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This week on The Journal Editorial Report as the president unveils his gun control agenda will look at the good the bad.
And the probably unconstitutional.
Plus from immigration into the deficit reduction what else.
Is on his second term to do list and -- compromise or confrontation.
The real goal plus the suicide of an Internet activist has his family crying now.
Was Aaron -- the victim of government intimidation and a run away.
While there is no law or set of laws that -- -- -- Every senseless act of violence completely.
No piece of legislation that will.
Every tragedy every act of evil.
If there's 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 ego that was President Obama Wednesday rolling out his administration's plan to curb gun -- It's 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 it make -- -- Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan anger.
Political diary editor Jason Riley and Washington columnist Kim strong muscles so.
Dan just as a hypothetical let's assume everything the president is proposing becomes law.
What difference would it.
Well it's not -- a hypothetical Paul it.
The president just said if if we can save just one life.
We have to do this from 1994 -- 2004.
We had a law banning assault white rifles and high capacity magazines.
The National Research Council -- 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 so poor that it's impossible to understand whether any good is coming of these laws you'd hate to reduce it 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 and tapped home gun violence has fallen since the assault weapons ban expire in 2004 was -- in 2004 -- 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 and -- 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 -- 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 -- sort of it's killing in the theaters in Colorado by piece of violently 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 look -- -- actually proposing and the ban handguns.
Except that I want to I mean if if if most people who boo -- we're -- -- gun violence or killed by handguns.
Why not try to -- handcuffed because the ban guns are there illegal guns are being used on the streets of Chicago also markets also gang -- also on constitutional right there there's the Second Amendment there right -- that was found in 2008 in the law -- Heller case Helen -- that which is expressly involved.
Handguns and guns in common use an individual right -- it right now it is an assault weapons are also in many places.
In common use these so -- -- I mean -- 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 they just think.
Particular ones that they ban 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.
We'll 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 -- Kim let's move on of the politics of this 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 -- -- academic senate Democrats know this is about Democrats okay.
In in red states in swing states their communities are both very pro Second Amendment -- this is playing with fire in their reelection prospects that they want to go out and touch -- gun control and this is like even Harry Reid has not said that he is going to embrace any of these matters that the president of 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 -- there.
Well there's also I believe a 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 they are if you were white.
And that -- -- discussion that this present is uniquely qualified to have but does not -- having neither does the left likes to complain that we don't have discussions.
-- and there's one element of the politics you're damn them do that -- Michael Bloomberg the mayor of New York independently wealthy is would.
Planning willing and has shown it in the past election but may be 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 in New York 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.
OK 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 -- still ahead as President Obama prepares to be sworn in.
For his second term just what is he hoping to accomplish.
We already know guns are on the agenda but from immigration to debt reduction.
Is compromised the name of his game or is taking back the house and 4014.
His real priority.
They have a particular vision about what government should and should not do.
So they are suspicious about government's commitments for example.
To make sure that seniors have decent help here because they get older.
They have suspicions about.
They have suspicions about.
Whether government should make sure that.
Kids in poverty.
Are getting enough to -- That was President Obama Monday talking about congressional Republicans in the final press conference of his first term.
If that performance is any indication of -- strategy for term number two what's likely to get done.
In the next four years or did you recognize yourself case and that but the public says that the their expectations for the next four years are much lower than they were the first time which I guess is understandable given a second term president that usually happens what are your expectations.
Well socialized medicine is expensive polish and so I think I expect Obama to aggressively try and fund.
His first term agenda in the second term and that means.
Raising more revenue more tax -- I think we're gonna find out the people who make around a 100000 dollars -- really rich I'm.
He's got to go in the -- tonight and I'm looking for him to hit the middle class with more tax hikes in the second term I think that's an idea that's -- that's priority.
He's got rich find the money to outline the money to be able to get to do -- -- what about this theory there -- -- senior hearing from liberals which is.
And they're -- it no more mr.
nice guy the president is is is gonna take on Republicans is way too compromising in the first term.
Not that I recognize that president but that's the line.
That they're taking and so you know look he's gonna put him in their places to demonize -- -- -- ties some is that what we're gonna see what does that.
We are gonna -- I mean the left of them looking for years for an answer to right wing talk radio and it got one the president in the United States and be like a -- -- talk show host.
