While I am, I guess, happy that Obama finally decided to do something on guns, I was NOT impressed with what he actually did.
Yes, all 23 things he did by executive order seem entirely reasonable, and there is certainly nothing wrong with any of them. All 23 can be found here: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/01/obama-executive-actions-gun-list/61075/
And also, the proposals to Congress are also reasonable: assault weapon ban, limit clips to 10, universal background checks. All those things must be included for any legislation to be remotely effective.
So why am I upset? Because Obama failed to do the MOST reasonable thing he could do. The MOST impactful thing he could do. The thing that he could do with the stroke of a pen. The thing he should have done his first day in office. The thing that Bush the Wiser and President Clinton both did by executive order.
Both Presidents issued Executive Orders based on the 1968 Gun Control Act, which regulated the firearms industry via the commerce clause.
Among other things, the 1968 Act puts a “sporting purpose” requirement on importation of military style rifles. And since many of the rifles are specifically designed for military (not sporting) applications, many would fail this test. In fact, when Baretta set out to win the military contract on sidearms by designing the gun for the military, then marketed it based on the fact they had the gun of choice for the military. A lot of rifles follow the same pattern. And are the exact same, or virtually the same, gun that is supplied to the military. Hence, they are designed for the military, not for sport. And would not be allowed to be imported under the 1968 law.
In 1989, Bush signed an Executive Order halting importation of some semi-automatic firearms unless they met the “sporting” requirement set out in the 1968 law. In 1991 President Clinton issued and Executive Order banning more than 50 semi-automatic assault weapons that had been modified to meet the “sporting” requirement. And in 2001 President Clinton banned the importation of assault Pistonls. Under President Bush, theses orders were allowed to expire, and President Obama has refused to re-enact them for 4 years, and even does so now.
I see no evidence that Obama took the easiest, and most impactful, immediate step he could have by Executive Order. And the one that makes the most sense.
If I am in error here, my apologies, but I do not believe so. Just another disappointing day with Barack.