— This article by Jerry Cates, was published on 1 January 2016, and last revised on 6 January 2016. © Govinthenews Vol. 7:1(1).
U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Friday, January 1, 2016, his plans to meet with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday, January 4th, to discuss ways he can use his White House powers to reduce gun violence. “Congress,” he declared, “has done nothing” toward that end.
That meeting took place as scheduled. Today, one day later, we will learn more about the specifics of what he and Lynch have decided to do, and his stated justification for doing so.
According to his latest remarks, he had no choice but to take unilateral action. His renewed efforts to restrict the rights of Americans to buy, sell, and trade firearms came after the third anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, which resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adults. He has, he said, “unfinished business,” and he gets “too many letters from parents and teachers and kids to sit around and do nothing.”
“All across America,” Obama declared, “survivors of gun violence and those who lost a child, a parent, a spouse to gun violence are forced to mark such awful anniversaries every single day. Yet Congress still hasn’t done anything to prevent what happened to them from happening to other families.”
He means that Congress has not jumped, en masse, on his Gun Control Bandwagon, and it is true that Congress does not presently appear to have an appetite for anything smacking of gun control. Still, any claim that Congress has done nothing to address the topic is incorrect. Below are listed just a few of the most recent Congressional bills that address Obama’s gun control agenda directly:
- On 20 January 2015, Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced H.R.410, Pause for Safety Act of 2015, a bill to provide members and close associates of an individual who they fear is a danger to himself, herself, or others new tools to prevent gun violence.
- On 5 August 2015, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced S.1977, Gun Violence Intervention Act of 2015, a bill to provide family members and close associates of an individual who they fear is a danger to himself, herself, or others new tools to prevent gun violence.
- On 5 August 2015, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S.2002, Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015, a gill to strengthen our mental health system and improve public safety.
- On 9 September 2015 Sen. Timothy Kaine (D-VA) introduced S.2016, a bill to amend chapter 44 of title 18 U.S.C., to promote the responsible transfer of firearms.
- On 9 July 2015, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced S.1738, Safer Communities Act of 2015, a bill to protect individuals by strengthening the Nation’s mental health infrastructure, improving the understanding of violence, strengthening firearm prohibitions and protections for at-risk individuals, and improving and expanding the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
- On 6 October 2015, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced S.2140, Hide No Harm Act of 2015, a bill to establish criminal penalties for failing to inform and warn of serious dangers.
- On 21 October 2015, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced S.2192, NICS Reporting Improvement Act, a bill to ensure that States submit all records of individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm to the national instant criminal background check system.
- On 22 October 2015, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced S.2198, a bill to establish a grant program to encourage States to adopt certain policies and procedures relating to the transfer and possession of firearms.
- On 23 November 2015, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced H.R.3813, Domestic Violence Gun Homicide Prevention Act of 2015, a companion to S.2198, described above.
- On 28 October 2015, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced S.2213, a bill to prohibit firearms dealers from selling a firearm prior to completion of a background check (present law permits dealers to complete a sale to an individual if the background check process extends past a statutory period).
It should be noted that all these bills seek to do is tighten up background checks, make it illegal to suspect a person is unstable without reporting those suspicions to authorities (potentially turning America into a police state), and require responsible people to transfer firearms responsibly (something that is already being done). Many who have studied these bills claim they propose weak, palliative, cosmetic and ineffectual measures that masquerade as serious solutions to real problems. As proof of this criticism, they point out that, had the laws they propose been in effect during the planning of the crimes, their provisions would not have prevented or mitigated any of the mass shootings — all of which were carried out by persons without serious criminal pasts — that have taken place under Obama’s Administration.
In contrast to ordinary criminal gun violence, guns used in the most recent mass shooting incidents were purchased legally, by persons judged at the time to be responsible adults whose gun rights were not in question. Ah, some ask, but can’t we sort out the potential mass shooter beforehand? Not likely. Efforts to characterize the stereotypical potential mass shooter, before the shooting takes place, are stymied by a host of constitutional obstacles, so much so that it is doubtful much more can be done than is being done now in that arena.
It is true that some of the perpetrators of these senseless acts seemed — before they acted — to have had “atypical” personalities, and some were sufficiently atypical as to cause others to wonder if they should report them to the authorities. It is also true that some of these shooters had been under the care of a psychiatrist, or a clinical psychologist, and had made comments to them that — in a perfect world — might have led their doctors to report their concerns to the authorities.
However, such a report would likely become a matter of public record, and once it is known that a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist has reported to police what a client has confessed to them in confidence, the good doctor’s practice would take a hit. Some of his or her clientele would likely go elsewhere. They will leave out of a legitimate concern that their confidential utterances might also be reported to the police. Others will stay, but they will never again feel free to share their innermost thoughts with their “shrink.” What many of us may not know is that psychiatrists and clinical psychologists are probably told such things, or things very similar to them, by their patients regularly. One’s most personal thoughts have to be brought out and confessed freely, so their doctor can advise them properly [and, it must also be added, some patients play cunning games, making up thoughts they’ve never had just to see how the doctor will react]. Perhaps only one out of several million ends up acting on the violent thoughts they share this way. Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists know this and and more. Therefore, it should be no wonder to us that, most of the time, when a client confesses his or her violent thoughts — without laying out a specific plan of violent acts that the client intends to carry out — they are never reported.
