Obama Outlines Executive Action Plan for Gun Control

President Obama outlined his 10 point execution action plan for gun control today.

Among the changes:

Anyone who makes a living from selling guns online or at gun shows, two locations where sellers are often considered collectors or hobbyists and freed from the requirement that they conduct background checks, will be required to be federally licensed.

He is also asking for $500 million for mental health treatment. In a statement, he acknowledged these measures will not stop every violent crime or prevent every mass shooting. [More...]

“We have to be very clear that this is not going to solve every violent crime in this country. It’s not going to prevent every mass shooting,” Obama acknowledged in a brief statement to reporters in the Oval Office.

Will they stop any? That remains to be seen, but personally, I doubt it. Sounds like another band-aid to me, and an expensive one at that.

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  • Display: Sort:
    A responsible measure OR a band-aid? (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by christinep on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 07:59:51 PM EST
    Where you stand often depends upon where you sit. As for me, responsive & responsible steps to address the expanding problem/situation of gun violence in the U.S. are commendable acts.  Although the actual effect of executive action in this area is difficult to gauge at this time, this measure does seem to be a move in the right direction of firming up registration needs.  As you suggest, time will tell.

    My view: can't hurt. May (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:22:27 PM EST
    help. But $500,000 for mental health assistance is but a grain of sand.

    You Mean $500,000,000 (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 10:34:47 AM EST
    Also know as a half billion, not a half million.

    It's more than a grain of sand, I would call it a decent start.


    Probably won't go anywhere with (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:08:08 PM EST
    this Congress but increasing the funding for mental health treatment would be a much needed improvement. This is an area where the U.S. needs massive improvement.

    These are not proposals for legislation (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Peter G on Mon Jan 04, 2016 at 11:15:54 PM EST
    and therefore do not require the support of Congress. As explained, they are all measures within the President's exclusive Executive authority.

    I'm not sure that is true on the funds (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 12:13:44 AM EST
    for mental health treatment, Peter. See below:
    The package, which Obama plans to announce Tuesday, includes 10 separate provisions, White House officials said. One key provision would require more gun sellers -- especially those who do business on the Internet and at gun shows -- to be licensed and would force them to conduct background checks on potential buyers. Obama would devote $500 million more in federal funds to treating mental illness -- a move that could require congressional approval -- and require that firearms lost in transit between a manufacturer and a seller be reported to federal authorities.

    I apologize if I misread your comment, Mo (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 10:47:43 AM EST
    I did not understand your comment about Congress to be focused on the mental health funding aspect alone.

    I probably could have made (none / 0) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 02:18:07 PM EST
    my comment clearer. I was just focusing on the mental health aspect of his proposal. I would like to see more funds allocated for mental health. In fact, a lot more than the $500,000 that is being proposed. Many legislators want to place all the blame for the extremely high volume of gun related accidents, deaths and mass murders on mental health but they sure haven't devoted much more than lip service to correct the poor availability of mental health assets in this country.

    as mentioned above (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CST on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 02:19:15 PM EST
    that's 500 million, not 500 thousand.  Still not enough for the entire country, but certainly an order of magnitude higher.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 02:22:52 PM EST
    I noticed I left off the zeros right after I hit post. Was about to go back and correct but you beat me to it.

    MO, it is $500 million not $500,000. (none / 0) (#18)
    by vml68 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 02:21:43 PM EST
    As Scott says, in an earlier comment, it is a good start.

    It could be a good start (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 02:29:25 PM EST
    If it actually happens and if the funds go where they are actually needed. Once again, reports are saying that legislation may be needed for it to happen. So far, all we've seen is lip service on the part of Congress.

    Odd Response... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 10:31:23 AM EST
    ...considering your past statements made in regards to mental health and guns.

    The notion that we don't try anything because it will fail is why we had almost one mass shooting a day last year.

    I can't imagine requiring a background check on everyone isn't going to save some lives or at the very least, keep some guns from getting into the wrong hands.  It has never made sense that only some sales require background checks.

    almost one mass shooting a day last year (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 01:51:51 PM EST
    for sure, there are too many shootings in the US.


