Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

“This is our first task as a society,” Mr. Obama said. “Keeping our children safe."

"This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”

President Obama made his long-anticipated announcement to the country on what he intends to do, with or without Congress, to strengthen and enforce our gun laws.  He called for reinstating the assault weapons ban that was passed in 1994 and allowed to lapse in 2004.  He also proposed a high capacity magazine ban, 10-round limit.

The plan is a comprehensive effort that includes four major legislative proposals and 23 separate executive actions.

Some other proposals in the comprehensive package:

Require criminal background checks for all gun sales, 

Close the longstanding loophole that allows buyers to avoid such screening by purchasing weapons at gun shows or from private sellers. Nearly 40 percent of all gun sales are exempt from the system.

Strengthen the background check system by addressing legal barriers that keep some mental health records out of the database. 

Improve incentives for states to share records and direct law enforcement agencies to crack down on those who evade the background check system.

Ban the possession or transfer of armor-piercing bullets and urged lawmakers to crack down on “straw purchasers” who can pass background checks and then pass along guns to criminals or others forbidden from purchasing them.

All 23 proposals for executive actions on guns HERE.

The hysterical reactions by some on the right, even before President Obama's announcement today, is a depressing indication of how much of a fight this administration faces in implementing these proposals. But Mr. Obama has the American people on his side, and that is the most significant support he needs.  Clearly the NRA and its apologists and lackeys will play as dirty as they always have [see below] to block any effort to address our nation's disgraceful and unsupportable acceptance of death by firearms.

The NRA's predictably scurrilous reaction on Tuesday, before President Obama outlined his proposals, was execrable and foul.   It posted a video mocking Mr. Obama for opposing armed guards at the nation’s schools even as his own daughters have Secret Service protection. The video calls the president an “elitist hypocrite.”

The venal and evil people who run the NRA apparently are so convulsed with hatred against anyone who opposes them--very much like mafiosi thugs--they wallowed in the gutter and debased themselves by dragging the president's two daughters into debate.

Ron Fournier/National Journal: There are fair arguments to be had over Obama's proposals: Redefining the Second Amendment shouldn't be done without a vigorous debate. But to drag the president's daughters into the fight, and to question their need for security, suggests that the NRA is slipping further away from the mainstream. Over-the-top tactics discredit the NRA and its cause. Gun-rights supporters deserve a better advocate... "You have to wonder if they've got competent management," said a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to be openly gloating.

David Frum:
"[E]ven if the idea [of armed guards in school] were a good idea, the NRA's sneering references to the president's family are beyond the pale. As the makers of the NRA ad should know, and probably do know, the First Family has come under years of racially coded attack for their "uppityism," as Rush Limbaugh phrased it. This latest attack ad looks to many like only one more attempt to inflame an ancient American wound."

Michael Tomasky:
"Let’s start with the ad’s broken logic. A, the Obama family has Secret Service protection; B, other American families do not; C, because of this, Obama is an elitist and a hypocrite. It’s pretty ludicrous. Malia and Sasha Obama get lots of things because their father won the presidency. They also have a chauffeur; get to ride on a big fancy airplane free of charge and don’t have to endure any TSA-related indignities; live in a beautiful big house rent-free; and so on. By the ad’s logic, all of these are instances of hypocrisy."

AP: Americans were angrier about last month's horrific school shooting in Connecticut than they were about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

USA Today: In this town where tragedy relaunched the nation's debate over gun violence, people on all sides of the political divide expressed support Wednesday for President Obama's proposals to ban assault weapons and establish tighter background checks for gun buyers. 

Teachers Union Explains Why It Supports Obama’s Guns In Schools Plan But Not NRA’s


Dave Miller said...

Before anyone can be critical and accuse Pres Obama of curtailing 2nd Amendment rights, they should have to show specifically which Ex Order or policy he supports takes guns way from mentally healthy law abiding citizens...

Shaw Kenawe said...

Good point, Dave.

There is none. But I'm afraid some fanatics will tie themselves into a pretzel trying to prove the president want to ban all guns.

He said in today's announcement that law-abiding gun owners are not the problem.

BB-Idaho said...

Oh, yeah...the fanatics .

Shaw Kenawe said...

From the Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Daily News Journal:

"Carr, a Lascassas Republican, is sponsoring legislation that would charge federal agents with a Class A misdemeanor for enforcing or attempting to enforce a federal law or executive order that bans, restricts or requires registration of any semiautomatic gun, accessory or ammunition.

“I think people ... should be able to defend themselves from tyranny,” Carr said during a press conference."

So arresting federal agents whose job it is to enforce the law--that would be, what? And this guy's for lawlessness?
They are a special breed down there.

Always have been.

