13 June 2016

Obama on guns

From comments during a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana:
I just came from a meeting today in the Situation Room in which I got people who we know have been on ISIL Web sites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun.

This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer. And if he wants to walk in to a gun store or a gun show right now and buy as much — as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing’s prohibiting him from doing that, even though the FBI knows who that person is.

So, sir, I just have to say, respectfully, that there is a way for us to have commonsense gun laws. There is a way for us to make sure that lawful, responsible gun owners like yourself are able to use them for sporting, hunting, protecting yourself, but the only way we’re going to do that is if we don’t have a situation in which anything that is proposed is viewed as some tyrannical destruction of the Second Amendment. And that’s how the issue too often gets framed.
Note these comments were made last week, before the Orlando massacre.
Law enforcement sources confirmed that Mateen was on the FBI's radar but not necessarily on a watch list. But even appearing on the list wouldn't have necessarily prevented him from obtaining weapons

"Being on the watch list is not in itself disqualifying, under law. The disqualifying elements of the investigation may be classified," ABC News consultant and former acting Homeland Security undersecretary John Cohen said. 

According to Florida law, there is a mandatory three-day waiting period for handgun purchases, but no permit, registration or licensing is needed to buy or own rifles, shotguns or handguns. A permit is needed, however, to carry a handgun.


  1. Taking away a second amendment right without due process seems to set a danger precedent. What if I do research on ISIL on the web, will I get put on a no fly list and be denied the ability to purchase a gun? Without an investigation or having committed any crime?

    1. Mateen was interviewed/investigated Three times by the FBI for possible ties to Islamic terrorism, had a history of domestic abuse and aberrant behavior and... he was still allowed to purchase a military assault rifle.

    2. No one is proposing anything like that. We aren't even allowed to talk about (or gather statistics on!) guns. That's the problem, citizens' concerns are being preemptively silenced in the name of protecting that stupid amendment. Even when the most any of us wants is to have a reasonable conversation. Sorry, but I'd rather protect my young son's future.

  2. Congress (and by extension the American people) has been long held hostage by the NRA, it's about time we sent in a SWAT team since they're obviously helpless to free themselves and may be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

    1. The NRA and it's membership is just a small fraction of the tens of millions of U.S. citizens that own firearms. Well over 99.99% of them harmed no one lastnight or yesterday and many of them see no reason to curtail their legal access to property that they are committing no crime with.

    2. Small as it may be- there is no question whatsoever that the NRA has Congress in their proverbial pocket when it comes to gun legislation. That is inarguable.

      Otherwise, military assault rifles made solely to kill human beings as quickly and efficiently as possible would not be readily accessible to the public at large. It's a amazing that "patriotic, responsible, law abiding" citizens like yourself (and the NRA) support "the right" of mentally unstable, terrorist leaning individuals (Muslim, White Supremacist, whatever) to purchase such lethal weaponry.

      Australia suffered from a similar gun madness, but they were sensible enough to legislate sensible gun legislation after one of their needless slaughters that allowed gun ownership with Real background on All firearm purchases.

      Result: gun deaths went down 50%.

    3. Congress nor anyone else is being held 'hostage' by the NRA. The NRA did not write the Second Amendment or make it popular. There *was* no NRA when James Madison penned the Second Amendment.

      Sorry, but nothing the NRA-ILA lobbies/fights for is inconsistent with the 2nd amendment. If it were not for those wanting to subjugate the 2nd amendment the NRA-ILA would have no reason to exist.

      Gun rights are not popular in America because the NRA is so politically influential. The NRA is politically influential because gun rights are popular.

  3. I'll leave this here. Jim says it all better than me.


    He has some really great pieces which I wish he could spend time on rather than having to do another version of this one again.

  4. "One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take our shoes off at the airport. Thirty-one* school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation on guns."
    -John Oliver

    * The # has since risen.

    1. While I very much agree that 'assault' weapons are useless in our society for multiple reasons and the quote does have a very good point. I just have a major problem with the NSA and the so-called protection they supposedly give us.....

      "I stopped a terrorist", said not one TSA agent ever.

      Something must be done, but I'm leery of most gun control bills and what they will actually accomplish or their writers actual motives. Some sort of mental health/domestic violence approach must be taken, not simply the taking of everyone's rights. Personally I have no problem with waiting periods and background checks. But I do have a problem with our government not doing a damn thing after a gun store in Florida turned down Omar Mateen when he wanted to purchase body armor and bulk ammunition AND then reported him to the "authorities". I commend that particular gun store's actions but the government, not so much.

    2. *TSA, the NSA is a whole other story..... oops.

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