Friday, April 26, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #105 - Part 6

Outrage of the Week: guns

That brings us right to our Outrage of the Week.

Don't say that no gun legislation passed the Senate.

You can't say that, oh no, you can't. The day after the expanded background check was shot down, a reference chosen quite deliberately, the Senate passed a provision that would penalize states and localities that reveal data on gun licenses and permits or locations of gun owners by taking away five percent of their federal funds aimed at support of local police departments. It passed 67 to 30.

And that's not the only thing that's been done, oh no. Congress has been busy. Earlier this year, four "riders," provisions attached usually to appropriations bills and which have to be renewed every year, were made permanent.

One now-permanent provision bars the ATF from shutting down gun stores due to “due to a lack of business activity,” which is regarded as a sign of criminal sales.

Another bars any federal law that would require gun retailers to do an inventory of their own stock of guns and submit the results as a means of determining whether any weapons have been lost or stolen.

A third requires that the ATF must say with any report concerning its tracing of guns back to crime that such "trace data" “cannot be used to draw broad conclusions about firearms-related crime.” That provision is there because trace data has been used in studies that proved that several gun control regulations did in fact prevent the spread of guns to criminals - and the gun industry doesn't want anyone to know that.

The fourth now-permanent provision creates a broadened definition of "antique" guns and ammunition, which can be imported into the US with few restrictions and which are exempt from background checks.

All that's in addition to renewing riders that effectively prevent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence.

So yes, Congress has been busy - busy licking the boots of the merchants of death and their court jesters. It's an outrage.


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