Obama’s Gun Orders Trigger Outrage

Barb Wire

The media’s focus may have been on the President’s tears during his gun control speech, but it should have been on the cries of freedom-loving Americans. After seven years of watching the administration wipe its feet on the Constitution, this latest power grab epitomizes everything people have come to resent about the White House. This week, the president’s impersonation of the legislative branch got personal with the announcement of a four-point plan to curb one of the country’s most important rights: to keep and bear arms.

The same man who spoke in front of a “We Can’t Wait” banner three years ago obviously hasn’t become more patient in his second term. Instead, the president is doing what we’ve come to expect when he can’t persuade Congress to rubber-stamp his agenda — taking matters into his own hands. Although the details are still vague, the administration is expected to roll back some of the background check exemptions for sport shooters and collectors, hire more bureaucrats to run background checks, spend $500 million more on mental health care, and crackdown on gun dealers’ licensures.

As Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) told me yesterday on “Washington Watch” radio, “In the case of this president, the devils are in the lack of details. From what I’ve read in the summary of his some of his executive actions are left purposefully vague. And whenever you leave these things vague, it’s up to the interpretation of the regulators and enforcers.” President Obama insists his orders are entirely consistent with the Second Amendment. And I suppose Americans are supposed to take his word for it? A man whose administration is synonymous with lawlessness? A man who’s been rebuked by the highest courts in the country for his overreach on everything from recess appointments to immigration?

Anyone with a seventh grade education knows that the executive branch isn’t supposed to legislate. But that’s never stopped the Obama administration. Remember, this is a man who built his presidency on circumventing Congress with dozens of controversial executive orders. As the president has said before, he “refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer.” Even if that “no” comes from the Constitution itself. “Congress needs to act,” he insisted. Well, as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) pointed out, Congress did act. It just didn’t do what the White House wanted. “[The president’s] proposals to restrict gun rights were debated by the United States Senate, and they were rejected. No president should be able to reverse legislative failure by executive fiat, not even incrementally.”

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What’s worse, there is absolutely no reason to believe that any of his orders will work. As the president himself admitted, these proposals wouldn’t have stopped any of the gun-related attacks he highlighted. Even people like Hollywood’s Kurt Russell can see that. “If you think gun control is going to change the terrorists’ point of view, I think you’re… out of your mind,” he told radio host Jeffrey Wells. “They can also make a bomb pretty easily. They can also get knives and stab you. What are you gonna do about that? They can also get cars and run you over. What are you gonna do about that?… Outlaw everything? That isn’t the answer.”

If the president truly wanted to do something to stop the violence, Rep. Loudermilk has some ideas:

He says it’s about securing America. Well, he wants to hire 230 more people in the FBI to be paper pushers to help run background checks. Just a few weeks ago I was sitting in a Homeland Security Committee hearing, I’m on the committee, and we had the FBI director and the Secretary of Homeland Security, and I asked them about the refugees. ‘Do you have a plan to monitor these refugees that you know ISIS is going to exploit?’

And they said, ‘No, we don’t have the manpower to do it.’ So why don’t we hire more FBI agents to track terrorists? Why don’t we put more border patrol agents on the border instead of 200 ATF agents to stop these cartels from bringing in the bad guys? These are the types of things that if [the president] were serious about security he’d be going after.

In the meantime, it’s time for the president to start working with Congress the way the Constitution intended it. If the founders wanted a king, they’d have stayed British subjects.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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