My take on the news of the day. I don't profess to be an expert, and I welcome any constructive and civilized discussion.
- Address legal barriers
in health laws that bar some states from making available information
about people who are prohibited from having guns. Sounds great on the surface, but who decides what information is
released? And what information would count as ‘needing to be released”?
- Improve incentives for
states to share information with the background check system. OK.
- Make sure that federal
agencies share relevant information with the background check system. OK, I guess. Does that mean the
Veterans Administration should share information about veterans who may
have PTSD or may suffer from depression? I am concerned about where that
- Direct the attorney
general to work with other agencies to review existing laws to make sure
they can identify individuals who shouldn't have access to guns. Sure, we can identify them. But how do
you keep some street thug from acquiring any weapon that they want? You
- Direct the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and other research agencies to conduct
research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. OK. But let’s also do research into the
causes and prevention of all sorts of violence, including domestic
violence, that involves knives, bare hands, and other weapons. Let’s also
fund CDCP to conduct other research into what hurts and kills Americans,
like disease and other injuries.
- Clarify that no federal
law prohibits doctors or other health care providers from contacting authorities
when patients threaten to use violence. OK, as long as they have threatened violence, not because they
have some sort of mental disease. While we are at it, let’s clarify that
attorney-client privilege does not prevent an attorney from releasing the
- Give local communities
the opportunity to hire up to 1,000 school resource officers and
counselors. Sounds great. But who is
going to pay for it? The federal government does not have the money (well,
they do, but they will not release it from other pet projects), the state
does not have the money (see the same dilemma with the federal
government), and local governments don’t have it since they are already
strapped with trying to provide basic service now to the citizens.
- Require federal law
enforcement to trace all recovered guns. OK.
- Propose regulations that
will enable law enforcement to run complete background checks before
returning firearms that have been seized. So if they seize a firearm, why did they seize it? Did they not
investigate it then?
- Direct the Justice
Department to analyze information on lost and stolen guns and make that
information available to law enforcement. OK.
- Provide training for state
and local law enforcement, first responders and school officials on how to
handle active-shooter situations. Not
sure where the money is going to come from, but if we are going to do
that, let’s not make it an option. Make sure that the lessons learned in
Columbine and Aurora and other incidents are applied to ensure that local
agencies are able to take the necessary steps to address these situations.
- Make sure every school
has a comprehensive emergency management plan. OK. This sounds like basic common sense, anyway.
- Help ensure that young
people get needed mental health treatment. Just young people? How about make sure that mental health
treatment is available to anyone who needs it and stop the wholesale
dismantling of mental health care programs, like what has happened in my
- Ensure that health
insurance plans cover mental health benefits. It all comes back to money and who is going to pay for it.
However, a lot of the people that I have encountered over the years that
needed mental health treatment were/are uninsured.
- Encourage development of
new technology to make it easier for gun owners to safely use and store
their guns. OK. As long as that
technology does not enable ‘Big Brother’ to monitor what citizens can
- Have the Consumer
Product Safety Commission assess the need for new safety standards for gun
locks and gun safes. As long as
these new standards do not interfere with a legitimate gun owner’s need to
rapidly access their firearms when someone who has elected to not observe
and comply with our existing gun laws tries to enter their home or
business and do them harm.
- Launch a national campaign about responsible gun ownership. OK. Add it to all of the other national campaigns.