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Federal Gun Control Requires IT Overhaul

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the give-me-back-my-stapler dept.

Government 436

New submitter Matt Slaybaugh writes "John Foley at InformationWeek has an editorial saying that the missing piece in the new gun control legislation is adequate data management. 'President Obama introduced 23 executive orders on Jan. 16 aimed at reducing gun violence through a combination of tougher regulation and enforcement, research, training, education and attention to mental healthcare. Several of the proposed actions involve better information sharing, including requiring federal agencies to make relevant data available to the FBI's background check system and easing legal barriers that prevent states from contributing data to that system.' But concrete plans are needed now to improve the current poor system of data collection and sharing. Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel's Digital Government Strategy, introduced in May, 'defines an IT architecture and processes for sharing digitized content securely, using Web APIs and with attention to protecting privacy. ... Unfortunately, on top of the data quality issues identified by the White House, and the FBI's and ATF's outdated IT systems, there's a lack of transparency about the systems used to enforce federal gun-control laws.'"

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Shocking? (5, Insightful)

Feyshtey (1523799) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762419)

Is it any surprise that the Federal govt. has knee-jerked and not thought through the repercussions, or the real-world applicability of their solutions?

Re:Shocking? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762503)

By which you mean, the government decided that something needed to be done, assessed what was required, then decided that those things needed to be done first.

So, it did things intelligently. What are you moaning about again?

Re:Shocking? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762663)

Probably the part where you mention government and doing something intelligently, of which lately I haven't seen anything even remotely bordering on intelligent thinking from our government. They do seem very intent on sacking everyones liberties, of course the spoon feed masses just keep eating.

Re:Shocking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762723)

Probably the part where you mention government and doing something intelligently, of which lately I haven't seen anything even remotely bordering on intelligent thinking from our government. They do seem very intent on sacking everyones liberties, of course the spoon feed masses just keep eating.

You're concerned about sacking liberties "lately"? Did you see the reaction to 9/11?

What has happened in the last five years that even approaches the offensive intrusion of the patriot act? What liberties are you even talking about, or is the second amendment the only one you've read?

Re:Shocking? (4, Informative)

Talderas (1212466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762775)

What has happened in the last five years that even approaches the offensive intrusion of the patriot act? What liberties are you even talking about, or is the second amendment the only one you've read?

Renewing the Patriot Act?

Re:Shocking? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762835)

Obama renewed the Patriot Act: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/27/patriot-act-extension-signed-obama-autopen_n_867851.html [huffingtonpost.com] . I couldn't believe my ears, but he did.

Re:Shocking? (0)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762941)

As President it's not his job to GIVE UP POWER. Is Congress' job to TAKE BACK the power...

If Congress didn't pass the law again, the President couldn't approve it.

Re:Shocking? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763159)

As President it's not his job to GIVE UP POWER. Is Congress' job to TAKE BACK the power...

If Congress didn't pass the law again, the President couldn't approve it.

Are you kidding? It's called a veto. It's 3rd grade civics.

Re:Shocking? (4, Informative)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763401)

"As President it's not his job to GIVE UP POWER."?

It's his JOB to do what's best for the nation, not what's best for himself or the government.

He has this power called a VETO. He could have sent the Patriot Act and NDAA right back to Congress with a much tougher hurdle for passage.

Re:Shocking? (4, Interesting)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763205)

Not only renewed it but made it permanent so he doesn't have to renew it every year, and have go through the inconvenience of hiding that fact from his followers again.

Re:Shocking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762893)

You're concerned about sacking liberties "lately"? Did you see the reaction to 9/11?

Did you see the reaction to 9/11? That's exactly the kind of thing he's talking about! WTF?

What has happened in the last five years that even approaches the offensive intrusion of the patriot act?

Why are we limiting it to five years and excluding the patriot act itself, from the comparison? I think if you compare the patriot act to the patriot act, you'll find that it's about as bad!

Re:Shocking? (5, Informative)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763075)

"What has happened in the last five years that even approaches the offensive intrusion of the patriot act? "

1. The 2012 NDAA, which authorizes the government to kidnap and indefinitely detain U.S. citizens on U.S. soil without criminal charges, with no right to challenge the evidence against them, with no right to legal counsel and no right to a fair trial.

2. Arbitrary assassination of U.S. citizens without so much as a criminal charge.

3. Re-authorization of the Patriot Act.

Re:Shocking? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762879)

They do seem very intent on sacking everyones liberties

Which is a clear sign of intelligence

Or do you seriously think the government just stupidly and incompetently stumbled upon the idea by chance?

Governments throughout history must have all been very very lucky.

Re:Shocking? (2, Insightful)

DanTheStone (1212500) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762519)

Is it any surprise that the Federal govt. has knee-jerked and not thought through the repercussions, or the real-world applicability of their solutions?

Is that what you think this is? It seemed to me that it was a solution waiting for a sufficiently heart-wrenching problem, like how they doubtless have all the "Cyber-Patriot Act" stuff just waiting for an opportunity (Rahm Emanuel crisis style).

Re:Shocking? (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762983)

"Is that what you think this is? It seemed to me that it was a solution waiting for a sufficiently heart-wrenching problem, like how they doubtless have all the "Cyber-Patriot Act" stuff just waiting for an opportunity (Rahm Emanuel crisis style)."

Exactly. Not to mention that we have the Constitutional question to deal with.

