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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 12:40 PM

Obama to unveil gun-control proposals Wednesday

Source: WaPo



President Obama will unveil a sweeping set of new gun-control proposals at midday Wednesday, including an assault weapons ban, universal background checks and limits on the number of bullets in weapons magazines, according to sources familiar with the plans.

The announcement, to be delivered at the White House, is also expected to include a slate of up to 19 separate executive actions that the Obama administration can take on its own to attempt to limit gun violence.





Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/01/15/white-house-to-announce-gun-plans-wednesday/

18 replies, 1830 views

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama to unveil gun-control proposals Wednesday (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Robb Jan 2013 #1
friendly_iconoclast Jan 2013 #2
brooklynite Jan 2013 #3
friendly_iconoclast Jan 2013 #4
brooklynite Jan 2013 #7
friendly_iconoclast Jan 2013 #15
Tx4obama Jan 2013 #5
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #6
primavera Jan 2013 #8
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #10
primavera Jan 2013 #11
primavera Jan 2013 #12
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #13
primavera Jan 2013 #14
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #16
primavera Jan 2013 #17
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #18
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #9

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 01:36 PM

1. YES.

We have your back, Mr. President.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 01:42 PM

2. Cool. He can appear to do something substantial, while knowing...

...that it won't get past the Republicans in the House.

Well played, sir, well played!

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 08:18 PM

3. ...and your evidence for such an ugly accusation?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 10:35 PM

4. I suggest you count not only the number of Republicans in the House...

...but the number of House members with an "A" rating by the NRA.

Then let me know what measures you expect to get past that lot before 2015. President Obama is
not a stupid man; he knows well what will get through Congress and what will not.

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:23 AM

7. I'm asking for your evidence that Obama is thinking of this as a sham...

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:52 PM

15. He *knows* that an AWB will not get through the House before 2015 (if then)...

...and for him to appeal to the better natures of people that already think of him as the
Antichrist du jour is only so much political posing.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:49 PM

5. Kick! n/t

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:00 AM

6. I'd give on AWB for strong anti-trafficking statutes

and universal background checks.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:50 AM

8. I don't understand why these proposals have to involve such battles

It's not like anyone has suggested taking away gun lovers' hunting rifles, or their target rifles or pistols, or even their semi-automatic handguns they feel they need for self defense. What, of any substance at all, is the gun community being asked to give up? Do gun nuts want to see people like Charles Manson armed with guns? Of course not, who in their right mind does (I mean, other than guys like Charles Manson, of course)? So why fight over background checks? All gun control proponents are asking for is a check to see if you're crazy before giving you all the guns your trigger-happy little hands could possibly desire. We agree you shouldn't be allowed to have them if you're a homicidal maniac, so why is a background check such an onerous burden? Unless, of course, you're Hannibal Lector shopping for a gun or someone seeking to sell Hannibal Lector a gun.

I know, I know, gun nuts will protest that background checks might not automatically solve the problem. Duh. No one single measure will; no one single measure ever totally resolves any problem, especially not instantaneously the way gun nuts expect a law to in order for it to have legitimacy in their eyes. The point is, it's a start, a piece of the puzzle. It may initially prevent only a few crazy people from getting guns, and that may only prevent a small number of gun deaths, but it may also lead to refinements in procedures and data that will, over time, help to keep more and more guns out of the hands of people who everyone agrees should not be allowed to have them. In the worst case scenario, it may not be an effective measure and will end up being scrapped. But how will you know it won't work until you try it? Universal background checks are a universal requirement in every other developed nation and it seems to be beneficial for them, so there's sound reasoning to predict that it would be beneficial here as well. And, even in the unlikely event that universal background checks did not have a positive impact analogous to their benefit in other countries, what would be the harm to justified nixing the idea without even trying it? It seems to me that advocates for sensible gun control have made a prima facie case in favor of universal background checks. If the gun community has a problem, it seems to me that the ball is now in the gun community's court to demonstrate why background checks would be ineffective and/or pose some terrible hardship upon them. If there isn't any meaningful hardship, why the hell are arguing about this? Why can't we just move forward together on a sensible measure that might very well yield favorable results in achieving the goal all of us want of keeping guns out of the hands of homicidal maniacs?

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Response to primavera (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:04 AM

10. Because it is more complex then just guns

The Federal government regulates the transfer of firearms interstate under the Commerce clause. An intrastate transfer of a firearm between two citizens of a state is regulated under state law, which varies from state and may include a requirement for background check.

For the Federal government to insist on background checks between two citizens of a state it would need the legal authority to do so. If they assert this authority through the Commerce Clause, it sets a legal precedent for more then just guns and some states and for those of us who look at the bigger picture, it could POTENTIALLY have implications on things and issues other then just guns.

