Monday, January 4, 2016

Obama Planning on Executive Action for Gun Control

Image thanks to the Washington Post

I think it's kind of gross how numb I've become to mass shootings. When I hear the news, all I can think of now is how the news organizations seem to have the graphics ready; it's all well put together and very clean.

They're expecting it.

And here we are again, with Obama proposing stricter gun control measures while member of Congress continue their staunch opposition. Let me just preface this: I don't really know where I stand on the issue on gun control. I'll explain my thoughts in another post so it doesn't contaminate the main focus: Obama's proposal (threat?) to use executive action to pass said measures.

First things first, Obama's executive actions would be in part focused on forcing individual gun dealers that sell 50 or more guns a year to obtain a license and require background checks on their clients. That being said, it's worth pointing out that the owners of the guns used in both the Roseburg and San Bernadino shootings were both purchased legally, the buyers both undergoing background checks.

There are also some polls that add some interesting background information, mainly a joint poll conducted by ABC and the Washington Post that states that while 42% support stricter gun control, 47% support encouraging people to carry guns legally and 1% volunteered both (at the same time I'm guessing).

Consequences aside, if President Obama does go through with using executive action, it'll provide a contemporary case study on both the power of said legislative method and the current power of the president.

Question time!

How do you believe the balance of power currently falls? If President Obama were to forcefully legislate (is that even the correct verb?) stricter gun control methods, would Congress mount a response? Maybe even the Supreme Court would be willing to grant certiorari to such a case just to exercise their check over the executive branch (although Congress would probably get there first)?



Shu Yang said...

Going into his last year in office, Obama is making a big move by implementing an executive order on such a controversial issue that plagues our country. Seeing as the GOP has full control of Congress at the moment, there will definitely be backlash. I think you're correct in saying timeline-wise, the legislative branch will oppose Obama before the Supreme Court will even get the chance to. Even if both were to be unsuccessful in this, if a Republican president were to be elected in 2016, this executive order may be reversed. I think this will be the most likely way the order will be reversed since Obama may still veto any reversal Congress tries to implement.

Overall, although the GOP appears to have the upperhand, it is a lot easier to play defense than it is to play offense. At this link ( you may find discussion about Obama's executive order on immigration when the legislative branch was similar as to today. Even with the many ways his order may be reversed, it seemed very unlikely before and was not done. Obama's current proposal for an executive order for stricter gun control may play out the same way.

Daniel Jun said...

On my Yahoo home page, I remember reading about how there are activist groups firmly against the use of an executive order and how the activists view the use of an executive order to be unconstitutional. But what exactly does stricter gun control mean? Fewer guns made each year? More difficult to buy guns? A waiting period? I don't believe that everyone should be toting around a gun like it's the wild west, but I also believe that if someone really wants to shoot up their school or office, stricter gun regulation won't stop them from getting a gun.

I believe this reasoning to be the crux of the argument for opposing the executive order and increased gun control in general. Anyone else remember the story of an Uber taxi driver shooting a would-be mass shooter before the shooting could begin? It's stories like that where we have to bless the second amendment... and then the reasonable ones remember that the second amendment is why these shootings are so prevalent in the first place...