What good is it to make it easier for states to share information, if the states don't want to do it? Several states now have exercised their ability to legislatively "nullify" unconstitutional Federal gun laws. More will follow, the higher-handed the Feds get.

I know this is hard to swallow, but the founders of the U.S. did not give the Federal government -- including the Supreme Court, which is part of the Federal government -- the power to decide what its own powers are. As James Madison laid out very clearly in 1800, even the Supreme Court is not immune to power-grabbing, and trying to give the Feds more power than explicitly spelled out in the Constitution. Therefore (according to Madison and other founders), the ultimate authority to decide when the Federal government is exceeding its power lies with the States. The States created the Federal government, therefore the States are the masters of their creation... not the other way around.

Lots of people seem to forget that the Supremacy Clause only refers to laws passed "in pursuance of" the other powers enumerated in the Constitution. Federal laws passed that are not in pursuance of those powers are (Thomas Jefferson's words): "of no force, null and void". Not actually law, at all.

Not to mention that executive orders are merely instructions for Federal employees, also not law, in the sense that they have no power to tell common citizens what to do.

Re:Shocking? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763145)

"Is that what you think this is? It seemed to me that it was a solution waiting for a sufficiently heart-wrenching problem, like how they doubtless have all the "Cyber-Patriot Act" stuff just waiting for an opportunity (Rahm Emanuel crisis style)."

Exactly. Not to mention that we have the Constitutional question to deal with.

What good is it to make it easier for states to share information, if the states don't want to do it? Several states now have exercised their ability to legislatively "nullify" unconstitutional Federal gun laws. More will follow, the higher-handed the Feds get.

I know this is hard to swallow, but the founders of the U.S. did not give the Federal government -- including the Supreme Court, which is part of the Federal government -- the power to decide what its own powers are. As James Madison laid out very clearly in 1800, even the Supreme Court is not immune to power-grabbing, and trying to give the Feds more power than explicitly spelled out in the Constitution. Therefore (according to Madison and other founders), the ultimate authority to decide when the Federal government is exceeding its power lies with the States. The States created the Federal government, therefore the States are the masters of their creation... not the other way around.

Lots of people seem to forget that the Supremacy Clause only refers to laws passed "in pursuance of" the other powers enumerated in the Constitution. Federal laws passed that are not in pursuance of those powers are (Thomas Jefferson's words): "of no force, null and void". Not actually law, at all.

Not to mention that executive orders are merely instructions for Federal employees, also not law, in the sense that they have no power to tell common citizens what to do.

Sorry, but states do not have the ability to nullify Federal laws, unconstitutional or not. Only the judiciary can do that.

Re:Shocking? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763355)

Funny how the conservatives come running to the constitution when one of their pet causes is in trouble.

Funny how they forget it when it stands in the way of something they want. I didn't see many chickenhawks complaining when we started two oil wars to satisfy Daddy's Bush's unfinished business in Iraq.

Re:Shocking? (4, Funny)

capnkr (1153623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762527)

Is it any surprise that the Federal govt. has knee-jerked and not thought through the repercussions, or the real-world applicability of their solutions?

Perhaps through our better handling of data management these days the War on Guns will prove to be as successful and as effective as the War on Drugs has proven to be.

Unauthorized (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763045)

the War on Guns will prove to be as successful and as effective as the War on Drugs has proven to be.

And also, just as unauthorized.

Prohibition WRT alcohol required a constitutional amendment. Marijuana, for some magical reason, did not. Why? I mean, other than government out of control? Where did this magical power to step on our liberties come from?

The 2nd amendment is explicit: The government is forbidden from infringing upon our right to keep and carry arms. They are engaged in applying unauthorized power to the citizens with every law that infringes on the right to keep and carry arms, of which there are a huge number.

Any law that interposes licensing, restrictions on carrying (whether open or not), or restricts any particular arm, is completely outside the scope of the government's legitimate authority.

The constitution is the highest law in the land. The government is engaged in breaking that law.

Welcome to government by fiat.

Re:Shocking? (2)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762727)

Seriously. Executive leadership should know how to organize databases. THANKS OBAMA.

Re:Shocking? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762861)

*golf clap*

Reduce gun violence? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762431)

Yeah, right.

So when's Obama going to give up his armed Secret Service agents? Oh, wait. He's never going to do that.

When's Rosie O'Donnell and other anti-gun celebrities going to give up getting "we're-special-and-you're-not" gun-carrying bodyguards? Oh, wait. They're never going to do that.

But they sure as hell expect US to want to protect ourselves and our children with words that say "No guns allowed."

And then call the people with guns AFTER something bad happens

Re:Reduce gun violence? (-1, Flamebait)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762541)

While his solutions to gun violence are largely BS and mostly just an attempt to sate the public's current anti-gun vibe, it's a GIANT false equivalency to compare the President's need for security and yours. Seriously, you watch way too much Fox news if you think those are even remotely similar scenarios.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762675)

need for security? sure. RIGHT to security? you're way off. i have as much right to be secure in my person as the president does.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (-1, Flamebait)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762779)

WTF is this even supposed to mean?

You want a well trained, licensed, armed body guard? What exactly is stopping you from getting one?

Re:Reduce gun violence? (4, Interesting)

RoTNCoRE (744518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763095)

Bank balance? The realization that personal security is largely one's own responsibility (which I refuse to abdicate), and that I am in many/most cases the best person to provide that for myself, and determine the level that is adequate for me?

