Forums / Political & Legal / Gun Control Without Gun Laws _ Eliot Spitzer's Scary New Ploy!

5 years 10 weeks ago, 7:52 PM

samD

samD's picture

Rank:
President
Points:
15597
Join Date:
Aug 2008
Location:
Green Valley, Free State of Arizona, United States

How Obama can use government procurement regulations to limit gun violence.

By Eliot Spitzer and Peter B. Pope
Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2009, at 7:05 AM ET

Ever since Al Gore lost the presidency in 2000, the national Democratic Party has avoided the issue of gun control. The Obama White House recently made it clear—abandoning a campaign pledge—that it won't push for a legislative ban on the sale of assault weapons. Yet a series of provocative recent events has revived the gun debate: the international tension arising from Mexican drug gangs using guns purchased at American stores, the 10th anniversary of Columbine, and a Supreme Court case invalidating a District of Columbia law prohibiting the possession of guns at home.

Political reality makes even a modest gun law a difficult legislative sell. But if the Obama administration really cares about limiting gun violence, it could pursue a different strategy, one that doesn't involve Congress and isn't likely to provoke a storm of opposition.

Modern government is not only a lawmaker. Indeed, the most effective executive powers may not derive from statutes at all. The government that President Obama oversees is also a gigantic, well-funded procurement agent. And it can—and should—use that power to change American gun policies. Specifically, the government buys lots of guns, for sheriffs, patrol officers, and detectives; for FBI agents, DEA agents, IRS agents, Postal Inspectors, immigration agents, and park rangers; and for soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and spies. The government buys guns by the crate.

What is striking is that the government buys guns from manufacturers who also sell them to criminals—either knowingly or by willfully overlooking the behavior of the retail outlets that the gun companies use as their distribution system. Those of us who were in law enforcement in New York City in the late '80s and early '90s remember how drug dealers pioneered the use of 9-mm guns. We heard over and over from our friends in the police department that they were outgunned, that their service revolvers were no match for semi-automatics in a shootout. So what did the police do? The New York City Police Department finally bought 9-mms, too. It was a classic arms race, with the gun manufacturers in the economically enviable position of selling bigger and better guns to both sides.

This prompts a simple question: Why do we buy guns from companies that permit their products to be sold to bad guys?

In this era of government ownership of financial institutions, we are getting more used to the notion that government as an economic actor can exercise its power in differing ways. After all, firms that received TARP money are subject to a bevy of pay restrictions—wisely constructed or not—and were forced to cancel showy parties and retreats.

If we can use a capital infusion to a bank as an opportunity to control executive compensation and to limit use of private planes, why can't the government use its weight as the largest purchaser of guns from major manufacturers to reward companies that work to keep their products out of criminals' hands? Put another way, if it is too difficult to outlaw bad conduct through statutes, why not pay for good conduct? Why not require vendors to change their behavior if they want our tax dollars?

Just as we now "purchase" good corporate behavior in the financial industry, let it be so with guns. Governors and mayors and federal officials should buy guns from only manufacturers that control their product distribution, from manufacturers that cut off dealers whose guns end up disproportionately in the hands of criminals. In the New York attorney general's office nine years ago, we proposed several ways of constraining gun manufacturers within existing laws. These same proposals could be implemented now. Nongun manufacturers across the nation routinely control how their product is distributed and impose contractual obligations on wholesalers and retailers. Gun companies should have to use a similar approach. They should sell their product through only authorized dealers. And the authorized dealers should have to keep track of how many times they got "trace" inquiries from law enforcement—that is, how many guns they sold were later used by criminals. Dealers that sold a disproportionate number of "crime guns" would have to fix the problem, something that might be as easy as retraining staff to react to "straw" purchasers who were trying to evade existing laws. Data showing that a high percentage of guns used in crime come from a small subset of dealers suggest that closing these few retailers could have a dramatic impact on access to illegal guns. Likewise, the government could require manufacturers to make a few simple design changes in the interest of safety and tracking: trigger locks, or hidden serial numbers, or a magazine safety disconnect on every pistol.

More fundamentally, companies could be told to stop selling certain types of weapons to the general public. If a manufacturer did not comply with any of the limitations, then it would be excluded from the list of companies with which the government would do business.

In 2000, this idea's time had not come. The government did not so boldly exercise its prerogatives as owner and purchaser. It did not freely insist that companies receiving our tax dollars change their practices—even in fundamental ways—if they wanted our money. Today, of course, this is the way business is done.

If President Obama wants to devise a creative way to limit gun violence, he will use his power as the world's largest consumer to require the cooperation of gun manufacturers. If government cannot legislate the conduct it wants, then it can use market power to buy it. For the money we are spending, we should buy not only guns but some peace from gun violence.

Fuckhead Spitzer I am Not a Bad Guy! samD

5 years 10 weeks ago, 8:07 PM

runawaygun762

runawaygun762's picture

Rank:
Vice President
Points:
8929
Join Date:
Nov 2008
Location:
Richland, MO, United States

A few years ago, HUD was accepting bids on guns but they put ridiculous restrictions and caveats to the purchase. Smith and Wesson won, and wa heavily chastized by the gun culture. Glock came on CNN and basically told HUD to go fuck themselves, that they would make money by selling to locals and that they really didn't need the Federal Government's business and they still came out on top in the market.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 10 weeks ago, 9:44 PM

ssrs10

ssrs10's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
2020
Join Date:
Oct 2008
Location:
Connecticut, United States
Yeah but

But the fact still remains that more people die due to car accidents and doctors screwing up every year than they do due to gun violence. Null issue.

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses
5 years 10 weeks ago, 3:05 AM

Lyle Hutchins 1

Lyle Hutchins 1's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1261
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Cee-more, Ok., United States
Guns

I would still rather go hunting with Dick Chaney than ride accross the street with Ted Kennedy.

Oboma Hussain will still try to fut up the so called assult weapons. Weapon Mfgs. Or the blame game "guns kill", like forks made Rosie Odonald's ass fat, [ HUGE]

cherokee65

Lyle Hutchinson
5 years 10 weeks ago, 3:21 AM

Ironkoji

Ironkoji's picture

Rank:
Points:
397
Join Date:
Apr 2009
Location:
Dallas, TX
Lyle, LOL, good one!

But seriously you want to go hunting in Cheney's famous, "cave"? I don't have anything bad to say about Dick Cheney. I don't have much good to say about him either. He screwed up from the start of the War in Iraq. Somehow they chickened out from the start of the war. The opening attack was supposed be the shock and awe thing with 3500 heavy weapons on 3500 critical targets, like 2000 pounder jdams and 1 and 2 thousand pounder cruise missiles and at the last minute they chickened out and cut the opening assault to just 1500 weapons. There is nothing nice about war. War is an ugly nasty business, but if you decide it's absolutely necessary, then holding back is not going to serve you well, and it didn't. They just left too many bad guys alive to carry on an insurgency. It's that which is what got us in trouble. I never cared or even believed that saddam had any major WMD he could deploy. I took the high ground on a moral basis like Tony Blair said. "It doesn't matter about WMD. The world and Iraq are going to be much better off without saddam than with him."
Pacifists turn my stomach. Pacifists kill more people in war than any weapon you can think of. It's the pacifists who can and will make you hesitate, think twice, cut back etc. And while you are hesitating and cutting back the bad guys are coming at you anyway they can. Oh I agree with the sentiment. War is a screwed up bad business anyway you look at it, but it takes a real warrior to understand how to really hate war. No pacifist could ever do that in the same way. If you're going to go to war. Then get it done right. The only reason to go to war is to win. I'm sure Knute Rockne never said, hey let's go out and blow one for the Gipper.

Koji

5 years 10 weeks ago, 3:59 AM

Lyle Hutchins 1

Lyle Hutchins 1's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1261
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Cee-more, Ok., United States
war

ironkoji
10-4 They should shoot first and don't ask any questions. I met a new warrior about 2 years back, just after the Marine shot the asshole in a bulding and the reporter said that the marine murdered the asshole. Well I informed the new warrior to shoot the asshole and if their is a reporter their shoot him also, and say "I guess he took a stray round". And go about your business. In war take your biggest weapons and use all them first, then, mop up with the portable ones. My Dad was on New Britton, Pellilue, then Okanawa. His CO on Pellilue was Chesty Puller!!!! Well i could go on, but you are wright and especialy pacifist's, Like the guy says "when you have to shoot , SHOOT, don't talk!
The thing about Chaney, yea he probly fut up. But I would rather hunt with him (Just don't come up behind him when he has a shotgun in his hands.) than ride accross the street with Teddy, Chaney didn'n kill the guy, and it was reported ASAP! Kennidy wrecked the car ,got out , and hours later He finly told someone about the girl in the car( she's dead by now, she can't talk) All is covered up, and the rest is history. Well time to go to bed.

cherokee65 or Lyle

Lyle Hutchinson
5 years 10 weeks ago, 4:09 AM

Lyle Hutchins 1

Lyle Hutchins 1's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1261
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Cee-more, Ok., United States
When pigs fly

They once said that a black man would be president, when PIGS FLY.
Its only his first 100 days and BAM! "SWINE FLU"!! cherokee 65

Lyle Hutchinson
5 years 10 weeks ago, 4:24 AM

Ironkoji

Ironkoji's picture

Rank:
Points:
397
Join Date:
Apr 2009
Location:
Dallas, TX

My mother was killed in 1975. I was just 19 at the time. But I will never forget what she once told me. There will be a black man to become president before a woman will. She said this years before she died. Talk about prophetic! Considering the contest between Senator Clinton, at the time, and Senator Obama at the time. History has proven my mother correct.

Koji

5 years 10 weeks ago, 6:45 AM

ivantank

ivantank's picture

Rank:
General
Points:
3383
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
lancaster, south carolina, United States
spitzer..???

this the X-governer of new york that got caught with the whore??

I have reasons for the things I do, just don't expect them to be reasonable

Who's Online

Guns Lot Activity
Users
Currently Active Users: 1228 (0 members and 1228 guests)

Guns Lot Statistics
Stats Topics: 8,639, Comments: 160,800, Members: 23,517
Welcome our newest member: Hank6046

Recent Activity