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Barack Obama should offer up the federal assault weapons ban in favor of closing the gun show loophole and better regulation of the interstate gun trade.

Assumption #1:  No law is perfect

No law will stop all murder or violence, gun, hammer, or otherwise.  Nothing can stop the next mass shooting, because it will happen.  But something has stopped a lot of other mass shootings:  law and society.

For every Adam Lanza out there, there have been countless others who have contemplated, drew up plans, started gathering supplies and knowledge, scouted out positions, recruited followers and otherwise started down the path to a mass shooting who have stopped themselves or been stopped by the outside forces of law and society before those plans were taken into action.  The best a law can be hoped to do is lessen the occurrence of the undesired act.

Assumption #2:  The 2nd Amendment is not the issue.

The measures being contemplated by the Administration are not unconstitutional.  Most of them have been or are currently law in one form or another and, until the Supreme Court says otherwise, should be considered fair game.

Assumption #3:  Assault weapons are not the issue.

While assault weapons have been use in some mass shootings, they are not the only weapons used in mass shootings, let alone the majority of gun violence.

Assumption #4:  Gun owners are good people.

Most of the people who are opposed to the assault weapons ban are not deranged people intent on overthrowing the liberal fascist communist nazi multicultural new world order black helicopter global government.  Most of the people opposed to changes in gun laws are perfectly respectable, law abiding citizens who happen to like guns and have nothing to do with gun trafficking or shooting people.  They are not the problem.

Assumption #5:  The practical problem is lax oversight on gun sales and gun trafficking.

The real problem is that it is easy to get guns and sell them across state lines.  At least that's what the police in my hometown say.

Assumption #6:  The political problem is people like oversight, they don't like bans.

The resistance to an assault weapons ban is regional, while better monitoring of gun sales and trafficking is more broadly supported.

Forget your own personal ideas about the gun debate.  We are here to get Democrats elected.
I think the heart of the problem right now, the true evil in the gun lobby paranoia, is interstate gun commerce.  Guns flow from the states with the weakest gun laws to states with the strongest gun laws.  And the NRA has interfered in the federal government's ability to do anything about it.  Lowest common denominator is not how state's rights is supposed to work.

There should be federal oversight on gun sales and trafficking.  Types of weapons available should be at the prerogative of the states.  As long as the federal government is tracking sales of weapons and can keep weapons that are banned in my state out of my state (with reference to Assumption #1), I don't see the need to have a federal assault weapons ban.

By focusing in on background checks, sales, and trafficking and abandoning an attempt to "ban guns" Obama would go a long way toward diffusing the issue.

Saying you only want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, then saying you want to ban a type of gun I or someone I know owns means to me you think I'm a crazy person or potential criminal because I want to own that type of gun.

But if you say you just want to monitor gun sales to make sure they don't fall into the hands of the wrong people, I will be much more likely to not just accept but support what you are doing.

If we want to fight this divisive issue, let's do it right.  I do not want to thwart the will of gun owners in other states, I just want the gun laws of my state upheld.

If we really want to make gains in 2014, an off year election where we have to play offense on the Republican's turf, we should be making every effort not to antagonize gun owners.  Most of them see the debate, they see the news, they know something is going to happen.  Let's take the amorphous "assault weapons" ban off the table and focus on things that will actually put a dent in gun violence.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:18:26 PM PST

  •  Oh, forgot this story (0+ / 0-)

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:24:37 PM PST

    •  slothlax - I think this is where things might end (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There aren't the votes in the Senate or the House to pass a new AWB so I understand your view that the POTUS wouldn't really lose anything in the bargain. However, the current optics require him to at least propose a new AWB although the talking heads on PBS have stated that the administration understands that an AWB isn't going to happen in the 113th Congress and will focus on some of the other items you noted.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:59:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  nope (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    he's going to get the latter regardless, he might as well try for the former, too.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 12:18:15 AM PST

    •  Assuming you mean the last sentance... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper, buddabelly

      no he shouldn't.  Just because you want it to happen doesn't make it smart politics or good policy.  Antagonizing people for no good reason is terrible politics and banning things that are not the heart of the problem is terrible policy

      There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

      by slothlax on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 01:08:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's good policy and it's smart policy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and it's good for the country. if some people are antagonized, that's their problem. people were antagonized by obamacare, too. and banning assault weapons is getting to the heart of the problem.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 01:42:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Considering an "assault weapon" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Canis Aureus, happy camper

          is whatever a politician decides it is, I'd have to disagree.

          "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

          by kestrel9000 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 02:55:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well there's my quibble with you perhaps (0+ / 0-)

            I agree that an "assault weapon" is an ambiguous category and I think the states should be allowed to decide what kind of weapons they allow in their borders.  As long as the federal government is empowered to oversee the movement of weapons over state borders.

            There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

            by slothlax on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 03:01:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  What problem? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Canis Aureus, happy camper

          Most gun violence is not carried out with assault weapons, so its not smart policy.  And "some" people will not be antagonized by this, a lot of people we need to win back the House will be antagonized by an assault weapon ban, so its not smart politics.  Where is the smart policy and the smart politics here exactly?

          There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

          by slothlax on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 02:57:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Banning a weapon (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jon Says

          that is used in less than 4% of gun homicides is not getting to the heart of the problem. It's a feel good measure that will not have the intended effect.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:04:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'll put it another way (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Canis Aureus, happy camper, VClib

      My whole point is that he can get the latter and doesn't need the former.  So he should take better oversight and regulation while telling gun owners he knows they aren't the problem.

      There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

      by slothlax on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 03:12:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, Egalitare, VClib, slothlax

    I think he's using AWB not so much as a bargaining chip, but as a wedge to expand the leftward edge of the Overton Window.

    He's not going to get AWB in this Congress. Nor will he get the magazine ban. Too many Republicans value their seats.

    But he'll get almost all of the rest of his proposals, and that could go a long way toward curbing violent crime.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 05:57:11 AM PST

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