. Maybe they want to keep them out of the hands of madmen.

As I understand the stolen firearm proposal, it says "within 48 hours of when you notice" that it has been stolen. So that makes the law useless.

I can't imagine a part of Wilmington that isn't within 1000 feet of a school, so that proposal will effectively ban guns from the city. Sorry, the Supreme Court just ruled that cities can't do that.

Allan Loudell
Tue, Jan 15, 2013 3:50pm
The 1,000-foot rule would exempt homeowners who happen to reside that close to schools.

I also question that statistic that 80% of Americans want to ban guns outright.

I've seen the opposite. However, majorities would favor SOME constraints.

Allan Loudell

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 3:54pm
Aren't cocaine, crack, heroin, etc., banned?

Didn't they ban alcohol at one time? How'd that work out?

And what if i buy a gun in Texas and bring it with me here? These are only laws for Delaware sales. Kinda' like raising taxes so high on tobacco.

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 10:47pm
I think Dunmore is right about the issue of criminals. There's a bumper sticker that's been around for decades, which states: "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns". I know that isn't the intention here, but the point is that criminals probably don't attend gun shows but rather buy their weapons out of the trunk of a Cadillac or Lincoln that has these great big chrome wheels usually found cruising poor neighborhoods in Chester or Wilmington east side.

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 1:53pm
"If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns"

Like Chicago?...

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 3:19pm
Here's another bumpersticker to ponder:

"If guns kill people, then spoons make people fat"

It's the person operating the tool and not the tool itself...

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 6:33pm
EarlGrey: Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles, the list goes on and on. You're not even safe at a suburban mall anymore!

I must confess, it took a lot of spoons to put on the weight that I must now get rid of due to blood-sugar issues.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 3:16am
Dunmore, you are correct. It was suppose to say 80% wanted assault weapons banned entirely, .. some how it got passed the proofing stage with all guns... My bad. Thanks for catching that.....

here is the evidence I was quoting off of....


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 3:28am
And just looking up poll numbers (and I'm focusing only on conservative swing states), here are some figures from Ohio. Before I list them, I repeat what the polling organization said...

"Ohio is a close state. Usually our polls are 50-50 or 49-51..." That said, here is what Ohioians are thinking....

93 percent of Ohioans and 93 percent of gun-owners support requiring federal agencies to share information with each other about suspected dangerous persons or terrorists, in order to prevent them from buying guns.

82 percent of Ohioans and 84 percent of gun-owners support full funding for the law Congress passed after the Virginia Tech shooting to prevent people with a history of mental illness from buying guns -- but has never fully funded.

85 percent of Ohioans and 80 percent of gun-owners support requiring all gun-buyers to pass a criminal background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter who they buy it from.

82 percent of Ohioans and 79 percent of gun-owners support fully enforcing gun laws currently on the books.

80 percent of Ohioans and 77 percent of gun-owners oppose proposals to allow the carrying of guns in bars, clubs and other establishments that serve alcohol.

I probably would be less surprised at these totals if these polls were done in Connecticut or Massachusetts right now, which is why I sought out polls done in conservative states....

Between Texas in the answer above, and Ohio in this one (link is below), I am seriously finding very little broad base public support anywhere for the NRA's position. They might as well be today's version of the Black Panthers of the 60's and 70's where fear of them is bigger than the bite.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 5:25am
Kavips: I wouldn't go as far as to equate the NRA with the Black Panthers. The NRA doesn't stand in front of polling locations and harass voters and threaten them with bodily harm.

Speaking of the NRA, I find them to be the only ones who still have the guts to speak out against the hypocrisy on the left, unlike the milk-toast Republicans in Congress. Get a good listen to this:


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 7:54am
Mr. Pizza. The NRA doesn't have to harass voters... It harasses Congresspeople and state representatives.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 8:07am
I just saw you posted the video that doomed the NRA. You are probably tone deaf of its put-offness to most people, but if you look at it once you can tell it is obviously intended to appeal to those who would give anything to see Obama and his children dead. If you were a person who hated Obama, then this film will appeal to you.

Second, it is missleading. Obama offered financial support for armed guards in schools where local communities felt safer;


It is the NRA who made up the topic that Obama was against armed guards... They confused Obama with a lot of other people who are against having more guns in schools, but Obama , as Commander in Chief of the United States of America, isn't one of them. Again, if you are the kind of person who dreams they wish they could be the one to pulls the trigger, this ad appeals to you.

The rest of us are abhorred that the NRA would even think to gloat about the killing little children.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 9:00am
"82 percent of Ohioans and 84 percent of gun-owners support full funding for the law Congress passed after the Virginia Tech shooting to prevent people with a history of mental illness from buying guns"

how are they going to enforce this? will gun shops now be able to access medical records and bypas HIPPA laws? and what constitutes mental illness? ADD, ADHD, Tourets, Autism, etc? Wow, this is a really dangerous slope.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 9:57am
kavips, You think it's the NRA who are the ones gloating over the deaths of all these innocents? This admin is once again taking full advantage of a crisis to push their agenda (never let a crisis go to waste)...they are the ones blaming the NRA as they themselves stand on the graves of these innocents to preach and push their agenda. They are actually doing the gloating and it is sick. Hypocrites!

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 2:30pm
If gun-control worked, then Obama's hometown of Chicago should be the safest city in our nation...they have the strictest laws in the country...instead there have already been 23 deaths in the Windy City so far this year.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 9:43pm
Kavips: I've listened to Wayne Lapierre and I don't hear any gloating on the part of the NRA.

