...And Other Critiques on Obama’s Unconstitutional Gun Control
Guest Post by Ian Parish
“The vast majority of Americans--including the vast majority of gun owners--believe we must take sensible steps to address these horrible tragedies.” -President Barack Obama, announcing his new Executive Orders on Gun Control, January 5th.
The air was heavy, that cold morning in January. The 44th President of the United States took to the podium, shed some tears, and unrolled his new Executive Fiat to enact more gun control. Not only did he do that, but he blatantly lied to the American people. In a poll done by CNN, it was found that nearly 60% of Americans disagree with Obama's gun policies. The same poll also states that when asked whether or not gun laws made purchasing a firearm “too easy”, “too difficult”, or “about right”, a majority (49%) said that they felt that it was “about right”. A palpable majority, Mr. President.
Not only that, but many of Obama’s so-called “common sense” measures are actually not as common sense as he’d like you think. They’re actually pretty redundant and seem quite benign, at first glance. For example, let’s take an excerpt from the Fact Sheet straight from the White House’s own website.
“1. Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks.”
So, we’re basically going to keep doing what we've already been doing? Not only is the President lying about Americans wanting his specific reforms, he’s also creating a redundancy. How many firearms would you have to sell before being required to register for an FFL? Five? Three? One? The White House actually answers that for us, courtesy of their own website.
“Quantity and frequency of sales are relevant indicators. There is no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement. But it is important to note that even a few transactions, when combined with other evidence, can be sufficient to establish that a person is “engaged in the business.” For example, courts have upheld convictions for dealing without a license when as few as two firearms were sold or when only one or two transactions took place, when other factors also were present.”
I’d like to draw attention to the specific sentence, “There is no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement”. Anyone and everyone will potentially have to get an FFL license to sell firearms. It doesn’t stop there, however.
The President repeatedly calls for “comprehensive background checks”. The thing is, this already exists. We already have a background check system up and running. A mistake in the background check system is what allowed Dylann Roof, the shooter who killed nine innocent churchgoers in South Carolina, to legally buy a gun. What does the President have to say about the accuracy of background checks? His Executive Order says:
“Background checks have been shown to keep guns out of the wrong hands...”
I feel like another example may be relevant here, just to prove my point.
Let’s go back to the Virginia Tech Shooting, perpetrated by Seung-Hui Cho. It was April the 16th, a day many of us will never forget here in Virginia. I was ten years old at the time, and I remember the candle-light vigils and praying for the families, colleagues, and friends of the murdered. Seung-Hui Cho was a madman and a violent murderer. He senselessly slaughtered 32 other human beings on his rampage across the campus of Virginia Tech. Background checks wouldn’t have stopped him, either. He bought his weapons-of-choice legally. Let me repeat that. He bought his firearms legally.
The only thing the President’s Orders do is make acquiring firearms so much harder for law-abiding, patriotic citizens. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is being flagrantly ignored by Obama, again. What part of “shall not be infringed” is so hard to understand? “Comprehensive background checks” do not stop tragedies. Laws don’t stop tragedies. Sadly, tragedies happen. That’s part of life, sometimes. Stripping the ability to acquire weapons of self-defense from the elderly and from women--two of the most victimized groups in our society--only helps people like Dylann Roof, Seung-Hui Cho, and others increase tragedy. Evil, hell-bent murderers will jump any hoops, legally or illegally, to perpetrate their evil desires. If you want tragedy to be stopped, however, you give people the ability to purchase the greatest equalizer on planet Earth: the firearm.
The firearm, when used in the right place at the right time, prevents tragedy. The firearm, when used with the principle of peace through strength, prevents tragedy. Just think about what it would be like if five law-abiding citizens had a conceal carry weapon during the Virginia Tech shooting! The perpetrator could have been stopped.When you limit Second Amendment rights, you’re not just preventing the acquisition of weapons. You’re prohibiting our God-given right of self-defense from evil men, and from government. The Second Amendment exists to ensure our self-defense and our freedom from tyranny. So, if you’re tempted to make the baseless assumption that “most” Americans agree your executive fiat again, Mr. President, check your opinion at the door. We like our freedom, and our God-given right to self-defense. You can take our guns, but you’ll have to pry them from our cold, dead hands.
In review, President Obama’s Executive Actions on guns are fairly modest. However, they’re just a baby step towards Obama’s larger ambition for gun control. Remember, this is the same man who praised Australia's mandatory gun buyback program. The truly appalling thing about this situation is the fact that the President stepped down from his proverbial throne and issued an edict like an emperor. To change laws, the President must use Congress. Executive Order used to promote an agenda is unconstitutional. He somehow doesn’t understand this, with all his talk about having a pen and a phone.
Hopefully, we can begin to move forward on a Constitutional Amendment limiting the use of Executive Action.