Obama’s Unserious Gun Proposals

They’re as pointless and stupid as ever:

The inescapable conclusion is that the Obama administration’s gun-control proposals are not really intended to do anything about the problem of violence — which is, by the way, steadily declining in the U.S. Perhaps this is not surprising, as neither the ban on “military-style assault weapons” nor the magazine limitation has any chance of getting through Congress.

So why has the Obama administration come up with these tired, already-failed proposals? Not so that they can pass, and certainly not so that if passed, they would be effective. Rather, Obama’s gun-control initiatives are part of his permanent campaign. The objective is to rile up the Democratic party’s faithful so they will be motivated to turn out in November 2014. President Obama has always been more interested in campaigning than governing. Beyond that, he knows he can do little to transform America unless the Democrats capture the House next year. So today’s proposals, pointless as they may seem, are part of a political strategy — not to convert the majority, but to motivate the minority.

Here’s hoping it will be insufficient.

24 thoughts on “Obama’s Unserious Gun Proposals

  1. Sigivald

    I’m not so sure about the “permanent campaign” explanation, or at least that specific spin on it.

    Agreed, they aren’t really meant to “fix anything” (though some of them might actually have some marginal benefits).

    But I think the real point is the standard “to be seen to be doing something”; after all that hue and cry from The Professional Media and The Pundit Class about how “Obviously Something Had To Be Done Yay Gun Control!”, it would have been a blunder to do nothing at all, politically.

    So, he did “something”; his cheerleaders and the Gun Control Movement can call it Important Progress and he’s off the hook. (And for that matter, any “Failure To Pass A New Assault Weapons Ban” is now easily thrown at the feet of the Wicked Republicans and Evil NRA.)

    (Reminds me, seeing comments on the Book of Face, how little the other side knwos anything about either guns or the NRA.

    Did you know the NRA is “against banning automatic weapons” (which are evidently totally legal for everyone and the National Firearms Act never existed…), and is totally a front for the wicked gun industry?

    Me, neither.

    But “they”, sadly, “know” both of those ridiculous myths are “true”.)

  2. Al

    Make the wording “illegal to own, possess, transport, buy, sell, manufacture, aim, fire, remotely control, or design outside of an active, declared war zone by uniformed military” … and pass it through the House.

    Call it the “Protect the children from SWAT” bill.

    What -are- the stats on the number of people shot by police rifles anyway?

  3. Conrad

    It’s definitely about the permanent campaign, although I wouldn’t think of it specifically in terms of 2014. It’s more related to advancing the meta-narrative that Republicans are unworthy of participation in the affairs of state because they stupdily and obstinately oppose ANYTHING aimed at solving America’s problems. Yes, this push for gun control will ultimately fail, but Obama will be the winner because he will use it as just another example of GOP pigheadedness. He’ll ask: “If tragedies like Newtown aren’t enough to soften Republicans opposition to reasonable gun control measures, how many more children must die?” Ideally (for him), SOME Republican will break ranks in order to be ordained by the media as a reasonable guy who’s willing to occasionally buck the party “extremists.”

  4. CJ

    Well…the GOP could flip it around and ask the following. If the wanton slaughter of 20 innocent kids is enough enact gun control…then isn’t it reasonable that slaughtering 380,000 innocent kids is enough to enact abortion control? In the latter instance…Mom & Dad are abetting the atrocity. Oh wait….guns are scary, doctors apparently are not.

  5. Jim

    not to convert the majority, but to motivate the minority

    Polling suggests there’s majority support for an “assault weapons” ban and limit on clip size.

    Those proposals may be political moves, reminding the majority of voters that the GOP is out of step with them on this, as on so many other things.

    Universal background checks, on the other hand, have the potential to make it harder/riskier for criminals to get guns, and thereby lower the number of gun deaths. Maybe the “assault weapons” ban is just a bargaining chip, to be traded for the more substantively important background check provision.

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      The vast majority of people who say they want an “assault weapons” ban couldn’t tell you what an assault weapon is. That’s a meaningless poll when it comes to making political decisions.

    2. George Turner

      I have no problem with banning assault rifles, since they never had any existence under US law, which divides rifles into semi-automatics (civilian AR-15′s) and machine guns (M-16′s).

      I’m also in favor of a limit on clip size. More than ten rounds would probably make the clip difficult to shove into the magazine, and I don’t know of any clips that were larger than ten (the SKS clip held ten, the enbloc clip for the M1 held eight, and most clips only held four or five).

      1. Daver

        I read somewhere that laws usually have a definition section in the front where they redefine words to mean whatever they want them to mean. So just because there’s no official definition doesn’t keep them from banning anything that looks like it should be in a Rambo film.

        1. Der Schtumpy

          Having seen most of the ‘Rambo’ films, owning guns and regularly visiting gun shops and gun shows, teaches me that the ‘Rambo’ hardware is mostly full auto [therefore already not available to the public] or cobbled together Hollywood BS weaponry. [hand held, full auto, chain guns] But the anti-gun crowd is ignorant of gun facts, so they believe that dog and pony shows like that crap from Obumble yesterday means something.

          I guess that’s what happens when you ‘feel’ abut everything long before you think about anything.

          1. Daver

            Hmm. So should we give the grabbers a sop and allow that full auto weapons manufactured after 1986 should require a special license to buy and operate?

