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Announcement of the administration's proposed actions to reduce gun violence could come as early as Wednesday, according to various sources. Lawmakers who met with Vice President Joe Biden Monday said the proposals will include 19 executive actions that the president could take without congressional approval. Biden heads up the task force that has been studying possible executive and legislative action since President Obama established it and put him in charge after last month's slaughter of 20 first-graders and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut.

At a press conference Monday, Obama said that Biden had presented the proposals to him. “My starting point is not to worry about the politics. My starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works,” the president told reporters:

Actions the president could take on his own are likely to include imposing new limits on guns imported from overseas, compelling federal agencies to improve sharing of mental health records and directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on gun violence, according to those briefed on the effort.

White House aides believe Mr. Obama can also ratchet up enforcement of existing laws, including tougher prosecution of people who lie on their background checks.

The Center for American Progress, a progressive policy and advocacy group, released its recommendations Monday. They included proposals both for legislative and executive action, the latter including moving the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau to the FBI, freeing the government collection and analysis of data about gun-related matters from restrictions pushed into being by the National Rifle Association, and taking a tougher stance on gun-trafficking. Some measures like those are likely to make it into the proposals announced by the president.

Although the proposals will presumably be announced all at once, the legislative ones may not be presented as a package for congressional action because the administration knows full well that getting some of them through the Senate and House will face tough opposition at a time when the majority of Americans support more gun restrictions but do not make them their  highest priority. The Republican majority in the House, while splintered on some issues, can be counted upon to be united against most gun measures, particularly any law that would ban semi-automatic "assault" rifles and high-capacity magazines. But opposition may also be strong against some proposals in the Democratic-led Senate.

In an interview with a Nevada radio station that aired over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a long-time gun-rights advocate and opponent of an assault weapons ban that would require legislative action, said he doesn't think such a ban could make it through the Senate:

“Let’s be realistic. In the Senate, we’re going to do what we think can get through the House. And I’m not going to be going through a bunch of these gyrations just to say we’ve done something because if we’re really legislators, the purpose of it is to pass legislation,” Reid said. [...]

“Is it something that can pass the Senate? Maybe. Is it something that can pass the House? I doubt it,” Reid said. “So I think there are things that we know we can do.”

One item expected to be included in the task force's proposals that likely will get a lot of support is stepped-up action on gun-trafficking. Currently, the law requires that a conviction for trafficking requires that the seller knowingly sold a firearm to someone barred from owning one. That's too tough a standard, and it allows straw-man buyers to transfer guns to felons with impunity. Sellers ought to be liable if they transfer a firearm to a criminal without a background check. Requiring background checks for all gun sales would make prosecutions of trafficking a good deal easier.

One proposal for executive action that will probably garner widespread approval is stepped-up prosecution of people who are found by background checks to have lied when they fill out the federally required gun-purchase questionnaire. The FBI reported in 2009 that it had found 71,000 instances of such lying, but the Justice Department prosecuted a mere 77 cases.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:36 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  While it is not likely that the president (35+ / 0-)

    can get a lot in the way of major legislation on gun control through the present congress, I think that he can initiate a process of real change if he takes a strong stand and sticks to it. When he finally came out in support of marriage equality it had a strong political impact. Being POTUS comes with a built in bully pulpit.

    Nothing he does is going to persuade the gun lobby to change their views. What he can do is to provide leadership for the people who want to do something about the problem.

       

  •  There are enough Parents and Grandparents in the (7+ / 0-)

    House who knows one of those Kids in Connecticut could have been their Kids / Grand kids. The roadblock is the cursed "Hassert Rule"

    As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

    by JML9999 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:55:36 AM PST

  •  Why out of 77,000 offenses only 71 (9+ / 0-)

    prosecutions?

    Is the answer as easy as GWBush holdovers at DOJ?

    That seems really strange to me. If they were found to have lied, there must be the documentation. Should be open and shut.

    Also, any news on whether there will be encouragement to repeal the Tiarht Amendment for ATF and the Dickey (?) amendment for CDC?

    **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

    by glorificus on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:07:21 AM PST

    •  They've got resources to go after young men (16+ / 0-)

      who download scientific journals from libraries, and to bust people for growing medicine for cancer patients.

      Just not for people who try to feloniously acquire firearms.

      Machine gun bullets became the bloody baptizers/ And the falcon 'copters don't care if someone's the wiser/ But the boy in the swamp didn't know he was killed by advisers

      by JesseCW on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:21:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's rather standard GOPooper m.o. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, cocinero, myboo, WakeUpNeo

      Cut or don't fund the resources necessary to a task and voila!...no real ability to prosecute/enforce laws.

