Obama floats stricter gun control trial balloon

From the Washington Post:

The White House is weighing a far broader and more comprehensive approach to curbing the nation’s gun violence than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, according to multiple people involved in the administration’s discussions.A working group led by Vice President Biden is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the sources said.

From The Hill:

“We’re going to take a look at what happened there [in Newtown] and what can be done to help avoid it in the future,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees gun laws, told Roll Call last month. “But gun control is not going to be something that I would support.”

Maybe we could have a bake sale instead.

“Appearing on the Dennis Miller Show, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told guest host Larry O’Connor that he “refuse[s] to play the game of ‘assault weapon.’ That’s any weapon,” said the Texas congressman. “It’s a hammer. It’s the machetes.”

Funny, then, that these mass shootings never seem to be mass-hammerings or mass-machete-ing.  If it could just as easily be any other weapon, then why don’t they ever use any other weapon?  It seems that guns offer some comparative advantage when contemplating mass murder.

You also don’t see a lot of inner-city thugs using hammers either.

But let’s say, arguendo, that they’re right – “anything can be a weapon.” Even box cutters can be a weapon.  And when they were used as one on airplanes on 9/11 we didn’t respond by arming all the flight attendants with box cutters – we banned them all together.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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39 Responses to “Obama floats stricter gun control trial balloon”

  1. With NCIC check, I don’t see a reason for the waiting period. What will it really address?

    Other than that, it looks great to me. Add in elimination of ‘gun-free zones’ and it’s pretty good start.

  2. TiredOfTheApathy says:

    So the only adults are those who share your views? Interesting. I like the phrase “mass neurotic idea of corrupt hyper-individualism”. Misguided, but interesting.

  3. TiredOfTheApathy says:

    Because they have no rebuttal to facts, so they resort to calling all gun owners “gun nuts”. Yet, when they need help they call the police…carrying guns. I would encourage ALL people to examine recidivism rates of violent criminals, especially those committing crimes with guns. Startling. Yet, we continue to let them out of prison to re-offend.

    The recent murders are an absolute shame and should never be tolerated, but one doesn’t need a gun to do it. Washington DC and Chicago prove, with verifiable facts mind you, that gun control DOESN’T work to stop violent crime…or are we ONLY worried about gun crimes which are a subset of violent crime. I’m worried about violent crimes of all types as we all should.

    I’m a gun owner and have a few suggestions about things that could be done.
    1) Mandatory 10 day waiting period for all gun purchases (inclusive of a required background check) including the “gun show loophole” purchases
    2) More resources allocated towards mental health care
    3) Stricter penalties for violent criminals which increase further if a weapon is used (ALL weapons, not just guns)

    That’s where I’d start…anyone else?

  4. Losing faith in the human race says:

    There’s no point in arguing with stupid. Especially the kind of stupid it takes to write and/or support the logic in an article like this. If you happen to fall into either of those categories, please do not breed. If you already have, please be sure to spay and neuter your offspring.

  5. How are facts now to be considered crap? Tuscon is the only one. Please point me to one besides Tuscon that didn’t occur in a gun free zone.

    Did you know that the Aurora shooter had seven movie theaters within 20 miles of his home. Seven. He did not pick the closest one to his home nor the largest one. He managed to target the only one that banned otherwise legal customers from carrying weapons for protection.

    How can you honestly continue to believe that it is an unhappy coincidence that nearly all of these mass shootings occur where guns are prohibited?

    I’m sorry to confuse your world view with a little thing called facts.

  6. Are you really that dense that you cannot understand the futility in targeting the weapons least used in crime?

    So let’s say you get your ban on so called ‘assault weapons’ and magazines over 10 rounds. What a symbolic victory that will be.

    -We know that CT and Aurora shooter had other weapons and that VT & Columbine shooters only used handguns.
    -We know that all rifles total (of which semi-automatic rifles are only a subset) account for less than 4% of all firearm deaths.

    What will be the next rallying cry after some un-treated mentally ill person kills 35 people at a junior high? What will it be? What’s the result of your grand plan?

  7. “Here’s my idea; start with everyone professing more guns as a solution to this problem.”

    Sure. If you are referring someone proposing to drop guns at every street corner and hope for the best, then by all means – go ahead.

