Tuesday, February 14, 2017

We're Number One... In gun violence

In response to gun industry pressure, a veil was draped over tracing data:
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) introduced the amendment that blocked all gun tracing data.   Under the law, investigators cannot reveal federal firearms tracing information that shows how often a dealer sells guns that end up seized in crimes. The law effectively shields retailers from lawsuits, academic study and public scrutiny. It also keeps the spotlight off the relationship between rogue gun dealers and the black market in firearms.  Such information used to be available under a simple Freedom of Information Act request. But in 2003, under pressure from the gun lobby, Congress blacked out the information by passing the so-called Tiahrt amendment, named for Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). The law removed from the public record a government database that traces guns recovered in crimes back to the dealers.

Oh, and BTW, bad as the Tiahrt idea was, it wasn’t even a bill that got meaningful debate.  It was a rider on an appropriations bill.  This is how crap like this happens.  A Congressman will wait for some really important bill to come along, a really good one that everyone wants to happen, then he’ll add his little, sneaky, ugly, nasty, despicable amendment to it.  TA DA! The will of the NRA is done, and he can pick up his check (or cash) from the lobbyist.

And in case you haven’t connected the dots on this one, remember that banning the government from reporting any data on all weapons, stops any meaningful analysis of their impact on society.  It stops NGOs and Universities from conducting research (grants) and further stifles meaningful debate.  Freedom of Information inquiries (a law) are powerless.  Yay, Todd Tiahrt!  We should put up a monument to you - in a cemetery.

NRA: Their strategy has been along to promote gun ownership, increase the number of guns, increase the profits of gun manufacturers... Who's to say that this isn't working? Who's to say that a massacre or two doesn't advance this goal?  Especially, since now they want your tax dollar$ to purchase guns, train teachers and armed guards and cover the guards salaries, and benefits, in every school in America, essentially turning our schools into the National Guard and not too subtle proselytizing for gun ownership to the next generation. And they worry about "tyranny".

You can not govern if your can't weigh options and choose new directions.  All those who have taken a pledge to never raise taxes are abrogating their responsibility to make policy that is capable of change in a changing world.  They should be removed from office by the ballot box.  Wingnuts shouldn't be allowed to own guns.  It's a self fulfilling prophesy, if you scream: "They're going to take away our guns!"  loudly enough, someone might want to take away you guns.  There was a guy in Grottoes, VA a few years back who was sure that the small planes flying over his house were scoping him out to take his guns.  So he shot at the planes.  Guess what happened. 

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