by Steven Hale
From the Department of Measured Responses comes this Raw Story report on the CEO of Tennessee-based Tactical Response, James Yeager, who released a video in which he says he'll "start killing people" if actions on gun control "go one inch further".
Yeager, whose company in Camden specializes in firearms and tactical training, released the video in response to the utterance heard 'round the gun-owning world yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden. Biden suggested that President Barack Obama might use an executive order as part of his approach to dealing with guns, and in no time Matt Drudge was greeting readers with pictures of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
“Vice President [Joe] Biden is asking the president to bypass Congress and use executive privilege, executive order to ban assault rifles and to impose stricter gun control,” Yeager said in his original video, according to Raw Story. “Fuck that.”
Actually, that's not what Biden said, and it's not what the president can do. But more on that later.
Yeager has since replaced the original video message with an edited version, but thanks to Raw Story, the original threat is available after the jump:
As you may know, talk of "executive orders" related to guns is the shortest bridge to Crazytown for gun-rights advocates. In light of that, Biden may have simply been trolling the whole lot of them by using the term.
In any event, he was not asking or suggesting that the president use an executive order to confiscate any guns or, as Yeager reportedly said, "ban assault rifles and impose stricter gun control." In fact, weapons bans, high-capacity magazine bans, or universal background checks would all require congressional action. Over at Slate, Dave Weigel breaks down what the president could actually do with the terrifying "executive order":
- Directing the DOJ to prosecute more "prohibited purchasers" when they attempt to buy guns. In 2009, the FBI referred 71,000 cases of thse buyers, mostly felons. U.S. attorneys prosecuted only 77 cases.
- Appointing a permanent ATF director. The ATF has spooked the right ever since Ruby Ridge (before, too, but that's when the real agita started), and the Senate hasn't confirmed a permanent director since 2006.
- Requiring federal agencies to report mental health records. The NICS Improvement Act of 2007, passed after the Virginia Tech shootings, requires this. It hardly ever happens.
Will James Yeager kill somebody if one of these things happens?
In other news on what is becoming a beat all to itself, the Biden-led gun violence task force met Thursday with gun ownership groups, including the National Rifle Association, to discuss potential responses to mass shootings and other gun violence. Those will likely include, but also go beyond, gun control measures. The NRA quickly released a statement, after the hour-and-a-half meeting:
The National Rifle Association of America is made up of over 4 million moms and dads, daughters and sons, who are involved in the national conversation about how to prevent a tragedy like Newtown from ever happening again. We attended today's White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals.
We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be “prejudged,” this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners - honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works - and what does not.
Sounds like it went well! NRA representatives were stuck in the meeting, so they might have missed another school shooting, this time at a California high school, that happened at the same time.
Police say a 16-year-old armed with a shotgun went to Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., shot a fellow student and injured a teacher. Both survived. The gunman was stopped by a teacher who
took him down with a gun she was carrying talked him into surrendering.