Gun laws

Now that we are talking about gun control:

President Obama launched an interagency task force Wednesday to develop immediate reforms to cure what he called a gun violence epidemic that is plaguing the United States.

With last Friday’s massacre at a Connecticut elementary school spurring him to take the first formal steps of his presidency to confront gun violence, Obama vowed to act on concrete proposals “without delay.”

Obama established gun violence as a top priority for the start of his second term, setting a January deadline for recommendations from his task force, to be led by Vice President Biden, and saying he would discuss the issue in next month’s “State of the Union” address.

we should talk about what we want. I think the regulation of cars provides a good starting point with the following all possible:

  • mandatory insurance
  • mandatory license and registration
  • some kind of test to get a license and periodic tests afterward
  • revocation of the license for certain crimes or actions
  • periodic inspection of the gun(s)
  • safety requirements for all guns (so certain types of guns would be outlawed)

I don’t know what the specifics should be, but notice that none of these specifically will reduce the number of guns just as these types of laws don’t reduce the number of cars.

We also need to start enforcing current laws and that means we need to fund the ATF:

The gun lobby, concerned about government regulation of firearms ownership, has taken steps to limit the resources available to ATF and to prevent the agency from having a strong leader, according to former and current ATF officials.

For decades, the National Rifle Association has lobbied successfully to block all attempts to computerize records of gun sales, arguing against any kind of national registry of firearms ownership. And despite the growth of the gun industry and the nation’s population, ATF has fewer agents today than it did nearly four decades ago: fewer than 2,500.

No permanent ATF director has been on the job in the six years since Congress required that the position be confirmed by the Senate. That action allowed the gun lobby to have a say on Capitol Hill about the agency’s leadership, according to ATF officials.

Even Michael J. Sullivan, a former U.S. attorney in Boston nominated by President George W. Bush, could not get confirmed. He was blocked by three senators who accused him of being hostile to gun dealers. One of the senators was a member of the NRA’s board of directors.

We also need a real conversation, which means we need to ignore the NRA until they come up with a real proposal, not something like this:

“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters — and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again,”

Notice that the NRA that always says it wants the current laws to be enforced, tries very hard to stop the ATF from being able to do this. If you think the NRA is really prepared to offer any meaningful contribution, you haven’t followed the NRA.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Robert
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 16:12:30

    The design of handguns and assault rifles, when used correctly as the constructor envisioned, is to kill people quickly and efficiently. There is no other intention. If the US Constitution says everyone has a right to own these weapons, without discrimination, then the constitution is wrong.
    If the 6 year olds had been armed with weapons, they would have been able to exercise their constitutional right to self protection, as the gun lobby might argue. But any rational person would see a problem with arming 6 year olds, and for that matter many American adults, who do not meet rational qualifications for gun ownership.
    The mother of the maniac provided access to two handguns and an m16 like assault rifle, knowing full well her son was unstable, she paid for her bad karma, but so did 20 children and their families. What is the ultimate karmic debt of America for playing with its ongoing death obsession and will the horror ever end?

    Reply

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