Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gun control bill clears its first hurdle in Senate

Gun control bill clears its first hurdle in Senate | US National Headlines | Comcast:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress' most serious gun-control effort in years cleared its first hurdle Thursday as the Senate pushed past conservatives' attempted blockade under the teary gaze of families of victims of December's Connecticut school shootings.

The bipartisan 68-31 vote rebuffed an effort to keep debate from even starting, giving an early victory — and perhaps political momentum — to President Barack Obama and his gun control allies. Four months after 20 first-graders and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown were killed, relatives watching the vote from a gallery overlooking the Senate floor dabbed at tears and clasped hands, some seeming to pray.

Even so, few supporters of the legislation are confident of victory. Several weeks of emotional, unpredictable Senate debate lie ahead, and a mix of gun-rights amendments, opposition from the National Rifle Association and skepticism from House Republican leaders leave big questions about what will emerge from Congress. Foes of the proposed new restrictions say they would penalize law-abiding citizens and do nothing to curb gun violence.

 "The hard work starts now," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who brought the legislation to the floor for debate.
 The United States Senate today proved themselves sensitive to the needs and desires of the American People.  Yes, the effect is essentially the same, but they promise that they will provide lubricant.

Here, according to the text of the report, are some of the particulars (no, I don't have text to support the news story):

The Senate's firearms bill would subject nearly all gun buyers to background checks, add muscle to federal laws barring illicit firearm sales and provide slightly more money for school safety measures.
"Nearly all" means that they will NOT require background  checks for private transfers (including sales?), which implies that "legacy firearms transfers" (my term, not theirs) between family members will not require a background check.

However, it 'specifically' (?) requires that gun show transactions include an NICS background check.  I have no problems with that, personally; if you're going to have checks for dealers in their store, you might as well have checks for dealers in "off-premises" venues.

Unknown so far is whether that is going to affect the guy who wanders into the gun show with an AR slung over his shoulder, and finds some non-dealer attendee who wants to buy it.  Are "Parking Lot Sales" going to be regulated?   IF so .. how, and why?  This is one of the "fiddly bits" which suggest that the actual bill is going to look a lot like the Obama Medical thingie;  convoluted, long, and with lots of stuff that's hidden in the text.  As an aside, I think that any bill which takes takes more than 20 minutes for a high-school graduate to read should be summarily dismissed without a vote.


Excluded and facing near-certain defeat in upcoming votes were proposals to ban military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — factors in the Newtown killings some [sic] other recent mass shootings. But keeping those provisions out of the current legislation did not mollify critics.
It would appear that results of the 1994 "Assault Weapons Ban" test/debacle actually reached the desks of some senators.  Which is to say, it didn't work then and it won't work now, so drop it!
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Some potential amendments could broaden gun rights and weaken supporters' backing for the overall bill.
One proposal is by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, who say it would improve how the federal background check system blocks weapons from going to people with certain mental problems, though critics say it would make it harder in some cases to do so. Another possible amendment would require states to recognize permits for carrying concealed weapons issued by other states.
Yes, I think that there are people who just should not have access to a firearm.  This includes all the people who think it's fun to shot up shopping malls, churches, movie theaters and schools.  I'm just not sure about the difference between "crazy" and "evil".

I'm aware that there are laws currently which prevent "permission" to sell to these people; I hear that the problem is with reporting.

I think the problem is with reporting, but not the way it has been presented.  I don't think it's so much that states get the information but aren't reporting it to the feds.   I DO think it's with defining the difference between crazy/evil people, and people who go to their "mental health provider" and piss him/her off.   The problem with reporting is "who will guard the guardians".  There are a lot of minimally qualified "Psychologists" out there whose credentials are .. can I say "IFFY"?   The folks who go into the head-shrinking business are usually caring, helpful professionals.  Or they are a bunch of libertards who think they know what's best for everyone.  Sometimes, the line between the two sub-groups overlaps.   It's kind of like the pediatricians who question the children they see, and ask them intrusive questions like: "Are there guns in daddy's closet?"

Agendas, that's the part that makes me shiver and quake.   I dread the day when some shrink arbitrarily decides that a patient is a danger and reports his patient to the feds, cancelling the patient's 2nd Amendment freedoms.  Before this is acceptable, there needs to be a LOT of references and referrals.  The U.S. Government is going to make this decision?  The psychologist may be right, or may be wrong.   The "If It Saves Just One Child" is the popular excuse for a plethora of societal ills.  How do you distinguish between a patient's "problems" and an examiner's "agenda"?

Again .... tons of verbiage in a federal bill, and a witch-hunt.


In Thursday's vote, 50 Democrats and 2 Democratic-leaning independents were joined by 16 Republicans in voting to begin debate on the legislation. Twenty-nine Republicans and two Democrats facing re-election next year in GOP-leaning states voted "no" — Alaska's Begich and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.


The Senate plans to debate an amendment Tuesday expanding background checks less broadly than the overall legislation would. Broadening the system to cover more transactions is the heart of the current effort on guns.
That amendment, a compromise between Sens. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., would subject buyers in commercial settings like gun shows and the Internet to the checks but exempt non-commercial transactions like sales between friends and relatives.
That accord, unveiled Wednesday, was designed to build bipartisan support for the legislation and seemed likely to do so. Toomey and Manchin are among the most conservative members of their parties and are both gun owners with NRA ratings of "A."
I don't have the list of Republican senators who supported this bill.  I intend to find out.  You should, too.  The flawed Republican Party is rife with politicians who are (a) honest in the historical sense that "when you buy them, they stay bought", and (b) Republicans In Name Only. There are overlaps, and if my contempt disrespect for professional politicians leaks through here, I am unrepentant.  However, one of the enduring planks in the Republican party is supposedly "respect for the Constitution";  this is one of the things that Obama cited in both of his presidential campaigns, and now we see how sincere HE was.
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

This bill is at the same time less than I had feared, and more than I had feared.  The obvious issues are whether this would become (1) a second attempt at an "Assault Weapons Ban", (2) "Background Checks on Legacy Transfers" and (3) the associated "Registration/Confiscation" issues..

The first seems to have been adroitly avoided.
The second seems to have been narrowly sidestepped.
The third ... is not even addressed.  Which, to my mind, bodes ill for honest firearms owners.


Any time the Federal Government involves itself with infringements of the Second Amendment, people start calling for compromises.  What that means is, legitimate firearms owners give up a part of their rights, and nobody else.  It's NOT going to stop the school shootings, it's NOT going to stop armed robberies, it's NOT going to stop crazy/stupid/evil people from acting crazy, and it is NOT going to recognize that Americans With Guns defend themselves, their families, and their homes millions of times every year.

Oh .. wait.  Maybe it's going to stop that last part.

1 comment:

Rivrdog said...

I've got your list of 2A squishes on my blog, sir.