By Jared A Favole | Updated January 16, 2013, 12:32 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama on Wednesday began his push for the most sweeping changes to gun laws in nearly two decades, including banning the sale of certain semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring background checks for all gun buyers.
The president—rolling out his plan at a White House event flanked by children who wrote him in the aftermath of the shooting spree last month at a Connecticut elementary school—will push for a mix of 23 steps that he can take using executive powers as well as bigger moves that need congressional approval. A senior administration official said all the actions and proposals will cost about $500 million.
Banning certain types of weapons and high-capacity magazines, among other steps, will face a battle in Congress. Gun groups such as the National Rifle Association have said they will adamantly oppose many changes to gun laws.
The president said that he respects the country’s “strong tradition of gun ownership” but that the recent spate of mass shootings required action. “We can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible law breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive level,” he said.
More at the link.
But the President has simply lied to us: you cannot “respect the Second Amendment” and concomitantly infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms, which is exactly what this President wishes to do.
Fortunately, the most intrusive of the President’s proposals require congressional approval, and that he will not get. From the JOURNAL:
|Some of President Obama’s Proposals (Items in red require Congressional approval.)|
|• Requiring background checks for all gun buyers|
|• Ban certain semiautomatic rifles|
|• Require a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines|
|• Prohibit manufacturing, importation, possession and sale of armor-piercing bullets|
|• New gun trafficking laws with serious penalties|
|• Provide incentives for police departments to hire officers for schools and mental-health counselors [Something the NRA would likely support as it has called for armed guards in every school]|
|• Require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations|
|• Direct the Center for Disease Control to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence|
|• Asking Congress to provide $10 million for the CDC to conduct research on gun violence|
|• Launch a national responsible gun ownership program|
|• Nominating B. Todd Jones to be permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [needs Senate confirmation; he is currently acting director]|
Your Editor does not disagree with all of the President’s executive orders on the subject, though #16, “Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes,” is specifically prohibited by the wholly misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and if any physician should ask me such a question, not only will I refuse to answer, but I shall file a complaint that he has violated the law under the PP&ACA. The President cannot just “executive order” away a provision of the law.1
I also have a problem with #4: “Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.” The Administration should not have the legal authority to create such a list, but only enforce laws which prohibit firearms possession by those people who are legally barred from such, primarily convicted felons, and those persons legally adjudicated to be mentally incompetent.
Of the items requiring congressional approval, the only one I would support is the last one listed in red, new laws concerning gun trafficking, as long as such laws are limited solely to people supplying guns to those who may not legally possess them. I have no problem with locking up people who provide weapons to convicted felons, and I am perfectly willing to see people who do that locked up for the rest of their miserable lives. However, as a supporter of federalism, I believe such laws at the federal level can be legitimately applied only to those who engage in interstate traffic.
- Senate amendment 3276, Sec. 2716, part c, states that the government may not use physicians to collect “any information relating to the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.” ↩