Trump, Guns, Money and Inaction

Trump, Guns, Money and Inaction February 16, 2018

I thought I would share a couple of poignant memes concerning guns to start the ball rolling…

I can’t see that this shooting will be any different. My inductive reasoning nodes are going into overdrive in suggesting that the probability of inaction is high to certain.

It’s worth wondering whether the same inaction would exist if this was the context:

It also seems to be verified that the shooter was a MAGA cap-wearing Trump fan. Shock horror.

Considering Trump himself is keen to blame this, and thus the shooting epidemic, incorrectly on mental health issues, it is worth noting that, last year, he repealed regulation for guns concerning those with mental health issues. This from February 2017:

President Donald Trump quietly signed a bill into law Tuesday rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.

The rule, which was finalized in December, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background check database.

Had the rule fully taken effect, the Obama administration predicted it would have added about 75,000 names to that database.

President Barack Obama recommended the now-nullified regulation in a 2013 memo following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six others dead. The measure sought to block some people with severe mental health problems from buying guns.

Even Piers Morgan, “friend of Trump”, is giving Trump a hard time. He recently interviewed Trump and asked about the Las Vegas shooting, to which Trump retreated to the shooter merely being a “sicko”. Morgan’s anecdote is quite powerful:

As the US slips once more into its familiar Groundhog Day post-gun-massacre pattern of feigned shock, hand-wringing thoughts and prayers, insincere cable news blather, and pathetic inaction, I’d like to explore President Trump’s ‘sicko’ premise.

My eldest son was once refused an alcohol-free beer at a Malibu restaurant.

At the time, he was 21 years old, 6ft 1in tall, with long hair and a full beard.

The reason he was given was that he had no I.D. on him and ‘non-alcoholic’ beer actually still contains a tiny amount (under 0.5%) of alcohol in it.

A week later, a tiny, waif-like 9-year-old girl accidentally shot dead an instructor at a “Bullets and Burgers” gun range in Arizona.

She had fired – and lost control of – an UZI sub-machine gun, one of the most dangerous high-powered weapons in the world.

This was all entirely legal.

That’s ‘sicko’, right?

I mean, no rational human being could possibly think that putting such a hideous killing machine in the hands of a little girl is anything other than complete madness?

Wrong.

A lot of Americans, tens of millions of them in fact, think that’s perfectly OK.

And they see no contradiction with my son being declined an alcohol-free beer.

Why?

Because he had no unalienable constitutional right to an alcohol-free beer, whereas the little girl had an unalienable constitutional right to bear arms.

Morgan remembers more of his interview in reflecting on this last shooting:

‘If he didn’t have a gun, he would have had a bomb, or would have something else,’ the President answered.

‘But he had 55 guns,’ I said.

‘The point is, he would have had 55 bombs,’ said President Trump, as if somehow it is as easy to purchase 55 bombs in America, where they are strictly illegal.

‘Why can’t you make it more difficult for him?’ I persisted.

(Current US gun laws are so lax even terror suspects on the no-fly list are allowed to buy firearms)

Trump sighed. ‘I’m a Second Amendment person. I think you need it (guns) for security. You’ve had so many attacks where there was only a bad person’s gun – going in this direction and if they had bullets going in the opposite direction, you would have saved a lot of lives.’

Then he repeated: ‘So I get what you’re saying but I believe in the Second Amendment.’

In other words, he intends to do absolutely nothing to stop these massacres happening again.

Well, I’m sorry Mr President, but this just isn’t acceptable.

You can’t pretend to be tough on security but turn a blind eye when yet another US school (there have been over 280 school shootings since Sandy Hook) is turned into a human slaughterhouse.

It’s spineless and cowardly, and you know it.

Imagine your son Barron had been in that school yesterday – and then decide what is the right thing to do.

‘No child, teacher or anyone else should feel unsafe in an American school,’ you tweeted yesterday.

Yet the tragic truth is no child, teacher or anyone else now feels SAFE in an American school.

The Florida attack was the ninth biggest gun atrocity in American history.

That means three of the country’s worst ever mass shootings have now happened on your watch – in just five months.

Yet one of the only things you’ve done about guns as President was to roll back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illness to get guns.

That’s ‘sicko’, Mr President.

For once, I thoroughly agree with Morgan.

The stats really do speak for themselves, certainly on a prima facie view:

In other news, a pastor declares that if the school had prayed more, it wouldn’t have happened. Because God couldn’t have it any other way, right? And those kids were merely pawns in a prayer debate…

Back to Trump, though…

Maybe Trump will listen more to a victim’s mother trying to sort out her daughters funeral. Then again, it’s on CNN and not FOX and Friends.

 

A mother furiously asks President Trump to “please do something” about guns

A mother furiously asks President Donald J. Trump to "please do something" about guns. She had just made funeral arrangements for her 14-year-old daughter, who was killed in the Florida school shooting. "Just hearing that mother, I'm sorry. … It got me. … What do you say?" Brooke Baldwin said afterward, breaking up http://cnn.it/2Ez3yGs

Posted by CNN on Thursday, February 15, 2018

The problem, as is often the case, is money and funding – money going both ways:

Buried on Page 719 of his fiscal year 2019 budget, released Monday, the president calls for cuts to the National Criminal Records History Improvement Program and the NICS Act Record Improvement Program. Both provide federal grants to states to help them improve their reporting of criminal records and protection orders to the national database for background checks, including domestic violence records.

The two programs are currently budgeted at $73 million. Trump’s budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 would slash their funding to $61 million, which amounts to a 16 percent cut….

 

Gun control advocates say these federal grants have been “critical funding sources” for states trying to routinely submit comprehensive records to the national background check database.

“President Trump claims that he wants to build ‘a safe, strong, and proud America’ but his actions do not live up to his words,” said Robin Lloyd of Giffords, the gun safety group founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who survived a gunshot to the head in 2011.

“Instead of strengthening the nation’s background check system to make sure it effectively keeps guns out of dangerous hands, he slashed funding to this critically important system, which will significantly undermine its effectiveness,” Lloyd said.

There are about 30 million reasons why Trump would want to weaken gun safety measures. That’s roughly how many dollars the National Rifle Association spent helping to elect him president. His proposed cuts are also wildly out of step with polls showing near-universal support for strengthening background checks to apply to all gun sales, not just those done by licensed firearms dealers.

If nothing else, there’s always prayer:

Finally, a poem.


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