The Widdershins

Amending Dickey…

Posted on: June 20, 2016

Old car with gun

Good afternoon wonderful denizens of Widdershinlandia.  Prolix here.  For those of you expecting the activist stylings of MB on this fine Monday, she is deluged with work and family business.  To quote Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglourious Basterds, “And cousin, business is a-boomin’!”

For the next six weeks or so, MB is going to be spread thin.  She will be around as much as her schedule will allow, but I will be posting on Mondays.  Beyond that the weekly schedule will pretty much remain the same.  So let’s get at it.

Picture this:  It’s 1960 – the height of the Mad Men era.  Skinny ties and big hair abound on Madison Avenue.

You tune in one of the three television networks and you hear a debate between an automobile executive and Ralph Nader.  Nader calls for reform within the auto industry to make cars safer through redesign.  The auto exec replies with, “Cars don’t kill people, bad drivers do.  Why should responsible car companies have to suffer for what irresponsible drivers do?  Our drivers are responsible drivers.  People like our cars just like they are.  They don’t want them to change.  People have a right to drive like they want.”

VW and tankThis argument rages on for a few years, culminating in 1966 with the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.  The legislation mandated a series of safety features for automobiles such as safety belts and stronger windshields.  This was a historic shift in responsibility for automobile safety from the consumer to the government.

Here’s what I didn’t know and it now seems impossible; Congress passed this legislation unanimously.  Huh?  Impossible!  What is this concept of unanimity of which you speak?  Congress is incapable of such a feat.

Once upon a time, it was possible.  In a time far, far away, in a galaxy where Congress cared more about health and safety than campaign contributions, it was possible.

During this time, over 50,000 people a year were dying on America’s roads.  And what is really depressing, even with the legislation it took until 1980 before the number of deaths began a steady decline.  The reason, there were older, deadlier cars on the road that had not yet cycled out of the stream of commerce.

This little jaunt down memory lane isn’t about cars.  It is about guns – not just about safety, but about congressional ability to act when it had incontrovertible facts placed before it.  Therein lies the rub. gun and Magnifying Glass

Since 1996, the NRA has effectively stopped all research on guns.  It has stopped the collection of data and the funding regarding any weaponry investigation.  This moratorium grew from the passage of the appropriately named Dickey Amendment effectively abolishing CDC research on guns.

From the standpoint of the NRA, this was smart.  How could you say there is a problem with guns if there is no federal research saying there is a problem?  Unlike the experience with automobiles in the 1960s, there could be no shift from the consumer to the government if there was nothing upon which to base the change.

Here’s the forehead slapping discovery – the reason the NRA said research should stop:

The NRA sought the ban because it claimed previous gun-violence studies were biased.  But what it fears most is an honest search for facts and truth.  Since 2011, the gun lobby has even backed state laws prohibiting doctors from asking if a patient owns a gun or keeps it out of reach of children.

This ostrich mentality regarding research ran headlong into the American Medical Association last week.

The nation’s largest doctor group, calling gun violence a “public health crisis” said Wednesday it will “lobby Congress to overturn legislation that for 20 years has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence.”

The decision by the AMA’s policy-making House of Delegates puts the doctor group at odds with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Republicans in Congress. The move is significant given the AMA represents practically every state and national physician association in the country.

End the banWhen you look at a list of the most deadly mass shootings and their increasing frequency, having no research upon which to base answers is asinine craziness at its zenith.  Even Jay Dickey, the former Republican representative who led the bill through Congress, has openly expressed his regret for helping the ban advance.

Ignorance can’t be the basis upon which public policy is based.

How do I know this subject is current, hip, and happening?  Last night while writing this, John Oliver did a segment about this very subject.  I’m including a couple of videos that have been posted this morning.  Playback on websites other than youtube has been disabled so you will have to click through to watch.

As John Oliver says, “We can’t ever allow any opportunity to pass without telling legislators, repeatedly, time and again, fund the research into gun violence.”