      ...then scream about lack of prosecution and enforcement.

      rinse.

      repeat.

      "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

      by Marjmar on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:10:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Violations are prosecuted in federal court (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, WakeUpNeo

      but if it goes to trial, the jury is from the local folks. Juries have been reluctant to convict someone on what they see as a minor violation of a federal paperwork law and bring down some dire consequences on someone trying to exercise a constitutional right.

      Fed prosecutors have to pick and choose who/what to prosecute with limited resources and with an eye to what juries in their jurisdiction historically do.

      Tough call but with the changed circumstances of the last few months -- Aurora and Newtown -- there may be more of an appetite to prosecute, especially if there's pressure from the White House.  

      When atlatls are outlawed, only outlaws will have atlatls.

      by wheeldog on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:14:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now to figure out how to package a "no" vote (14+ / 0-)

    Harry Reid should be prodded to make sure the Senate votes on this regardless of what the House may or may not do. If we can frame it properly, the "no" votes on any proposed gun legislation could be just as toxic as the "no" votes on Sandy, at least outside the South.

    -7.75, -8.10; Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:09:56 AM PST

    •  That's what struck me about this (7+ / 0-)

      diary--Reid's comments showed no understanding (and, no, all of you "we have to do something" "awww, no pony?" "realist" "adults", I am not expecting miracles nor do I have any experience myself) of how politics can work even when legislation fails.
      His job may consist mainly of passing legislation, but a lot of his job is also to attempt to convince others of the righteousness of his system of beliefs--to lead voters to the conclusions about their lives and society that they might never reach on their own. In other words, to talk about things in a way that changes the conversation to a point where what was once unimaginable or impossible becomes not just plausible but desirable and necessary. This is what transformative politicians are supposed to do, after all, and while not everyone needs to (or can) be one, fighting for what one thinks is right should be fairly standard issue operation for a freaking Senator, for Jebus's sake.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:38:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "We don't have the votes" appears to (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryduck, stevej, Smoh, shaharazade

        be a bi-partisan response to any bills which might cost the congresscritters, i.e., Joe Manchin's latest bob and weave.

        When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

        by msmacgyver on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:54:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  bryduck - Reid, a long time gun rights champion, (0+ / 0-)

        does not support an assault weapons ban. I am not sure you want him to "convince others of the righteousness of his system of beliefs".

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:17:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It won't be just senators from the south (0+ / 0-)

        opposing it. Lots of senators from the West and some upper Midwest states where hunting is popular --Wisconsin, Michigan -- will oppose it.

        Throw in some senators from a few other Teabagger states such as Kansas and the Dakotas, and you've got a strong opposition. It's going to be tough.  

        When atlatls are outlawed, only outlaws will have atlatls.

        by wheeldog on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:19:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Once again Democrats are negotiating with (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marjmar, bryduck, RenaRF, shaharazade

      Themselves before they ever come to the negotiating table.  If the threshold for desperately needed and demanded legislation is "what can pass the House", we've ALREADY lost.  It is absolutely necessary for Democrats to demand real action on real gun control from the Republicans.  Let the Republicans whittle away and water down an assault weapons ban- NOT the Democrats.
      If we're going to get stuck with crappy do nothing legislation anyway, it should be the Republicans who get blamed for it, not the Democrats for not even bothering to stand for better legislation.
      Harry Reid is STILL a PUTZ, who never learns a new lesson.

    •  Dave - one of the no votes will be Harry Reid (0+ / 0-)

      Reid does not support an AWB and is not certain that there are 50 votes in the Senate in favor. He has also stated in public that he is not going to bring up a bill in the Senate that he believes can't also pass in the House. He does not want the Senate out in front on this issue.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:14:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I applaud the president for doing what he can (5+ / 0-)

    in the meantime, while legislation snails its way through congress, losing a tooth at a time.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:10:32 AM PST

  •  More than 80% of street guns were bought legally (17+ / 0-)

    at one time or another.  Legal purchasers are too nonchalant about the security of their gun if they're not in a gun safe when not in their immediate possession.  Straw sales should be jail time for the seller - they are knowingly and purposefully circumventing existing gun laws and knowingly purchasing a gun for somebody they have to know is unable by law to purchase it for themselves (or they wouldn't need the straw purchaser).  

