â€œThe Founding Fathers never envisioned Executive Orders being used to restrict our Constitutional rights. We live in a republic, not a dictatorship.â€ – Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
IT’S REALLY amazing that the Obama administration walked right into the gun nuts’ most primal fear.
“The president is going to act. There are executive orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.” – V.P. Joe Biden [The Hill]
Invoking an executive order on gun safety that lends credence to the far right’s wildest imaginings. Drudge kicked the whole thing off on Tuesday by perfectly packaging the hysteria with the perfect graphic and blaring headline.
Mark McKinnon offered the sane reaction for Republicans to take in “Guns Are Killing The Republican Party.”
My favorite rebuttal to Drudge and the gun nuts so far comes from Foreign Policy in “Guns don’t kill dictatorships, people do.”
With 34.2 guns per 100 people, Iraq is ranked eighth on the survey. More to the point, the country already had a well-established gun culture and a high rate of gun ownership before the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. We can’t know for sure if a well-armed population could have stopped Hitler’s genocide, but it certainly didn’t stop Saddam’s.
Given the advanced deadly weaponry available to governments these days — as opposed to the late 18th century — most tyrants aren’t all that threatened by citizens with conventional weapons. Like the Iraqis, Libyans were fairly well armed under Muammar al-Qaddafi — 15.5 guns per 100 people as of 2007 — but it still took an assist from NATO air power to finally bring him down.
On the other extreme, the country ranked last on the survey — with only 0.1 guns per 100 people — is Tunisia, which as you’ll recall was still able to overthrow a longtime dictator in 2011.
David Weigel takes aim at the White House’s ridiculous executive order bravado, which came through V.P. Joe Biden.
A problem: Obama can’t actually do that. The big priorities of the gun control movement — background checks, magazine size limits, an assault weapons ban — all require action from Congress. According to Mayors Against Illegal Guns (which has recently overtaken the Brady campaign as the organization most despised by the gun lobby), the executive branch would be limited to a few tweaks of current law. …
President Obama’s options include nothing that has to with the guns themselves. Tracking illegal and unlicensed sellers, as Weigel outlines, which comes from the most powerful group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. But the Justice Department has to prosecute, which in most cases they do not. Appoint a permanent ATF director, but the Senate hasn’t confirmed anyone since 2006. National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is supposed to track mental health across states, which is mandatory. But guess what, very few records are reported, fewer than 100, according to Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
So you see, our politicians, law enforcement agencies and the plans previously in place aren’t even working, with states not in compliance, so what makes anyone believe we can ban assault weapons? The delusion is madness.
The campaign must center around restricting certain ammunition, especially high-capacity rounds. Equally important, setting up a national database to register all gun owners, which should be federally mandated. Demanding background checks at all gun shows, no exceptions, should also be a priority, as well as tracking anyone who puts an ad in a paper to sell a gun.
None of this will be easy, but in the modern era it’s not fascist or the least dictatorial and it’s certainly not contrary to the Second Amendment. It’s common sense gun safety that puts the focus on management of firearms and knowing about the people who own them, while allowing officials and police to tracking ability.
As Jon Stewart elegantly showed last night on his show, the Second Amendment was created when the founding fathers shot muskets.
While trying to out law certain guns like assault weapons may make people feel better, how you do it and also get the material and parts off the market that allow people to do it yourself, so to speak, is impossible, as far as I see it.
V.P. Biden and the Administration is correct that something has to be done and the action must begin now. However, it needs to be done seriously and actually address the problem, not just make people feel good, which is where this discussion has ended in the past.
TM NOTE: For those who aren’t aware, my husband and I are a gun owning family, with Mark a firearms expert.