An offer to discuss. First, I’ll quote a Mississippi public official, apparently delighted that the Governor is suggesting a return to the Doctrine of Interposition (or something like it), who states that the president is “circumventing Congress” and attempting “to limit or restrict” the right to bear arms. Also, complains that use of executive order somehow “silences the voice of Mississippians”.
I have an impulse here to suggest that, the least one can do if being silenced is to shut the heck up.* But, laying that aside….
Here’s a list of what Obama is going to do about guns using executive orders. To my eye, they appear to be the sort of thing that can be accomplished by executive orders using existing legal structures. That is, implementing statutes already on the books. To what extent is that not so? And, if it is so, isn’t that what presidents do with executive order Also up for discussion: What seems unreasonable to folks, unless its the concept that doing anything is bad?
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
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.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
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.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
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.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
*I kept thinking that this comment drew on something from Tom Lehrer, and finally found it, from That Was The Week That Was: “[T]he characters in these books, and plays, and so on, and in real life, I might add, spend hours bemoaning the fact that they can’t communicate. I feel that if a person can’t communicate the very least he can do is to shut up.”