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May 6, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

No fear of smart gun regulations

Another view?

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Regarding Ronald Plamondon’s letter, “Guns protect us from government,” he expresses concern for “an entity” taking away his freedom by disarming citizens.

Most citizens don’t want to take away anyone’s right to bear arms. Of course, there are extremes on both sides of this issue. There are no laws that prevent every situation.

But, let’s regulate weapons to reduce people on the terrorist watch list from obtaining any. Federal laws should require registering guns with a database match of immigration, motor vehicle, criminal and mental records that may indicate a past or potential for violent behavior.

There is a need to prevent the legal sale of high-capacity rifles and guns with clips holding more than 10 shots. Also, we need to record the sales of bullets that exceed 200 rounds.

Job opportunities could be created as result of these regulations.

A “right to carry” allows people the privilege to bring a concealed weapon into public places, increasing the potential for its use not just prevent violence but also to cause it. Even trained law enforcement officers occasionally shoot the wrong person. Gun battles in a darkened theater with shots fired by those less trained could kill or injure more than the criminal.

What “entity” would try to take weapons away? The federal government’s increased regulation, as suggested above, would not prevent a law-abiding citizen from obtaining guns. An “entity” could not survive against the power of the United States armed forces or the outrage and actions of our citizenry.

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  1. Smart and/or reasonable? For the most part, I agee with the President and Vice President on their gun regulations. Perhaps the list of 23 actions is a bit overdone. Like the one: Appoint an ATF director? Really? Have to make a list item for this one? But make no mistakes. None of these alone or together will address the core issue of the spree killings of innocent children and teachers at Sandy Hook. None.

  2. There is no sure fire solutions to prevent harm to others from a deranged person. The last thing a deranged person would do is read a bunch of laws. The large jump from thinking emotionally to logically is just too great.

  3. So, does the inconvenience of being able to fire only 10 rounds at a time from a semiautomatic weapon outweigh the possibility of preventing loss of life? Really!

  4. The proposed new gun control laws are not a big deal to me. I know they will do precious little to address the horrors of mass shootings, terrorist attacks or just plain 'routine' shootings. I am also not very worried about the government trying to confiscate all guns, although I recognize some Americans would favor that, but their numbers are small.

    As usual, I suspect we will never see what the NRA wants, which is every citizen that isn't a nut, to be armed or what rabid gun control people want, which is for nobody but the police to have guns.... and that is probably a good thing.


  5. "If the strategy is not 100% effective then someone will eventually find a way around the prevention strategy."

    I doubt anything would be 100% effective. Is that an argument for doing nothing? We have evidence that doing nothing has unacceptable outcomes.

    If a gunman walks into a college business policy class with an assault rifle and a 100 round ammunition drum, I doubt maybe possibly likely probably would be the insructor's first thought or his last.

  6. Isn't it nice that an anonymous person wants to give a letter grade to President Obama and Vice President Biden? Who cares.

  7. For those with hearts and minds this is Australia's experience with gun control:

  8. In the last 3 mass murders in Aurora Colo,Sandy Hook Conn,an Webster N.Y.All 3 of the Murderer's were insane,and all 3 figured out a way to obtain assault rifles to commit their crimes.

    If assault weapons were not so easy to get perhaps the number of death's and wounded could have been far less.Such was the case of convicted Tucson Az.killer Jared Lee Loughner who killed 6 people and wounded 13 others including congresswoman Gabreille Giffords.As killer Loughner was attempting to re -load his 9mm pistol he was tackled by 2 men passing by.

    If killer Loughner had a assault rifle with a 100 round clip,there is no telling how many more he would have likely killed.

  9. "Appoint an ATF director? Really? Have to make a list item for this one?"

    You do realize, I hope, that the reason there is no ATF director at the moment is that GOP senators have placed a hold on every Obama nominee?

  10. First, the goal here is to reduce gun violence overall. The regulations and actions proposed are not primarily aimed at stopping mass shootings, but they could definitely help prevent them.

    "It takes less than 5 seconds to remove and replace a gun clip."