Case in point:
Dr. Lynne Fenton, a psychiatrist who treated James Holmes, described him in court testimony as anxious and as an anti-social oddball. Holmes, she said, thought obsessively about killing people. He confessed those thoughts to her time and again over the months that preceded the massacre he carried out in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Before he stopped shooting, he’d killed 12 and wounded 70 more. Holmes told her, in March 2012, that homicidal thoughts troubled him three to four times a day. Worse, as time went on, his homicidal obsessions only grew more frequent.
Why, then, didn’t Fenton report this to the authorities? Because, she explained to the jury, Holmes was never specific about how he might translate those homicidal thoughts into action. He disclosed neither an intention to to kill nor an actual target, only his homicidal thoughts. As a result she had no legal basis for placing him under a psychiatric hold or for reporting his obsessions to the police.
Again, there does not seem to be much chance that the circumstances that prevented Fenton from contacting police can, should, or will change anytime soon.
Except for the physicians noted above, even if ordinary citizens — who have merely a suspicion — wanted to make such a report, how would they do it? Maybe like this?
“Hi, 9-1-1 operator, hey, I have a friend who is really, really strange. He’s an odd duck, if you know what I mean, and he’s also a loner. I think you ought to check up on him, make sure he isn’t about to go postal, if you catch my drift.”
Absent concrete evidence someone is planning a criminal act, there is at present no process in place for such reportage, and any future processes with any chance of success would likely have all the characteristics of an abusive, unconstitutional police state. Being odd, or a “loner,” is not a criminal offense. Millions of America’s citizens are thought to be somewhat odd by someone, and many are also introverted, but very few resort to violence of any kind, much less mass shootings.
On the other hand, when concrete evidence exists that violent acts are in the offing, everything changes:
“Hi, 9-1-1 operator, listen, one of my classmates just told me he wants to shoot up our school. I think he’s got some guns, too, and he seems to mean what he says.”
Here the police have something tangible to go on; reporting procedures are straight-forward, and investigatory resources are put into play immediately. Police investigators have had significant success at building cases against and stopping a number of mass shootings, in the early stages of development before they took place, soon after they catch wind of them. They’ve done so by being alert, and by using conventional investigatory procedures that include covert surveillance, following up on leads posted on social media, and on pursuing tips from friends, family members, and — like the hypothetical call above — classmates and co-workers. Often potential mass shooters let their intentions be known while they are preparing to act, and those who become privy to their plans are encouraged to report their concerns to the local police and the FBI, anonymously if need be.
Would it help to fund more such investigatory efforts with federal funds? Maybe, but not likely. Most police agencies are quite capable of handling such incidents within their jurisdictions with available resources. Furthermore, once a police agency believes they have uncovered a potential mass shooting in the planning stages, the FBI and BATFE are always eager to provide additional manpower and resources to assist.
Obama’s Hypocritical Silence on Inner City Gun Violence…
Criminal gun violence, by comparison, is distinct from that associated with mass shootings. Inner city criminality in America is behind the majority of America’s gun-related homicides, and dwarfs the number of deaths from mass shootings by a landslide. Yet, paradoxically, Obama has been silent on the subject of inner-city gang violence. Further, none of the bills listed above would have any effect on the abilities of criminals to acquire and use firearms.
A series of studies, conducted since the early 1990’s, have shown that the vast majority of guns used in crimes are bought illegally. Frank Miniter, writing for Forbes Magazine in 2014, in an article entitled “Inside the Black Market for Guns” points out the following:
In 1991, the ATF estimated that 37 percent of armed criminals obtained firearms from street sales, 34 percent from criminal acts and associates, 8 percent from relatives, 7 percent came from dealers, and 6 percent from flea markets and gun shows. More recently, a Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of state prison inmates convicted of gun-related crimes determined that 79 percent of them bought their firearms from “street/illegal sources” or “friends or family.” These “illegal sources” included thefts of firearms, black market purchases of stolen firearms and straw purchases.
I mentioned these studies and the agents agreed that criminals will find a way to arm themselves if they so desire.
Now, as a condition for the interview I’d agreed not to ask these cops policy questions, as ATF agents are enforcers not policy makers, so I couldn’t ask them for recommendations on how to make the system better. Still, these findings make it clear that requiring all private sales of firearms be put through the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) wouldn’t do anything to stop criminals from getting guns, as criminals are already largely getting their guns through thefts, straw purchases and other illegal means.
Source: Frank Miniter, 2014, Inside the Black Market for Guns, Forbes Magazine (emphasis mine).
