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 Unfortunately, on top of the data quality issues identified by the White House, and the FBI's and ATF's outdated IT systems, there's a lack of transparency about the systems used to enforce federal gun-control laws.'"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

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

    by Talderas ( 1212466 ) on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:50PM (#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? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:08PM (#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? (Score:5, Informative)

    by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:14PM (#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? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:20PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:25PM (#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.

  • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:30PM (#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:Shocking? (Score:5, Informative)

    by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:37PM (#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.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard