Obama's Gun Guru: A Profile of An Uncooperative, Ineffectual Policy Non-Entity


Curious Washington Post profile today of Obama's gun regulation lead man, Steve Croley. He refused to be interviewed, and the upshot is, thankfully, that even post-Giffords shooting, the Obama administration has little interest in putting much energy behind tougher gun laws, and thus this reputed tort and reg genius has little to do on this topic.

Croley is said to be for forcing all gun sales to run through a federal database (not just those from licensed gun dealers) and not interested in banning high-capacity ammo magazines. But mostly, he is painted as representing an administration mostly hiding from the gun regulation issue.

Cato's Tim Lynch sees media lack of interest in harping on guns as a big part of Obama's and Croley's political equation.

Reason's cover package for April was on the various media and political reactions to the Giffords shooting.

I blogged on Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)'s particularly crazy legislative reaction to those shootings.

For background on the current shape of Second Amendment law, consult my book Gun Control on Trial early and often.

NEXT: Rand Geek's Dream: Hear Atlas Characters Speak...to You!

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  1. Surrender or a cunning new strategy? You decide.

    1. You make it seem like they can't do both ... surrender on any more gun control measures because those will cost them votes.

  2. the Obama administration has little interest in putting much energy behind tougher gun laws

    I tried to tell my wingnut in-laws this back in 2009 but they insisted Obama would confiscate not only their guns but their Bible and 401K too.

    Stupid is big in the Confederacy.

    1. the Obama administration has little interest in putting much energy behind tougher gun laws.

      Plenty of interest....very little stomach for the fight!


    2. Sounds like you're sleeping with the enemy there Shrike.

      1. There's no way shriek can be married. Unless it's to a hummingbird. A christfag Bushpig hummingbird, of course.

        1. Are you kidding? A short-selling non-CHRISTOFAG like shreik? I bet he's married to a cover girl...

    3. but they insisted Obama would confiscate not only their guns but their Bible and 401K too.

      Two out of three ain't bad.

    4. This is a perfect illustration of Friedman's creation of a political environment where even the wrong people can be made to do the right thing.

      1. No. Doing the right thing would be repealing Federal gun control laws altogether.

    5. Right in one. Not that it will make any difference here.

    6. The confederacy is anything but stupid. Companies love us, here in the south taxes are low, regulation is fickle, we're not afraid to punish criminals, we hate unions, and we welcome corporations with open arms.

      Your wingnut friends know liberals, while you probably don't even own a gun nor get the NRA magazine, every gun owner knows what the left has done to the second amendment in Chicago, New York, LA, DC, and the rest of the Yankee north.

      Obama has an F rating from the NRA, so while he may be doing very little about guns now, just wait until he gets reelected in 2012, that's when the gun control fun begins!

      Obama is no friend of gun owners or even plain human beings, he is a Marxist, and to Marxists everything is about the PUBLIC, never the individual.


        1. The people I've met who are single-issue about guns will vote for the politicians, R or D, who are best on gun issues, so I'm guessing Gregory isn't single issue.

          1. I am not, but the Second Amendment does come first. I will vote for a D if he has a better NRA rating.

    7. Stupid is big in the Confederacy me.


    8. People thought that Obama was interested in more gun regulation because he specifically cited enacting more gun regulation (specifically, re-enacting the 1994 Assault Weapons ban) on the "Urban Policy" page of his White House website. In fact, this policy wish was there up until May/June 2009 (I know, because I used to cite it when people suggested that Obama was not anti-gun) when it was quietly removed.

      I'm not sure why you would suggest that people should not take at his word a newly elected President with a filibuster-proof majority in Congress, when he says that he wants to enact a specific piece of legislation. Of course we all know now that this President and his Congress was more interesting in spending all their political capital and a year on a healthcare reform law that now enjoys 35% popular support. It's not like either the assault weapons ban or the healthcare law had anything to do with fixing the economy, so let's not act so shocked at the idea that this administrations priorities didn't match the times. But hey, hindsight is 20/20.

    9. Stupid is big in the Confederacy.

      Except that the gun control groups, Brady, MAIG, VPC, were all making exactly the same "now we get the guns off the streets" prediction. Are they stupid too?

      The reason predictions of gun control didn't come true is because most of the Democrats who replaced Republicans in 2008, and gave the Ds their super majority, were pro-gun. That shouldn't be surprising, since they were elected by pro-gun constituents in pro-gun states. A third of the Democrats, voting with the Republicans, nearly resulted in a pro-gun super majority.

      And remember, 80 out of 100 U.S. Senators are from right-to-carry states.

  3. No mention of Peter King's even more crazy reaction to the Giffords shooting? I hope this isn't a sign of entankening for the GOP.

  4. Give credit to Obama where it's due. Democrats after Clinton did major soulsearching on guns and came to the conclusion that like shrinking and deregulating government for the GOP, it was a non-starter- and they lost too much moral capital in that fight.

    They discovered that in this rare case that yes, only three or four people at the New York Times editorial desk hated guns. Everyone else was cool with 'em.

    1. The funny thing is that the gun control issue is a non-starter; even your average TEAM BLUE schmuck is pretty cool with guns; yet they still can't help knee-jerkingly wanting "more gun control", even though that means nothing. Very liberal friends of mine will go "yeah, BUT" and then sort of grind out some kind of desire for amorphous "gun control" that doesn't even make sense. It kind of boils down to "bad people shouldn't be able to get guns so easily".

        1. Speaking of guns, here's a pic of me posing with my latest purchase! Who's up for a trip to the range? See more pics on my blog!

          1. I thought this was you.

            1. epi loves the big girls! What is it epi? Do they sit on your little cock while you recite your I'm a gourmand speech'?

              Do you lick those exotic dishes of those big tities?

              1. So it is you.

                  1. and if I did your 'food' tasted like shit

            2. Family Album?

          2. The gun is pretty nice. The girl is proof that there is such a thing as tits that are too big.

            1. Girl? I thought that was epi

      1. There is no platitude a liberal loves more than an empty one.

      2. "bad people shouldn't be able to get guns so easily"

        That about sums it up from the liberal side of my friend pool. Of course, they can't put it into any less of a gut feeling and more logical way this would or could happen...

      3. Bad drivers shouldn't be able to get cars so easily.

        Bad eaters shouldn't be able to get food so easily.

        Bad gamblers shouldn't be able to get credit so easily.

        1. Well, I think some of them are thinking "brown criminally-minded people shouldn't be able to get guns easily", but many of them are thinking "crazy rednecks shouldn't be able to get guns so easily".

          That TEAM RED TEAM BLUE shit never ends.

        2. Bad gamblers shouldn't be able to get credit so easily.

          It's about time they cut off Fannie and Freddie! Oh, wait...

  5. From the article [the president] ... shelved a proposal requiring gun dealers to report bulk sales of high-powered semiautomatic rifles.

    Obviously not wishing to put his ATF folks at cross-purposes.

    1. What they might not have mentioned is that "bulk sales" would have been defined as purchasing more than one at a time. And "high-powered"? There's that nonsensical term again. Basically means anything other than .22.

      1. Anything other than a Red Ryder BB gun.

      2. Yep, the proposal would have required any sale of two or more centerfire rifles fed from a detachable magazine be reported to the ATF. Fortunately Congress slapped it down hard.

        An equivalent requirement exists for multiple handgun sales, but that was put in place by an act of Congress. Passing legislation is so 20th century though.

  6. an administration mostly hiding from the gun regulation issue.

    Good. I'll count that as a win.

    1. It's hard to prohibit gun ownership to Americans when we sell them to Mexican criminals

  7. "the Obama administration has little interest in putting much energy behind tougher gun laws" THIS TERM. He got the dems to fall on a sword for health care, there's no reason to believe they won't do the same thing for gun control. Of course Obamas not going to fall on any swords which is why it won't happen until 2013 after Obama trounces The Douchbag, I mean The Donald.

    1. I wouldn't worry. He doesn't have 60 seats in the Senate anymore and isn't likely to get that number back, and the NRA is a lot scarier to Congresscritters than the US Chamber of Commerce.

      1. I know its unlikely to happen even if Obama gets elected to a second term... but this is the GOP we're talking about. If anything can guarantee a Democrat majority in 2014, it's a GOP majority in 2012.

      2. The NRA doesn't give a fuck about gun rights; the NRA wants to exist and collect dues and exercise power. Ask NRA about its position on NFA firearms. Crickets. Ask NRA how vigorously it fought against the AWB. Crickets. Ask NRA how vigorously it fought in favor of competitors in shooting sports other than NRA-sponsored ones. Crickets.

        NRA is about the rights of Fudds to be Fudds, period.