    The whole ‘more guns is not the solution’ mantra is so tired. The implication is that by advocating for the right of self-defense, we just want to sprinkle more guns around like flour into cake batter and stir. Give it a rest will you?

    The goal is to restore the right and opportunity for self-defense to law abiding people. The proven result is lives saved.

  8. Simply give the right to all gun holders to shoot anybody found with one.

    I guarantee that we will be a much safer nation in two short weeks!

  9. “Actually, all massacres in the US except for one have occurred where
    civilians are legally barred from being armed, but that is another

    Where do you guys consistently come up with crap like this?

  10. What we really need to ignore are asinine arguments like yours.

    BTW, can ya tell us how many drive-by hammerings and macheteings have occurred in… oh, let’s say, the last 200 years?

  11. So… how would you determine who is mental deficient enough not to be able to own a killing machine.

    Here’s my idea; start with everyone professing more guns as a solution to this problem.

    What’s yours?

  12. “What? What the hell does that mean? That persistence in delusion regardless of facts contributes to public debate?”

    No, precisely the opposite. By ignoring the facts and pursuing a hardware based agenda, gun control advocates are ensuring that no progress gets made on the real issues at hand.

    Focus on addressing the actual issues:

    The paltry state of mental health care in this country. Public funding must be made available as right now we are simply relying on our judicial and prison systems to deal with the mentally ill – creating more issues.

    Better linking of known mental heath issues to the NCIC database. This requires care, however, to protect rights under HIPAA.

    Elimination of so called ‘gun free zones’ where people congregate and no one is legally armed. This is a proven failure.

    I also don’t have a problem requiring background checks all gun-show sales. It won’t really do anything to address mass shootings, but I think it is a good idea anyway.

    But don’t tell me it is not an emotional reaction when you are clearly pursuing a path that fact demonstrate will not make a difference. Rifles, in all categories, killed 358 people in 2010 compared to over 6,000 with handguns. 745 people were beaten to death with hands/feet/fist.

    So even if you were to successfully get a ban on so called ‘assault weapons’ and somehow manage to confiscate them all – what have you accomplished? Nothing!

    Instead of focusing on scary looking guns, lets target the real issues and used fact based methods.

  13. You are missing the point – the massacres would still have occurred even if those weapons had been banned.

    Of course no civilian has stopped a massacre by using a long gun. Massacres tend to occur in public places so the only weapons available are concealed handguns. Actually, all massacres in the US except for one have occurred where civilians are legally barred from being armed, but that is another discussion.

    But AR-15’s are frequently used to protect lives inside the home. So banning semi-automatic rifles will have zero impact on mass shootings and potentially signifiant impact on law abiding citizens.

    However, I agree with you last paragraph. How to keep them out of the wrong hands to start with. Let’s focus on that and we will make true progress.

  14. KingCranky says:

    It’s also worthy to note that the Sandy Hook Massacre was inflicted with, according to the Medical Examiner, the long-barreled weapon, the Bushmaster, and James Holmes used his Bushmaster to wreak the carnage in the theater, while the Bushmaster was also used to carry out the DC Sniper attacks.

    Adam Lanza used one his mother’s pistols to commit suicide, while Holmes was captured, arrested and charged.

    Even more noteworthy, none of the formerly banned rifles, no AR-15, no Uzi, no TEC-9, no AK-47, has ever been used by an armed civilian to stop a massacre from a rampaging gunman.

    The question becomes, how to keep firearms out of the wrong hands to start with, instead of waiting for the next massacre, followed by another, and another, ad infinitum.

  15. Guest says:

    One more: We are tired of being having our public discourse dumbed down by mindless incantations from gun nuts. Take your collective obsessive neurosis someplace where you can get help for it and discover a sense of genuine masculinity.

  16. Guest says:

    And, your nom de guerre tells it all, guy. Liberty is pretty “frail” if its legitimacy and validation depends upon owning a gun. If that’s all life means to you, it’s pretty thin and pathetic.