    Only way around straw purchases and guns being burgled from houses ending up on the street is a registration system much like owning a car where you need to get a plate tag every year.  Guns should have to be registered and have yearly checks to make sure they are still in care and control of the purchaser.  If a gun owner was held accountable at a much higher standard if they showed up for re-registration and no longer had a gun in their possession and couldn't account for it (ie privately sold it without going though proper channels) they'd take better care of it ie a gun safe at home.  Also this would end straw sales as the purchaser would have to be in yearly contact with the person they sold the gun to because they'd have to get it back to re-register it under their name every year versus straw purchase of it and never seeing it again or paying it a second thought.    

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:12:09 AM PST

    •  It does say 'keep' in the 2nd Amendment. But (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, myboo, Smoh, WakeUpNeo

      the keeping part of keep and bear arms has not been made into law.  Or into a very strong law.

      They keep their guns 99.99% of the time, and yet society is expected to pick up the slack in the 0.01% of the time in which they fail to keep.

      A gun owner's, oopsie silly me the bad guys got my gun, is my problem not their problem.  

      Sign my White House Petition Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment We don't have a problem with gun control, we have a problem with gun owners controlling their guns.

      by 88kathy on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:43:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  20% of US guns is what - 700k or thereabouts ? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      idbecrazyif, MBNYC, Smoh, WakeUpNeo

      that is one hell of a lot of illegal firepower.

      •  I've seen a trunk filled to the brim with guns (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cocinero, Smoh, WakeUpNeo

        Many of them hand guns, some shotguns, a few riles, semi auto like a tech 9, etc...

        The proliferation is huge, so we are not only going to have to address straw and trafficking but also get a big push towards buyback programs.

        --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

        by idbecrazyif on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:11:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What is the baseline number you're... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, shaharazade, WakeUpNeo

        ...using there?

        In a survey of arrested felons, the Justice Department found that about 27% had bought them over the counter (which means they got them in spite of the background check requirement); 31% got them from family and friends (who had bought them in stores or legal dealers) and 42% got them "by other means,'' by theft or from private owners who don't have to do background checks. Almost all guns that wind up used in crimes or found in searches of people who are legally barred from possessing them start out as legal. But the actual numbers? That is much, much harder to determine given the restrictions placed on use of data and the sheer number of guns in circulation.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:31:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think your math works. (0+ / 0-)

        That would be 20% of street guns.  Not sure how you determine a street gun but the number you factor would be 20% of all guns - no?

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:47:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah. But we can't even get congress (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      balancedscales, myboo, schnecke21

      To pony up enough money to pay for food inspection, or drilling platform inspection.  How are you going to get them to agree to pony up for individual firearm safety/ownership inspections??
      I'm not saying its not a good idea.  But it's a very expensive idea.  Is there a way to modify the inspection regime to make it more automatic and cheaper, without giving up efficacy?
      Requiring proof of gun safe ownership before gun purchase is a start, along with proof of certified gun safety class, is a place to start.  Maybe required a gun insurance program that  jack up your premium to original purchase price unless you re register the gun every year?
      We require registration& fee, and emission inspection on cars, and proof of insurance on cars.  Can that be made to work with guns?

      •  Well, a cheap thing Obama could do is issue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, twigg

        an executive order reassigning all of the agents at the DOJ working on pot to investigating people perjuring themselves on the background check applications and other existing federal gun laws.  Since most of the resources, including the agents, are already in place the cost should be minimal.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:12:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I see the DMV in each state (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MBNYC, shaharazade, twigg

        as potentially playing a big role.  DMVs:

        1. Have experience with licensing
        2. Have the ability to administer written and practical exams
        3. Have the ability to connect securely with state central computers for the purpose of background checks

        It would seem to me that a person should have to successfully pass a practical and written safety test prior to getting a license to purchase a weapon, and that that license should be obtained from a state agency that can leverage ecconomies of scale and experience in streamlining the licensing process.

        Just an idea.

    •  Seems to me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, WakeUpNeo

      that this covered in the 2nd amendment the 'well regulated' part. I notice however that in the modern interpretations of this amendment those who are protecting this sacred amendment say that this whole part of the 2nd amendment was not even intended. The constitutional literalist's conveniently disavow any reading of our rights that does not fit in with their own agenda as far as rights go.    

      •  That is because (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, WakeUpNeo

        Antonin Scalia is a dishonest hack.

        He argued that the prefatory clause was not binding on the objective clause, the second part.

        He was wrong, and he was wrong for a very simple reason ...

        It was very easy for the Founders to make an individual right to keep and bear arms clear:

        "The government shall make no law abridging the right of the people to keep and bear arms".

        That sentence could have simply been added to the sentence that exists, and it wasn't, because they did not mean that.

