USA Obama's new gun movement

Romanos

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http://www.startribune.com/obama-starts-2016-with-a-fight-over-gun-control/364096061/

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is slated Monday to finalize a set of new executive actions tightening the nation's gun laws, making his first order of business in 2016 a clear signal the president in his final year doesn't intend to go quietly.At a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey and other top law enforcement officials Obama is expected to sign off on a package of proposals aimed at curbing gun violence and cracking down on unregulated gun sales.
At the top of the list is an effort to expand background checks on gun sales by forcing more sellers to register as federally licensed gun dealers. The changes would be aimed at some unregistered sellers who skirt the background check laws by selling at gun shows, online or informal settings. Other moves being considered include improving reporting of lost and stolen weapons and beefing up inspections of licensed dealers, according to a person familiar with the plans who would not be named discussing proposals before they are finalized.
 

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Well, I hope this will help our country to stop being so gun-crazy!
 

psalms 91

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I hope the second amendment is upheld in court
 

Ruth

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Having gun control has nothing to do with the second amendment. People can still buy guns but there will be more checking into who they are. Obama wants to stop the guns from being sold at gun shows without a background check which has been done all along.
 

psalms 91

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We will see if Obama is upheld in court which I really doubt and of course when a Republican takes the office this will go away. I am afraid that Obama has just gauranteed a Republican in the White House as many people will be upset and angry at this
 

tango

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It's hard to know just what to make of something like this. It doesn't help when many sources (social media etc) are typically buried in partisan howling with those on the right insisting that The End Is Nigh because Obama is issuing yet another executive order, while those on the left rejoice that Finally Something Is Being Done. Of course the right-leaning howlers seem untroubled by executive orders issued by Republican presidents, and the left-leaning howlers don't stop to wonder whether what is being done is going to accomplish anything useful. Somewhere in the middle maybe there is a place to objectively consider it.

I wonder just what it is about guns that gets people so worked up. Of course a nutjob going crazy in a school and shooting 25 people is 25 deaths too many. But it seems if a couple of dozen people are shot it makes the international news and all the while hundreds of people die on the roads and it barely generates a murmur in the press. Certainly it doesn't make the international news unless it's truly spectacular, while a rogue gunman who kills a handful of people gets front page coverage and endless discussion over how this could happen yet again.

So much of the discussion around guns seems to revolve around the concept of whether people need guns. The trouble with that approach is that if we give the government free rein to ban anything we can't demonstrate a need for we end up in a really unpleasant place. Most of us don't need a spare bedroom, we don't need a vehicle as large as we drive, we don't need to drink beer, we don't need to go for a long walk in the woods, we don't need a big sharp knife when we go hiking, and so on. But banning things like that rapidly results in a society that looks more like Cuba than anything resembling the land of the free. Sadly it sometimes seems some people want freedom as long as other people don't have freedoms they dislike.
 

tango

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From The White House on Facebook:

"Each time, we’re told that commonsense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, so we shouldn’t do anything. We know that we can’t stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one?" - Barack Obama

Personally I'd like to know just what it is hoped enhanced background checks will accomplish. It seems to me that it's a ripe opportunity for governments to label dissidents as "mentally unstable" and use that as justification to deny them firearms. It's not even a hugely far-fetched concept - back in the days when Tony Blair was Prime Minister of the UK he seemed to lament the British people not understanding his proposals, apparently not considering the possibility that the British people understood his proposals perfectly well and just didn't want them. He truly seemed to believe that if only they could be presented more clearly people would understand and then accept them.

To stop that one massacre it seems the best bet is to figure out what causes people to "snap" and do such things. Someone who has a legally acquired handgun has presumably already passed some form of background check. It's all very well talking of enhanced background checks but that won't stop the person going wild with a handgun they bought before whatever issues caused them to lose the plot. Repeated background checks to allow those with handguns to continue to own them would fail on two counts - firstly it's hard to see it getting through Congress at all (or surviving the first month of a Republican presidency) and secondly it would represent such a huge level of State intrusion into the lives of its citizens it's unlikely to go anywhere.

