Despite what you may have heard, President Obama isn’t plotting to take away America’s guns, nor did his actions Tuesday morning mean the beginning of the end for the Second Amendment.
Obama announced a series of 20 executive actions Tuesday morning in an effort to combat the rampant gun violence in the United States, and the gun lobby was quick to label his actions as unconstitutional.
Speaking from the East Room, the president said Americans already accept some limitations on their constitutional freedoms such as a prohibition on yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.
He said the right to own a gun shouldn’t infringe on other people’s rights to attend church, the synagogue or a Muslim mosque, according to the White House Blog.
We know that we can’t stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one?
— CNN (@CNN) January 5, 2016
Obama didn’t impose any new gun restrictions with his executive actions, but instead tightened already existing legislation, streamlined background checks and increased funding for mental health care.
The president reiterated his support for the right to gun ownership during his tearful address, but said something needed to be done to combat gun violence in the country, according to News Week.
“I believe in the Second Amendment. No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law. I know a little about this. I get it.”
The president’s executive actions didn’t shut down the “gun show loophole,” ban assault weapons, stop large capacity magazines from being sold or ban gun sales to those on the “no-fly” list.
What Obama did was to increase funding for the FBI background check system so the government can process applications 24 hours a day and require people who sell guns as a business to conduct background checks. He also requested additional funds for mental health care.
— HuffPost Canada (@HuffPostCanada) January 5, 2016
His main intention was to narrow the definition of a gun dealer to mean anyone who sells guns as a business and thereby increase the number of gun sales subject to a background check.
Currently, sellers can skip the background check requirement at gun shows, online and at swap-meets simply by not self-identifying themselves as a licensed gun dealer.
Disdaining to take the bolder steps urged by his supporters, Obama didn’t take any of the drastic measures the gun lobby feared including Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to arrest anyone who lied on a background check.
He also didn’t accept a proposal to seize weapons from people convicted of a criminal offense, according to The Guardian.
— Capital Journal (@WSJPolitics) January 5, 2016
That hasn’t stopped gun lobby supporters from condemning Obama’s actions as unconstitutional, accusing him of political exploitation and labeling the president as an enemy of the Second Amendment.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told Naples Daily News the president has never respected Americans’ right to own a gun and he’s using his executive authority to avoid focusing on terror threats.
“Rather than focus on criminals and terrorists, he goes after the most law-abiding of citizens.”
In fact, many gun owners are convinced Obama’s ultimate plan is to confiscate their firearms despite repeated denials by the president, according to News Week.
“This is not a plot to take away everybody’s guns. You pass a background check; you purchase a firearm.”
Obama’s new reforms are so mild they’ve been called “watered down” by gun control advocates, but that hasn’t stopped the gun lobby, particularly the National Rifle Association, for condemning Obama’s actions as “ripe for abuse.”
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) January 5, 2016
Instead of calling for gun seizures and door to door searches the president’s actions may actually be fueling a gun buying frenzy.
His actions have been credited with driving gun sales through the roof, financier Louis Navellier, whose investment company owns Sturm Ruger as well as Smith & Wesson, told CNBC.
Mr. Obama is the best gun salesman on the planet.
[AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin]