Sunday, September 01, 2013

Kudos to Obama

I am not a big fan of Presidents in general, believing that the Giant Amoeba we call the "U.S. Government" is where the power really is, but I have to give Obama credit for doing what he individually can to move our country from one with about the same number of homicides per year as Colombia and Russia, to one with laws more like other industrialized nations.  Without a big Special Report, the Obama administration quietly announced two new executive actions on gun control Thursday morning.

The first prevents those who are not eligible to purchase a gun (felons, for example) from registering firearms in a corporation's name.  Now, anyone associated with the corporation must undergo a background check.  Small progress, but I'll take it.

The second is a no-brainer.  It prevents anyone from bringing back into the U.S. military-grade weapons that have been given to U.S. allies (like the rebels in Syria).  We may not be able to protect Syrian citizens, but these guns won't be used to kill American kids.  

A majority of Americans are in favor of expanded background checks, and it will be interesting to see whether those in Congress who voted against any kind of sensible gun policy will be re-elected.

"The president's actions are definitely a good step toward keeping public attention that Congress hasn't acted yet," Hatalsky said. "They've done everything they can do without Congress, and the things that they can still do are pretty small."

She added that continuing incidents of gun violence also promise to keep the issue alive in the months to come, as Congress reconvenes.  The most recent, of course, being the teens who shot and killed the Australian baseball player. "With a motive that's both chilling and simple – to break up the boredom of an Oklahoma summer – three teenagers randomly targeted an Australian collegiate baseball player who was attending school in the U.S. and killed him for fun, prosecutors said Tuesday as they charged two of the boys with murder."   

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