Re:Reduce gun violence? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763101)

his right to protect himself perhaps?

Re:Reduce gun violence? (2)

Applekid (993327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763217)

WTF is this even supposed to mean?

You want a well trained, licensed, armed body guard? What exactly is stopping you from getting one?

So your answer then is security only for those who can afford it.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763237)

You want a well trained, licensed, armed body guard?

Actually, I'd prefer to simply drop all these crazy restrictions being placed on law-abiding citizens. But considering how likely that is to happen, yes, yes I do want a well trained, licensed, armed body guard. Paid for by our government of course (and thus at tax payer expense), since they are the reason that we are going down the road which leads to hiring a well trained, licensed, armed body guard becoming the only legal method of defending oneself with a firearm.

What exactly is stopping you from getting one?

Lack of income, duh. Which is why I settle for the options that I can afford. But take those away from me, and you'd better be prepared to pay the cost of the replacement.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763315)

Having a gun to protect yourself and your family is vastly cheaper than hiring a body guard.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

truetorment (919200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762783)

Where does he say 'right to security'? You quote the parent, but are putting words where there are none!

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763219)

It appears to be he's drawing conclusions and extrapolating.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (3, Insightful)

TykeClone (668449) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762687)

BS He's a man and not a king and as such he has no more entitlement to personal safety than anyone else.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762873)

What I want to know is why do you think men and kings are mutually exclusive categories, and why a king would be more entitled to personal safety when you're so adamant that a president isn't.

Are you some kind of closet monarchist?

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0, Troll)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762891)

This has absolutely zero to do with "entitlement to personal safety" (where the fuck are you even getting these words?). If somebody is in danger, we, as a society, protect him/her. If you call the police and say: "somebody is trying to kill me", you will have a whole bunch of police units coming to you to protect you. See witness protection, for examples.

The president lives under a constant threat, because he is a political figure and there are a lot of violent organizations or just lunatics who would love to kill him just for kicks. This has absolutely zero to do with who exactly he is (Obama, Bush, Clinton -- whoever) and has everything to do with him being a president. This, obviously, calls for more security, than your average Joe Schmo needs.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (5, Interesting)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763051)

If you call the police and say: "somebody is trying to kill me", you will have a whole bunch of police units coming to you to protect you.

Riiiiiiiight... That ALWAYS works, doesn't it? I can't think of one single incident where a threatened person called the police and they failed to arrive before the killing occurred. Oh, wait, I have that backwards, don't I?

And, BTW, there have been numerous cases where the courts have made it explicitly clear that police are under NO obligation WHATSOEVER to protect anyone.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763395)

If you call the police and say: "somebody is trying to kill me", you will have a whole bunch of police units coming to you to protect you.

Riiiiiiiight... That ALWAYS works, doesn't it? I can't think of one single incident where a threatened person called the police and they failed to arrive before the killing occurred. Oh, wait, I have that backwards, don't I?

Doesn't always work for presidents. Your point?

Re:Reduce gun violence? (2)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763063)

Unfortunately, you're mistaken. The police has no mandate to protect the individual, especially not if it involves an armed threat that could endanger the officer. All the examples you quote, from politicians to witness protection, are based on an active decision by law enforcement that it would be to their benefit to extend protection, not because it's the right of the person to be protected.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763209)

If you call the police and say: "somebody is trying to kill me", you will have a whole bunch of police units coming to you to protect you.

The police have transporter technology now, and can actually be guaranteed to arrive before you're injured or slain?

Cool. No need for guns then.

Oh, wait - they don't have the power to magically translocate to your location? Oh, I see.

The president lives under a constant threat, because he is a political figure and there are a lot of violent organizations or just lunatics who would love to kill him just for kicks.

I know LGBT folks who live under constant threat, just because of whose naughty bits they want to jiggle. There are a lot of violent organizations or just lunatics who would love to kill them, just for kicks.

Are you down with giving them secret service protection?

Hell, let's go with religion as well - how about the Sikhs? Been enough dipshits going after anybody in a turban, because turban == terrorist. Where's the secret service?

The simple, sad fact here is that the United States is not a fucking fairyland full of unicorns, rainbows, populated solely by people who don't assault and kill each other for the most asinine of reasons.

People have a right to defend their lives. Deal with it.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763287)

This, obviously, calls for more security, than your average Joe Schmo needs.
 
I'm glad you are accepting that having armed guards means more security. I mean it's just common sense but for a while there anti-gun crowd (including Obama and mainstream media) were trying to convince us that presence of guns always means less security. I'm hope that, like you, they abandon that stupid argument and agree to abolishing the "gun free zones" and allow schools to have more security as well if they feel they need it.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763439)

Having licensed, well trained, professional armed guards means more security. Having more lunatics with guns means less security.

Failing to see the difference?

Re:Reduce gun violence? (2)

truetorment (919200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763049)

The parent never mentioned having an 'entitlement to personal safety'; please don't put words in people's mouths.

