23 Steps Toward Reducing Gun Violence

President Barack Obama has signed 23 Executive Orders intended to reduce gun violence in the United States. This alone will not be sufficient–Congress must pass new laws to address this problem as well, and the citizens of the united states have to make some cultural adjustments–but it is a start.

Republican Tea Party Congressman Steve Stockman of, where else, Texas, plans to file articles of impeachment against the president in an effort to maintain our current level of gun violence because, I suppose, he likes it when six year old children are gunned down in cold blood. The people of Stockman’s Congressional District should hang their collective heads in shame for what they have done.

The Executive Orders are summarized in the following list:

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.

Comments

  1. #1 Cameron Lewis
    United States
    January 17, 2013

    Don’t you think it is immature to make a statement that another person “likes it when six year old children are gunned down in cold blood” because they disapprove of the government’s actions and are taking action of their own against it? You can disagree with a person’s actions without resorting to such base insults. In fact, making such an inflammatory statement erodes the credibility of the rest of your work. I don’t agree with the Congressman’s actions but I also do not believe that executive fiat is the answer to all that ails our society.

  2. #2 pete
    Canada
    January 17, 2013

    I have one question for you…of the 23 Executive orders issued by President Obama, which one or ones would have prevented Sandy Hook from happening?

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    January 17, 2013

    Pete, that’s hard to say, but what is your point? One does not issue 23 Executive Orders in response to a single event. One does so in response to an endemic and serious problem our society needs to stop ignoring.

  4. #4 Joffan
    January 17, 2013

    @pete: ##8, 12, 15, 19 could potentially help to prevent or ameliorate another Sandy Hook directly, with several others having a less direct effect or affecting comparable but not identical situations.

    While history may repeat itself approximately, it’s simplistic to take Sandy Hook and expect the next mass-shooting crime (or attempt) to be exactly the same. Effective response requires imagination as well as understanding.

  5. #5 OleanderTea
    January 18, 2013

    I have to wonder if numbers 2, 16, and 17 could have the unintended consequnce of people not seeking or continuing treatment for mental health issues. In other words, people with guns going off their meds.

  6. #6 jane
    January 18, 2013

    Cameron Lewis’ comment is spot on. Conservative rural Americans also love and want to protect their children, just like you do. Many of them will be willing to compromise on this cultural/political issue, even to the extent of gun registration, if they see evidence that that will really help to Save The Children. They will not compromise if they believe it’s only a set-up for future confiscation of every gun their familes own and responsibly use. And they are more likely to believe that the more rhetoric they see that demonizes them as evil untermenschen – something you, Dr. Laden, do frequently. I usually don’t argue about guns on your blog because I don’t care to be sidetracked into debating the question of whether, because I own guns and think that is okay, I personally am crazy, stupid, evil, and secretly looking for an excuse to kill people. But when I see other gun owners commenting here, even very civil and sensible ones, being heaped with abuse, it does not give me confidence that a voluntarily accepted compromise would even be comprehended to be such, much less that it would reduce underlying cultural hostilities.

    To put it another way: What are you willing to give up? How much of the anti-gun wish-list would you be willing to take permanently off the table in exchange for the other side putting things on the table that make them uncomfortable? Democracy requires compromise, something we haven’t had nearly enough of lately, and one prerequisite for serious negotiation is a belief that any compromise agreed upon will be respected in the long term. If we don’t build that belief, there are enough people on either side of America’s culture war to destine us to permanent gridlock. Republicans are having to deal with the fact that they can’t dominate national politics by appealing only to the 30% of the voters who are white males. You also can’t dominate national politics by telling the 41% of voters who own guns that you think they are scum.

  7. #7 Joffan
    January 18, 2013

    Those contributors having fainting spells regarding the rough language directed specifically at Representative Steve Stockman (an elected politician who is unlikely to be bothered by a harsh opinion) – presumably they are admitting that they, too, would like the President impeached for legally issuing some executive orders.

  8. #8 jane
    January 18, 2013

    Joffan – Ad hominem and straw man in one sentence, even if a not terribly grammatical one – nicely done, thanks for making my point! No, I concur that the executive orders are entirely within the bounds of the president’s office (to address your straw man), and I have no particular love for dumb teabagging politicians. However, I also do not assume either that being a right-wing dimwit means you *like seeing children killed*, or that being from Texas means you are probably a right-wing dimwit. I have a bunch of friends from Texas, some very liberal, so I might decide to have a fainting spell about the implied insults to them. People who *like seeing children killed* really are evil untermenschen who need and deserve to be harassed or worse by the state and society at large. If you tell every conservative and moderate rural person in America, or even just everyone who shares Rep. Stockman’s particular ideology, that this is what you think they are, they’ll oppose everything you want to do out of simple self-defense. This is, at least on paper, a democracy. If you hate, loathe, and despise a large fraction of the electorate, you’d better hide that fact if you want to gain enough political power to make them do what you want. I’m not even telling you not to hate your fellow Americans because it’s morally wrong – I’m just informing you that it’s bad strategy to keep rubbing their noses in the fact that you hate them.

  9. #9 daedalus2u
    http://daedalus2u.blogspot.com/
    January 19, 2013

    Jane, when someone says they are going to impeach the POTUS for issuing executive orders without knowing what those executive orders even say, how are people supposed to take him seriously and think that he has the same values that the rest of us do? Or that he has any values that anyone else would recognize as values.

    What Stockman is saying is that any new regulations aimed at reducing gun violence against children are unacceptable. What that tells me is that he does like the status quo, and that deaths of children are not sufficient motivation to change it.

    I don’t doubt that rural conservatives love their children. The problem is that they don’t love other people’s children and so don’t care if other people’s children get shot due to gun violence that would be preventable through legislation or executive order.

  10. #11 jane
    January 20, 2013

    Daedalus2u – Thanks for the example. If I were a rural American, I’d be getting out the checkbook to oppose anything you were pushing. Just listen to yourself. Being a dumb teabagger means you have no values of any kind and are purely evil? Maybe he makes bread from the blood of urbanite babies? Just being a conservative rural person means you “don’t love other people’s children” – as if you, you specifically, love strangers’ children? I doubt it! – and “don’t care if other people’s children get shot”? The half of the population that is on the other side of this Kulturkampf from you know that this is a vicious, cruel lie. They know that someone who would issue such a lie knows nothing whatsoever about them or their lives. They know that you do not comprehend what hunting means to their families, or what needs they have to protect livestock, or perhaps to protect themselves from human predators in places where the law may be hours away – and they can’t explain it to you, because someone who is so prejudiced against ruralites does not care whether they are happy, safe or prosperous, and doesn’t want to hear what they think they need to remain so. But I’m sure you love every single one of their little children.

  11. #12 CPslashM
    UK
    July 17, 2013

    I learned to shoot in the cadet force at school, then went on to shoot at University. Using a hair-trigger, the ability to think “now” and fire the gun without feeling my finger move was the closest I have ever felt to being at one with a machine. Following the Hungerford and Dunblane massacres, the restrictions on gun ownership were draconian – Olympic pistol shooters can only train abroad and many gun clubs could not meet the requirements so had to close. In general, in Great Britain our police officers do not carry firearms (but they do in Northern Ireland). Gun deaths between England & Wales and the much smaller population of Northern Ireland are comparable but usually less than 100 per year each. As far as the second amendment is concerned, if I wanted to bear arms to defend my country I could join the reservists but the weapons would still be locked up centrally. I was saddened that I could no longer shoot but agree with the legal changes. I found something else to do and moved on.

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