Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obama Can't Do Doodly Squat. Yet.

The press has whipped people into such a frenzy that they are buying $900 AR pattern rifles for $2400 at guns shows, just so they can have one.  I will refrain from commentary on the timing and prices in this mess, but my continuing commentary is that this is 'just a scare' for the time being.

President Obama can't change the law of the land by himself.  The supreme Court already said you have a constitutionally-protected right to have guns.  More importantly than either of those, the current Congress is against Obama on this subject.  Congressmen have one job: get re-elected.  After the 1994 'assault weapons ban' went in, a whole BUNCH of them went OUT.  This must never be repeated, comerades!  In that vein, I present to you Borepatch's well-said commentary on why gun control isn't coming any time real soon.

Sipsey Street Irregulars is the first place I saw a list of the 23 ideas presented today by The Obama. In short, it is as I said: No BFD, no bans, no taking away your guns.  He can't act unilaterally, because he's not King of America, he's President and subject to (at least most of) The Rules.  My commentary is the wider blocks of text between the numbered items.

From the Wall Street Journal.
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
This should have happened already, what were they waiting for? After 9/11/11 we found out the intelligence community didn't tell itself to be looking out for the guys we KNEW were bad guys, who flew the planes into the buildings. We were supposed to fix the interagency communication, already - weren't we? Or was that just talk?
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.
Translation: prevent crazy people from getting guns. Who disagrees with this? The standard disclaimer to "everybody should have guns" is "except for felons and the mentally deficient" so far so good. The only problem comes in when the State starts redefining who qualifies as crazy, but we're not quite to Soviet standards on that one. Yet.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
Incentives? This sounds like "tie information mining access to federal transportation dollars" until further commentary is provided!
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.
This reminds me that, as a veteran and someone outspoken in my opinions, I am already considered a potential terrorist by my government. I don't like the sound of this, but only because of the people who will be implementing it, if any implementin' gets done at all.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
This right here is onerous, but hard to argue with. If you don't qualify to BUY a gun, should we really GIVE you one? Sure it's your property. Compensation in return for seized assets needs to be at LEAST fair market value, but it is, again, not a horrible idea.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
They do it already, if you ask - and if you pay $15 to $60 depending on the FFL. This is wasted time/money right here. Speaking to Bunkum!
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
Eddie Eagle has been going for Decades. Give the NRA a few million dollars to promote it? Sure! Spend a few million to tell people not to have guns? No thanks! Again, the implementation will be the difference between this being a good or a bad idea.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Because, of course, gun locks and safes keep criminals safe from homeowners with quick access to guns! But seriously, most quick-access gun safes can be defeated by dropping them on the floor . . . by a three year-old child. I've seen it. They suck, all of them. Not that it is any of Uncle Sam's business.
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
As if they don't already.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
This DOJ is pretty shady, but if we paid for the report, why not make it available to EVERYONE?
11. Nominate an ATF director.
Good luck with that. The BATFE is broken, and having a director (instead of an Acting Director) will not fix it. At least, not one that The Obama would appoint.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
"Front sight, press!" is what they need to know, school officials included.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
Enforce existing law. Let's see, who has been calling for this the whole time? Oh, that's right, GUN RIGHTS advocates! I am guessing this does not extend to prosecution of feloniously showing a television camera what a 30-round AR magazine looks like.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
Another case of "sounds good, but who's going to do the research, and what's their agenda?!"
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.
The private sector does anything innovative they can, and you sticking your nose in won't speed anything up, thanks.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
If a doctor asks about guns in your home, either get a new doctor or refuse to answer and ask them about guns in their own home. You never know you might just get a new shootin' buddy!
17. Release a letter to health-care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law-enforcement authorities.
Duh? This is a question?
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
Okay, so our kids are as worthy of protection as his? Great! How much does it cost to hire a guard for a few tens of thousands of schools at $40k/year? And who pays?
19. Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
Once again, "front sight, press" is key.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental-health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
This should also already have been done, but thanks.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
Two years after the law was passed, the rules for Obamacare are not finalized?
22. Commit to finalizing mental-health-parity regulations.
See 21, above.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
SOME of us have been having this conversation already, thanks.

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