Barack Obama

Obama Contemplating Solo Executive Action on Expanding Background Checks for Gun Purchases


Following in the footsteps of candidate Hillary Clinton's apparent intention to do the same, the Washington Post is reporting that Obama wants to make an end run around Congress by changing the legal definition of who is legally required to perform a federally mandated background check on gun buyers:

The Searcher / Foter / CC BY

The proposed executive action aims to impose background checks on individuals who buy from dealers who sell a significant number of guns each year. The current federal statute dictates that those who are "engaged in the business" of dealing firearms need to obtain a federal license — and, therefore, conduct background checks — but exempts anyone "who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms."

White House officials drafted the proposal in late 2013 to apply to those dealers who sell at least 50 guns annually, after Congress had rejected legislation that would have expanded background checks more broadly to private sellers. While the White House Office of Legal Counsel and then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. initially concluded the regulation was legally defensible, according to several individuals involved in the discussions, some federal lawyers remained concerned that setting an arbitrary numerical threshold could leave the rule vulnerable to a challenge.

ATF officials, moreover, objected that it would be hard to enforce and that it was unclear how many sellers would be affected by the change. "Everyone realized it would be hugely politically controversial," said one individual, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions.

Well, it will allow him to say he did something. Something that would have had no effect on any of the public tragedies allegedly inspiring the move. Jacob Sullum explained at length here the other days the fecklessness of expanded or even "universal" background check requirements, which don't address what they are meant to address in terms of mass shootings, wouldn't do much for less colorful street crime, are nearly impossible to enforce minus national registries, and would keep far, far more peaceful Americans from exercising a core right than they would keep guns out of the hands of killers.

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  1. And this is supposed to accomplish what?

    1. Feelings.

    2. do something.

    3. It’s a tantrum, one that his base wholeheartedly will support, because they are essentially children. They have legally and popularly lost this fight, and they are pissed. They scream, they cry, they social signal until their hair falls out, and they still cannot get more gun regulations passed (let alone the complete ban they actually want).

      So, like children, they throw a tantrum. Obama can do this for them by throwing a Presidential tantrum, and he is happy to do it. This is his and their equivalent of stomping around the room after being told no more ice cream. That’s all it is, but because they are laughably primitive animist morons, it makes them feel better.

      Always remember that this is who you are dealing with when you deal with gun controllers. Developmentally stunted retarded children.

      1. They have legally and popularly lost this fight, and they are pissed. They scream, they cry, they social signal until their hair falls out

        And I feel an urge to buy more guns.

        1. Well, that’s the consequence that they’re too stupid to understand. Everything they do makes everyone besides them hate them a little more each time they go crazy. They do not understand the concept of backing off. They are primitive morons who can only conceive of “attack” and “attempt emotional bullying”. These are remarkably unsuccessful strategies, and in the case of gun control have proved absolutely counterproductive, but….they’re morons. It’s all they know how to do. So they keep doing it, even as it moves from unsuccessful to outright counterproductive.

          They’ve partially been the ones responsible for waning gun control, and they did it to themselves. It’s kind of awesome, actually.

          1. they are good at fomenting backlash. Of course, that helps with continuing to frame the argument, whatever argument, as us vs them. It becomes increasingly obvious that the left is more motivated by seeing the other side lose than with itself winning.

            1. That’s a good point. They have the unique mental dysfunction of not caring if they win as long as the people they hate lose. For them, their opponents losing is their winning, even if they actually lose.

              I’m so glad that I’m not that pathetically self-destructive.

              1. ” They have the unique mental dysfunction of not caring if they win as long as the people they hate lose. For them, their opponents losing is their winning, even if they actually lose.”

                This is Nietzschean ‘Slave Morality’ at its most repugnant.

                I’m just sayin’…..

              2. That’s why income ‘redistribution’ and ever higher taxes are so popular with them.

                Why they have the concern over ‘income inequality’ in the first place.


                Thatcher explains the core principle of socialism.

              3. For them, their opponents losing is their winning, even if they actually lose.

                This isn’t mental dysfunction. It’s a coping mechanism when your brain realizes that it’s not going to get what it wants. They’re coping with the fact that the world isn’t unicorns and rainbows by keying their happiness on making their opponents suffer.

                See also: Nasty divorce, estate disputes, and other emotionally charged situations where people don’t get what they feel they deserve.

          2. They’ve partially been the ones responsible for waning gun control, and they did it to themselves. It’s kind of awesome, actually.

            It really is. Because there’s simply no way the average American can square the hysterical pants-shitting over guns with the fact that America is becoming safer and safer.

            Unless you live in the shitty part of certain cities your chances of being victimized by violent crime are lower now than at any point in history. So it’s not even a problem for most people since they don’t know anybody victimized by violence.

            That and I think most Americans innately understand that gun rights are an important aspect of American democracy and culture even if they themselves don’t personally partake in it. It’s comforting to know that you have the option of getting one if you ever feel the need for one.

      2. They’re also goddamned liars. Today in Flagstaff an NAU freshman got into a parking fight with a few other students. He’s carrying, pull his gun and shoots and kills someone.

        So of course that makes it a “school shooting” even though it took place in an empty parking lot on the very edge of campus at 1:30 AM.

        1. ” a parking fight”

          Bitch, you can’t even parallel. Your bump game is weak. You curb gap like an Asian Grandma.

        2. Would you expect anything else from retarded children throwing a tantrum? Of course they are going to lie. How else will they get what they want?

          Realize that the lying is going to ramp up now. They are incredibly frustrated that their normal tactics of emotional manipulation and appealz to feelz and moderate lying aren’t working at all any more. They are angry that people aren’t responding the way they want them to, and they are angry that people won’t give them what they want.

          The only thing left is to lie more. I mean, you didn’t think they’d just give up, right? For some fucked up reason that only makes sense to them, it is super important to them that they take away people’s guns. Super important. I don’t know why, but it is. The amount of energy they expend on their constant failures is mind-blowing.

          1. For some fucked up reason that only makes sense to them, it is super important to them that they take away people’s guns. Super important. I don’t know why, but it is. The amount of energy they expend on their constant failures is mind-blowing.

            I’d guess it’s a combination of guns being a symbol of white conservatism and their own inability to understand the mentality of people who are different from them.

            So yeah, they want to take guns away because conservatives and libertarians scare the shit out of them and make them feel weak, like there are ginormous swaths of this country that they can never control.

            After all, the liberal mentality is fundamentally about controlling people so they can be made into something “better”, which is to say docile and dependent on a centralized authority.

            1. the left has no desire at all “to understand the mentality of people who are different” and, in fact, is more motivated by painting those people’s views as illegitimate, often by trying to portray those folks as evil or otherwise morally inferior. Liberals are who they are; it’s in their DNA. There is no argument, no substance; they’re the monkeys flinging the shit and pretending that that counts as reasoned debate.

            2. I think it’s more primitive than that. To continue with the tantrum-throwing children analogy, it’s more like an obnoxious child who hates it when someone has something that they don’t. Even if they don’t want what the other person has, they don’t want anyone else to have it if they don’t (this actually ties in with their hatred of anyone having more money/stuff than them, i.e. “the rich”).

              What they’re trying to do with guns is smash someone else’s toy so the other person can’t have it. They don’t even want it, they just don’t want anyone else to have it. They see that it’s important to the other person, and their instinct is to take that away from them. And in this case, the other person is resisting, hard. So this is driving them even more nuts. Why won’t you just give them what they want?

              1. Interesting take. I think part of the reason the left dislikes guns so much is the simple fact that non-leftists (those scum) actually like them. They just hate things people they don’t like like.

                1. I actually think it’s less about hating guns and more about sticking it to people they hate. And of course, the more the people they hate care about something–and guns are often pretty high up there–they more they long to take that away.

                  Let me assure you, if a major gun ban was enacted (its enforceability aside), you know what the first thing would be that you’d see in op-eds and on Facebook and everywhere? Gloating. You wouldn’t see “whew, now we’re safe”. You’d see “hahahaha we did it, your guns are gone, fuck you”.

                  Because at the core of it, that’s what this is about. It’s what a lot of things are about, but guns are a powerful symbol of them taking something very dear away from those that they hate. That’s why they want to do it so badly.

                  1. ” it’s more like an obnoxious child who hates it when someone has something that they don’t. Even if they don’t want what the other person has, they don’t want anyone else to have it if they don’t (this actually ties in with their hatred of anyone having more money/stuff than them, i.e. “the rich”).

                    I think thats partly correct.

