Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Common Sense, 2013 style

Below is the White House Summary of the 23 Executive actions taken by President Obama today in response to the gun violence which plagues our nation.

Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions

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 rulemaking 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.

To call this “tyranny” is ludicrous beyond comprehension.  These are common sense, reasonable measures which are well within the established purview of Executive action.


  1. Its the Supreme Court Stupid

    has nominated current “Interim Acting Director” of the ATF, B. Todd Jones to be the Director.  Will Harry Reid push this to an up-or-down vote?

  2. Mets102

    and submits articles of impeachment to the House of Representatives.  I really would love to see Republicans be stupid enough to impeach the president for taking actions that are both within the purview of executive authority and extremely popular.

  3. Avilyn

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

    I know schools in NJ are already required to do lockdown drills once a month; this is in addition to fire drills.  I thought that was a little extreme at first, until my husband pointed out that the only way to get people to have a measured, non-panic response to an incident like that is to drill it in.  It’s when people panic or break procedure that more people get hurt.  Something happens, lock the doors, get the kids away from the windows, etc etc., and wait for the all clear; do NOT go out into the hallway to see what is happening.  That sort of thing.  

  4. melvin

    unless the citizenry at large puts on the pressure and makes it happen. How many Americans will see or hear that part remains to be seen. It is unfortunately in the hands of the media.

  5. iriti

    that certain factions will find a way to use this to go full Godwin.

    Seriously, the crazy is really starting to wear me down. Between the “impeach hacking at the tip of the iceberg” crowd and the “Sandy Hook truthers” I have officially reached the end of my rope with these people and am hanging on by a single strand.

  6. fogiv

    …from Noah Pozner (age 7, b. Nov. 20, 2006; d. Dec. 14, 2012), days before the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary:

    “I just wanted to give you one more hug,” Noah said.

    “Why is your pajama top off?” his mother asked.

    “So I can feel your heart better,” he replied.

  7. Mnemosyne

    whining, I thought the president’s points would be at least mildly draconian. These are all so utterly common-sense and very, very mild that it’s staggeringly stupid of this country that they haven’t all been in effect before.

    But, of course, land of the free, home of the NRA-as-shill-for-the-MIL and all that, I suppose.

  8. I.e. a mysterious open space which leads, through the darkness, in one unavoidable direction

    Yes, it tips its hat at a multifarious constituency of concerns: gun control, proper school training, mental health. But the hard core of it leads in one inevitable direction

    Firearms deregulation, like financial deregulation, has failed.

    I’m particularly enamoured of 14

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

    I’ve had too many conversations on the Moose and elsewhere about the relative crime and homicide rates between these two countries I know well: the US and the UK. An evidence based approach will starkly reveal to the inhabitants of my second favourite country the cost of a narrow interpretation of the second amendment, and an unscrupulous industry which, as tobacco did for many many years, wants to hide the external costs of their profiteering.

    To put it in stark terms once again: 1.4 million Americans have died in gun related deaths since 1970 – more than all the wars of the 20th century combined

  9. HappyinVT

    … nothing this particular president could propose, especially on this subject so close to their self-proclaimed right of armed resistance to policies they dislike, could be less than “tyrannical.” It’s kind of important to recognize that distinction between people arguing against gun control from the perspective of the Constitution and political system we have, and those claiming authority for the very different Constitution and political system they want. http://www.washingtonmonthly.c…  

  10. HappyinVT

    … “When I visited Newtown last month, I spent some private time with many of the families who lost their children that day,” Obama said. “One was the family of Grace McDonald. ”

    The girl’s parents joined the president in Washington today at an executive office annex on the White House grounds, along with gun control advocates and children who had written to the White House since the Newtown shootings, as Obama unveiled the actions and proposals that Vice President Joe Biden has assembled in the month since the massacre.

    “Grace was seven years old when she was struck down – just a gorgeous, caring, joyful little girl,” Obama said. “I’m told she loved pink. She loved the beach.  She dreamed of becoming a painter.”

    “Just before I left (Newtown), Chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings, and I hung it in my private study just off the Oval Office,” he said. “And every time I look at that painting, I think about Grace.  And I think about the life that she lived and the life that lay ahead of her, and most of all, I think about how, when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now – for Grace.”

    “For the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give. For the men and women in big cities and small towns who fall victim to senseless violence each and every day.  For all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm,” said the president, advancing the most ambitious gun control agenda in decades. “Let’s do the right thing.”

    These were his closing words before signing 23 executive orders.

    And dispatching a passel of legislative ideas to Congress.

    Where no art of the late Grace McDonald is on display.

  11. left rev

    because there is no such party or platform in this country, I tend to vote for democrats. I am critical, in a polite, ecclesial way, when proposals and legislation do not go far enough, in my opinion, to address root issues of poverty, education, health care, etc. I am also mindful of the context in which politics is done and work whenever possible to change the context, rather than fuss at the people working within the context. I also have little hope f changing hearts and minds on a wide scale and prefer to work at the level of individuals-not as quick, but more satisfying to me.

    I acknowledge that this action by President Obama and the charge he has laid upon the congress is a start. But what I come away with is the gut feeling that the context and conversation about guns and violence in this country took a perceptible lurch back towards sanity today, in a way that may have electoral reprecussions and which therefore represents a courageous action in the world of political gamesmanship.

    Bravo President Obama, a father and truly caring man. This country has bled enough.

  12. Regina in a sears kit house

    He had Gov. Dean on speaking the truth about the NRA and how NE gentle people gun owners are for the executive and legislative items put forth today. Reasonable people,wanting reasonable rules.

    The most affecting moments were the comments by the Newtown superintendent of schools. She told the story so well. Nancy Pelosi was visibly crying, and clearly moved by what she was hearing.

    We will get something done. Finally. Gott sie dank.

  13. creamer

    The polls are trending logical nationaly, but we have a core group of people who are fundementaly parinoid, and some who are just fucking nuts.

  14. Regina in a sears kit house

    was built 1905-1912, most likely the earlier date based on use of materials.

    Regina is a Tuxedo kitteh who lives there. I have written about the magic of our house on the GOS.

    I have a diary written about how the land is being abused by sprays and other ag products, which has forced us from our home. I need to get photos in it and it will be ready to go.

    I wish I could have left those who read earlier diaries with the memory of a refuge, a place of beauty. So many of those who replied or commented appreciated the break from the vagaries of the day. They experienced what it can be and the refuge it has been for us.  But I think I need to speak the truth.

    Thank you for your inquiry. And I love and miss my home.

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