Nel's New Day

January 16, 2013

President Releases Gun Control Plans, Conservatives Rage

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 8:10 PM
Tags: , , , ,

Following the horrific shooting 34 days ago in Newtown (CT) where 28 people, including 20 six- and seven-year-old children, died, President Obama promised to have a plan of action by February. He moved ahead his agenda and, yesterday, he outlined his effort to prevent gun violence in the United States. The complete plan includes signing 23 executive orders and sending a set of proposals to Congress that covers mental health, gun safety, and firearms ownership. Many of these proposals are ones that other people have consistently suggested:

  • Making background checks universal. Congress should require every single gun owner to go through a proper background check to determine any criminal history or diagnosed mental illness. That would include everyone purchasing guns at gun shows and from private buyers, whether the weapons are new or used.
  • Improving state reporting of criminals and the mentally ill. States should receive more money to enter this data into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) so that they cannot use this as an excuse and receive stronger guidelines so they know what data should be entered.
  • Banning assault weapons. Congress should reinstate the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which outlaws military-grade weapons, like the AR-15 used by Newtown gunman Adam Lanza and by Aurora Theater gunman James Holmes as well as closing any loopholes identified in the 1994 law.
  • Capping magazine clip capacity at 10 bullets. Congress should ban not only military-grade weapons but also all extended magazine clips that hold over 10 bullets. This ban was also part of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.
  • Purging armor-piercing bullets. Congress should ban the possession and transfer of these “cop killer bullets.” Current sales are banned but nothing else.
  • Funding police officers.  Congress should reverse its course of austerity for public employees by approving $4 billion to fund police enforcement around the country.
  • Strengthening gun tracking. The president will issue a memorandum mandating that all agencies trace back firearms to their original owners to collect data for the source of weapons used in crimes. Congress should also allow law enforcement to do background checks on guns seized during investigations.
  • Supporting research on gun violence. The president hopes to gather data on gun violence and misuse of firearms in order to inform the work of law enforcement. He also wants to restart research, long blocked by the NRA, on how video games, the media, and violence affect violent gun crimes. The Centers for Disease Control will immediately begin these efforts, but Congress should add $10 million to the pot of funding for such research.
  • Encouraging mental health providers to get involved. The president will encourage mental health professionals to alert people with homicidal thoughts to keep these people from gaining access to weapons. Doing so is not in violation of patient privacy laws. The president also wants medical professionals to know that Obamacare does not prevent doctors from talking to patients about guns.
  • Promoting safe gun ownership. The White House will start a “responsible gun ownership” campaign to encourage gun owners to lock up their firearms, and the president will also work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure safes and gun locks on the market are effective. He is also calling on the justice department to help him come up with new gun safety technology.
  • Funding school counseling.  Congress should fund the positions of 1,000 news school counselors through both the existing COPS Hiring Grant and a new Comprehensive School Safety program with $150 million in additional funding for new school counselors and social workers.
  • Encouraging safe, anti-bullying school environments. The president wants over 8,000 schools to receive $50 million in new funding to encourage safer school environments, help at-risk students by collecting data on what services students need, and remedy other problems through putting professionals in schools. He will also issue guidelines on school discipline policies.
  • Recognizing the mental health needs of low-income Americans. The president wants to expand Medicaid so that low-income recipients have the same access to professional help as those who have money to pay for it. Obama will issue a directive to heads of state health programs, enforcing “mental health parity” — the idea that mental health should be treated as a priority as important as physical health.



As expected, the conservatives have risen up against the president’s program. An example of this protest is Chappell Harris of Charlotte (NC) who makes fabrics to cover bullet-resistant vests. Interviewed at a gun show, he said that supported Obama’s plan to close the “gun-show loophole” by requiring background checks of purchasers at such events and Obama’s declaration that nothing in health-privacy laws prevents mental health professionals from alerting authorities about patients who may be violent threats. “He’s not saying anything anyone disagrees with there,” Harris said. “But that’s always his ploy.”

Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) response shows what the United States would become if he had become president. After watching President Obama’s speech on preventing gun violence, Perry said that the president’s statements “disgust” him. Instead of new policies, the country should “pray for our children.” According to Perry’s website, “The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror.”

Although President Obama has issued fewer executive orders than any other president, his speech today resulted in a high level of rage among the right-wing politicians and pundits. As usual when these conservatives speak of the president, they use comparisons to dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Saddam Hussein.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) plans to introduce articles of impeachment, calling Obama’s anti-gun violence efforts “an existential threat to this nation.” Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) agreed that impeachment “should be on the table” and falsely claimed that Obama wants an executive order to “ban guns.” Even Former Attorney General Edwin Meese (R) is dragging the Heritage Foundation into the impeachment threat.

In Oregon, Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller has sent a letter to Vice President Biden three days ago about his decision not to enforce, or allow federal officials to enforce, any new federal firearms laws in his county. Apparently, the sheriff believes that he is in control of what laws to enforce:

“Any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the President offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Linn County, Oregon.”

There are new measures pending in the South Carolina and North Dakota state legislatures on ignoring new federal gun policies, started before the president announced them, and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) wants state legislation that would make any “unconstitutional order” on gun policy taken by President Obama “illegal to enforce in Mississippi by state and local law enforcement.” Unlike Bryant, most people in the country understand that the court decides what legislation is “unconstitutional,” not legislatures.

Wyoming plans to introduce a bill called the Firearm Protection Act which would allow for the arrest of federal agents who come to enforce federal laws at the state level. The penalty is at least one year in jail and/or $5,000 in fines. Texas plans to follow suit with fines up to $50,000.

The conservative Obama-haters are so rabid that they’re even attacking a man who helped the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School on the day of the shooting. After he heard the shooting, he found six terrified children and their bus driver at the end of his driveway. Gene Rosen, a 69-year-old retired psychologist, took them into his house, fed them, and listened to their stories about the massacre and about the teacher who protected them with her body.

Conservatives are now calling Rosen a liar for the government and a satanist. One of them even accused him of sacrificing a child in his basement. As a result he has received hostile emails, some of them demanding to know how much he was paid to lie. He is jeered at in restaurants. Tragically, the Sandy Hook “truther” movement is gaining momentum to fight people who call for gun control.

The stupidity of these people who think that praying will solve everything and, worse, don’t believe that it actually happened, is only exceeded by their cruelty.

1 Comment »

  1. Wondering what an existential threat is. I hope security for the President and his family is tightened even more.


    Comment by lynchly — January 16, 2013 @ 10:01 PM | Reply

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