Second terms are prime time for executive orders. The Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, CT was that final straw for people to get serious about gun violence. Today Vice President Biden and President Obama introduced proposals and the President put his signature to 23 executive actions, taking steps to reduce gun violence. I wonder if the gun-totin’ gun rights activists are disappointed that these executive actions weren’t stronger, giving them more cause to rise up higher in arms. But anything will do. The proposals will be the battleground.
I wonder if many of these executive actions are reenforcing what’s already on the books. Or in other words “We’ll make it easier for you to simply Do Your Job.”
Government can work if only it would.
My impressions of the executive orders are noted.
[Original PDF document]
THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary
EMBARGOED UNTIL THE START OF THE PRESIDENT’S REMARKS
January 16, 2013
Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions
Today, the President is announcing that he and the Administration will:
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
Read: Drop that, do this.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
Read: Cut the excuses to Do your job!
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
State Read: How much?
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
Read: Do your job!
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
“Propose” is not the same thing as setting rules or implementing them. I thought they were already doing this or am I watching too many TV crime shows.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
Let’s hope they’ll Do their job?
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
Some creative or campaign worker is going to be glad to get this gig.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety
Since guns have been compared to cars, how about tests for anyone approved to carry a firearm. Put a check mark next ones who perform amazingly well on the firing range.
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
This sounds like “Do your job!” I really thought they were already doing this.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
Will this report be updated and read?
11. Nominate an ATF director.
I’ve seen “hire” in some recaps of this memo unless it’s changed. But it echoes what people already know – Congress isn’t doing their job.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
No matter how much you practice, you’re never prepared for the element of surprise. I suppose the best outcome is to minimize losses.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
Don’t know what those efforts are/were. What will be the minimum sentencing for gun possession vs. use?
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
There are many reports like this circulating. What will the CDC do differently?
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
Can we give them an incentive?
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
What will they do with the information?
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
In what real life scenario does this happen?
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
More cops in schools. Nothing new for inner city schools.
￼￼19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
Drills like in the cold war? Believe it or not, I scope out escape routes in these places.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
That would be helpful instead of burying it in the small type.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
…and work on removing the stigma of getting mental health care. It’s always a positive sign.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
Read: Do your job!
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
23’s going to be a tough nut to crack. Don’t let big pharm take control of this one.