  17. Guest says:

    What? What the hell does that mean? That persistence in delusion regardless of facts contributes to public debate? What’s your answer? That there’s nothing we can do about gun violence but more guns? That we just have to put up with gun massacres because there’s nothing we can to about it anyway? We just abandon all social responsibility for the same of some mass neurotic idea of corrupt hyper-individualism? This is not an emotional reaction, bub. It’s the reaction of reason to insanity, and you — and your ilk, who continue to deny reality — are the ones who are venting based on insanity and blind emotion. Is there any fact that could convince you that you’re wrong? Tell me what it is. If you can’t, shut the fuck up and let the aduits in the room try to cope reasonably with a real problem. Or better yet, if the world is such a frightful, terrifying place for you, just take your gun and go shoot yourself.

  18. Quisp says:

    How do you propose we “get” the guns?

  19. Naja pallida says:

    Ball-peen have to be the most dangerous! I just know it. Or maybe just because I like saying ‘ball-peen’.

  20. No, pay attention. The rifles commonly misreferred to as assault weapons are the ones that are being targeted for banning; That is why it is appropriate to show that they are, in fact, almost never used in crimes.

    It is also worthy of note, that the CT shooter had handguns with him, the Aurora shooter had and used a shotgun and a handgun, VT and Columbine shooters used only handguns.

    Now you have to use a little critical thinking to get to the next step. If they are almost never used in crime, AND if they are almost never solely used in mass shootings, then banning them WONT MAKE A BIT OF DIFFERENCE. See how that works … I mean doesn’t work?

  21. Please, by all means, continue to bury your head in the sand and react emotionally rather than rationally and with facts to the complex issue before you.

  22. “Funny, then, that these mass shootings never seem to be mass-hammerings or mass-machete-ing.”

    They are also not using the gun control targeted weapons commonly misreferred to as assault weapons. In fact, as a broad category, rifles are almost never used to commit murder:

    But by all means, let keep focusing on a particular gun because is ‘looks scary’. Let’s get it banned even though we know that would not have changed ANY of the mass shootings nor are they frequently used in crimes. Then we can be all upset again when the predicable next mass killing occurs and we try to figure out which gun to ban next and we can try to limit magazines to a reasonable 3 rounds.

    And while we are at it, lets continue to ignore the 500,000 times every year that a gun is used to protect from harm because, after all, we only want to keep people safe. (Oh, and that is not some right wing think tank study. No, that is the Centers for Disease Control in 1994 under President Clinton.

    Let’s ignore the spike in violent crime that the UK and Australia have experienced since enacting strict gun control laws. And while we are at it, lets ignore the faster than the rest of the US drop in murder rates that Washington D.C. has experienced since the 2008 Heller ruling restoring their rights to self-defense via firearms.

    Yep, that’s the right plan. Let’s focus on hardware and ignore the real issues enabling these awful mass shootings: Access to mental health care and congregating people together in ‘gun free zones’.

  23. A) So you agree we should ban handguns then, which cause 10x the deaths of blunt objects?
    B) If you’re going to break down firearms into subcategories, then do the same with different types of hammers. We can all play that game :)

  24. UncleBucky says:

    Yes, that was my reference. I still keep thinking of that kid misinterpreting “Freeze”. Still can’t believe that happened. :(

  25. “A working group led by Vice President Biden is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the sources said.”

    Something definitely needs to be done to rein in the gun nuts, but the proposal in the quote above sure isn’t the way to do it.

    Let’s say somebody wants one of those Bushmaster Kid Killers of their very own. Unless the new regulations flag old speeding tickets, they can probably pass the “universal background checks”. I know some mighty strange people, but I doubt if there are any records available questioning their “mental health”. In the unlikely event they can’t legally acquire their new penis extension, they can steal their brother’s gun. Grandpa’s or mom’s. Or they might start hanging out with legal gun owners who have passed muster, learn their habits, then steal THEIR guns. And it’s not like any of the millions of current unregistered firearms are going to disappear. There will be lots of opportunities for illegal purchases.

    Some kinds of insane people are capable of hiding it. Google “corporate psychopaths”. Sane people can “lose it” sometime down the road after passing their sanity tests, especially after encountering those aforementioned corporate psychopaths. Or they could have a brain tumor. Or get blind drunk, drugged to their eyeballs; whatever.

    Opinion time, but my proposals would be more modest. If you want to own a fast-firing weapon, it had better not have a magazine capacity of more than 3 rounds. If it does, mere possession would mean it’s “crush the gun” time, you’re fined $1,000/1% of your net worth (whichever is larger), you’re banned for life from gun ownership of anything more than a single shot. Oh, and you might also spend a few months in jail.

