Here are the highlights from the president's plans on new gun controls. It is obvious he is limited in what he can do without Congress. His packed house and emotional introduction was brilliantly performed.
Unfortunately, the president left out most hard details on what he actually plans to have his officials do, so the workings he leaked to Politico on New Years Eve remain unknown, but this has not stopped pundits from speculating wildly. Real details below.
Politico suggested (but he did not say) gun dealers would be redefined as: anyone selling more than 25 guns in a year, in the original boxes, within a short period from acquisition, and the most dangerous suggestion, if they hold a certain unspecified-size inventory, which could affect huge numbers of Americans with collections. The current definition of a gun dealer, in place for decades, is in CFR §178.11, aregulation (not a statute) which can be changed by administrative procedure without Congress.
The scariest part of all that is he could change the definition to 25 guns a year, set the precedent, and then reduce it later to a few guns a year, or minimal "inventory" holdings, making everyone an unlicensed dealer.
Dealers must conduct background checks on all sales, keep scrupulous records under felony penalties for paperwork errors, are subject to unannounced warrantless searches of their homes or premises without any limitations and other conditions.
The Details As Far As We Know
Obama said: If you're in the business of selling guns you have to get a license and conduct background checks.
The truth: He opened with this, and his audience loved it. This is already law (18 USC §922). It is a felony to be in the business of selling guns without a license, or without conducting background checks. People are prosecuted for doing this all the time. No one present, who had displaced the reporters normally present in the East Room for this sort of presentation, seemed aware of the fact.
Obama said: He plans to crack down on criminals using trusts to avoid the law.
The truth: This is completely illegal and he could have been doing this from the day he took office. Reporters need to ask him why he waited so long. The crowd applauded wildly, as they did for his opening proposal.
Obama said: A recent study showed that 1 in 30 gun buyers from one Internet site were felons and buy guns without a background check.
The truth: If that's the case, and authorities have a way to tell (which raises all sorts of questions) -- they should be making arrests, end of story. That's illegal under multiple laws. Why aren't they? Nothing Obama said indicates a change that will go after these known lawbreakers with tools and laws they already have. Hopefully reporters will grill him on why this isn't already standard practice -- or hasn't been the entire time he has been in office.
Legitimate online retailers offer product, conclude transactions, and then make deliveries through physical locations where the buyer must be physically present, go through a background check, and then pick up the merchandise. If the buyer can't clear the background check, the person is simply set free -- that's the loophole authorities refuse to even acknowledge, let along fix.
They identify felons, mental cases, illegal aliens and other miscreants trying to buy guns, and put them on the street, with their money, trying to buy guns. If they want to get guns "off the streets" that's how to do it. Instead, they continually seek to get more people to send their names to the FBI, through "expanded" background checks.
Obama said: The Manchin-Toomey expanded background check law would have solved our main gun problems but was turned down by a stonewalled Congress.
The truth: The Manchin-Toomey bill was a gun-registration plan, plain and simple. I studied and analyzed the bill, and its main purpose was to create a list of every gun owner in America. Read about it right here. The president was flat out wrong about this. What's so bad about gun registration? That's plainly described too, along with the actual language of the bill (which reporters never read, judging from their "news" coverage of it.
Obama asked: How did this become so partisan?
The answer: By so many politicians telling us "I support the Second Amendment but..." This is a revealing turn of phrase, a linguistic mechanism similar to a "tell" in poker. "But" statements secretly reveal what a person really thinks, it works with unerring accuracy, try this and see. (Try it on your spouse!) The first half of a "but" statement is what the person really thinks, if you reverse it, and change "but" to "and," so that the second half reveals the truth. Vocal inflection brings the point home. "I love your dress but the color is all wrong." This typically means, "I hate your dress and the color is all wrong." When someone says "I support the Second Amendment but..." they are really saying, "I don't support the Second Amendment and..."
Obama said, "I support the Second Amendment but..." twice. He did nothing to enhance the Second Amendment, and did act to constrain it, and praised bills that would have gutted it.
It also becomes partisan when our leaders tell us they are proposing one law, but then the language of the law says something totally different, like Manchin-Toomey. Or when instead of defending our rights like they have sworn to do, they attack them, like John McCain did.
Obama said: John McCain's excellent helpful gun show bill was shot down by an NRA-controlled Congress that cares nothing about our safety or dead children (I'm paraphrasing but I've captured the gist).