        They could have even written that INSTEAD of what they did write, and the militia requirement would still be met.

        Nope, they wrote what they did quite deliberately, and Scalia either can't read, or doesn't want to.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:11:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the info (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo

    Organizing my thoughts on this is difficult. Today fear is the only thing I feel about our gun problem - I'm afraid of the freak-out if something is done and I am afraid that we won't do anything.

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:16:17 AM PST

  •  So... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, fuzzyguy

    It doesn't look like any heavy regulation will be enacted in Congress. The President, will be  able to have some affect on crime enforcement.
     Now, I could be wrong (I sort of remember being wrong once), but the reality of an emotional outpouring of peoples anger towards horrific events will, in the end, not be that effective, as hoped. Any laws or regulations enacted may still help to cut down the results of violence, but probably not reduce the statistics by any large margins. Suicides will continue. The drug trade, and its gun violence, will continue. The psychopaths among us will continue lashing out.
     This is the way our Republic operates. A divided Republic cannot legislate the divide away. It swings with the tide, or deals with the political reality at any given time. It can resemble a "whack-a-mole" scenario at times.
     I believe firmly that in order to reduce the ill effects of modern society, it is necessary to increase the benefits of being a good Citizen, rather than trying to legislate against its aberrations. This would have a greater impact on our world, and the results would seem almost immediate.
     I understand that we can do more than one thing at a time, but how effective is multi-tasking anyway?

    "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

    by meagert on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:28:46 AM PST

    •  asdf (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC, cocinero, Smoh, Miggles, shaharazade
      I believe firmly that in order to reduce the ill effects of modern society, it is necessary to increase the benefits of being a good Citizen, rather than trying to legislate against its aberrations.
      Other countries legislate with worst case scenarios in mind especially with dangerous things like guns. Now lets see what conclusions we can draw from this. Oh yes - they also have zero to way fewer mass shootings.
      •  "Other Countries" is a false analogy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose, fuzzyguy

        Not to mention the "whack-a-mole scenario. Britain's "nanny state" is erupting all over. It has become  a most violent place. Knives have replaced guns.
         The so called "successes" of other Countries have little bearing on the psyche of the American public.

        "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

        by meagert on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:20:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just wish the sandy hook shooter only had a knif (0+ / 0-)

          e.  There would not be anything near 20 children dead and six adults.

          Knife violence is a big issue but one where the UK at least has laws with teeth for a number of knives and the use of them in public.

          In no way does any city in the UK have the amount of murders as major cities such as Chicago and Detroit.  That there are murders due to knives is one thing. To compare its lethality and the chance of subduing someone who has one to guns is comparing a cartoon to public hangings.

          Barack Obama: "These guys want to be paid like rock stars when all they're doing is lip-synching capitalism." may21, 2010

          by vc2 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:52:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Other countries had strong gun restrictions before (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        meagert, FrankRose, VClib, fuzzyguy

        any gun ban were ever enacted....and never had a constitutional right of gun ownership, thus, their populations were not nearly as heavily armed as America.  Populations are much smaller, gun ownership not nearly as valued as here....and amount of guns within their borders was astronomically lower.  

        For instance, America has 120 times the amount of guns in citizen hands as Australia has at the time of their gun ban and buy back programs.

  •  Biden gave the trial ballon (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, myboo, Smoh, shaharazade, WakeUpNeo

    on executive action last week.  Yesterday, in your diary on this nobody really believed when I mentioned that Executive Orders were going to be a key part.  Voila! Today shows that president Obama learned some lessons on the presidency, he does what he can which gives him more moral weight to press Congress and get the nation to move with him.  The NRA truly hates Executive Orders - precisely because the symbolism is there and they are very hard to undo.

    The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order that had little force of law, but a tremendous outsize impact.  

    Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up...East Wing Rules

    by Pithy Cherub on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:28:58 AM PST

    •  They're really easy to undo. It just takes a new (4+ / 0-)

      President.

      For two years, that was the story on continuing to destroy peoples careers under DADT.  Executive Orders were useless because a new President could overturn them.

      They're limited.  The President can definitely accomplish some good by redirecting prosecution efforts, but it doesn't come close to what can be done through legislation.

      They shouldn't be disregarded, but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking they're any replacement for legislative action.

      Machine gun bullets became the bloody baptizers/ And the falcon 'copters don't care if someone's the wiser/ But the boy in the swamp didn't know he was killed by advisers

      by JesseCW on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:33:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There was a new president, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenaRF, shaharazade

        Andrew Johnson that opposed the 14th amendment.  It still became law.  It was an outgrowth of the Emancipation Proclamation and the North winning the Civil War.  