    ...I went to the website you linked to yesterday, the one with all the shootings you refer to, and, gotta say, their data is somewhat suspect.

    for example, they list two mass shootings already in 2016, but one of them is for two days in the future, 1/7/2016, (today is 1/5/2016). I then went to the source for that listing, and the date on the source is 1/7/2013.

    so I then went to the 2015 data, and clicked on the source for one of the first shootings of the year, listed for 1/4/2015. But the source says the actual date of the shooting was 5/17/2015. Okay...

    ...so then I went to the 5/17/2015 date and the listing there is for the Waco biker shooting, which is a mass shooting because the police shot something like 25-26 people.

    So, yeah. I quit looking at the data at that point.

    Again, there were far too many mass shootings, but I would not trust your info source 100%...


    Funny You Would Not... (none / 0) (#21)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 02:37:47 PM EST
    ...Google it.  I only used those sites because they had them all listed.  I have no idea what there methodology is.

    No one has the same number, but they are all in the same range, just short of one a day for 3 years straight.  Also, by definition family shootings are mass shootings, but I feel like those, and other shootings in which the victims are familiar are not the same as the random killing mass shooters.

    It's all academic as I think almost everyone agree there are too many, where we differ is in reducing them.  One side says more, the other says less.

    Both sides should, but won't, agree that a billion for mental health is needed badly.


    Hooray for the President! (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 11:24:22 AM EST

    Hooray ... and then some (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 11:56:20 AM EST
    The passion in President Obama's voice, the tears on his face gave a powerful portrait of a President who is making every effort to address exploding gun violence in our land.  There are a lot worse things than trying ... and, by his attempts to right wrongs in this way, he will leave a legacy as a President who strived to leave a safer environment for living.  Far better to try than to wave our hands abjectly while mouthing stale platitudes.

    Thank you, Mr. President.


    Sounds Great, but read betwixt the lines (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    Delivering on its promise to deliver "common sense" gun control, the Obama administration on Monday finalized a rule that enables health care providers to report the names of mentally ill patients to an FBI firearms background check system.

    The action was one of a series of steps that President Barack Obama had called for in January 2013 in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings to curb gun violence, but the rule was not published until today.

    While the 1993 Brady law prohibits gun ownership by individuals who have been involuntarily committed, found incompetent to stand trial or otherwise deemed by a court to be a danger to themselves or others, federal health care privacy rules prohibited doctors and other providers from sharing information without the consent of their patients.

    Under the rule, which takes effect next month, for the first time health providers can disclose the information to the background check system without legal repercussions.

    "The disclosure is restricted to limited demographic and certain other information needed for NICS purposes," the rule states. Disclosure of diagnostic or clinical information is prohibited.

    Good luck getting off this list.  

    What irks me is that we shouldn't (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 04:49:39 PM EST
    need the gun thing to push for an expansion of mental health services; and what we really don't need is for some Orwellian reporting mechanism that could have far more negative consequences than just possibly keeping a gun out of someone's hands.

    Here's the thing: until you can round up all of the illegal guns, and make it much more difficult to buy a gun through other than legal means, there will always be a way for someone who wants a gun to get one.  And in some respects, making it harder to buy a gun legally, without working to get the illegal guns off the street at the same time, is just going to increase the traffic in illegal guns.

    I'm not saying that closing some loopholes, improving background check requirements and putting more money into mental health care isn't a good thing, I just think that if you don't attack the problem from all sides, you won't see much change in the statistics, and that will just give strength to the folks who don't want any regulation at all.

    Know what else would help?  A Supreme Court with a left-leaning majority, and we know there's only one way to get that.


    Sounds (none / 0) (#22)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 03:48:15 PM EST
    like yet another slippery slope to me.

    Doctor-patient confidentiality the latest protection to go down the drain...

    and at the hands of a liberal democrat.


    To be fair, I've been told that HIPAA's (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 04:52:49 PM EST
    privacy protection was an attempt to limit information flow to Tort attorneys.  

    Any actual rights to privacy are signed away every time you transit the health care system.

    To me it appears that the rule allows someone to be checkmarked "crazy" in the database, with no background but their name and whatever other data is required to pin them in the pigeonhole.  

    Plan Kafka.


    What I would like to see is a lifting of (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 01:03:40 PM EST
    the ban on the CDC being able to study gun-related deaths and injuries as a matter of public health.

    It's a funding ban (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 06, 2016 at 09:03:24 PM EST
    Congress controls that completely. Obama may not even get his $500 million for mental healthcare expansion. He is at their mercy for those funds too.  All he can really do by himself is close some loopholes and change reporting rules.  

    And... (none / 0) (#29)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 09:23:18 AM EST
    Agency tasked with enforcing Obama's gun control measures has been gutted

    For decades, restraints, inadequate funding, impotent leadership and a lack of political constituency have stymied the agency from carrying out its core mission. Two years ago, a review by the Government Accountability Office found the agency lacked the resources needed to adequately track the outcomes of thousands of investigations involving improperly purchased firearms despite such cases being a "top priority".

    The same report identified serious personnel concerns, noting that ATF's staffing was at its lowest level in nearly a decade, the result of a four-year hiring freeze and stagnant funding that "did not keep pace with the cost of employee salaries and benefits".

    ATF currently has 624 industry operations investigators in the field, who are tasked with conducting compliance inspections of more than 140,000 federally licensed firearms dealers in the US, the agency said. In broadening the definition of who should be classified as a gun dealer, Obama's plan would likely add many thousands more to that total.

    He can make as many executive orders as he wants, but until we have the people and resources to carry them out, it's doesn't matter.

    The ATF is charged with regulating America's multibillion-dollar gun industry. But many say it is the industry that dominates the agency.

    "If you can strangle the chief agency charged with carrying out gun laws, it's the equivalent of not having those laws in place," said Robert Spitzer, author of The Politics of Gun Control and a political science professor at the State University of New York. "It's a backdoor way to reduce gun regulations."

    Critics of the ATF, in particular the nation's largest gun organization, the National Rifle Association, have successfully lobbied for laws and regulations that have effectively "crippled" the agency, Spitzer said.

    Spitzer pointed to the series of "riders" attached to annual appropriations legislation at the behest of the gun lobby, he said, that have effectively hobbled the agency from completing even core functions of its mission.

    One rider, for example, restricts the ATF from consolidating and computerizing its data in a modern manner. Another imposes prohibitions on its ability to regulate and oversee firearms dealers.

    "ATF is the `whipping boy' of the gun community," Spitzer said. "And that's how it's been for decades."

    Will he get someplace by turning (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 11:20:38 AM EST
    Lawyers lose on gun dealers who can be sued for the next mass shooting?

    I Do Not Know... (none / 0) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 12:28:12 PM EST
    ...which has hierarchy, an executive order or a law.  I would think the law.

    Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, another GWB treat for the country.


    Looking for the loophole (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:01:37 PM EST
    And in the end it may come (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 07, 2016 at 01:14:10 PM EST
    Down to some states becoming too dangerous for people to want to live in and conduct business in. That same line of distinction already exists in healthcare and education between red states and blue states.

    Some states doubled down on protecting gun dealers, and some didn't and aren't going to.

    At this rate will we get to the place where some military bases will have to be moved because it is too difficult and dangerous to force serving families to have to live in those communities?


    While not everyone agrees (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by ragebot on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 03:51:42 PM EST
    on how much mental illness is related to shootings most folks agree some, if not most, of the high profile shooters had mental health issues.

    On the other hand if someone knows being reported as having mental health issues will put them on a list preventing purchase of firearms that might result in those folks not seeking help with their mental health issues.

    My position is there are a lot of folks who have mental health issues and need help and only a tiny number will ever use a firearm.

    And some news sanity would be nice (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 06, 2016 at 07:33:29 PM EST
    CNN has a countdown clock running up to the President's townhall. How is it worthy of a countdown clock? Is that when the black helicopters fly in too to round up gun lovers for re-education camps?

    I don't know (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 09:37:48 AM EST
    If a bandaid is all you got its better than an open sore.

    On the other hand (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 05, 2016 at 10:36:33 AM EST
    It does sound like there are loopholes to important parts that you could drive Donald Trumos hair through.

    Just heard on the news (none / 0) (#26)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Jan 06, 2016 at 04:48:19 PM EST
    that my worthless excuse of a congress critter, Scott Perry, has introduced the 2nd Amendment protection act. He said this, from Newsmax:
    "We don't want some widow who lost her husband to have to be now listed as a gun dealer to sell off her husband's four old hunting rifles."

    That is exactly NOT what the executive action does. These reprobates in the GOP make me want to puke. If I could only get the hell out this country.