Executive Orders

Today, President Obama announced his plan to prevent gun violence, including 23 executive orders. At first glance, I was relieved, as they are all hot air. Here’s a recap, straight from his plan:

1. Have the ATF send an open letter to all gun dealers on how to conduct a private sale. Nobody has to do it this way, it’s just a letter to gun dealers, as if they have never sold a gun before. Waste of time and money.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers that prevents states from sharing information about those prohibited from having guns In other words, we’ll bypass HIPAA for all gun related stuff. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system. Mostly empty phrasing, plus the standard democrat approach- throw money at everything. I wonder what information they intend to be shared? I’m sure it won’t be, “Hey, California, here’s how to do an instant background check, Love Wyoming.”

4. Hold federal agencies accountable for sharing reliable information from the background check system. Again, what does this mean? Does this mean our background checks will be cleaner and less “oops, I messed up and you ARE allowed to purchase that!” This is also just hot air.

5. Make sure dangerous people are prohibited from having guns. As if an executive order could stop that. This one is potentially scary- the attorney general will make recommendations of other groups that should be prohibited. Before you say “sweet, keep terrorists from having guns!” remember that a lot of people considered any Tea Party member a terrorist. Prohibiting a member of a group from owning a firearm, a member who has not committed a crime, has lost his or her rights without a fair trial. Beware of this, as I do expect the Attorney General to say “terrorists cannot own guns.” Who is a terrorist? I guess it depends who writes the definition.

6. Take executive action to enhance tracing data. Not really sure what this means, or how it will help. So far, there has been no mystery as to who owned the guns in these mass shootings. Today, the government can request the manufacturer trace a serial number. Is this empty wording again? Does it mean anything at all?

7. Take executive action to help law enforcement avoid returning guns to the wrong hands. How often has this actually happened? Many states destroy seized weapons, even if the person was found innocent- some won’t even return stolen guns to their rightful owner. Really what this order will accomplish is to encourage police departments to destroy confiscated or stolen firearms rather than dealing with the hassle. Think about that for a minute. Suppose your car was stolen. The police find it and send it directly to the car crusher. How is that fair?

8. Confirm a director for the BATF. Big whoop. I do find it interesting that a) they no longer call themselves BATFE (where E was explosives), and that Obama calls them a key “gun law enforcement agency”, when they were a simple tax agency comparable to the IRS. Thanks, Reagan for militarizing them….

9. Eliminate restrictions that force the ATF to authorize importation of dangerous weapons simply because of their age. This one is a threat to all folks with a curio and relic license. In the past, an individual can get a C&R license and ship imported guns to their house, provided the guns are 50+ years old. Now, it’s arbitrarily up to the ATF to determine if the guns are dangerous. First, show me one gun that isn’t dangerous. Second, I’m sure the average gangsta has a tough choice between using a 7.7 Jap bolt action rifle or a 7.65 Nagant Revolver to commit crimes. This targets honest individuals and nobody else.

10. Maximize efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crimes. Maximize it, turn the volume knob to 11! Empty and useless.

11. Analyze information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement. This might sound like a good idea, but we all know it’s bullshit. When my handgun was stolen and I attempted to report it, the police told me to call back at a more convenient time. They then lost my police report, so I filed a second one. When I called a few months later to follow up, they said that it was “impossible” for them to match up any confiscated firearm with lists of stolen property. Furthermore, with all the “no questions asked” gun turn ins, there won’t be many recovered guns to build this database.

12. Provide training for active shooter situations to law enforcement, first responders and school officials. Just in case any of these folks have been living under a rock since 1966.

13. Conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence, including links between video games, media images and violence. Sounds like a PhD dissertation for a future McDonald’s employee. I wonder what they’ll find, and if I’ll care when they find it.

14. Better understand how and when firearms are used in violent death. What is there to understand? When the little bullet leaves a gun at 800-4000 fps, it tends to keep going, even after it strikes your squishy vital organs. There goes $20 million in research dollars.

15. Clarify that no federal law prevents health care providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence. I guess some people were confused by this. I don’t think I have a problem there.

16. Protect the rights of health care providers to talk to their patients about gun safety. They can ask anything they want, just as long as I don’t have to answer. If my not answering somehow puts me in the “threat” category above, then that is also a problem. Really though, this is another letter that Obama will write. Big whoop.

17. Launch a national responsible gun ownership campaign. Will they teach gun safety in schools? Probably not. Will they use some of the already-developed materials that the NRA has for just such an occasion? Probably not. Instead, it’s going to be some expensive poster-and-slogan campaign.

18. Review and enhance as safe standards for gun locks and gun safes. What?

19. Encourage the development of innovative gun safety technology. Technology to prevent unauthorized use- most of these involve fingerprinting guns so that only the registered owner can fire them. Wanna teach someone to shoot? Forget it. Wanna sell your gun? Nope, it’s keyed to you. As scary as that proposal may be, this executive order is just money to write a book report.

20. Take executive action to provide incentives to schools to hire more resource officers. My tax money at work (money they shouldn’t have stolen from me), but there are bigger fish to fry than this one. Put some cops in the schools, I guess.

Actually, there were a lot more than 23 things in his proposal, and, from reading it, it is difficult to tell which are executive orders and which are things he wants congress to accomplish. Either way, it was all a big show. Surrounded by children, and quoting letters they wrote (it sounds cute, but do you really want major policy decisions coming from a 6 year old?) Obama tried to tell touching stories, plead to have my rights stripped away, and then claiming he is a supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

None of these would accomplish anything except to spend tax dollars. As a pro-gun person, I roll my eyes at this, as it is not even significant enough to continue. If I was an anti-gun person, I think I would be angry, as these items look more like an attempt to win Miss America than to address gun violence.

It was the most yawning I’ve done since the debate on guns began again back in December.

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