Obamas Plan to Reduce Gun Violence

A look into the details of Obama's gun control proposals

UCampus
Posted on 1/16/2013

First off, here's the actual transcript of Obama's remarks. That transcript also includes links to the 23 Executive Orders, an Executive Summary, and a Fact Sheet put together by The White House.

 

Here are the 10 big strategies that Obama wants to pursue. My understanding is that these issues are big enough that any action here would most likely involve Congress (either because they would be required by law, or because Obama wouldn't want to overstep his authority).

* Require criminal background checks for all gun sales.
* Take four executive actions to ensure information on dangerous individuals is available to the background check system.
* Reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban.
* Restore the 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.
* Protect police by finishing the job of getting rid of armor-piercing bullets.
* Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime.
* End the freeze on gun violence research.
* Make our schools safer with more school resource officers and school counselors, safer climates, and better emergency response plans.
* Help ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need.
* Ensure health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.

 

Additionally, The WHite House is considering 23 executive orders that Obama could sign immediately.

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.

 

ThinkProgress covers everything you need to know" about these proposals. Of particular interest:

1. Making background checks universal. Obama wants every single gun owner to go through a proper background check, so it can be determined whether they have a criminal history or diagnosed mental illness. He wants Congress to close the gun show loophole that allows people at gun shows, and private buyers of used weapons, to avoid getting checked. He will also, through executive action, urge private sellers to conduct background checks, even if they aren’t mandatory.

4. Capping magazine clip capacity at 10 bullets. A military-grade weapon is dangerous, but so are its accessories: Obama proposes banning all extended magazine clips that hold over 10 bullets. Huge magazine clips allow a gunman to fire off hundreds of rounds without having to stop, even once, to reload. The high-capacity magazine ban was also part of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.

8. Supporting research on gun violence. Obama hopes to be able to gather more information on gun violence and misuse of firearms, and use that data to inform the work of law enforcement. He also wants to restart research, which has beenlong blocked by the National Rifle Association, on how video games, the media, and violence affect violent gun crimes. The Centers for Disease Control will immediately begin these efforts, but Obama also is calling on Congress to add $10 million to the pot of funding for such research.

13. Recognizing the mental health needs of low-income Americans. Medicaid recipients already qualify for some mental health services, but Obama would like to expand that service so that low-income Americans have the same access to professional help as those who have money to pay for it on their own. Obama will issue a directive to heads of state health programs, enforcing “mental health parity” — the idea that mental health should be treated as a priority as important as physical health.

 

 

Gun experts grade Obama's propsoals here, mainly concluding some of the measures will work but others will still be largly ineffective without additional action:

3) Few of the proposals would do much to help with the problem of stolen guns. “About a million guns are stolen each year,” said Yale’s John Donohue. “Shutting off the spigot on the purchase end is helpful, but it does not solve the problem that some gun owners are completely irresponsible in how they allow access to their guns to criminals.”

Donohue, for his part, suggests that Congress should go further by requiring mandatory gun insurance for everyone who owns a firearm: “If you had some kind of mandatory insurance scheme that made people liable when their guns are used in other shootings, the insurance companies would start to police this, to pressure people to buy guns that have some kind of fingerprint capacity” — or guns that can only be used by their owners. “Other countries are much more attentive about that.”

 

Here's the newest NRA advertisement:

  

 

and here's Obama's challenge to Americans to stand up to uncompromising gun advocates:

The only way we will be able to change is if their audience, their constituents, their membership says, this time must be different, that this time we must do something to protect our communities and our kids. I will put everything I’ve got into this, and so will Joe. But I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it. And by the way, that doesn’t just mean from certain parts of the country. We’re going to need voices in those areas, in those Congressional districts where the tradition of gun ownership is strong to speak up and to say this is important….If parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, if hunters and sportsmen, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, enough, we’ve suffered too much pain and cared too much about our children to allow this to continue, then change will come. That’s what it’s going to take.

 

We'll try and provide an update over the next couple of days with the best rebuttals from more conservative sources.

 

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