            1. By "crow", do you mean me?

        1. Ask NRA how vigorously it fought against the AWB.

          Uh, remember what happened in the Congressional election immediately following passage of the AWB? Even Bill Clinton expressed grudging admiration in his autobiog for the thumping the NRA laid on the Dems for that vote.

          1. And remember how the NRA did exactly nothing to get the AWB repealed thereafter? Like I said, NRA exists primarily to maintain itself as a powerful influence on elections.

      3. the NRA is a lot scarier to Congresscritters than the US Chamber of Commerce

        That's always the national media angle. I'd suggest that most of the representatives are voting pro-gun because they agree with the NRA. After all, a large majority of them are elected by voters in pro-gun states.

  8. This isn't really relevant to anything, but it is beautiful.

    If we are going to avoid a clash of civilisations, we are going to need many more like the Pakistani actress Veena Malik. Watch her take on a mullah, who is trying to accuse her of immoral behaviour. This is no small accusation in Pakistan where Islamist death squads and their collaborators in the state intelligence service, operate at will. The talk show setting of the attempt at trial by media is commonplace too. The murder of Salman Taseer followed days of hacks whipping up "Muslim rage" against him.

    Instead of being frightened, Malik turns on her accuser and the journalist, who helped set her up, and lets them have it.

    Brave, beautiful and utterly magnificent.

    1. wow Warty-that was moving

    2. I wonder if the reaction in Pakistan itself has been positive or negative?

      1. I want to know too but things over there change quickly

  9. thanks for sharing this wonderful post

  10. The article is worth reading, I like it very much. I will keep your new articles.

  11. Stupid statists, bitterly clinging to their fantasy that they can disarm the whole country.


  12. They may not be pushing legislation, but the ATF is gearing up to limit shotgun importation based on "sporting" suitability. It'll be like climate change, they won't regulate thru legislation, but thru bureaucracy.

  13. Chuck Schumer is, unfortunately, the senior Senator from New York.

  14. Ohio's doing it's part.


  15. In other words, causing every firearm in the country to be registered to a specific name and address.

  16. "Croley is said to be for forcing all gun sales to run through a federal database (not just those from licensed gun dealers) "

    In other words, causing every firearm in the country to be registered to a specific name and address.

    sorry, somehow the system removed the quote the first time

  17. I suppose gun rights have become the "picatinny rail" of American politics.

  18. Perhaps they can privatize gun control, to make it more efficient, get around that pesky Second Amendment (which does not apply to private corporations), and gain the support of conservatives and libertarians. Remember last year, when we got all upset about this incident in Texas? Me neither:

    HOA Covenant Takes Aim At Resident's Weapons Business
    Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | James Rincon
    By James Rincon
    Pflag Reporter

    A Pflugerville homeowners association approved an amendment that has at least one resident up in arms.

    Andrew Clements has lived in Pflugerville for seven years operating an at-home business within the structured serenity of the Falcon Pointe planned community. Earlier this month Clements took steps to start a second business from his home selling guns online, but the HOA won't let him pull the trigger.

    "The HOA went out of their way to file an extra covenant to say I can't have that type of business, but any other business is OK," Clements said. "They don't have a problem with all the Avon, Advocare, insurance people, but they're going to be bias to a guy because they don't like firearms."

    The Falcon Pointe board, managed by Realmanage property management company, amended its declaration of protective covenants by adding Section 12.24.2, which states:

    "The business activity does not consist of the sale of fireworks, incendiary devices or material, firearm ammunition, or firearms, including but not limited to firearms of a size which may be concealed on the person, shotguns, rifles and semi-automatic weapons."

    This was the same week that the Michael Clauer story was ignored by the conservative and libertarian press.

    Or how about gun owners groups reactions to this story from 4 years ago:

    Community Suggests Gun Possession Is Illegal For Residents

    ANTIOCH, Tenn.- Some people in a Nashville neighborhood are furious over a new rule that makes it illegal to own a gun.

    Residents in Nashboro Village said it's unconstitutional and leaves them defenseless.

    Two weeks ago, residents received a letter from their homeowners' association indicating that guns are not allowed on the property.

    Even though this HOA is only a three hour drive from Knoxville, this somehow failed to make it onto the Instapundit's radar.

    Another example of

    "repressive libertarianism," where certain people who call themselves libertarians invariably side with property owners who want to limit other people's liberties through the use of contract law. Property rights (usually held by somebody with a whole lot of economic clout) trump every other liberty....As private corporations take over more functions of government, this position could lead to gradual elimination of constitutional liberties.

    because to libertarians, privatized oppression equals freedom.

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