Many of us have been frustrated and angry with lawmakers at the state and federal levels caving to the NRA after mass shootings, instead of strengthening existing gun regulations and enacting even the most basic of common sense new ones. President Obama is planning on issuing an executive order for the beginning of 2016 that helps to address some of our gun violence problem, and the NRA and its backers are already dreaming up ways to undermine him.
One of the things that Obama is working on is narrowing who can legally sell a gun without a background check. Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks on all purchases, including those at gun shows. However, unlicensed sellers do not have to conduct these checks, and unlicensed sellers can sell hundreds of guns.
Congress rejected something like this back in 2013, and the “moar gunz” crowd decries any move at all that doesn’t loosen gun regulations as an attack on law-abiding gun owners. If we follow their logic to its conclusion, though, all laws hurt law-abiding citizens and do nothing to stop criminals. There’s a reason criminals are criminals, and it’s because they don’t obey the law.
Laws do, however, allow the government to catch and punish criminals. You can’t catch and punish someone for doing something that’s legal, no matter how atrocious it is.
Obama still faces an uphill battle because, despite issuing roughly the same number of executive orders as most other presidents since Reagan, Republicans and the NRA will call him the “dictator-in-chief” for this and work hard to nullify it. The right-leaning Washington Examiner is already on that bandwagon, calling Obama’s plans his latest attempt at a gun grab:
The Republican National Committee is getting in line with the National Rifle Association, warning that President Obama is ‘coming for your guns.’
In a national fundraising email, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus put Second Amendment advocates on notice that the president already has the support of over 100,000 liberals on a pro-gun control petition.
They go on to say that a majority of Americans support the idea that the NRA’s proposed gun policies make Americans safer, which just means that they’ve bought into the propaganda that only a good guy with a gun is capable of stopping a bad guy with a gun. When will these people answer the question of why, if that’s true, we’re not the safest country on earth by now?
They won’t, because there is no answer to that question. They’re too blinded by the money they get from gun manufacturers to see that, though.
Clarifying an existing law is within the president’s power, which is what his executive order would likely do. The current law regarding gun dealer licensing is vague enough that people can sell guns without being licensed dealers, and it’s perfectly legal, or, at worst, in a gray area. Clarifying the vagueness of the existing law would subject more sales to background checks, which could hurt criminals’ ability to get guns.
Nothing is going to stop all criminals from getting guns, but nothing is going to stop all criminals from doing anything. We can’t govern by the idea that, if a law doesn’t stop 100 percent of a problem, we shouldn’t do anything at all, but that’s what the Republican party lives by these days. It’s a sorry excuse to sit and twiddle their thumbs on major issues they ought to tackle as hard as they can. The pushback from the NRA, and Republicans, on this problem, should be interesting, to say the least. Sickening, too.
Image by Mike Brice. Licensed under Public Domain via Pixabay