On Gun Control, Executive Orders, And The Definition Of Tyranny
Hey guys. I'm guessing a lot of you have heard or will hear about our President's new gun control proposals. Well, in an effort to help clear up any confusion before it starts, here's a bit of information:
For starters, the new proposal is two-fold. Some parts will be by executive order and some will be pushing for new legislation. To clarify the difference: executive order cannot
establish new law. It can only issue directives regarding existing law. In other words, if anyone tells you that "Obama issued an executive order to take your guns", they are either lying, misinformed, or it is merely the enforcement of a ban that Congress already allowed. If it's something you dislike, it would suck that you're late to the debate, but it is legally impossible for the President to issue an executive order to change any current gun laws or create new ones.
Here are some examples of the executive orders the President has proposed and can
-- Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime. (For example, to examine and repair inefficiencies in current law enforcement to pursue crimes that are already illegal. He could not, however outlaw anything, nor provide new funding. Only Congress can do that.)
-- Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover. (This might prevent doctors from failing to provide services to patients that qualify based on technicalities or misleading interpretations of existing healthcare law.)
If you would like to review the full list of 23 executive orders the President is making, you can find that list here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/01/16/read_president_obama_s_new_proposed_executive_orders_and_legislation_on.html
As for the rest of the proposal, there are things the President would like to do that require legislative approval. What this means is that if you don't like it, your Congressional representation has time to oppose it. You can make your voice heard in support or dissent if you so choose. Those measures would include but are not limited to the following:
-- Requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales
-- Reinstating the assault weapons ban
-- Restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines
-- Eliminating armor-piercing bullets
-- Providing mental health services in schools
-- Allocating funds to hire more police officers (See, this is where you find new spending, because only Congress can allocate funds.)
-- Instituting a federal gun trafficking statute
These are all things that the President cannot
do without Congressional approval. Or yours. Not only is this very explicitly part of how our government works, but the President himself even said as much: "This will not happen unless the American people demand it."
If you don't want it, then go demand that it not happen. If you do, then make that voice heard too. Ultimately, however, this is not a tyrannical overthrow of the U.S. way of life. You do not have any fewer freedoms today than you did yesterday. However, you have a say in how this plays out. May I recommend doing some research (hit Google's search box before Facebook's update status one), reading carefully, and expressing opinions in a thoughtful, intelligent, and tempered manner.
Because vitriolic overreactions coupled with an instinct to reach for guns and a detachment from reality is what got us into this mess in the first place.Further Reading:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/16/obama-gun-control-proposals_n_2486919.htmlhttp://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57564298/obama-calls-for-sweeping-new-gun-laws/http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-obama-gun-control-20130116,0,3325027.storyhttp://news.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/16/obama-to-announce-gun-control-proposals-shortly/?hpt=hp_c1