In theory it might be possible to flag someone as becoming potentially unstable but unless there were very strong checks and balances and a very simple appeals process that would also be a recipe for disaster. The last thing anyone needs is a busybody in a government position who decides to make life difficult for someone they dislike, or someone being tagged as mentally unstable due to an administrative error. If anything that's the sort of thing that could potentially cause someone to snap and run wild.

The mental state of those perpetrating the massacres is probably the first thing to be looking at. Columbine was the first school massacre I can specifically remember (although not being from the US there may have been others before that), and I recall the perpetrators using long guns and pipe bombs. You can't exactly go and buy pipe bombs at Wally World, so taking guns away only solves a small part of the problem. Without too much effort and without drawing much suspicion it's relatively straightforward to acquire materials that would cause a huge amount of damage, were they misused (I won't post details because I don't want to be giving anyone impressionable reading this any ideas, but it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination).

I realise it's very much a meme associated with the NRA but if you start with "guns don't kill people, people kill people" and explore the implications, if you take away the guns people minded to hurt each other will just find another tool to do so. Surely the answer has to be figuring out why people have a desire to harm others rather than focussing on one particular tool they might use to do it.
 

psalms 91

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totally agree Tango
 

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i'm for better control of who buys guns. Something has to be done about all the violent things happening with guns.
 

Josiah

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I believe in our nation upholding the Second Amendment. I don't own a gun (in fact, I've never held one much less fired one), but I fully support those who choose to do so.

On the other hand, I think reasonable "controls" are essential - as they are with freedom of speech, etc. No "freedom" is absolute (this is a CIVIL right, not a human one).

I think what Obama is getting at is closing the loopholes in who/what is considered a seller. I understand that if one buys a gun at a store, there are quite appropriate "checks" but all that is missed if they get it online or at a gun show. That seems absurd.

On the other hand, I remember Sandy Hook where the boy simply used his mother's gun.... having the BUYER okayed doesn't mean all with access to the gun are so checked out. And I understand guns are often given as gifts or sold privately - and thus "miss" the check. I'm not sure what can be done about all that, but it does give some credence to the "only the law-abiding are impacted by laws." Without a constitutional amendment to repeal the Second Amendment, I'm not sure any law is going to keep guns out of the hands of sick or bad people (heck, we can't keep "pot" out of the hands of .... anyone!), SADLY, there will always be a FEW with access to guns that should not. On the other hand, I think reasonable steps to make that as FEW as reasonable is..... good. Not too sure it's easy.

On that note, I have a friend who grew up in a small town in Texas where he claims EVERYONE carries a gun (including the baptist preacher, he tells me). Yet, gun violence is unheard of. And yet, Washington DC has the strictest gun laws in the land - and there is gun violence constantly. Montana and Wyoming, I understand, have virtually no gun laws but very little gun violence..... Detroit has very strict laws but daily a number of gun murders and crimes. My point? There is more to this than simply access and laws..... it's not so easy as some politicans like to pretend.... a lot of this has to do with some subcultures more than perhaps gun laws. Dealing with THAT ain't so easy....


Pax



- Josiah
 

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I see what you are saying Josiah. Obama isn't guaranteeing that there will be no more gun violence, just wants to make it harder for the wrong people to get guns. He sincerely wants to help save lives and that is all.
 

tango

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i'm for better control of who buys guns. Something has to be done about all the violent things happening with guns.

Doesn't it make more sense to figure out why people have the desire to cause such mayhem, than restrict one single tool they can use to achieve that end?

Pipe bombs are illegal but the two guys behind Columbine (whose names I forget, and don't care to remember) used them as well as guns. If people truly want to harm each other then taking away their guns will simply mean they'll use something else. Frankly I'd rather see a nutter run riot with handguns than with swords and meat cleavers.
 

tango

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I believe in our nation upholding the Second Amendment. I don't own a gun (in fact, I've never held one much less fired one), but I fully support those who choose to do so.

On the other hand, I think reasonable "controls" are essential - as they are with freedom of speech, etc. No "freedom" is absolute (this is a CIVIL right, not a human one).