What’s on your mind today?




64 Responses to "Amending Dickey…"

Good post, glad you made the connection, I hadn’t realized this.

Prolix, wonderful post. Laker will love it and I will have him read it when he gets home tonight.

We are having a hideous heat wave. You open the front door and it feels like an oven. Can’t wait for it to go away.

@1, thanks MsMass. There was a vote last week on upending the moratorium, but it failed to pass and with the horrible week, it got no news coverage.

@2 & 3, I love it when Laker reads these posts. Thanks for sharing it with him.

I get the L.A. Times headlines and the line today was it got to over 120 degrees in Palm Springs and was a record. They were saying it was so hot, walking around was like swimming in hot tea. So stay inside and be careful.

Just caught a blurb of something about four gun bills in the Senate and already two of them have been voted down.


@6, McTurtle agreed to bring up 4 bills. Cornyn had the NRA position on two and there are two Democratic bills.

All 4 proposals have failed.

@8: Absolutely disgusting.

OT Here’s some of the Bernie/busters plan for Hillary’s acceptance speech at the convention. They also plan to demand Bernie be given the nomination because of exit polls.

Far from Chicago, one group of dead-enders had announced that they would feed protesters beans and stage a Philadelphia solidarity “fart-in” for Sanders. In McCormick Place, at least 150 people raised their hands when DeMoro asked how many of them intended to physically protest the convention.

@10: From that article:

She called on Christopher Horton. “Okay,” he said. “How about: The evidence is overwhelming that Bernie won the nomination, and we demand that superdelegates change their votes to reflect that.”

Math is hard.

Here’s another little area where the Repubs in Congress will not let any piece of legislation move forward to fix this mess.

And there’s another link here.

@12, Is that the system John Oliver is talking about when they are looking at old boxes of waterlogged records from Katrina?

@13: Yes! I saw the bit about that but couldn’t remember where I saw it! If I recall he said they had to literally take the paper forms and lay them out in the parking lot to dry the forms out.

@10, those people are crazy, I mean certifiably crazy! Exit polls prove Bernie won? These people don’t even know what an exit poll is.

Speaking of crazy, my personal favorite Nina Turner was on Hardball tonight. When asked about the government paying $38K a day for his Secret Service detail, Nina said, “Not a big deal. Look where it’s coming from. There’s nothing to it and Sen. Bernie Sanders is going all the way to the Convention and I’m going to be there with him.”

While not uttering Hillary’s name, each time she answered a question about her, she spit out her words with disgust. I can’t wait until Nina’s 15 minutes are over, I think her sell-by date has passed.

@14, yeah, the pages were stuck together. Some of the records look like they have been burned.

If anyone is interested in taking a tv break from politics, TCM is running a bunch of the old comedy movies of Marie Dressler. I think they are just priceless and she did wonders with her facial expressions in these movies.

That picture was way too big.

I can’t wait until Nina’s 15 minutes are over

Nina is the only one who doesn’t realize that those 15 minutes are already passed.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is going all the way to the Convention and I’m going to be there with him.”

Well Nina I hope he got you some convention credentials because if he didn’t, you’re gonna be on the outside looking in.

@18, I edited my poor English. I changed “for” to “until”. The author regrets the mistake. Or like that commercial with the tattoo, “No regerts!”

Thanks, Prolix, for covering my posts!

For those smug, judgmental brogressives who are constantly dissing Bill Clinton, it might behoove them to remember that he had a Republican Congress, headed by Newt Gingrich, which delighted in pushing monstrosities like the Dickey Act. What an utter travesty.

BREAKING: Hillary raised $28 Million, Trump raised $3.2 Million. Hillary has $42 Million on hand, Trump has $1.3 Million on hand.

BerningBum has until midnight tonight to turn in his May numbers. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m going to be hitting refresh every 5 seconds between now and BerningBum filing his numbers.

@20, my pleasure, MB. Grab some rest when you can, your next two months are going to be jammed packed full of work.

