A quote has been circulating around the interwebs and underscoring the fact that the Ronald Reagan that modern conservatives worship to a truly unsettling extent bears little resemblance to the one who was president for eight years.
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We already know that he raised taxes, spent like a drunken sailor, and believed in separating church and state. Now apparently he had some doubts about military-style weapons being protected under the 2nd Amendment for public consumption:

I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.
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Like their continuous pining for the Disneyland Americana version of the 1950s – the idealized America that never was – modern Republicans are much more enthusiastic about the Reagan in their imaginations than the real one. It's almost like there's a pattern wherein what they choose to believe trumps facts and reality.

34 thoughts on “AS WE REMEMBER IT”

  • Oh, we could do this all day.

    Remember when Ronnie "Cut-and-Run" Reagan pulled US troops out of Lebanon after a single measly terrorist attack?

    Republicans certainly don't. Democratic presidents aren't allowed to use military force, only cons.

  • Middle Seaman says:

    "Reagan pulled US troops out of Lebanon after a single measly terrorist attack." Several hundred American killed in a single bombing. Is that measly?

    We all remember selectively. The GOP sees Reagan the labor buster, the government hater, etc. Democrats see Obama the populist that never existed either. They also, until recently, saw Bill Clinton as the enemy of the party and the people.

    Hey they all do it.

  • Don't forget the Reagan who raised taxes, negotiated with our enemies and gave amnesty to illegal immigrants.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    What Sarah said.

    If a Conservtive ever shows any compassion regarding an issue, you can be sure that the only reason they do that, is because they themselves, or a close family member or friend, SUFFERED because of that issue.

    Conservatives lack empathy.
    They cannot relate to, or understand, suffering and misery – until or unless they, or someone near and dear to them, might suffer, has suffered, or is still suffering.

    I'm watching Cup O' Schmoe's show this morning, and he's a classic example of what I've just written.
    All of a sudden, after Newtown, this lifetime NRA supporter is coming out against people have access to MILITARY ASSAULT WEAPONS.
    Well, you see, he's remarried, and now has very young children. He doesn't live in Newtown, but, he realizes that, there but for the grace of God, it wasn't HIStown.
    It may not exactly be compassionate Liberalism, but, I'll take it, since it's a step in the right direction.

    My Aunt and Uncle, once pretty cool people, but have become converts to FOX over the last decade, and are against people getting welfare, or SSDI.
    But they're glad to hear that I'm getting "Temporary Assistance" (I forgot – you can't call is 'WELFARE' any more), and wonder how anyone could have denied me SSDI! Didn't the judges know that I "deserved" it, since I'd been working from the age of 14 (part-time in stores, and full-time during the summers in a machine shop my Pop worked in, until I graduated from College)?
    Btw – I'm "white." And I'm pretty sure their recent compassion regarding this issue, is only because I'm their nephew. If I was not related to them, and/or was of a darker hue, I'm not sure their compassion would be expansive enough to include someone like me.

    So, yeah, sure, of course Reagan came out against assault weapons – he had a feckin' bullet hole or two in him!
    I'll even give him some credit he probably doesn't deserve – if he didn't get shot, but watched Brady get shot in the head, he might also have come to the same conclustion – that the only place military assualt weapons belong, is in the hands of the feckin' military, during a feckin' assualt, or trying to feckin' repel one.

    Conservatives are @$$holes, until something affects their @$$, or the @$$es of those near and dear to them.
    Then, and only then, so they see 'the light.'
    And then, not all of them – and not all of the time.

    But, we'll take what we can get, won't we?
    At the very least, it's a starting point.

  • @ c u n d: So…what you're saying is, someone needs to shoot Wayne LaPierre? Because if that is what you're saying…I'm pretty cool with that. Just to wound, though. We're not savages.

    Reagan today seems far too liberal about far too many things to be in step with the modern GOP. However, let us recall that at the time of Reagan's presidency, he was considered (rightly) as dangerously far right–just one side of Fred Birch. Which means that what constitutes "too liberal" has swung so far to the right that when we look at the "political center" in this country, we see Reagan, the right-wing nut. I'll let the implications of that sink in, and you should have alcohol available when they do.

    @ Major Kong: Thank you. I'd also add that we're also talking about the man whose response to the AIDS epidemic was "Huh? Wait–it's only killing the gays? Meh." Hundreds of thousands of people are dead because nobody picked up a phone and told the CDC "Lock this thing down now–here's a blank check." On Reagan's watch. So…yeah, that. Mind you, this policy decision just makes him more popular with "the only good one is a dead one" neocons.

  • Go c u n d gulag!

