Sunday, January 20, 2013

23 Executive Orders

Here's my evaluation of President Barack Hussein Obama's Executive Orders on Reducing Gun Violence, and what they could likely mean for the rest of us:

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

Left (intentionally) undefined is just what will be considered "relevant data".  Could it be political affiliation?  Politicians/causes you donated to (remember, Obama tried to force the Romney campaign to reveal it's donors list, expressly for the purpose of pressuring people/businesses to not donate)?  Tea Party/NRA member?  Pro-lifer?  What could be considered irrelevant?  Maybe past criminal history, if you're a member of an "oppressed  minority" who "only turned to crime out of a lack of opportunity"?  We, as Americans, have a Constitutional right to privacy (being secure in our homes, papers, and personal effects).  We also have a right to know just what infringements on that right to privacy the government is considering.

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.

You know that little piece of paper you sign at the doctor's office that informs you of your right to keep your medical information and anything you share in consultation with your doctor private?  Yeah, Obama wants the government to be able to give itself a waiver to violate that (HIPAA) law.  You still won't have any legal right to the information that your 13yr old daughter is seeking an abortion, but your physician will be required under this EO to turn over to the authorities everything they ask for, without informing you.  Did your doctor temporarily prescribe anti-depressants?  Check out number 4.

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

What's the flip side of incentives?  Penalties.  I could easily see this morphing into a system which holds back a state's share of federal funds (highway, education, Medicare/Medicaid, etc.) if they refuse to violate their citizens' privacy rights.

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.

"Categories of individuals"?  See number 2.  This presumably means those deemed at risk of committing violence;  specifically the psychotic, schizo, anyone taking anti-psychotic medications, and those with diagnosed mental illnesses that could reasonably disqualify them from gun ownership. Again, there is no definition of who will make up these categories, or what criteria will be used in those classifications.  It was only a short time ago that Janet Napolitano's DHS issued a directive to all state law enforcement agencies on domestic terrorism risks.  In it, I recall at least 3 distinct groups were named:  Right-wing extremist groups, Tea Party activists, and returning American veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  She later took down and disavowed the memo (after initially standing by the report), blaming it on a subordinate publishing it without review.  Obama is setting the foundation for a potential gun grab by having the government designate groups of people who "deserve" 2nd Amendment rights and those who might pose a danger to the State.  Keep an eye on this one.  It could be huge.

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

If you have legally purchased a gun, you have presumably already cleared a background check.  If your gun is seized, it is likely to be tangentially involved in a crime of some sort.  Good luck ever getting it back.  If you've been "grand-fathered" in as a gun owner previous to the enactment of these EOs, odds are you will, upon review, run afoul of one of the "categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun".

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

This one makes no sense.  Federally licensed gun dealers (1) already know how to run background checks and (2) no licensed dealer is going to risk his/her federal license by engaging in private sales without one.  I can only assume that the ATF directive will be inclusive of all the new restrictions the Dems can manage to enact restricting 2nd Amendment rights.

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

Using taxpayer money to promote the left's agenda.  The NRA already runs several such campaigns.  This is nothing more or less than using the people's tax money to fund a propaganda campaign designed to convince them to cede some portion of their rights.

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

Look for the costs of such safety devices to increase in direct proportion to the level of their being mandated.  This will likely lead to a "recommendation" by the CPSC to require that all gun owners purchase federally "approved" gun safes and locking devices as a condition of "responsible gun ownership".  One way around the inconvenience of the 2nd Amendment is to make it so expensive and burdensome to comply with federal rule-making that most people will voluntarily decide it isn't worth the hassle.

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

Again, aren't they already required to do this?  We could've used such a trace on "guns recovered in criminal investigations" to get information on Fast and Furious, something we're still waiting for.

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

Duh.  The police already know that the vast majority of guns used in crimes are reported "lost or stolen".

11. Nominate an ATF director.

Ya think?  We've had domestic terrorist assaults (Maj. Nadal Hassan), we've seen other attempts thwarted, we've seen examples of mass shootings in several parts of the U.S. during Obama's first term and NOW he's going to finally nominate a director of the ATF?  Maybe, if we'd had a director in the agency, Fast and Furious wouldn't have gone undetected so long.  It may even have been stopped before it began.

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

Again, restating the obvious.  Something that is already being done, and would have been done with or without Obama putting his name on it.  Law enforcement and first responders since 9/11/01 already have such training, as do many urban and inner-city schools.

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

Another favorite of the NRA, they've been lobbying for increased enforcement of existing gun laws as well as for enhanced penalties for anyone committing gun crimes.  Nice to see a Democrat President finally coming around.

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

What, exactly, does the CDC have to do with gun regulation?  Are they going to determine that the desire to own a firearm is symptomatic of a "disease", and a cause for government intervention? (Maybe they'll determine that insistence on the right to keep and bear arms is a mental disorder, curable/preventable by re-education in "proper modes of thinking and actions"?)

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.

See #8 above.  The "challenge" to the private sector will be akin to the "challenge" of government to the automakers to meet new, ever increasing CAFE standards.  ie., If you don't come up with a way to meet the government's requirements for standards of gun safety, you won't be allowed to manufacture or sell your product.

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

Hand in hand with the CDC.  What business is it of your doctor's whether or not you own a firearm?  Are they really going to classify gun ownership as symptomatic of a physical or mental illness?  Just fyi, included in the "Affordable Care Act" is a provision allowing you to refuse to answer queries about private gun ownership.  Your doctor can ask, but you can legally refuse to answer (although I'm sure your refusal to answer would be noted by the doctor and reported to the government).

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

No federal law, perhaps.  Some states, however, do have such prohibitions.  What IS required, however, is that doctors, ER nurses, and mental health professionals report to local authorities when they have legitimate information of a credible threat to harm individuals.  Again, we see an attempt by Obama to "deputize" others to his cause.  Often by deliberately skirting the letter, and intent, of the law.

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

Wait, what?  Isn't this exactly the position of Wayne Lapierre of the NRA?  Didn't he get blasted and ridiculed by the left for just this proposal?  Again, it's nice to see a Democrat embrace common sense conservative proposals. </sarc>

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

Again, something already in place or in the works locally as a response to the Newtown tragedy.  Also, it's nothing the federal government has any business getting involved in.  These are local issues, and local solutions are best and most efficient in addressing them.

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

More government mandates.  Weren't "mental health services" addressed in Obamacare?  Why don't we have an Executive Order reevaluating the restrictions on involuntary committal?  If the truly disturbed (the ones who commit these attacks of mass murder) aren't free to roam society, they can't commit these kinds of crimes.

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

You mean  that the ACA was passed while some provisions weren't finalized?  Why didn't they catch this when the read the bill prior to voting on and passing it?  Oh, wait.........nevermind.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

Redundant.  See #21.

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

These two will lead the charge and direct this arm of the propaganda campaign.  Sebelius, through the HHS, and Duncan, through the NEA, will no doubt coordinate and decide there is a "need" for additional study (funded by tax dollars) and increased federal funding and mandates for "mental health screening and treatment", all while ducking any conclusions as to the responsibilities of the mentally disturbed for their actions or any mention of the possibility of involuntary committal to a secure facility for their treatment and society's safety. 

There you have it.  Another over-long post, I know.  If you've persevered to the end, I very much appreciate your dedication.  I don't see where any of the above proposals will have/would have had any effect on the mass gun attacks seen over the past few years, and I don't believe restricting freedoms is the way to address the problems we face as a society.  If you think I'm off on any of the points I've made here, or if you think there are additional concerns I haven't picked up on, please, post them in the comments section below.

Until next week, be safe & be well.


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