    3. M Puckett

      Jim,

      The vast majority of voters would not walk across the street and flip a switch to enact an Assault Weapon Ban or a Magazine Ban it thas all it took to enact them. This is a trivial issue to most, the Democrats mistake majority support for intensity. Intensity is ten to one on the pro-gun side.

      Support for mow gun control is and always has been a inch deep.

      However, the left has awakened a sleeping giant and their will be retribution at the polls next year that will make the reaction to Obamacare in 2010 look like a love-tap in comparison. Bout time for the Dems to over-reach and drive away some voters. I guess they didn’t learn the last time not to stick their hand on a hot stove.

    4. Brad

      “universal background checks” have been the law in California for over twenty years now. You can not legally sell a firearm to another person without going through a licensed firearms dealer with all the associated fees, paperwork, and background check. So far this legal regime seem to have made no practical difference in criminal violence in California.

      As for so-called “assault weapons”, that has always been the biggest fraud of all the frauds perpetrated by anti-gun crusade. This firearm boogeyman has never been a significant factor in American criminal violence, as more Americans are killed by lightning strikes than are killed by so-called “assault weapons”.

    5. Gregg

      Those polls are polls of adults not voters. Therefore worthless. Not worth the electrons it takes to display them.

      Universal background checks have zero effect on criminal access to guns for a variety of reasons. One of which you saw in the Lanza case – he stole the guns. And Drudge has articles about burglaries of some of those houses identified by the newspaper as having guns. And there’s a black market in guns that fuzzy-brained libs either are unaware of or purposefully ignore.

      Lasly, it’s been shown – time and time again – that the guns used to commit a crime were rarely bought at gun shows. So you are closing an unused loophole.

      But I guess it’s better to Do Something (TM) thn to be effective in solving the problem.

      Lastly, and most importantly, you do not infringe on the rights of the people – one specifically mentioned in the Constitution, just because a majority want to do so. You must have a Constitutional convention to change that. Tyrany of the majority – like, you know, the majority of the South wanted to own slaves.

      1. Larry J

        I don’t know if the would-be gun grabbers are naive, willfully ignorant or evil (perhaps all three). Criminals by definition don’t obey the law. Simply outlawing something that people want doesn’t make it go away, be that alcohol (see: Prohibition), illegal drugs or guns. All making something that people want illegal accomplishes is establishing a black market for that item. If tons of illegal drugs can be smuggled into the country each week, how difficult would it be to smuggle in guns? Are the gun grabbers too stupid to realize this simple fact?

        I suspect a lot of their ignorance can be due to TV shows and movies where every two-bit gangbanger lets loose with fully automatic weapons. First, what percentage of gun crimes actually involves fully automatic weapons? Second, since owning fully automatic weapons has been highly restricted since 1934 (obtaining the necessary federal licenses is neither cheap nor easy), if they do have such guns, they got them illegally. Imagine that, criminals who don’t obey the law.

    6. R7 Rocket

      Polling was even more in favor of gun restrictions in 1994…
      But somehow the polls didn’t reflect actual voting results for gun policies.

  6. Tom W.

    Actually, I believe that Obama’s stance will back-fire on him in the end.

    Lots of polls show that the majority of Americans believe the 2nd amendment allows citizens the right to have guns and they shouldn’t be banned. There are many elected Democrats that are from very pro-gun areas and won’t be happy to go along with Obama on this.

    Combine that with a growing number of folks who simply see this administration stripping away at the Constitution and our own freedoms that will not want additional things like gun control to succeed.

    Congrats, Obama, you just gave the GOP a massive platform to regroup around (not guns, but getting back to a Constitutional government) and promote.

  7. George

    Jim,
    I have a proposal to “save the children”. Before any alcohol purchase you have to pass a background check. Anybody who has a felony conviction, DUI, mental health issue or unpaid parking tickets can not buy any type of alcohol. This way we reduce drunk driving and abuse in the home.

        1. George

          I had a friend almost die from dihydrogen monoxide poisoning. Somebody contaminated his pool with it.

        2. Brad

          How about the violent felon reduction of mobility act? Make it a federal crime for a person with a violent felony record to purchase, possess, or drive a motor vehicle. Let the crooks hail a cab, take a bus, or ride a bike.

          After all driving is a privilege, not a right. And certainly not a fundamental right such as the right to keep and bear arms. Shouldn’t we start treating cars more like guns?

  8. BlueMoon

    Here’s a published opinion piece by President Obama himself on the subject:

    http://www.ctpost.com/opinion/article/President-Barack-Obama-Now-is-the-time-4200101.php

    Below is an interesting paragraph from the published item:

    “Like most Americans, I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. There are millions of responsible, law-abiding gun owners in this country who cherish their right to bear arms for hunting, or sport; protection, or collection.”

    Perhaps I’m too paranoid about the Left’s long-game strategy on this subject, but the specific words used and NOT used are interesting. For example, the President says he believes the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. What about the right to KEEP arms? He’s silent on that. Also, he writes about law-abiding gun owners cherishing their right to bear arms for various purposes. Again, “keep” is omitted in that sentence (how can collectors cherish their right to bear collectible arms without also having the right to KEEP those collectible arms?). Perhaps the published wording does not disguise a hidden agenda, perhaps there was a word limit the White House had to meet for this opinion piece. But the above paragraph does exhibit an interesting and perhaps telling use and non-use of words on this controversial subject by a Constitutional “scholar” and his highly-politicized White House staff.

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