Julie Frost, SFF writer (agilebrit) wrote,
Julie Frost, SFF writer

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Dear Mr. President: Why should I take YOU seriously about enforcing gun laws?

You know what they say about the road to Hell? That being said, at this point, I don't even think I can credit you with good intentions. You once again touted the "2 million people who shouldn't have had guns were stopped with background checks, huzzah!" statistic, but when you drill down into the actual numbers, you get this for the first two years of your administration:

2009: Total denials: 67,324. Referred for prosecution: 140. Guilty Plea or Conviction: 32.

2010: Total denials: 76,142. Referred for prosecution: 62. Guilty Plea or Conviction: 13.

That's right. 143,466 denied. 202 prosecuted. 43 either pled out or convicted. .0014%. Notice that the raw number of denials in 2010 was nearly 9,000 higher than in 2009, but the number referred for prosecution was less than half.

Are you seriously positing that your justice department--the same justice department that "masterminded" an international gun-walking scheme for which no one has received so much as a slap on the wrist--is going to suddenly start enforcing NICS violations because you've got a bug up your ass and issued an executive order about it?

WHY? Shouldn't they already be enforcing the fucking law? Oh, wait, I forgot. Your administration would rather flout our laws (See: the border) than enforce them.

I'm not going to take this point by point because it's tiresome and I'm sure other people will address it better than I can. But I'm going to get a few salient things off my chest.

1. Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks.

Well, no shit, Sherlock. We already have that in place. I've purchased guns at gunbroker.com. They had to go through an FFL before they got into my hands. I had to fill out your four-page form. We don't need you to lecture us about it.

Quantity and frequency of sales are relevant indicators. There is no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement. But it is important to note that even a few transactions, when combined with other evidence, can be sufficient to establish that a person is “engaged in the business.” For example, courts have upheld convictions for dealing without a license when as few as two firearms were sold or when only one or two transactions took place, when other factors also were present. (bolding mine)

What other factors? Are you kidding me with this? If I buy a gun, keep the packaging, and then a month later decide that I found one I like better and thus sell it (perhaps at a profit because I'm not stupid, and, hey, you're creating demand, so thanks for that!) with the packaging and instructions (because I do tend to keep stuff like that even for my electronics), this makes me an ex post facto "dealer" who's "engaged in business"? What?

And, no, I do not trust you to differentiate between a drug dealer thug who runs guns to his friends, and me, when you have shown absolutely no inclination to differentiate between a violent thug and a cop doing his duty--and, in fact, treated the cop far worse than you would have the thug. You haven't earned that much trust, and never will at this point.

Ensure smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws. In a call earlier today, the Attorney General discussed the importance of today’s announcements and directed the Nation’s 93 U.S. Attorneys across the country to continue to focus their resources—as they have for the past several years under the Department’s Smart on Crime initiative—on the most impactful cases, including those targeting violent offenders, illegal firearms traffickers, and dangerous individuals who bypass the background check system to acquire weapons illegally.

Oh, puh-lease. See above. Show me some more recent numbers to prove this is actually true. Until then, I call bullshit. Start enforcing the laws we already have (which might actually prove effective) before you throw up a bunch of new laws that you will then proceed not to enforce--and then bray about how we need yet more laws... which you will then also not enforce. Then you will use the lack of enforcement to "prove" that we should just ban guns altogether. You think we don't know how this works?

In the event of an emergency, victims of domestic violence should call 911 or otherwise contact state or local law enforcement officials, who have a broader range of options for responding to these crimes.

Right. Because when seconds count, law enforcement is minutes away, and will arrive in time to bag my dead body. But, hey, at least I didn't shoot anyone while they were beating me to death!

I will never, God willing, be the victim of domestic violence. My husband is one of the Good Guys. But if I were in danger of such, the last thing I would need is some fatuous prick in the White House who is surrounded by armed guards 24/7 telling me to "just call 911."

We must continue to remove the stigma around mental illness and its treatment...

Sounds good, until you drop down and see:

Although States generally report criminal history information to NICS, many continue to report little information about individuals who are prohibited by Federal law from possessing or receiving a gun for specific mental health reasons. Some State officials raised concerns about whether such reporting would be precluded by the Privacy Rule issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Today, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule expressly permitting certain HIPAA covered entities to provide to the NICS limited demographic and other necessary information about these individuals.

Oh, so we can violate HIPAA on your whim. Got it.

Look, if someone is actually adjudicated mentally ill and a danger to themselves or others, they should not have a firearm. I am wholly behind that, because Due Process has been met. But if I talk to a therapist while I'm going through some shit and idly bring up suicidal ideation, that is between me and my therapist. You are not going to get people to seek the help they need if they think they're going to be reported to law enforcement over it. So, congrats, you've just made it so that people look at this and go "ha, no, not going to therapy." Awesome.

I will give you this: At least there's nothing in this press release about your stupid, stupid statement about people on no-fly lists being able to buy guns. Considering the fact that a person can be placed the no-fly list without even knowing it until they show up at the airport, and having violated no law, I don't see how it's in your or Congress's power to deny those people a Constitutional right. I mean, you wouldn't tell them they couldn't, say, write a blog post, or go to church... would you? Would you break into their house without a warrant?

Well, maybe you would. Because, after all, this is an administration that has weaponized the IRS against its perceived political enemies, lied repeatedly to the American people about all manner of things, sucked up to our enemies and shat on our friends, and can't seem to keep its big fat Federal nose out of things that should by all rights be local law enforcement issues.
Tags: guns, open letters, politics, rants
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