Obama is privy to the same studies mentioned in Miniter’s article, above. Yet he complains that the factors that led up to each of the recent incidents of gun violence have not been addressed by Congress. What, exactly, are those factors? And what, if anything, can and should Congress do to address them?
To Obama, the fact that firearms are not registered in America, as they are in other countries, is one such factor. Another, to him, is the ease at which Americans in many states can buy, sell, and trade firearms without involving the authorities. Those two factors stick in his craw, yet — as I and a host of others who have studied this question in detail for decades have shown — neither has anything to do with reducing the rate of mass shootings or making America’s criminal element less dangerous. More on that later, but first…
The One, Almost Magical Solution, that Will Work…
There is one means of addressing every one of these incidents, however. In times past that means has been viewed as controversial, as it makes dramatic changes in the way we view places that today are designated as “gun free zones.” Despite being controversial, however, that means has been shown capable of preventing nearly all future mass shootings in America, and of addressing inner-city gun violence as well, and for that reason it is gaining more traction by the day.
The solution is to relax America’s gun laws to the point that all un-secured places of employment, schools, and all other places designated today as “gun-free zones” are turned, instead, into non-negotiable “gun-permissive zones.” By un-secured I mean all those places where, today, gun possession by licensed civilians is prohibited, but anyone can come and go as they please without having themselves and their possessions carefully inspected for firearms and explosives. In practically every such so-called “gun-free zones” armed guards are either not present at all, or are only present in fewer numbers than would be needed to deal with a potential mass shooter.
The typical un-secured “gun-free zone,” no matter where it is located, is a magnet for potential mass shootings. The shooter knows few if any of the people in there can fight back. John Lott, in an article published in October of 2015, explained it this way:
Since at least 1950, all but two public mass shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns. In Europe, there have been no exceptions. Every mass public shooting — and there have been plenty of mass shooting in Europe — has occurred in a gun-free zone. In addition, they have had three of the six worst K–12 school shootings, and Europe experienced by far the worst mass public shooting perpetrated by a single individual (Norway in 2011, which from the shooting alone left 67 people dead and 110 wounded). John Lott, Gun-Free Zones Don’t Save Lives — Right To Carry Laws Do. National Review.
Within all such places, it is reasonable to argue, anybody licensed to carry a firearm should be legally able to do so. That, say proponents of the measure, would solve the problem of mass shootings once and for all. Anyone intent on carrying out a massacre in such places would be stymied by the fear that one or more of his or her intended victims could, and probably would, shoot back.
In every one of the mass shootings that has taken place during Obama’s presidency, one civilian in the crowd with a gun could have confronted the shooter early on, and either brought the shooting to a stop or reduced the number of casualties. As the number of armed defenders increases, the likelihood that a mass shooter would be neutralized quickly goes up as well. In all but one of the most recent mass shootings, however, no armed defenders were close enough to be of any help when and where the shooting started. In the one case where armed individuals were present, they were located deep in the facility where the shooting took place, and were unable to confront the shooter until late in the massacre. They did, however, force the shooter to abandon his attack on that building and likely saved many lives.
Armed persons within the potential victim pool are the best deterrent to mass shootings, but Obama won’t have any part of that. instead, he wants to do the opposite, by taking guns out of the hands of America’s law-abiding citizenry.
Obama is Right on One Count: Gun Control is Not on the Congressional Radar Screen…
Thus far, however, despite a concerted effort on the part of the Obama White House to enact new gun control measures over the past seven years, the Obama Administration has had almost no success. Not only has Congress refused to pass new gun control legislation, gun ownership has increased dramatically while he has been in office. Many states, including Texas, have defied Obama’s push for more gun control directly, by taking steps to relax laws relating to where law-abiding citizens can carry concealed and openly-holstered handguns.
Though more can and should be done to roll back gun control measures of the past, Congress, for its part, has taken positive steps to reinforce the 2nd Amendment rights of American citizens, again in defiance of Barack Obama’s stated intent to restrict those rights:
- On 5 August 2015, Sen. James Imhofe (R-OK) introduced S.1988, Enhancing Security for Military Personnel Act of 2015, a bill to enhance the security of military personnel at U.S. Military installations and operating locations.
- On 12 June 2015, Rep. Edward Rigell (R-VA) introduced H.R.2259, Protect our Military Families’ 2nd Amendment Rights Act (see companion Senate bill, below).
- On 5 August 2015, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced S.1992, Protect Our Military Families’ 2nd Amendment Rights Act, a bill to amend chapter 44 of title 18 U.S.C., to provide that a member of the Armed Forces and the spouse of that member shall have the same rights regarding the receipt of firearms at the location of any duty station of the member.
- On 3 December 2015, Sen. Rand Paul introduced S.2359, Defend Our Capital Act of 2015, a bill to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia.
- On 18 December 2015, Sen. Rand Paul introduced S.2434, the Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act, which provides that any executive action that infringes on the duties of Congress under section 8 of article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, or on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, has no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.
In contrast with the gun control measures listed earlier, many of these bills are thought to have a good chance of being passed.
