Obama’s Executive Orders–What Are They & Should We Fear Them?

Our Government is made up of three branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. The legislative branch makes the laws, the executive branch enforces the law, and the judicial sees if the laws are legal. The legislative branch is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives; the judicial is the court system–lead by the Supreme Court; the executive branch is lead by the President.

The President’s job is to make sure that executive departments–departments that enforces the laws–are able to do their jobs the best they can. He has the responsibility, the power, to have Executive Orders that make the department stronger. According to the National Archives  says: “Executive orders are official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government.”

On Wednesday, our President signed 23 Executive Orders that has to do with lowering the gun violence in our country. They focused on Background Checks, Gun Safety, Law Enforcement, Gun Violence Prevention, Health Care/Mental Health, and Schools.

In order to improve our background-check system, our President ordered:

  • that federal agencies give relevant data  to the federal background-check system
  • to address unnecessary legal barriers that may prevent states from making information available to the background-check system
  • the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks
  • incentives to states that share information with the background-check system
  • law enforcement to be able to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun
  • the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) guide the federally licensed gun dealers on how to run better background checks

To make the guns safer, our President ordered:

  • to launch a national safe and responsibility gun ownership campaign
  • have the Consumer Product Safety Commission review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes
  • a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun-safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies

To help law enforcements, our President ordered:

  • federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations
  • provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials proper training for active shooters situations
  • the Release a Department of Justice report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement
  • Nominate an ATF director

To prevent gun violence, our President ordered:

  • Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
  • the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence

To up date health care professionals, our President ordered:

  • to Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes
  • Release a letter to healthcare providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
  • reminding state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover
  • Commit to finalizing mental-health parity regulations
  • Launch a national dialogue led by (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) Secretary  Sebelius and (U.S. Department of Education) Secretary Duncan on mental health

To protect schools,  our President ordered: 

  • to Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
  • to Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

I have been hearing the outrage and fear from the far-right of these executive orders that ‘bypass the constitution’. Rush Limbaugh surmised, before he knew what the orders said, that the orders will take away your guns. The Drudge Report compared our President to Hitler and Stalin. There has been talk of impeachment. The NRA, well, forget the NRA, they’ll say anything.

Our own Congressman, Rep. Reed, who has stressed the need for better mental health services should applaud the President for including mental health services in his executive orders. Instead he said, “A number of the proposals laid out by the president today place considerable restrictions on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, and I remain concerned that eroding one of our constitutional rights will lead to more limits.”

I wonder which of these orders the ‘law abiding gun owner’ should fear the most? Law abiding gun owners shouldn’t fear background checks. Law abiding gun owners shouldn’t fear having safer guns. Law abiding gun owners shouldn’t fear giving law enforcement proper training or better ways to trace stolen guns. Law abiding gun owners shouldn’t fear research into the causes of gun violence, such as video games. Law abiding gun owners shouldn’t fear that the doctors know their responsibilities or that mental health services get needed funding. Law abiding gun owners shouldn’t fear that schools have incentives to hire resource officers or have emergency response plans.

Law abiding gun owners should praise those orders. They are broad, common sense, proactive ways to reduce gun violence. They do not reduce our second amendment.
    

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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1 Response to Obama’s Executive Orders–What Are They & Should We Fear Them?

  1. William R. Hungerford says:

    I think the term “executive order” is unfortunate. If we view these as normal directions from the President to his Cabinet they seem more reasonable. The word “order” gives a military impression. In industry terms used for orders from higher-ups include requires, directs, and the like.

    Like

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