The idea is that we're in the midst of a social revolution and it's a take no prisoners revolution when he talks about the elderly he's talking about Obama care Medicare and we talked about.
Not caring about -- -- important enough to eat that's food stamps as Jason suggested he's looking for a way to transfer wealth.
Not just from the rich but from the middle class the upper middle class and the wealthy.
Down below and create a permanent supports this but I have to tell you again he's popular his approval rating of what 52% I'll take his personal personal approval rating is upwards close to the -- fly in the ointment Paul.
Is the unemployment rate.
And the growth rate.
He's got four years if unemployment stays above 7% or gets worse again because of his policies because there's no growth -- sentence in the -- in the Obama agenda.
It's going to start eroding his popularity it's going to start leaning on him as he tries to achieve this social revolution.
-- you know the writer Ron Brownstein for the National Journal good political analyst wrote wrote this week that the president is likely be more aggressive he predicted it.
Because there is assumption in the White House that they now have essentially.
A real liberal majority in the country that his coalition that showed up on Election Day is such that they don't need to worry anymore the way Bill Clinton did.
About losing conservative voters particularly white -- -- swing voters anymore because they have this new coalition.
And that's driving the president to say look we can satisfy these long term pent up.
Liberal demands is -- did you see that -- true.
You know I would argue that that analysis is probably the best way of looking at this president and understanding what he's doing.
Democratic presence of the past you look at Bill Clinton.
They they understood and they believe there was a real benefit to being someone in the middle of centrist.
Working in and with Republicans to get -- done in getting that vast bipartisan approval.
Quotient out there.
But this president has not done that and you have to assume that -- because he believes that he does have what it takes to continue.
Have Democrats continue in office with just a liberal majority and I do think that that brings up this huge question out.
How sincere he is -- over the next two years about some of the item agenda agenda items he's -- -- like immigration.
Whether -- not yet she really wants to get that done or whether or not.
This is about.
Taking issues that show Republicans to -- this united.
Make them look like they're unable to govern and so you can.
Rout them out of the house in 2014 and then have all of Washington unified under your control when it.
And then and your party time in the last two years well one track on Obama's aggressive -- the left might be that there are Democrats and some Republican.
Leaning seats in the senate states and that need to win their senate seats in north of -- Democrats.
To continue holding majority and the -- we're talking about Arkansas Alaska North Carolina and so forth.
And if Obama wants to -- pursuing aggressive agenda and a second term.
He can't afford to lose the senate and not have either the senate -- the -- You know again I think I agree with you about the one essential here and that is economic growth the president can't come close to financing his -- -- with 2% growth.
He can't come close to raising middle class incomes which -- -- -- Since -- economic recovery started.
Without getting growth to 34%.
That will see that seems to me to be what will determine whether or not his second term is on the ultimately successful tax receipts have been historically low in his first term if he doesn't get it up it's just not going to happen ball.
Yeah I agree with you -- when we come back at 26 year old computer hacker.
Commits suicide after a federal indictment that could have put him behind bars for decades.
Supporters say Aaron -- was the victim of an overzealous prosecutor.
Was -- There's a debate ahead.
-- tech world was rocked last week by news of the suicide of 26 year old Internet activist Aaron Swartz the computer programmer and free information advocate.
Was facing up to 35 years in prison if convicted on federal charges of computer hacking.
And wire fraud over the illicit downloading of millions of academic articles from a subscription database at MIT.
Charges his family and supporters say amounted to prosecutorial.
Overreach and contributed to Swartz -- decision to take his own life.
But the US attorney in the case is pushing back against those claims saying her office acted fairly and responsibly.
And it offered -- a six month prison sentence in exchange for his guilty plea.
To thirteen felony counts a deal Swartz rejected wall street journal editorial board member Joseph Rego has been following the story.
And he joins us now Joseph so who was Aaron Swartz and why was this such a big.
Deal -- -- is an important figure in the digital world in the sense that he's.
An open source activist he he advocates an ideology that says information wants to be free so that database that he went after Colin.
Charges universities and -- it's a subscription fees -- 50000 dollars a year.
We did was he downloaded all these articles and was gonna release them kind of into the Internet while it's and it was it was about certain digital democracy in and open access information vs business person's attention of copyright and intellectual property.
