Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
President Obama supposedly issued some Executive Orders relating to guns. Both sides are in an uproar. But wait – what did he actually do?
The White House has a website, naturally. It lists all Executive Orders. There are no new orders relating to guns.
Okay, well, maybe the orders were issued but staff is slow updating the website? No, his speeches and remarks are right up-to-date.
So maybe they’re not technically Executive Orders, maybe they’re some other Presidential Action? Doesn’t look like it. The only new Presidential Action relating to guns is a memo directing the AG and the Army telling them to put together a research proposal to investigate the possibility of inventing some future technology that might make guns safer someday.
The White House did post a FACT SHEET about guns. It refers to Executive Actions. Is that the same as Executive Orders? Apparently not. Looking through the Actions, we find:
- ATF is finalizing a rule clarifying who needs an FFL to sell a gun. The federal rule-making process is a well-established procedure for making administrative law, this isn’t a spontaneous action by the President
- The Attorney General sent a letter telling states to follow the law and also held a conference call. That’ll take a bite out of crime.
- The FBI will hire more people to do background checks. Good, they’ll need help processing all the applications generated by panic over the media’s reporting of the President’s unconstitutional power grab – which doesn’t seem to have happened, yet. Keep reading.
- Democrats want to spend more money, $500 million for mental health care. This is, in fact, the right place to spend money because the mental health system is a disgrace that all too often leads to tragedy; but considering the history of Democrat spending, I’m not convinced any of the money actually will reach the mentally ill. Instead, I fear it’ll end up being block grants to mental health advocacy groups who will hold picket signs and issue press releases demanding . . . another $500 million.
- Social Security will begin the rulemaking process to strip seniors of their right to self-defense, if they mis-manage their finances. Rulemaking takes forever and mis-managing your finances isn’t the same as posing a danger to yourself of others. I doubt that proposal will go anywhere.
- DHS is finishing up rulemaking to clarify that HIPPA does not prevent shrinks from reporting psychos to the background check folks. Rulemaking, again, not bold new initiatives to make playgrounds safer.
- ATF is proposing a rule to outlaw gun trusts used to hold title to machine guns, which have been used to kill exactly zero children and will do precisely nothing to make Americans safer. More rulemaking, wait and see.
- ATF issued a final a rule that gun dealers who lose a gun in transit must report it. Not controversial, everybody supports that.
Frankly, I don’t see that the President did anything today. This looks more like a publicity stunt to rally the base and deflect attention away from other administration failures, at home and abroad. This Presidency started with vacuous promises of hope and change but it’s ending with tearful press conferences about memos and conference calls. It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad.
It does indeed look to be shaping up that way.