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The actual Biden/Obama Plan

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Yah, I confess I'm a bit frustrated by da news organizations. You would think somebody would put together a detailed list of the proposals. Here's what I think I've been able to figure out so far:



1. Universal background checks / eliminate the gun show loophole.

2. Ban on sale of clips with more than 10 rounds.

3. Ban on sale of "assault weapons."

4. Ban on possession or transfer of armor-piercing bullets.

5. Federal gun trafficking law with stiff penalties (presumably targeted in part at straw purchases).

6. Request for $10M to study root causes of gun violence (mental health, video games, whatever).


I'm fine with #1. #5, and #6. I think #2 and #3 are cosmetic, and da gains in safety aren't worth da cost. I'm ambivalent about #4. I think da better way to go would have been to address responsibility for all gun ownership, rather than micromanaging what type of guns are owned.



1. Increased prosecution of those who try to evade background check system.

2. Improvements / directed funding to the background check system.

3. Improved access to mental health services (mechanism unclear).

4. Increasing resource officers in schools (presumably through prioritizing existing moneys in the COPS program, etc.)

5. Increasing counselors in schools (presumably through prioritizing existing allocations in the Dept. of Ed.)

6. "Lifting the ban" on research (presumably through routing research funding through an unrestricted source?)

7. Nomination of a new ATF director (dropping his former nominee who has languished for 4 years without a vote).

8. Linking mental health and background check databases.

9. Incentives for states to share data / participate in data collection.

10. Directing ATF to trace weapons used in felonies or other criminal investigations.


Some of these come directly out of da NRA recommendations, so it's amusin' to see them hyperventilate about them. Most seem fairly innocuous.


I'm fine with 1-3. I'm opposed to #4 because I don't think cops in schools is a good use of the money. I'm ambivalent about #5; while I reckon more counselors is fine I'm not convinced that's a federal issue. I have questions about #6; I'd prefer an aggressive, in-your-face, embarrass-the-heck out of people permanent solution to restrictions on research rather than a work-around. I would have done a recess appointment on #7 three years ago, but I wish they would have folded ATF into the FBI rather than keeping it a separate agency.


Overall, my perception is that nuthin' here is a game-changer. It amounts to small changes around da edges, and will be unsuccessful at addressing the major issues goin' forward. Much of it's reasonable, but collectively it will all be a failure as a set of public policies.





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Well as I read it, it's giving more control of our lives to Obamacare. Pretty clever really. I wouldn't have thought of that except a friend last week was told to find a new doctor when she refuse to answer his question of whether she had guns in the house. Obama is making the doctors into our personal behavior police.



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4. Ban on possession or transfer of armor-piercing bullets.


The last time they tried this the definition was so vague that it would have included just about EVERY hunting bullet.


Has anyone ever seen real 'armor piercing' bullets for sale to the public?

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The President is announcing that he and the Administration will:


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


11. Nominate an ATF director.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


22. Commit to finalizing mental-health-parity regulations.


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


IMO, some of these I scratch my head and ask why is this not already being done and why aren't heads rolling for not doing their jobs: #1, #3, #4, #5, #9 (maybe start with ATF and those firearms still missing from Fast & Furious), #10, #11 (or move ATF without a director for 6 years to FBI), #12 (I thought Homeland Security was doing this?), #13 (duh), #20


Some address conflicts with existing laws and federal orders: #2, #16, #17


Already done: #6, #19


Good idea: #7 (how about a tax deduction to buy an American-made gun safe), #8 (most legal gun locks are crap), #22


???: #14 (I would prefer the FBI over CDC)


Questionable: #15 (not hard to workaround)


Good luck: #21 (Obamacare)


NRA suggestion: #18


Just more talk: #23

(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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Well as I read it, it's giving more control of our lives to Obamacare.


Yah, hmmm.... I confess I read this and had to re-check da title of the thread. I thought I had entered the twilight zone. :)


I'm almost scared to ask... How do things like universal background checks for gun purchases or nominating an ATF director give more control of our lives to a law which allows us to choose from any number of private insurance providers / plans without worrying about being denied for preexisting conditions?




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Checkers or chess?

The "actual Biden/Obama plan" is to "fundamentally transform the United States of America."



"Request for $10M to study root causes"

"Root causes," is a euphemism for "let's find something, anything, other than obvious truths that are unpleasant, inconvenient, and don't provide any reason for coerced collective action"


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Yah, Callooh! Callay!, yeh do realize that that $10M to find root causes is in response to da NRA's request that we look into the violence in society, particularly video games and Hollywood movies, right? I'll grant that from a national research perspective it's not a very big amount of money, and I think pursuin' some of that is unlikely to yield any results, but it was da NRA who asked for it.


And I'm in favor of research, eh? Maybe we learn that Hollywood is a bigger problem than we thought, and that will be somethin' that's actually helpful. At least it might give us some guide as to where we should or shouldn't invest more time and money if we want to see improvements.


I figure investigatin' the "root causes" of cancer, or car rollovers, or honeybee colony collapse, or any problem that has serious economic impacts on da country is a worthwhile endeavor.




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Beaver "7. Nomination of a new ATF director (dropping his former nominee who has languished for 4 years without a vote)."


Maybe this from a letter to the President from Senator Grassley of Iowa might shed some light on why the ATF DIrector job has yet to be filled"


Grassley "One area I agree with the President on is that a Senate confirmed head of the ATF would be beneficial, but if the Justice Department leadership, including the Attorney General, does its job, there should be plenty of accountability for the ATF. In addition, the last time the President nominated a Director for the ATF, we asked for information in June 2011 regarding the Presidents nominee, Andrew Traver, but the administration refused to respond. Neither the White House nor the majority attempted to move the nomination forward. They pushed for numerous nominees during the last Congress, but the ATF Director wasnt one of them. The new nominee, B. Todd Jones, is a familiar face to the committee, but his ties to the Fast and Furious scandal raise serious questions. Not to mention his involvement in the now infamous quid pro quo arrangement where the Justice Department bartered away valid False Claims Act cases in Minnesota. In any case, hell receive a thorough and fair vetting by the Judiciary Committee."


The Senate confirms nominees, and as you know the Senate has a Democrat majority.


Ah, the devil is in the details Beaver, let's try to keep things honest!(This message has been edited by Eagle732)

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"yeh do realize that that $10M to find root causes is in response to da NRA's request that we look into the violence in society, particularly video games and Hollywood movies, right?"


Your respect for the NRA's authority seems a bit excessive. Granted, it's a decent organization that does some good. But it's not infallible. This request for looking into "root causes" smacks of diversionary tactic. One hope the "requesting" will be asking for donations rather than confiscating it from taxpayers.


"And I'm in favor of research, eh?"

Wonderful. When do we suppose they'll announce where all the in-favors can send their contributions to the $10M?


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Yah, Eagle732, but if we're actually honest we'd admit that sadly da Senate no longer functions accordin' to the Constitution, and uses rules games and anonymous holds so as to require a supermajority of 60 to pass anything.


If there's a serious problem with a nominee, have a vote and vote not to confirm. Do it publicly in full view of da nation like an honorable man, and accept the verdict of the majority as per the Constitution. Having nobody in da position for 6 years without da Senate ever voting is not conscionable. Absent genuine cause, the President gets to run the Executive Branch, not da Congress.


Callooh! Callay!, creatin' agencies and paying taxes is how we as a people make our voluntary contributions to the $10M and every other thing the nation does. It's a shared endeavor of da citizens, not a game of "I got mine, but I won't contribute to yours!".


More to the point, da structure of executive agencies is that we taxpayers pay for experts, eh? We pay for a professional military, and then we let them decide what research to pursue within da research budget allotted. We might set general priorities, but da point is to hire expertise. If the Air Force were suffering tens of thousands of casualties per year through landing gear failure, we wouldn't tell the Air Force "no, you're not allowed to spend research dollars on landing gear, only on jet engines."


No different for CDC experts who are lookin' at many tens of thousands of fatalities and injuries per year, and telling them they're not allowed to do anything to investigate it.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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"No different for CDC experts"


Actually it is different: the Air Force problem you describe is 1000 times greater. 10,000 among the active duty Air Force is a little over three percent of the force. 10,000 among the population of the US represents a little over three one thousandths of a percent of the population.


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The beauty of research like this is that the methods and data will be very closely scrutinized. Assuming those methods and data are not found to be flawed in some way, then anyone can employ the data in their own analyses and conclusions. In fact this is almost the actual publishing process.

In the case of this particular research effort, however, no matter who does it - they are going to have a huge number of other researchers lurking to pick the work apart if it is in error. The self-correcting aspect of this kind of study should be strong for this topic where such oversight might not be as intense for, say, study of the interactions of ladybugs with earthworms...who cares?

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