This has been said many times, already, but Executive Orders are very limited in what they can do. They can clarify or direct how Executive agencies implement laws passed by Congress. EOs do not create law.
What Obama is doing is promulgating EOs on one hand, while trying to spur Congress into passing tougher laws on the other hand. It is a two-pronged approach.
Note that in the case of EOs that Congress has not liked, Congress has specifically witheld funding (example, CDC firearm research - which is why Obama is trying to cajole Congress into funding that).