16 January 2013

Running Commentary on Obama's Gun Violence Proposals

Running Commentary on Obama's Proposals...may be modified later...this is off the top of my head...some of these intellectual's best stuff sure doesn't require much thought to refute.

(I'll be editing this and adding more information as I have time to think about what's been said and what is intended.)

1. Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

This is already law. It does nothing except force agencies to comply with  the law. And Obama has no say over state agencies.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

Changes to HIPAA are probably needed, and making legitimate connections between the mentally ill and the NICS check system isn't onerous.  The problem is, who gets to say what 'mentally ill' means?  In the minds of some in charge, anyone who might want to own a firearm is 'mentally ill'.  As it stands such a practice is a blank check for government supression of freedom.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

Nothing onerous here, but why do states need incentives if the background check system works as it should?

4. Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

The categories of individuals who are prohibited from having a gun are, for the most part, well-designed.  There are some issues, such as where a woman can claim domestic violence has occurred when it has not, and her male significant other can be restrained from possession of a firearm, sometimes for months or years, even when he is guilty of no crime or intent to commit a crime. The problem is in the details: how will an AG review of the categories keep individuals like Adam Lanza from slipping through a crack (whatever that means)?

No one, not the NRA, not the average gun owner, and certainly not any person with any common sense wants felons, neurotics, or chronically violent people to have a gun. But expanding the categories and definitions to law-abiding citizens won't prevent crime.  Enforcing the laws we have, and occasionally shooting the criminally violent perpetrators, will.

5. Propose rule-making to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

To the best of my knowledge, this already happens in most jurisdictions.  The meaning of 'full background check' is unclear; most jurisdictions run a check in their state database, although many would also use the FBI's database.  Not sure what this really does except add paperwork to the local law enforcement officer's load.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

This is actually a good idea on the one hand; those who have doubts about an individual who wants to buy a firearm have been prevented from having access to the NICS check system in the past.  C&R FFL holders are instructed NOT to use the NICS system. They should have that option.  So should any private individual at (for example) a gun show.  Currently, we don't.

Where the problem lies is in FORCING private citizens to do background checks.  I should have the right to transfer (give) a firearm to my son when he goes off to college, and I shouldn't have to run a NICS check on him to do so.  How will this be enforced? 

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

Been there, done that, got nothin' for it.  The feds can't even do a national nonsmoking campaign right.

The NRA has run national gun safety campaigns for years, and nobody does it better than they do.  Ask just about any child in America to finish this instruction: "Stop! Don't touch! ... "  The Feds can't manage anything even close to this effectiveness.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

Nuts.  Is he saying that none of the gun locks (already required by law to be distributed with a new firearm) are no good now? Were all the safes made of plastic? (Chinese, I bet!)

9. Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

And this isn't already done?  The only time I can think of that it wasn't was when Obama's people were running illegal machine guns to Mexican drug lords.  But try suggesting that anyone enforce the law in THAT case. The responsible people are running away from that as FAST and FURIOUS as they can.

10. Release a Department of Justice report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

Again, three words:  FAST AND FURIOUS.

11. Nominate a new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Hmm.  Why do I think it might be Feinstein, or Schumer? Or worse?

12. Provide law enforcement, first-responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

Proper training without armed intervention is really simple:  Sit down and wait your turn to die.  

Anyone who is REALLY serious about protecting kids in schools will make sure there are GUNS in every school, in the hands of trained personnel who aren't afraid to use them to protect the lives of the kids.  Otherwise, the schools (since Columbine) already have instituted huge changes in emergency procedures, come up with new security plans, and trained staff for emergency events.  If that's all he means, this is another non-sequitur.

And really...is there a law enforcement agency in the entire US that hasn't had active-shooter training since 9/11?

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

I can nail jello to a wall easier than I can define what that sentence says.  As one blogger recently said, Obama might as well just say, 'nyuk nyuk nyuk'; it means about the same thing.  But there's one little detail in that which WON'T happen...the prosecution of gun crime...you see, too much of it is committed by Democrats with connections (look at Bill Clinton's list of pardons when he left office for a quick summary).

Ask any second-week cadet at the local police academy if there's a difference between 'enforcement' and 'prevention'...but the POTUS seems to think they are synonymous.

14. Issue a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

OK, we'll throw some money at research.  We might even learn something.  One thing I know will happen: if we learn that having more guns in circulation cuts down on violent crime, this research will be radically altered before it gets published.  And since we already have that data, and already know it is true that more guns equals less crime, I wonder what all that tax money will really accomplish?

15. Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun-safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

Read this one: micro-stamping.  It is useless, but it is going to be forced on us anyway.  We could put a cop in every elementary school in America for less than this will cost, and it won't likely help solve a SINGLE crime, and does absolutely NOTHING to prevent violent crime.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking their patients about guns in their homes.

In other words, you local doctor is now an arm of the Obama administration.  Funny, my family doc is a big-time shotgunner (competitive and upland game bird hunter).  I wonder how he'll take this? But I feel sorry for the single mom who has a handgun to protect herself and her children when her crusading anti-gun physician decides she's a danger to herself and her kids.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

Wow.  Does anyone out there think, even with FERPA or HIPAA, that you can't call the cops when someone threatens to harm you?  Really?  And remember, when every second counts, the cops are only minutes away.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school-resource officers.

Hey, this one makes sense (at least, everything but tying the SRO jobs to federal money).  This is basically what the NRA said needs to happen.  I wonder if Obama will give the NRA credit for this one?  Putting armed officers in schools will, unlike almost everything on this list, actually prevent the deaths of school children.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

Almost all schools and universities have already done this.  Between Columbine and Virginia Tech, those folks got the message.  I'm not saying all the plans are good ones, but then, the federal plans won't be any good either unless they include putting guns in those facilities. "The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." - Wayne LaPierre.  Houses of worship?  Some states are foolish enough to make it illegal to carry a concealed weapon in a church.  That makes the churches in those states prime targets for any nut (or terrorist) who wants a high body count.  Here in Texas, you can carry in church unless the church says no.  That law makes more sense. 

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

There's a lot that could be said about this from a financial perspective, but it really will do nothing to prevent a lunatic from becomming an active shooter if he or she chooses to do so.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

Same as the previous one. What this will do, over time, as more and more people become more and more dependent on Obama-care, is make it easier to control their behavior (like gun ownership) or risk losing their health care. That kind of thinking is what a values-neutral education will get you.

22. Commit to finalizing mental-health parity regulations.

I'm not even sure what this means, other than it gives a politician, rather than a doctor, final say in what's crazy and what's not.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on mental health.

The idea of Kathleen Sebelius moderating a dialog regarding the safety of children, when she's on record as supporting partial-birth abortion on demand, is so ironically foolish, it might qualify her to be the first person barred from gun ownership on the basis of mental instability. If there ever was a woman who delighted any more in the death of (unborn) children than Sebelius, I've yet to hear of her.  And what does the Secretary of Education know about mental health?  Can we get Charlie Sheen instead? At least he's had an anger management class.

Now here's some icing on the really stinky cake:  Obama has asked for $25 million for state-based strategies that support “young people ages 16 to 25 with mental health or substance abuse issues.”

This is the same president who's ordered the Federal government to NOT enforce federal laws on marijuana use pretending to care about substance abuse. Wow.

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