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Member since: Tue Jun 29, 2004, 07:38 PM
Number of posts: 31,679

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Coates: Hillary Clinton Goes Back to the Dunning School

Hillary Clinton Goes Back to the Dunning School
How do you diagnose the problem of racism in America without understanding its actual history?

Last night Hillary Clinton was asked what president inspired her the most. She offered up Abraham Lincoln, gave a boilerplate reason why, and then said this:

You know, he was willing to reconcile and forgive. And I don't know what our country might have been like had he not been murdered, but I bet that it might have been a little less rancorous, a little more forgiving and tolerant, that might possibly have brought people back together more quickly.

But instead, you know, we had Reconstruction, we had the re-instigation of segregation and Jim Crow. We had people in the South feeling totally discouraged and defiant. So, I really do believe he could have very well put us on a different path.

Clinton, whether she knows it or not, is retelling a racist—though popular—version of American history which held sway in this country until relatively recently. Sometimes going under the handle of “The Dunning School,” and other times going under the “Lost Cause” label, the basic idea is that Reconstruction was a mistake brought about by vengeful Northern radicals. The result was a savage and corrupt government which in turn left former Confederates, as Clinton puts, it “discouraged and defiant.”

He talks about it some more and makes some more criticism of Bernie, too.

Mixed feelings and competing thoughts on Obama's Town Hall on Guns

I think the president was honest and sincere about his desire to improve existing laws to reduce, ever so slightly, gun violence.

Its really a shame that professional gun control advocates and the Whitehouse have used more extreme language about "closing the gun show loophole" and "ending internet sales without background checks." They oversold the president's recommendations and now he is trying to walk it back to reality. Nevertheless, the NRA now will fight the perception that president is orchestrating substantive changes.

Cooper's question about the fairness of calling worries about broader gun control and confiscations conspiracy theories hit a nerve with the president. Obviously, door-to-door confiscation is far fetched, but the idea that passing modest gun control laws will be a prelude to more restrictive gun control laws is not. The president supports an Assault Weapons Ban. I don't think the president understands that or maybe he does but won't admit it.

So I hope congress funds the hiring of more agents for background checks and investigations, I hope congress funds the implementation of new processes where those who are dangerous due to mental illness are identified as prohibited from gun ownership and have a fair process for defending themselves, I hope congress provides the funds to improve the quality of datasets so that they can provide correct denial decisions.

But let's be clear that the so-called gun show loophole is no more closed today than it was a week ago and nothing he proposed closes it at all. A collector with 100 guns can rent a table and sell each firearm to 100 different people without a federally required background check. All we have now is the hysterical bleating from the loudest mouths on both sides of the RKBA issue.

And maybe that was the point -- to create the impression of substantive change in order to create energy in the anti-RKBA base to produce actual substantive change.

I'm a RKBA supporter and Democrat. Ask me anything about the recent Obama announcement.

We don't have the specific executive orders/action documents yet, but we have this statement/release.


Here is the first item:

1 Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.
a. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks.
b. ATF is finalizing a rule to require background checks for people trying to buy some of the most dangerous weapons and other items through a trust, corporation, or other legal entity.
c. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has sent a letter to States highlighting the importance of receiving complete criminal history records and criminal dispositions, information on persons disqualified because of a mental illness, and qualifying crimes of domestic violence.
d. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is overhauling the background check system to make it more effective and efficient. The envisioned improvements include processing background checks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and improving notification of local authorities when certain prohibited persons unlawfully attempt to buy a gun. The FBI will hire more than 230 additional examiners and other staff to help process these background checks.

a. This idea that if you're in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks is existing law. The law also says that private sellers can transfer their weapons in exchange for money without a license or background check (although state laws may require a background check). What we need is a rule that describes when private seller transfer becomes a business. Further down the release, the president punts:
"Quantity and frequency of sales are relevant indicators. There is no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement. But it is important to note that even a few transactions, when combined with other evidence, can be sufficient to establish that a person is “engaged in the business.” For example, courts have upheld convictions for dealing without a license when as few as two firearms were sold or when only one or two transactions took place, when other factors also were present."

b. Clarifying the background check requirements for trusts and corporations is a good thing, but I have never heard of a trust NFA weapon being used in any crime let alone mass murder. Zero. There was only one documented use of a legal NFA weapon being used in a crime back in the 1980s and I don't think it was a trust. Nevertheless, the rules should be clarified. Please note, that laws already punish unlawful possession of any firearm (trust or not) if you are a prohibited person. Its not like these people couldn't be convicted if caught.

c. This sounds like a nice letter. All states should know that its important to report data correctly.

d. Hiring more people to due background checks is important. More examiners will mean fewer bureaucratic mistakes like the one that happened with the Charleston church massacre. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/10/421789047/fbi-says-background-check-error-let-charleston-shooting-suspect-buy-gun

2. Make our communities safer from gun violence.

The Attorney General convened a call with U.S. Attorneys around the country to direct federal prosecutors to continue to focus on smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws.
The President’s FY2017 budget will include funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators to help enforce our gun laws.
ATF has established an Internet Investigation Center to track illegal online firearms trafficking and is dedicating $4 million and additional personnel to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.
ATF is finalizing a rule to ensure that dealers who ship firearms notify law enforcement if their guns are lost or stolen in transit.
The Attorney General issued a memo encouraging every U.S. Attorney’s Office to renew domestic violence outreach efforts.

All of the issues in Item 2 look good to me. Having accurate and timely data in background check datasets is essential for good denials. Hiring new agents who can investigate and arrest people who knowingly attempt to purchase a gun when they are prohibited and other illegal transfers is something a lot of people have been asking for. Clarifying the reporting of stolen firearms when shipped from businesses is an excellent change.

3. Increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system.

a. The Administration is proposing a new $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care.
b. The Social Security Administration has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to include information in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm for mental health reasons.
c. The Department of Health and Human Services is finalizing a rule to remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing States from reporting relevant information about people prohibited from possessing a gun for specific mental health reasons

a. More money for mental health treatment is good for everyone.

b. I think this issue involves Representative Payees. If a beneficiary is minor or mentally incompetent, a representative payee can be appointed. I believe this involves a hearing and due process. Its sounds reasonable, but I don't know of any cases where someone with a representative payee committed a gun crime. There aren't that many -- only 77,000.

c. This could be a tricky issue. Mental health advocates may have a problem with this. Mental health is health information and subject to certain protections. We need more info on this.

4. Shape the future of gun safety technology.

The President has directed the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology.
The President has also directed the departments to review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis, and to explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety.

I'm all for this. When military and civilian LE are satisfied with the technology for their use, it will become more accepted by non-military, non-LE civilians.

Are the executive actions on gun violence available to read directly?

The news agencies are providing remarkably different descriptions.

Are they available someplace to read directly?

Nothing here:

Or here (except for something on smart gun tech):
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