        Presidents have a hard time undoing previous presidents edicts.  Look at signing statements under G W Bush - now President Obama has utilized the tool as well.  History is replete with presidential actions that do not get overturned in succeeding presidencies.  It is one of the bases for calling the executive the imperial presidency.

        The executive orders by President Obama are meant to open the door to legislative action which will take some time.  An executive order he can do quickly.

        Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up...East Wing Rules

        by Pithy Cherub on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:40:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A whole stack of Clinton orders were trashed by (5+ / 0-)

          W. as soon as he got into office.

          There are several orders which simply flip back and forth depending on which party holds the White House, like "the global gag rule" on abortion.

          When we discuss "the imperial Presidency" we're talking about the abuse of Executive Orders and Signing Statements, not merely their use.

          When Presidents fail to overturn Executive Orders or Signing Statements, it's not usually because it's hard.  It's usually because they don't want too.

          Machine gun bullets became the bloody baptizers/ And the falcon 'copters don't care if someone's the wiser/ But the boy in the swamp didn't know he was killed by advisers

          by JesseCW on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:47:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You have it a bit muddied. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, cherish0708

          Because Johnson (and others) opposed Lincoln's orders or at best didn't enforce them, the Radical Republicans were forced to amend the Constitution. They also overrode Johnson's vetoes on a whole bunch of other enabling legislation, making sure their vision of Reconstruction was the one we pursued, at least until 1876. The Radical Rs ignored Johnson the entire time he was President, in other words, but it wasn't for his lack of trying.
          We don't have that luxury nowadays, of course, so the analogy fails completely. Let's assume a split Congress, or even a fantastic one like we had in 2009-10. Do you think we could stop a Republican President from doing whatever s/he wanted to do in re: undoing an prior Administration's favorable (to our side) Executive order in those situations?
          Lastly, where on earth are you seeing Obama's signing statements overriding legislative mandates a la W? Put another way, what legislation is Obama not enforcing the way W (at the very least) continually threatened to?

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:54:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It started with an Executive order, right? (0+ / 0-)

            Johnson did veto, but Congress pursued the intent of the order/Proclamation by Lincoln.

            Your inference is not merely wrong, but factually challenged that I said Obama overwrote any legislation - I wrote

            Look at signing statements under G W Bush - now President Obama has utilized the tool as well.
            .  That literally means he used the signing statement tool - NOT what he used it for.  

            Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up...East Wing Rules

            by Pithy Cherub on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:07:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is what W used them for, though. (0+ / 0-)

              Obama is not doing that. If you are not arguing that point, then your statements don't seem to make sense to me.
              As far as the RRs/Lincoln/Johnson, yes, there was an Executive Order, or a set of them, to be accurate. It was then ignored/rescinded by Johnson--the very thing you argue he would

              have a hard time undoing
              . In fact, he had a very easy time undoing it. The only reason he didn't succeed was because of the RR actions in Congress and the states.

              "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

              by bryduck on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:15:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I wish the current Radical Republicans (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RenaRF

            were like the civil war era Radical Republicans.

            I'd be one.

            •  Be cautious in this regard. Many ... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bryduck, shaharazade, fuzzyguy, WakeUpNeo

              ...Radical Republicans did not support black suffrage; indeed, they were backers (as was Lincoln in first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation) of colonization: sending free blacks abroad, to Africa or wherever.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:18:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Socially? Sure. (0+ / 0-)

              Economically? They aren't so far off the current model, to be honest, so I can't sign off on that . . .
              You really can't make one-to-one comparisons beyond the New Deal era in re: the party platforms on a lot of issues.

              "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

              by bryduck on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:18:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on the order. If an executive order to (0+ / 0-)

        reassign all DOJ/FBI agents working on pot related stuff to enforcing existing gun laws (including perjury on background check forms) it would be kind of hard for a future president to undo all those convictions.  But yes, the impact would be limited compared to new legislation.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:15:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lest we go down path of plebiscitary presidency, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankRose

    President Obama should be reminded of Barney Frank's speech on the floor of the house, where he cautioned us about the role of checks and balances in our democracy and "plebiscitary presidency" in which the election makes the chief executive the "decider" of national policy.
    http://www.thenation.com/...

