Beltway Insider: Guns and The American People; Global Gun Violence; Sandy Hook, Charlie Hebdo; Club Renia, Pulse Nightclub; Chicago

President Obama moved ahead this week announcing his strategy during an emotional speech that turned from his usual objectivity to humanizing the victims remembering each of them, including the first graders of the Sandy Hook Massacre.

This week as Janet Walker is suffering from a severe cold and flu, we have chosen to compile several leading stories from the past four years as the Beltway Insider weekly review.

Gun Violence and Obama's Town Hall

The President returned to the White House, after his winter holiday break in Hawaii, with a resolve that he would be moving forward with common sense Gun Reform. His determination to take a solid position within the time he has left as in the Oval Office was unusual and not expected.

Obama began the national debate separating the deranged and the indoctrinated as two separate categories needing two separate courses of action to address after San Bernardino mass jihadist/ISIS attack. After the holiday, he has backtracked somewhat, no longer can the delusional hide behind a clear mental illness allowing justice to be illusive.

The indoctrinated zealot and the mentally unbalanced will now be considered under a single category when moving on Gun Control issues.

The President has announced through and comprehensive reforms that already have become fodder for the Republican Candidates and others who are choosing to attack each aspect of the changes under the guise of constitutional freedom.

The Executive Actions

President Obama will reiterate to Congress and introduce to the America people during the State of The Union, the Executive Actions he will sign into law.

The actions combat accessibility, loopholes, and post purchase. The Gun Show loophole, which has always allowed adults to purchase guns without a background check will no longer have the freedom to sell to anyone.

Keeping guns out of the wrong hands through Background check is the first action in the president's initiative which he has titled Making Our Communities Safer.

"Today, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions to ensure that all gun dealers are licensed and run background checks, and to strengthen the background check system itself," President Obama said.

The following are elements of the Executive Actions introduced by the President:


1. Clarify that it doesn't matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet:  If you're in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background check. Require background checks for people trying to buy some of the most dangerous weapons and other items through a trust or corporation."


2. Ensure States are providing records to the background check system, and work cooperatively with jurisdictions to improve reporting.


3. Make the background check system more efficient and effective.


4. Ensure smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws. 


5. Ensure that dealers notify law enforcement about the theft or loss of their guns. 


6. Issue a memo directing every U.S. Attorney's Office to renew domestic violence outreach efforts.


7. Increase Mental Health Treatment and Reporting to the Background Check System.


8. Dedicate significant new resources to increase access to mental health care.  


9. Include information from the Social Security Administration in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm.  


10. Remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing States from reporting relevant information to the background check system. 


11. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security to take two important steps to promote smart gun technology.

The Arguments

The loudest arguments are from those running for president. They lobby accusation of maligning the Constitution and with an active determination seeking ways to destroy the document our government and freedoms were founded.

As usual with hot bottom topics the most incendiary catchphrase is crafted and tossed out to the mass who are waiting to understand the position they should take.

The Constitution contains truths that we the people hold true and self-evident. Those being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The second Amendment deals with the Right to Bear Arms. The framers, those men, who founded this new republic and saw the longevity of the union, drafted a document that moved ahead this tiny thirteen colony nation.

Beltway Insider: Obama/Israel; Putin/Trump; Welcome 2017; Istanbul; Queen Elizabeth; Debbie Reynolds/Carrie Fisher

Outside of those thirteen colonies were very harsh conditions. Harshness of weather, the unknown, the unrestrained, those who saw opportunity through lawlessness and understanding the needs of the law abiding citizens and understanding life outside the thirteen colonies they drafted the Second Amendment which gave all the right to bear arms. The framers obviously had no idea the extent of modernization that would bring a simple Colt Rifle, of which they did understand the power, to an Automatic weapons able to fire 900 round in 60 seconds.

The facts remain the automatic weapon was not ever even near the framers mind when they drafted the Constitution. Should they be removed? Some will add only 1% of people die from Automatic weapons. The statistics may be true. Possibly only 1% of the population or those murdered by gun fire are murdered with automatic weapons.

Not once in this debate did any of those objecting to the president plan think the 1% could be a loved one. A senator's son or daughter, a relative, family member. The deaths are removed, not humanized or internalized by those holding office and those who wish to assume the leadership of this nation.

