New Year, new executive order. That’s how President Obama’s ringing in 2016–with a robust toast to his own power and hubris, and simultaneous glass tink and eye wink at the Second Amendment.
By the middle of January, Obama will have made his move, most political watchers say. And what a move it will be. As Bloomberg Business reported: “Obama has let it be known from his holiday retreat in Hawaii, through unidentified advisers, that soon after New Years’ Day, he plans to follow through on plans to expand the definition of who’s ‘in the business’ of selling firearms – and who’s thus required to perform background checks.”
That means if you want to sell your gun to your neighbor, under Obama’s new order, you’ll need to first pass an executive-mandated background check from the federal authorities. And I say executive-mandated because the policy won’t be congressionally approved. This so-called closing of the gun show loophole – where dealers who sell commercially are currently subjected to the federal background checks’ process, but not those who sell from their own personal collections – is Obama’s pet, through and through.
It’s yet another presidential bypass of Congress, the duly elected, the electorate, and by extension, the Constitution. Call it the Obama Special – the pen and phone approach to governance – the modern day way of legislating in America.
How long must we suffer? Obama’s bully politics are birthed of a nation that’s turned from God – and when God doesn’t lead, look out. Government will. And it’ll be with heavy hands. That’s what we’re experiencing in rapid fashion under this current administration. Can’t pass immigration reform? Call in the executive order. Can’t get Congress to agree on climate change policy? No problem-o. Pick up the pen and push environmental regulations and dictates for the federal government to follow and businesses to abide. Then press the EPA to ram through those same executive desires. Can’t move reforms on Capitol Hill to control police and halt perceived biased policing against blacks? Call on the Justice Department to initiate a plan that basically federalizes civilian, community police departments via a carrot-stick, funding-for-data-collection dictate.
It’s amazing what a president can accomplish these days.
That’s why Sen. Rand Paul’s legislation limiting the president from passing executive orders that curb the Second Amendment is so interesting, not to mention timely. His bill, the Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act, S. 2434, not only relegates such executive orders on gun control to “advisory” status, meaning no action can occur unless Congress first considers and approves it. It also allows those who are negatively affected by any executive action against guns to file a civil lawsuit “to challenge the validity of [the] executive action,” the text of the bill states.
It’s currently on fast-track status, with a hoped-for Senate hearing right after the holiday recess. And Paul introduced it with this fanfare: “In the United States, we do not have a king, but we do have a Constitution. We also have a Second Amendment and I will fight tooth and nail to protect it.”
Indeed he will. In fact, indeed he has. Paul introduced the same legislation in 2013, as S. 82. And guess what happened? After Sens. Mike Lee and John Boozman signed on as cosponsors – the only two to do so – the bill headed for the Senate for a first reading, then a second reading, and then death due to inaction.
So Paul’s pulled the draft out of his desk for another try. Well, good for him. Thumbs-up and gold stars all around, as well as a heartfelt hope the bill will actually pass this time.
But when any politician, well-meaning or otherwise, tries to tell the American public that the United States does not have a king, the proper response is to laugh. Why? It’s wisdom in motion. One need only look to Obama to see how far our Constitution has shifted – and how long-gone our notion of a constrained executive branch has drifted.
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