Also, as the executive officer of a large and powerful country (most would agree the the most powerful), ensuring the holder of the position's safety is important for many reasons, and if you can't see why that is, I think you may need to think a little more rationally on this.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (2)

tmortn (630092) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763337)

The AC put it well. Everyone has the same RIGHT to be secure if not the same level of need for active precautions. The irony of those in power with provided on location protection at tax payer expense passing legislation to deprive others of the right to protect themselves in a similar manner is interesting to say the least. The thing that kills me about all this legislation is I have yet to hear one that would actually have prevented the various situations in recent events. They would perhaps have provided clearer avenues of prosecuting people invovled... like the mother of the guy in NJ that attacked the school. And passing a law outlawing the new sales of guns like the AR-14 and its multitude of derivatives and similar class weapons is silly if existing arms are grandfathered in as there are plenty and to spare floating around already. When it comes to combat oriented arms the simple truth is they exist and thus will come into the hands of those who the rest of us would be better off if they did not. The question is then how will we respond to these situations when they happen. If the teachers in all of those schools attacked had in their possession a handgun and the same amount of training in use of them that they received in 'sexual harrassment awareness' etc.. then in all the recent 'madman walked on campus and....' stories there would most likely have been rather different outcomes. Of course you would also have a number more stories of 'student did something with staff handguns' or perhaps a crazy teacher story. The bottom line is there is no such thing as a fully 'safe' world. Bad things will happen. These weapons exist and they are not going to magically disapear at the whim of knee jerk legislation. The ultimate question with regards to gun control is whether the law abiding citizens of the land are going to willingly dis-arm themselves in hopes that civil and military forces will provide adequate protection for society at large if not always at the individual level... or if by maintaining an armed citizenry it is better to accept the losses that situation incurs in order to maintain better self sufficient deffensive options. Mostly I think the issue of gun related violence in the US is a bit of a red hering. There is no way to know if the violence would have been lower if guns were not easily avaialble. About all you can say with certainty is that gun related events could be reduced. That is not the same as saying fewer people would have died. When people reach the point that they are willing to inflict mortal damage on a fellow human they tend to go for what is most handy and convient. Hence in a gun happy culture a gun is often what they look to for inflicting harm. But removing the guns does not remove the intent to harm and there are plenty of other ways to hurt/kill people. And at the level of most events the issue of being able to kill multiple people in short order is not a consideration. The vast majority of gun violence in the US are two party incidents. idiots walking into schools/malls etc... are a very small portion of the problem. And there are plenty of other ways for folks to effectively take out mass targets than assault weapons... just ask Timothy McVeigh. And if you want to have an idea of how hard such things are I suggest you watch Mythbusters. Despite the fact they generally do not show you the secret receipe for making things go boom, you should keep in mind what they do not show you is rarely if ever any more technically difficult than the activities they DO show how they do. So the problem here is not the technology. It is the fact that in the US we seem have a much higher incident of people carrying out a desire to inflict harm (have not really researched that but it is a rather common assertion). Perhaps we shold do some serious naval gazing to try and figure out what it is in our society that is producing these results rather than simply removing their tool of choice from EVERYONE instead of a targeted solution for those that react to the world around them in such a manner.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762579)

Dianne Feinstein has a concealed carry permit. Or used to, when she carried a pistol in her purse. Now she has armed guards instead.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (-1)

nemui-chan (550759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762705)

Last I checked, the president's armed guards (or Rosie O'Donnell's, or anyone else for that matter) aren't carrying military style assault rifles or hand guns with extended clips. If you haven't read the articles that he's proposing, stop spouting off about things you don't know enough about.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (2, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762807)

Last I checked, the president's armed guards (or Rosie O'Donnell's, or anyone else for that matter) aren't carrying military style assault rifles or hand guns with extended clips. If you haven't read the articles that he's proposing, stop spouting off about things you don't know enough about.

the fuck is a "military style assault rifles"? Are you one of those retards afraid of the SHAPE of the gun instead of the person wielding it?

Re:Reduce gun violence? (-1, Flamebait)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763047)

They are not armed with anything this legislation is trying to ban/limit.

Happy now, dumb ass?

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763215)

Hey asshole, the point is that calling semi-automatic rifles, "military style assault rifles", is exactly the scare tacktics the Liberal media and Democratic political hacks are trying to scare people with. Why do people need military style weapons? The parent merely stated that they don't exist, because the shape shouldn't make it military style.

But I understand now, you are part of the Democratic political hack so I guess you don't understand.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (4, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763301)

The secret service absolutely does use magazines that would be banned by this legislation (unless you think they load 7 round magazines in their submachine guns) and the only reason their weapons aren't banned by this law is because they are already banned by earlier ones. MP5s, P90s, SR-16s, Mk11s... this is not the tack to take when responding to this line of argument.

The correct line IMO is this: Those agents are all background checked, mentally evaluated, and properly trained. They also have a legitimate use case for those weapons; that of defending a high risk target against an organized and well armed attack. To use the obligatory car analogy, trying to compare the Secret Service to placing armed guards in every school in America (or every home in America) is like arguing that drag racers are really fast, so we should all drive dragsters everywhere we go.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (3, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763333)

If they are anything like regular police, they carry handguns with 15-17 round magazines, and an Ar-15 with 30 round magazine as a backup, like police carries in almost every squad car. Exactly the things they are trying to ban. Happy now, dumbass?

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763349)

Yes, they are armed with plenty of stuff that the legislation is trying to ban. Sorry that you don't understand what the norm is when it comes to firearms and who does and does not carry these firearms. I'm also sorry that you have no clue as to what is trying to be passed today and how it will change the landscape of what is legal for people to import and manufacture.
 
I'm also sorry that you likely go around talking about something that you don't understand and also vote based on technology that you don't understand in yet another feeble attempt to feel good about Doing The Right Thing(tm).

