The Obama Gun Control Proposal

Well, that was an anti-climax. The president’s proposals are so vague that virtually every one of them will have to await further detail before we know just how bad they are. He wants the 1994 assault weapons ban renewed … “and strengthened.” Strengthened – how? He doesn’t say. Is he endorsing Senator Feinstein’s proposal, which significantly expands the previous ban and brings us much closer to banning all semi-automatics (the majority of guns). 

He’s not forcing doctors to snitch on their patients; he’s just saying that Uncle Sam won’t be upset if they do. And so on.

Over at Newsmax TV, I offer my initial impressions of the gun ban. As I noted in my post from last night, I think we all need to take a step back and ask where the federal government gets the power to do half the things that Obama proposes. But I also don’t think Obama will be impeached over the gun proposals.

  1. DocJay

    I’ll tell you where this all ends up in their fantasy. A national database for all weapons combined with one national healthcare database. Doctors will be mandated to discuss weapons as well as mandated to report mental illness. Prescriptions, like Xanax or Prozac, go on the database too. Somehow there’s a knock on your door as a result of these formerly private events. If you don’t open the door it’s broken down and your dog gets shot. If you open it, the same thing happens, but you don’t have to buy a new door.

  2. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    My favorite proposal was “nominate an ATF director.” Um, really?

  3. skipsul
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: My favorite proposal was “nominate an ATF director.” Um, really? · 2 minutes ago

    There was a little noticed footnote to that:

    “Make sure to nominate someone who never even shook hands with Melson.”

  4. Yeah...ok.

    “But I also don’t think Obama will be impeached over the gun proposals.”

    Do you think he will be impeached over something else?

  5. Eeyore

    Adam, you were the very paragon of politeness to say the President would be “skating on thin [impeachment] ice” if he called for confiscation.

    More broadly, I think that the anti-climactic feel was a deliberate “nudge” tactic. Obama’s Chicago political thug training will have him push the edge of every detail. For instance, he will arm-twist and bully behind the scenes to get as close to Feinstein’s semi-auto ban as he can, without looking like he has any part in it.

    I’m more cynical than skipsul at #7. I think Mr. “I Won” will renominate anti-gun zealot Andrew Traver for ATF director, and bellow that the NRA wants more dead children in the street if they oppose his nomination. 

    Overall, I think he will go as absolutely far as he can politically with every one of his proposals, and the harshest laws that Congress proposes. Remember, Obama’s core belief is “‘I don’t believe people should be able to own guns.’”

  6. skipsul
    Eeyore: Adam, you were the very paragon of politeness to say the President would be “skating on thin [impeachment] ice” if he called for confiscation.

    More broadly, I think that the anti-climactic feel was adeliberate”nudge” tactic. Obama’s Chicago political thug training will have him push the edge of every detail. For instance, he will arm-twist and bully behind the scenes to get as close to Feinstein’s semi-auto ban as he can, without looking like he has any part in it.

    I’m more cynical than skipsul at #7. I think Mr. “I Won” will renominate anti-gun zealot Andrew Traver for ATF director, and bellow that the NRA wants more dead children in the street if they oppose his nomination. 

    Overall, I think he will go as absolutely far as he can politically with every one of his proposals, and the harshest laws that Congress proposes. Remember, Obama’s corebelief is “‘I don’t believe people should be able to own guns.’” 

    Food for thought there.  Mayhaps I was being overly optimistic this morning.

  7. KC Mulville

    From the article:

    Doctors and other health care providers also need to be able to ask about firearms in their patients’ homes and safe storage of those firearms, especially if their patients show signs of certain mental illnesses or if they have a young child or mentally ill family member at home.

    Why doctors? Because the law says that such conversations are private. Substitute “priest” or “lawyer” for doctor here, and the situation is the same.

    Precisely because they’re private, and the privacy is covered by law, all this means is that the government wants doctors to ask questions they can’t. Law prevents government from asking certain questions … so Obama figures we need to be subtle, and get doctors to do it instead.

    Law is just a hurdle for this Administration, not a stop.

  8. Z in MT

    Gun control advocates pay little heed to the original argument for the 2nd Amendment, that free citizens need to own arms to protect themselves from a tyrannical government.  This argument doesn’t work because gun control advocates view the risk of the government turning tyrannical as negligible and not worth trying to prevent more people from dying in gun violence.  2nd Amendment advocates also see this risk as small, but believe the potential loss of other liberties and possibly many thousands or millions dying in civil strife outweighs the small reduction in gun violence that may occur due to the gun control reforms.

    This varied discounting of risks by different ideologies is at the heart of most of our policy disagreements today.  Gun control is the hot issue right now, but the same dynamic is at play in the federal fiscal negotiations.

  9. AnnaS

    Well I don’t care if you DO think he won’t be impeached! I think he should be and I think bringing it up would shine a light on his reprehensible behavior!

