Various thoughts on current events with an emphasis on politics, legal issues, books, movies and whatever is on my mind. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org; please put "blog comments" in the subject line.
President Obama Share the Steps He's Taking to Reduce Gun Violence
“I believe in the Second Amendment. It's there written on the paper. It guarantees a right to bear arms,” Obama said. “No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law. I know a little about this. I get it. But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.”
I agree too Mr. President. The second link goes to the White House page and provides a summary of what he ordered to be done and includes various statistics on gun violence. Stricter and more efficient background checks under existing rules, better enforcement/including working with dealers such as "finalizing a rule to ensure that dealers who ship firearms notify law enforcement if their guns are lost or stolen in transit," working to improve mental health and gun safety. More detail at site.
The background checks rule change might be the most immediate but the others can have some long term effects -- smart gun technology will for one thing help reduce gun accidents. This is a small portion of harm from guns, but even a few less children etc. shot matters. Also, it isn't one thing or one administration -- it is a nation-wide matter that is both government and private in nature. Again, I would like to read a good report that puts these things perspective and shows their value as much as we can do that. But, I do think there is something positive here.
I continue to think that gun violence might be greatly a matter of having so many guns and a social system that accepts that. Gun regulation here might need to involve some of what was involved with making cigarette smoking a lot less cool or driving while drunk. Law has something to do with that, but it also was a major social change. We have a society that is more violent than others and that is a factor. Our drug policy worsens the situation, especially given how that advances all types of violence. But, like money in politics has to be addressed within the limits of the system, there are ways (not done, but possible) to address this issue while realizing the limits in place.
I appreciate President Obama's efforts here. The exaggerated Republican response from the usual suspects is as tiresome as it is expected. Getting to where Obama's comments here -- there is a constitutional right to guns but let's be sane about it -- is akin to saying sexism (moving past family leave etc.) is wrong is a long time coming. He warned us about that too.