In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court, only months before Obama was elected, ruled in favor of the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment as guaranteeing an individual right for Americans to keep and bear arms, in striking down Washington D.C.’s prohibition on gun ownership in the District of Columbia. Two years later, during Obama’s second year in office, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Chicago’s ban on citizen’s rights to carry concealed weapons. In the process, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the rights of law-abiding American citizens to have the means to defend themselves while outside their homes, no matter where in America they lived.
These examples fly in the face of Obama’s criticism of Congress as not doing anything. Congress has, indeed, taken steps in the field of gun control. But, instead of restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens, Congress has added to those rights, making it easier for Americans to keep and bear arms, and to defend themselves against robbers and murderers.
Thus, Obama’s complaint isn’t so much that Congress has done nothing, but that what was done was the opposite of what he wanted. His complaint amounts, then, to a presidential temper tantrum. To the delight of gun rights advocates, congressional opposition to gun restrictions is the only thing that has worked to reduce gun violence. During Obama’s presidency gun violence has dropped markedly in America as gun ownership has skyrocketed. By contrast, every move to restrict gun rights in the past has only caused gun violence to increase. History is very clear on that, as my previous articles on this subject show:
- A New Draconian Bipartisan Gun Control Bill
- UCC, The Hero’s Mindset, and Murphy’s Law
- The Texas Massacre that Saved Thousands of American Lives
What Obama Wants…
What Obama wants to do is made crystal clear from his past actions regarding gun control. The record on that is consistent, from start to finish: he wants to disarm every American citizen he can. That fact is not a secret, though in recent public discussions he has downplayed how earnest he is about it.
As an Illinois state senator, Obama was one of 20 senators who, in 2004, voted against Ill. Senate Bill 2165, which provided that citizens have a right to defend themselves against home invasions using a gun, even if local ordinances prohibited ownership of guns.
52 year old Hale DeMar, of Wilmette, Ill., shot a man (who had broken into his home before) in the act of burglarizing his home, and was arrested by local police for violating an ordinance against gun ownership. Cook County prosecutors dropped all charges, and the Illinois Senate introduced SB 2165 to ensure that others, in similar circumstances, would not be prosecuted in the future.
Obama and 19 other senators voted against that bill, but it still passed with 38 votes in favor. Next, Gov. Blagojevich vetoed it, but the Senate voted 40-18 to override his veto. To nobody’s surprise, Obama was one of the 18 Illinois senators voting against overriding the veto. Soon afterward, the Illinois House voted 85-30 to override Blagojevich’s veto, and against Obama’s wishes the bill became law.
Nothing Obama has done since suggests his views on gun ownership, and self-defense, by law-abiding Americans, has changed. Whenever a mass shooting takes place, one of the first things Mr. Obama does is complain about America’s “epidemic of gun violence.” He then usually vows to take steps to restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans to buy, own, sell, or trade firearms, in reaction to the incident itself, ostensibly as a means of preventing such incidents in the future.
All America could rally behind him if the measures he proposes onlty made sense, and if they bore at least some relationship to the incident itself.
Do they? Does restricting gun ownership, and the rights of Americans to defend themselves, result in a reduction in violent crime? Not according to all the available evidence. In fact, if John Lott is correct (and all the available evidence says he is), as the number of guns in a society increases, along with the rights of citizens to defend themselves, the crime rate drops proportionally. Lott, an economist, has studied this issue since the early 1990’s. His analyses show that as gun rights are restricted, crime goes up, but when gun laws are relaxed, crime rates plummet.
How about Obama’s recurring assertion, which most media outlets pass on without challenge, that America is the only nation with mass shootings? In a recent article entitled The facts shoot holes in Obama’s claim that U.S. is only host to mass killings, Lott points out that:
In the November attacks [in Paris], 129 people were killed and 352 were injured. In just 2015, France suffered more casualties – killings and injuries – from mass public shootings than the U.S. has suffered during Obama’s entire presidency (508 to 424). This number includes the San Bernandino massacre on Wednesday.
Every American should read Lott’s article, check the facts, and then ask themselves if Obama is right on even one of his claims about gun violence in America, as compared to other western nations. The answer? According to Lott, whose statistics are presented in black and white, without adornment, he is wrong on practically every count.
The Real Agenda behind Universal Background Checks…
Lott goes on to point out that universal background checks are the law in France and most of Europe, yet they have failed to prevent the mass shootings that have taken place, over the recent past, on a regular basis in each country of the European Union.
How could we expect universal background checks to work any better here? The answer is, they won’t. All they will do is set this nation up for wholesale confiscation of firearms once a tyrant is elected president while universal background checks are the law of the land. Barack Obama clearly has the mindset of a tyrant, but is stymied by what is left of the U.S. Constitution he is doing his best to shred out of existence.
