It wasn't much, but at least Barack Obama gave the Chock Ful o Guns crowd a little bit of an elbow poke.
Yesterday he went public with his latest executive action--one which was designed more to close loop holes and tie up loose ends in existing gun laws, rather than implement any new restrictions.
Indeed, despite his emotional speech and obvious anger at the brutes who run the NRA and the pack of congressional hyenas who do their dirty work, the new regulations were so mild the GOP response was, for the most part, oddly muted. Republican presidential candidates generally limited their outrage to the nonsensical.They feigned anger that the president put the measures in an executive order rather than work with congress.
Obviously they know, like everyone else in the republic, there is no working with congress on anything that has to do with guns as long as this House of Representatives and the NRA exist on the planet. He tried that route in the months following the nightmare at Sandy Hook and the right wing house membership turned their backs on both him and the victims, not to mention their survivors. In fact it got so ugly scores of Trumpesque trolls took to the internet and claimed the madness in Connecticut that December was entirely faked and the dead either never existed, or were whisked off to some deserted island to live out their lives in government financed luxury.
The part of the action which will cause the most blood curdling howls is the one which says every for profit gun seller, either private dealers at gun shows, or those controlling internet sales sites, will not only have to possess a license, but their customers will be required to pass background checks like everyone else. In other words a felon will no longer be able to jump on the internet and buy a weapon with impunity.
In order to close another loop hole, people purchasing restricted firearms through either a trust, or corporation will also be required to pass a background check.
It also calls for the hiring of 230 new FBI personnel to conduct the checks. It will increase the number already on the job by 50%.
In addition, barriers preventing states from making mental health records available to the FBI people running the background checks will be removed.
Finally, there will be a tightening of the laws when it comes to reporting guns that are stolen, or lost.
No, that's not much, but it was enough to cause one NRA official to say the executive order is, "...ripe for abuse by the government."
Maybe, but without some sort of caveats on gun purchases the general public is ripe for abuse by the cruel and unusual fucks who buy them without any questions asked.
Which, in the end, begs the question--at what point does your right to own a gun outweigh mine to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
Meanwhile in Texas some of the open carry yokels are feeling put upon, despite getting their way as of January 1st. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission prohibits any establishment which sells alcohol for carry out to allow a person on its premises if he, or she is carrying a gun without a proper permit. If the store does it can lose its license to sell wine, beer, and spirits.
As long as the boobs kept their weapons concealed there wasn't an issue, because store employees could plausibly say they didn't see the piece. Now that these cowboys and gals are proudly carrying in the open, Wal-Marts which sell beer and wine, are requiring management personnel to approach gun toters in order to verify the legitimacy of their permits.
Oops. Guess they didn't see that one coming in Austin.
Bloomberg quotes one open carry advocate as saying, "I find it offensive. I don't want to be treated as a suspect at a place I'm shopping at." Another was quoted as saying, "The whole time I felt like I was looking over my shoulder. To me I'm lawfully carrying. I should not be stopped for something that I'm not doing wrong."
Well folks, welcome to the world of the average African-American teenager who walks into a retail outlet anywhere in this country.
Yes, it would seem freedom not only has a cost, but a delightful splash of irony.
sic vita est