I have not yet developed an opinion of each order specifically, and since I'm not a Constitutional lawyer, I might not be able to for a long time. I will certainly share what I think based on the headlines of each order (of the entire proposal in full), but I don't believe it would be significant to address them individually. Regardless, since this blog exists to pass along information and foster civil, informative debate, I believe it's imperative to share this information.
Here is the PDF of Obama's plan titled "Now is the Time" - http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/556943/white-house-now-is-the-time.pdf
Here is a list, summarized by CainTV and Herman Cain's staff, that extracts from the main document the 23 orders in principle: http://www.caintv.com/complete-list-of-obamas-execut
The following are the 23 executive orders extracted from the previous link:
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.
To me, in full, this legislation is entirely hollow. First, the question: How would ANY of these orders have prevented the tragedies that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary or in Aurora, Colorado. Simply, they wouldn't have. If someone has an explanation as to how they would have prevented these tragedies, I'd be very interested in hearing it. For example, take order #5:, "Propose rule making to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun." What would this have done to prevent the Sandy Hook Massacre?
All in all, some of these orders amount to "infringing" on rights. Some don't. Regardless, this legislation is, as I have said, hollow. Most of it creates a straw man opponent (the size of munitions clips, for example) that does nothing but allow people to "feel" good, while providing a false sense of security that will crumble when the next tragic event happens. William Spengler, for example, was a convicted felon who was not legally permitted to own a gun. In New York State, "assault rifles" were already prohibited. He still owned and assault weapon, and savagely attacked first responders as they arrived at his burning home. File this under the "no law or legislation will prevent bad people from being bad" theory, one that conservatives strongly believe in, and, as with Spengler, shows how MORE gun laws do nothing to prevent evil acts from occurring.
In reality, these executive orders amount to a surface, do-nothing bill that further emboldens politicians and allows them to high five each other as if they did something great in spite of how truly useless the legislation really is. It's a political ploy that gives Americans only an image of executive/executed concern for the purpose of promoting political feelings in the face of logic and reason. Obama and supporters, through this bill, aim to score political points. That's all. Proponents walk away claiming victory as sadly, the only things that now exist are a few more pieces of paper in the US code of laws, a further divided country, and the increased infringement of citizens' rights. Nowhere in this legislation lies one thing that will make our country safer by preventing mass shootings. If you think it would, I'd love to hear how.
Please share your thoughts below.