The definition of “tyrant” is one who is a cruel and oppressive ruler. By implication, a tyrant is one who believes he, alone, knows what is best for the nation he presides over. On January 2nd Chris Christy and Jeb Bush correctly claimed, in separate discussions, that Obama was acting like he was a king, i.e., asserting tyrannical powers that the U.S. Constitution does not confer on the office of president. Fortunately for us, though he has acted in a dictatorial fashion on numerous occasions during his terms in office, Obama’s most egregious examples of presidential misconduct have been subjected to judicial review, on the heels of congressional challenges and lawsuits by governors of affected states, and then either squashed or made ineffectual.
The erosion of constitutional oversight emanating from the White House continues, however. Over the next twelve months, owing to Obama’s insatiable thirst for more power combined with a lackluster effort on the part of Congress to set him in his proper place, that erosion is expected to accelerate. When he leaves office he will either be replaced by another tyrant, or by a constitutionalist.
We pray for the latter, but what if it is the former? What if someone only a tad more cunning than he is gets elected president and decides to use his or her police powers and executive orders to seize every legal gun owned in America?
The proof is staring us in the face: tyrants will get elected to the presidency of the United States. Barack Obama is Exhibit #1 on that, and Hillary Clinton’s present campaign for that office is Exhibit #2, because she has promised, once elected, to behave like Obama on steroids. We are fortunate, today, that universal background checks are not the law of the land. If they were, however, Obama’s discussion with A.G. Lynch on January 4th would likely be about how the federal government could make arrangements to confiscate all of America’s legally owned firearms.
Conspiracy Theory, Anyone?
Does anyone doubt that Obama would jump at the chance to disarm every American civilian he could? Let’s examine that question in some detail, but let’s also be objective in our investigation. I’m a passionate student of history, but a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist I am not. One of the first articles I posted on this website was titled Conspiracy Theory 101. In that article I attempt as objective a view of the topic of conspiracism as I’m able. My conclusion was and is that most conspiracy buffs are way out in left field. The last thing I want to do is be counted amongst them.
On the other hand, it is a fact that people have conspired with one another, in times past, to present a face to the world that is inconsistent with the truth. Ignoring evidence of conspiracy is dangerous, perhaps even more dangerous than thinking conspiracies exist where they do not.
Sometimes an entire Administration has behaved in a conspiratorial manner. Nixon’s administration was of that caliber; his band of plumbers showed the conspiracies ran deep in American government at the time. J. Edgar Hoover, as director of the FBI, was prone to such proclivities as well. Bill Clinton’S presidency was fraught with many signs of conspiratorial coverups, but so were the administrations of JFK and LBJ. Conspiracy, like it or not, seems to have been at least a part of American government for some time and signs of its ugly head are present today, as well. In fact, under the Obama Administration, conspiracy seems to have risen to new heights of governmental degradation.
Few doubt today that Obama and Hillary Clinton conspired, together, to lie to America about what happened in Benghazi, or that they did so for political purposes. Likewise, Hillary Clinton and the U.S. State Department have clearly conspired to keep her email scandal as low-key as possible, despite clear evidence that she violated some of America’s strictest espionage laws by keeping a raft of highly classified correspondence on her unclassified, non-secure computer. Similarly, the emerging facts surrounding the way the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative Americans and their companies for harassment, audits, fines, and delays, orchestrated by Obama supporters and possibly by Obama’s White House staff directly, point to an internal conspiracy of immense proportions whose tentacles reach throughout our government.
The war against the 2nd Amendment is one of this Administrations most fervent objects. If Obama enjoys conspiring to corrupt every other part of the U.S. Constitution, can one doubt that he would stoop to do so here, in his push for universal background checks on gun purchases? But, some would ask, to what end? Even conservative commentators on television and radio parrot the “fact” that “Over 90% of America’s gun owners favor expanding background checks to include every firearm transaction.” Is that true? Not in my community. I know a whole bunch of gun owners, and not one of them — once they know the facts — favors such a thing.
So, what are the facts?
Consider, to start with, this indisputable fact: universal background checks mean that every firearm transaction in America will become part of a data base accessible by the U.S. Government, that links every legally-owned firearm in the nation to every legal firearm owner, by serial number and the date the transaction took place. Ostensibly, the forms used by federal firearm licensees to record their sales and order background checks, cannot be taken and compiled by the government into a central data base, but the records are there, and are subject to inspection — and confiscation — by government inspectors. In point of fact, the government has all that information already, without confiscating anything. It is input to the FBI’s computers every time a background check is conducted pursuant to a firearm transaction. Anyone who thinks a tyrannical government, of the ilk of the one that currently exists under Barack Obama, will not take advantage of that information to compile a central data base is seriously delusional.
We didn’t think he would use the IRS to help him get reelected, did we? We were wrong about that. And, if we think he or someone like him won’t use the records from the FBI’s background checks to compile a central data base linking all legally owned firearms to all those who own them, we’ll be wrong about that, too.