I think what Obama is getting at is closing the loopholes in who/what is considered a seller. I understand that if one buys a gun at a store, there are quite appropriate "checks" but all that is missed if they get it online or at a gun show. That seems absurd.

My understanding is that if you buy a handgun from a private seller you are still legally obliged to register the transfer. Licensed gun dealers can arrange the transfer for a relatively modest fee. Expanding that regulation to include long guns may go some way towards knowing who has the guns but still won't stop the sort of people who take cash and don't ask questions from continuing to ply their wares.

After all it's illegal to buy and sell heroin on the street but that alone doesn't stop people from doing it.

On the other hand, I remember Sandy Hook where the boy simply used his mother's gun.... having the BUYER okayed doesn't mean all with access to the gun are so checked out. And I understand guns are often given as gifts or sold privately - and thus "miss" the check. I'm not sure what can be done about all that, but it does give some credence to the "only the law-abiding are impacted by laws." Without a constitutional amendment to repeal the Second Amendment, I'm not sure any law is going to keep guns out of the hands of sick or bad people (heck, we can't keep "pot" out of the hands of .... anyone!), SADLY, there will always be a FEW with access to guns that should not. On the other hand, I think reasonable steps to make that as FEW as reasonable is..... good. Not too sure it's easy.

Indeed, if any guns are legal then the person who wants to do bad things with guns but can't acquire one lawfully will find another way to get their hands on one. And if guns are banned outright (unlikely to happen for as long as the 2nd Amendment exists) people will still get their hands on them if they really feel the desire, they'll just get illegal weapons from abroad.

On that note, I have a friend who grew up in a small town in Texas where he claims EVERYONE carries a gun (including the baptist preacher, he tells me). Yet, gun violence is unheard of. And yet, Washington DC has the strictest gun laws in the land - and there is gun violence constantly. Montana and Wyoming, I understand, have virtually no gun laws but very little gun violence..... Detroit has very strict laws but daily a number of gun murders and crimes. My point? There is more to this than simply access and laws..... it's not so easy as some politicans like to pretend.... a lot of this has to do with some subcultures more than perhaps gun laws. Dealing with THAT ain't so easy....

There's certainly more to it than the simplistic "guns = good" or "guns = bad" as the more extreme viewpoints would have us believe. If it was as simple as more guns make people safe then South Africa would be a paradise. If it was as simple as more guns make people dangerous then Switzerland would be horrendous. Hence, the problem is more about why people want to hurt each other than their specific choice of tool.

It's interesting to see that gun violence is most prevalent in big cities. Obviously where there are more people there will be more crime, but I wonder if the problem in big cities is due to having a higher population density, a higher level of personal anonymity, the prevalence of shared utilities rather than private and the lack of personal space associated with the population density, or something else.
 

psalms 91

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Places where guns are and it is well known have a strange thing happen, crime goes down and lives are saved if a situation arises. Of xcourse not everyone will abide lawfully but a gun is just a tool nothing more, if I really want to kill someone I can do it with my car keys or a pencil.
 

tango

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Places where guns are and it is well known have a strange thing happen, crime goes down and lives are saved if a situation arises. Of xcourse not everyone will abide lawfully but a gun is just a tool nothing more, if I really want to kill someone I can do it with my car keys or a pencil.

It's easier to kill someone with a gun than it is to kill them with a big knife or other implement but then if you really want to cause mass casualties there are other means of doing it too. It's just that guns are the current boogeyman, and governments need a boogeyman of some form to keep the population scared. If the population is scared many people naturally look to Nanny State to protect them because they don't like the idea that there's nothing anyone can do to provide a 100% guarantee of safety.
 

Josiah

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After all it's illegal to buy and sell heroin on the street but that alone doesn't stop people from doing it.


____ good point. For MOST people (responsible, moral, law-abiding people), making something ILLEGAL (society agreeing it's BAD) is discouragement... we at at least think twice about violating law. But that ALONE doesn't eliminate the action..... especially for those who aren't responsible, aren't law-abiding, aren't moral.



