A month ago, after the mass San Bernardino shooting, we predicted that “the US will see increasingly more escalating “attacks” until ultimately Obama’s crackdown on gun sales and possession hits its breaking point and the president’s gun confiscation mandate is finally executed.”
Without a Democratic majority in Congress, and faced with a GOP that is firmly against any form of gun control measures, Obama has repeatedly warned that he would act on his own. Next week he will do just that, and his “gun confiscation” mandate will get a substantial boost on Monday, when according to the WSJ Obama will meet with US Attorney General Loretta Lynch “to consider measures aimed at reducing gun violence, a conversation that comes as he prepares to announce new executive actions in the coming days.”
The president has directed administration officials to explore any steps he could take on guns without lawmakers’ help, and he said in his weekly address that he would sit down with Ms. Lynch on Monday “to discuss our options.”
Once he has Lynch’s “blessing”, the WSJ adds that Obama “could lay out multiple executive actions as soon as next week, and administration officials have confirmed that recommendations for the president are nearing completion.”
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Mr. Obama asked his team to “scrub existing legal authorities” and assess actions that could be taken administratively.
Why act now?
“I get too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids to sit around and do nothing,” Obama said in the address, which was released Friday morning.
Something tells Obama gets even more letters from supporters of the Second amendment, although their contents may be just slighly more “colorful.”
“We know that we can’t stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one?” Obama added. “What if Congress did something—anything—to protect our kids from gun violence?”
“The president has made clear he’s not satisfied with where we are and expects that work to be completed soon,” the White House spokesman added. In other words, it’s time for the president to micromanage yet another aspect of daily US lives, because Obamacare turned out so well.
One executive action that will almost certainly be unveiled is the “tightening” of rules for firearms sellers by requiring more of them to be licensed and, as a result, to conduct background checks on buyers.
Anything Obama does unveil will be met with stiff resistance.
Many gun-rights groups already have signaled opposition to new rules for private sellers and an expansion of background checks. And they have questioned whether Mr. Obama has the legal authority to act unilaterally.
Research by the National Rifle Association showed that dating back to the 2007 mass murder at Virginia Tech, none of the high-profile mass shootings has been conducted600 with a firearm bought from a private seller. Adam Lanza is believed to have stolen his mother’s gun after killing her then using it in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
“I don’t think the president has the authority to redefine what a dealer is because that is defined in existing federal statute,” said Dave Workman, senior editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s The Gun Mag. “He can’t snap his fingers and suddenly say to someone who sells a gun at a gun show is now a dealer. That would take congressional action.”
Meanwhile, while the US wait to see what executive orders Obama will implement, at the state level numerous gun-related laws just kicked in starting in the new year.
In Texas, beginning today, adults with the proper permits no longer need to hide the handguns they carry in their shoulder or belt holsters.Proponents of the new open carry law say making guns more visible will deter mass shootings.The bill became law after a spirited debate. A majority of the state’s police chiefs opposed it.
“The question is: Does it make sense and is it good judgment to have a bunch of people running around with guns visible? And I think the answer is: Absolutely not,” said Chief Art Acevedo of Austin.
While Texas is easing gun regulations, starting Friday in California it will be illegal for holders of concealed carry permits to bring handguns to school campuses. Meanwhile, the city of Albany, New York, will now require owners of firearms to store their guns in a secure container or install trigger locks. Repeat violators could face up to a one-year jail term.
Ironically, instead of implementing executive orders, what Obama should do instead if he wants to make an immediate change, is focus on his home state. According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago’s first homicide of 2016 occurred barely 2 hours into the new year.
Two people were shot in the 4600 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue at about 2 a.m., police said. One of them, a 24-year-old man, reportedly had been arguing with someone who pulled out a gun and shot him in the chest. He was declared dead on the scene.
In the latest homicide, a 36-year-old man was shot in the chest and died at a hospital, said Nicole Trainor, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department. The shooting happened at 6:40 a.m. in the 1900 block of West Garfield Boulevard in the city’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, said Trainor. The victim was driving a sport-utility vehicle westbound on Garfield when he heard shots and realized he’d been wounded, said Officer Janel Sedevic, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police. The 36-year-old was driven to the Artesian Avenue and 55th Street where an ambulance was called and he was taken to Stroger Hospital where he died, Trainor said.
In short, eradicating gun violence in Chicago (and D.C.) would likely do miracles for the average gun homicide rate across all of the US. Which is why it will never happen.
Meanwhile, if Obama wants to truly curb gun ownership at the national level, the solution there is also simple, as the following chart from the NYT reveals:
He should resign.