I’m going to call this one a tactical victory for Real America. It’s a won battle; it’s not the war.
The President saw the result of Slow Joe Biden’s trial balloons last week – the suggestions of magazine limits, assault weapon bans and other draconian nationwide assaults on law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment Rights – which was measured in an explosion of NRA memberships, a mobilization of grass-roots support for the originalist version of the Second Amendment, and the greatest gun-buying frenzy since the US Army signed gave a blank check to John Garand in 1040 – and blinked.
No ineffective gun bans – this time. No reinstatement of the worthless and abuse-prone Assault Weapons Ban – yet. No useless magazine capacity restrictions – this go-around.
That’s the good news.
In a more mixed vein? Here, reportedly (according to Business Insider) are the Administraiton’s recommendations, with my responses following in blue:
- Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
- 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. [These first two, at first glance, don’t seem like bad ideas in and of themselves, although I have a hunch what’s in that data is going to be worth a fight. More below]
- Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system. [Like what Minnesota could have done, had Gov.
MessingerDayton not vetoed the “Stand Your Ground” bill in a fit of bitchy partisan picque, you mean?]
- 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. [Nice and vague and subject to boundless politicization]
- Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun. [I’m a little amazed this doesn’t already happen. I’m also leery of giving more “discretion” to law-enforcement, or at least law-enforcement in places like Chicago]
- Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers. [Superfluous]
- Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign. [You mean, like the ones the National
BoogeymanRifle Association has been running for decades?]
- Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission). [Superfluous; gun locks and safes arguably prevent a few accidents; again, it only bears on those responsible enough to use them, rather than criminals]
- Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations. [Again, amazed this isn’t already the case]
- Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement. [As above]
- Nominate an ATF director. [Superfluous at best, adding to the bureaucratic misdirection at worst. The BATF has little measurable effect on crime; it serves mainly to badger the law-abiding, at least when it comes to firearms sales]
- Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations. [Which is great; law-enforcement has advanced a lot in this area since Columbine; given that it took cops 20 minutes to respond to New Town, it’d seem it hasn’t advanced enough. And you can be sure the federally-mandated training won’t include the conclusion that’s blazingly obvious from the training that is being given to law enforcement (that resisting as immediately as possible with lethal force is vital); that having people in the target area with guns and the abiliity to resist is beyond vital]
- Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime. [Exactly as the NRA has been asking]
- Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence. [Now we’re getting Orwellian – and this is the area where Real Americans need to be watchful. The Administration seems to be moving toward the passive-aggressive long game – towarad calling gun ownership a precursor condition to mental illness. There is great danger here]
- 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. [This is a nod toward “gun safety technology” like bolt-face stamps and biometric safeties that make guns much less safe for the law-abiding user, and much more expensive for the lower-income citizen. Which is, of course, one of the goals]
- Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes [In other words, turning doctors into Adminstration spies, gathering data for future actions. Suffice to say I’ve got one ‘condition’ I’ll never tell my doctor about]
- Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities. [Also amazed this isn’t generally the case]
- Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers. [Wait – you mean exactly as the NRA recommended?]
- Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education. [Provided, apparently, that those “model plans” not include “armed citizens killing monsters”]
- Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
- Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges. [Within the context of a rapidly-socializing healthcare system, this and the previous are how the whole “Mental Health” issue gets dealt with, I suppose. Sigh]
- Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
- Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health. [Because who better to lead a dialogue on mental health than a couple of bureaucrats?]
LIke most tactical victories, today’s developments leave many potential roads to future battles; the definition of mental health, the potential for using Obamacare’s information systems to add millions of Americans to the federal NICS database as “mentally ill” without any real recourse, and on and on.
And on some issues – “School Resource Officers” and safety training – the Administration is bordering on triangulation to the right. Which isn’t all bad, since both of those measures are (on their face) sensible.
But the price of liberty is eternal vigilance – and the orcs have left us much to be vigilant about. Joe Doakes of Como Park emails:
The President assured the nation the federal government isn’t going to take all guns, just impose common sense public safety measures.
I’m thrilled to hear it. I encourage the President to extend that reasoning to other Constitutionally protected rights.
We won’t ban all religions, only those with a tendency toward violence: Catholics. And Jews, because their mere existence provokes peaceful Muslims.
You still can say things that have serious artistic or literary merit, but nothing critical of the government; that’s sedition.
We will only use warrantless searches on the persons, papers, houses and effects of radical extremists: gun owners and church-goers.
See how easy this is? Utopia is within our grasp if we only have the Will to impose it.
The slope is still slippery. It’s not as steep as it could have been, but we’re all still sliding.