    Simply, you made the argument for the regulation. The goal is to reduce the number of bullets and/or SLOW THE SHOOTER DOWN. Those 5 seconds are seconds in which the shooter isn't actively shooting people. You would rather we allow citizens, and thus psychopaths, the ability to shoot 30 times without reloading?

    Third: citing failed gun laws in municipalities such as Chicago or Washington D.C. actually makes the case for stronger federal regulation. If the same gun laws were applied universally, individuals couldn't, say, travel 20 minutes from DC to Virginia... a state with some of the weakest gun laws in the country... to stock up.

  11. "You do realize, I hope, that the reason there is no ATF director at the moment is that GOP senators have placed a hold on every Obama nominee?" @ Emthree

    No such thing. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have refused for the past six years to confirm a permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. As I recall, Dems were in charge of the Senate for the majority of these years and still and, in fact, Sneator Reid a Dem has been the Speaker since 2007.


  12. Using "entrapment" is never a good idea in a free society.

    Setting that aside, I think the bigger problem is not being able to identify mental problems that may be present when a person makes a purchase. Beyond that, in the Lanza case, one has to ask what the %$#@ was the mother thinking?

    I could understand requiring a background check on not just the person making the purchase, but also on members of the immediate household. That of course opens a whole new can of worms.

    Just as some gun owners prefer to buy at trade shows or private sales to avoid being listed in a database, so, too, would people avoid seeking treatment if it meant being listed in a national registry. (Not to mention the privacy issues involved.)

    I would not be surprised at all if a number of people who post here are taking some form of anti-depressant (it's very common) or even using a stop-smoking aid like Chantrix (read the warnings on that one!) that would require them to be listed. Would those people want to continue with that if it would affect their right to own a gun?

    One thing I am pleased to see: the families of the Aurora shooting are suing the shrink. At some point people who are aware of a problem but do not take steps need to be held accountable.

  13. "Just the facts, dude..."


    Where in your excerpt does it say that the GOP blocked the ATF nominations under Presidents Bush and Obama? What you posted clearly says "pro-gun lobbyists." As I recall, please correct me if I'm wrong, Senator Reid has an "A" rating from the NRA and has been endorsed by the NRA. And just as many Dems as Reps in the Senate do too.


  14. Congress and the President have yet to address the real issue and that is removing "weapons of mass destruction" over a long period of time. Limiting semi-automatic weapons to six or eight cartridges is a fool's errand. Registering all guns manufactured after 1935 and not ever allowing the sale or transfer of any semi-automatic weapon is the best long term solution.

    The recent measured responses on gun control issues from Republican Congressman Mark Amodei this week on Ralston Reports certainly didn't take him out of his comfort zone. How gratifying to learn that he bought his firearms at some place in Fallon, Nevada known as "guns and liquor." What a great combination for having a good time.

    How would Amodei react if the President woke him up out of his gun rights stupor and said "Mark we've just discovered that local gun toting terrorist here in America killed 57,000 of our citizens (ABC news) during the past two years." Would he then say we need to wait and see what's proposed to make sure it doesn't impinge upon our gun rights? How are gun rights defined and prioritized given that the federal government's first duty is to protect and defend all its citizens. What would Amodei propose, everything's normal, do nothing? Once again its SNAFU season in Congress so please let's all get inoculated as soon as possible.

  15. Jeff: More facts, in fact, the rest of the excerpt from your post:

    "Yet, while the NRA's objections to Traver have little grounding in reality, they will likely be sufficient to keep the ATF leaderless. Last month, the Senate returned Traver's nomination unconfirmed to the President, and the Senate's broken rules will make it very difficult to move his nomination forward if just one senator objects. Nor is the NRA's stranglehold on the ATF directorship an isolated incident. As ThinkProgress' Lee Fang recently reported, corporate lobbyists have created an entire holds-for-sale industry which connects powerful interest groups with senators willing to place a hold on Senate business which could hurt the interest group's bottom line. Until the Senate's broken rules are reformed, this kind of influence trading will continue unchecked."

    There is no mention of just Senate Republicans holding up the ATF nominations. It's collective "SENATE. To me, maybe not you and emthree, that means BIPARTISAN.