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:32:44 AM PST

  •  A solution to the gun show loophole (7+ / 0-)

    Gun transfers from private sellers are a big part of the way that people who would otherwise be blocked from owning guns get them. Part of the reasoning behind that (apart from the sellers pressuring for an unregulated way to transfer lethal weapons) is that private sellers don't have access to the means for doing background checks. In addition, the databases and criteria from state to state for the background checks are sadly in disarray (again due to pressure and foot dragging).

    I propose that we shift the burden of background checks from the seller to the buyer. If you want to buy a gun, you should have to prove yourself fit - take both a written and practical test at an accredited range, submit to a background check, and show proof of insurance. This is no more than you have to do to drive a car.

    Once you have met these criteria (and paid the fees to cover the cost), you get a license that enables you to purchase and own firearms and ammunition. When someone buys a gun, the buyer and seller complete a transfer form listing license information from both and submit it to proper authorities (ATF?). When someone is discovered to have transferred a gun to a person without a valid license, the gun is confiscated and destroyed. You'd have to show proof of insurance to buy ammunition.

    The insurance part of this is also a critical component. Insurance companies would be incentivized to do a more thorough background check perhaps to issue insurance. If they are liable for "gun cleaning" accidents and other unintentional discharges, they are going to be a lot more picky about who gets to carry a gun than a sympathetic local county sheriff.

    I know the kind and tone of resistance these proposals would get from the 2nd amendment fetishists with the juvenile fantasies about needing guns to protect freedom from government. I'm tired of having to listen to that shit as if it's not crazy. Our society is being crippled by these deranged fringe elements and it is time that we push back.

    •  When you privately sell a car, don't you still (4+ / 0-)

      have to run it through a state office to get license tags?

      Couldn't private sales of guns be run the same way?  In fact all sales of guns.

      Isn't there a continuity of VIN numbers.  Why can't there be a continuity of gun serial numbers?

      Sign my White House Petition Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment We don't have a problem with gun control, we have a problem with gun owners controlling their guns.

      by 88kathy on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:47:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rec'd with caveats. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      meagert, Bailey2001, high uintas, fuzzyguy

      Since the "right to keep and bear arms" is an enumerated right...it seems unreasonable (bad precedent) to go down the path of asking people to prove they're "fit" to exercise a right.

      And I promise you, I'm about as anti-gun/pro-gun control as a body can be...but legislation ripples effects and precedents and unintended consequences and Citizens United, and all that...

      "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

      by Marjmar on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:21:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have reservations also (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marjmar

        When we get something sometimes we give things. Clinton passed a gun control law by being severely anti-crime. This article by by David Corn is a good overview. We got stepped up death penalties and many of the insane sentencing laws that we all decry now.

        "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

        by high uintas on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:56:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's a constitutional right. These things would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy

      cost money and it could hinder people from using their right under the Bill of Rights.  Owning a car is not a right in that way.

      It's no different that charging money or requiring "fitness tests" to get a Voter ID.

      •  Nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

        We already restrict gun ownership. You can't own a fully automatic weapon. You can't own a bazooka or an RPG. You can't own a Stinger.

        You have the right to vote, but you have to register to do it.

        We have the right to free speech which is limited and restricted in all kinds of places. You can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater as the common example goes. They have created "free speech zones" around political events where they don't want people to protest.

        The second amendment is a sentence and the "right to keep and bear" is a clause in that sentence along with "well regulated militia". There is no more an absolute right for any and every individual to own and shoot any and every weapon than there is for you to go to a Mitt Romney rally with an Obama tee shirt if they don't want you to.

        Yes, owning a car is considered a "privilege" as opposed to a right. But that, in and of itself, doesn't mean that we, as a modern society, can't interpret our constitution in such as way as to limit access to lethal weapons in order to promote safety and the well being of the society.

        More guns do not make us safer. Unlimited access to weapons of mass destruction is insane.

        Start there.

  •  Careful (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankRose, notrouble
    One proposal for executive action that will probably garner widespread approval is stepped-up prosecution of people who are found by background checks to have lied when they fill out the federally required gun-purchase questionnaire.
    Interpret this literally and as stringently as possible, and if you're a gun owner (assuming you bought your guns at a dealer and filled out  a 4473) and get convicted of infraction-level marijuana possession, you've just committed a Federal crime that's far more serious.

    Carrying that concept to an extreme conclusion, of course.

    "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

    by kestrel9000 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:48:34 AM PST

    •  I may have missed something (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryduck, Smoh

      but does the form ask you to attest that you would never be convicted of a felony or that you aren't doing something that makes you vulnerable to being convicted of a felony?  In your scenario, how can you be prosecuted for lying about something that you hadn't done at that point?

