Obama's gun control agenda
The good, bad and probably unconstitutional
- Duration 7:00
- Date Jan 19, 2013
The good, bad and probably unconstitutional
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This transcript is automatically generated
While there is no law or set of laws that come to -- Every senseless act of violence completely.
No piece of legislation that will.
Every tragedy every act of evil.
If there was even one thing we can do.
To reduce this violence.
If there's even one life that can be saved.
We've got an obligation to try.
Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm polish -- that was President Obama Wednesday rolling out his administration's plan to curb gun violence the president outlined 23 executive actions including.
Steps to make more federal data available for background checks and increase access.
To mental health services and he called on congress to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban and prohibit high capacity.
Gun magazines that can hold more than ten rounds.
So what's likely to get past and what difference will -- make let's ask Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan anger.
Political diary editor Jason Riley in Washington columnist Kim -- so.
Dan just as a hypothetical let's assume everything the president is proposing becomes law.
What difference would it.
Well it's not what a hypothetical fall.
And the president just said if we can save just one life we have to do this from 19942004.
We had a law banning assault white rifles and -- capacity magazines.
The National Research Council and the Centers for Disease Control took a deep look at the effect of that law and their conclusion was it was impossible to determine.
Whether it reduced any crime in the United States 2005.
The National Research Council looked again.
Their conclusion was that the government's collection of data about guns is -- war.
That it's impossible to understand whether any good is coming of these laws you'd hate to reduced to something as bureaucratic.
As the federal government's inability to track these guns but that is about what it comes down to they're just no evidence that those laws make any difference.
It's it's in fact called gun violence has fallen since the assault weapons ban expire in 2004 was and I think 2000 -- The -- relevant question is -- these these are proposals.
Being put forward in response to sandy hook and gun violence over on the country so will they -- trust that problem.
A universal background check would have been passed by the person who bought the gun used in Connecticut.
Well let me let me argue that some of the things he's proposed on mental health for example easing the law called -- which which is a federal privacy law if you ease Adam allow people -- like -- administrators and schools.
Or doctors and and and and medical officers to be able to share information when they see some kid who seems to be troubled.
And identify them and maybe push him into assisted treatment that kind of thing would help seems to me.
It would definitely help I mean that side of it is that piece that we haven't really have much of a conversation about Thomas like an afterthought the president offered it but it may be the most effective.
But the new town events the Virginia tax that's certainly killing in the theaters in Colorado by -- bluntly mentally ill people.
Really is not related to gun control expert about what you're describing which is.
Monitoring and ensuring that those people are taking their medication and that's what's been a weak part of the system until.
Perhaps now let's also keep in mind that less than 3% of gun crimes in this country involved the assault weapons that the president wants to ban most of them are handguns and of course -- And -- actually proposing and the ban handguns.
The fact that I want to I mean if if if most people who who were -- the gun violence or killed by handguns.
Why not try to ban him because the band guns are there illegal guns that are being used on the streets of Chicago also markets also -- -- -- on constitutional right there there's the Second Amendment there right now that was found in 2008 in the law -- Heller -- Helen -- that which is expressly involved.
Handguns and guns in common use an individual right -- -- right now -- -- assault weapons are also in many places.
In common use these so called -- them and -- two million of them.
-- circulation Kim and -- so this may not actually stand up to court scrutiny if it.
It's right everything actually about this particular gun debate which is -- first when we're having a decade has to be seen in the light that Heller has now.
Is now the law of the land and the Supreme Court.
What the gun control community calls assault weapons are viewed by most people as semi automatics -- just think.
Particular ones that they -- happened to look a little bit more scary than other semi automatics but as you said.
There are millions of these in circulation and the burden upon the gun control crowd.
-- be to explain why some of them should still be okay to be out there and others not and that's a hard case to make in light of talent Kim let's move on the politics of -- you've been very skeptical that anything like the assault weapons ban is going to pass why.
Well you gotta look at senate Democrats in particular Democrat and an academic senate Democrats know this is about Democrats okay.
In in red states in swing states their communities are both very pro Second Amendment and this is playing with fire in their reelection prospects that they want to go out and -- -- uncontrolled and this is like even Harry Reid has not said that he is going to embrace any of these matters of the president -- forward.
And when you add to that the fact you have a Republican House and there's no appetite for dealing with that this would be a very difficult slot to get -- out.
Well there's also I believe racial element to this debate that that the president and a lot does not very eager to discuss and that is the fact of the large proportion of gun violence is taking place and I -- cities and it's black on black violence that's what we're seeing.
And if you are black the chances your chances of being involved -- gun violence -- the perpetrators or victims are several times higher than there are if you were white.
And that is discussion that this -- is uniquely qualified to have but does not -- -- having neither does the left -- to complain that we don't have discussions about.
Race and there's one element of the politics here dammit you know do -- that is Michael Bloomberg the mayor of New York independently wealthy is would.
Planning willing and is shown it in the past election but maybe even more so this next time.
To put literally tens of millions of dollars on behalf of gun control against candidates couldn't this actually challenge the National Rifle Association.
It its influence.
It's really ironic the Bloomberg's doing that because when you compare -- New York City city to Chicago which we know is heading for a record number of homicides.
New York City just recorded the lowest number of homicides since 1960.
That's about effective policing by the new York city police department.
If Mike Bloomberg would put his money into creating more effective police departments in cities like Chicago and San Francisco and Saint Louis I think that would be better.
Better spent on -- but I will say I think this is a real challenge his money is a real challenge for the NRA's political clout we're gonna see who wins still ahead --