For the purposes of discussion we will say the Federal Government requires a universal background check and asserts this authority under the Commerce Clause and it is upheld in court.

With this precedent and this authority, what would prevent a Republican President from regulating abortions at a Federal level?

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:32 AM

11. A good answer

I'll have to think about that one. It's still early in the morning and I haven't had enough coffee yet for con law.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:07 AM

12. Upon reflection...

... don't we already regulate intrastate commerce on certain things like drugs? If I want to buy pseudoephedrine, I have to submit to certain identity verification procedures in order to make sure I'm not brewing up meth in my kitchen. If I want to sell cocaine to my neighbor, won't the DEA have something to say about it even if I don't attempt to sell it out of state? And don't we already regulate the sale of military hardware? I can't just go down to a gun show and buy a stinger missile, or at least I sincerely hope that I can't. Everyone seems to be okay with the federal government regulating those kinds of weapon sales. Is a background check requirement so different?

Out of curiosity, do you think it's the commerce clause that has the NRA and its supporters all up in arms about background checks? From the point of view of nonlawyers, why is there so much resistance to background checks that most of them undergo already when they seek to legally purchase a firearm?

On a different note, what about bans on high capacity magazines? Does anyone need a 70 round drum magazine for hunting? For target shooting? For self defense? For any lawful purpose whatsoever? So wouldn't that be something we could all agree upon?

I guess I'm just trying to find areas where gun control advocates and gun owners can agree. It seems like we all basically want the same thing, i.e., we don't want lunatics to be able to stroll into theatres or schools and kill massive numbers of people. So far, all I hear from the NRA is that there can be no limitations upon access to guns whatsoever; the only acceptable response is to arm everyone so that people can return fire. If that is the one and only contribution that the gun community has to offer to the discussion, well, then this truly is a hopeless conversation and we all may as well save our breath and accept that this is going to be a purely adversarial discussion in which one side wins and the other loses. But does it really need to be like that? Are there no areas of potential agreement? I mean, hell, the NRA supported the 1934 National Firearms Act and the 1968 Gun Control Act. What has changed to make cooperation between gun control advocates and the gun community so unattainable?

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Response to primavera (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:09 PM

13. If you buy pseudo ephedrine,

it is from a store, which received it from a warehouse somewhere else, almost certainly out of state, therefore it can be regulated under the Commerce Clause.

If you bought pseudo ephedrine at the store and then sold it to your neighbor, then it would be an intrastate sale, I'm not aware of laws against that. Regarding cocaine, it is already illegal nationwide, so the Commerce Clause does not apply.

A semi-automatic rifle is not military hardware and those firearms capable of fully automatic fire are strictly regulated under 1934 NFA law and the 1986 McClure-Volkmer law. When I did a search a week or so ago, there were only TWO homicides committed with a legally owned fully-automatic weapon since 1934 and one of those was a police officer and law enforcement is not subject to all of the regulations under the 1934 & 1986 acts.

I have not seen any very vocal arguments (by non-trolls) objecting to a universal background check, excluding of course the legal precedents it might set.

One of the mistakes, at least in my opinion, is that those not particularly knowledgeable about firearms seem to think magazine capacity makes a firearm more lethal.

As I have stated in other posts, Newtown or just about all of the other mass shootings could have been done with any number of guns including those that will never get banned, such as a 5 shot pump shotgun (pre 1900 technology) or six shot revolver (also pre 1900 technology). I know dozens, if not hundreds of shooters, that while they would never do such a abhorrent thing, have the skill set to have killed just as many as Lanza did. There are probably millions of people in the country with a similar skill set.

I'll defer to the final police report when it comes out, but it appears that Lanza had 11-14 minutes (CNN reported 20 minutes) from the time he fired the first shot into the glass until he fired the final shot into his head when saw the police.

The NRA has never said that there should be no restrictions. Currently anybody who has committed a felony, violent misdemeanor, domestic violence, currently has a restraining order active or been involuntarily committed to mental facility is prohibited from owning a firearm.

We need to do a better job of identifying the warning signs and taking steps to deal with people who show these warning signs. Both Holmes and Loughner exhibited warnings signs that people either ignored or kicked the bucket down the road for someone else to deal with. I have little doubt that when the final report comes out, we won't find that Lanza also showed warning signs that there was a problem that needed to be addressed.

Perhaps TEMPORARY holds on purchases due to concerns about mental instability could be discussed with law enforcement, mental health professionals and gun owners to see if we can find a acceptable middle ground that prevents these holds from being permanent or abused due to lack of oversight or ways to have such decisions reviewed by responsible authorities in a timely manner. There is potential for abuse there that concerns many people, including those in the mental health field.