  16. Jeff:

    I suggest you follow your own advice first rather than giving it to others.


  17. People repeatedly bring up cities like Washington DC and Chicago as a reason for not having gun controls. Gun controls are only effective at the federal level. It doesn't do any good to restrict assault rifle sales in Las Vegas if people can buy those them in Henderson. The killings that are occurring in Chicago, Mexico, Washington DC are all being facilitated by underground criminal networks that are buying guns legally or stealing them and then transporting these weapons the places where they are most in demand.

    There will always be gun crimes because of the massive proliferation but they can be reduced over time by restricting the sales. Countless numbers of guns get confiscated every year from criminals. They then get destroyed in this reduces the number of guns available for criminal activity.

  18. Nearly half the guns that exist in the world today exist in the United States. They are killing people all over the world. It's a bunch of nonsense.. The fool in Norway used a Ruger mini 14 to slaughter all the children.
    The founding fathers are lucky they are not a life today. Most of them would've probably been blown to pieces. I believe there have been 20 presidential assassination attempts and in the mid-90s a guy with an AK-47 shot up the White House in a drive-by shooting. The 1994 assault rifle ban should never have been lifted. Congress has a lot of blood on its hands. They've got some explaining to do when they meet their makers.

  19. Jeff,

    You know better, especially if you read the rest of that comment.

    Universal background checks, coupled with much better enforcement (with stiffer penalties) of the law making it a crime to attempt to fraudulently obtain a gun, would go a long way in keeping weapons out of the hands of the wrong people.

    Even those steps carry a lot of baggage. Just like Social Security status or credit reports, a person should be able to find out their own information pertaining to gun purchase applications. But that raises privacy concerns, too, as well as possibly enabling someone to find a way to "beat" the system.

  20. Jeff, you have to forgive Carmine.

    He's unaware that, in 2006, Congressman James Sensenbrenner - make that REPUBLICAN Congressman James Sensenbrenner - amended the PATRIOT Act so that all future ATF chiefs would have to get the consent of the Senate.

    Carmine is also unaware that, in 2006, as a result of this sneaky, backroom deal, Congressman Sensenbrenner was awarded the NRA's "Defender of Freedom" award.

    "Deep within the conference report on the reauthorization bill (HR 3199) is a 38-word provision that would leave the nemesis of gun advocates, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), more accountable to the Senate."

    "The provision would make the ATF director subject to Senate confirmation, thus giving senators a new bargaining chip in negotiations with the White House. Confirmations can be held hostage to satisfy individual senators' demands."

    "The provision, quietly inserted by House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., R-Wis., caps a run of good fortune for the National Rifle Association and other gun lobbies."

    He's also unaware that republican senators, such as Senators Craig, Vitter and Crapo, have repeatedly put holds on the appointments of ATF Directors.


    "The confirmation of US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives was thrown into further doubt yesterday, when a Republican senator who is blocking the nomination renewed complaints that Sullivan has refused to loosen licensing rules for guns."

    "Idaho's U.S. senators are blocking President Bush's nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, saying the agency has become overly aggressive in enforcing gun laws."

    "Sens. Larry E. Craig and Michael D. Crapo, both Republicans, placed holds on the nomination of federal prosecutor Michael J. Sullivan, the acting ATF director for more than a year."

    You must forgive Carmine... he doesn't know that a single Senator, from either party, can place a hold on a nominee. He's unaware that even a Senator from the minority party can place a hold on a, ATF director nominee, thanks to the legislation written by republican James Sensenbrenner.

    Ignorance is bliss, eh Carmine?

  21. What exactly are "smart" gun regulations?

    Specifically, what regulations, short of total confiscation of all privately held guns of any type, would have prevent Sandy Hook?

    Even had the ban on so-called "assault weapons" still been in place, it is not unreasonable to suppose that Lanza's mother would still have had legally purchased weapons in her house and still would have trained Lanza in their use. (I will never understand the logic behind that.) At best the body count might have been reduced. I highly doubt that anyone is going to say that would have been okay.

    With regard to President Obama's orders, it is conceivable that with different guidelines in place the shrink treating Laughner might have said something to authorities.

