June 4th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should cities like Chicago be allowed to ban handguns?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A Chicago law banning handguns and automatic weapons within city limits has been upheld. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge by the National Rifle Association. This will probably set the stage for a Supreme Court battle over whether the Second Amendment's protections for gun owners extend to state and city laws.

Last year, the Supreme Court said the right to keep and bear arms protects an individual's right to have a gun for self-defense. Before then, many judges had said the amendment only protected the right of states to have a militia. At the time, the high court's ruling struck down a handgun ban in D.C. But the justices didn't say whether the same rules applied to the rest of the country.

Chicago's law, which has been in effect since 1982, allows ownership of rifles, but they must be registered every year with the police. Concealed weapons, semi-automatic and automatic weapons aren't allowed. There are some exceptions for members of the military and law enforcement agencies.

Gun rights advocates say the next step is an appeal to the Supreme Court, while the city of Chicago says it's prepared to defend its ordinance.

Meanwhile, the high court won't consider an appeal until the fall. By then, Sonia Sotomayor might be one of the justices considering the case. In January, she joined a three-judge panel in New York that came to the same conclusion as the Chicago case.

Here’s my question to you: Should cities like Chicago be allowed to ban handguns?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Crime and Punishment
June 4th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Why did Gingrich and Limbaugh change their tune about Sotomayor?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh - the Abbott and Costello of the Republican party - are dialing down their rhetoric when it comes to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Gingrich - who just a week ago called on the "Latina woman racist" to withdraw - is taking it back.

Cafferty: The kind stuff Gingrich and Limbaugh say doesn't make them very popular.

He now says his initial reaction to the judge's comments was "perhaps too strong and direct." Really... ? He says he shouldn't have used the word "racist" to refer to Sotomayor as a person - even if her words were unacceptable.

The other gas bag, Limbaugh, says he doesn't know why Gingrich retracted his comment. The radio host still believes Sotomayor would "bring a form of racism and bigotry" to the court. But Limbaugh says he may look past that and is now open to supporting President Obama's nominee if he can be convinced that she has a "sensibility toward life in a legal sense." He's talking about abortion here. What a guy.

Kind of makes you wonder who in the Republican party got to these guys. Senator Jeff Sessions - who had condemned the hateful talk - is praising Gingrich's decision to back off his "racist" comment.

Meanwhile it's clear that the kind stuff Gingrich and Limbaugh say doesn't make them very popular. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows Gingrich with a favorable rating of 36-percent, and Limbaugh at a measly 30-percent. When you compare that to Colin Powell - who gets a favorable rating of 70 percent - there's little question about which direction the Republican Party should be headed.

Here’s my question to you: What caused Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh to change their tune when it comes to Sonia Sotomayor?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Rush Limbaugh • Sonia Sotomayor
June 4th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Obama reaching out to Muslims at expense of U.S./Israel relationship?


Pres. Obama makes his key Middle East speech at Cairo University in Egypt. In his speech, Obama called for a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims," declaring that "this cycle of suspicion and discord must end." (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In reaching out to the world's one and a half billion Muslims with today's historic speech, it's unclear if President Obama is also pushing away America's long-time ally Israel.

Speaking in Cairo - the president recognized the U.S.'s unbreakable bond with the Jewish state and the horror of the Holocaust, but also talked about the suffering of the Palestinian people. He described their situation as intolerable and stressed the need for a two-state solution.

President Obama called on Palestinians to abandon violence - pointing to America's own civil rights history and saying it was a "peaceful and determined insistence" that brought about equal rights.

And, he once again called on Israel to stop building settlements; and to allow Palestinians to live and work and develop their society. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already rejected President Obama's call for a settlement freeze.

But experts suggest that this demand from Mr. Obama will make Arab leaders listen. They say although the U.S. has been opposed to Israeli settlements for decades, past American presidents have allowed Israel to keep building them. And some believe that if "no" really means "no" this time around, it may be easier to form a regional coalition against Iran.

Speaking of Iran - Mr. Obama repeated his belief today that the Islamic Republic has the right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes - another statement that is probably not sitting too well with the Israelis.

Finally, for the first time in a long time, a visit to the Middle East by a sitting U.S. president did not include a stop in Israel.

Here’s my question to you: Is Pres. Obama reaching out to Muslims at the expense of America's relationship with Israel?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Israel • Middle East • President Barack Obama