Calm yourself, boys. Obama ain’t coming for your guns

cruzguns

To hear gun-safety advocates describe it, the executive orders announced Tuesday by an emotional, frustrated President Obama are painfully modest and basically amount to trying to enforce current gun laws a little bit more effectively. They may not save a lot of lives, but at least it’s an effort.

Conservative critics tell a very different story, as illustrated by the dramatic screengrab above taken from the campaign website of Ted Cruz. The reaction of Cruz’s GOP colleagues was no more restrained, with Marco Rubio accusing Obama of plotting to “take away our guns” and being “obsessed with undermining the Second Amendment.” As House Speaker Paul Ryan described it, “rather than focus on criminals and terrorists, Obama goes after the most law-abiding of citizens.”

Clearly, conservatives and gun-safety advocates are offering two diametrically opposed viewpoints of the same series of steps. Which is more accurate? If you make the effort to read through the list of actions announced by the president, instead of allowing your thinking to do be done by others, I think the answer will be pretty clear.

For example, federal law dating back to the National Firearms Act of 1934 requires extensive background checks, including fingerprinting, before legal purchase of fully automatic weapons, sawed-off shotguns and other highly dangerous Class III weapons.  Most people, including gun enthusiasts, think those rules are both wise and constitutional. Unfortunately, however, would-be purchasers of such weapons have apparently found a loophole in the regulations that allows them to evade background checks by buying the weapons through trusts and other legal entities, instead of personally.

That’s a potential problem. According to the White House, ” … the number of these applications has increased significantly over the years — from fewer than 900 applications in the year 2000 to more than 90,000 applications in 2014. ATF is finalizing a rule that makes clear that people will no longer be able to avoid background checks by buying NFA guns and other items through a trust or corporation.”

That doesn’t strike me as an attempt to undermine the Second Amendment. To the contrary, it’s a common-sense step that is entirely consistent with Ryan’s goal of targeting criminals and terrorists while protecting law-abiding citizens. I just don’t understand the furor.

Likewise, current law already bars the mentally ill from buying guns. On Tuesday, the president moved to allow the names of those receiving mental-disability benefits through Social Security — say, for severe schizophrenia — to be cross-referenced for the first time in the background-check database and thus bar them from buying weapons. Another change allows states to submit their own mental-health data to the national database with less concern that doing so might violate federal health-privacy regulations. (Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech, was able to acquire weapons despite being judged mentally ill by a Virginia judge because that finding was never submitted to the database.)

Obama also announced an effort that will make it more difficult for criminals to evade background checks, again a change that will target those not legally allowed to purchase weapons while doing nothing to affect the Second Amendment rights of legal, law-abiding citizens. It works like this:

Under existing federal law, anybody deemed “in the business” of firearm sales must be federally licensed as a dealer, which in turn means that any gun transactions they conduct as a dealer must include a background check. According to experts, however, some 40 percent of gun sales are conducted by “private” sellers who fall outside that safeguard system, which means that no background check takes place. That’s the so-called “gunshow loophole,” although most such sales are not conducted at gunshows.

But what does it mean to be “in the business” of firearm sales? The term is not well-defined in the law, which leaves its definition to regulation. And clearly, if you’re just selling a weapon to a friend or your brother-in-law, without seeking to make a regular profit, you’re not “in the business” and are not a dealer.

However, what if you sell several weapons a year at gun shows or through the Internet, without checking the background of the purchasers? What if you have business cards printed up, and regularly advertise your wares on Internet sites and at gun shows? In that case, the regulatory changes announced Tuesday may require you to both get a federal license and begin to use background checks.

Conservative critics of the Obama initiative have claimed that such Internet sales just don’t take place, and that the change announced by the president addresses a non-existent problem. They’re wrong, and many of them know they’re wrong. For the record, here a sample of two advertisements for such no-background-check sales found earlier today at ArmsList.com, both of them right here in Georgia:

armslist

armslist2

For whatever reason, both would-be buyers are explicitly looking to buy a weapon from a private, unlicensed seller, someone not required by federal law to either conduct a background check or keep a record of the transaction. The changes announced by Obama will not halt that practice — it would take action by a reluctant Congress to accomplish that — but it would raise the stakes for those who abuse that loophole most often. Again, that strikes me as mere common sense, not some assault on constitutional rights.

