This is a complex issue, so this article is very long.President Obama will press ahead with a set of executive actions on guns next week despite growing concerns in the United States over terrorism that have dampened some Americans’ enthusiasm for tighter firearms restrictions.
Reading through the reportage at the Washington Post, the first leg of the President's 3-legged stool for Gun Control seems to be:
(1) Universal Background Checks:
While the President won't name it as such, he is obviously determined to deny private purchases between individuals without REGISTERING the firearms involved.
HIS obvious intent to impose this restriction on firearms transfers is to insure that "bad people" (those with a record of felonious actions, including violations of current firearms laws) are not buying guns from "private resources" who may not be required to register the transaction.
He wants to keep the guns out of the hands of convicted criminals. This is not an altogether bad thing.
Unless you are a firearms owner, and you think that your Government does not trust your judgement in regards to this kind of transaction.
Which is reasonable (not paranoid), because your Government does not trust you. At all.
But there is more to it than your hurt feelings.
WHY IS THIS BAD?
The proposed legislation would require that the transaction NOT be completed without a background check, presumably through the NICS (National Instand Criminal Background Check System).
This is the administrative system where a Federal Firearm Licencess (FFE) who is selling a firearm to an unknown (or know!) person will identify that person and determine whether the buyer is a person who is banned from purchasing firarms; essentially, a convicted felon.
Under the current law, that transaction must be deleted from the system as soon as it is determined to be legal. Which means, there is no permanent record of what firearm (by make, model, caliber, serial number etc.) has been transferred from one person to another.
This system has been accepted by pro-gun and anti-gun proponents alike because it meets the criteria of both parties,
But in transactions between PRIVATE PARTIES, in which the seller who does not 'make a business of selling firearms' (a term which has not yet been defined by the Federal Government), the reportage requirements are not the same as that of a 'dealer' (which has also not been defined, but is assumed to refer to a person who sells firearms on a regular basis for profit, and his annual inventory 'turn-around' exceeds a certain margin ... which has also not been legally defined.)
PRO-GUN: we can sell our firearms to each other, and everyone is 'comfortable' that it is a legal transaction. Furthermore: we are not Gun Dealers, so we have no registration requirements (by law) and there is no permanent record, so this process does not present itself as an ipso-facto measure of firearms registration.
ANTI-GUN: We are convinced that the purchaser has no criminal background, so this transaction is not contributing to the increase of firearms crimes.
Which is to say that the transaction is not recorded, it is not examined by titular authority, and it could be ANYBODY *(even a convicted felon) because the LAW says that neither the seller nor the purchaser need 'check in' with the people who regulate the sales and purchases of firearms!
President Obama's Gun control (sic) program seems to also involve this second issue:
(2) President Obama may also be considering a ban on the so-called "Assault Weapons" (which have no been defined):
... which suggests, parenthetically, that The President may also be considering "Assault Weapon Bans" ... in order to remove from public hands exactly the sort of tools which might have prevented the San Bernardino, Calif. terrorist shootings.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted last month in the wake of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist shootings, for example, found that 53 percent of respondents opposed a ban on assault weapons ban, a record high. When asked which is the better reaction to terrorism, 47 percent said encouraging more people to carry guns legally, while 42 percent preferred enacting stricter gun control laws.
Because he can, and it's valuable political fodder even if it doesn't help make Americans safer on the street where we live.
This might be an issue which the president chooses to address, in part because "Assault Weapons" (referring to a term which has not been defined) might seem to be a 'safe' area for proscription; because he can't define it, how can anyone object to it?
For people who do not, and/or care not to possess firearms, this political vaguery would perhaps seem especially attractive.
What's not to like?
Assuming that "Assault Rifles" applies to semi-automatic long guns which fire one bullet (sic) with every pull of the trigger; and assuming that the ammunition capacity (a term which has never occurred to the gun-banners) is unknown, there seems to be no justifiable reason for anyone to want to own a firearm which can fire 30 bullets in three seconds. (sorry, can't find the link to that California Democrat claim).
On the other hand, there is no logically justifiable reason why anyone would wish to own a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette, which can achieve a velocity of 196 mph in 8.6 seconds, either.
(Yes, I made that up; it seems fair.)
It's amazing that people don't object to a fast car, but they object to a 'fast gun'. The justification seems to be that "people need cars for transportation, but they only need guns to kill people".
Funny, I need a gun for ... oh, hunting, competition, target shooting, home defense (for which I have a license, and for which I qualified by experience and training), and perhaps so I can serve in defense of my country. (Well, I've already done that in Viet Nam. But that's another story.)
And my RIGHT to own a gun is acknowledged by the Constitution.
But I need a 200mph car because it looks sexy and compensates for my tiny penis, and besides it's my right because I have a drivers license. For which I passed a test when I was 16 years old.
However, President Obama may or may not impose new restrictions on my Second Amendment Rights, because firearms ownership is not currently popular and he can get away with it, and because it makes him appear to be doing something about "FIREARMS .... Something-Or-Other"! (TOTALLY ignoring that thousands of lives are saved every year by people who use firearms to defend themselves, their families and their property, but there are no recent records of anyone using a Corvette to save anything for anybody.)
No, I am not going to reference SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT!