The President's Gun Control Actions Today
1. "Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system"
Comment: This seems like common sense.
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."
As a general statement, removing barriers to sharing relevant data seems like a good thing. But the President doesn't have the authority to simply order provisions of a federal law like HIPAA struck down/ignored. The devil will be in the details on this one.
3. "Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system."
Depends on the "incentive", I suppose - but again, I have no problem with this in the abstract
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."
I'm unsure what this means. If it means "double check the list for specific people" . . . well, ok, though I'm not sure how useful it is. If it means "conduct a review of prohibited categories and suggest new prohibitions to be taken to Congress for amendment of current law", then it's a good thing. (Not necessarily that all the suggestions - or even any - will be good, but critical thinking and a fresh look is a good thing)
5. "Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun."
This seems like common sense.
6. "Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers."
Perfectly OK with this
7. "Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign."
Waste of money, but it's not exactly a constitutional overstepping of power
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."
This should already be the law, and I'm very glad to see this on the list
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."
Ooh, big step :rolleyes:
12. "Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations."
Again, not sure this is really an executive branch responsibility for each described category ("school officials" seems like a state responsibility) but it's not a major "how dare he!"
13. "Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime."
A lovely sentiment without meaningful content
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."
Is this the NRA's "guns in schools" idea? If not, what the hell is a resource officer, why is it related to gun control, and isn't this just another way of sending money to teachers' unions?
19. "Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education."
I'm fine with this
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."
Ugh . . . pointless.
In sum, mostly sound and fury, signaling nothing. Could have been pared back to 5 or 6 without much in the way of loss - but "more than 20" sounds a lot like "see, the President is acting!"