    The suggestion for universal background checks should be able to be passed, but only if it is NOT part of a bundle. That is also the item that is most likely to have an impact on preventing arms from being obtained by those who shouldn't have them.

    As another poster pointed out (correctly, I think) we have the right to own weapons, we don't need a reason why. The burden is on the government to demonstrate why that should be denied to someone. It is not unreasonable to deny the right to felons (though I have a problem with some so-called felonies such as smoking a joint.) It would not be unreasonable to deny the right to those with certain diagnosed mental conditions, either.

    But that last idea creates a conflict, a pressure, that could lead to people not seeking treatment which would defeat the very purpose.

    Solve THAT problem, and I think we would see a greatly reduced number of all shooting incidents not involving attendant criminal activity (i.e. robbery or gang-related.)

    And given the side-effect warning on so many medications today, including a popular stop-smoking aid, would the simple step of legalizing pot help this?

  22. The discussion of mental illness and guns is a bit of a red herring. A tiny fraction of gun violence in this country is a function of the mentally ill.

    Most gun violence has to do with money. Just money! Gangs, the illicit drug industry, robberies of all types are for financial gain.

    Many criminals get their guns by stealing them. People don't secure their guns properly, they leave them in their beds stands and countless numbers get stolen.

    Background checks and keeping guns away from the mentally ill would probably solve a tiny fraction of total gun crimes.

  23. We need to stop selling guns in this country. So many are used in crimes, over time the number of guns would be dramatically reduced as they get taken away from criminals and destroyed. This would dramatically reduce gun violence over the next hundred years. It's the only thing that will have a profound effect.

    As an above commentor mentioned gun deaths in Australia have been reduced from 4 per 100,000 to 1 per 100,000 by getting rid of the guns. Europe has brought gun violence down to almost nil by getting rid of millions of guns. The only country that still has a major problem is Switzerland. All those folks are armed to the teeth. Over time you will see the Swiss start to destroy their guns to reduce the problem.

    Getting a gun in this country is child's play. The Columbine kids just had friends buy the guns for them. Nothing to it! others get guns from their parents or just steal them. They're everywhere!

  24. I wonder if checking for mental illness will also include any and all posting on the internet and emails as evidence?

  25. Comment removed by moderator. Off Topic

  26. zippert1,

    Granted, the majority of shootings are done in connection with a crime such as robbery or gang activity and it is debatable if checking mental health would help in those cases.

    However, if one considers that a lock does nothing but keep an honest person honest, then having stiff laws on the books for allowing mentally disturbed or persons who would otherwise be denied on a background check to have access to weapons might well have an effect on law-abiding gun owners. That is, such laws could promote more responsible behavior.

    Also, sad to say, it is the mass shootings, which almost always the result of a deranged person, that people appear to be most concerned with. This addresses those.

    However, mental health concerns might also have some impact on the number of domestic violence shootings.

  27. zippert1,

    The phrase "having stiff laws on the books" is meant to imply "AND ENFORCING THEM."

    I will fully agree with you or anyone else that a law that is not enforced, or that carries no appreciable penalty, is no better than not having the law at all.

  28. Becoming naked is a firm and undeniable right, but not where ever and whenever the individual chooses. Shooting a gun while naked is also a Constitutional right but the same conditions apply as those of simply being naked. In a movie theater or mall, one should not be naked or carry a gun. It's really that simple.

    It is both illegal and unconstitutional to acquire weapons and ammunition with the objective of using them against the Government. This is called a revolution, personal defense,

    The Constitution only allows bearing arms for membership in a STATE MILITIA, not a private militia or Army. Stockpiling of weapons and ammunition for private objectives is illegal. Stockpiling of bombs in place of weapons, which might also defend some crank against 'Government intrusion' is also illegal.

    It is a civil duty and obligation to register any gun or ammunition purchase with the Government. There are just too many instant psychos in this country to allow anonymous purchases of military weapons and ammunition. Not one statement in the Constitution says otherwise.

  29. At 9:46 this morning, CarmineD (Carmine DiFazio)asked of JeffFromLasVegas "Where in your excerpt does it say that the GOP blocked the ATF nominations under Presidents Bush and Obama? What you posted clearly says "pro-gun lobbyists."