                    I think its also just a wedge issue politicians use to solidify the base, and (in theory) draw new voters in (millenials), Its part of the long game, and it gives people another reason to vote for people they otherwise dislike (like hillary).

                    Its about what they Are Not more than what they’re really “for”. Which is why they never articulate any specific policy, and just moan about how the Evil Opposition stops them from “Doing Something”. Its just a means by which to transfer emotion against these senseless shootings and direct it at political opposition.

                    The Environment is used much the same way. Its not that there are any actually-useful “green” policies just desperately needing to be enacted. No one can name anything significant, just a laundry list of chickenshit complaints. Its not so much about what they desperately want to DO… its that the BAD PEOPLE are always stopping them.

                    1. Even if they could somehow rule that the 2A doesn’t protect an individual right, lots of state constitutions do.

                      And if the SOC tried to trump those state constitutions I think you’d either see serious secession movements or (more likely) a major push to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution explicitly making it an individual right.

                      Every Republican and some Democrats would vote for that, and I’m guessing it could make it through a lot of States.

              2. I want to see these pantshitting pussies be the first ones in the stack to breech, let them be martyrs for their cause, after all theyre the ones who would willingly throw away a LEOs life for their glorious cause so its only fair they get to play human shield and martyr

      3. Such hubris. The gun grabbers were one vote away from completely neutering the Second Amendment in Heller. If a Democrat wins the 2016 presidential election, both that decision and McDonald will be overturned shortly shortly after Kennedy or Scalia retires or dies.

        1. So, Tulpy-Poo, the answer is to vote GOP, amirite?

          So. Predictable.

          1. Do you disagree with the logic?

            1. I don’t see any particular logic at all. Cases aren’t overturned simply because the balance of power shifts on the court. Something has to come up through the lower courts which presents a new angle on the previous case. Anything which hinges on the same basic argument of Heller will rely on the SC’s previous Heller ruling and never make it any further. Which is basically why you haven’t see any major “Liberal” laws being undone by the so-called ‘conservative’ court in the last 20-30 years, barring perhaps some minor examples i can’t think of.

              1. Yep, those are the rules. You may have noticed recently that the liberals don’t play by the rules.

                If the lower courts cite Heller to deny appeals — itself questionable now that the Dems have packed the courts by suspending the filibuster last year — that denial can be appealed to a higher court, all the way up to SCOTUS. Which in that scenario would have a Kagan clone in place of Kennedy or Scalia. You think that Kagan 1, Kagan 2, Sotomayor, and Breyer wouldn’t grant cert with “an epidemic of school shootings” going on?

                1. If…if…. if….

                  Unless there’s a repeal of the second amendment, its doubtful the gun-grabbers are ever even going to get something like the 1994 AWB again.

                  Sure the courts could revisit and tweak things like heller, but i sincerely doubt, even with a liberal-packed bench, that they’d be able to undo the basic fact that the 2nd guarantees an INDIVIDUAL right to gun ownership for the means of self-defense. So politicians would ultimately have to go after the 2nd amendment, and they’ll never get anywhere with that.

                  I don’t even think a democrat is likely to win the next election at the moment, so i’m not terribly fussed.

      4. The legislature was elected to legislate, the president was elected to preside. If the president legislates it must be ignored and if he objects, impeachment must follow.

    4. “And this is supposed to accomplish what?”

      Infuriate the militia movement types that make a living on the gun show circuit?

    5. It is supposed to force gun dealers who are required to do background checks to do background checks, duh!

      Next up: Outlawing murder.

    6. 1)Piss Charles Cooke off.
      2) Delight Mike Hiatt

    7. Show Charles Cooke that Obama had a plan all along and Mark Halperin was right all along.

      Big deal – Charles Cooke went Oxford. Big Fucking Deal.

    8. They have been completely stymied in achieving anything toward what they really want, and that is legislation along the lines of an Australian gun confiscation, which is their holy grail of public policy.

      So, in order to appear politically viable, there will be endless noise about what they want to do [invariably “common sense and reasonable…” God I have come to loathe those words] and then enacting, by fiat if necessary, meaningless regulations that will do nothing but appear to their uninformed base that they did something.

      Like the great Groucho said: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

    1. Open carry has always been legal in Ohio. You never see it anymore here though. When I was a kid you would occasionally see it. A couple years a ago some local cop pulled his gun on a guy open carrying because somehow the cop didn’t know it was legal.

  2. Harry gun sellers so that the guys on the margins drop out of the business.

  3. “Well, it will allow him to say he did something. Something that would have had no effect on any of the public tragedies allegedly inspiring the move”



  4. So, when can another president overturn his EO (presuming they would)?

    1. Yeah, but then why go to the trouble of electing Presidents when we could just start crowing them instead? Or maybe it’s Congress we should stop electing since the President doesn’t need them anymore?

      Welcome to the libertarian moment!

      1. Anybody else ever notice that “the libertarian moment” seems to look a lot like the totalitarian government in Brave New World

        It’s okay to get high and recreational sex is okay, encouraged even, but the government keeps getting bigger and stronger and more arbitrary.

        1. Unfortunately, most people who are OK with this don’t realize you’ll get Room 101 if you refuse to take your Soma.

        2. I’m not sold on the “libertarian moment” thingy, but it is encouraging that gun laws have generally gotten better in most of the country in the past decades.

        3. I believe Nick Gillespie is an agent for Team Statism.

          When he says “look, we’re getting more free because of gay marriage and legal pot”, but blatantly ignoring our greater loss of economic freedom, I can only think: it’s a damn conspiracy.

          1. Certainly does seem that Reason and its masterminds are just fine with government crawling up everybody’s ass, so long as it is everybody getting it in the ass,

            1. I don’t see that at all. The “libertarian moment” stuff is a bit silly. Obviously there isn’t a major shift towards radically smaller government going on. But I have no problem with them showing some optimism about the few positive things that are happening. Maybe it’s foolish optimism, but I see no reason to think it is meant to convince us that we shouldn’t be concerned about all of the ways things are not getting better.

          2. No more a conspiracy than the manners of a clique. They aren’t so much keeping anything secret as simply leaving you out of the loop.

        4. This.

          Most of the ‘victories’ the liberaltarians celebrate are really nothing more than permission to engage in things the government should have no business even noting, much less addressing.

          1. Most of the ‘victories’ the liberaltarians celebrate are really nothing more than permission to engage in things the government should have no business even noting, much less addressing.

            Yes! It’s what happens when egalitarianism is a first principle alongside (and in tension with) liberty.

            I, as a libertarian who hates progressivism in all of its forms, couldn’t care less about egalitarianism. Equality under the law is a facet of liberty. Egalitarianism is a facet of statism.

  5. Is Obama attempting to seal his legacy as the last Democrat who managed to get elected to office?

    1. If you think this is bad, just wait until you see what Hillary does.*

      *Since even if she is in jail, the Republican establishment will run someone who can lose to her.

    2. First black president assassinated.

      Disclaimer: not a threat.

      1. No wood chippers were mentioned or implied.

        1. Exactly

  6. “The White House signaled on Thursday that Obama may take executive action to require private dealers who sell a significant number of firearms to conduct background checks on buyers. Currently only dealers officially certified as “engaged in business” of firearms sales need conduct such checks.
    No such measure would have provided a safeguard in the Oregon shooting, in which a gunman killed nine people on campus on 1 October and injured nine others before taking his own life.
    The gunman, Chris Harper Mercer, had no criminal record and had passed background checks to amass an arsenal of 13 weapons.”…..bama-visit

    Even the Guardian admits it’s a PR effort at best.

    1. No such measure would have provided a safeguard in the Oregon shooting

      so when do honest reporters, and there have to still be some, question Obama’s intent since it is clearly not a prevention of the last thing that happened. Though a lot of laws and rules, especially those geared toward security, are designed at preventing the thing that has already happened.

  7. Another end run around Congress? Obama is Kim Davis on steroids.

    1. Kim Davis did her end run around a court order, not Congress.

      1. Also Kim Davis’ response was immediate.

        The GCA was enacted in 1968, in the intervening 46+ years nobody has really questioned the definition of being engaged in the business of selling firearms. Only now Obama wants to re-litigate it.

  8. If you’ve lost the ATF…

  9. So his EO stands if congress can’t override it or is it on you mark, get set, go for the lawyers? What keeps the next president from restricting any damn constitutional protection he/she wants? Anti-abortion EO? You’re welcome to override it. An EO that violates the first or fourth amendments? Go ahead and try to override it chumps.

    How the hell is this either democracy or republicanism?

