The president had declared a war on violence and mental illness. If, in specifying gun violence, he’d proposed legislation or executive orders banning the violence in media.

If, instead of saying: “Weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in a movie theater.” he’d added “Nor do movies containing graphic violence and gun death.”

He did mention video games once: “And Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds.” He didn’t make any reference to the graphic violence on TV and in movies. Well, he can’t piss off Hollywood. (Parenthetically, why doesn’t the acting community condemn said violence when there are horrible deaths such as in Newton? The appearance is that they condemn all the guns that ordinary citizens have, but not the guns that people in movies have or the way they use them in movies. Can I say “hypocrisy?”

I found the list of 23 executive orders online:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/01/16/read_president_obama_s_new_proposed_executive_orders_and_legislation_on.html

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.

“We will make sure mental health professionals know their options for reporting threats of violence, even as we acknowledge that someone with a mental illness is far more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the perpetrator.”

Huh? Isn’t the thrust of the 23 orders to combat deaths like at Sandy Hook? What sane person has committed mass murder in the US in the last 100 years? He did allude to mental health improvements in a few of the executive orders, but the main thrust is, pretty simply, gun ownership.

(Again parenthetically, I will walk out of any doctor’s office if I’m asked about gun ownership.)

Lastly, I had no idea there wasn’t a director of the ATF. That sounds pretty crazy. It appears the blame for that isn’t all on the president, but hell, he couldn’t get that done in four years?

Read this from Michael Isikoff:

“Just last month, secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Mexico City and announced the Obama administration was “doing all that we can” to curb the illegal flow of U.S. weapons to Mexico’s drug cartels. But 15 months after the president took office, the White House has yet to nominate a director to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the agency tasked with policing weapons traffic. In fact, the acting director, Kenneth Melson, recently had to be demoted to deputy director because of a law that limits how long acting chiefs can run federal agencies. This has left ATF without a Senate-confirmed leader at a time of increased cross-border gun violence and mounting concerns about militia activity. “It’s shocking and indefensible,” says Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center, a gun-control group, “that when you have a huge problem from gun trafficking and gun violence, they have left this agency leaderless.” The void has also dispirited ATF field agents, some current and former officials say. “The message that’s sent to the employees is, ‘You don’t matter,’” says Jim Cavanaugh, a 33-year bureau veteran who retired this month as the agent in charge of the Nashville office.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/blogs/declassified/2010/04/16/atf-has-no-head-15-months-into-obama-presidency.html

My friend, who I’ve referred to here, has been saying for the last year and a half that the President was going to go after guns. “Our” guns, she said. She talks about a secret force that the president is amassing, with weapons and equipment. I looked that up and thought, “well, that’s open to interpretation.” It’s a group to support FEMA in emergencies. I’ll find some more info on that.

I’ve sat back in my Libra-ness and haven’t taken a side. I want to love the president. I want to embrace the first black president and believe that he’s who he says he is.

But as I watched yesterday, I had an “Oh, shit” moment. Something about that whole interview just bothered me. I might just change my mind and go all crazy conservative.