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Obama speaking on gun control now.

President Obama has announced twenty-three executive actions he'll take to reduce gun violence:

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.

About the Author

Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



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Are you sure the list is complete? I don't see the part about confiscating all guns from current gun owners.

I imagine that No. 13 could be subject to expansive interpretation by those so inclined.

Grant,Maybe I did not make myself clear. Are there armed guards at the Obama girls' school because they are present there? If Yes, then of course this makes perfect sense. They are the daughters of one of the most important people on earth (and also unfortunately someone who is the object of death threats), so if the guards are there for their protection, then of course this makes sense. My question was whether there were armed guards at their school BEFORE the Obama girls went there. If there were, then I think this is something worth noting. I am asking a serious question here with no edge. AA

1-6: strengthen background checks8-10: keep track of where guns are11 and 13: enforce the existing laws14-15: do some research on the topic12 and 16-19: be more vigilant and better prepared20-23: better mental health servicesNothing about banning any kinds of guns. In fact doesn't point 18 possibly support the idea of armed personnel in schools?

Besides the rather glaring omission identified by unagidon, my quick scan of the list failed to detect the phrases "assault weapon ban", "limit magazine capacity", and "gun show loophole." I assume that it will be left to Congress to (not) pass legislation that addresses these.

I guess that the list of 23 items are mere executive orders, while assault weapon bans etc. will need laws voted by Congress.

Yes, Obama can propose a redo of the previous ban on assault weapons and having smaller magazines, but congress has to actually do it. I guess this is all that can be hoped for when the basic question - should civilians own guns - will not be asked.

I say we need a good tort lawyer to sue the Lanza family and estate for 26 million dollars for allowing a mental disturbed son access to guns.The estate and father most likely have at least half of that sum.

"14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence."Can't remember where I read it, but the NRA was the group which pushed a law through Congress which makes research by the DCF illegal. The President's executive order seems to violate that law. Can he do that legally?

Oops -- should be: CDFSorry for all these typos. Oddly, I never seem to see them when I read my posts before sending the off, but I see them immediately when I read what I've just posted. Sigh.

Aw, hell. There I go AGAIN. Should be: CDC.I'll just ignore anything else I've typed wrong.

Ann Olivier,Those darn acronyms! You spelled it out just fine.

How about a national federal search warrant authorizing all state and city government law enforcement agencies to search the homes and automobiles of all documented (how defined to be determined) gang members for any firearms at all. And then a federal law that mandates a sentence of (to be defined) years in a federal penitentiary on anyone found with said firearms? In addition, anyone knowingly furnishing firearms to a mentally disturbed person (to be defined as to severity and how so designated) to be sentenced to ten years as above?

John Prior --Speaking of acronyms, couldn't we have a rule that before an acronym is used the full name of the entity must be spelled out at least once? There are so many acronyms used these days that it's impossible to remember what they all mean, and some of them mean more than one entity. I especially dislike reading a very long post a second time looking for a meaning and then not finding it.

"In addition, anyone knowingly furnishing firearms to a mentally disturbed person (to be defined as to severity and how so designated) to be sentenced to ten years as above? "Bob's comment reminds me - I understand that Governor Cuomo has signed gun control legislation for New York State, and one of the provisions is that people with mental illnesses will not be able to buy guns. (I'm repeating here what I heard on a newscast a couple of days ago). Can anyone describe that provision in more detail? My concern is that mental illness be stigmatized, and in addition I'm not sure how a gun dealer would have the right to access patient health records. How are these addressed by the new legislation?

Here's a great quote about mental illness 7 guns:Taking guns away from single women who live alone and other law-abiding citizens without mental illnesses will do nothing about the [Chos, Loughners, Holmeses or Lanzas]*. Such people have to be separated from civil society, for the public's sake as well as their own. But this is nearly impossible because the ACLU has decided that being psychotic is a civil right. *All known mentally disturbed individuals.

Correction: "...mental illness and guns"

Why do I think '7 guns' is a Freudian slip?

FWIW - here is Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen's perspective (Headline: "The debacle of gun control"):"(W)hat we have is the cratering of liberalism ... The liberal agenda once included confiscating handguns and abolishing the right to own one never mind the right to carry one at all times. In his book Living With Guns, Craig Whitney excavates the fact that in 1969 a presidential commission called for the confiscation of almost all handguns and the prosecution of those who would not comply. The commission was headed by Milton S. Eisenhower, the brother of the former president and no ones idea of a left-wing radical. (He was the former president of Johns Hopkins University.)" analysis I heard this morning suggested that the very modest proposals coming out of Biden's task force may not even survive the Senate, much less the House, which has a bipartisan majority of members with "A" (i.e. perfect score) rating from the NRA.Why is the President expending so much capital on this issue?

Jim ==Spending so much capital on which issue? The subject of your post is the confiscation of all guns. But Obama isn't spending any capital at all on that. He's spending capital on the regulation of guns.And what does Milton Eisenhower have to do with the cratering of liberalism?

Hi, Ann, the subject of this topic is the President's twenty-three part plan to somehow have an effect on gun sales and usage via executive action. My comment excerpted from, and linked to, a column by Richard Cohen, and old hand who is commenting that what liberals are pursuing now is very weak broth compared to the agenda of a couple of generations ago.

Jim P. ==Yes, views have changed on both sides. Thanks God.

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