    If any firearm you own is stolen from a non-secure location, you’re liable for 100% of your net worth if it gets misused. Minimum!

    Quite a few (but not all!) of the gun nuts truly are crazy, but they’re not necessarily all stupid. If Obama’s trial balloon looks more like another of his Police State power grabs than gun control to me, I expect it will to some of the nuts too.

  26. BeccaM says:

    Only if I can strap that chainsaw to the stump of my left wrist, because I had to chop off my hand due to an uncontrollable Deadite infestation.

    Then all will be well with the world.

    Oh crap. Strike that. I also need my Boomstick. Nevermind.

  27. Steve_in_CNJ says:

    Are you concerned about the epidemic of hammer massacres?

  28. Drew2u says:

    It will take strong leadership, bold action, and facing rabid and violent incoherence. Know anyone that fits that bill? Yeah, me neither.

  29. TheOriginalLiz says:

    Deliberately misleading argument – typical GOP and faux news style:
    1) try including all firearms, not just one small subgroup
    2) hammers serve a purpose other than to kill. Guns are designed to kill.

    I understand how the hammer argument might impress the goppers, but those of us who can reason are not impressed.

  30. 2nd guest says:

    Ok, you have to take a look at facts. According to the FBI, http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_08.html Clubs and hammers DO kill more people each year than rifles

  31. Guest says:

    It isn’t occasional. I don’t think a day has gone past since Sandy Hook without news of another gun murder — often with multiple casualties. We have more guns than any other country in the world. We also have more gun violence than any other country in the world that isn’t embroiled in civil war or internal insurrection. And people think they deserve to be listened to when they argue that the solution to gun violence is more guns! Or take their other preposterous argument: Crazy people will always find a way to kill other people. In other words, there’s nothing you can do about it! We should just shrug our shoulders, arm ourselves to the teeth, and be prepared to fire away, after which, when the carnage is cleaned up, we just go on grimly, dimly and fearfully in anticipation of the next shootout. What a vision of life!

  32. UncleBucky says:

    I second you on that! It’s all about having the right to shoot older teen-aged trick or treaters if they make threatening gestures or verbally threaten “trick or treat!”! Especially when they are darker or don’t speak English right away!

  33. UncleBucky says:

    Chainsaws!!!! And moviemakers having chainsaws! And presidents on their ranches! Yahhh.


  34. TheOriginalLiz says:

    It will never happen. We live in a society where the occasional slaughter of children is an acceptable price to pay for the dregs of society to have their killing implements to try to make themselves feel safer in the big, scary world.

    These are not brave people defending their home and family – these are cowards and bullies afraid of the blacks, afraid of the hispanics, afraid of smart people, afraid of gays, afraid of their own shadow.

  35. karmanot says:

    Good one guest!!!!!

  36. caphillprof says:


  37. Guest says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. We’re hostage to a single-issue, single-minded, hysterically paranoid, defensive minority that cloaks its mass, mentally-unbalanced anxiety in a hyperventilated, grotesquely distorted rhetoric of individual rights and supposed individual freedom, seemingly has limitless amounts of money to spend to intimidate cowering politicians, and shouts down anyone who pleads for sanity — and gets away with it. Kids — or anyone else — facing the barrel of a gun have no chance in this kind of bizarro world. And what kind of individual character is it that requires a gun for its legitimization? What weak, puerile, contemptible creatures these people must think of themselves to be without their guns! Denial, rationalization, excuses and blame-shifting are their only stock in trade. Until the sane, real majority of the American people recapture their government from the conspiracy of special interests that suffocates civilized individuality, this country continue to descend into madness. What a grim, hostile, forboding and terrifying world these small people must live in! Where the only answer to something strange, frightening or different is to be able shoot it dead. Why are these people so rabid about allowing crazy people access to weapons of mass destruction? Why isn’t that the issue, rather than mind-numbing jihads against a government “that wants to take away our guns”? If you seek a vision of hell, look around you.

  38. RepubAnon says:

    Funny, too, how the Pentagon isn’t pushing for more machetes and hammers (or pointed sticks) for the troops to replace their M-16s, machine guns, and other firearms. It’s almost as though the military feels that rifles allow soldiers to kill their opponents more efficiently than do machetes, hammers – or pointed sticks.

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