    Jeff's original comment posted just a few minutes earlier included the comment "Sens. David Vitter (R-LA), Larry Craig (R-ID) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) quickly took up the gun lobby's cause, placing a hold on Sullivan's nomination until he agreed to comply with the NRA's demands."

    In one sentence Jeff identified not one but THREE Republican senators who placed a hold on a nominee for ATF chair AND stated that they did so at the specific behest of the NRA. Other nominees were not accepted because of NRA-expressed opposition. I'd say, based on past experience, that NRA-instigated Republican Senatorial holds were highly predictable if the NRA opposed a potential nominee.

  30. boftx,

    "It would not be unreasonable to deny the right to those with certain diagnosed mental conditions, either.

    But that last idea creates a conflict, a pressure, that could lead to people not seeking treatment which would defeat the very purpose."

    The hiding of mental illness, symptoms, and treatment by individuals suffering from it has been an ongoing issue for as long as I can remember and before. The fear of being around the mentally ill, the stigmatization, the abandonment, the effects on jobs, all play a role that is recognized as needing privacy in order to afford opportunities for a reasonable life and opportunities.

    The issue of mental illness also involves ethics and human rights in the medical profession and society.

    These are difficult issues to grapple with and have equally divided points of view as in politics.

    Added to that is the lack of understanding of the HIPPA regulations, their application, and the legal ramifications of making a mistake in judgement.

    Additionally, even some physicians will underplay the symptoms and diagnosis in documentation to avoid legal issues.

    Here is a good summary that relates the problems.

    The difficulties related to individual privacy can obstruct the best intentions related to the public good.

    Not all mentally ill individuals are potential mass murderers, so it is unjust to place them in a one size fits all category of mental illness. There are too many different forms.

    I think that President Obama's plan for training schools to recognize signs of a problem before it gets to a point of a major threat is important. It has to go further, to parents, to healthcare providers, law enforcement (when there is a real danger), to legislatures. There has to be a way to recognize the need for early intervention, and to ensure treatment is accessed.

    This is a HUGE issue for society. And while all the efforts appear to go to protect one side or the other, it is extremely important to not lose sight of the need for compassion and respect. A person who has a mental illness is still a human in need of everything we all need. They are no less a person.

    If society and the institutions that we are involved with can ever gain an honest understanding of what mental illness is, it's many different facets, we might have a chance at creating a more humane and safe society.

    It takes everyone to recognize when a problem exists, and to seek ways to bring the appropriate help to the individual, without penalizing them by isolating them, joking about them, teasing them, bullying them, and preventing them from being a part of the general society or the target of the general society. This can even cause increasing mental instability, and can lead to the disasters we want to prevent.

  31. Don't think that some of the veteran's returning from multiple deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq are not going to be part of the problem and the need for treatment. There is significant PTSD in their ranks. Suicides are shockingly high.

    There is hiding of a condition, and not getting treatment when it is actually needed. Sometimes it is masked and thought to be a problem of alcoholism or drug abuse, rage and violence in relationships, when those are manifestations, not the underlying problem.

    Considering that war related PTSD occurs in individuals trained and experienced in assault weapons and killing, it is critical that they receive treatment, which may last a lifetime. Should they not be identified for concerns as to whether they should have gun licenses as civilians, any limitations, and whether that can change?

    Just as no two individuals are the same, neither are two soldiers, or the situations they are in. It is unjust for people to make comparisons that allows denial of the problem and the responsibility of the nation toward those in need when they were serving in our military.