Charlie Hebdo At One [At Two]

Memories from a not that distant January 2015 morning when armed Islamic State Fighters burst into the office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo opened fire killing ten staff members including outspoken editor in chief, Stephane Charbonnier, and injuring 11 others.

The men, two brothers, shouted the all too familiar "Allahu akbar," which is Arabic for God is Great as the sprayed the editorial board meeting with automatic weapons.

Two other, French Police Officers were also murdered by the two religious extremists. The viciousness of the crime stunned the world. Pictures released have shown the men pulling the trigger at point blank range killing the police who happened on the scene.

When the day was done nearly the entire Editorial board had been killed. The magazine no stranger to threats and violence continued to stand on the side of freedom maintaining its long tradition of taking aim at religions including Christianity, Catholicism, the Prophet Muhammad, and Allah.

Most considered Charbonnier's poor taste part of cultural freedom and the magazine had a small dedicated following. Eight journalists inside the offices were killed. Cartoonist George Wolinski and Bernard Maris were killed. Bernard Maris, a visiting economist was also murdered.

The brutalities of the Islamic State fighters were graphic, evil beyond comprehension with killing, cold blooded murdered and for the city of lights not over. The photos released showed a bloodbath massacre.

The world stood united on the days following the attacks. The world's leaders, forty world leaders, gathered in Paris, linked arm in arm, with more than four million citizens joining them declaring in one unified voice, "we will not fear." And Je Suis Charlie, which became the global rally cry for members of the global community to stand, united, for freedom.

It has been one year. Charlie Hebdo has continued to grow in readership and maintained true to its roots. It is still grates against the common man's sense of humor; lobbing slime pot shots at the world's religions showcasing contradictions in words, interpretation and actions.

Charlie Hebdo maintained its vision, hopes and hasn't cowered to terrorism. Those journalists who saw a fitting life as one where the ideologies didn't rule decisions, where freedom of speech included the right to satirically portray everyone from the Pope to Jesus to Allah.

No one could imagine on that cold January day that less than ten months later the resolve of the world to stand against ISIS and the rise of terrorism across Europe would once again rear its ugly, evil, head.

Istanbul Terror Attack; 39 Dead; Dozens Injured

A New Year's Eve celebration in Istanbul, Turkey, was destroyed as a lone wolf assassin stormed the famed Renia Club, one of the city's most famous and elite night-clubs, and opened fire on the revelers leaving 39 dead, from eight nations, and up to 70 injured.

Media have reported the assailant, who is still at large. entered the club, shouted "Allahu Akbar" which has become the universal symbol of an ISIS terror attack. The gunman pulled out a long-barreled weapon and began shooting.

International Media report he killed two others, on his way to the Club, a police officer, and a limo driver, bringing the total to the Istanbul New Year Eve massacre at 39.

UPDATE: Chicago’s Bloody Christmas Weekend Thankfully Ends; 2016 Expected to Be Third Highest

Videos surfacing of the New Year's Eve countdown at Club Renia show an upscale crowd, well dressed in shimmering party hats, popping confetti corks, holding sparklers and counting down, happy, swaying to the sounds of a very hip, cosmopolitan, and western sounding DJ.

One of Istanbul's famed nightspots, the Renia Cub was popular with ex-pats, tourists and international celebrities and the jet set. 

More than 800 party-goers were inside the club about one hour later as the clock reads 1:23AM when the club security cameras show a hooded assailant holding a weapon close to his hip and looking around. Media reports people were jumping into the Bosphorus River, to escape the gunman.

Surveillance footage shows the attacker running down the street, minutes later, firing indiscriminately at automobiles and bystanders. Before he comes into frame, the sound of what could be gunfire is heard, with repeated muffled punctuated tat, tat, tat.

The January 1, 2017 massacre at Club Renia marks the first terror attack of the New Year against the nation that stands united against the continued effort of ISIS and others to break the resolve of the world's government.

The world stands with the people of Istanbul as they face the horrors of terror.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has voiced his condolences, "We mourn with the people of Turkey today and with all countries who lost citizens in this vicious attack.We also grieve the senseless loss of a Canadian citizen and remain steadfast in our determination to work‎ with allies and partners to fight terrorism and hold perpetrators to account."

A lone wolf assassin stormed the Club, mirroring with horrific similarity the attacks at the Bataclan and in Orlando, where survivors are explaining the suddenness, as the first thought wasn't a mass casualty attack.

