Obama’s Gift to Republicans: Executive Orders on Guns

Obama has given the greatest of gifts to the Republican presidential candidates for this election cycle: executive orders on guns.

President Barack Obama wept openly Tuesday as he delivered a forceful defense of new executive actions on gun violence, a set of modest proposals to tighten loopholes that likely face quick legal challenges and could be vulnerable to reversal by a Republican White House.

The president ran through a list of mass shootings that have happened during his time in office, and teared up as he recalled the schoolchildren gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.

“First graders in Newtown. First graders,” Obama said, pausing to collect himself. “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”

Interestingly, famously liberal Chicago already boasts some of the most strict gun control regulation in the country. Apparently, only more of the same can bring peace to Chiraq. Repeating the same action over and over while expecting different results is sometimes called the definition of a certain word…

And he wept openly? What a fruitcake. Obama never ceases to be a source of national humor, although perhaps not intentionally.

The order is designed to stifle firearm sales:

Obama has issued more than 20 executive actions, including incentives for states to share background check information and directing the attorney general to review those types of individuals prohibited from having guns. But gun sales have only soared, with 2015 expected to have been a record year, as Americans fear new restrictions.

Likewise, the actions rolling out on Tuesday are not expected to have a huge impact.

The actions include a more detailed definition of which gun sellers must apply for a federal dealers license — and therefore conduct background checks for all sales, in a bid to close the so-called gun show loophole. The administration is also finalizing a few other rules that were stuck in a bureaucratic backlog, including new requirements for reporting guns lost or stolen in transit, and a measure that would allow more mental health records to be submitted to the federal background check registry by removing patient privacy limits.

The FBI is also adding 230 agents devoted to processing background checks — a 50 percent increase — as it moves toward automating the system.

This part is true: “the actions rolling out on Tuesday are not expected to have a huge impact.”

It will likely become marginally more difficult to purchase firearms. But it’s like trying to plug the hole in the dam with your finger. The executive orders are not necessarily designed to expressly deny firearms to any buyers. They only lengthen and belabor the background check process.

Adding insult to injury, Obama’s actions have humorously had the opposite impact of what he wants: gun sales have shot through the roof.

More guns were sold in December than almost any other month in nearly two decades, continuing a pattern of spikes in sales after terrorist attacks and calls for stricter gun-buying laws, according to federal data released on Monday.

The heaviest sales last month, driven primarily by handgun sales, followed a call from President Obama to make it harder to buy assault weapons after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.

“President Obama has actually been the best salesman for firearms,” Brian W. Ruttenbur, an analyst with BB&T Capital Markets, a financial services firm, said last month.

What a tangled web we weave.

What Obama may or may not realize is this: his actions are going to be a major boost for any Republican candidate willing to capitalize on them. Obama is a lame-duck president, and cannot get anything through Congress. So, he is resorting to executive orders to get his schemes put into law. But executive orders are fickle. An executive order can be repealed by another president with no effort needed. All they need to do is issue a new executive order repealing the old one. It’s that easy.

All any Republican candidate needs to say is this: “If elected, I pledge to repeal Obama’s executive orders on gun control.” They don’t need to say anything fancy. No witty diatribe, no ornate rhetoric. Just make it clear: “I will repeal Obama’s executive orders as easily as he signed them.” Any candidate who takes up this pledge is going to see a surge of support. Americans, on-the-whole, do not want tighter federal gun regulation. If they did, we’d get it from Congress. Instead, anti-gun control Republicans swept Congress in the last election cycle. The message to Washington DC, at least on matters of gun control, is clear: butt out.

Trump, being by-far the best campaigner out of the Republican field, has indeed begun to capitalize:

Donald Trump told a national television audience he would disassemble many of President Obama’s executive orders, including his looming ones on gun control, in his first hours in the White House, if elected.

“I mean … the one thing good about executive orders, the new president, if he comes in – boom, first day, first hour, first minute, you can rescind that,” Trump said, during a talk on “Face the Nation” on CBS.

Once again, I must admire Donald Trump’s way with words. I despise normal political-speak. Any other Republican candidate would’ve said something like this: “I condemn this appalling action against Second Amendment rights as an affront to “We The People” and I stand for all Americans who deserve better and bald eagles and amber waves of grain and blibbity blah bleepity bloo…” I hate normal political speak. If nothing else, at least Trump talks like a normal person.

Obama’s presidency is ending with a whimper.

 

 

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