16 January 2013
All three of my regular readers will find it no surprise that I disagree with Mr. O on a number of points, but perhaps not as many as you might think. It's his disregard for the elected will of the people that I find most irritating. "Checks & balances? We don't need no stinkin' checks & balances!"
Here's a point-by-point reaction. The list I used may be found here.
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
Not much argument here. Any background checking system is only as good as its database.
2. 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.
Red flag: What information is being gathered/recorded and about/by/to whom?
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
See #1 above.
4. 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.
Define "dangerous." If we're talking mental illness, is ownership of a type/number of weapons a sign of "mental illness?" Some legislators think so.
5. Propose rulemaking [sic] to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
Why exactly were these weapons seized? Evidence of a violent crime? What happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" It's gone, if it ever existed at all. Now it's "we wouldn't be investigating if you weren't guilty," and you're only gonna prove you're not if you can afford a high-powered/priced lawyer.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
I'm okay with this one, I support background checks as long as they're not used by an anti-gun zealot as a warhammer to make it impossible for law-abiding citizens to obtain legal weapons legally.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
I question how this administration defines "safe & responsible ," but in general I support the idea of firearms safety training.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Huge read flag! Requiring a gun intended to be used as a home-defense weapon to be locked at all times only means a homeowner confronted with a criminal threat, who don't give a rat's ass about the law and whose gun will most certainly NOT be locked, will face a life-threatening crisis armed with a metal rock. And frankly, given the ballistics of a handgun, you're probably better off throwing a real rock.
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
Back to the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing. But as long as the investigation by itself doesn't qualify as an excuse to keep someone's legally obtained weapon, I'm cautiously okay with it.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
What data is gathered? By whom? On whom? But in general, more information to LE (law enforcement) is a good thing.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
I didn't realize the current guy wasn't official. But when you haven't passed a budget in four years, what's a directorship or two? Is he going to be another "czar?" Because that's worked soooo well in other areas.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
I'm good with this one. Make it available, for a reasonable fee, to the public, and I'd probably take the course myself.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
LE ain't already doin' this?
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
Unnecessary and wasteful spending. Gun violence is caused by the use of guns by criminals. Any weapon, be it a gun, knife, baseball bat, or hammer is no more or less dangerous than its operator. In fact, in some hands, a hammer might be more dangerous than a gun. I know how to handle a firearm, but I'm a lousy carpenter.
15. 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.
Cautious approval. Who defines "safety?" To coin a phrase, "it depends on the meaning of 'is',"
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
HUGE HUGE HUGE RED FLAG!!! I am NOT answering this question, though I doubt my doctor would ask it, he's a pretty level headed guy. This is one step toward making an unlocked firearm in the owner's home defined as a per se threat to the home's occupants' "health."
17. Release a letter to health-care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law-enforcement authorities.
Cautious approval. No one has any business making criminal threats of violence. But who determines what a "threat" is?
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
Fully support, as I've made clear in the past. My high school had an assigned, on-campus deputy in 1979. Thousands of schools already have an on-site security/LE presence, and given the choice, I'd prefer LE. A few weeks ago, when the NRA suggested this very thing, liberals went nuts. If you castigated the NRA, but support this presidential decree, your hatred for the NRA and worship of BO are clouding your judgment, and you need to reexamine your opinions, lemming.
19. Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
No problem, I'd love to see the curriculum.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental-health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
Given a reasonable definition of "mental illness," I'd say this one is long overdue.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
Judgment reserved. I have no idea what this means in practical terms.
22. Commit to finalizing mental-health-parity regulations.
Cautious approval. Define your terms.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
More taxpayer funded meetings, seminars and retreats, and tree-murdering million page documents, and if your "dialogue" isn't going to include people who disagree with you, or you're simply going to dismiss contrarian opinions out-of-hand (coff coff, Joe Biden, coff, coff), don't waste my time and tax dollars.
As for Governor Cuomo (D-NY, no surprise there), pat yourself on the back, Tony, NY criminals are rejoicing over increased workplace safety. you just officially required law abiding citizens to meet life-threatening situations guaranteed to be out-gunned.
Wanna buy a rock?