See here for the list of “executive orders” made by President Obama. I applaud this effort, but frankly, as I mentioned earlier, we are getting to these somewhat late. Moreover, we have much farther to go: none of these rules do anything to limit the supply of firearms in the country other than maybe slow sales in the form of background checks.
Beyond that, no one can accuse (okay, they can, and they will) the president of overstepping his authority. Looking at this list, he is doing just what a president ought to be doing: He’s administrating. The DoD, the DOJ, the SSA, HHS, the FBI, all these agencies have some role to play. Yes, this is a bureaucracy, yes, of course it means more paperwork, but it’s far better than what we’ve dealt with so far. And it’s better than doing nothing–all this time I was wondering, Where is the ATF? They have “firearm” in their name! They’re now supposed to get serious about background checks.
And these measures are legal and everything we’ve talked about doing: background checks, increased enforcement, increased mental health services (wait, someone was actually serious about that?), and improvements in gun safety technology. This, at the very least, is mostly within the president’s authority.
That’s also part of the problem–it doesn’t go far enough. That’s because, unfortunately, until Congress comes around and actually legislates tighter gun control, it won’t be serious. And as long as we keep talking and not doing, gun sales will increase.
North Korea allegedly detonated an H-bomb today. We have to realize that guns, particularly assault rifles, are WMDs on a smaller scale–nukes level cities in a single blast, AR-15s level individual people in a single round. Wouldn’t you want to, I don’t know, limit their proliferation?