  32. One poster suggests that guns stop being sold in America. Even if this happened, they would be 300 million already in possesion and growing daily. Regadless of what anyone says, no one will go door to door collecting weapons from those that legally obtained them. More stringent regulations and tougher laws I have no problem with. Restricting certain weapons is something I'm on the fence about right now, but its something I'm evaluating day by day. Another poster mentions that CCW holders present more of a dange. Sorry, I don't believe that. I've had a CCW since I retired from the US Army and I didn't obtain it to engage active shooters at the mall, theater or elsewhere. Its for last ditch personal and family protection. If I was at the mall and an active shooter began firing, the first thing I would be doing is ensuring my family were under cover and safe. If so I'd assist in helping evacuate people. Only if the shooter came towards me and I had no choice would I engage. I've been deployed in combat several times, its not fear that holds me back, its the posibility I would be mistaken by law enforcement as the shooter. Its the varialble that says even whern you think you have a clear shot and clear backdrop behind the suspect, someone can easily un right into your sight picture and become an unintened casualty. Most CCW holders I know agree with me, they only have the permit as a last resort/ I've carried my weapon amongst you for several years, in every place its legal or allowed. If their is a sign posted I leave it in my vehicle in a portable safe. No one knows I'm armed and if I'm lucky no one will ever know I'm armed. There are responsibl level headed gun owners out there that don't mind stricter regulations and stronger ules. I'd even like o see more mandated training for CCW holders beyond the inital class, along with the requirement that yearly you are background checked again and again must receive training. Jus my thoughts, we all have our own views, I just want to see veryone work togehter, regardless of pary lines to find solutions. I was a republicacn who voted for a democratic president the past two times because I want the best person for the job, regardless of party connection.

    Retired US Army vet, CCW holder and responsible gun owner.

  33. "Ignorance is bliss, eh Carmine?" @ Kevin Sandoval

    2006? Really? That's your proof for the Reps blocking the nomination for 7 years and still. Dems took control of the Senate in 2007 and have had it since, with Reid as the leader. Up and down vote is all that it takes IF the Senate Leader wants to have it. And it's clear Reid and the other Dems in the Senate with NRA support don't.


  34. "I'd say, based on past experience, that NRA-instigated Republican Senatorial holds were highly predictable if the NRA opposed a potential nominee." @ Robert Leavitt

    I suggest you read my post above to Sandoval. And do so carefully. Gun rights has bipartisan support in the Senate with as many Senate Dems as Reps with NRA top ratings and support. Including Reid.


  35. FYI: With a Dem majority in the Senate: The fate of any gun control bills is in the hands of 2 seasoned Democratic Senators, not the GOP. It's been the case since 2007 when Reid took control. These two Dem Senators are long-standing pro-gun rights supporters with A ratings from the NRA.


  36. It's easy to blame Senate republicans for all the problems of the ATF for the last 7 years. Harder to learn and accept the truth.


  37. And more about the Senate Dems, including Reid, on gun legislation:


  38. And more on the fate of gun laws and Senate Dems:


  39. These cites, all current, that I quoted should convince you who really held up the ATF nomination and gun laws in the Senate. If not, then I suggest you follow the same advice that I gave to Jeff above before giving advice to others.


  40. "2006? Really? That's your proof for the Reps blocking the nomination for 7 years and still. Dems took control of the Senate in 2007 and have had it since, with Reid as the leader. Up and down vote is all that it takes IF the Senate Leader wants to have it. And it's clear Reid and the other Dems in the Senate with NRA support don't."

    Yet again, Carmine shows his utter ignorance.

    First, in the Senate ANY Senator, from the minority or the majority party, can place a hold on a nominee. All it takes is one Senator, and the nominee is blocked. The number of Democrats in the Senate, or whether they have control is irrelevant; one Senator denies consent and the nominee cannot be brought up for a vote.

    Second, the law requiring Senate confirmation was passed in 2006, but you didn't read my sources. Crapo and Vitter, both republicans, were blocking ATF nominees in 2008... while the Democrats had control of the Senate. That's proof you have no idea what you're talking about. You're completely ignorant of the parliamentary procedures of the Senate.

  41. Jeff and Sandoval [take off the blinders]:

    The one Senator can only block it during the current session. After that session, and the new Senate is sworn, old business is scrubbed. Kaput. Over. Unless and until one of the new Senates, and there have been several since 2006 all Democratically controlled with the Senate Leader [it's been Reid all the time] HAS THE MAJORITY PARTY votes to reintroduce the ATF nominee for an up and down vote. He's afraid. Reid is AFRAID. Hear me! Chicken. He doesn't want the NRA to have the Dems on record with "yes" votes for an ATF nominee that the NRA is against. Why? The problem, if you read the articles I posted, is that Reid and the NRA Dems with NRA support, are scared because the NRA bought their votes.


