So let us reason together, my friends. President Obama has decided to work around Congress and the Constitution 23 times today on the subject of gun control. To be fair, let's look at what he's commanded from the bully pulpit:
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system. Shouldn't they be doing that anyway?
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. Basically, this revolves around doctors sending pertinent mental health info to said databases. We can argue this as an invasion of privacy all we want, but if it gets a Holmes or a Klebold off the streets, I'm fine with it- WITH the caveat that we all get a look at what constitutes an "unnecessary legal barrier first.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system. IMHO, The only incentive should be to prevent any more Sandy Hooks. In this case, I wouldn't mind seeing Obama use the stick rather than the carrot, but entitlements are the Democrat way.
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. My only problem with this is that our current AG ought to fall into one of said categories.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun. As long as it includes record checking on legal and illegal aliens, politicians, and union and NAACP officials as well as white Republicans. If you think that is an unnecessary caveat, have you paid attention what has gone on in Arizona the last couple of years?
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers. I'm thinking they can keep that with the book they already have and ignore due to lack of inforcement.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign. NRA already does this. And so do many local police departments.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Let me guess, you think Adam Lanza blew open his mother's gun safe. Or William Spengler broke Dawn Ngyen's gun lock. Hmmm...
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations. IOW, the FBI will have to process EVERY gun from EVERY crime. I'm sure they'll jump right on that.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement. Has it been written? Have you talked to LEOs about what kind of data would be helpful?
11. Nominate an ATF director. Did you know we have only had "acting directors" of the ATF since Carl Truscott resigned over abuse of position in 2006- and the current guy is the 5th AD since then? Including three just in 2009?
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations. Once again, shouldn't this already be in place? At least for the first two... I am more than fine with the third.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime. Shoot, Karen Richards will have to do her job then! As will Rusty York.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence. How does prevention of gun violence fall under CDC perview?
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. So now we think all those kids died because Adam Lanza forgot to set his safety?
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes. I liked the comment about this I saw on Facebook- "Oops there's another thing we forgot to read before we signed the bill..."
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities. Why is this a concern?
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers. I didn't even know what a school resource officer was. " A School Resource Officer (SRO) is a law enforcement officer who is assigned to either an elementary, middle, or high school. The main goal of the SRO is to prevent juvenile delinquency by promoting positive relations between youth and law enforcement. " Among the things you can say about this is, an "incentive" will need to translate into "a way to pay for them".
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education. I got nothing here. Good idea.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover. More "if I'd only read my copy of the Obamacare bill" memos.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges. Ditto.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations. Ditto.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health. Secretary Sebelius' sole qualification for this post (as well as her post at HHS) seems to be she headed the Democrat Governor's group and was pro-choice. Secretary Duncan of DOE was the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, which might not say much about his qualifications for his secretaryship, but speaks volumes about his experience (or need of it) in the mental health field.
So, by the mighty Martin toteboard, the great executive order score is:
Okay with this (5 points): 5 entries.
So far as it goes (4 points): 2.
Really shouldn't have to do this (3 points): 3.
Should have been doing this already, or already are doing through current agencies (2 points):3.
Wouldn't have to be done had you taken the time to write Obamacare properly in the first place (1 point): 5.
Yeah, sure (0 points): 5.
Total score: 2.3 (which means it is mainly "should be doing this already").
Or to look at it another way, 30.4% of this is good ideas, 43.4% is either stupid or really stupid, and 26.7% of it, while not stupid, really isn't neccessary. Either way, it's much better than the usual batting average the POTUS has managed in his four years, so, as a certain national Washington columnist says at the end of a piece, "Congrats... or something."