    1. Couldnyou imagine if a Republican President issues an EO to cut taxes, reform Social Security or repeal Obamacare?

      1. mass rioting that would make the Occupy riots look like nursing home bingo

        1. That’s cause they don’t have to go to work

        2. Said riots accomplishing even less than Occupy.

          If not for the grossly un Constitutional executive overreach aspect I’d say bring it on.

    2. This EO probably doesn’t even do anything. Is there somebody selling 50 guns a year as a private party?

      1. Yes.

        A couple years I sold a gun on Arm’s List to a guy who apparently does just that – buys and sells guns, but isn’t a dealer.


        1. How would the ATF know if he sold 48 vs 52 guns?

          How many people in that niche really give a shit about whether they are allowed to sell 60?

          I have a bit of trouble with some dude telling me he flips guns like a used car dealer and isn’t an FFL. Becomes really tedious to do that without access to the ability to ship firearms.

          1. The ATF can’t keep track of how many guns they sold to Mexican gangs, so of course they can keep track of this.

            1. The ATF knew exactly how many guns it sold and to whom. They just found it uncomfortable to have to cough up the details when they got called on it. Somehow, under the current administration, “I dunno” counts as ?n excusable response for government agents who are caught screwing the pooch.

  10. legally required to perform a federally mandated background check

    what a headache inducing phrase.

  11. The hilarity is that if you do make money selling firearms, you are already supposed to get an FFL. It’s right there in the Gun Control Act of 1968. Then you’d have NICS access, and be able to do the background checks.

    The ATF and federal prosecutors are not interested in pursuing “unlicensed dealers”, just like they are not interested in pursuing “straw dealers” or felon-in-possession cases.

    What they *are* interested in is harassing legal businesses and legal gunowners.

    1. Which businesses are they going to harass? Businesses selling guns already have to have FFL.

      1. They harass the shit out of FFLs. Too many of your customers use the initials for their states instead of writing it out, or some similar penny-ante bullshit mistake like that? Paperwork violation, lose your FFL. They went particularly hard after small dealers who operated out of their houses during the Clinton Administration. The number of FFL’s plummeted, making it harder to find someone to buy a gun from.

        1. Aren’t FFLs supposed to examine the customer input on the forms and require that the customer correct any mistakes (like abbreviating the state) before proceeding with the sale?

          1. The paperwork and NICS check takes some time, during which a dealer may need to help other customers. They can’t catch single undotted “i” or uncrossed fucking “t”. There’s also the problem that customers who need to restart an entire form for a stupid mistake like that may get annoyed and decide to go buy somewhere else. If it were something to do with the few questions that really matter, it would be one thing, but they also go after the ones that really, really don’t matter, like the aforementioned abbreviation for states (everyone knows what the fuck the abbreviation for states mean, everyone uses them, and there is no damn reason to insist on writing them out, but the ATF does used to, anyway; they’ve apparently stopped that particular insanity since the last time I bought a gun through a dealer).

    2. Making money is not the definition in the GCA. Plenty of collectors will turn a profit on a sale, that does not mean they are running a business.

  12. How many people are selling 50 or more guns a year without an FFL licence?

    Not only would this be ineffective, it’s not clear that anybody would be affected. It seems pretty harmless.

    1. Harmless until an additional EO is used to further restrict in an arbitrary manner. They’re testing the waters for an incremental approach. If they can pare it down to an arbitrary number, they can pare it down to another arbitrary number.

      1. 50 is so high that it may not affect any private sellers. Once they drop it to a number that actually affects people, they will run into immediate resistance.

        1. Rather than waiting for that to happen let’s just follow the law as written.

          Or go to Congress if you want a re-write.

    2. Lot’s of people.

      The trade in used guns is brisk. Buy one, try it out for a while, sell it on. Its easy to reach the 50 gun limit.

  13. OT: Curious whether anyone (including Reason) is following this story – zero information in the local news here. I did hear that “commenters” on the Facebook page of the accused were “banned for life” from Pokemon tournaments.…..c75d4.html

    1. The first paragraph:

      Two men from Iowa made online threats against Pokemon competitors ? referring to the Boston Marathon bombings and the Columbine High School massacre ? then drove 25 hours to Boston, where they were stopped as they tried to register for the World Pokemon Championships, police said Monday.

      rosecutors also said Norton, when barred from accessing a chatroom that he was banned from for bullying another person, stated, “Oh, ok, that’s fine then I will just shoot him on Friday thanks.”

      Is the Pokemans that intense?

      1. Bright looking pair of fellas, aren’t they?

        1. I do hate simple stereotyping, but they do look like the type of guys who would do what they have been accused of doing.

      2. Does anybody REALLY need a 3.44 x 2.44 inch Assault Pikachu card?

    2. So is Pokeman a card game or a video game?

      1. Started as cards, now is both.

  14. BTW, ALL of the Obo/Roseburg coverage mentioned the protesters and reading between the lines, I’m guessing they outnumbers the welcomers by some margin.…..p;=-1&sk;=
    For a narcissistic ego like his, more commonly surrounded by fawning sycophants, that must not have been comfortable.
    Whatever pork Oregon has in the pipeline is probably DOA as of this afternoon.

    1. The dumbass made the mistake of going to one of the few parts of western Oregon that reliably votes Republican. If he didn’t expect it, he should have.

      1. Just a guess, but maybe his staff figured the shootings were enough to change minds there, and he could score real points by ‘converting’ them.

  15. When this does not stop murder just you wait. BHO will make it illegal to buy a car without a background check, so all the stupid posts of his idiot followers on Facebook will come true.

  16. And aren’t we fortunate: We taxpayers got to fly Obo to Seattle for a 5 minute speech at some congress-critter’s pocket-picking and then off he goes!
    “UPDATES: I-5 lanes close as president departs Seattle”…..ies/nnyry/
    I believe SF is the next location to be blessed by his presence.

    1. But how much psychic pleasure did the populace receive by simply knowing the savior was nearby. Modern economics includes such things, Sevo.

      1. I know that I’ll sleep well tonight knowing the anointed one is close by! Yes, I will!

        1. Sleeping at the foot of Mount Doom means you don’t need a blanket. Are you ready to feel the Bern?

    2. Good thing he is showing up places where nobody drives. Or is it they just don’t want the rest of us to drive?

  17. Weirdly, I’ve never been in the same country at the same time as Obama. Not a conscious choice, but I think it’s because I’m repulsed by goodness.

  18. OT: For his next trick, maybe BHO can outlaw Homosexual Misogyny

    1. Sargon is great but I just don’t care enough about identity politics to watch that whole thing. Got the gist. Another precious snowflake believes whole world revolves around them.

      1. So you didn’t make it to the Greek pederasty lesson?

        1. No. Got through the hierarchy of oppression part. Maybe 3 or 4 minutes.

            1. I watch it tomorrow if you think it’s worth it. I’m familiar with the concept. Sparta and all that.

              1. The fashion industry segment is worth the whole video.

                1. That’s cool thanks. I’m crashing but will check it out in am. Have a good night.

    2. I have learned that “Gays need to stop pretending to be Strong Black Women

      Really. Apparently that’s supposed to be a thing.

      1. What if they *are* strong black women?

        Or what if they *identify* as strong black women, regardless of their pale complexion and dangly bits?

        1. I think the rules are that men can identify as women, but white people can’t as anything but white.

          Anyone of mixed race can pick a race, but they are automatically white if they kill someone.

          1. So…Obama is white on account of all the war and stuff?

      2. Well, from what I have heard, there are actually stage performances featuring exactly this. Sounds like a karaoke type affair with fancy costumes, pageants and such.

  19. Oh, I can’t wait to see those lawsuits fly! Bring it on, Barry.

  20. Obama apparently hates congressional Democrats as much as he hates guns.

    1. That should have been obvious when he sacrificed congress to push through Obamacare which the majority of the people opposed. POS.

  21. I’m an apathetic agnostic on this issue– partly because, outside of invading and occupying other people’s countries– I don’t have a particular animus against government officials and/or am not concocting a plan to shoot up my local ATF office. Thus, my apathy.

    I’m agnostic because I don’t know if isolated gun control laws in cities like Chicago will reduce gun violence, but maybe here’s where I differ. I also don’t make frivolous and unsupported claims that a populace of locked-and-loaded gun toters would stop nuts from killing elementary kids.

    I’m not saying its a perfect analogy, but maybe if we just waged a public health battle against ownership of guns in the same way we waged a public health battle against tobacco we’d have less people dying tragic deaths at the hands of nuts that are armed to the teeth with military-style weapons. I don’t know for sure if gun control laws will work but it’s better than just heaving the issue over to right-wingers whose only response is to shrug and say shit happens. The exact distance that some Republican asshole hunches up his shoulders or throws up his arms in a gesture of futility is probably directly correlated to how much money said asshole is getting from the NRA.

    1. “Military-style weapons”

      Meaningless, loaded term. The vast, vast majority of gun murders are committed with handguns. Dishonest as usual.

      1. Brian “Nigga, please.”

    2. How can you not know whether gun controls work? Is this some sort of deliberate avoidance of real world data?

      Socialism has never been tried!

      1. You should take your dilemma up with Reason mag when they take data sets that are subject to many variables that can’t easily be analyzed or parsed, discount the data they don’t like, post an article on how minimum wages cost people jobs from The Wall Street Journal editorial page, and then move onto discussions as to how liberals can be so heartless to the working poor. There’s a lot of psychoanalyzing of Leftists in the comments section when they do this– mostly concluding that SJWs are clinically narcissistic.

  22. Impeach this petty tyrant

  23. It’s pretty bad when your conservative mayor has to remind you not to be rude……..-news&_r=0

    I think we should reexamine a hypothesis– meaning a conjecture based on supporting evidence– that some of the reason why old White people are lined up along the street to protest “Chocolate Nixon” (your words, not mine) is the continuing fact that Obama is Black. I know this theory has been thoroughly debunked by people like Glenn Beck and that false charges of racism form 86 out of the 87 pillars in which libruls are persecuting conservatives, but I’m for getting at the truth of the subject no matter where it lies.

    1. I wish this wasn’t just complete babble so I could at least get the satisfaction that I just read a complete thought. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.

    2. There, there, AmSoc: You know the left is winning when it has to resort to the race card.

      *wipes tear from AmSoc’s shriveled cheek*

      1. Do you feel persecuted? I don’t.

        Also, I’m not paranoid enough to keep a loaded AK-47 in my house to fend off a.)a home break-in or b.) jack-booted thugs from the government. Both of these things are highly unlikely so, like getting hit on the head by a meteor, I don’t worry about them too much.

        1. I don’t really worry about the government telling me what I can and can’t say. So why not repeal the first amendment?

          Oh, wait…

          1. I enjoy mangoes, but don’t like squash. How about you, Brian?

            1. Mangos: the fruit of the poor working man.

              1. Ouch. You can’t win with Randian free market fetishists. Socialist rich/poor=hypocrite/loser. Oh well, can I just reduce the equation to conservative rich/poor=asshole/moron?

        2. Do you wear a seatbelt?

        3. You ever actually fired an AK-47? They are FUN AS SHIT.

  24. Reason is always all about polls, and elected representatives doing what the clear majority of Americans want. Drug laws, for example. Here is Brian himself citing a survey he likes:…

    Exceptions, of course, are only for the things that Reason stands at odds with in the opinion of Americans.…..gun-sales/

    85% of Americans want expanded background checks, Brian. What, you don’t like that survey?

    The President is only doing what the overwhelming majority of the American people want. Good for him.

    1. I seem to recall an article from that right-wing rage Mother Jones pointing out the flaws in that survey…

      1. rage rag

      2. Flaws. Just for those surveys you don’t like. And who knew…you think Mother Jones speaks for the American people!

    2. How about this, Jack: if an overwhelming majority of Americans want to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms, then it can pass a constitutional amendment neutering the Second. You know, the government can act lawfully for once.

      1. How about it indeed, double. Your typing fingers to God’s eyes.

  25. 85% of Americans want expanded background checks, Brian.

    Whatever you think of Congress, politicians can count votes.

    If 85% of Americans wanted expanded background checks Manchin-Toomey would have gone through the Senate like a rifle bullet through an apple.

    If 85% of Americans wanted expanded background checks, and Congress failed to pass them, at least a majority of the states would have passed some version.

    Didn’t happen. in fact, most states have recently expanded gun rights.

    If reality contradicts a survey, don’t bet on the survey.

    1. Surveys are shitty measures of what “the people” want, anyway, especially when it comes to actual policy. For example, most Americans think the federal government spends too much money. However, with the exception of foreign aid, those same Americans oppose cutting spending on any specific program – and for some programs, they want to increase spending.

      Even if most Americans want “expanded background checks,” if you list the actual tradeoffs that will be incurred from implementing such checks, most Americans recoil.