      "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

      by newfie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:16:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe the no-guns-for-felons law (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, fuzzyguy

      should be reconsidered. The purpose of the gun laws should be to keep them out of the hands of people who might be expected to shoot other people. That might include those with any record of violence: misdemeanor assault, domestic abuse, a no-contact order, etc. That is an important change that needs to be made.

      Less important, it might not need to include some felons: marijuana possession, embezzlers, forgers, etc. This should be considered along with the restoration of voting rights after felons complete their sentences for those convicted of non-violent crimes. In some parts of the country, being re-integrated back into the community might include going pheasant hunting with friends.

  •  about time - IF it happens (0+ / 0-)

    This is long overdue, by maybe 4 years!

    Obama seems to not what to lead.  His use of the power of the President has been nearly non-existent (with the huge exception of the Assasination Drone Doctrine!).

    He has not used Executive Orders enough considering the intransigence of the right wing.  He has preferred to coddle, compromise and capitulate on nearly every issue.  

    He loves the stern warning and urging Congress to do things.  Action?  not so much.

    He could be taking strong steps as a leader on many, if not all, of the critical issues - gun control, climate change, drug policy, education, immigration, employment, etc. through direct action using Executive Orders.

    I hope for change in his approach - what is he waiting for now?  THIS IS IT for Obama - he has 4 more years to make a change.

    Starting here and now would be soon enough!

    •  That comment was overflowing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton, Kickemout, WakeUpNeo

      with FAIL.

      Well done.

    •  conservatives think (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, cocinero, zizi, Matt Z, WakeUpNeo

      ...their side has capitulated on everything, so to me that means Obama has been a pragmatic, moderate leader who yes, compromises to get things done.

      clearly, the American people agree and that's why we reelected him. the ideological purity demanded of Obama by some liberals is no different than Teabag extremism. it's naive and selfish.

      Obama isn't President of the Liberals. He's President of the United States and i think he has been very effective and accomplished a great deal.

      "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

      by humanistique on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:07:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Neither is he a (0+ / 0-)

        particularly liberal President.  President Obama is who he is and, in my opinion, focuses very hard on compromise in most cases and sometimes to his detriment.  That doesn't make him a bad President but just because he was re-elected doesn't make him a great President.  Heck Bush was re-elected.  What we do know is that more people thought he was better than Romney.  Not necessarily a great measuring stick but it was the only one he had.

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:56:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  good, bad, indifferent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          newfie

          Expecting more of Obama does not equate to "ideological purity", methinks.

          I voted for him twice - I hope and still hope for change.

          However, I remain seriously disappointed.

          His continuation and expansion of unprecedented and dubiously legal foreign policies of rendition, imprisonment and assasination should be troubling for EVERY American.

          Turning the blind eye of Dept. of Justice away from even investigating war crimes,  "cutting deals" with feloneous mortgage banking, aggressively persecuting whistleblowers and escalating the "war" on drugs are grevious short comings.

          Affordable Health Care, ok, a compromise that improves the policy and leaves open hope for an even better future.  However, under cutting it by negotiating the "Grand Bargain" to undermine the foundations of Medicare and Social Security is wrong and demands citizen action to prevent.

          My overall point is this -  Obama could do ALOT more with executive power.  Compare his record of action to Bush, Clinton, Nixon, et. al.   He has taken very little action.

          Yes, I am liberal.  No, I am not satisfied with Obama just being the Un-Rmoney/Un-Bush.

  •  A requirement for liability insurance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marjmar, cocinero, Smoh

    by gun owners and gun sellers plus a repeal of the odious immunity from civil liability granted to gun manufacturers would do way, way more to quell this gun violence than any of this regulation.

    Money talks.  So use it to speak.

    •  I do believe gun mfg. should be subject (0+ / 0-)

      to federal safety checks, regulations, etc.

      "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

      by Marjmar on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:26:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marjmar

        but a few punitive damage awards and they'd shut down their assault weapons.

        •  Maybe. (0+ / 0-)

          More likely...what the accounting/actuarials tell [them] will be the going-forward projected loss/gain/net, etc.

          Sometimes I'm struck by how much capitalism is like a virus.  It can kill it's host, even at it's own expense, but it pursues it's "goals" all the same - no morals, or moral judgements...

          "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

          by Marjmar on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:50:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Let's face it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    The policies of the NRA, and their agents, the Republican Party, have nothing to do with Constitutional rights and individual liberties.

    As they have shown time and again, their only goal, their only agenda, is preserving and growing the profits of the firearms industry.  (In the case of the Republicans, any other word can be substituted for "firearms."  Their agenda for the last forty years has been using the government to transfer wealth from the middle class to corporate interests.)

