As I write these words, 2A and Individual Liberty supporters are responding angrily to the latest unconstitutional attempts by Barack Obama to deprive law-abiding Americans of their rights. He has repeatedly stated his intention to circumvent Congress and impose “Gun Control” by executive order, and on January 5th he announced a series of “executive orders” designed to circumvent Congress’ constitutional authority to make laws, after having met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to determine just how far he can overstep the bounds of his authority in instituting these illegal restrictions upon the Second Amendment.
Of course, his stated intention is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but this will do nothing to cause that. As has been repeatedly demonstrated, criminals have somewhat of a predisposition against obeying existing laws, and are unlikely to be hampered by additional ones. The only people who will obey any additional rules and regulations, and thus have their rights infringed upon, inconvenienced, and hampered, are those who will obey the law in the first place. Unfortunately, this is a conundrum that liberals can’t seem to wrap their minds around … either that, or the law-abiding are the very people they seek to render helpless.
Many of the orders issued involve spurious claims that the Obama administration has been making for years. Far more indicative of the disdain he feels towards the Constitution and the oath he swore to uphold it than the simple overreaching on his part, is his disingenuousness regarding the use of supposed “facts” to support his antigun efforts. He has stated, in various speeches, that it’s easier and cheaper for 12- and 13-year-olds to buy a gun than to buy a book; that convicted felons can buy guns online without a background check; and that private individuals are selling guns to one another without any sort of background check. As is often the case, Obama and the truth are far from being on a first name basis; I sometimes wonder if he knows the truth and chooses to deceive, or if he actually believes the nonsense he spews. The facts are simple, and to his detriment easy to check.
The facts are these: background checks happen with every retail firearm purchase in this nation, and have since the 1990’s; while it is perfectly legal to purchase a firearm online, it must be delivered to a federally licensed dealer, who will perform the required background check before you can take possession; and criminals have no need to purchase firearms legally … yet another example of liberals believing that criminals somehow feel compelled to follow some laws and not others. “Well, I was going to shoot you, but you put that ‘Gun-Free Zone’ sign up, so there’s nothing I can do now.” And as far as the ridiculous notion that guns are somehow easier to acquire than books … perhaps Obama has been revisiting his “Choom Gang” days. The only honest statement the man has ever made on the subject is that Congress’ refusal to bow to his wishes for increased infringement upon our rights has left him ‘frustrated’.
Perhaps if Obama had paid more attention when he was taking his Constitutional Law classes (or when he was later teaching Constitutional Law), he would realize that his level of frustration on this, or any, issue does not confer upon him some extra-constitutional authority to make law. Many would argue, this gun-blogger among them, that a properly interpreted reading of the Second Amendment would render virtually all efforts to regulate firearm ownership and possession unconstitutional. Nonetheless, it is certainly inarguable that the President has zero authority to write law.
Of the 23 planned executive orders that Obama outlined in his remarks on 5 January, most are simply restatements of already existing laws or policies, described by one expert as, “legally meaningless.” However, three of the proposed initiatives are particularly worrisome; not because they are in themselves injurious to individual liberty, but because they lay the groundwork for a wholesale destruction of those liberties.
The first of these is the resurrection of that old pipe dream so dear to liberal hearts, the so-called “smart gun.” The concept has been floating around since the 1990s, at least, and several companies have produced prototype devices, with no great degree of success. The gun buying public has, with good reason, flatly rejected the notion of having a microchip embedded in their firearms that decides whether they will function. That hasn’t stopped some jurisdictions from trying to legislate such guns into existence, most notably New Jersey. The Garden State’s New Jersey Childproof Handgun Law, passed in 2002, mandates that all non-smart handguns are illegal three years after the technology reaches the marketplace.
Beyond the practical aspects of adding a layer of complexity to a device that one must count upon functioning properly each time every time, there’s the financial burden it places upon gun owners. Already those most in need of a handgun for personal protection are those least able to afford one; imagine the additional cost of adding complicated electronic locks to pistols and revolvers. As is often the case involving liberal policies, those whom the left profess to care about the most are the ones most often harmed by them.
Now imagine New Jersey’s law being adopted as a model for the rest of the nation. Imagine millions who are prevented from owning the means of self-defense; not because of legal strictures, but because they simply cannot afford to purchase a handgun. A law banning possession of firearms may be challenged before SCOTUS, but how does one challenge poverty?
And there’s another, more sinister, dimension to this push for the smart gun. As farfetched as it may sound, if there’s a microchip involved in the operation of any device, whether automobile, toaster, or handgun, the potential exists for that chip to be compromised, hacked, or simply turned off. Though it sounds like a scenario from some Orwellian nightmare, is it so hard to conceive that a federal bureaucracy that would mandate smart guns also mandate the ability to disable them en masse?
Another initiative that Obama is pushing through these executive orders involves adding categories of individuals to those who are excluded from firearms purchases via the NCIC background check. Designed to prevent those with criminal records from acquiring guns, something laudable in everyone’s eyes, Obama wants the ability to add people, absent any legal recourse, to the list of individuals ineligible for firearm ownership.
Most of these additions would come from the federal No-Fly list, a trouble-ridden list of those who are suspected of being threats to the US that is plagued with false positives. What’s more, those who find their names on the list by mistake are without any remedy. They’ve been placed on the list without any form of due process, presumption of innocence, or legal representation, and no mechanism exists to appeal one’s inclusion. To use such a failure-prone system to deny a person the freedom to fly is bad enough; to use it to deny a fundamental Constitutional right is unconscionable.
The most troubling of Obama’s proposals, however, is the attack on the tradition of private, individual sales between friends, family, and neighbors. For the entirety of this nation’s existence, one of our foundational freedoms has been the right to own property, be it our homes, our businesses, or our personal belongings. Part of that freedom it the ability to sell or transfer that property as we see fit, to whom we see fit. Or not to do so, if that’s our choice.
Where the average American sees the independent spirit and self-reliance that are ingrained in our heritage, Obama and his cronies see only an excess of freedom that must be corralled, controlled, regulated, taxed, or simply eliminated, and no facet of American liberty so bothers the left as our insistence on retaining the means of defending ourselves, our families, our communities, and our freedoms. He wishes to redefine who is a “gun dealer” under the law, in a blatant attempt to curtail the rights of law-abiding Americans to engage in perfectly legal transactions between friends and neighbors. He claims this is necessary to fulfill another long-standing leftist pipe dream: closing the so-called “gun show loophole.” I’m sorry, Mr. President, but freedom isn’t a “loophole,” to be closed and removed.
None of these ideas are new, and none are likely to pass a Constitutional challenge. Also, by Obama’s direct admission, none would have prevented any of the mass shootings over which he sheds such large crocodile tears. But that’s okay by him, because they have nothing whatsoever to do with ending gun violence … and everything to do with depriving Americans of liberty.
More Articles by this Author:
Our Shops (Perfect for Valentine's Day):
Comments will be approved before showing up.