Gun control failed in Congress. It’s happening anyway.
Between the December 2012 massacre and the Navy Yard mass shooting Monday, Obama has taken 25 separate gun-control initiatives, all of which came from executive actions that did not require congressional authorization.
The president’s highest-profile move was to nominate and get confirmed Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, filling a seat that had sat empty for more than six years. But Obama has also initiated a series of quieter initiatives, including new rules to keep guns away from felons, better coordinate mental-illness screenings, and better preparing local law enforcement and schools to respond to shootings.
The White House readily admits its actions alone cannot solve the nation’s epidemic of gun violence, but given that an expanded-background-check bill stalled in the Senate in April, the executive orders are—for now—Obama’s only available option.
“Even without Congress, my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect more of our communities,” a visibly angry Obama said after the bill fell six votes shy of the 60 needed to break a filibuster.