Finally, let’s deal with the suggestion that by issuing such executive orders, Obama is somehow responsible for fueling the rise of the likes of Donald Trump. Let me do so by asking a simple question:

Which contributes more to the paranoia that is now driving right-wing politics?

A.) The actual, modest steps taken by President Obama, as outlined above, or

B.) the histrionic overreaction typified by the Cruz screengrab above, depicting Obama as a dictatorial tyrant out to disarm and then subjugate the American people.

My answer would be B.

Reader Comments 0

1635 comments
sauteedude
sauteedude

"Unfortunately, however, would-be purchasers of such weapons have apparently found a loophole in the regulations that allows them to evade background checks by buying the weapons through trusts and other legal entities, instead of personally".....Unfortunately you don't know how the law works in the first place and unfortunately have made an incorrect statement. Even with the use of a trust one must still go through the standard procedure of filling out a form 4473 (standard background check) as an individual who is the guarantor of said trust/legal entity before taking ownership of said NFA device. Just an FYI most gun owners feel the NFA tax is an unconstitutional limitation of our 2nd amendment rights

fin5359
fin5359

I'm celebrating King Crybabies executive action gun control by renewing my NRA membership and buying 1000 rounds of 7.62!  Molon Labe!!!

YouLibs
YouLibs

Doomy, are you still on a bender from last night or just getting an early start today?

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@YouLibs


Naw. Its been a long, long time since I've had a chance to blog in the morning here. Taking it kinda slow this week and so I'm having some fun with you guys today although I gotta get some work done later. 


I'll be on a bender next Monday when the Tide plays for yet another national title. 



Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

I'm starting to think that this Sleepaway Bird Camp thing sounds fun, but I'd bring more food...

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DownInAlbany 

The fact that you reference this on a daily basis shows us how silly you are.

The fact that two people here posted that prayer rug in the desert article from breitbart as factual shows me how silly they are, sport.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

"The hardest to control expense for my business because of the huge number of hands reaching into my pocket while they collectively provide me nothing."


Sooooooo. What kind of a binness man lets "huge number of hands" reach into his pockets while they provide him "nothing".


How long does a binness man stay in binness paying money to "huge numbers of hands" reaching into his pockets while providing him "nothing"? 


And do people really believe that binness men pay money to "huge numbers of hands" to "reach into their pockets" while providing "nothing" to said binness man. 

honested
honested

@Doom Classical liberal 

I don't pay them!

I just get tired of the endless gamesmanship when renewing commercial coverage.

So much for 'customer loyalty'.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@honested @Doom Classical liberal


"I don't pay them!"


Hmm. A few minutes ago you were complaining about all these people having their hands in your pockets. And now you're claiming you don't pay em? Which is it? Do you not  pay them or do they have their hands in your pockets? The problem with lying is that you start lying so much that you forget about the previous lies that you told. 


The endless gamesmanship when renewing commercial coverage? Hmm. That's funny. I've dealt with numerous businessman. I've never heard a one complain about endless gamesmanship when renewing their commercial coverage. And I myself have to have commercial insurance. I've no idea what the hell you are talking about. Probably cause you're just making shyte up. Again. 


"So much for customer loyalty"


And why would you be loyal to people who have their hands in your pocket but who provide you "nothing". Either you're lying or you're just plain stupid for paying for a service that you are not getting. So which is it?

Kamchak
Kamchak

http://www.wdrb.com/story/30897934/louisville-woman-accused-of-assaulting-robbing-disabled-man-after-he-jokes-that-he-doesnt-believe-in-god

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A woman was arrested at the Hall of Justice in downtown Louisville Tuesday afternoon, months after police say she assaulted and robbed a man after he joked that he did not believe in God.

According to an arrest warrant, the incident took place on Oct. 20.

Police say that 49-year-old Laura Reid was visiting a disabled man in his home. At one point, police say, Reid asked the victim if he believed in God, and he jokingly replied that he did not.

According to an arrest warrant, Reid became angry with his response, so she picked up his metal cane and began beating him on the head and body, hitting him so hard that the cane broke.

Police say the victim was unable to leave his home because of his disability, and Reid stayed there for three hours after the assault. When she finally left, she allegedly took the man's cell phone, keys, $50 cash and a wallet containing credit cards.