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762821)

Yup they don't carry modern sporting rifles, but some of them carry (or used to) UZIs. at least a 30 round mag, that fires full auto.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762827)

Being active duty military AND having travelled with secret service agents I can assure they do travel with military assault rifles and handguns and BOTH have extended magazines. I will agree with you that most likely Rosie O'Donnell's or other celebrity's security most likely doesn't. Rest assured the POTUS's does.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (5, Insightful)

nabsltd (1313397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762833)

Last I checked, the president's armed guards (or Rosie O'Donnell's, or anyone else for that matter) aren't carrying military style assault rifles or hand guns with extended clips.

Since "extended clip" was "more than 10 round" in the previous "assualt weapons" ban law, and some legislators are consdering 7 rounds as the limit, I can guarantee you that most bodyguards are carrying weapons with "extended clips" by those defintions.

Secondly, "military style assault rifles" are not a problem, as those are fully automatic, and are highly regulated. If you believe that the semi-automatic rifles that look "dangerous" and which were banned for sale by the "assualt weapons" ban can give someone an advantage over a person who is carrying a not-as-dangerous-looking hunting rifle (for long range) or a pump-action shotgun (for close range), then take your own advice and "stop spouting off about things you don't know enough about".

Re:Reduce gun violence? (4, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763107)

...and some legislators are consdering 7 rounds as the limit

Actually, New York state already passed that into law. It caused quite an outburst from the police in the state, because the legislators neglected to provide them an exemption. They've promised to "fix" the law, immediately, of course. Which just demonstrates it's not about gun control, it's about establishing a gun monopoly.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (2)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763197)

When the Constitution was written, after the Revolutionary war, there was no difference between military weapons and those weapons among the civilian population. Any weapon that could be carried in the arms of a soldier, could also be carried in the arms of a civilian. The operative phrase in the Second Amendment is: “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed”. It is the God-given right of individuals to defend themselves. Animals are given claws and teeth for this purpose. Better weapons technology today does not change the Constitution.

Any restriction of this principle is null and void. Politicians, law enforcement officers and the judges of the Supreme Court as well as all military personnel take an oath to uphold the Constitution. Anyone that violates that oath is breaking the supreme law of the land. Until we the people amend the Constitution, that is the law. Any “law” contrary to that is passed by any political body is null and void.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762853)

You honestly think that these guards aren't carrying firearms with more than a 10 round capacity? You're living in a dreamland. You honestly think that those soldiers that they show posted by Marine One aren't carrying real assult rifles? Let alone look-like assult weapons that aren't even military weapons? You're living in a dreamland.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762869)

Last I checked, the president's armed guards (or Rosie O'Donnell's, or anyone else for that matter) aren't carrying military style assault rifles or hand guns with extended clips. If you haven't read the articles that he's proposing, stop spouting off about things you don't know enough about.

"military style assault rifles" just like the "web 3.0 in the cloud", all buzz words packed for maximum effect.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

modecx (130548) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762923)

Then you haven't checked thoroughly enough. The reason the SS executive protection detail likes to wear those long overcoats these days is so they can conceal a P90 *machine gun* loaded with 50 rounds of armor piercing ammunition. In the old days they'd carry a briefcase loaded up with UZIs and who knows what else.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762961)

Obviously you didn't check as they in fact do exactly this. I got to see some of these fairly close up when Sen. Rodger Wicker was attending an Ole Miss game with bodyguards in tow. They have high capacity handguns as well as compact sub-machine guns. (I couldn't get too close obviously, but it appeared to me a small mp5 or variant) They were mostly hidden but they were there. If you think they aren't armed to deal with any potential threat you are deluding yourself or just trolling. Rosie's guards probably do not have the full auto weapons, but make no mistake that they do, in fact, carry high capacity handguns. Any security guard or body guard would be a fool not to.

One might argue about "extended clips" but that is just playing semantics. A handgun with 15rd magazines with 2-4 spares can pretty much handle most single target threats. That is not to say they are always as heavily armed, but it is also possible they always are and just were lax in keeping their weapons covered on that day.

You might be wise to take your own advice regarding talking about things you know little about.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762713)

This is beyond stupid. You can both carry a gun and advocate making guns illegal. Indeed, you can also refuse to give up yours until everyone else does (or do it at the same time), without hypocrisy. Think this one through.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763037)

I guess that is a intelligent way of disarming most while staying armed. They will NEVER collect all the guns even if they tried. Pandora's box has already been opened. The most they can hope to do is collect and destroy all legally owned guns. That means all respectable, law-abiding, gun-owning citizens will be stripped of their guns while many criminals will still have them. All in all, if the president is armed until all other guns are destroyed, the president will always be armed. The fact of the matter is the biggest deterrent to adversarial gun use is a more-power, more-effective gun. Why do you think that the US keeps nuclear weapons while actively making sure countries like Iran cannot create or get them? They want to make sure they always have the upper hand if they get in a fight. I am sure they would love to disarm China, Russia, and other nuclear toting countries but that is pretty much impossible. Instead they focus on keeping out new players.

Re:Reduce gun violence? (1)

truetorment (919200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762767)

Where, in *any* of the executive actions (they were NOT 'executive orders'), does it say anything about bans on guns?

Look, they're RIGHT HERE [slate.com] ), and there is absolutely, utterly NOTHING about a gun ban. There is a push from some elected officials in Congress to renew the assault ban, but there is no 'gun grab' or anything else.

