Sometimes the best way to get a measure of how well or poorly an intended action or public policy change will be received is to float a trial balloon: Leak the idea to a news outlet and see what the reaction is. Cheryl Chumley at WND.com tells us that The New York Daily News’ Linda Stasi is calling for the Department of State to place the National Rifle Association on the list of state-identified terrorist groups. Stasi’s original piece is here:
Linda Stasi, a writer for the New York Daily News, said the U.S. State Department ought to label the National Rifle Association a terrorist group because its massive lobbying efforts are “responsible” for more U.S. civilian deaths since 2012 than al-Qaida, Boko Haram, Hamas and the Taliban combined…
Read all of it.
Over at Breitbart.com the President is reported to be designing executive action on gun control issues.
The White House confirmed that President Obama was preparing a series of executive actions on gun control to match his recent passion on the issue after the latest mass shooting in Oregon.
“It’s a high priority and will continue to be until we start to see more progress on this issue in this town,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters today at the press briefing.
Earnest said he would “quibble” with anyone who criticized the president for not voicing any specific gun control proposals during his press conference, asserting that the White House was working behind the scenes for more executive actions on guns…
Hillary Clinton has promised executive action if she’s elected.
(Fox News) – Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Monday proposed tighter gun-control measures, including expanded background checks, and suggested that if elected she would use executive powers to achieve her goals.
“I want to push hard to get more sensible restraints,” Clinton said on NBC’s “Today” show. “I want to work with Congress, but I will look at ways as president.”
She called for expanded background checks for firearms sales online and at gun shows. Clinton also called for closing loopholes in federal laws that allow for gun-sale transactions to be completed if the buyer’s background check is not finished within three days.
Clinton will unveil more details about her plans Monday during a campaign swing through New Hampshire.
These renewed calls for further controls on firearms ownership follow the mass shooting in Oregon a few days ago.
I have no idea if the NY Daily News piece is intended as a trial balloon. But I can’t help noticing how these recurring ideas parallel the fictional nightmarish scenario I created in the 2013 novella of my four-part thriller Barter and Reckoning series – A Well-Regulated Vengeance. The story is set in the year 2016. Here’s a sample from Chapter 5:
Kirkbaugh sat in his living room, watching the six o’clock CNN news. Half a grilled ham and cheese sandwich remained on a plate that rested on the chair arm. Transfixed, he listened to the interview, the reporter’s blonde hair glistening and her white teeth flashing that oh so disarming smile.
“FBI Director Aslam Noorani joins us now. Director Noorani, today the White House announced that yesterday’s deadline for citizens to relinquish their firearms in compliance with the Congressional Firearms Collection Act of last year failed to result in anything close to full cooperation. The President told us that local law enforcement officers will now begin going door to door with Court Orders in hand to seize any guns that may still be in citizens’ homes. What’s the position of the FBI on this massive operation, and will federal officers be assisting in the collections?”
Noorani blinked twice and squared his shoulders. “As you already know, Rachel, the Congress passed this law in response to the incidences of mass shootings which resulted in the tragic loss of hundreds of lives over the past ten years or so. Special Agents of the FBI and military personnel will accompany the local police departments into their communities to bring total compliance into effect. Remember, the law was deemed necessary to protect and secure the safety of our citizens in their daily lives. Like the President said four years ago when he initiated the battle right after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, if this legislation saves just one life, it will be worth what it took to pass it. It’s been a long road that he’s traveled and now all of his efforts have come to fruition.”
“Director, what do you say to the few vocal people who continue to argue that the law is a clear violation and nullification of the Second Amendment to the Constitution?”
“Yes, yes. Oh, please, this has gotten so tiresome. The National Rifle Association argued for years against any form of gun control. As you know, Rachel, the NRA is now on our list of underground terrorist groups. The NRA’s been outlawed. All the members of congress who belonged to that organization long ago resigned and repudiated its motives. This tiresome business with the Second Amendment has been litigated all the way to the Supreme Court. All the Courts have unanimously upheld the Constitutionality of the 2015 Congressional Firearms Collection Act.
“Look, Rachel, let’s face the facts and get away from the cowboys and Indians mentality. It’s time to grow up and act like responsible adults. The Second Amendment is a moot point. It’s not 1776 any more. That was two-hundred forty years ago. This is 2016. We live in a very different world from when that sentence was concocted. It’s a straw man argument. It’s a sinister fantasy of trigger-happy men who intend nothing that’s good for the nation. Society has changed. Laws have changed. What’s most important now is the safety of the people of the United States, so they can live their lives in freedom and security. That’s why we’re going to the next step in the enforcement of this very necessary act of Congress, which is to search all homes in local neighborhoods and seize the illegal firearms.”
“How many more illegal guns do you think there are in America, Director?”
“It’s hard to say. At one time there were about two-hundred seventy million firearms in the hands of citizens. Most Americans, who are responsible, law-abiding people, cooperated right away and turned in their weapons when the C.F.C.A. was first passed and signed into law. What remains is probably three to five percent of what originally constituted the armaments still held by the citizenry. I want to assure the American people that we won’t be searching the homes of people who already complied with the law and turned their firearms over to their local law enforcement agencies. We’ve kept fastidious records of those responsible citizens. We’ll only be concerned with homeowners and citizens who didn’t comply. Those residences we’ll have to search.”
“But will there be arrests of the people who kept their guns, in violation of the C.F.C.A. and yesterday’s deadline?”
“Arrest is such a distasteful term, Rachel. There may be necessary protective detention of some individuals who are less than cooperative. For their safety and security, only. We actually anticipate very little trouble in gaining compliance from most people. I hesitate to call such temporary protective detentions arrests.”
“Thank you, Director Noorani.”