Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Enforcing The Laws

Via the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — President Obama will announce executive actions on Tuesday intended to expand background checks for some firearm purchases and step up federal enforcement of the nation’s gun laws, White House officials said Monday, once again trying to sidestep a gridlocked Congress on a politically divisive issue.

But faced with clear legal limitations on his authority, Mr. Obama will take modest steps that stop well short of the kind of large-scale changes to the gun trade that he unsuccessfully sought from Congress three years ago. That legislation would have closed loopholes that allow millions of guns to be sold without background checks at gun shows or in online firearm exchanges.

Instead, Mr. Obama will clarify that existing laws require anyone making a living by selling guns to register as a licensed gun dealer and conduct background checks. White House officials said the president would note that criminal penalties already exist for violating those laws.

For years the gun lobby and ammosexuals have said that we don’t need any more laws restricting access to guns; we just need to enforce the laws that are already on the books.  Well, it sounds as if President Obama agrees with them; he’s going to enforce the laws we already have.  So what’s all the fuss about?

In a perverse way, President Obama is the gun lobby’s best friend.  Every time there’s a mass shooting and the president makes a statement about doing something about them, sales of guns go through the roof, either out of fear of being shot while waiting on line at the movies or the paranoia that somehow the guv’mint is gonna swoop down and take away all the guns.  (Given the efficiency and bureaucracy of the guv’mint, I have a hard time imagining that they can swoop down on a discarded candy wrapper, much less all 300 million guns in the country.  But that’s RW nutsery for you.)

Even the N.R.A. thinks this plan is pretty thin gruel.

“This is it, really?” asked Jennifer Baker, an official with the N.R.A.’s Washington lobbying arm. “This is what they’ve been hyping for how long now? This is the proposal they’ve spent seven years putting together? They’re not really doing anything.”

But that’s not going to stop them from raising tons of money to prevent the jackbooted Obama-bots from taking away that piece you’ve been stroking and oiling.

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