    [And I'd like to follow this with ad hominem about Ed, subject changing like the nearly-sane guy mumbling on Telegraph who sees conspiracy and personal degradation everywhere, and capping it all off by misattribution of a Hitler quote with a "got you, you librul".]

  • 1. "It's almost like there's a pattern wherein what they choose to believe trumps facts and reality."
    2. "I'll take it, since it's a step in the right direction."
    One step forward, 12 steps back. People are people – they may seem to have changed their minds, but in almost every case it's a temporary and soon-forgotten response to a personal misfortune. Once that gets sorted out, it's forward to the past.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Sadly, you're right.

    Just look at the multi-term Congresscritters and Senators from Red States, states that we here in the North East have helped bail out after hurricanes and/or tornadoes hit their impoverished towns and states, time and time again, and now, when it's NY, NJ, CT, and MA, who need some money, almost 180 of the feckin' @$$holes in the House from those states we've helped, voted against it!

    Conservatism is the polite term for Sociopathy.

  • The first question that comes to mind is…Where the hell has this quote been for 40 years of gun control debate? Hmmmmm…

    The quote or Mr Reagan shows one technical error and a host of opinions that are contrasted with actions by many citizens since the quote (no date given.)

    Our Federal Law says:

    "The term 'machinegun' means “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger."

    The AK-47, in the form that is readily available to the public is NOT a machine gun. It is a semi-automatic rifle.

    The fully automatic ('machine gun') version can be acquired after a thorough proctoscopic exam by the ATF (now the BATFE, I believe) to get you an FFL but there are not that many of them in civilian hands. They are subject to collection by the ATF at any time they think prudent.

    Maybe St Ron just didn't know what the hell he was talking about.

    Not a sporting weapon? Your mileage may vary. Lots of folks do hunt with ARs and AKs. They are legal in many places usually with expanding bullet requirements and some States w/ mag capacity limits. In Georgia, you can hunt Deer, Bear, and Hogs with any centerfire rifle cal of 0.22 and above.

    Not a home defense weapon? Again, your choice and Reagan's opinion. I wouldn't choose an AK or AR for home defense, because, like most civilians, armed confrontation is not something I'm trained for. I recommend a short barrel shotgun with #8 shot. Compensates for the adrenalin shakes plus it won't kill Grannie in the room behind the perp.

    Oh, BTW, the last report, never retracted AFAIK, the Bushmaster that Mr Lanza stole from his dead momma was found his car trunk. Also, 9mm spent casings all over the place in the school and no surveillance pictures of Mr. Lanza strolling down the hall with his AR. I remain unconvinced at this point that an 'assault' rifle was even used in that massacre.


  • My boy scout firearms instructor once explained to us that a semi-automatic in the hands of a professional was not much different from an automatic and therefore just as dangerous.

    And then he demonstrated it.

    Dude was awesome, but I wonder if he was a member of the NRA with that attitude.

  • Yeah, a real wretch, spending his own free time on young men, trying to develop in them responsibility, safety, and integrity. Probably was NRA…


  • The AR wasn't found in the car trunk. That was misreported by the news networks and later retracted. It was a shotgun they found in his trunk.

    The primary weapon used in the attack was a "Bushmaster AR-15 assault-type weapon," said Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance.

    I get that you want to keep your assault weapon/semi-automatic hunting rifle/whatever you want to call it, but you can't just repeat false information. You have to accept that a Bushmaster AR-15 was used by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook to murder children.

  • @bb: It's common wisdom on the Left that St. Ronnie never really was all there. During the Iran-Contra scandal, it would be safe to say he was the only one speaking the truth when he said, "I don't recall that". So we won't hold the finer points of the argument against him.

    Not so sure about the efficacy of a 0.223 round for hunting. Perhaps for varmints, but not so sure for deer, moose, bear or bison. Stopping power. Though yes, being able to squeeze off a bunch of rounds at a really grumpy grizz, might be a good thing. And with a deer, you may have to spend a bunch of time chasing after the damn thing. Not mention the amount of damage that will be inflicted on the meat, which then defeats the purpose of hunting. Or is it really more about the thrill of killing something for these yahoos, and not about bambi steaks?

    My grand father, uncles and cousins always swore by a bolt action .30-06 for moose. Given the number of racks, pelts and moose related knick knacks around their houses… I'll take their words for it.

    Though I'll definitely give you the shotgun for home defence. Though I believe the idea is the pump action shotgun is commonly considered the most psychologically intimidating.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Speculating about whether there's a conspiracy behind something, is not proof in and of itself, that there is, in fact, any conspiracy.

    But while we're 'conspiracy thoerizing,' maybe someone wants to speculate that there was a 2nd shooter in the grassy knoll behind the Kindergarteners room?
    Except there wasn't one.
    "But there COULD have been!"

