Every news source this afternoon is all excited that “a bipartisan deal has been reached on gun reform” or something like that. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly has been pushing for some “compromise” so that guns as an issue are negated for the mid-term elections. The problem with that is that gun control supporters are still going to vote for the Democrats and many pro-rights supporters might just say screw you and not vote.
When you make a deal with the devil, the devil is in the details. Of course, other than about nine bullet points, there are no hardcore, defined, written in stone details.
To even get the release on the “deal”, I had to go to Sen. Chris Murphy’s (D-CT) website. My own Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) who were both negotiators on the “deal” were so proud of their own actions that they aren’t going public with the details.
Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders
Money goes to states and tribes to set up their own system of gun confiscation orders aka red flag laws. Supposedly, consistent with state and Federal due process. Right.
Investment in Children and Family Mental Health Services
I’ll give them a pass on this one. They say: “National expansion of community behavioral health center model; major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs; and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.”
Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence
This would expand the Lautenberg Act prohibitions to convictions for domestic abuse and restraining orders involving current and ex romantic partners. Thus, a vengeful ex-boyfriend (or girlfriend) could get a restraining order against you which would prevent you from protecting yourself from their wrath. Think Carol Bowne in New Jersey who was stabbed to death while waiting for a pistol permit with which to protect herself.
Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services
I don’t have many issues with this. The release says: Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs and school based mental health and wrap-around services.
Funding for School Safety Resources
It says it will invest in programs that increase school safety in K-12 schools including providing training to school personnel and students. I doubt they mean programs like the FASTER Programs in Ohio and Colorado. At the very least, they should have “Stop the Bleed” training as well as blow-out kits for every teacher.
Clarification of Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer
This one will definitely be the devil in the details. Will it be based upon how many firearms you sell in a year such as dispersing an estate or will it be based upon intent as the current law does? Current law says that if the intent is to engage in it as a business, you need a FFL.
The release says, “Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.” That is fine but I wonder if this will just become another government boondoggle.
Under 21 Enhanced Review Process
For those under age 21, there will be an “investigative period” with checks of juvenile and mental health records. As Stephen Gutowski notes, this could mean a non-instant background check process for those under age 21. They also say they will check with local law enforcement and state databases.
Penalties for Straw Purchasing
Is this going to be like doubly illegal? It is already against the law to engage in a straw purchase. As it is, US Attorneys and Federal law enforcement rarely bring cases to trial involving straw purchases. I think they believe the optics of going after the girlfriends and “intimate partners” of gang members have too many racial overtones.
Charles Blow, a columnist for the New York Times, had an op-ed a couple of Sundays ago calling for more gun control as well as attacking the gun culture. He said he did agree with the Republicans on one thing.
But I am on the same page as they are on one point. They see the passage of gun safety laws as a slippery slope that could lead to more sweeping laws and even, one day, national gun registries, insurance requirements and bans. I see the same and I actively hope for it.
While I vehemently disagree with Blow, at least he is honest about it unlike most politicians on either side of the aisle. It is a slippery slope and must be fought tooth and nail.