Where’s Your Line in the Sand?

Many people have drawn their own lines in the sand regarding firearms — and your right to keep them in order to keep evil, no matter its form, at bay.

So, where is that line in the sand now that El Presidente has made public his 23 points on gun control?

Below are his remarks, and mine. I’m going to make every attempt to comment on these articles absent the sarcasm I truly wish to convey.

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

Well, that’s a curious way to start. But this could easily render a substantial number of items “relevant data”. One would hope that it only applies specifically to those questions on the already intrusive 4473. How does one get around the HIPAA…

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

Oh, that’s how.

I would hope that this end run of HIPAA is intended to address specifically the 4473 question that asks, in part, “Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective…OR have you ever been committed to a mental institution?”

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

Does this mean that states will receive financial incentives if they open up any of their existing databases and data stores for harvesting by Federal agencies? I would caution states to share, if necessary, only the absolute minimum of information.

However, I would caution them further to neither accept nor tolerate bribery.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

This is rather concerning: how does the AG get to decide who is or isn’t dangerous? Are whites dangerous? Jews? People who earn between $50,000 and $250,000 per year? People who wish to openly and honestly follow the patchwork of laws that may surround them?

5. Propose rule making to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

From my observations, it’s rare that tyrannical law enforcement agencies return legally seized firearms to a citizen. I think the devil here is in what the definition of “seized” means.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

Fortunately, where I live, there’s no law that prohibits private transfers. However, every FFL has a procedure to facilitate private transfers. Yes, they charge a fee. If it’s too much, find another FFL in your state that charges less.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

There already is one, and the Liberal/Democrat/Socialist/Communist types have been opposed to it for years: Eddie Eagle. Though, if history is any indicator, I’d wager that this administration would put their own spin on it with a “Guns are Evil” overtone throughout the campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

You know as well as the rest of us that locks only deter the borderline thief. However, distrusting politicians as I do, I can envision this being used to render any number of existing, functional gun locks,  lockers, and safes “illegal” because they’re inadequate based on some arbitrary definition of the term.

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

There’s that “memorandum” word again. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I do know that in legal terms, it’s not an “executive order”. Though it may mistakenly be inferred as such “under the radar”. To the topic of firearms tracing in criminal investigations, law enforcement does this, but it’s a manual process. Perhaps he’s saying that he wants an instant-check firearms serial number database. In any case, that sounds to me like “registration”.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

No doubt such a report will be as truthful, accurate, and honest as the reports that the same DOJ released regarding Fast & Furious.

Oh, sorry — that was a touch of sarcasm and I promised to keep it to a minimum.

Keep in mind that we already have a great number of laws regarding lost or stolen firearms.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

Please make every effort to ensure such a nominee is fully aware of what his or her oath of office means.

Sorry. More sarcasm there.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

Hopefully this will be addressed in much the same way fire safety is today, or, as in such areas, tornado and earthquake drills.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

It’s already illegal to threaten anyone with a deadly weapon — that includes a large number of things that are and can be used as weapons, including firearms. Making it more illegal won’t prevent evil from rearing its ugly head. However, not prosecuting those people who must defend themselves from evildoers will cause those evildoers to think twice about the risks.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

Sounds harmless enough. Except when one considers that the same CDC issued a number of statements about Zombie Preparedness.

I’m certain that any research originating from such an organization that, in an official capacity issues health warnings about entirely fictitious afflictions, would be on a completely separate plane of existence than the reality that this universe occupies.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

They’re firearms. You load them. You shoot them. They balance the power between Evil and the rest of us. That’s pretty innovative as far as I’m concerned.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

I see what you did there.

The right answer when asked such a question is, simply, “No.”

Simply, “No.”

Legal?

Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t care.

It most certainly in a morally appropriate answer to such a question from a physician.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

Is this really a problem?

There’s a threat!

Act on it!

Be home in time for supper.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

This is exactly what the NRA suggested a few weeks ago. In this regard, I’m pleased that the administration has listened to reason.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

These “model emergency response plans” must include the concept of “meet evil and destroy it”, yet I do not believe they will. In fact, given the state of things, I expect they’ll consist of, “do as you’re told; cooperate and give them what they want.”

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

I’m not even sure how to interpret that.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

Again, not certain presently how to interpret this.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

Nor this.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

On the surface, I believe this is an extraordinarily good idea.

However, I do find myself wondering whether this move will be used to diagnose a huge swath of the populace with some made-up combination of mental disorders.

So, there’s no confiscation, no capacity bans or restrictions, no limits on cosmetic aspects of firearms… and that’s all good.

There is a vague reference to registration in there, but it’s very thin so far.

Overall, I’d say the proximity of that line in the sand remains mostly unchanged.

For now.

But that doesn’t mean you can relax.

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