Published DateTo the editor,
How dare Obama try to do ... anything? While not being a psychiatrist, I find it difficult to understand why the president's fairly modest efforts at gun control policy reform seem to have utterly deranged some of the contributors to this forum.
Mr. Nix makes the ridicules statement that the "current administration is not concerned with guns and violence." He further comments, "Using executive orders... constitute an illegal act of making or changing law without the consent of Congress". Those on the right like to claim that "executive orders" in themselves are lawless. What they fail to realize is that a president, Republican or Democrat, cannot do his job without issuing executive orders and other instructions to the executive branch of government. What executive orders cannot do is impose obligations or restrictions on the public, unless Congress, through legislation, has expressly or implicitly conferred authority on the president to do so. It is worth noting that none of President Obama's executive orders on gun violence do any such thing.
Although some news outlets reported that the President Obama signed 23 executive orders relating to gun violence in America, he actually signed only three. The first requires federal agencies step up their efforts to comply with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvements Amendments Act of 2007 and requires agencies to keep the president and the Justice Department informed of their progress.
The second is directing federal agencies that "regularly recover firearms" to have these firearms "traced through ATF at the earliest time practicable." Federal agencies have the authority to trace firearms they take into custody. The president is saying, "Do it quickly."
The third memorandum/executive order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services "to conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it." The president is telling them to put "gun violence" on the list of things they research.
In short, none of these memorandums/executive orders requires the public to do anything, or expands the powers of the federal government.
So, which of these actions are the "outrageous" ones and "make laws in violation" of the Constitution? Please write and tell us exactly what part of Obama's executive orders you find so offensive.
I found it disturbing that Mr. Nix would refer to "acts of violence involving guns", I'm assuming referencing the killing of 26 students and faculty in Newtown, as "minor in relation to the size of our population and "the only reason we see them as such a huge event ... is that they are "grand stand" by the press for political agenda reasons." Are we to understand that these deaths are just collateral damage and to be accepted as part of our gun culture? I sincerely hope that these callous remarks don't reflect the views of "responsible" gun owners. Mr. Nix, will you be the one to tell the parents of these students that their deaths were only "MINOR"? Are guns so important and life so insignificant that you can label deaths, even one death, by "acts of violence involving guns" as being "MINOR" — I don't care what the population?
The hysteria we've witnessed in recent letters by those suggesting that the government is "removing ownership of guns from the public" has no basis in fact. If it were true, these contributors would be sharing the House and Senate Bill numbers of these proposed bills and the names of their sponsors.
L. J. Siden