Your offtopic rant doesn't actually advance the discussion here about IT-related challenges in government data sharing whatsoever.

Need a first amendment permit and database (1)

buck-yar (164658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762433)

Seems reasonable. License, permit and databases aren't infringement as the supreme court has found.

Re:Need a first amendment permit and database (2)

oic0 (1864384) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762455)

Infringe as per google: Act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on: "infringe on his privacy They've been infringing upon us for years, this is just even more infringement.

Re:Need a first amendment permit and database (1, Interesting)

buck-yar (164658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762563)

From Heller vs DC oral arguments:

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, that may be true, but that concedes your main point that there is an individual right and gets to the separate question of
whether the regulations at issue here are reasonable.

MR. DELLINGER: Well, the different kind of right that you're talking about, to take this to the question of -- of what the standard ought to be for applying this, even if this extended beyond a militia-based right, if it did, it sounds more like the part of an expansive public or personal -- an expansive personal liberty right, and if it -- if it is, I think you ought to consider the effect on the 42 States who have been getting along fine with State constitutional provisions that do expressly protect an individual right of -- of weapons for personal use, but in those States, they have adopted a reasonableness standard that has
allowed them to sustain sensible regulation of dangerous weapons. And if you -
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: What is -- what is reasonable about a total ban on possession? MR. DELLINGER: What is reasonable about a
total ban on possession is that it's a ban only an the possession of one kind of weapon, of handguns, that's been considered especially -- especially dangerous. The CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: So if you have a law that prohibits the possession of books, it's all right if you allow the possession of newspapers?

MR. DELLINGER: No, it's not, and the difference is quite clear. If -- if you -- there is no limit to the public discourse. If there is an individual right to guns for personal use, it's to carry out a purpose, like protecting the home. You could not, for example, say that no one may have more than 50 books. But a law that said no one may possess more than 50 guns would -- would in fact be I think quite reasonable.

GENERAL CLEMENT: Okay. I would like to talk about the standard and my light is indeed on, so let me do that.I think there are several reasons why a standard as we suggest in our brief rather than strict scrutiny is an appropriate standard to be applied in evaluating these laws. I think first and foremost, as our colloquy earlier indicated, there is -- the right to bear arms was a preexisting right. The Second Amendment talks about "the right to bear arms," not just "a right to bear arms." And that preexisting always coexisted with reasonable regulations of firearms.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/07-290.pdf [supremecourt.gov]

Re:Need a first amendment permit and database (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762543)

When you split a sarcastic statement between the title and the text of your comment, it's almost like an accidental(?) troll. But yep, if requiring a person be licensed to have a firearm doesn't violate the right of the people to keep and bear arms, then requiring newspapers, churches, assemblies of people, etc., to be licensed doesn't violate their First Amendment rights.

And since the courts do in fact seem to be starting down that line regarding our First Amendment rights...the Second Amendment rights become that much more important.

Re:Need a first amendment permit and database (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763433)

Seems reasonable. License, permit and databases aren't infringement as the supreme court has found.
 
And if you want to criticize the government it is no problem. You will just have to apply for a license for a reasonable fee of $200 (like current class 3 gun permit), and be photographed, fingerprinted and entered into a database (as per Feinstein's bill). No infringement of the 1st amendment there, right?

Oh no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762441)

... easing legal barriers that prevent states from contributing data to that system.

Oh boy.

Getting closer and closer to dossiers on everybody.

And if anyone thinks that it's not technically possible in this day and age then you don't belong here on Slashdot.

The fed has to much IT outsourcing that needs to b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762449)

The fed has to much IT outsourcing that needs to be better controlled / with some more centralization or at least move most of it all in house.

ATF - fox guarding the henhouse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762457)

Isn't it time for someone *not* known for giving thousands of guns to criminals to take over? Perhaps the NRA? ;)

Executive Orders (1)

rhook (943951) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762493)

There are no Executive Orders on this issue. The President does not have legislative power. And you cannot license a right.

Re:Executive Orders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762685)

You are wrong. The president DOES have legislative power; there are several ways to create regulations outside of Congress. Common Law is British law that is in effect in the United States despite the fact that it was never passed through Congress. Judges technically can also make law, by making a ruling on a case and making an interpretation of a law; that ruling is then used in subsequent cases as a reference point and has the same effect as a law. Executive orders also have the full force of the law, but are subject to an Enabling Act; basically Congress has the right to overturn any executive order, but if they do not then it basically has the full power of a law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_act

Personally I hate executive orders; President's should carry out and enforce the law, not rule by decree, but we're stuck with it for now.

Re:Executive Orders (1)

truetorment (919200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762689)

Thank you for commenting on this as well. Whether one is for or against the executive actions Obama actually took, characterizing them correctly is important! It's also interesting that when asked, most people vociferously against these 'executive orders' cannot actually name one that they oppose or why.

Re:Executive Orders (1)

jonnythan (79727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762697)

Little known fact: the President is actually the head of the executive branch of government, which contains agencies such as the ATF and DOJ. And since he's the head of those departments he can set policy for those departments within the confines of their legislation!

Mind = blown right?

Re:Executive Orders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762973)

However he can set policy for those departments within the confines of their legislation. Which also means he can not make up law either unless congress gives him that authority.

However, if you take it in front of a judge they will not give a rip what 'policy' is other than if it infringes in some way. What they care about is what congress wrote down in the law and/or if it conforms to the constitution. Unless the law is something like 'up to the department'. mind = blown right?