Chris Murphy before the votes were taken:

“We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” Murphy said, using an alternative term for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s what they’ve decided to do. ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.”

Chris Murphy before the votes were taken:

“We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” Murphy said, using an alternative term for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s what they’ve decided to do. ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.”

Someone please check for a lost comment. Thank you.

@23 & 24, Bravo for him! He’s absolutely right too.


Trump faces the worst financial disadvantage in recent presidential history: He had $1.3 million on hand to Clinton’s $42 million.

Donald J. Trump enters the general election campaign laboring under the worst financial and organizational disadvantage of any major party nominee in recent history, placing both his candidacy and his party in deep peril.

Mr. Trump began June with just $1.3 million in cash on hand, a figure more typical for a campaign for the House of Representatives than the White House, and trailed Hillary Clinton by more than $41 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission late Monday.

Haha Donald’s broke and Sanders hasn’t released his May numbers (or cleared up his other problems with the FEC – as far as I know). Hillary’s going to need that money for her 50-state strategy.

Nina Turner better stock up on Van Camps if she’s going to lead the Fart In.

@28, I’ve been hitting refresh all night and not a peep from the BerningBum dollarBots. Not a word, they are now 21 minutes late unless it just hasn’t been reported yet.

@29, Nina Turner had best been well compensated as a Bernoid. Her marketability in Democratic circles is going to be non-existent and there isn’t a high demand in the Independent world for her angry skills.

Prolix: Where are you searching, the FEC website?

Sweet Sue@29: 😆

Just came in:

According to Sanders’s latest filing with the Federal Elections Commission, his campaign took in $15.6 million during the last full month of campaigning. That compared with $26.2 million for Clinton, the first time all year that the presumptive nominee has decisively out-raised her surprisingly powerful challenger. And it represented a steep fall from April, when he raised $25.8 million.

As the money came in, however, Sanders spent it at a slower clip than previous months. He ended May with $9.2 million on hand, having ended the previous month with just $5.8 million.

I’ve seen where Jeff Weasel said that they were not allowed to spend down below $10 million because he didn’t want to end in debt. Trouble is, it might be to pay off the six-hundred pages of illegal contributions.

More trouble is, at one point, the figure the FEC was questioning from earlier months was 26 million. Not sure if that was for April or Jan-April combined. Some of those ‘questionable’ may have been proven legit by now. We’ll see.

Hey Prolix! Great post! I enjoyed all of it, and am especially interested in the point about doctors not being able to ask their patients if they have guns. That is seriously screwed up. Doesn’t this take away from the doctors and the patients first amendment rights? What if the doctor knows the patient is nuts and shouldn’t have guns, because he’s a danger to himself and others?

What if the patient is a gun nut and fires those big assault things all the time and has health issues from it, like loss of hearing, or severe headaches, or a messed up shoulder? So the doctor can’t advise his patient that his gun obsession is affecting his health? Why should the NRA be allowed to interfere between a doctor and a patient. Its none of their damn business.

I hear a lot of talk about gun control at school and other places, so I totally believe the public wants it. I wonder if I’ll get to see it in my lifetime?

I was also very interested in the Ralph Nader history. Lots of good info.

Does anyone think the Nazi 2.0 party will try and dump Trump at their convention in August?

@37: Hey lakerwade! I don’t know if they’ll be successful, but I do believe they will try their best to find a way to dump him.

@38, Hey Laker. Great to see you. Hope all is well and the heat is tolerable.

Here’s a summary of what some states have done on the question of doctors asking about guns. Most of the guidelines suggest asking patients a screening question and then following up with specifics if there is a gun in the house or someone within the house has a history of suicide. The way around the good questions you raised is this: Everything related to restricting inquiries is couched in terms of “medically indicated or medically necessary”. Many of these laws are still in litigation so the final legal determination is still up in the air. The big thing is that the gun fanatics don’t want a record kept “ANYWHERE” of gun ownership because, of course, Obama’s gun policemen are going to start breaking down doors and taking the guns away. BTW, the Obama gun police use rocket jet packs and teleportation devices.

