Yesterday President Obama declared his 23 Executive Actions on Gun Control. Executive Orders are originally intended to be used to clarify and direct laws passed by Congress, not to bypass Congress by making laws (which is highly unconstitutional....and yet is sometimes done by the president) so these are not laws, just orders from the President to help make laws more effective.
However, I'm not gonna talk about each order and what it does or does not actually say...because frankly I don't speak in political-ese. Most seem transparent enough. Yet there are a few that cause giant question marks. The 23 Orders are as follow.
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
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.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
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.
5. Propose rule making to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
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.
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.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
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.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
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
Again, most seem transparent and appropriate. Then there's numbers 14 and 16. Now what I'm about to say borders on the paranoid and I'm not entirely sure I'm not just being paranoid. (Isn't it interesting how Obama is doing things so crazy that talking about them makes you feel crazy?? I have a friend who posted a lot of Obama information on his Facebook page before the election, and he told me that he was called a conspiracy nut by at least 3 people...even though what he said was well documented as true if you did a little research. So at least I know I'm not the only one.)
Number 14 directs the Centers for Disease Control...yes, the CDC...to research causes and prevention of gun violence. Now why on the good planet Earth would that job be given to the CDC??? The CDC, in case you happen to be Patrick Star, is the federal agency designed to protect and promote public health and saftey in the United States. Mostly they focus on infectious diseases. Now I suppose you could say that being shot is unhealthy and therefore the CDC could be in charge of trying to keep people from getting shot...however that seems like a stretch. Now this may just be paranoia because I'm in the middle of a Fringe marathon, but somehow it just doesn't make sense that this research should be the CDC's jurisdiction. So why have them do it? I think we may have gotten our answer to that today. Today Obama asked Congress for $10 million dollars to be allocated to the CDC for this "research." That's a lot of research. Now I don't know how much it takes to figure out if people seeing violent images repeatedly has anything to do with violence...but I'm pretty sure $10 mil is overkill. (This is why our country is broke, btw.) So why the hell does Obama want the CDC to have this money then?? Now I have no idea what secret projects the government works on. I'm not naive enough to believe that governments don't work on secret initiatives that may be, well, nefarious may be the right word. I'm also not educated enough to know just what those projects are, so I won't posit something just for the heck of it. It just reminds me of the part in 'Independence Day' where the old guy responds to the question of how does the government pay for something like an Area 51 by saying "you don't really think it costs $1,000 for a hammer, $10,000 for a toilet seat, do you?". Makes you wonder what the CDC is really up to, doesn't it? Wonder if it has anything to do with those FEMA camps I keep hearing about.
The other order that stood out as unusual is the 16th. Now just what the hell does that mean!? I understand that it, along with the 17th have to do with questioning and reporting people who may have violent tendencies and who owns guns, clarifying that doctor-patient confidentiality doesn't prohibit doctors from asking (or telling) about gun ownership. But....why the hell is it there in the first place?? I mean, why does a doctor need to know if their patient owns a gun? I understand that they could then report someone that they feel is unstable...but what I don't get is how a doctor is going to find out if a person owns a gun or not. Because here in America we like a little phrase "none of your damn business" and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Unless.....what if in the future, when Obamacare is the rule of the land and doctors are basically employees of the government, that doctors must ask that question. And what if, just what if, a patient who refuses to answer is withheld treatment until they disclose whether they own a gun or not?? Now maybe this is just my wild imagination running course, but I really see no other reason for that order. Doctors have no business asking personal questions that do not pertain to medical issues...and unless I'm eating the lead bullets daily which is giving me lead poisoning...doctors have no business asking me about what I own. That seems so basic and simple that it causes Order 16 to stand out like a 30 year old at a Justin Beiber concert. Like I said, most of these are transparent enough to not raise any eyebrows, but then those two seem to make such little sense that it makes me, at least, wonder.