  42. Carmine's ignorance reaches a new level.

    He's unaware of unanimous consent.

    Keep it going, Carmine. Between your definitive predictions of a Romney landslide, a GOP-controlled Senate, and now your complete ignorance when it comes to Senate parliamentary procedures, you have zero credibility.

    You're not even reading the articles you post. What complete nonsense.

  43. Finally, and this is something that Carmine cannot dispute: we would not have this problem at all if not for the GOP and James Sensenbrenner, who amended the PATRIOT act to force the Senate to confirm the director of the ATF.

    They passed that directive into law with the express intent of filibustering future nominees simply by placing holds and denying unanimous consent.

    Without that GOP provision, the President would be free to appoint the director. This clusterbuck is 100% the fault of the GOP.

  44. I have two words for you Kevin:

    "Recess Appointment."


  45. More ignorance. Carmine doesn't know what pro forma sessions in the Senate are, or how they've been used by the GOP to block recess appointments.

    Try again, Carmine. The GOP has blocked appointees by placing holds on them and by holding pro forma sessions to keep the Senate in session with the express intent of preventing recess appointments.

    You must be exhausted from being wrong so often.

  46. "You must be exhausted from being wrong so often." @ Sandoval

    No, but you must sure be. "Unanimous consent" is a parliamentary rule. A rule is not mandatory. Each Congress can decide whether to follow it.


  47. "He has made approximately 9.518740629685157" Jeff:

    It's not easy being me with so many people here like you.


  48. FYI: If you're going to quote the Rule make sure you do so correctly:

    "unanimous consent - A senator may request unanimous consent on the floor to set aside a specified rule of procedure so as to expedite proceedings. If no Senator objects, the Senate permits the action, but if any one senator objects, the request is rejected. Unanimous consent requests with only immediate effects are routinely granted, but ones affecting the floor schedule, the conditions of considering a bill or other business, or the rights of other senators, are normally not offered, or a floor leader will object to it, until all senators concerned have had an opportunity to inform the leaders that they find it acceptable."

    Floor Leader as in Harry Reid.


  49. FYI: A recess appointment is the appointment, by the President of the United States, of a senior federal official while the U.S. Senate is in recess.

    If you're going to quote the law, quote it right. Harry Reid, as Senate Leader, determines when the Senate is and is not in session. A recess appointment is made easy when the party of the President AND the majority party of the Senate are the SAME. As it has been since 2007.

    I suggest to you, and make a prediction here, that with 5 Dem Senators up for reelection in 2014, President Obama will make a recess appointment for his ATF Director of choice in his second term. ;-)


    PS: Jeff: It looks like my daily average just went up!

  50. FYI:

    "The Senate operates by consensus and, under custom that stretches back generations, a single senator can block any nomination.

    The question is how far a GOP Senator and his allies will try to push this issue, and for how long. If nominations are blocked indefinitely, Democrats in the Senate would almost certainly retaliate by blocking legislative matters of importance to the Republicans.

    But the Senate and its Leader would be unlikely to go along with blanket objections to nominations, because that could hold up a variety of other Senate business.

    Still, one Senator has the right to hold up nominations case by case, so long as his opponents [Dems in this case and since 2007] did not come up with the 60 votes needed to stop him.

    It's hard to imagine that the Senate would allow itself to be prevented from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities over one Senator's unhappiness with a particular appointment.

    Senators usually continue to block the nominations until the President agrees to refrain from recess appointments or to make them only if Congress was notified in advance that they were ''absolutely necessary.''


  51. "James Sensenbrenner, who amended the PATRIOT act to force the Senate to confirm the director of the ATF." @ Sandoval

    The NRA and pro-gun lobbyists were successful in getting this law passed. It requires Senate confirmation of the ATF director. BUT, and it's a big one, Dems and Reps alike in the Senate, AND THE PRESIDENT, are all responsible for making the law work or not by their concerted will and actions. Not the action of a lone Senator who objects.