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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:45 PM

14. This is getting complicated

Sorry, I'm raising too many different issues for this to be very manageable anymore, I probably should have stuck to one point.

Briefly, though, as you clearly know a fair amount about con law, why don't existing laws, like the NFA, regulating military-style hardware, pose constitutional problems? If it's constitutional to ban the sale of machine guns or hand grenades or flame-throwers, or, hell, I don't know, whatever it was decided constituted military hardware, then couldn't one simply define assault weapons to be in the same category and thus escape a constitutional challenge? I mean, I'm sure the list of banned hardware has evolved over time to include items that were not in existence at the time of the NFA's passage, and thus could not be specifically listed by name, but nonetheless clearly meet the criteria established by the Act for weaponry reserved for military usage, no?

As for people possessing the skills to commit mass murder without requiring large capacity magazines, I'm sure that's true, but I think it misses the point. To my ears, this is a redux of the same "guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument. Of course, there are people sufficiently skilled to commit mass murder with a shotgun. No doubt there are people capable of committing mass murder with a ballpoint pen or a potato peeler or whatever. But not many. It takes a whole lot less skill to mow down 50 people with a machine gun than it does to do the same job with a bolt action rifle. If you doubt it, I suggest you go hunting this weekend armed with nothing but a potato peeler and come back and tell me how many bucks you bag.

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Response to primavera (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:26 PM

16. It's always been complicated

Define an assault weapon.

An assault RIFLE is a rifle capable of firing either fully automatic or both fully & semi-automatic and is subject to the NFA Act of 1934.

Machine guns are completely legal, merely very expensive (figure $18-$24,000 for an M-16, the selective fire equivalent to the AR-15) and it takes 2-6 months for the paperwork to go through depending on how behind the ATF is on the paperwork.

"the list of banned hardware has evolved over time to include items that were not in existence at the time "
Not really, the 1934 NFA Act defined the difference clearly between full and semi-automatic fire and that is what determines what is subject to the NFA Act of 1934 and what is not.

Firearms really haven't changed very much in the past hundred years, Semi-automatic rifles have been around since at least 1907, semi-automatic pistols have been around since at least 1896. Magazines holding more then 10 rounds have been around since at least WWI.

While there have been some changes at a technical level that would bore you to tears if I went into that much detail (such as the difference between recoil operated and gas operated), most new gun designs are merely re-arranging of the parts and it has no real practical effect on how the gun works or how fast it fires. Maybe the biggest change is the use of polymers and plastics instead of steel and aluminum alloys for some parts of the gun.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:48 PM

17. Okay, now you're really scaring me

Sorry, not to doubt you, but private ownership of machine guns is legal? Are you saying that the only thing that stands between me and personal ownership of military weaponry is money and some paperwork? So, if I had enough money, I could buy my own nuclear missile? Or my own Apache gunship? Or my own personal supply of Sarin gas? Surely there must be some weaponry we restrict private access to.

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Response to primavera (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:06 PM

18. Yes machine guns are legal

they have ALWAYS been legal. Prior to 1934 you could buy a machine gun if you had enough money, after 1934 it became subject to the 1934 NFA Act. Based on search last week, there have only been TWO murders committed since 1934 with a legally owned machine gun, one of which was committed by a police officer.

Machine guns and other fully automatic weapons under the 1934 NFA Act can be purchased by someone with no criminal record, submission of paperwork to the ATF, a $200 tax stamp payable to the government, a lot of money to someone able and willing to sell a machine gun and whatever the FFL dealer (many don't or won't deal in full auto) requires to do the transfer. The 1986 act prohibited the importation and manufacture of new machine guns to the individual, so if it wasn't made and/or in the country prior to 1986, you can't buy it, which is why the prices are so high.

The illegal use of full auto in crime is relatively rare, law enforcement is very enthusiastic about putting people who use full auto in crimes behind bars for a very long time.

Nuclear weapons no, Sarin gas no, an Apache gunship without the guns and missiles, maybe. (The FAA gets cranky about private citizens having armed aircraft). You can buy supersonic military jets considered surplus or obsolete if you have a few million dollars, but the FAA will insist that the guns be removed or legally de-activated (cutting major parts into pieces, welding a rod down the barrel, basically making the gun permanently inoperable)

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 08:51 AM

9. The anti-trafficking statutes

are on the books, but rarely enforced fully.

It is SUPPOSED to be 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

http://www.dontlie.org/why.cfm (Joint message by the ATF and NSSF)

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