Indeed, if any guns are legal then the person who wants to do bad things with guns but can't acquire one lawfully will find another way to get their hands on one. And if guns are banned outright (unlikely to happen for as long as the 2nd Amendment exists) people will still get their hands on them if they really feel the desire, they'll just get illegal weapons from abroad.

Again, I largely agree. If one wants "pot", one finds it (ain't hard). We will not keep guns away anymore than we keep "pot" away (indeed, even less so - guns can be assembled from parts, ordered over the 'net from other countries, etc.). BUT we can keep it harder to aquire - especially for teens?

People who legal own guns need to be held responsible for them..... Too often, kids and the irresponsible secure guns ILLEGALLY or simply by people being irresponsible.



There's certainly more to it than the simplistic "guns = good" or "guns = bad" as the more extreme viewpoints would have us believe. If it was as simple as more guns make people safe then South Africa would be a paradise. If it was as simple as more guns make people dangerous then Switzerland would be horrendous. Hence, the problem is more about why people want to hurt each other than their specific choice of tool.

It's interesting to see that gun violence is most prevalent in big cities. Obviously where there are more people there will be more crime, but I wonder if the problem in big cities is due to having a higher population density, a higher level of personal anonymity, the prevalence of shared utilities rather than private and the lack of personal space associated with the population density, or something else.


I agree. Completely. Liberals often look for EASY "answers" that make them FEEL like they did something - even though they didn't. IMO, this is FAR more an issue of why (some) are violent than it is an issue of having a gun. I know several people who own a gun (one that I know always has a concealed gun). That's all VERY foreign to me (and a bit weird)..... frankly, I "fear" NONE of them (in fact, if trouble ever happens, I HOPE one of them is around!!!!!!!). They are good people.... not violent, hateful. But I can understand why people fear when they are in certain neighborhoods, certain cities (ironcially, the very places with the strongest, strictest gun laws - consider that). I think this is probably MORE a cultural issue than a legal one.

Democrats - who include a lot of anti-gun folks - don't want to even speak of the moral, cultural, geographic issues because that would be stepping on Democrats. Ironcially, the places with the biggest gun problems are places run by the Democrats. GUNS are the problem, not the people who misuse them; anti-gun ownership laws will solve the problem. I don't agree. Republicans - who include a lot of gun folks - don't want to speak of controls because that would be stepping on Republicans. "THOSE folks" are the problem, and laws won't impact them or change them. I don't fully agree. We SHOULD make it harder for irresponsible people to get guns..... but ultimately, we need to address the culture that we see in DC, Detroit, and neighborhoods around the nation (which, PC'ism won't allow?).

It's not a simple matter. I had an associate in Germany tell me (after a few mutual beers) about how Germany has much less gun violence than does the USA. Probably so..... but it's a very different culture; Germany doesn't have the realities we have. Laws MAY be PART of the reason.... probably is.... but I doubt it's a large part. I'd be interested in comparing the over-all violence rates of Montana and Germany.... Montana were your florist carries a rod compared to Germany where the police are not permitted to carry a gun. My hunch: wouldn't be much difference (but I could be wrong). PEOPLE are violent. Guns aren't. As any knows who has played "Clue," one can be killed with a lead pipe in the hall. If that's the will of the murderer.....


Just my confused opinion.......


- Josiah
 

tango

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____ good point. For MOST people (responsible, moral, law-abiding people), making something ILLEGAL (society agreeing it's BAD) is discouragement... we at at least think twice about violating law. But that ALONE doesn't eliminate the action..... especially for those who aren't responsible, aren't law-abiding, aren't moral.

Sure, although it's another simplistic meme it does seem true to say that if guns are outlawed then only outlaws will have guns.

Again, I largely agree. If one wants "pot", one finds it (ain't hard). We will not keep guns away anymore than we keep "pot" away (indeed, even less so - guns can be assembled from parts, ordered over the 'net from other countries, etc.). BUT we can keep it harder to aquire - especially for teens?

Sure, like the fact that drugs are illegal stops teens getting their hands on them now, right?

