An “Open letter to all Federal Firearms Licensees” released Wednesday by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Firearms and Explosives Industry Division Chief Chad J. Yoder fulfills one of the 23 executive actions President Barack Obama announced at Wednesday’s signing, but does so by pressuring dealers who are dependent on ATF approval for their economic survival to “volunteer,” while increasing their liability and exposure for infractions.
“Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers” Obama said, not making clear he was going to be making a special effort to capture transactions between same-state residents. Current federal law requires going through an FFL if conducting a transfer between residents of different states.
The entire effort is based on the (stated) presumption that private sellers and purchasers within the same state will wish to have their transaction recorded with the federal government and pay a fee for the privilege. That the chances dangerous criminals who cause the violence problems would want to stick their heads in that noose hover between slim and none should, just at a surface glance, demonstrate the ridiculousness of such an assumption. That does not, however, mean this effort is something to be dismissed and ignored as an Obama PR sop. That would be a mistake, because as ineffectual as this will prove in achieving stated goals, it still presents real dangers for everyone but the criminals, something the administration knows that full well.
First, there’s the matter of conditioning dealers and their customers that in-state sales between residents require federal approval, record-keeping and fees, an administration goal, to be sure, but not the law. Still, if enough people accept this intrusion on a voluntary basis, they won’t feel like…
Most polls show that a common ground between gun control folks and Second Amendment folks is the topic of mental health. Most of us believe that people who are mentally ill should not have guns. But the devil is always in the details. President Obama signed an executive order, “Directing the Attorney General to work with other agencies to review our laws to make sure they are effective at identifying the dangerous or untrustworthyindividuals that should not have access to guns.”
DANGEROUS OR UNTRUSTWORTHY?? What does that mean and who gets to make the determination?
UNTRUSTWORTHY. By whose standards? The guy who won’t give us straight answers on Fast and Furious gets to say who’s trustworthy? Or how about Juan Williams, Fox TV contributor, who made a comment that agencies should be able to share information. It sounded logical until he said, “Like Social Security. I mean, if you can’t handle your money, maybe you shouldn’t have a gun.” When I heard that, I said, “And so it begins…”
DANGEROUS. Will this mean anyone who has ever sought help for depression, whether from the death of a family member or the “baby blues”? Anyone who has ever had trouble sleeping? What about those who have ever been on medication? Will there be a review process, or once a person is designated ineligible for a firearm will they always be ineligible? How many children, particularly boys, will now be declared mentally ill because parents were pressured to medicate them or the child would be kicked out of school? Will this be used against these kids later, preventing them from having access to guns? Most don’t have a mental illness they are just normal, active kids that don’t want to just SIT for six hours every day!
Will untrustworthy mean all those who watch or work for Fox, listen to Rush or watch Glenn Beck? Will it mean all non-Democrats? How about any Independent or Democrat who isn’t left-leaning enough? How far can it go? That’s just the problem with these vague statements that give the GOVERNMENTall the power and ability to decide the criteria. Considering that Obama calls nearly half of Americans, “the enemy,” these are extremely important questions to ask.
Keep a very close eye on these discussions. Look carefully at the wording of all new bills as they are introduced. Pick all recommendations apart, demand clarifying answers to vague statements. Let’s not be blindly led into the emotional canyon surrounding the mental health discussion. We will be called names as usual, told we want children to die and are willing to protect crazy people just so we can keep our guns. It will be said we are being unreasonable or obstructive just for asking for common sense discussion. Remember, though, that’s just the typical emotional bullying tactic used to try to silence us. This is no different than the concern over the label of “assault weapons” that seems to be changing or worrying that if 10-round magazines are banned, what size or type will be next. While it may not pertain to you at this moment, beware – YOU may be the next enemy to be labeled dangerous or untrustworthy.