Still, some state and federal laws do address gun ownership questions. Doctors in Montana may not refuse health care for patients who will not answer questions about guns. In Missouri, doctors cannot record information about patient gun ownership unless a doctor believes the information is medically relevant. Minnesota prohibits its exchange, on which private health insurance is sold, from collecting information about gun ownership.

Even President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act, prohibit wellness programs from requiring that doctors collect information about gun ownership. A law passed in Florida in 2011, which some have called a “gag law,” says doctors should refrain from asking about guns and may not intentionally enter information about gun ownership into a medical record. The law is being contested, but its language also allows doctors to ask about guns when they believe they pose a risk to the health and safety of the patient or of others.

@38, Laker, this is how nut crazy these people are. This is from, “Ammoland” magazine and teaches, “How to respond if your doctor asks about guns.” It goes so far as to making complaints with state medical boards about doctors. Here’s the scariest part — it was written by a doctor.

Craziness personified.

@39 and 40: In one of my visits with my former doc who retired, and apropos of nothing in particular, I mentioned it to him when I bought my pistol. Turns out he has the same model that I bought. Perhaps it’s just because it’s Bama, who knows. 😉

It appears that the idea of Trump running for President is very good for Trump the businessman.

Trump will be greeted with a Mexican flag at his golf course in Scotland. This guy was one of the people in the ‘You’ve Been Trumped’ documentary.

@43: Oh that’s funny.

Well as we know, Republicans are very choosy about their love of the Constitution. The Second Amendment, such as they interpret it, is sacred; the 14th Amendment, not so much. 👿 Clearly Jesus would have wanted there to be over 300 million guns in America. That’s in the Bible somewhere, I’m sure of it.

I think the media is pumping Warren for their own purposes. Why would Hillary choose her when she didn’t even endorse her til the nom was wrapped up. Also, Warren hasn’t been a dem for that long. I will be really surprised (and annoyed) if Hillary picks her. I think she is fine where she is.

@46: Oh I really hate to say I’m just not enthused about Warren as veep.

@43, GAgal, that story is hilarious! Thanks for that! I’m going to post it at Upps.

@47: Agree totally.

Got this in an email from The Briefing. You really have to check it out.

@52 It makes you wonder why in the heck his primary opponents did not use this. Since they don’t want to talk policy, this was their chance to take him out. They blew it. Maybe this is what they’ll use to do a switch-a-roo at the convention.

@52: Good question. They weren’t bright enough to figure that one out perhaps?

Sherrod Brown as Veep is the winner.
Say yes, Sherrod Brown.

@54: But Sweet Sue, that would mean Kasich gets to pick his replacement and he’ll obviously pick a republican. 😦

It would really irk me if they use Team Hillary’s oppo research against Trump to oust him now. But it wouldn’t surprise me. I think I’m done being surprised this election. (knock wood)

@55, yeah, but wouldn’t there be an election in ’18?

@56: As inept as Trump is proving to be, I’d really hate to see the Repubs try to dump him.

@51, good stuff!

@57: Well annie it would depend on how long Sherrod has been in the Senate this term. Also, I don’t now Ohio’s laws so it could be that Kasich could appoint a temporary replacement until a special election is held that would cover the rest of his term but I’m just not sure.

Looking at wiki re was reelected to the Senate in 2012 so he would be up for reelection in 2018. But as I said don’t know if Kasich would make a temporary appointment and hold a special election or if an appointee would serve out the rest of Brown’s term.

Annie, you can go here and check out how it would work for Ohio.

@55, I know Fredster, but we have to get Our Girl into the White House.

@62: Oh I know…the dilemma of it. Tim Kaine wouldn’t be bad and then Terry McAuliffe could appoint Kaine’s replacement and it would be a Dem.

I love the idea of Sherrod Brown but don’t want to lose that Dem seat in the Senate.


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