Once that data base is in place, all the BATFE has to do is input a name and address, and a list of all the legally owned firearms under that individual’s name will come up. If anyone in government has a gripe with any American citizen, for any reason whatever — trivial or otherwise, legitimate or bogus — that official will have at their fingertips all the information they need to seize all the firearms that citizen owns, and to charge that citizen with a federal crime carrying a stiff prison sentence if (1) any of the firearms on the list are not handed over, and (2) if firearms not on the list are found in the citizen’s home. Now extend that process to an entire neighborhood, or to an entire city or state. Anyone who cannot see the potential for that happening, and comprehend what it means, has their head in the sand.
It will all be done, of course, in the name of lessening gun violence. In fact, however, it will have the effect of making gun violence more prevalent, just as happened once restrictions on gun ownership and gun possession by ordinary citizens were enacted in the years following JFK’s assassination. Once universal background checks are in place, it is only a matter of time — not if, but when — before the U.S. Government takes steps to confiscate every legally owned gun in America. I don’t write this as a conspiracy buff, for that I am not. I write it as a student of history. It has happened before in other nations. It even happened here, in America, specifically in New Orleans, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It can happen again, and if universal background checks are made the law of the land it will happen sooner than later.
And, when it does happen, and all law-abiding Americans are left defenseless, that old adage “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” will come true. Crime will skyrocket, and nobody will be safe, anywhere.
The lesson on all of the foregoing is not difficult to comprehend: Instead of seeking to make it harder to obtain and use guns, Obama should be trying to make it easier. Why, then, is he taking the exact opposite approach? He isn’t stupid or crazy, so a failure on his part to logically connect the dots makes no sense. The only thing that does make sense is to conclude that, as a tyrannical “ruler,” he knows full well how the dots connect. But Barack Obama is a political animal who loves to wax conspiratorial. To him, what is most logical isn’t always the most expedient, from a political perspective.
Giving Americans more gun rights means ceding some of Obama’s tyrannical power to the masses. Yet Obama is one of the most power-hungry human beings on Planet Earth. His obsessive, compulsive use of the pen, writing rafts of executive orders that violate the spirit and letter of the constitutional separation of powers proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Accumulating power is what makes him happy. Turning it loose is not, for him, a source of joy.
While Obama focuses on taking away the legitimate gun rights of law abiding Americans, he ignores the need to deal with gun violence in the innermost portions of America’s largest cities. If the gun violence in those small, concentrated areas was properly addressed, to the point that gun violence there was reduced by half (the rate of reduction in the rest of America that resulted from relaxing gun laws during the 1990’s), America as a whole would be one of the safest, if not the undisputed safest nations on the planet.
Next, despite the number of mass shootings at military installations in America over the past 24 months, the Obama Administration continues to keep our military personnel disarmed while on duty. A recent Rasmussen Report showed that 81% of America’s active duty military personnel were in favor of changing current DOD policy prohibiting military personnel from being armed. Such a change would likely stop future mass shootings on military installations, again bringing America’s rate of gun violence down in dramatic fashion.
What a legacy that would be! But it isn’t happening, and won’t happen under Obama’s watch, because he isn’t interested in fixing either problem, even though it would make America the safest place to live on Planet Earth. Why he lacks interest in that baffles the minds of many. Not, though, in the mind of this writer. Obama promised to make fundamental changes to America. His approach to gun control is merely part of that plan. Again, though, the facts are not on his side, and though many Americans are willing to take his assertions at face value without checking their veracity, more and more of America — today, I believe, a clear majority — sees him with a jaundiced eye. And rightfully so.
Although a number of mass shootings have taken place in the past seven years, the rate of gun violence has declined over the same period. Gun violence in the U.S. is most common in poor urban areas. Most is associated with gang violence involving juvenile or young adult African American males, but, as pointed out above, little or nothing has been done by the Obama Administration to deal with inner-city gang violence.
By contrast, though they are used by Obama to justify an illogical restriction of gun rights, mass shootings account for no more than a small fraction of the gun-related deaths in America. Further, the frequency of these events steadily declined between 1994 and 2007. They rose slightly between 2007 and 2013, peaking during the first year of Obama’s second term, before resuming the downward decline that began in 1994. This decline tracks a relaxation in the gun laws of America. If Obama has his way, and those gun laws become more restrictive, the result will be an increase in crimes of all kinds, including — in particular — mass shootings.
Enter the National Rifle Association…
For some crazy reason, then, an increase in crime in America would make Obama happy. It makes all decent Americans, along with the National Rifle Association, furious. Yes, the NRA, which is often depicted in the media as more criminal than ISIS or the gangs that ravage our inner cities.
I’m proud to declare that I am a life member of the NRA. And a life member of the Texas State Rifle Association, NRA’s affiliate in Texas. All Americans should be members of the NRA and their state’s affiliate, because supporting that organization is the only means ordinary citizens have to fight back against tyranny in American government. Never before has American government been as corrupt, or as tyrannical, as it is now. We must stand up and let our leaders know we won’t stand for corruption any longer. With the NRA at our side, our voice will be heard, and the fight will be won.
Fighting back is what the NRA and its state affiliates do. With gusto. And thank goodness for that!
