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Federal Gun Control Requires IT Overhaul 436

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-me-back-my-stapler dept.
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 Unfortunately, on top of the data quality issues identified by the White House, and the FBI's and ATF's outdated IT systems, there's a lack of transparency about the systems used to enforce federal gun-control laws.'"
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Federal Gun Control Requires IT Overhaul

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  • Shocking? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Feyshtey (1523799) on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:20PM (#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?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:21PM (#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:Shocking? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:27PM (#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? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DanTheStone (1212500) on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:29PM (#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).

  • No no no... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:29PM (#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

  • Re:Shocking? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:40PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:40PM (#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.

  • by TykeClone (668449) <TykeClone@gmail.com> on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:42PM (#42762687) Homepage Journal
    BS He's a man and not a king and as such he has no more entitlement to personal safety than anyone else.
  • by citizenr (871508) on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:54PM (#42762807) Homepage

    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?

  • by nabsltd (1313397) on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:56PM (#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".

  • Arming Terroists (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:05PM (#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?

  • Unauthorized (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:11PM (#42763045) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:16PM (#42763107) Homepage Journal

    ...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.

  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:32PM (#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?

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:38PM (#42763425) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • Re:Shocking? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Feyshtey (1523799) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:47PM (#42763573)
    I'll attempt to explain by rephrasing your statement.

    The government decided that this was a perfect oppurtunity to do something they very much wanted to do already (disarming people). They pooled a lot of things their colleagues suggested as requirements (inter-agency sharing of information, pooled profiles, mental health reporting, etc.) and kicked out a bunch of nebulous "wouldnt it be great if" thoughts translated into mandates.

    Well, it'd be great if we could all ride rainbows and unicorns to work every day. But the reality is it aint going to happen. When government dicates a thing that is unrealistic (rather than fully impossible, like unicorns) they ensure that a ridiculous amount of money will be spent to produce a "thing". After the initial uproar of public opinion wanes and the bureaucrats are no longer getting nightly soundbites on national news for the topic, they are still on the hook for translating the nebulous ideas into tangible action items. They are also required to find funding for this yet to be fully designed "thing", but they are desperately bored and have moved on to whatever new national crisis is making headlines. So their underlings are assigned to get the heads of various departments and agencies to agree on some methods to accomplish some fraction of the original idea, assuring that the "thing" that comes out of the beltway meatgrinder is a collosal expense, a half-assed solution that maybe fits some of the original requirements (sorta), and is implemented 5 different ways by 10 different groups that refuse to abdicate authority to any other party involved. No one actually owns this "thing" so it is mismanaged and ineffectual.

    And this also assumes a great many things; That these nebulous ideas actually fix the crisis, that the mandates are are legal or appropriate, and that some whacko didnt hijack the whole thing for some completely unintended or unforseen political agenda.

    And what's even better is that the next administration comes in and uproots half of this "thing" (or more), adding to the waste of time, sweat and money.

    Two things I tell my 9 year-old son; "Dont make decisions when you're angry." and "If you dont have time to do it right the first time, you arent going to have time to fix it.", and he actually gets it. Apparently my 9 year old is able to wrap his head around these simple concepts far better than politicians.
  • Re:Shocking? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jiro (131519) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:53PM (#42763669)

    This whole thing is basically the gun equivalent of the Patriot Act. Wait for some people to get killed and while it has national exposure, push through laws that violate out Constitutional rights using the deaths as an excuse.

  • Re:Unauthorized (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday February 01, 2013 @03:53PM (#42764455)

    I'm sorry, but you're missing out on three things: one, the full second amendment includes a bit about a militia. You don't get to ignore parts of the constitution you don't like. Two, we're already restricting what arms can be carried. Or do you think you can just get a fully-automatic weapon, or an anti-tank missile? Three, licensing is not the same thing as a ban. Yes, it is a restriction, but only at the dictionary level. I hope you understand context.

    Man, I know you're one of the more level-headed posters here. If you're going down the rabbit hole of selectively quoting the constitution, ignoring commonly-accepted precedent and basic logic, I'm not sure if there's any hope for any sort of reasoned debate anymore.

  • Re:Unauthorized (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday February 01, 2013 @04:47PM (#42765163)

    the full second amendment includes a bit about a militia. You don't get to ignore parts of the constitution you don't like.

    And you don't get to ignore simple English when trying to eviscerate basic rights. The clause about the militia is an explanatory clause, not a regulatory clause. I.e., it explains one reason (but not every reason) why the right that is specified in that amendment is important. It doesn't say "the right of militia members to keep and bear ...", it says "the right" unqualified.

    And when talking about the militia, in the day that was written, "the militia" meant, essentially, everyone.

    Or do you think you can just get a fully-automatic weapon, or an anti-tank missile?

    Actually, from your comment about the 2nd amendment applying only to a militia member, those are exactly the kinds of weapons that should be protected by the 2nd amendment. In any case, yes, according to a prima facie reading of the 2nd amendment, there is no limit on the arms with respect to automatic or semiautomatic, or size.

    Three, licensing is not the same thing as a ban.

    Licensing is exactly the same as a ban for anyone who fails to meet the arbitrary requirements for obtaining the license, and it is absolutely an infringement for everyone else.

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