As Expected – heavy on rhetoric, light on specifics (UPDATED)

We have yet to see the actual text of the Executive Orders that President Obama is putting forth in response to the Sandy Hook massacre, but they do not look promising. He certainly didn’t give details at the press conference, and there’s nothing on the White House website yet.

Today’s  press conference was much as expected – long on emotionalist rhetoric and short on actual facts, while using little children as props for this agenda, and trotting out a Virginia Tech massacre survivor as backgdrop… well, it’s beyond the pale.

The speech was filled with empty platitudes.

We have to examine ourselves and our hearts and ask ourselves what is important.

The only way we begin to change is if Americans say this time must be different. We must do something to protect our kids and communities.

We don’t live in isolation. We live in society.

Aren’t we sweet! How about some details?

He wants to strengthen background check system, which ultimately means private collectors and sellers who merely want to transfer their property now have to perform a background check on prospective buyers.

More funding for school resource officers? Great idea. With what money?

Mandates for school emergency preparedness plans. That’s a great idea, but what does that mean? Will the schools require federal approval for these plans? How many people will be needed to approve said plans for every school district? Are we talking another bureaucracy?

And what about mental health reporting? Will doctors be required to violate confidentiality? Will doctors be required to report to the federal government? What kind of bureaucracy will be created to process those reports?

And how does the President know that 40 percent of all gun sales take place without a background check? As I stated previously, the number comes from (who else?) Sarah Brady!

The Brady Campaign is, of course, merely quoting Michael Bloomberg, who, between banning salt and large soft drinks, has pulled gun purchase data out of his asshole that makes even PolitiFact wary.

Mayor Bloomberg said 40 percent of gun sales take place through gun shows or the Internet.

The best information on the informal gun market is based on a survey and is about 15 years old. Current regulations don’t allow direct tallies of sales of this sort. An undercover investigation found a great deal of internet activity, but it was sponsored by a mayor who seeks greater regulation. Groups opposed to greater regulation were asked to rebut the mayor’s assertion and did not respond.

As we expected, the President talked a good deal about bans – banning magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds and banning “military-style weapons. As usual, the government wants to punish the law abiding for the misdeeds of a few miscreants.

Assault rifles have one purpose – to kill as many as possible.

             Weapons designed for theater of war have no place in movie theater. A majority of Americans agree with me.


Fifty-one percent oppose re-instating the federal ban on assault weapons, with 44 percent supporting the move. That is almost unchanged from 2011, when the public opposed the weapons ban by a 53-43 split.

Now, polls are ridiculous things, and they change with the wind, with current events, with how the questions are asked, and with the demographics of the respondents. So a ban that had broad support last month, may not have that level of support a few weeks later.

So the real questions are: 1) is the ban constitutional and 2) would it be effective?

While I would answer both those questions with a resounding NO (what part of “shall not be infringed” is not clear?), I also realize it would be up to the courts and not to me to determine constitutionality. As for effectiveness, I remind you that a) only a tiny percentage of all crimes committed with guns are committed with military-style weapons, b) these guns are semi-automatic, which means they fire a single bullet with a single trigger pull, c) automatic weapons are hardly ever used in crimes in the United States, and are heavily regulated anyway, d) the features that the politicians claim are “military-style” are cosmetic and e) the last assault weapons ban didn’t prevent Columbine.

Strap in, kiddies. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

UPDATE: Fox has a list of the now 23 Executive Orders that will be issued shortly

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.

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