For John, BLUF: The President's 23 Gun Violence actions don't seem that big a deal. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Yesterday The President announced 23 Executive actions to be taken with regard to "Gun Violence Reduction".
Contrary to the fears of some, the list seems fairly straight forward and workable. There are, however, a couple of items that raise additional questions. For example, item 16 seem to encourage health providers to ask patients about guns, but will it provide the extra time, or will that come out of the time for dealing with the problem causing the patient to present.♠
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.If my PCP asks me about guns in my home, may I ask him or her about guns in his or her home? I am not keen on them asking me questions when they have little or no basis for evaluating my responses. If this person is a fellow gun owner perhaps I can evaluate the ability of the person to judge my ownership.
Some of you may feel Item 17 conflicts with HIPPA, but then you haven't read HIPPA. They can even talk to military authorities about you.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.The one item that raises some issues is Item 14.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.It isn't that it isn't a good idea. However, one blog site claims that Congressional appropriations for the CDC prohibit such activity. Then there is the whole question of the integrity of the science itself, which is also questioned by the Reason article at the above link. Science should be clean and straight forward, but sometimes it isn't. Especially the further we stray from physics.
One niggling little item is the Second Amendment itself. The wording is short, if confusing:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.It seems some folks are trying to divest the Second Amendment of its acknowledgement of the natural right of a free man to keep and bear arms. They would hobble the Second Amendment, perhaps by placing a new emphasis on "a well regulated militia".
I am all for a better regulated militia. Since I have aged out of the militia perhaps my opinion doesn't carry weight, but I am not that far out—as I recall, age 45 for all men and age 65 for retired military. One would think that if there is to be an emphasis on a well regulated militia that the Federal Government would pass an act making women part of the militia. Right off the bat. Then, add in calling upon the individual states to provide some basic firearms safety training for everyone in the militia sometime between the age of 21 and the age of 25. Local police departments could do this. The Federal Regulation could provide for actual marksmanship training, funded by the Federal Government (I would recommend the US Army provide the weapons (to be stored by the local police) and the ammo. I would not recommend we engage in teaching close order drill. It will only serve to irritate the militia and frustrate whomever is appointed sergeants.
No, if folks are just out to collect guns, they should have the self-respect to be straight forward and recommend a change to the Amendment.
A free people being inherently free, do not need arms to enforce their freedom upon their government, the ballot box sufficing, thus firearms will be restricted to Federal and State military organizations and special police units organized at the County level to support ordinary state, county and city and town police.In the mean time, gun buy-back programs seem to actually be of value, if a 49 page study I am reading is any indication. This paper, which I am 60% of the way through, suggests that following a gun buy-back program in Australia that reduced gun ownership by 20%, there was a 75% drop in suicides by firearms. This is a quite remarkable drop. When I finish the report I will post more.
Hat tip to the Instapundit.
Regards — Cliff
♠ I believe the term "patient presents" is getting to be a bit trite. It is moving from someone naked in front of their physician to a person applying for benefits from the Government, fully clothed.