I’ve written my congress clowns again. The one that gave me a crappy response last week didn’t send me anything back. I did get a good email from one of my Senators here in Texas that said he wouldn’t let any gun law through. I don’t know if it’s the truth or just talking.
In the weeks to come there will be a lot of laws being introduced. None of them right now have a snowball’s chance in… well you know. The problem is that it will keep us all divided so they can do anything they want. Keep calm and wait until they push something out of committee and onto the flour. Then we can do something. Until then keep calm and keep writing.
I just listened to the President’s speech yesterday. It was quite appalling in more ways then I would have imagined. First I knew he was going to go after guns, but for some reason I didn’t think he would use children standing there as a political tool to do it. Then he spouted half-truths to deny the real truth. For example he talked about Columbine as a tragedy that he wants to stop. He failed to mention that all his suggestions completely failed. The first assault weapons ban was in its prime, there was a police officer at the school, and the killers only carried 10 round magazines. Despite all that, the killers managed to over-run a police officer, then the school and kill 32 people. How’s it going to work this time? What’s the definition of crazy?
I do have hope for us. As far as I’m concerned the President blinked. I thought he would have done huge things against gun owners with executive orders like a defacto gun registration by recording all gun sales, or to out right ban 10-round magazines by executive order. So I think this shows that the gun movement has some pull and those in power can feel it.
Different sources gave me different lists of the Presidential Executive orders, but here is what I could piece together. Lots of these will go nowhere, many others will be defeated in court as soon as they appear, some are good, and some will have lasting reach.
- CDC to study gun violence cause (despite congressional law against using funds for that purpose)
- Address legal barriers in health laws that bar some states from making available information about people who are prohibited from having guns (can you say State’s Rights?)
- Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system (If you don’t give us what we want we will take away money from you)
- Make sure that federal agencies share relevant information with the background check system (they should be doing this already, but this will take generations of work. Lots of Law Enforcement Agencies don’t trust other agencies)
- Direct the attorney general to work with other agencies to review existing laws to make sure they can identify individuals who shouldn’t have access to guns (Already failing “…the system has helped keep more then 1.5 Million guns out of the wrong hands.” If you try to fill out the form and are a prohibited person, you have committed a grave crime. Where are the 1.5 million prosecutions on that?)
- Clarify that no federal law prohibits doctors or other health care providers from contacting authorities when patients threaten to use violence (I think you need to amend HEPA for that)
- Give local communities the opportunity to hire up to 1,000 school resource officers and counselors (Didn’t the NRA say we should put cops in schools?)
- Require federal law enforcement to trace all recovered guns (This is something they should be doing and is within his authority.)
- Propose regulations that will enable law enforcement to run complete background checks before returning firearms that have been seized (you mean create red tape for someone already trying to get their property back? Here in Texas I have a CHL and when I meet a cop I am required to tell them I am carrying a gun. The cop may “hold” *seize* my weapon for his safety. What kind of check would the Feds require for him to hand me my gun back when he is finished with his business?)
- Direct the Justice Department to analyze information on lost and stolen guns and make that information available to law enforcement (With-in his authority and probably something that we should be doing already)
- Provide training for state and local law enforcement, first responders and school officials on how to handle active-shooter situations (more training is always good, as long as the Fed doesn’t say this is the way you will do it)
- Make sure every school has a comprehensive emergency management plan (I don’t like when the Fed steps in and says this is the way you should do it. As long as it’s only to have one required I’m good with that.)
- Help ensure that young people get needed mental health treatment (heard that one before too, hopefully he will make it happen)
- Ensure that health insurance plans cover mental health benefits (broaden Obama care?)
- Encourage development of new technology to make it easier for gun owners to safely use and store their guns (this one scares me, it could mean anything)
- Have the Consumer Product Safety Commission assess the need for new safety standards for gunlocks and gun safes (California does this, and has for years. It hasn’t stopped any shootings)
- Launch a national campaign about responsible gun ownership (this could mean anything)
- Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers. (A how-to guide wouldn’t be bad)
- Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement. (This is how well agencies share info)
- Nominate an ATF director (should have been done 5 plus years ago, not sure it will help anything… hopefully it will)
- Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime (hopefully those 1.5 million people will be prosecuted next time)
- 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 (again could mean anything and is scary)
- Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes. (but it is a boundaries issue, Doctors aren’t experts on everything)
Keep calling your Senators and Congress clowns and tell them what you want them to do!