Re:Executive Orders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763327)

Unfortunately, some genius gave the ATF too much power to interpret the law. It shouldn't stand up in court, but you can't challenge it in court if ATF agents have shot you to death, and they've got a bit of a record.

No no no... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762521)

This is not a "problem" to be solved. This is a "problem" to be strengthened. The worse their IT infrastructure the better. The patently unconstitutional activities of these organizations (particularly the ATF) need to be dismantled and crippled at every level. Any US citizen that aids and abets these organizations in any way is just as guilty as they are... yes including IT.

--Citizen

wheee (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762523)

another 1000+ post gun control topic

Really, its been said already. we dont need a rehash.

Thank the NRA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762525)

That federal gun tracking is way behind is largely by intention. The NRA got Congress to mostly ban any computer based tracking of gun information. Their motivation is that any computer tracking can support future gun confiscation.

Re:Thank the NRA (2)

ak3ldama (554026) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762717)

Should we thus put microphones up everywhere to monitor speech? After all we can effectively monitor everything done over computer and phone communications. Why not have multi-directional highly sensitive microphones put up to record all speech? Effectively SETI but for us (and minus the intelligence part.) Search for Intra Terrestrial Terrorism. We wouldn't be infringing on anyone's free speech after all, just listening - if anything that is enhancing everyones freedom!

Gun control is like speed traps on racetracks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762537)

Why not a Federal law which controls speeding by requiring governers on all vehicles so as to make it impossible to speed?

Match it up with a GPS system and the government will be able to save the ~14,000 citizens who die every year on our roads because of speeding.

What could possibly go wrong?

Two words: Gun Registry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762581)

TLDR version:

Once they have a suitable list of owners, it will become possible to confiscate the guns, which is apparently what these people want to do.

Rule by decree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762601)

I know kind of off topic, but executive orders? This puts Obama at at least 170 in 4 years (which to his credit is higher than Bush but on par with many presidents and lower than Reagan). I'm sorry thing kind of thing needs to be done through legislation; executive orders should only be done when immediate action is called. I hate this rule by decree bs.

Anyways, yeah, back on topic; total knee jerk reaction, and while i don't own a gun I'm a rabid supporter of gun rights, and frankly the more legislation out there to control guns will only encourage me to go buy one before the legislation kicks in, or even get one illegally.

This brought to you... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762647)

by the organization where the majority of internal web apps still have to target IE7 for compatibility.

'23 Executive Orders' (1)

truetorment (919200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762657)

Obama did not produce or sign any 'executive orders'. Executive orders carry the force of law, and characterizing his executive actions (actually three memoranda and several other 'actions') as executive orders is completely incorrect:

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/17/the_23_executive_orders_that_weren't/

Re:'23 Executive Orders' (1)

norminator (784674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762753)

That's exactly what I came here to post. Anti-Obama folks were really eager before January 16 to talk about how Obama was about to bypass Congress and implement gun control through executive order, and they never corrected themselves after the fact.

Most of the 23 items are about making existing background checks more effective by encouraging (not ordering) government entities to share information better. Many are clarifying what rights and authority different agencies or individuals (such as doctors) already have.

But who needs rational discussion at a time like this?

Re:'23 Executive Orders' (2)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763221)

"making existing background checks more effective by encouraging (not ordering) government entities to share information"

The part that concerns me about that is the possibility that Homeland Security's "terrorism watch list" or TSA "No Fly List" will end up being incorporated into the NICS database. I haven't heard about this specifically in the latest batch of orders, but the government proposed it at least once previously.

The problem is that people can be arbitrarily added to these lists and there is no legal process by which to remove yourself. A law abiding citizen with no history of crime or mental illness could just be added to the list for whatever reason. That's BS. If we're going to prohibit people from purchasing or owning firearms, it should be done only through due process of law, not by some obscure and arbitrary bureaucratic decision making.

Enforcement and Business (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762665)

The real problem is not polution, corruption, gun-control, or any one specific issue. It is a matter of enforcement. I think at this point that if congress were to read through every federal law on the books that they would be unable to complete the read-through in a years time (not counting all of their vacations and holidays). If the current laws are not enforced how is creating more going to solve anything? There is an industry around creating new laws. This is wrong at a fundamental level. Coincidentally it is the same problem with the medical situation. There is an entire "medical-billing industry": middlemen paid to shuffle papers with no real gain for the people footing the bill.

Same old crap. (3, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762731)

The government needs to dump what they've got and start from scratch. But all I can say is good luck.

They can barely set up a site properly, let alone build and manage a sophisticated database. Visit most government sites and they're a convoluted maze of poorly organized content. And federal government sites are halfway decent, state and municipal sites are many orders of magnitude worse. I can't comprehend how the companies that build that junk remain in business.

Well, actually I can. I know people IT and web who've done work for my state and it's an absolute nightmare. It's the sort of thing that they've consistently said they'd never do again. I think the few willing to do it haven't so much figured out how to work through the red tape so much as exploit the system for personal gain. It doesn't help when you're dealing with government workers who are total incompetents, managing things they know nothing about. But as long as they look productive they don't have to worry about accountability.

And that's part of the problem. You still have to deal with the human component. I know someone who was self-employed and struggling. Because of it he was eligible for free health insurance through the state so he applied successfully. There's no copay or anything because, as was explained to him by a social worker, even if they only charged a dollar most people on the program would still refuse to pay. The expectation is that it all should be free.