In the UK there were reports of drug dealers targetting kids that weren't even into their teenage years. They'd offer a wrap of heroin for some trivially small money, the kind of money that barely buys a bag of fries. Their aim was simple - to get the kids hooked. Once the kids are hooked the price goes up and the kids will do what it takes to get the money. That might be street robbery, it might be mugging, it might be theft from the parents, it might be prostitution, it's basically whatever it takes to fund the next fix. So drugs being illegal just drives them underground - for as long as demand exists trying to legislate against the supply is like trying to hold back the tide.

People who legal own guns need to be held responsible for them..... Too often, kids and the irresponsible secure guns ILLEGALLY or simply by people being irresponsible.

I'd be surprised if that wasn't already the case. Certainly if I get myself a handgun I'd assume I'd have some legal responsibility if that gun were used in a crime.

I agree. Completely. Liberals often look for EASY "answers" that make them FEEL like they did something - even though they didn't. IMO, this is FAR more an issue of why (some) are violent than it is an issue of having a gun. I know several people who own a gun (one that I know always has a concealed gun). That's all VERY foreign to me (and a bit weird)..... frankly, I "fear" NONE of them (in fact, if trouble ever happens, I HOPE one of them is around!!!!!!!). They are good people.... not violent, hateful. But I can understand why people fear when they are in certain neighborhoods, certain cities (ironcially, the very places with the strongest, strictest gun laws - consider that). I think this is probably MORE a cultural issue than a legal one.

In fairness it's not just liberals who look for the easy answers to they can loudly crow that Something Is Being Done. It's just that on this particular issue those of a more liberal persuasion are in favor of Doing Something even if that Something is unlikely to have much actual effect.

Democrats - who include a lot of anti-gun folks - don't want to even speak of the moral, cultural, geographic issues because that would be stepping on Democrats. Ironcially, the places with the biggest gun problems are places run by the Democrats. GUNS are the problem, not the people who misuse them; anti-gun ownership laws will solve the problem. I don't agree. Republicans - who include a lot of gun folks - don't want to speak of controls because that would be stepping on Republicans. "THOSE folks" are the problem, and laws won't impact them or change them. I don't fully agree. We SHOULD make it harder for irresponsible people to get guns..... but ultimately, we need to address the culture that we see in DC, Detroit, and neighborhoods around the nation (which, PC'ism won't allow?).

The whole PC issue does get out of hand at times. It's one thing to use terms that don't show brazen disrespect but sometimes it seems like there are plenty of elephants in the room that Must Not Be Named. If a large amount of violence is black-on-black (as it seems to be, at least as far as I can tell) then questions need to be asked why they are attacking each other. And it's hard to do that without actually engaging with people, except that those people are unlikely to have a whole lot of trust for a white upper-class politician who is perceived (rightly or wrongly) to live in an ivory tower protected from the day-to-day realities that these people face. It's not necessarily even a matter of "black culture" (if there even is such a thing in any sense that's relevant to violent crime), more a question of trying to find why one group of people is violent towards a group that might appear to be the same to an outside observer.

It's not a simple matter. I had an associate in Germany tell me (after a few mutual beers) about how Germany has much less gun violence than does the USA. Probably so..... but it's a very different culture; Germany doesn't have the realities we have. Laws MAY be PART of the reason.... probably is.... but I doubt it's a large part. I'd be interested in comparing the over-all violence rates of Montana and Germany.... Montana were your florist carries a rod compared to Germany where the police are not permitted to carry a gun. My hunch: wouldn't be much difference (but I could be wrong). PEOPLE are violent. Guns aren't. As any knows who has played "Clue," one can be killed with a lead pipe in the hall. If that's the will of the murderer.....

That's the thing - a gun is a tool that can be used to hunt animals or used to kill people. Just like fire is a tool that can be used to burn wood in a fireplace or used to destroy someone's house. A steak knife can be used for eating a steak or cutting someone's guts open. A baseball bat can be used to hit a baseball or break someone's head. The problem isn't the implement, it's the usage of the implement.
 
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