"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

President Obama's Common Sense "Now is the Time Plan" for Gun Control in the United States

I went to the White House website to read the President's plan, Now is the Time, and understand even less how Rubio and others on the hard right can be making their comments against the President and this plan.  Here are the 23 executive orders from the White House:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health. 

Will someone tell me how these common sense Executive Orders are taking guns away from owners and affecting their 2nd amendment rights?  Makes anyone attacking the President on these Executive Orders look really stupid.  It would behoove members of Congress not to rush out with dumb statements before reading what was proposed.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said on Wednesday that President Obama's newly announced plan to reform the nation's gun laws would not have stopped the school shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., accusing the administration of "targeting" gun owners.
“Nothing the President is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook," Rubio said in a statement. "President Obama is targeting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence. Rolling back responsible citizens’ rights is not the proper response to tragedies committed by criminals and the mentally ill."
He is being laughed at in the media because the 23 executive orders signed by the President are all common sense and supported by the vast majority of Americans.  How does Rubio and others like Rick Perry know that gun control measures wouldn't have stopped the Sandy Hook massacre?  Maybe the shooter couldn't have bought the large magazines or his mother not been able to purchase assault weapons or his doctor would have turned him in for mental health issues.

If one life is saved by these measures, then that is one more person who owes their life to President Obama for being willing to stand up to the Gun Lobby and members of Congress who are in their hip pocket.  American people in overwhelming numbers support the President and the new gun control measures that should be passed into law including a lot of gun owners.

President Reagan signed the original Assault Weapons Ban yet he was a supporter of the 2nd amendment.  President George W Bush never understood why the Assault Weapons Ban was being allowed to expire and he lived on a ranch.  Yet the attacks are all against Obama which seems to fit the mantra that anything Obama proposes some GOP in Congress are automatically against without even bother to read what is proposed.  Their attacks on the President are turning off large amounts of Republicans now including Joe Scarborough who had a lot to say on his Morning Joe show about gun control and how the NRA is its own worst enemy.

Sandy Hook massacre of first graders has brought people out of the woodwork who stayed silent in the past on gun control now demanding something be done and done now.  The largest amount of Americans ever (over 80%) support comprehensive gun background checks and want the gun show loophole closed.  Before Sandy Hook it was around 50%.  Times have changed but the NRA with Wayne LaPierre have not recognized that fundamental shift by the American people.  NBC has some of the details on this shift in their article:
While some of Obama's long-expected proposals - like universal background checks - garner overwhelming public support, the outlawing of certain types of weapons may be less of a slam dunk for lawmakers eager to appease constituents.  
A recent poll from the Pew Research Center showed that a majority of Americans -- 55 percent -- back a ban on "assault-style weapons," with 40 percent saying they don't approve of a ban. But a partisan breakdown shows that only about four in ten Republicans support such restrictions, compared to a broad majority of Democrats.  
Democrats in Congress have already voiced doubts about the feasibility of the president's most ambitious proposals.  
"We're not going to get an outright ban" on assault weapons, Democrat Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York bluntly said yesterday.
 "[Senate Majority Leader] Reid has said he doesn't know whether he has the votes (for an assault weapons ban)," she added. "There's heavy lifting, so are we going to waste time on heavy lifting? Or are we going to try to work on doing something that could actually get passed?"
Supporters are more optimistic about background checks and magazine restrictions.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy announced Wednesday that his panel will hold its first hearing on issues relating to gun violence on Jan. 30. 
In his remarks Wednesday, Obama anticipated opponents' reactions to his proposals.
"This will be difficult," he said. "There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty. Not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves, and behind the scenes they will do everything they can to block any commonsense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever." 
That pushback began earlier in the week, culminating in high tempers on both sides Tuesday night after the National Rifle Association released an ad criticizing Obama's dismissal of the gun lobby's proposal to increase armed security in schools.  
"Are the president's kids more important than yours?" a narrator asks in the short ad. "Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools? Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he's just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security." 
Related: White House calls NRA 'repugnant,' 'cowardly' for invoking president's children in ad 
The ad prompted outcry from observers who said the First Family should be off limits for such advertisements, while NRA backers say their focus is on school safety rather than on the president's daughters themselves.  
"Whoever thinks the ad is about President Obama's daughters are missing the point completely or they're trying to change the subject," said spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. "This ad is about keeping our children safe. And the president said he was skeptical about the NRA proposal to put policemen in all schools in this country. Yet he and his family are beneficiaries of multiple law enforcement officers surrounding them 24 hours a day." 
White House spokesman Jay Carney shot back that the ad is "cowardly."  
"Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight," he said. "But to go so far as to make the safety of the President's children the subject of an attack ad  is repugnant and cowardly."
When I saw the NRA ad using the President's children last night, I knew the NRA was on the losing side.  I know people who were finally tipped over the edge and are now calling for gun control because that ad woke them up to the fact the NRA went from an organization promoting gun safety to an extremist organization under LaPierre who puts profits for gun/ammo manufacturers over safety of Americans.

The Democrat NRA members better think twice before they say they cannot pass an Assault Weapons Ban in Congress because their constituents may have other ideas.  (Update) I would recommend that Democrats look closely at NY Democrat Carolyn McCarthy after her statement and push even harder for AWB.  She lost her husband to gun violence but doesn't believe Congress will act:
"We're not going to get an outright ban" on assault weapons
Why not?  Is she saying that members of Congress will not vote how their constituents want but how the NRA wants them to vote?  If that is the case, they need booted out of Congress.  The arrogance of members of Congress on both sides who think they don't have to listen to constituents (all of them) but do have to listen to lobbyists don't have a clue how mad the American people are becoming.  When 63% of Republicans think their members of Congress are out touch, it says that those safe GOP seats may not be so safe from Republican voters.

The biggest question of the day is whether Congress will listen to all of us who vote?  Will Republicans in Congress side with the hard right and NRA or with the American people to save lives?   The jury is out on what they will do.

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