It appears our president is preparing to kick 2016 off with a bang (no pun intended) as he takes long-anticipated executive action on gun control — which is now expected as early as next week. President Obama has made it clear gun control will be a focus for his final year in office, as he puts the finishing touches on his legacy, and he’s wasting no time.
As Politico reports:
The White House is putting finishing touches on several measures in an effort to make progress on curbing gun violence, an issue the president and close aides have found frustratingly intractable, before the race to replace him enters prime time.
According to gun industry insiders and others familiar with the proposals, the changes include requiring an expanded number of small-scale gun sellers to be licensed — and therefore conduct background checks — whenever selling a weapon. This wouldn’t close the so-called gun show loophole, though it has the potential to narrow it.
The action would force some private gun sellers, who sell as a hobby or from a private collection, to get their Federal Firearms License (FFL) and perform background checks on every gun sold — under the same heading as those who sell for a living.
The administration is also expected to impose tighter rules for reporting guns that get lost or stolen on their way to a buyer.
Neither comes close to the stronger gun control measures Obama sought in the wake of the 2012 mass shooting of schoolchildren in Sandy Hook and that he has said he still wants. But with Congress unlikely to approve any new gun curbs before the 2016 election, the measures are in line with what gun-control advocates were hoping would be adopted before Obama leaves office.
As with every aspect of the president’s final year, the decisions about the gun actions are being made with a sense of limited time and the 2016 political calendar. Obama will be returning from his Hawaii vacation, eager to make a splash; an earlier-than-normal State of the Union address on Jan. 12 is central to that strategy. But with the Iowa caucuses taking place on Feb. 1, Obama will have only a small window to act before the primary melee begins to crowd out other political news.
As Breitbart says of the planned actions Politico reports:
Neither of these executive gun controls would have prevented even one of high profile shootings from the last decade, but both will succeed in placing a further burden on the exercise of the 2nd Amendment.
So, never mind that these actions will not have actually have the purported impact the president claims.
Once again, we have a president preparing actions which will infringe upon Americans’ constitutional rights. And rather than going about them through due process — working with Congress, which he’s proven incapable of doing — he’s doing an end-around. And rather than deliberating on these constitutionally-cramping actions thoughtfully and with input necessary to make sound decisions, President Obama is pursuing them with an eye toward political expediency — and the “splash” he can make.
I fear President Obama is ready to show us just how much damage can be done in one more year. The only good news here is that any execution action the president takes can also be undone by the subsequent president we put in office next year.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]