After Obama announced his intention to meet with A.G. Lynch to discuss his “options” on curbing gun violence, NRA’s spokeswoman Jennifer Baker responded with a public statement. “President Obama failed to pass his anti-gun agenda through Congress because the majority of Americans oppose more gun control,” she said. “Now he is doing what he always does when he doesn’t get his way, which is to defy the will of the people and issue an executive order.”
The NRA is gearing up to fight Obama tooth and nail on any executive order he issues to restrict America’s gun rights. He thinks he can beat the NRA, and he thinks that so strongly he is willing to risk a challenge to the Supreme Court. The NRA welcomes such a challenge. America needs it, too, for if the NRA puts that challenge together properly, it will not only force a decision on Obama’s right to subvert the 2nd Amendment, but on his assumed right to issue executive orders as a means or going around Congress and besmirching their legislative powers.
I suspect he will lose on both counts, giving the victory to the NRA. America needs those victories. Let the game begin…
- Brady, Sarah and Merrill McLoughlin. 2002. A Good Fight. New York: Public Affairs.
- Burbick, Joan. 2006. Gun Show Nation: Gun Culture and American Democracy. The New Press. (Editor’s note: Dr. Burbick’s book reveals what appear to be a long list of personal contradictions. She chronicles her trek through America’s gun shows, gun-rights conventions, and the meetings of their antagonists, appearing to provide sincere attempts to portray America’s gun culture in a truthful manner. In the process she displays an ingrained anti-gun-rights bias, combined with a disdain for the male gender that may even border on misandry. A view that an American white-male-superiority-complex underlies the gun-rights movement strongly influences her views; yet, at times, she shows a comprehension of and appreciation for gun-rights tenets that would normally mark her as a gun-rights-enthusiast. All that aside, her book is worth reading — even re-reading — regardless of your view on guns and gun rights. Her down-to-earth and entertaining writing style is combined with a genuine effort to portray reality along with its warts and blemishes. This grace enables her to inform those on both sides of the table without banging her personal, progressive drum with such fervor as to dissuade malleable minds from fleshing out their own conclusions.)
- Cooper, Alexia & Erica L. Smith. 2013. Homicide in the United States Known to Law Enforcement, 2011. U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
- Cooper, Alexia & Erica L. Smith. 2011. Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008. U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
- Cooper, Jeff. 2006. Principles of Personal Defense. Palladin Press.
- Cooper, Jeff. 1997. The Art of the Rifle. Palladin Press.
- Frandsen, Ronald J. 2012. Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010. U.S. Department of Justice.
- Goeser, Nicole. 2013. Denied a Chance: How gun control helped a stalker murder my husband.
- Gottesman, Ronald. 1999. Violence in America: An Encyclopedia in three volumes. Scribner & Sons.
- Graham, Hugh Davis and Ted Robert Gurr. 1969. Violence in America: Vol. I, Historical and Comparative Perspectives. U.S. Government Printing Office.
- Graham, Hugh Davis and Ted Robert Gurr. 1969. Violence in America: Vol. II, Historical and Comparative Perspectives. U.S. Government Printing Office.
- Graham, Hugh Davis and Ted Robert Gurr. 1979, Violence in America: Historical & Comparative Perspectives. Sage Publications Inc.
- Gurr, Ted Robert, Editor. 1989. Violence in America: Vol. I, The history of Crime (Violence, Cooperation, Peace). SAGE Publications Inc.
- Haidt, Jonathan. 2013. The Righteous Mind. Vintage Press.
- Henigan, Dennis A. 2009. Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths That Paralyze American Gun Policy. Potomac Books Inc.
- Hentig, Hans von. 1948. The Criminal & His Victim. Shocken Books. (Editor’s note: this book was republished in paperback in 1979, with a new preface by Marvin Wolfgang, five years after Hentig’s death in Bavaria. Hans von Hentig (9 June 1887, Berlin – 6 July 1974, Bad Tölz), a German criminal psychologist and politician, was the younger brother of German diplomat Werner Otto von Hentig; though an activist in his youth, by the 1930’s he’d become a distinguished professor of criminal law who was strongly opposed to the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich; he emigrated to the United States in 1935, where he taught at a number of universities before returning to Germany years after WW-II came to an end. It is important to consider the depth of experience Hentig enjoyed when he wrote this book at the not-too-tender age of 61. It is also important to realize that, despite the implication of its title, less than 15% — the last 67 of the books 450 textual pages — of the volume is devoted to discussing the victims of crime and their involvement in what he refers to as the duet of the criminal act. Still, within that fraction, Hentig forcefully projects his thesis that “a definite mutuality of some sort exists,” and that “In a sense the victim shapes and moulds the criminal.”)
- Hunt, Kasie. 2013. NBC Politics: Gun Rights Group endorses Toomey/Manchin Bill. (Editor’s note: read this article to see how entrenched the anti-gun movement is, and how so many well-meaning people misunderstand the consequences of universal background checks, which would invariably lead to a national gun registration system, and ultimately result in a federal confiscation of guns)
- Hupp, Suzanna Gratia. 2009.From Luby’s to the Legislature: One Woman’s Fight Against Gun Control.