The truth: John McCain's gun show bill would have completely closed down gun shows. When I confronted McCain about this publicly at a Town Hall meeting it became obvious McCain was unaware of what was in his own bill -- it was written by others and he was simply sent out to promote it, as if it was a background check bill. I read the bill, as I always do. It is analyzed here, read it yourself. It would register every gun owner who attended a show, even if they don't buy anything:
Then it turned out it was even worse -- there would be no way to even run a gun show under its terms -- it would close down gun shows completely.
Obama said: Two out of three gun deaths are suicides, a stunning new stat. It used to be only one out of two.
This means: 20,000 of the 30,000 gun deaths constantly referred to by anti-rights crusaders are a medical problem, not a crime problem. Of the 10,000 deaths remaining, 6,000 we know are blacks murdering each other in ghettos, putting a different complexion on the problem entirely.
Obama said: We must boost gun-safety technology. If we can have fingerprint access for our cell phone we can surely have that for guns. The audience went wild with applause. We can put safety caps on aspirin bottles to protect children we can do something similar to protect kids from guns. Audience loves it! We have an app so we can find an iPad, cause he keeps losing his (yeah, right), so we should have the same thing for finding stolen guns. Audience chuckles its approval.
This means: Anyone who has ever had their cell phone, car or flashlight battery die knows exactly why guns don't run on batteries and never should. A gun must work without fail as if your life depends on it, because it does.
If you ever scraped battery corrosion off a device that has sat unused for a while you know why a battery doesn't belong inside a gun.
Adults who have had to ask their kids to help them get the lid off a medicine bottle know what's wrong with that silly suggestion. And the idea that authorities can identify your gun, or even turn it off at a distance, because it has a locator beacon built in, do I really have to spell that out for you? Guns are supposed to work despite authorities, not with their cooperation, that's the balance of power "prime directive" built into the Second Amendment.
This man who took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution is doing nothing of the sort. He could be going after criminals and instead he is going after the property that 100 million Americans currently own, that his supporters are scared of, instead of educating people in gun safety and proper use of the most important tool of freedom Americans possess.
The Other Details
He plans to make the background checks more efficient, bring them into the 21st century.
They are already very quick with very high "Proceed" rates and fully digital, by Internet, fax or phone. It's unclear what he plans to do, and he didn't say (but it got applause). We must wait and see.
He plans to hire another 200 BATFE agents. The bureaucracy will of course like this, as government grows. Funding must come from Congress, results unknown. JPFO.org wants to eliminate this rogue agency whose horrific track record of abuse is stunning.
He wants timely gun theft reports and protection for domestic violence.
Also popular with the audience, but no details provided, we must wait and see. If reporters tell you they know what this is don't believe them, no one knows, yet. It did seem like the theft reports will apply between manufacturers and stores, something that could have been addressed when he took office.
He pledged $500 million to improve mental health conditions.
Of course Congress must approve the funds, not the White House, this remains to be seen. He revealed that two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides, a startling NEW stat. The money and effort will be made to get states to submit health records to the feds and end barriers for submitting mental health records to national databanks. The medical community is more reluctant to stigmatize people and add them to government lists for denying constitutional rights than the NRA, and rightfully so. This is a tough hill to climb.
President Obama closed by tearing up, the image I predict will be used, virtually forever, in "news" reports about this event. The clicking of camera shutters at that moment was almost deafening.
He told us the gun lobby wants guns available to "anybody, anytime," and we have to stand up to "gun lobby lies."
What American must stand up to is Obama lies, many of them clearly outlined in this report.
The gun lobby and nobody wants guns available to "anybody, anytime," that's a bald faced lie. Jihadis, no guns. Hardened criminals, no guns. Crazy people, no guns. That's what the NRA stands for, that's what Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (a real hard core group) stands for. SAF, GOA, every state gun-rights organization in the nation stands for that. Bad guys, no guns. Our president just lied to us on national TV. Manchin-Toomey, McCain's gun show bill -- rights-demolishing oppressive bills sold on lies. The president just lied to us on national TV.
It's time for the president to start focusing on criminals, not on the innocent. The one million bad guys he says we've found with the background check we already have in place? Reporters -- ask him about that. Round them up. Send the 200 new agents after them. Or is that a lie too?
And -- when are we going to demand real gun education for children and adults, brought to you by this station and the Ad Council? National go-to-the-range-and-practice day? Arm the Army already? How about some excellent new model laws?