Tuesday, 15 January 2013

As Obama’s Anti-gun Agenda Emerges, Republican Threatens Impeachment

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The White House task force led by Vice President Joe Biden (shown) unveiled some of its proposals to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms Tuesday, a plot that critics say would lay the framework for gun registration and eventual confiscation. Among other schemes, the Obama administration is plotting to adopt almost 20 “executive orders” on gun control while pushing for more draconian legislation, drawing a prompt and fierce rebuke from advocates of the Second Amendment. One Republican in Congress is even threatening to file articles of impeachment. 

According to news reports citing Democrat lawmakers, Obama plans to impose a wide range of controversial measures by executive fiat. In other words, because Congress is unlikely to help assault gun rights at this point — even some Democrats have called his proposals “very extreme” — the president plans to pursue his anti-Second Amendment agenda by issuing unconstitutional decrees. Critics in Congress and in state governments nationwide, however, contend that such lawlessness would be unacceptable.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), for example, warned that if Obama tried to adopt gun control by executive order, Congress could be forced to consider impeachment. “The very purpose of the Second Amendment is to stop the government from disallowing people the means to defend themselves against tyranny,” he explained. “Any proposal to abuse executive power and infringe upon gun rights must be repelled with the stiffest legislative force possible."

Obama's threats are literally an assault on the foundation of America, Stockman continued. “If the president is allowed to suspend constitutional rights on his own personal whims, our free republic has effectively ceased to exist,” he said Monday. "I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House, and even filing articles of impeachment.”

Lawmakers in Wyoming, meanwhile, are considering a bill that would nullify any unconstitutional gun control efforts within the state — registration schemes as well as restrictions on types of guns or magazines would all be covered. Any federal official attempting to enforce such measures would be committing a felony and could be imprisoned for up to five years. The legislation is expected to pass.

Texas and other states are set to consider similar legislation, and support for nullification is spreading across the country like wildfire. At the same time, local law enforcement officials — sheriffs, police chiefs, state attorney generals — are also promising to protect gun rights in their jurisdictions. Citizens, meanwhile, are openly advocating mass civil disobedience to resist any further infringements.  

Still, Obama is not backing down. Everything from ordering state governments and federal agencies to provide more information for federal databases to unlawfully trying to track firearm sales is on the president’s “executive” agenda, according to new reports. “How we are gathering data, for example, on guns that fall into the hands of criminals, and how we track that more effectively — there may be some steps that we can take administratively as opposed to through legislation,” Obama said on Monday.

Federal law and the Second Amendment, of course, prohibit any effort to register or track weapons. However, experts and gun rights activists say the administration has increasingly been trying to get around the legal prohibition by forcing gun dealers to hand over their records, for example, and that all such lawless efforts must be fiercely opposed. 

“This is a game the anti-gun zealots have played before: They threaten to kill the Second Amendment, and then negotiate their way back to ‘merely’ eviscerating it. Or put another way, they threaten to shoot us in the head to get us to agree to cutting off our fingers,” Gun Owners of America said in an e-mail to supporters asking them to contact their elected officials about the administration’s controversial plan. “The only way that America’s gun owners are going to have peace over the next decade is to stop all gun control — as we did after Columbine — and then defeat compromising legislators running for reelection in 2014.”

Also on the “executive action” agenda is appointing a director to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which has been without a permanent boss for some six years now. However, lawmakers are already under intense pressure to abolish the anti-gun ATF, or at least slash its budget — especially after the Justice Department agency was caught trafficking heavy weapons to certain Mexican drug cartels under operation Fast and Furious. Disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder has already been held in criminal contempt by Congress for his ham-handed coverup and outright lies about the scandal

"The House of Representatives should slash the budget of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or simply eliminate the agency," gun rights expert and former National Rifle Association editor John Snyder told the Law Enforcement Examiner. "This would be a good first step as sensible U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators work to curtail expenditure of the irresponsible federal establishment."

Judging from news reports, numerous other unconstitutional measures are also being planned by the Obama administration. Much of Obama’s rule-by-decree plot on guns remains a mystery, however, with the president saying he would review Biden’s proposals and make concrete proposals later in the week. Still, some Democrat lawmakers who have worked with the administration’s anti-gun “task force” have offered clues as to what sort of measures will be pursued.  

"We met with the vice president yesterday, and the vice president said we need a comprehensive package to put an end or help put an end to the gun violence," Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who chaired the Democrat “gun task force” that met with Biden, told CNN in an interview. "Congress is going to be important. It's going to be a cooperative effort with the two branches of government." Separately, Rep. Thompson said a ban on semi-automatic weapons and standard-capacity magazines would be a centerpiece of the president’s efforts. 

Beyond the “executive order” assault on the Second Amendment, Obama is also planning to lobby lawmakers to support highly controversial legislation. One of the highest priorities, for example, is to reinstate an even more draconian version of the so-called “Assault Weapons Ban,” which expired in 2004. The latest bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) would purport to ban 120 types of guns and standard-capacity magazines while creating a federal database of firearm owners complete with fingerprints. Critics, however, have vowed to resist, pointing out that historically, registration general precedes confiscation.

Another high priority for anti-gun rights forces in Washington, D.C., is the implementation of “universal background checks.” Such a measure would purport to ban all private firearm sales that did not keep the federal government in the loop, and would represent a direct assault on the long American tradition of gun shows. Gun rights activists also worry that it would be used to compile a federal database of all firearm owners for potential future confiscation.  

Before announcing the wide-ranging assault on the right to keep and bear arms, Biden held a series of high-profile meetings with anti-gun zealots of various varieties to discuss different proposals — supposedly to address what the administration’s public relations team dubbed “gun violence.” Unsurprisingly, the NRA was invited to meet with the “task force” as a sort of “token” gesture for gun rights activists. The powerful organization, however, refused to play along. 

“We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment,” the NRA said in a statement after the meeting. “While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.”

“It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems,” said the group, which has more than four million members and deep pockets. “We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not.”

Of course, Obama knows he will have a tough time pushing his unconstitutional agenda through Congress — even RINOs and some Democrats have promised to stand up for gun rights. "Will all of them get through this Congress? I don't know," the president admitted on Monday, referring to his proposals. "But what's uppermost in my mind is making sure that I'm honest with the American people and members of Congress about what I think will work, what I think is something that will make a difference."

None of the measures currently being discussed would have had any effect in the Newtown massacre. However, critics of the administration’s anti-gun agenda say the proposals have little to do with preventing violence anyway — instead, they are aimed at ultimately disarming law-abiding Americans. With outrage continuing to mount and mass resistance already building, though, it appears, for now at least, that Obama’s assault on the Second Amendment will be a tough sell.

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at

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