The fact that the left has been trying to force gun control on us at for at least the last 50 years and probably longer. To them Sandy Hook is just another excuse to attack the second amendment. They don't care about saving children's lives. They exploit children for the purpose of grandstanding.

No, I'm not tone deaf. Instead, both my eyes and ears are open to the evil Obama and his henchmen represent.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 10:34pm
Arthur, in regards to how that will work, I don't think the details are available. Anything I'd say would be based off speculation, so I won't say anything. However, this was just a sampling of Ohioans so all it is really saying is, at the time of this polling, that percentage would rather put gun safety above personal medical information, and I'd probably echo so say we'd all.

I think the distinction between what you worry about, and what they worry about, lies in the definition of designating someone a "potential harm to society". Their information would be readily available, whereas those of us considered sane because we write on Allan Loudell's blog, would of course, remain private.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 10:51pm

Earl Grey. Confession. Your comments sometimes make me chuckle because over the previous night, I see the chatter about the same subject as soon as they are released, circulating through all the "chatter" aggregators, and they get debunked, and then the next day, I see them here...

Rush yesterday did a piece about 'dem Liberals gloating over Sandy Hook, because now they can take everyone's guns, handguns, shotguns, hunting rifles... " Obviously that is simply to scare people too dumb to read. I do the same thing, actually every Christmas... Santa Clause is watching.. You're not going to get any presents!... to keep my posse in line. That is all he is doing.

Have you ever lost a child?

No one uses a child's death for political gain. However, what is being mis-reported is the comments made by parents, and it was originally made by Brady's wife too, the namesake of the Brady Bill, was that when something so random, so unexpected, so horrible happens to your loved one, sooner or later, it hits you that you have to make sure that never can happen again. And that if you do, then that horrible, horrible thing that happened, wasn't in vain.... That if you accomplish it, someone up there is smiling down on you.

Just like Jesus dying on the cross was not in vain. What Limbaugh did was use some of these parents comments and twist that into Liberals are making hay over the deaths of children...

We were all shocked by Sandy Hook. That is the real interpretation. And that shock woke a lot of people up, especially the ones who tsk'd tsk'd the Gifford shooting, tsk'd tsk'd the Aurora shooting, tsk'd tsk'd the Portland Mall shooting.... This one broke their back...

The administration we currently have is brilliant. The president runs the whole country. Red states and Blue states. His action plan is a comprehensive one that simply does not focus only on guns. It attacks the entire problem, both mental health and school safety.

One of those pieces of the big puzzle is assault weapons and high capacity clips.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 11:21pm
And let me address Chicago because without knowing the reason why, it does appear on the surface to make gun control less credible.

Shots ring out on a crowded street. Amazingly the police move in before anyone leaves. They check out survivors. You are under arrest, you have a hand gun, ... oh, that's my legal gun I carry.. "oh, never mind." They do that process for all the witnesses, and all of them are legal. One of those guns is the shooter, but, if everyone has a gun that is legal, than the crime remains simply unsolved. Now, if they are illegal, it stops at "you are under arrest, you have a hand gun."

Banning guns is a tool to help police enforce the law. The handgun ban is endorsed and supported by the police.

Now most say, well criminals can get guns anyway. True, but whether there are 1 million handguns inside Chicago, or only 11,000, that ratio accounts for the discrepancy in deaths.

There are so many variables that can take place that so to say, yes, I need a handgun to protect me from criminals who have handguns, doesn't always hold true. Most likely you will be killed for your handgun, by a bullet in the back, simply because that is the easiest way to take it out of your possession. For every argument that a handgun makes you safer, there can be one arguing it doesn't. And both are dead on. It depends on the criminal you are facing.

Which is why, one has to strictly look at numbers. If there are fewer guns, there will be fewer gun deaths. If there is less ammunition, there will be fewer gun deaths.

That is the wisdom behind Chicago. Allan has been to Chicago. I'm sure he'd agree that parts of Somalia may feel safer than parts of the South Side...

The true question is, without the ban, and having guns even more easily available, just how much worse could it be?

I didn't get a chance to crunch the numbers, but knowing Allan's affinity with Chicago I think he can make more sense from these chart than I could since I am unfamiliar to the neighborhoods. If it was my hometown I think studying this data would be fascinating, so I'm offering it here...


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 11:24pm
And, every argument being made by the NRA advocates over handguns, I can remember being made using the exact same principles over drunk-driving blood-tests and over mandatory automobile insurance and even mandatory seat-belt laws.

Every time someone yelled their rights were violated....... We did it anyway, and death tolls went down.

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 9:51am

First, I don't really listen to Rush anymore...I did, however, catch the gun debate on CNN between Piers Morgan and Ben Shapiro. Piers and others are pushing their beliefs/agendas using these horrible, horrible deaths of these innocents. All politicians play on our heart strings and emotions/fears to create laws we would never otherwise have passed...but Sandy Hook is lower than low. But none of the new laws being proposed would have prevented the tragedy and no serious talk about mental health, movies, video games, powerful lobbyists from big Pharma or HIPPA/HIPAA limiting useful information on mental health issues.

Ben summed up his pro-2nd Amendment opinion well...his Jewish grandparents and great-grandparents died because they had no tools to fight the tyrant...they too thought it could never happen to them.

Let's focus on the people doing the killing if we really want to fix the problems rather than pushing an agenda.

Can you please tell me how many of the hundreds of gun deaths in Chicago were from legally obtained & and permitted weapons? As mrpizza said "outlaw guns, and only outlaws have guns". So, how would more laws help law-abiding citizens?

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 1:41pm

513 homicides in Chicago in 2012 and 26 so far this year...

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