background checks

Once again, laws don’t matter to Obama

President Obama clearly believes what Nixon once said, that if the president does it, it’s not illegal.  Now, he’s trying to circumvent the law that helps protect patient privacy in order to restrict millions of Americans from buying firearms.

From Reuters:

President Barack Obama said he wants to see state governments contribute more names of people barred from buying guns to the database, part of a sweeping set of executive actions he announced after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.

The database, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is used by gun dealers to check whether a potential buyer is prohibited from owning a gun.

States are encouraged to report to the database the names of people who are not allowed to buy guns because they have been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, or have been found to have serious mental illnesses by courts.

Many states do not participate. So the administration is looking at changing a health privacy rule - part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) - to remove one potential barrier.

Here’s the problem with that.  You see, the law actually prevents people who have been adjudicated from owning firearms.  It says nothing about specific diagnosis.  It requires a court to determine an individual is unfit to own firearms.

President Obama seeks to skirt two laws in one fell swoop.

Unsurprisingly, gun rights advocates have reacted, sending thousands of letters to the Health and Human Services Department.  However, the department also received a number of comments from health professionals.

Gun Control Advocates Hate Us for Our Freedoms

gun control

Let’s face it — the fight for stricter gun control measure is an assault on civil liberties, just the same as laws that infringe on Americans’ right to privacy or free speech. That’s something the Left won’t admit to, but the intent is clear.

The talking point is that expanded background checks and reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban, policies for which the White House and many Senate Democrats are pushing, is consistent with “reasonable regulation” of gun rights. But these measures are a step toward the long-held policy views of gun control advocates, and they will lie and fear-monger until they get their way.

Just last week during a visit to Mexico, President Barack Obama said that many of the guns that are being used by the drug cartels wreaking havoc in the country come from the United States.

“[We] recognize that most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” said President Obama. “I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms, and as President I swore an oath to uphold that right and I always will.”

“But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people,” he continued. “That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do. So we’ll keep increasing the pressure on gun traffickers who bring illegal guns into Mexico.  We’ll keep putting these criminals where they belong — behind bars.”

Gun Control Push Could Hurt Senate Democrats in 2014

guns

Tom Knighton already touched on the new Washington Post/Pew Research poll showing that not even a majority of Americans express disappointment or anger for the Senate failing to enact the Manchin-Toomey amendment. In fact, the only group that is disappointed in failing to expand background checks is Democrats. A plurality of independents — 48%, to be exact — and 51% of Republicans describe themselves as “very happy” or “relieved” that the measure failed to pass.

As Chris Cillizza concludes, President Barack Obama “wound up losing the message fight over the gun legislation.” Of course, this is what happens when you waste political capital, as President Obama and the White House did, on an issue that only 4% of Americans really care about.

“Rather than a conversation centered on widely-popular measures supported by members of both parties,” he explained, “the debate — at least as people perceived it — became a wider referendum on the proper place for guns in society.”

Gun Control Backfires on Obama

Barack Obama

President Obama loves to point to a poll that said 90 percent of all Americans wanted tougher background checks.  After the measure failed in the Senate, Obama wanted that 90 percent to let Congress know how they felt.

Talk about your backfires:

But a new Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll suggests that post-vote attitudes stray from the wide support for the background check measure before the debate, which hovered around 85% in multiple polls.

A plurality of Americans–47%–say they are either “angry” or “disappointed” with the Senate’s action on gun legislation, far different from the amount of people who strongly approved the proposal before the vote. Meanwhile, 39% say they are “relieved” or “happy” about the vote.

I always thought those earlier numbers were soft, and they were.

You see, one of the issues has always been that many polls don’t really capture how committed to something a respondent really is.  Someone may support the idea of tougher background checks, but how important is really is to them.

Media Using Boston Bombers to Revive Gun Control Debate

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Well, that didn’t take long. The media is already pointing out that the Tsarnaev brothers, who are suspected of planting the bombs at the Boston Marathon and getting involved with a shootout with police, were not licensed to own firearms:

The two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings, who police say engaged in a gun battle with officers early Friday after a frenzied manhunt, were not licensed to own guns in the towns where they lived, authorities said on Sunday.

In the confrontation with police on the streets of a Boston suburb, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were armed with handguns, at least one rifle and several explosive devices, authorities say.

But neither brother appears to have been legally entitled to own or carry firearms where they lived, a fact that may add to the national debate over current gun laws. Last week, the U.S. Senate rejected a bill to expand background checks on gun purchases, legislation that opponents argued would do nothing to stop criminals from buying guns illegally.

Let’s hold on just a second here. The Tsarnaev bothers didn’t legally obtain the firearms used during a shootout with police in a state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. For example, Massachusetts has banned so-called “assault weapons” and has limited magazines to 10 rounds (similar proposals failed last week in the United States Senate). Massachusetts also prohibits anyone under the 21-years-old from owning a handgun. Dzhokhar, who was apprehended on Friday evening, was 19.

Why gun owners see background checks as registration

guns

There’s a lot of back and forth on the internet right now.  Guns tend to get folks riled up pretty well.  Gun rights advocates are screaming to the top of their lungs about universal gun registration, while gun grabbers are yelling that it’s about keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

Well folks, you may not realize it, but the gun rights advocates are actually right on this one.

