Obama Unveils Sweeping Gun Control Proposals

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With Florida now numero uno in concealed gun permits and with thousands showing up to the gun show in Fort Lauderdale this past weekend comes today's news conference held by President Obama that aims to anger lots and lots of Floridians who just want to be able to buy themselves an assault rifle so they can pump 200 rounds in less than in a minute into deer, just like our forefathers did.

Obama unveiled his plan to reduce gun violence that included instituting a universal background check, banning military-style weapons, and improving mental health.

Joe Biden opened things up by saying "We have a moral obligation to diminish the prospect" that school shooting incidents could happen again.

Biden also said he and Cabinet members sat down with 229 groups to talk gun control this past week.

The VP also addressed Sandy Hook families, saying, "The president and I are going to do everything in our power to honor memories of your children."

During the presser, Obama introduced children who sent him emails in the wake of Sandy Hook.

"We should learn from what happened at Sandy Hook," one of the letters read. "I feel really bad."

Another read, "I'm not scared for myself. I'm scared for others. I have brothers, and I would not be able to bear losing any of them."

Obama pointed out that the nation's children know that sweeping changes are needed.

"This is our first task as a society," he said. "Keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change."

Obama cited a stat that says more than 900 Americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun in the past month. "And every day we wait, that number will keep growing," the president noted.

Obama also said he was going to sign 23 different executive actions regarding gun control. "I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality.

"Congress must act soon," he then said. "I'm calling on Congress to pass some very specific propositions right away."

The proposals:

-Universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun.

Obama pointed out that, despite background checks already being enforced in purchasing a gun, more than 40 percent of purchases are conducted without a proper background check.

"If you want to buy a gun, you should at least show you're not a felon or someone looking to do harm."

-A ban on assault rifles and ten-round magazines.

"Weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in movie theaters," Obama said.

Because GOPers and gun-humpers everywhere love Ronald Reagan, the president cited Reagan's letter to congress to ban military-style assault weapons when he was president.

-Tougher laws on people who buy guns and then sell them to criminals.

Obama called for severe punishment for anyone who helps criminals get their hands on guns.

-Put more cops back on the job and on the streets.

In his closing statements, Obama said, "We have to examine ourselves and our hearts and ask what is most important."

Earlier in the day, the NRA debuted a commercial calling the president a "hypocrite," because his daughters are protected by armed guards.

The White House called the NRA ad "repugnant and cowardly."

You can see Obama's 23 executive actions on gun safety here.

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As a gun owner, I think these are workable ideas.  Unfortunately the NRA/GOP will do what they did to the ATF and remove all the teeth in the bills.  Because they say regulation is bad.  I wonder if they think massacres are good then?


There are several problems with the Obama administration's ideas for gun control. First, even if they could pass a total ban on so-called "assault weapons", confiscating and destroying every single one, they would save not one single life. According to official US crimes statistics, these are the type of gun LEAST used in any form of violent crime, accounting for only 2% of gun crimes, and less than 1% of homicides. Given that several other equally effective means of killing will remain legal and easily accessed, there is, based on the government's own best data, no reason to believe that the pursuit of an AW ban will achieve anything except squander a huge amount of political capital.

Second, also from FBI crime statistics we can see that the average shooting in the US involves fewer than 4 shots fired per incident. Given that there are a few exceedingly rare incidents where dozens of rounds are fired, in order for the mean to be fewer than 4, virtually all but a vanishingly rare few incidents must consist of at most 2 shots fired. So magazine restrictions will also serve no actual function in reducing gun deaths in the US. The data suggest that even mass shootings would be no less frequent or deadly. The shooter at Virginia Tech used just two handguns, neither with extended magazines, one only a .22 caliber pistol that only takes 10-round magazines, and yet killed more people than at Sandy Hook, surrounded by hundreds of adults, who still weren't able to do anything despite the smaller magazines. And again, even if they could magically make every single extended capacity magazine in the world disappear, the number of shootings where that would even be a factor is vanishingly small compared to the thousands in which most people are killed with only 1-2 rounds fired.

So, given that even if every shooting involving an "assault weapon" and/or several rounds fired could be stopped by these laws (a completely unrealistic result), the number of lives saved would be only 1-2% of all current gun deaths in the US, one has to wonder why the administration is willing waste this opportunity to address violent crime in the US, so dearly paid for with the lives of 20 small children, on a worthless exhibition of partisan politics rather than doing something to substantially reduce the number of gun deaths.

For example, 47%of all violent crimes are committed by criminals with prior felony convictions, and 28% are committed by criminals with 5 or more convictions. Most of the gun crimes are committed by these same people. Why are violent felons with 5 or more criminal convictions still running around loose on our streets to rape, rob, and kill? I know, some will claim it's because of over-crowding. But this isn't an excuse. Only 18% of all felony convictions in the US are for violent crimes, so we could easily reduce crowding without releasing any of the violent minority. Why doesn't the administration instead support a national 2-strikes law for violent felonies? Everyone deserves a second chance. But after that, if you still commit violent attacks on your fellow citizens, society should not be expected to take the risk of giving you a third.

Simply passing this law, which would enjoy widespread bipartisan support, could, according again to the government's own data, reduce gun crime in the US by as much as 50% almost overnight, and maybe even by more, given a probable deterrent effect. And, unlike the microscopic drop that an AW ban and magazine restrictions MIGHT cause, this massive reduction is guaranteed, since there would be no question that these criminals could get guns or access victims. After all, if you want to keep violent felons from getting guns, easily bypassed background checks don't work as well as putting and keeping them in prison.

Finally, one has to wonder why Obama would support wasting this opportunity on a set of laws that would not only be worthless in reducing gun violence, but which are also racist. Besides being the rarest of all gun crimes, those in which "assault weapons" and multiple rounds are used share one other attribute - their victims are almost all white and middle-class. And yet we know that the vast majority of gun crime victims are poor people of color. A national 2-strikes law would literally save thousands of their lives every year (the US continues to suffer almost 14,000 homicides a year, a 50% reduction in which would mean almost 7000 lives, mostly minorities, saved a year - more than 100 times as many killed in mass shootings over the same period). And yet Obama seems set on opting instead for laws that would save few if any, and those possible few, white suburbanites, not the poor urban youth who are dying by the thousands.

But hey, we need more research, right? After all, the FBI must have all these numbers completely wrong if the Pres is doing something that would otherwise make no sense.


Repugnant and cowardly is a leader who would cover-up four murdered U.S. heroes on American soil because he felt it might hurt his re-election campaign. 

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