    Ok, and since we're speculatiing, then why don't we say it was Joe Biden?
    Except it wasn't.
    "Ah, but it COULD have been!"

    And, to today's Conservative "Truffers," even photo's of Joe in another state at the time of the shooting, or a copy of his schedule from that day, will not be good enough proof that he wasn't there, and didn't join in the shooting.
    See – Birth Certificate; Obama, Barack Hussein.

    So, I'm afraid that I'll soon be hearing – "ZOMG!
    JOE BIDEN killed 20 kids, and 6 adults, from a grassy knoll near that school in Newtown!"

    But he didn't.
    "Prove he didn't!"
    Ok, here's his log for that day, and photo's of him in DC, at the time of the shooting.
    "That't NOT proof! The government can fake all of that stuff! WE WANT REAL PROOF!!!"


  • @J. Dryden: LaPierre is in dire need of a 12 gauge enema. His sidekick David Keene (he, whose own son is in prison for 10 years for a road rage shooting) could use one, also.

    America would be better off in the aftermath.

  • That quote is probably from when he was governor of CA. The militarism of the Black Panthers scared the conservative members of the state Congress into passing the strictest gun control laws in the country, happily endorsed by Reagan. He changed his tune when he went national and needed the support of the NRA, though, and never looked back. Great article on the subject:

  • "the Ronald Reagan that modern conservatives worship to a truly unsettling extent bears little resemblance to the one who was president for eight years."

    And at the time, the one that actually existed seemed like a worst-case scenario to those of us on the Left.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the GOP's major problem is that the Democratic party is now so conservative that Republicans can find no place to stand to their right without putting both feet in Crazytown.

  • Reagan banned guns in California as governor because the Black Panthers started walking around carrying rifles.

  • Note to bb:

    We've had very strict regulations on fully automatic weapons since 1934.

    Incidentally, such Class 3 firearms are statistically never used to commit crimes. I don't think anyone has shot up a bank with a Thompson or a B.A.R. (Clyde Barrow's weapon of choice) since, oh the days of Clyde Barrow.

    But hey, I'm told that gun laws don't work.

  • "… modern Republicans are much more enthusiastic about the Reagan in their imaginations than the real one."

    Somehow I suspect that the reported plans (tragically abandoned at the last minute) for the GOP convention to conclude with a giant hologram of Reagan, a la Tupac at Coachella, is apposite here.

  • @Merl Fair enough, I wasn't alive then but it seems like the Panthers were exploiting comically lax gun laws in a scary way. It just seems like there was a racial component to when and how Reagan supported gun control.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    A racial component?
    Ronald Reagan?!?!?!

    Why, how dare you accuse the man who announced his Presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where 3 Civil Rights advocates had been brutally murdered, and talked about "State's Rights" in his speech, with playing the race card?

  • @bb: So the 2nd amendment, written when these weapons did not exist, within a social context far removed from our current one, covers these weapons.

    But Ronnie's thought on these weapons don't count, because he may or may not have been referring to these particular weapons with these particular specs?

    Interesting argument.

  • i just love all the St. Ronnie comments. When he was alive, the Devil use his words. it is so sweet to see his Golden Aura damaged. The Evil that St.Reagan unleashed on America is being seen now.

    as they say, you reap what you sow. Thanks St. Reagn. Living through Reagan was a horror i couldn't have dreamed up. Truth is much stranger than any fiction.

    there is much joy in seeing St. Reagan's "legacy" trashed,but there is so much more left to be undone. St. Reagan makes Chairman Mao or Lenin look particularly Christ like.

  • @eau: I wouldn't use that argument about the second amendment. That line of thinking can also be applied to the 1st amendment: "So the 1st amendment, written when the Internet, television, and radio did not exist, within a social context far removed from our current one, covers these media."

    There are compelling arguments to be made about gun ownership. Whining about how our founding fathers couldn't see hundreds of years into the future is not one of them.

  • @MajorKong … the BAR was John Dillinger's weapon. Clyde Barrow probably couldn't afford the ammunition for it!

  • @Chris: You seem to have an odd idea of what constitutes "whining".

    I did not comment on, or complain about, the veracity of either statement.

    And if you believe your 1st Amendment rigthts have not been compromised in recent years, or are as fiercely protected as those supposedly provided by the 2nd, well… I think you may be mistaken.

  • @eau – perhaps I need to read the whole thread before commenting next time! ;-). I latched onto the Most recent comment and went after it. It was a long day and I was getting lazy.

    And I do believe that my first amendment rights have been compromised. That's for dang sure.

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