No group, as Turkey has many factions and divisions, has claimed responsibility although the actions mirrors those of lone Wolf radicalized ISIS sympathizers in San Bernardino, California, at the Pulse Club in Orlando, and the more coordinated attacks at the Bataclan. 

Orlando Mass Shooting Kills 50; Injures 53

“Today marks the deadliest shooting in American history.  The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle.  This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub.  And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be.  And to actively do nothing is a decision as well,” President Obama said in an address to the nation.

The lone wolf ISIS terrorist has been identified by FBI as Omar Mateen, 29, the only gunman responsible for the Le Bataclan style murders of 50 partygoers at the Orlando nightclub during the early Sunday morning rampage.

Survivors from the scene, who spoke to media indicated they were in a different section of the divided nightclub, and have stated when they recognized the pop, pop, pop sound wasn’t part of the DJ’s musical set, they all fell to the floor, by that time the patrons in the first section directly adjacent to the front entry were dead, injured or dying. 

From the graphic slaughter on November 14, 2015, at the Parisian Concert Hall, Le Bataclan, we are better equipped to understand the scene as it played out inside and the horror first responders experienced as they entered the nightclub.

Local media has reported gunfire erupted at approximately 2:00am which was so loud and unusual local residents called 911 as the noise as uncommon and terrifying.

The active shooter situation evolved quickly into a hostage situation. Orlando Police sent in a robot to examine the area for explosives as it was believed the gunman strapped explosives on the bodies of the dead. That theory later proved false.

Terror teams set off an explosive device and simultaneously rammed a tactical vehicle through the back wall of the club to rescue the hostages.   

Chasing Numbers: Gun Violence In America

As somewhere, in America, there is someone looking at the current totals coming out of Orlando with one thing in mind chasing those numbers hoping for the chance to surpass them and live in infamy. The shooters are no longer disgruntled loners with mental instabilities. Now, in addition to the disturbed, citizens must be concerned over the zealots, with uncomprehending loyalties outside the understanding of most who exercise restraint over mind, emotion, action and even thoughts.

The Orlando Nightclub Shooting is the worst massacre in U.S. history, and as the initial numbers moved from 50 dead to 59, the final total could be significantly higher as the critically injured of which there are many could die.

Mateen used the AR-15 semi-automatic weapon, capable of 900 round per minute, which has become the weapon of choice for many Mass Killers. Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Murderer, Syed Rizwan Farook, the San Bernardino Shooter, Christopher Harper Mercer, the Roseburg, Oregon murderer, John Zawahri, the Santa Monica College shooter and James Holmes the Aurora Shooter all used the same semi-automatic capable of inflicting mass injury with deadly speed.

Before Pulse, Virginia Tech held the dubious title of deadliest mass shooting with 33.  Sandy Hook Elementary School followed with 27 victims; Luby’s (Cafeteria) Massacre killed 24, San Ysidro McDonald's 22, Columbine High School Massacre, 15; United States Postal Service, 15 fatalities, Binghamton Shootings, 14 deaths, San Bernardino Mass Shooting, 14; Fort Hood Massacre left 13 dead.

America Under Siege

As the shooter has claimed loyalty to the Islamic State, we know the motivation behind the terror at Pulse was to murder and inflict as much injury on the people and to cause incapacitating fear.

America has faced terror attacks in the past. We stood and watched as The World Trade Center Twin Towers fell in an incomprehensible action; horrified we saw the Pentagon erupt in flames and humbled and filled with pride we understood the sacrifice of a few, armed with determination rise to the challenge, knowing death was imminent, they chose to give their lives to save one symbolic monument of freedom.

When Islamic Fighters are able to behead American citizens without retaliation repeatedly, with no response or action, by the government that these citizens pledge loyalty right to the end of their life, the Islamic Fighter takes that as a sign of cowardice, the freedom to murder as many citizens as they want. Since the beheadings, the violence from ISIS against G7 Nations has increased exponentially.  

An End Word

 “Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us but by us, by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, but who have the courage to remake the world as it should be,” President Barack Obama after winning the Iowa Caucus’ eight years ago. 

Let’s move forward with hope and in fact have the audacity to hope, with bold audacity, let’s hope that our nation will not wage war against each other, that when once given rights and civil liberties begin to come under the upcoming GOP axe our elected leaders will fight for our rights or we will send them home.

For more information on President Barack Obama:


Haute Tease