‘Executive Order’ vs. ‘Executive Action’ and Media Hypocrisy

by Greg Pollowitz

For the record, not one of the 23 “executive actions” issues by the president yesterday is an actual “executive order.” However, the White House did issue three “presidential memoranda” yesterday. They are:

Improving Availability of Relevant Executive Branch Records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

Tracing of Firearms in Connection with Criminal Investigations

Engaging in Public Health Research on the Causes and Prevention of Gun Violence

The MSM, however, is using “executive order” as a replacement for “executive action,” which gives the reader the impression that the president has done more than he really has. The reality is President Obama hasn’t done much of anything. The headline “Obama To Fight Gun Industry with Three Presidential Memoranda” just doesn’t carry the same oomph as “23 Executive Orders.” Words matter, as the president has lectured previously.

If you’re curious, the last executive order issued by the president was to raise the pay of federal workers, which the House will vote to reverse next week. Raising pay for Congress merited an executive order, but not a single one to address the gun issue? Maybe the president can ask kids to write him some letters asking why he didn’t do more.

In fact, as we pointed out in this post linking to a Rolling Stone piece on Obama’s actions yesterday, an executive order President Obama could have signed that would have banned the import of certain weapons, magazines, and other accessories — one signed by President George H. W. Bush — was ignored.

Now, if I were an honest member of the Left and thought gun control was a major issue, I would be angry at what little was done yesterday. Piers Morgan, for example, has been trashing anyone on the right who dares to support the Second Amendment. If he had a shred of honesty, at the very least he should bring someone on from the administration and ask why, out of the 23 actions proposed yesterday, one of them was nearly identical to the proposal by the NRA to find a way to put armed guards in schools and study overall school safety and preparation plans.

We’ll see what happens.