Which are protected under.
How big of crime bill really is this right -- he was stopped in the acts of -- never actually -- -- -- release the articles and while a lot of people find is.
Ideas deplorable in in the sense that.
Intellectual properties for its owners to decide how to how -- -- -- how much that -- essentially disavowed intellectual property laws at least in the Internet right it's as as a concept he's right he was opposed to it.
On the on the other hand he wasn't charged with violating copyright with violating Internet.
Excuse me intellectual protection.
He was charged -- or 1986 -- a very big law.
About them essentially wire fraud.
Very over broad statute.
-- and which you have to ask is is was 35 years decades of incarceration in any way commensurate.
With what he did which was essentially political civil -- your view would be it was not commensurate this was a clear case of of of -- absolutely.
Kim how about that what do you think about that I mean grazing the the prosecutor at the charges from four felony counts to thirteen.
Is that did that really fit the crime here.
Let it wasn't just wire fraud that was computer fraud it was unauthorized -- that.
It was also -- think you have to look at the intent here and and this gets glossed over.
This -- bought a computer to do this MIT -- -- the IP addresses he got -- got new ones -- -- that and they -- his computer he got a new one.
When it wouldn't work on the wireless he broke into a closet on the campus so that he could plug into the network.
He knew he was doing and if you wanna have a -- -- an argument about whether or not these crimes in the penalty that they contain -- over -- That's fine except for that.
The crimes he committed I -- he he did them and this was what he was.
Setting himself up or in deciding to take the actions the he did for an ideological or -- -- don't press.
-- do this all the time Joseph in the sense that they say you know we're gonna make an example of somebody -- loud and aggressive on this so that everybody else gets the message not to do it.
Right and -- mean look.
It didn't actually think they don't do it all the time if you if you look at something like Google books in the mid two thousands -- Google went in and tried to start.
-- -- -- -- these books what happened was.
Publisher sued the Authors Guild -- date they came to resolution that seems like of a better idea here than than going after this kid.
The entire book Adam.
Overreach prosecutorial abuse I think is a big problem in this country that doesn't get enough attention if you look at.
The late Ted Stevens case -- a former Alaskan senator the right.
The prosecutorial abuse deny the people of Alaska free and fair election and literally shifted the balance of power.
In of the US government this is a problem that it.
Needs needs more scrutiny -- SharePoint doesn't Google wasn't breaking into databases again you have to look at the intent here.
This young man knew exactly what he was doing he was attempting to destroy a business model.
Okay and he was doing it with great purpose and we can't forget there -- other victims of this people keep talking about him but.
What about the families of people who worked at.
Got to look at that too.
All right -- and our condolences to the -- fan.
Whatever side of the issue we have to take one more break what we come back.
Our hits and misses of the week.
Time now for hits and misses of the week -- Well I'm giving -- hit Kathryn Bigelow the director of zero dark thirty -- movie about the killing of bin Laden she finally has spoken out because she's been under criticism for depicting torture she said look we have to remember there were lives lost on 9/11.
There were people in the military in the intelligence community who also lost their lives trying to protect the country.
Yes some of them may have crossed moral lines and doing it.
But what they did was -- to protect the United States and she was not going to apologize for that I'd call that it.
Paul we're having one of the worst flu seasons in decades if you know anything about the food and drug administration's methods probably means they're blocking some new that.
A actually this is -- hit they approved a new vaccine called blue block this week.
That's more effective than traditional methods and its.
Manufactured using genetic advances and only took five years to get this onto the market but one point for medical.
Progress right camp.
A giant -- to Lance Armstrong you know it's bad enough that he's now -- the whole range of doping and for all seven of his tourists.
But this is also about the number of people who he ruthlessly destroyed -- he claims against them.
The degree to which he had used his cancers survivalists.
-- isn't too.
Shield himself from this and then in the bag but he didn't even apologize the people face to face they had to go on to the church -- -- to -- -- if -- study and -- that's.
OK keep them a lot of people agree with you on that and remember if you have your own hit or miss please send that said -- at foxnews.com.
And be sure to follow us on Twitter at JER on app.
-- That's it for this week show thanks to my panel and especially to all of you for watching I'm -- ago we hope to see you right here.
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