      Everyone likes free stuff until he or she has to pay for it.

      1. Surveys are shitty measures of what “the people” want, anyway, especially when it comes to actual policy anything at all.

        Surveys are flawed on a number of levels. Anybody who uses public polling to justify their pet project is either ignorant or playing on the ignorance of others.

        1. You don’t read Reason much, eh? They cite polls ALL the time to support their viewpoint. Even the author of the article. See my link.

          1. And the readers of Reason continue to laugh at them- see all the jokes about “millennials”. Do you think the “people who respond to pollsters” and “the people who say Fuck off, asshole” have similar views on gov’t?

    2. They can count? Gee, maybe you will want to tell Reason that the next time they quote numbers on favorability of Obamacare. Or drug penalties. Guess they cant count on those opinions. No repeal of Obamacare, and still a war on drugs.

      1. Gee, maybe you will want to tell Reason that the next time they quote numbers on favorability of Obamacare. Or drug penalties. Guess they cant count on those opinions.

        Yep, even when Reason uses public polling numbers, the numbers are shit. Public polling isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

        1. Fair enough. At least you aren’t selective. Reason is.

  26. Form 4473:

    Question 16. Certification Definition of Engaged in the Business: Under 18 U.S.c. ? 922 (a)(I), it is unlawful for a person to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. A person is engaged in the business of dealing in firearm if he or she devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms. A license is not required of a person who only makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his or her personal collection of firearms.

    The stupidly useless part of this whole kerfuffle is that if a DoJ prosecutor read the above to a jury, then said, “Mr. Bluesteel here bought tables at four gun shows last year, purchased and sold fifty guns, and according to his Form 1040 made $50 per gun. He’s a dealer, and he refused to get a FFL, and because he purchased from a FFL for the purpose of selling to a non-FFL each transaction is a straw purchase,” the jury would convict without leaving the box.

    1. Yeah. I think anyone who buys a table at a gun show to sell guns without a background check is going to get fubarred by a jury. You do it one time to unload grandpa’s estate then fine. Do it every year and you are a dealer.

      If I were on a jury and saw evidence that a dude with a gun show booth sold guns to a felon, I would convict him.

      1. I guess your experiences with selling guns at a gun show must be extremely limited. Just “unloading Grampa’s estate” – let’s say a dozen firearms – isn’t likely to happen unless you price them way below market value. Selling a dozen average guns at market value will probably take 3 or 4 gun shows.

  27. Is it really that hard to get an FFL? The biggest complaint I hear is that the ATF revokes them from people who don’t sell enough guns. Seems awkward to turn around and start prosecuting the low level dealer who recently was on your purge list.

    People like to hold an FFL to facilitate shipments and class iii items.

    1. Yes, it has become increasingly difficult to get and keep an FFL.

      My dealer runs his business out of his home. He sells a good volume of product but the BATFE has been hounding him to open up a storefront. He cannot justify the huge expense of renting and outfitting a gun shop, not to mention the time he would have to commit to being there to run it.

      Even if he wanted to do what the BATFE is pushing him to do there is no reason to expect the market will expand to meet his need to sell enough guns to cover his increased overhead.

  28. Actually, why not set up a DIY nics check that private sellers could use. I run it online. Print out the receipt and buyer and seller each keep a copy with the bill of sale.

    Sorry, I guess the goal is not to make it easier to sell guns.

  29. Given that not one person I know would be interested in this little passage, I’m posting it here. From Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory, by Randall Collins:

    “Victims of bullying do not usually go on to become bullies, in part because they follow another pathway: this may well be a source of libertarians. Persons who most dislike the experience of total institutions are often the persons who upon release (or graduation) become principled anti-authoritarians…On an individual level, bullying does not perpetuate itself by a cycle of reversal; its determinants are in the institutional context.”

    Personally, my distrust of institutions certainly has its genesis in my observations of teachers and school administrators, how they tolerated bullying among students and were not averse to engaging in some bullying of students themselves. In fact, they would always rather oppress those who attempted to stand up for themselves any again abuses. My general distrust of people who wield power has the same origins.

    In my freshman year of college, my high school principal began an PhD program in education at my university. I would not speak to that corrupt old cow when I saw her on campus. It felt great to ignore her.

  30. Obama can have my gun when he pries my cold dead dick out of his mouth!

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