Apr 19, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon

Newtown Shooting

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11Executive Orders Expand Mental Health Information in Federal Gun Background Checks

Since a clandestinely recorded clip of then-candidate Obama emerged saying that voters in Pennsylvania “cling” to god and guns, the President has been perceived as a staunch opponent of the Second Amendment. However, in his first term the only thing the President did regarding gun rights was allow people to carry weapons in National Parks. However in light the highly-publicized spate of mass shootings, most powerfully the Newtown shooting, the President issued two executive actions focused on federal background checks.

Most responsible legal-gun owners do not object to the background check system since it was implemented in 1993. While any expansion of gun laws—such as New York’s restrictive magazine-capacity law—sends the most fervent firearm enthusiasts into a fury, these new proposals seem perfectly rational but, like all laws, have the potential for abuse.

The proposals are designed to ease the regulations that prevent states from sharing information about mental health with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, specifically by easing some of the privacy protections in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA.

As written, these proposals only affect “persons prohibited from having guns for mental health reasons,” thus does not mean that simply visiting a therapist will prevent a citizen from owning a gun. However, the vague nature of that language has those that fear the slippery slope skeptical of the reforms.

The White House is still calling on Congress to pass “common-sense gun safety legislation,” such as “expanding background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime.” However, Congress already did that in March of 2013.

The Obama administration is proposing “a new $130 million initiative to address several barriars that may prevent people—especially youth and young adults—from getting help for mental health problems.” However, Congress would still have to appropriate those funds in order to make that happen.  

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11Shooting Target Selling Company Uses Photo of Virginia Tech. Victim to Promote New Product

The market for zombie dummies modeled after Virginia Tech. shooting victims exists, appartently.

Zombie Industries, a company which creates such dummies, is now advertising its most recent product — a gun control lobbyist shooting target — using a photo that includes Colin Goddard, who was shot four times in the Virginia Tech. massacre in April 2007, according to ThinkProgress.org.

Goddard, who became a gun control advocate after the school shooting, asked pro-gun rights company to take his picture off their advertisement over his Twitter account and criticized the company using Facebook, according to Buzzfeed Politics.

Zombie Industries also bashed Goddard on its website advertisement for the dummy product.

“Despite being a self-proclaimed expert on the subject, (Goddard’s) actual working knowledge of firearms and their capabilities was completely non-existent...,” the website states. “What’s worse is that he was even prone to exploiting victims of heinous crimes just to try and further his own political agenda. In other words, he was a real scumbag with no appreciation for the U.S. Constitution or respect for an individual’s freedom!”

Creating controversy and offending people seem to be in the shooting target company’s nature, as it bases its models — which sometimes ooze blood when shot — on people gun owners might want to kill. 

Women’s groups recently protested the design of an “ex-girlfriend” dummy sold by Zombie Industries, claiming the dummy made violence against women seem like a joke. The company also makes a shooting target that looks like President Obama. 

The advertisement for the new gun control lobbyist dummy calls the dummy “the most dangerous zombie in the USA today.”

The product comes out more than half a year after the shooting of 26 people — 20 of them children — at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, which prompted the Obama administration and gun control advocates to push for stricter gun laws in the U.S.

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11Grieving Father Neil Heslin of Newtown Victim Heckled by Gun Advocates

Neil Heslin testified today to Connecticut lawmakers on behalf of his 6-year-old son Jesse, who was one of the kids shot and killed during the Newton massacre in December.

Holding a gold-framed photo of him and his son as an infant, Heslin’s heartfelt plea was interrupted when gun advocates heckled him during his testimony Monday. The hearing was to consider possible gun control legislation in Connecticut. 

“Changes have to be made,” he told the lawmakers. “He was my son, he was my buddy, he was my best friend, and I never thought I would be here speaking like this, asking for changes on my son’s behalf.”

 “And I never thought I would be laying him to rest. The happiest day of my life was the day he was born. He is my only son, my only family. The worst day of my life was the day when this happened.”

Heslin, like more and more lawmakers, described that the semi-automatic rifle used during the massacres in war terms, saying it was designed to “put a lot of lead out on the battlefield quickly.” Weapons such as the AR-15 rifle Adam Lanza used can shoot up to 45 rounds per minute, which makes massacring people all too easy.

Heslin then asked why anyone should need or be allowed to own a weapon such as that, and gun advocated shouted, “the Second Amendment!”

The second amendment, however, was written well before guns had the capacity to shoot off 45 rounds per minute and before the United States had a standing army. The intention of the amendment, as stated in the constitution, is that guns are necessary to keep a well regulated militia. It is the only amendment that states a specific intention for the right — and now, in the aftermath of Newtown and Aurora and Virginia Tech and Columbine, it’s clear why. 

(Raw Story)

What is the Proper Response to Newtown?

Americans of all political and philosophical convictions have grieved over the killing of innocent schoolchildren and adults in Newtown, Connecticut. In responding to this attack, we must consider with great care how to proceed to protect precious lives in a way that is consistent with our laws and traditions.

“The serious work to make society safer and stronger after events like the December 2012 Newtown massacre requires that constitutional and complex cultural factors be taken into consideration and that policy be based on a serious study of all of the evidence,” write two Heritage experts in a new Backgrounder.

John Malcolm, a senior legal fellow in the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies, and Jennifer Marshall, director of domestic policy studies and director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, raise issues to guide that serious study, with key principles regarding the following:

  • The constitutional importance of the Second Amendment and evidence on the effectiveness of gun laws
  • School safety
  • Risks of violence related to serious mental illness
  • The significance of cultural factors and the roles of families and communities
  • Media production, consumption, and the First Amendment

Malcolm and Marshall remind us that “The constitutional right to keep and bear arms is an individual right that is fundamental to a free society, which depends, ultimately, on personal responsibility.” They write:

Americans must implement appropriate solutions in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution, including the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms, the traditional role of the states in our federal system, and the central significance of family.

Read the report in its entirety.

The post Response to Newtown: Addressing a Complex Issue appeared first on The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation.

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