  10. SunnyOptimism

    Anticlimactic is too kind a word for this list of pure drivel…

    Wow!  President Obama has got to be one of the most blatantly passive-aggressive, spinless, empty-suit  “leaders” ever to sit behind that desk in the Oval Office.  Was that not the most pathetic list of do-nothing and meaningless proposals ever?

    I fully support the 2nd Amendment, but if I try to look at this from the progressive point of view, this is serious let-down.  I mean, if your shedding a tear on prime time TV while ensconcing yourself in the “It’s For The Children” stage-props, then at least have the courage to go big and propose something so off-the-wall that it at least makes you look serious.  The media’s not going to call him out for it anyway and Congress would have to act on it through legislation, so there’s no political downside to it for him.  If Biden had handed me that list, I would have scrawled a big fat “0″ on it in red ink and told him to try again….

  11. Nick Stuart
    Eeyore:Overall, I think he will go as absolutely far as he can politically with every one of his proposals, and the harshest laws that Congress proposes. Remember, Obama’s core belief is “‘I don’t believe people should be able to own guns.’” · 1 hour ago

    Agree.

    The 23-item laundry list of topics discharged yesterday are just the start. Left purposefully vague, details to be filled in later in closed rooms by anonymous bureaucrats. I do think President Obama understood the possibility of very serious blow back (especially to red-state Dems in the House & Senate) if he overreached publicly yesterday.

    The whole gun control debate functions more like a shiny object to distract attention from more pressing concerns like trillion-dollar annual deficits and the upcoming debt-limit fight. Not to say the president wouldn’t confiscate all firearms if possible, just saying this time around it was more like trying to grab the brass ring. There will always be another go-round. Especially if the Dems gain control of the House in 2014.

  12. Bereket Kelile
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: My favorite proposal was “nominate an ATF director.” Um, really? · 4 hours ago

    Yeah, that was funny because he’s already supposed to do that. It’s like writing an executive action to put a flag pin on your lapel.

  13. Adam Freedman
    C
    SunnyOptimism: Anticlimactic is too kind a word for this list of pure drivel…

    I fully support the 2nd Amendment, but if I try to look at this from the progressive point of view, this is serious let-down.  I mean, if your shedding a tear on prime time TV while ensconcing yourself in the “It’s For The Children” stage-props, then at least have the courage to go big and propose something so off-the-wall that it at least makes you look serious.  · 13 hours ago

    I agree — and I particulary think that his use of children as stage-props (as you aptly put it) is reprehensible.

  14. Adam Freedman
    C
    Eeyore: Adam, you were the very paragon of politeness to say the President would be “skating on thin [impeachment] ice” if he called for confiscation.

    More broadly, I think that the anti-climactic feel was adeliberate”nudge” tactic. Obama’s Chicago political thug training will have him push the edge of every detail. For instance, he will arm-twist and bully behind the scenes to get as close to Feinstein’s semi-auto ban as he can, without looking like he has any part in it.

    I do try to be polite… but I agree with your nudge point, and I try to make that clear in the Newsmax interview.  It is possible that his weasel words will amount to nothing, but if you add them all up, they point in the direction of the federal government consolidating all the information at its disposal (including health records) to disarm as many people as possible.

  15. Adam Freedman
    C
    AnnaS: Well I don’t care if you DO think he won’t be impeached! I think he should be and I think bringing it up would shine a light on his reprehensible behavior! · 13 hours ago

    Anna, I understand your frustration at the president, but I fear that trying to initiate impeachment proceedings where there is no likelihood of success will hurt our credibility.

  16. Bereket Kelile

    I wonder if part of the reason why these measures aren’t serious is because they aren’t even executive orders. My understanding (google search 20 minutes ago) is that these are just self memos, a to do list. Maybe Obama should’ve just put them into his Springpad app on his crackberry.

  17. Eeyore

    A little mea culpa here. Obama nominated  current ATF Acting Director Todd Jones, (not Traver). Confirmation hearings may not as bad as they might have been. Traver was blocked as he was an anti-gun zealot. In Bush years, Senate R’s were stonewalling, IIRC, due to ATF’s notoriously capricious FFL revocation habits. But from the NationalShootingSportsFoundation website:

    The Good News About ATF …The good news is that ATF does not view its job as simply to revoke licenses whenever it finds a violation. Instead, ATF assists and works with members of our industry to encourage and enhance compliance with the requirements of the GCA and the ATF regulations, so that ATF can promote public safety. In fact, while the number of ATF inspections has been increasing in recent years, up to over 10,000 in 2010 from just 5,000 in 2005, the number and rate of revocations have actually been decreasing down to only 0.64% from 2.5% five years prior. That’s twice as many inspections and an almost fourfold decrease in revocations. ATF reports that the rate of regulatory compliance, where no violations of any kind are found, has been increasing over time.

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