Entries in politicians (1)

Friday
Jan182013

AN ANALYSIS OF 23 PROPOSED EXECUTIVE ORDERS ON GUNS

There has been a lot of discussion regarding gun control and President Obama’s decision to sign 23 executive orders.  I thought it was important to analyze each order and give some logical and thoughtful feedback on each.  It is my contention that most of these EO’s are simply, as my friend Rush Limbaugh would say, “symbolism over substance” and have no real impact on crime.  There are a few things to be concern with however. 

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

Criminal and prohibited purchaser data has been made available through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) since 1998 and all relevant data has been supplied to this system from federal, state and local reporting for the last two decades.

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.

This is an area of concern because this links healthcare, which is supposed to be private between a doctor and patient, to political enforcement of laws.  This turns doctors into investigators and agents of the government.  This is a slippery slope wrought with problems, both ethical and Constitutional. 

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

States already share pertinent criminal history data with the FBI which, in turn, is shared with the NICS system. This is simply a way to politically “bribe” states with funds to share non-criminal information with the federal government.

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.

These categories have been identified by the thousands of laws that should be enforced now.  This is simply political rhetoric.
 

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

Law enforcement currently has the right and ability to do a full background check on any person that they deem necessary during a criminal investigation.  This is a state law issue and the federal government does not need to make any rules governing how states investigate criminal activity, including the decision on when to return seized weapons. 

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

Federally licensed gun dealers know how to run background checks through the NICS system, as they do this on a daily basis during the normal course of business.  They are already required by federal and state laws to run these checks and it is already a felony to sell a weapon to a prohibited person and not run the required background check.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

This is one area I have no issue with, but this is already being done by many private organizations, i.e. the National Rifle Association.  Doesn’t the federal government have better places to spend our money?

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission). 

Gun locks and gun safes are already working just fine.  As with many industries, overburdened by government regulations, this simply means that unnecessary laws and regulations will be put in place that will only raise the price of these items and make them less affordable.  By making these products less affordable, you will see fewer gun owners using them.  This order will be counter-productive. 

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations. 

All weapons recovered during criminal investigations or taken into the possession of law enforcement are already entered into the National Criminal Information Computer (NCIC) system which is accessible by all law enforcement agencies. 

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement. 

Again, any weapons reported as lost or stolen is already entered into the NCIC system.  Simply reporting this information will have no impact on reducing gun crime or increasing safety, it would simply be another worthless report.  

11. Nominate an ATF director.

This needs to be done to stabilize an agency that has been in disarray for several years.  The fact that there is no ATF Director is simply a failure of the Obama administration. 

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations. 

This is a great idea, but would likely become an unfunded mandate on states and local governments.  Most states and local law enforcement agencies have already developed active shooter response protocol.  There are many excellent programs that are already developed and simply need to be funded so that all law enforcement across the United States can attend. 

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

There are hundreds of gun laws on the books that are rarely enforced at a federal level.  Enforcement of current laws is an excellent idea.  Creation of more laws will not solve any issue. 

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

This seems to be another wasteful budget item.  The CDC should be focused on health issues not law enforcement issues.  I would suggest the CDC’s time would be better spent studying mental health issues and the rampant use of psychotropic drug prescriptions.  The impact of medicating mental health issues instead of treating the root causes and simply prescribing drugs that mask or enhance symptoms is likely to have a greater impact on our society than guns (just a laymen’s opinion). 

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. 

Simply a political statement and I have no real issue with this as long as it does not turn into mandates and new laws.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

Doctors have no business asking about weapons in the homes of patients or reporting such information to the government or insurance companies.  This simply turns doctors into agents of the federal government.  If a doctor ever asks a patient about guns, that patient should simply refuse to answer and immediately seek a new doctor.   This is one of the scariest EO’s in the bunch.  It has huge ramifications and reeks of big brother communism. 

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

Reports of violence are already mandated by federal and most state laws.  This is simply restating the obvious. 

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

Most high schools across the United States have some form of School Resource Officer (SRO) and it’s a good idea to grow that.   This should not become an unfunded mandate but a decision that is made at the state and local level. 

State and local governments should look at hiring qualified ex-police and military to fill these roles when the local law enforcement agencies don’t have a budget that would provide for a full-time SRO. 


19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

These are already available.   Any organization that would like to implement a plan can contact their local law enforcement agency and they will be directed to free and available plans.  Most law enforcement agencies would be happy to meet with schools, churches, etc. to discuss security concerns. 

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

A one page letter via email is free and will reach all its intended recipients, but you can bet this will end up costing taxpayer millions of dollars. 

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

How does Obamacare stop gun violence?    

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.


Again, how does Obamacare stop gun violence?    

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

I have no problem with this as all mass shootings stem from mental health issues with the suspects. 

While most of us who support the Second Amendment were concerned about what the Obama administration was going to try with Presidential Executive Orders, they really turned out to be “much ado about nothing”, but don’t let your guard down because this is just the beginning and could simply be a diversion while they work behind the scenes to pass Draconian laws that will strip Americans of Constitutional rights. 

Stay informed and stay alert!  Molon Labe!

© David Bailey 2013