Go ye therefore and beat all nations?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Kamchak The fact that you reference this on a daily basis shows us how silly you are.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Kamchak 

The fact that this still exists on the site shows us how silly they are.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@DownInAlbany 

You should probably be more careful about from whom you are attempting to gain understanding... 

On edit:  I did enjoy how he viciously and meanly attempted to explain how "leftists" are vicous and mean, though...

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@DownInAlbany

If you want a website that is encoded chock full with malicious electronic phishing and spamming tools, The Weekly Standard is it.

I am not kidding at all, by the way. And I'll admit fullwell to both reading it and despising 99% of its editorial content, but I do so from a 'safe' browser.

Peachs
Peachs

@DownInAlbany @Nick_Danger I have often wonder why the terrorist don't team up with the drug cartels and use their assess to the US. The drug cartel could have a sanctuary and the terrorist could have money and guns.  Some reason that doesn't happen, could it be Obama?

Eye wonder
Eye wonder


insurance parasite


Oxymoron of the day. 

honested
honested

@Eye wonder 

"insurance parasite" - Anyone deriving a commission from the sale of an insurance product designed to extract funds from a client to no net gain in the client's security.

td1234
td1234

@honested So if you have that opinion about someone that provides a product for someone else then I can not wait the see how you will define welfare recipient since are not only a drain on resources but also effect the tax payer's on welfare . 

honested
honested

@Doom Classical liberal @honested @Eye wonder 

The hardest to control expense for my business because of the huge number of hands reaching into my pocket while they collectively provide me nothing.

Can't help but notice the biggest problem

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Eye wonder @Doom Classical liberal @honested


Fee fees hurt? Nope. Actually, I rather enjoy the bit when you guys are reduced to attacking my profession. It shows 2 things. Number one is that it shows that you have nothing else. 


Number 2 is that it shows your economic ignorance in several different ways. It shows first of all that you don't understand the role of middleman in the marketing of any product or service. And that economic ignorance is the chief culprit as to why middlemen cultures like Jews, Armenians, etc have faced such discrimination and hatred. Their roles in society in making for more efficient markets are often misunderstood by ignoramuses. 


There's probably 10 different middlemen involved in getting a cup of coffee from Juan Valdez picking coffee beans to your coffee maker. And those middlemen ensure that you don't have to drive to Colombia and pick your own beans. 


Health insurance is no different from any other product or service. You need middleman, whether it be insurance agents or phone agents with the federal marketplace to faciliate enrollments. Going by your logic those nice folks at the marketplace are parasites since they make a living facilitating enrollments. 


So keep on keeping on. I rather relish seeing your full ignorance on display 

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@honested @Doom Classical liberal @Eye wonder


You don't have a business. We all know that. Unless collecting disability or SS is a binness. 


And if you did then perhaps you could tell us who some of these, ahem, hands reaching into your pockets are? Lemme guess. The various gubment entities who do little to nothing for your mythical binness are not "hands reaching into your binness" but the suppliers and vendors who do help you are "reaching into your pocksts".


Your logic is as twisted as your completely BS story that you are a business owner. 

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Menace @Doom Classical liberal @Eye wonder @honested


And that would be the beauty of capitalism. We have the freedom of choosing who we want to do business with. I turn away ignorant people on a regular basis. If they are inordinately stupid or just a pain I refer them to the marketplace or tell them to just call the carrier. Happens more than you think because I can afford to turn away some business and I don't want to deal with dummasses. Your business certainly wouldn't be missed. 

honested
honested

@Doom Classical liberal @honested @Eye wonder 

I feel sad for you.

You mus be like tiny dog and believe that EVERYONE able to manage their own enterprise MUST subscribe to your mythology.


Yet, I can't determine why it is so difficult to get across to my commercial carrier why I DON'T wand terrorism coverage or a couple of other apple-polishing items.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@honested @Doom Classical liberal @Eye wonder


I feel sorry for you that you tell people that you have huge numbers of people that you pay who provide nothing to you. You're either just plain stupid and a piss poor business man or you are a liar when you say that you pay people who provide no service to you. So which is it? 


You're a liar Ed. You don't own a business and we all know it.