    We know that this has nothing to do with public safety, public health, or personal liberties.  This is not the only industry that has been known to ignore all three in pursuit of profits.

    Frankly, that is neither unexpected nor irresponsible.  Corporations cannot and should not be expected to care for anything but profits.  They are not people, they are legal fictions designed for the making of profits.  When and if they act on behalf of the larger good, they are not fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities.

    That is why the government has a responsibility and obligation to regulate these non-persons to protect us from a world in which the only standard of action is profitability.

    In such a world in which we are not all better off, none of us will be better off.  It's real-world economics.

    In Washington, whenever anyone does something wrong, everyone else gets punished.

    by Noziglia on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:16:07 AM PST

  •  Short term and long term (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, Meteor Blades
    At a press conference Monday, Obama said that Biden had presented the proposals to him. “My starting point is not to worry about the politics. My starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works,” the president told reporters:
    Obama should do anything sensible and feasible on the gun control front; however, he shouldn't limit himself to being entirely tactical.  By also advancing sensible gun control measures that should pass but will not pass in today's GOP-controlled house, Obams can also set the stage for the ultimate defeat of those who representing the NRA rather than their constituents.  This will lead to a future Congress where pro-NRA representatives are gone and other representatives have learned to fear the voters more than the NRA.


    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
    Give 'em hell, Barry—Me

    by KingBolete on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:17:50 AM PST

  •  I enthusiastically support President Obama even (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    though I disagree with some of his policies. I think he has to be careful not to abuse, or unconstitutionaly expand Presidential power by going too far with executive orders. It might be popular on this issue but if the tactic is cheered now, how will the same people react when it is used for a goal they disagree with.

    •  Democrats should use (0+ / 0-)

      every lever of power at their disposal - including EOs.

      There are checks and balances in place, the major one being that they are easily scrapped when power changes.

      Do I detect an Unconditional Obama support./2nd Amendment conflict at play here?

      Fair play on at least trying to wrestle with it.

    •  Well, one EO I fully support is to reassign all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      FBI/DOJ personnel working on pot related stuff to enforcing existing federal gun laws including lying/perjury on background check forms.  Kind of hard to argue that is an unconstitutional use of power or even an abuse of power.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:19:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. I feel safer already. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade
    One proposal for executive action that will probably garner widespread approval is stepped-up prosecution of people who are found by background checks to have lied when they fill out the federally required gun-purchase questionnaire.
    If this is the best we can get, I hate those damn Congressional nutjobs even worse.

    The scene on November 6, midnight: Barack Obama holds up newspaper reading "Romney defeats Obama" as he heads to give his second term acceptance speech.

    by alkatt on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 09:33:48 AM PST

    •  That's the problem with executive orders, they (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Boris49, VClib, alkatt

      are pretty limited in what they can do.  Ordering the FBI/DOJ to use their limited resources to investigate violations of existing federal gun laws instead of pot growers (by reassigning the personnel currently dedicated to pot) is something Obama can easily do on his own with very little chance of it being challenged in court.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:22:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harry Reid's comment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Meteor Blades, Matt Z

    Is just stupid. Pass it in the Senate.  Focus on that. Have the President support it.  THEN start beating on the crazy House, exerting pressure by pointing out that the Senate and White House support xyz.

  •  That's when I'll find out (0+ / 0-)

    if I will 'unsuspend' my support for this administration, or make a permanent break from supporting them.

  •  The Senate should pass what the Senate should pass (0+ / 0-)

    and not say they won't pass something because they think the House won't pass something.  That's a cop out.

  •  Compelling federal agencies to improve sharing of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo

    mental health records?" What exactly does that have to do with reducing gun violence?

    Gun control advocates seem to be prepared to trample on the privacy rights of anyone seeking mental health treatment. I have benefited from help from mental health professionals in the past. Sadly, I conclude that it would be unwise ever to consult one again.

  •  Fire Heymann (0+ / 0-)

    "One proposal for executive action that will probably garner widespread approval is stepped-up prosecution of people who are found by background checks to have lied when they fill out the federally required gun-purchase questionnaire. The FBI reported in 2009 that it had found 71,000 instances of such lying, but the Justice Department prosecuted a mere 77 cases." - so no time to do the gun cases, better to spend that time hounding Aaron Swartz to death, right?

    Swartz prosecutor Stephen Heymann also drove another hacker to suicide in 2008:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

    White House petition to fire Stephen Heymann here:

    http://wh.gov/...

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