Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Devil's In The (Lack Of) Details Of Obama's Gun Control Orders

The Devil's In The Details Of Obama's Gun Control Orders
Apart from the fact that executive orders are intended to direct the staff of the Executive Branch, not impose laws on the citizenry, the real malfeasance in the 23 orders regarding gun control Obama is expected to sign is, ironically, their generality. That's to say, they're subject to wide interpretation and have to the potential of being used to greatly expand the government's power over the American people without congressional authorization. In my opinion, the following are the orders that have the most potential for abuse:
Order #1: Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system. 
"Relevant data" is a highly subjective term. I wouldn't put it past enterprising bureaucrats to include web search history and Facebook activity in the "relevant" list. Order #1 is a Pandora's Box.
Order #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.
Again, the key word in this order is another highly subjective term. What's an "unnecessary legal barrier"? Is HIPAA an "unnecessary legal barrier"? Another Pandora's Box.
Order #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.
This is basically an order to profile innocent people to ascertain the probability that they will use a firearm illegally. And again, subjectivity: the profile of a killer is in the eye of the beholder. If someone massacres a school dressing "metal", does everyone who dresses that way get placed on a list?
Order #14: Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
This order directs the CDC to discard scientific principles and start making *guesses* (which, of course, could be influenced by ideology). Correlations can be drawn regarding gun violence, but there are far too many variables in this world to determine a *cause* of any complex cultural phenomenon. (And, make no mistake, gun violence is an American cultural phenomenon.)
Order #16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes. 
Why would a doctor have any business knowing whether or not his patients own firearms? This order makes medical providers government snoops, whose information could be accessed by more easily as per order #2.
Order #21: Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
It would seem that medical benefits would have nothing to do with gun control, but I could imagine that this order could open the door to blacklisting. Those placed on "The List" authorized by orders #1 and #4 could potentially be denied coverage based on this order.

I'm sure some of the other orders could be abused as well.


  1. Regarding order #'s 1, 2, 4, and 21 I agree with you.

    Order #14 addresses the issue that the CDC has been completely unable to research this issue since funding was cut due to NRA lobbying. There is currently no valid reason to state that scientists are "guessing" or that they will publish results that are biased by personal ideology. Well, other than that reality has a well-known liberal bias.

    Order #16 says a doctor can ask. It doesn't state that a patient must answer or can be punished for not answering. Knowing whether a depressed person (who is showing signs of being suicidal) owns a gun might be relevant to a psychiatrist who needs to make a decision about whether a person is at high risk for self harm. If the patient doesn't answer, that's fine, but at least let the doc ask.

    1. Again, it's impossible to determine the *cause* of a complex cultural phenomenon. Far too many variables. Correlations can be drawn. "Causation" would be speculation.

      If a doctor can ask about gun ownership, that means that gun ownership status can be placed on one's medical record, which order #2 makes easily accessible to a greater number of people (presumably including government bureaucrats).

    2. Like all of the other sections of this blanket order, those discussed seem, on the face of them, to be rather innoculous. Mr. Mason has pointed out some specific provisions that are of particular concern, but I believe that the package taken as a whole should raise a red flag. It's not so much what's specifically mentioned, it's the 'door' that's opened, and the 'slippery slope' directly in front of it that should be of greatest concern.

  2. Nr. 14 opens the door to research finally on the cause of shooter craziness, psychiatric drugs. Now the revelation of the cause, not the weapon tool, may come to light. The CDC may be the only place in Government where this breakthrough can occur.

    1. What, exactly, has prevented research on this subject by ~any~ interrested party in the past? And why is the CDC the lone, shining hope in such an endeavor? Is there anything keeping any other organization from tackling this question? Certainly this is a question of great importance to a lot of folks besides a 'Department' of government salaried medical personnel who are going to make the same wages whether they make any profound 'breakthroughs' or not. And as an organ of government, their 'findings' will of course support whatever doctrine the current majority partyline advocates, which I think we all know quite well.

  3. For order #2--HIPAA, section 2716 (2) and (3) basically says that if a doctor knows that you're a gun owner, that info can't go into a federal database. But of course, that's a little inconvenient for the gun-grabbers, so they have to get around it (the "unnecessary legal barriers")somehow. For more about this, read


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