So a year in he lands a decent job and is no longer eligible for the program. He gets in touch with the worker to cancel the plan. Over the next year he continues getting plan updates. They even switch providers for him. The state partners with various companies and over so often they have to switch providers. The user is supposed to pick a plan or risk cancellation. But apparently if you ignore all the paperwork they take care of it all for you. So here he was calling multiple times before they finally dropped him. Someone with fewer scruples could have milked the plan indefinitely. And in fact, I know of some people who've done just that.

That's just one example. I have others. With this level of incompetence how can we expected any program to be implemented and managed properly? The existing program should already be addressing these problems. No one ever assess and analyzes. It's always that we need something even bigger and more complex couple to the idea that more money can fix any problem. Then when the next grand program fails they'll just start the cycle all over.

I'm not suggesting we don't need an overhaul. I'm simply pointing out that it's almost certainly going to be a financial morass resulting in something no more effective than we've got now.

Harder than it sounds (3, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762815)

I suspect the problem of establishing interoperability among the government agencies is harder than it sounds. The DoD has been working on getting their stovepiped systems to talk to one another for 20 years. Remember the big push after 9/11 to get all the first responders talking on the same radio frequencies? Hundreds of millions spent, and still no results. So "incompatible computer systems" doesn't sound to me like a minor hurdle that can be overcome with a couple years' R&D. It sounds more to me like "doomed from the outset."

Possibly our best defense against Big Brother is that the government adopted all its major IT systems before the Internet was a household word.

In other news.... (2)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762865)

....people who can make a pile of money from greater IT investment, advocate greater IT investment. /facepalm /news

Arming Terroists (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42762951)

This president is arming Islamist Terrorist with F-16's in Egypt and you want this man to decide who is fit to own a gun and whether you can have one or not? This president gave guns to Mexican drug lords who then killed American officers with them and he needs to be put in charge of who gets a gun?

Re:Arming Terroists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763131)

Precisely! The president who wants to arm to the teeth Egypt, Libya and the Syrian renegades fighting to make Syria the next Egypt wants law abiding citizens of the US to lay down theirs. That's the problem!

Gun control debate (1)

geeper (883542) | about a year and a half ago | (#42762953)

Gun control debate in Three...Two...O.......BLAM!

Why do we need new laws and regulations? (4, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763013)

Prosecutions for violating existing federal gun laws are down significantly under Obama. Joe Biden said that they do not have the time and manpower in order to pursue violations of the law on background checks. If the Administration does not enforce existing laws, why should we believe that any new laws will make any positive difference?

Re:Why do we need new laws and regulations? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42763225)

Congress has hamstrung the administration's ability to enforce existing gun laws. They've done everything they could to guarantee that the ATF is a permanently incompetent agency.

Easy solution (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763033)

So if we want to stop Obama's diktats, all we have to do is prevent IT companies from bidding on the contract? If Rahm Emanuel can sit around and tell banks to stop doing business with gun manufacturers, then why can't everyone else tell IT companies not to do business with the Federal Government in regards to firearms?

No the missing piece (-1, Troll)

doginthewoods (668559) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763201)

is Ammunition (and ammunition making equipment, like reloaders) control. Nowhere does any of these proposals address that. Simply put, a gun with no bullets is as deadly is a brick. And if it was as hard to buy bullets as it is to buy prescription narcotics, then we would not have nearly the number of gun related deaths we have now.

Some obvious observations (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42763425)

I just wanted to point out some really obvious things

There is an wide chasm between "Non compos mentis" [wikipedia.org] and "mental health issues". Note that the 2nd term isn't "mental health disorder" it's "mental health issues".

How will "mental health issue" be defined for this purpose? Is a prescription for antidepressants sufficient for gun confiscation, or does it require a diagnosis of an actual disorder [google.com] . Will a judge be involved in the ruling, or will the police make the determination? Will it be "confiscate first, check later"?

Will a doctor's word - patient "X" is on antidepressants - be sufficient for the police to come and confiscate arms? Will the confiscation last forever, or can a person be deemed "cured" and get their guns back? Will this cause people to hide real mental health issues for fear of having their property confiscated?

Many people with "mental health issues" have broken no law. This means the government will be taking away the rights of a group of people based on a warm-fuzzy "it seems like the right thing to do" attitude. We could just as easily restrict blacks from having firearms because blacks commit more crimes than whites [yahoo.com] in this country.

People make a lot of hay over the "social contract". It turns out that our ancestors made a social contract which was explicitly put down on paper and said that you could have your centralized government so long as the people can keep guns.

You cannot break that contract directly, you have to change the constitution to do it - that's the rules, and everyone has to abide by them. If you don't believe in the constitution, then the social contract is null and void, and we might as well do away with the federal government.

And where is state governance in all this? What if some states (Texas comes to mind) simply don't want to restrict gun control in this manner? The constitution explicitly states that the federal government can't take this right away.

And finally, you know that this will be abused by law enforcement to extreme levels. Cops will be grabbing guns off of everyone they see claiming "well, he looked like he had mental health issues". Prosecutors will dig up any thin hint of a mental health issue to justify keeping the guns, and no one will be able to get their property back - ever.

This whole issue is a train wreck waiting to happen. Especially since, given the statistics, it will cause more children to be hurt (on average) than relaxing restrictions.

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