M. Fischer said...

‎"The NRA is the armed wing of a quasi-religious movement of paranoid racists whose gun fetishism is founded on pathological fear of minorities and an abiding belief in ongoing societal collapse."

Shaw Kenawe said...

I've moved this comment from BB Idaho over to this discussion because the informational statistics are relevant.

BB-Idaho said...
41% of Americans own guns. They
rely on the other 59% to support their views. The 'collateral damage' of high firepower, rapid fire, big magazine weapons and loose background checks seems to be having an affect on the 59% according to a recent poll :
88% want background checks at gunshows, 76% want background checks for ammo purchases, 65% would ban mag capacity greater than 10 rounds and 58% favor banning assault rifles.
A quick review of the figures
indicates at least some gun owners
favor tighter restrictions...which probably why only 36% of Americans have a favorable view of the NRA.
January 15, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Shaw Kenawe said...

To RN,

I apologize, again, for inadvertently deleting your comment. I can't remember which thread it belonged to, but I do remember that it was a duplicate and I deleted the second and published the first.

In fact, I'm sure I hit the publish button for two other comments, and I don't see them here either.

I dislike this comment moderation because the "publish" and "delete" buttons are next to each other, and I don't always hit the proper button.

I did not intentionally delete you, RN, and you're welcome to try again, if you wish to.

skudrunner said...

"I dislike this comment moderation because the "publish" and "delete" buttons are next to each other, and I don't always hit the proper button."

This is a true sign of maturity. They use to call it getting older but as you get older you refer to it as being mature.

To the topic. Much of what obama proposed is already in place just not enforced. I can't see the negative to the gun buyer background check.

Since most of these shootings were committed by persons who did not purchase their guns legally, I can't see where background checks will help but still not a bad idea.

Silverfiddle said...

I recommend this:

The Truth About Assault Weapons

Rational Nation USA said...

I do not like the proximity of the delete button to publish button either. One just must employ extreme caution I guess.

The moment passed Shaw, left blogistan will just have to do without those wise and pertinent remarks.

Shaw Kenawe said...

SF, a pro-gun member of my family clued me in on that site. I've read it a second time. I get that the AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle. Fine.

All of that information doesn't change the fact that we are a nation saturated in firearms and that we have more deaths by firearms than any other nation on earth, except for perhaps a lawless third world country, and we have more firearms in circulation than any other nation on earth, except for lawless third world countries.

We have restrictions on our other sacrosanct rights. The 2nd Amendment should not be an exception.

I saw the photos of the firearms that are the same as the AR-15. Why in hell do we need another lethal weapon? Why should it matter to anyone to reinstate the ban on them?

Here is the GOP's own Ronald Reagan:

Reagan signed the Firearm Owners Protection Act into law in 1986, which “banned ownership of any fully automatic rifles that were not already registered on the day the law was signed.”

Regarding handguns, Reagan stated, "This level of violence must be stopped...If the passage of the Brady bill were to result in a reduction of only 10 or 15 percent of those numbers (and it could be a good deal greater), it would be well worth making it the law of the land."

Reagan also wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in 1991 titles "Why I'm for the Brady Bill," expressing support for a seven-day waiting period on handgun purchases. As governor of California, Reagan signed a strict 15-day cooling-off period into law.

In 1994, Reagan joined other former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford in a joint letter to the Boston Globe supporting the Assault Weapons Ban, saying, "As a longtime gun owner and supporter of the right to bear arms...I am convinced that the limitations imposed in this bill are absolutely necessary."

Ronald Reagan was a gun-control advocate.

Anonymous said...

the wackos and maladjusted on the right compare obama to hitler and stalin and other murdering monsters in history...the right has lost its sanity...if it ever had mentally healthy person thinks obama is the same as hitler or stalin...the right does...making the rest of us see them as the stupid fringe in this country...

BB-Idaho said...

To briefly summarize data found here :
From 2002-2011, the US saw 115,997 gun deaths. 30 citizens were killed
in terrorist attacks. The requirement to get on an airplane
is to be viewed naked by the TSA-
the requirement to buy a gun at a gun show? None.

Shaw Kenawe said...

And the reason for that insanity is that the NRA and others like them have bought off legislators in the US Congress, threatening them to do their bidding or lose their Congressional seats. It's bribery, of course, and legal.

The NRA leadership has devolved into a fascistic group of thugs.

I hope more people leave that organization and start one that really serves the needs of responsible gun owners.

Shaw Kenawe said...

What the morons in the NRA who ran that despicable ad are too stupid to understand:

"The NRA's advertisement seems to rile up the base by suggesting that Obama thinks his children are more important than others, and thus he guards them. Well, setting aside that Obama didn't set up those armed guards for the moment, I think it's worth noting that Sasha and Malia ARE more important than other children ... and not because they are the daughters of a rich person, but rather because they are the daughters of an influential person.