Sure, no one who supports universal background checks is saying registration.  In fact, they honestly believe they’re avoiding gun registration.  Unfortunately, there’s a reason why gun rights advocates don’t believe them.

First, one must understand the entire process of purchasing a gun through a licensed dealer.  The background check is only part of the process.  The rest involves paperwork that also registers information about the weapon purchased.  These records aren’t shredded after a certain period of time.  No, the dealer is required to hold onto these records indefinitely.

By forcing all gun sales to go through Federal Firearms License holders, you force all weapons to have paperwork filed on each and every firearm purchase.  That is a form of de facto registration.

Now, this isn’t some gun armeggedon or anything.  Most guns would still transfer just as they always have (Obama’s figure that as many as 40 percent of all sales don’t go through the background check is complete bull), but some will now have to go through a third party.  So what’s the big deal?

Obama’s gun control agenda becomes more clear

The meeting yesterday between Vice President Joe Biden’s gun control task force and the National Rifle Association didn’t go that well. Biden is expected to hand his recommendations to President Barack Obama on Tuesday, who will, in turn, push for legislation from Congress to enact them.

In addition to reintroducing the assault weapons ban and trying to eliminate the so-called “gun show loophole,” Biden laid down some of the policies that will be pursued by the White House in Congress in the coming days:

Biden gave the most detailed description so far of what his panel will propose, telling sporting groups at the start of their session that there is broad consensus among those he has surveyed to require background checks on all gun purchases and to restrict the amount of ammunition that can be included in a gun magazine.

After the meeting the NRA issued a statement explaining, “While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.”

Some may be questioning why the NRA even entertained the White House when the outcome was so obvious. From a standpoint of public perception, it’s not like they had much of a choice. If they didn’t go, it would look like they weren’t even interested in a discussion. But if they did go, they provided the White House with a talking point that they had “met with the NRA.” It was a lose-lose for them.

Anti-gun House Democrats are playing politics with a tragedy to push a gun control measure that won’t work

House Democrats are using the tragedy over the weekend in Isla Vista, California, in which a deranged 22-year-old killed six people, to revive a proposal to expand background checks on would-be gun buyers through an amendment to an appropriations bill that’ll be considered today:

Democrats are weighing a proposal to expand mandatory background checks prior to gun sales as part of the Republicans’ 2015 funding bill for the Commerce and Justice departments, Hoyer said.

“[That] is being discussed,” he said during a press briefing in the Capitol. “It is possible.”
[…]
Hoyer argued Wednesday that, while it remains unclear what impact if any a system of expanded background checks would have had in Rodger’s case, Congress has an obligation to do everything it can to keep firearms from the hands of the severely mentally ill.

No, expanded background checks wouldn’t have stopped this tragedy from happening and other gun control laws Democrats and gun control advocates want wouldn’t have stopped this madman from committing a heinous crime. In fact, California has already has expanded background checks in place:

All gun sales in that state, including private transfers, must be handled by licensed dealers, and every buyer has to be cleared by the California Department of Justice, as Rodger was for each of the three handguns he bought in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Hillary Clinton to gun owners: “I don’t believe” in the Second Amendment

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s contempt for the Second Amendment was on full display yesterday. In a speech to the National Council for Behavioral Health, the likely 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner expressed her dismay that “anyone” can own a gun (emphasis added):

“We have to rein in what has become [an] almost article of faith, that anybody can own a gun anywhere, anytime. And I don’t believe that,” she said, as applause drowned her out.

Clinton, who argued it was possible to hold her position and still support the right to gun ownership, warned that unfettered access to guns could have dangerous consequences. She called the country’s approach to guns “way out of balance,” and referred to cases in which gun violence has erupted over minor issues.

She painted a dark picture, warning that, “At the rate we’re going, we’re going to have so many people with guns everywhere, fully licensed, fully validated, in settings where [one] could be in a movie theater, and they don’t like someone chewing gum loudly or talking on their cell phone and decide they have the perfect right to defend themselves against the gum chewer or cell phone user by shooting.”
[…]
The proliferation of guns combined with few restrictions on where they can be carried can “give someone the means to respond in the moment in a way that he wouldn’t if a few minutes passed and there was no means to inflict harm … We really have got to get our arms around this,” she said.

Study: Assault weapons not used in most mass shootings, background checks largely ineffective

After the tragic December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook, lawmakers in Washington and state legislatures scrambled to enact onerous new gun control laws. Among the many policies pushed was a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” which targeted certain types of semi-automatic rifles because of their cosmetics.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), for example, pushed renewal of the federal Assault Weapons Ban last year, despite the fact that the policy wouldn’t have an impact on gun violence, according to a January 2013 memo from the National Institute for Justice — the research arm of the Department of Justice. The Senate, however, overwhelmingly rejected the measure.

Despite the bias against this type of rifle, a recently released study authored by James Alan Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University, and Monica J. DeLateur explains that handguns are used in most mass shootings.

The study — Mass Shootings in America: Moving Beyond Newtown — debunks various myths about mass shootings, disputing that assault weapons are used in this type of tragic incident. The authors also take aim at claims that mass shootings are on the rise and that mass murders snap before they commit these horrible acts.


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