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A Tepid Little Bit of Gun Reform, Maybe

With some fanfare, it’s been announced that there is a tentative bipartisan agreement in the Senate on new gun control legislation. As expected, it’s underwhelming. I agree with Betty Cracker that the agreement is “a band-aid on a sucking chest wound.” It’s better than nothing, but not by a whole lot.

Under the tentative deal, a federal grant program would encourage states to implement “red flag” laws that allow authorities to keep guns away from people found by a judge to represent a potential threat to themselves or others, while federal criminal background checks for gun buyers under 21 would include a mandatory search of juvenile justice and mental health records for the first time.

Other provisions would prevent gun sales to domestic violence offenders beyond just spouses, closing what is often called the “boyfriend loophole”; clarify which gun sellers are required to register as federal firearms dealers and, thus, run background checks on their customers; and establish new federal offenses related to gun trafficking….

…Other provisions would funnel billions of new federal dollars into mental health care and school security programs, funding behavioral intervention programs, new campus infrastructure and armed officers. One cornerstone of the deal is legislation sponsored by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to establish a nationwide network of “community behavioral health clinics,” though the framework does not yet include an agreed funding level for that program or others.

“Encouraging” states to pass red flag laws is mostly useless, since the states that most need them are the least likely to pass them.

Tighter background checks on buyers under the age of 21 might help a little, but I’d be interested to see how many of our school shooters, from Columbine onward, would have failed a background check. Not many, I don’t think. More background checking is always good, though.

Domestic violence offenders of all sorts should not be allowed to have guns, but in practice this kind of provision isn’t tightly enforced by a lot of local law enforcement officers.

More money for mental health counselors in schools would be a good thing, especially if  those counselors are able to screen and treat young people who seem to be spiraling downward toward violence or suicide. But there’s no way the Republicans will appropriate enough money for such programs. They’ll cough up funds for more “hardening” of schools, of course.

What isn’t in this agreement — no assault weapons ban, of course. No increase in the mnimum wage to buy a firearm. No limits on magazine capacity.

I think if this can pass in the Senate I’d say pass it, but then the Democrats should collectively release a statement saying that this won’t do much, but it’s the best the Republicans would agree to. Don’t expect any big change in gun violence, though.

Also, too: The 31 Patriot Front members arrested in Coeur d’Alene yesterday were all stuffed in a U-Haul. Maybe if they’d been in there a bit longer they would have suffocated. Oh, well.


10 thoughts on “A Tepid Little Bit of Gun Reform, Maybe

  1. Is this the "Thoughts and Prayers" bill?  It certainly isn't the "Do Something" bill. Some talking heads referred to this as an "Encouraging first step". WTF

    Our long national nightmare is over. (For the snark impaired, this is from introductory snark).

  2. There is not much there there!  But it will get weakened further before it goes to a senate vote – if it even gets to a vote.  I will give even money that the NRA will say jump and any senate vote will not get past a filibuster – with at least one of the republican 'negotiators' voting against the legislation.

    We have government that accomplishes nothing unless there is a large amount of money for corporate america in the legislation.

  3. Interesting. This is supposed to do something?

    For comparison, Canada has fairly relaxed firearms legislation. <a href=""&gt; Licensing Process</a>  This is not an official gov't site just the first decent one I stumbled upon. I suspect it makes it sound a bit easier than it actually is but, in general, it look accurate.

    <i>Processing a firearms licence application involves a variety of background checks. In some cases, in-depth investigations are conducted. The RCMP requires a minimum of 45 days to process a firearms licence application.</i>

    If the Government passes new legislation, it will soon be impossible to buy or sell handguns.  Existing handgun owners will be grandfathered.  I hope the Gov't has a decent buy-back  for current owners.  A friend of mine who is a competitive IPSIC shooter has a small fortune invested in his handguns.

    This procedure is for something like a shotgun or .22.  It is a whole different and further matter if you want a restricted weapon licence for something such as an AK-15 assuming the regulations will even allow you to buy one. 

  4. Good GOAT!

    Could you have done any less and still been able to call it progress? 

    I don't see how you could, since any progress in this bipartisan agreement is infinitesimal.

    And we wonder why other countries, after winning their independence, while setting-up their own form of government, don't mirror ours?

    Is this any way to run a country?!?

    Still, it's what we've got to work with.

    So let's get this new gun bill passed, and start on figuring out how we can pass much, much stronger gun laws (I don't have a clue how that might be, though, sadly).


  5. I think those 31 Patriotic Front member better go back to the drawing board. They gave meaning to the expression: trapped like a rat in a box. When I first saw the picture of them all kneeling with their hands zip tied behind their back and spaced neatly in rank and file I thought was a staged photograph. After seeing how they were apprehended it all made sense.. A big wow for a major fail! They wouldn't make a pimple on a Proud Boyz ass.

  6. Let's not forget that the Jan 6th insurrection was not a one off event. The insurrection continues, although not as overt as before. The next time the castle is stormed the insurgents will be well armed and much better trained. Access to weapons is just another victory granted to them by the Senate.

    Should the bill make it to the President's desk, he will be in a lose/lose position. Veto it, and he will be accused of being uncaring to the state of affairs in the country today. Sign it, and he will be blasted as a do nothing ineffective chief official.

    It's all the same story, and the domestic terrorists have the upper hand right now. 

    Win the House and Senate in November, somehow. 

    Sorry about the gloomy "eeyore" moment on a Monday. But how about that double littote up above?











  7. The problem is solved.  All we need is an illusion of a solution.  Give them the perception of a competent, working government.  The school children in Uvalde the school children had the illusion of law enforcement protection and the perception of school security.  How did that work for them?  Are they getting justice or just hucksterism?   Is this competent adult leadership?  Of course it is not.  

    Nothing will fix what cannot be fixed. Death is permanent and unfixable.  Our national gun fetish seems also permanent and unfixable.  Real problems need real solutions, and the real problem is our national perversion about guns.  Youthful rage and acting out is quite common, but with easy access to guns and twisted peer influence from antisocial media, it becomes a pandemic of pathological tragedies. That is the problem we are facing.  How specifically will any of these measures change the main factors causing this horrendous problem?  Magical thinking and lawmaking are an illusion of proper government and I for one am not fooled.


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