"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Executive (Purely Symbolic) Actions

Here is the list of executive actions President Obama proposed today to "solve" the problem of gun violence:

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.

The highlighted phrases stuck out for me.   He's apparently going to write some memos and letters, release some other reports and letters (have they been held hostage?), write some more plans, and launch a campaign and a dialogue.  

In other words, he's going to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk... Same old, same old.


By the way, if you look at a lot of these things... why exactly haven't these been part of his job description before?



A hilarious take on the list.

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