President Obama imposed some sweeping reforms in the form of Executive Orders earlier today. Twenty-three of them, in fact, which has the right-wingers howling in protest. Even though Obama has signed the fewest EOs in Presidential history, we’re going to be hearing the screeches from the right for a long while. So, exactly what was in those Executive Orders? Let’s see…
1. Making relevant data available to the federal background check system. All federal agencies will be required to do this.
2. Addressing unnecessary barriers to making information available to the background check system.
3. Improving incentives for cooperation with the previous two orders.
4. The Attorney General will be required to review the categories of people who are currently prohibited from buying guns, so as to make sure they are all up-to-date and accounted for.
5. Allowing law enforcement to run a full background check on any individual before they return a gun that has been legally confiscated.
6. Send out a guidance letter from the ATF to federally licensed dealers on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launching a national campaign promoting safe and responsible gun ownership
8. A review of safety standards for gun locks and safes (falling under the auspices of the Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Requite federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered during criminal investigations.
10. A Department of Justice report that analyzes information on lost and stolen guns and making that easily available to law enforcement.
11. Get an ATF director (that position has been empty for seven years!).
12. Providing law enforcement, school officials, first responders with training for situations involving active shooters.
13. Boost enforcement efforts and prosecutions of gun crime.
14. Lifting the moratorium on the Centers For Disease Control research on gun violence and directing them to do so.
15. Directing the Attorney General to create a report on the most effective use of new safety technologies and their availability. Encouraging the private sector to develop new ones.
16. Clarification of the Affordable Care Act provision that deals with doctors asking about the presence of guns in a patient’s home. It is NOT part of the ACA.
17. Clarify that health care providers will not be prohibited from reporting threats of violence to authorities.
18. Incentives for schools to hire resource officers.
19. Develop emergency response plans for schools (including higher learning) and houses of worship.
20. Send out a letter to state health officials explaining the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalizing regulations in the ACA involving essential benefits and requirements in the health care exchanges.
22. A committment to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. launching a national dialogue on mental health issues, led by Secretary Sibeluis and Secretary Duncan.
None of the orders will affect current gun ownership. Proposals regarding military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines will be left up to Congressional action. So, no, NRA – the President has not overstepped any bounds. There is no crisis here, save the one created by the lack of oversight that we had until this morning.
The President affirmed his support of the Second Amendment, stressing the responsibility that ought to accompany the right to bear arms:
I also believe most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale. I believe most of them agree that if America worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one that occurred in Newtown. That’s what these reforms are designed to do. They’re common-sense measures. They have the support of the majority of the American people. (WH.gov)
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…