For much the same reason as, say, a director of a spy agency shouldn't have a secret affair because if that kind of information fell into the wrongs hands, such a spy agency director might put his personal life before national security, the daughters of a President have to be protected because a) they will be targets, and b) it's of national interest that the President keep his focus on the national good and not his family. If some "bad guy" were to get his hands on the Obama daughters, Obama's interests might not be aligned with the nations, and by the fact that the bad guy has the power to change the course of the nation."

Silverfiddle said...

"the fact that we are a nation saturated in firearms..."

And nothing being proposed will change that.

I do support background checks in the secondary market.

BB-Idaho said...

The marketing genius who thought up the NRA ad casgitating the Obama girls has to be the same one who wanted to name Adam Lanza NRA
2nd Amendment poster boy.

Dave Miller said...

Again Shaw... there is not one thing President Obama is asking for that will keep law abiding mentally healthy citizens from keeping the guns they have.

One order he is pushing is to make permanent the head of the ATF... and he has been ridiculed for that on conservative blogs, asking why he has not done that earlier.

Apparently, they do not know that the GOP has blocked the installation of a permanent director at the ATF.

The extremists cannot even answer a question regarding anything related to this without attacking you for asking... it's simply incredible.

As someone said, in the old days the threat of insurrection against our elected government and the threat to kill our president was considered treason... now for some reason, it is considered patriotic.

More like idiotic to me...

Jerry Critter said...

But the NRA main PAC wasn't just your run of the mill failure of the 2012 election year. It won the prize for the very worst performance of the entire gang. In fact of the $11.1 million it spent, only .83 percent went to winning candidates.

I'd say the NRA's influence is not nearly as great as they would like us to,think!

BB-Idaho said...

I'd say the NRA makes the 2nd Amendment quite profitable .

billy pilgrim said...

I wouldn't want an alcoholic with an assault rifle for a neighbor.

Shaw Kenawe said...

billy, are you talking about these guys?:

Police in Montville Township, Ohio, arrested two men, Mark Bornino and R. Daniel Volpone, after they allegedly drank alcohol and fired off guns, including an AK-47 assault weapon, during target practice Wednesday.

Unbeknownst to the men, police said, the bullets ripped through their paper marks and hit houses 500 yards away, narrowly missing families in their homes.

In once instance, bullets tore through the walls of a house and hit a microwave, reportedly moments after a woman exited her kitchen, according to NBC local news station WKYC.

Startled residents called 911 after hearing rapid gunfire, but according to ABC's WEWS in Montville Township, responding officers were soon dodging bullets themselves as they traced additional shots.

Rational Nation USA said...

At the end of the day it all seems so, to use Dave's word, superficial. Until such time as society addresses the root underlying causes the violence will continue unabated.

Perhaps taospeaks said it best when he touched on personal responsibility.

Moving on...

dmarks said...

BB: The gun stores around me have sold out.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"BB: The gun stores around me have sold out."

Not here in Massachusetts.

I think part of the problem is regional and political.

The Obama Deranged Syndrome population in this country believe the president is some sort of despotic, murdering socialist, commie, Marxist, Satanist coming to take their guns and precious fluids.

And the rest of us are sane.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Billy Pilgrim: "I wouldn't want an alcoholic with an assault rifle for a neighbor."

Nor matches and gasoline, or a knife, or a ball bat...

How about an alcoholic with a car?

Drunk driving injuries and fatalities dwarf all firearm incidents.

Not disagreeing with you, and not trying to change the subject, just providing perspective.

So, provided no brush with the law, how do we determine someone is an alcoholic? Then, having determined that somehow, what mechanism do we use where the state enters his home and takes away his property (guns)?

Nobody is for seeing children, or anyone!, murdered, but proposed actions must be measured against our natural rights.

Silverfiddle said...


The men you mention deserve what they get.

They broke at least two cardinal laws of responsible gun use: Be sober, and know what is behind your targets.

They are obviously too stupid to operate a firearm, the equivalent of a reckless driver, and the law should deal with them, as it does with all law-breakers.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Shaw: The Obama Deranged Syndrome population in this country believe the president is some sort of despotic, murdering socialist, commie, Marxist, Satanist coming to take their guns and precious fluids."

President Obama, unfortunately, is falling right in line with the actions and attitudes of his predecessors. Look back to at least Kennedy, and it is amazing how homogenized our presidential assembly line has become.

And Shaw, it's Precious Bodily Fluids!

I love Dr. Strangelove, watch it at least one a year. Stanley Kubrick was a genius!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Here's the difference between drunk driving and irresponsible gun owners. A group of citizens banded together to form a group M.A.D.D., and their goal was to make it shameful to drive drunk.

The number of deaths from drunk driving has lessened as a result. It's not great, but it is a hell of a lot better.

I suggest that the responsible gun owners do the same--band together and shame the irresponsible gun owners so that they don't behave like jerks.

I'm guessing the majority of gun owners would dislike being perceived as jerks, yet it is the jerks who get the publicity.

"President Obama, unfortunately, is falling right in line with the actions and attitudes of his predecessors."

Americans have elected him twice, and if what you say is true, then wouldn't it be fair to say that perhaps America is evolving and changing to what it wants?

I saw your post today, and it was depressing. People who don't accept change will be left behind. You perceive the changes in America as all bad; I don't.

We are not the agrarian society Thomas Jefferson envisioned. We are a multi-cultural nation with huge differences in how we see ourselves, politically. The tension between the liberal,conservative, and libertarian pov will keep us all at each others' throats until we agree to stop calling each other names and understand we're all Americans.

Curt Fouts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, for whatever it may be worth your response to Silver bears consideration. All sides have a bit of work to do. Yes?

Silverfiddle said...

"Americans have elected him twice, and if what you say is true, then wouldn't it be fair to say that perhaps America is evolving and changing to what it wants?"

Yes. We get what we vote for.

My point was to agree with you in a certain respect about the scurrilous charges hurled and President Obama, who succeeds Mr. Bush, who also received his ration of invective. How much difference is there between them?

With all apologies to The Bard, Liberty is the thing. It is the people v. the oligarchs; many of the people just haven't realized it yet.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Shaw: "People who don't accept change will be left behind."

Yes indeed!

"You perceive the changes in America as all bad..."

No, I don't. No one can argue that life in America in 2012 is much better than in 1912. We are the beneficiaries of much hard work, societal advancement and technological wonders achieved by our forebears.

It is the change in our federal government that I lament. It has been on permanent war footing since Woodrow Wilson. Sarah Palin was not the first politician to employ martial rhetoric and symbols. Our government has been rife with them this past century.

As a famous American poet once said, our "old road is rapidly aging."

That's everybody's road. We have a government perfectly suited for the 9120's that it grew out of.

We are a diverse people, "rebelling against the authority of experts and bureaucrats."

DJ's don't tell us what music to listen to anymore, self-publishing is rampant, and thanks to the innerwebz, a million diverse niches and communities have bloomed. Yet, we are saddled with a federal government mired in the past.

I know you disagree, but the system is unsustainable.

Like Walter Russell Mead, I believe that government and personal liberty are compatible, when in proper balance.

"At one level this is obvious; people don’t so much surrender their liberty by forming a government and agreeing to live in an ordered society as they defend it. Life in an anarchy governed only by the law of the jungle is less free than life as a member of a democratic commonwealth."

Hear, hear!


The secret of Anglo-American civilization has been its ability to combine the two elements of order and liberty at successively higher levels of both. To think constructively about our future we shouldn’t be thinking about a zero sum tradeoff between order and freedom; we should be thinking about how to build the kind of order that extends our liberty in new and important ways.

Life After Blue

Rational Nation USA said...

Yes Silver, it is indeed the Oligarchs we need fear the most. Good luck getting the "general population" as we say in the fitness world to understand that.

BB-Idaho said...

They come out of the woodwork. Ever heard of Docs For Glocks ? They leverage
against NIH, CCD research into
firearms death and injury.
"I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold rubber gloves.."

Shaw Kenawe said...

Adam Gopnik:

"If one needs more hope, one can find it in the history of the parallel fight against drunk driving. When that began, using alcohol and then driving was regarded as a trivial or a forgivable offense. Thanks to the efforts of MADD and the other groups, drunk driving became socially verboten, and then highly regulated, with some states now having strong "ignition interlock" laws that keep drunks from even turning the key. Drunk driving has diminished, we’re told, by as much as ten per cent per year in some recent years. Along with the necessary, and liberty-limiting, changes in seat-belt enforcement and the like, car culture altered."

Curt Fouts said...

I don't understand the drunk driving parallel.

Drunk driving is the abuse of a privilege, and against the law, but society, as you say, used to look the other way.

Shooting people has always been against the law pretty much everywhere and at all times in history.

Society is already against the misuse of firearms. So what is you parallel?

Shaw Kenawe said...

To make irresponsible use of firearms unacceptable.

Such as leaving them unlocked and loaded around the home; using them while drinking, etc.

KP said...

<< I love Dr. Strangelove, watch it at least one a year. Stanley Kubrick was a genius! >>

Agree. I may watch it again tonight.

I am pretty sure someone stole precious bodily fluids of mine last night!