- Johnson, Nicholas J., David B. Kopel, et al. 2012. Firearms Law & the Second Amendment; Regulation, Rights, and Policy (Aspen Casebooks)
- Kleck, Gary. 1999. Degrading Scientific Standards to get the Defensive Gun Use Estimate Down. Journal of Firearms, Vol. 11.
- Kleck, Gary, and Marc Gertz. 1995. “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense With a Gun” Northwestern University School of Law, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, vol. 86:1.
- Kohn, Abigail A. 2004. Shooters: Myths and Realities of America’s Gun Culture. Oxford.
- Lott, John. 2015. The facts shoot holes in Obama’s claim that U.S. is only host to mass killings. Fox News.
- Lott, John. 2010. More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics). Univ. Chicago Press. (Editor’s note: certain of Lott’s conclusions in previous editions of this book — published in 1998 and 2000 — are based on surveys that some [including Adam Winkler, in his 2013 book, GunFight, listed below], have questioned as having been fabricated; those surveys, however, have been replicated by others with similar results; additional claims, e.g., that the NRA or gun makers paid Lott to write the book, that articles written by Lott and published in journals such as a special 2001 edition of the Journal of Law and Economics were not peer reviewed, have also been debunked; however, a claim that blog entries provided by a supposedly former student of Lott’s, Mary Rosh, supporting him as a serious researcher and “one of the best professors I ever had,” were actually written by Lott were, however, found to be true; Lott admitted that his wife and son had written the blog entries, and stated that he should not have permitted it; although allowing family members to blog in favor of his writings under a pseudonym is clearly a case of poor judgment, that lapse should not, in any way, detract from the peer-reviewed, and replicated research Lott provides.)
- Malle, Bertram F.,Steve Guglielmo, and Andrew E. Monroe. 2014. A Theory of Blame. Psychological Inquiry 25, 147-186.
- McGrath, Roger. 1989. Violence and Lawlessness on the Western Frontier. Chap. 5, Violence in America, SAGE Publications, Inc.
- Miniter, Frank. 2014. Inside the Black Market for Guns. Forbes.
- Napolitano, Andrew. 2011. It is Dangerous to be Right, when the Government is Wrong: The case for Personal Freedom. Thomas Nelson.
- Noyes, Dan. PBS Hot Guns: “How Criminals Get Guns”. Public Broadcasting System.
- Parker, Andy. 2015. My Daughter was killed on Live Television. I will do whatever it takes to end gun violence. Washington Post, Opinions.
- Rosa, Joseph G., and Robin May. 1977. Gun Law: A Study of Gun Violence in the Wild West. Contemporary Books Inc. (Editor’s Note: In this book, Rosa & May claim to address the accuracy of the myths and legends of the American West, by revealing all the facts behind the winning of the West. That claim is laid to rest by the book’s limited number of pages, 143, and the obvious focus on sensational personalities and famous (or infamous) events in western history. It does, however, provide insight into a number of these personalities and events, and is entertaining to read, though one cannot say, on finishing it, that a balanced view of the winning of the West has been acquired therefrom.)
- Webster, Daniel W., and John S. Vernick.2013. Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis. The Johns Hopkins University Press. (Editor’s note: Webster, Professor and Deputy Director of the Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has published numerous articles on youth gun involvement in gun violence, on ways to prevent gun violence, and related subjects. He investigates state firearm policies, and community programs intended to address violence problems, teaches a course on “Understanding and Preventing Violence” and directs the Injury Control Certificate Program at Johns Hopkins. He believed in 2011 that gun control policies should focus on restricting access to firearms for dangerous individuals or repeat offenders rather than making guns illegal, yet in this book he focuses on limiting access to guns by all.)
- Weissmann, Jordan. 2012. Whom Does the NRA Really Speak For? The Atlantic, 18 Dec 2012.Weissmann, Jordan. 2013. Why Gun Makers Want Children to Play With Rifles. The Atlantic, 28 January 2013.
- Wolfgang, Marvin E. and Simon I. Singer. 1978. Victim Categories of Crime. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology V69:8.
- Whitney, Craig R. 2012. Living With Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment. Public Affairs, New York.
- Winkler, Adam. 2013. GunFight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. W.W.Norton. (Editor’s note: this book provides a relatively balanced discussion of the debate between gun-rights and gun-control enthusiasts; it examines the issues from both sides of the debate, provides detailed background information, and explains the history of the debate in some detail; it is recommended reading for all who seek to acquire a broad-based understanding of the issues swirling around the question of gun control and the 2nd Amendment in America, with the following caveats: the author is clearly a supporter of gun control and universal background checks for all gun transactions, despite rational evidence that universal background checks are unlikely to result in a reduction in gun violence; the author also allows his biases in favor of gun control to color his analysis of John Lott’s research, as described above, as well as that of others who favor gun rights.)
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