Let’s take a moment to visit two worlds: first, the real world, and after a visit to reality, we’ll travel into a realm of fantasy and mindless wishes: Obamaworld. From Bob Owens at Bearing Arms:
The flood of Middle Eastern ‘refugees’ into Europe is pushing the continent into civil war, according to the head of Switzerland’s military, Lieutenant-General André Blattmann.
‘Society in western Europe is on the verge of breaking down amid chaotic violence caused by economic dislocation, mass immigration and terrorism. This is not the view of some ‘crazy survivalist’ but of the head of the Swiss Armed Forces.
Lieutenant-General André Blattmann has issued a warning to the Swiss people that society is dangerously close to collapse and advised those not already armed as part of the Swiss Army reserve to take steps to arm themselves. Blattmann has been head of the Armed Forces since, 1 March 2009 and his words carry very significant weight in a country in which several Citizens’ Initiative referenda against burqas and mosques have proven enormously popular as concerns grow about immigration and Islamisation.
In the last two World Wars, the Swiss combination of mountains and armed citizenry preserved the country’s peace and neutrality, but in the coming conflict, Switzerland already has its own massive fifth column.’
It’s rather basic and sadly predictable, unfortunately.
You cannot import a large, relatively uneducated and typically violent culture that does not want to assimilate without bad things happening, a fact shown throughout human history. Eventually, there will be a fight. [skip]
Blattman’s fellow Swiss are more fortunate in their ability to legally acquire quality firearms for self-defense. Other Europeans are not that fortunate, as they have allowed their natural right to bear arms to be stripped from them.
The Swiss tend to be pragmatic people. Reality has finally intruded in a way that cannot be ignored.
There is a marvelous story set in the years before WWII. The Swiss had about 500,000 trained militiamen, part of the long Swiss tradition of marksmanship and citizen soldiers. A German general asked a Swiss General: “If Germany invaded Switzerland with a million men, what would you do?” The Swiss General didn’t hesitate a second before replying: “shoot twice and go home.”
This story may be apocryphal, but Germany never invaded Switzerland. Surely this was in part due to the difficulty of invading mountainous Switzerland, but the point that an armed and confident people are formidable is important.
Now let us turn to Obama World, where Mr. Obama is due to meet with his new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, on 01-04-16. Presumably she will inform Mr. Obama of his constitutional limits in imposing gun control legislation. Of course, Mr. Obama has never, to date, allowed the Constitution to limit him, and it’s difficult to imagine he would have appointed an AG that would disagree with him. Fortunately, the NRA stands ready to do battle. Congressional corruptocrats (and golfers) certainly won’t. From Fox News:
The National Rifle Association, the country’s most influential gun-rights supporter, is challenging President Obama’s new plan to use his presidential power to tighten firearms laws, calling it a ‘political stunt’ that fails to increase public safety.
That would likely be because it is a political stunt that fails to increase public safety.
The president also said that he’s taking action because Congress has failed to act. He is expected to use so-called executive orders to tighten federal laws — with a focus on small-scale firearms sellers and background checks for gun buyers, according to Politico.
‘President Obama failed to pass his anti-gun agenda though Congress because the majority of Americans oppose more gun-control,’ NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in response late Saturday. ‘Now he is doing what he always does when he doesn’t get his way, which is defy the will of the people and issue an executive order.’
Obama said Friday that Congress has ‘done nothing’ and declared that he has ‘unfinished business.’
‘I get too many letters from parents and teachers and kids to sit around and do nothing,’ he said in a weekly address from Hawaii, from which he’ll return next week after a two-week family vacation.
Here we get to the root of the problem. In the real world, the Constitution imposes very real limits on power between the three co-equal branches. The members of those branches, having sworn solemn oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution, do not overstep those clear boundaries. No President has the power to write or alter law.
This means that if the President cannot convince the Congress–in this case, including most Democrats–to alter the law to suit him, too bad. It’s entirely Constitutional–the way things should and must be–for Congress to “do[ne] nothing.” That’s the reality the founders foresaw. It’s the correct nature of our constitutional order.
Also in a real, constitutionally limited world, if the President seizes power he is not allowed, the Congress can impeach him or use the power of the purse, say by refusing to pay his salary or the salaries of any of the cabinet secretaries or any of the President’s White House appointees, until he agrees to abide by his oath of office.
Unfortunately, prior to the election of Mr. Obama, we lived in the real world. Now we live in Obamaworld, where the Congress is entirely feckless, the Republican Party lives up to the label “The Stupid Party” every day, and where Mr. Obama not only writes and rewrites law, but ignores any law he doesn’t like. And which laws would he like to write now, just because Congress isn’t doing his bidding and he has “unfinished business?”
The anticipated changes would require the small-scale gun sellers to submit background checks for potential buyers but such changes are not expected to completely close the so-called ‘gun show loophole,’ which allows for firearm purchases at such venues without a check.
What’s happening here is the fulfillment of long-time, anti-gun progressive desires. There is, of course, no such thing as a “gun show loophole.” Any federal firearm licensee, whether selling in his shop, at a gun show, or over his kitchen table, must abide by all federal requirements, which include an “instant” background check through the FBI.
Federal law takes care to define those in the firearms business as those whose business is actually dealing in firearms. A citizen that wants to sell a rifle to another citizen is not required to have a Federal Firearm License (FFL) or to conduct a federal background check. The same is true of a citizen who wants to give a child, relative or friend a gun as a gift, or who merely loans a child, relative or friend a gun, whether to fire a few rounds at a range or for a longer time. If Bob sells two long guns, gives away two guns as gifts, and loans a gun to a friend for a hunting trip in a single year, current law does not require him to have a FFL and comply with all of the related federal regulations. Bob may never again in his life sell or in any way “transfer” a gun to anyone else. Why should Bob be considered a gun dealer? Why should Bob become an instant felon if he doesn’t do as Mr. Obama desires?
And what about a widow selling her husband’s gun collection after his death to help make ends meet? She’s selling 37 guns of all types, makes, and models: handguns, shotguns, rifles, magazines and other firearms accessories. Shouldn’t she be required to become a federally licensed gun dealer? Is the widow someone whose business is dealing in firearms? Of course not. Such regulation is not only a violation of her fundamental liberties, it will do nothing to prevent crime. In fact, widows in this situation often rely on local gun shops or auction companies to sell their collections, and such entities do comply with all related federal laws, including background checks.
So what do Mr. Obama and progressives generally want? “Universal background checks.” Such laws have been written on the state and federal levels, and failed. They do, however, provide a good idea of what Mr. Obama may do. People whose business is not dealing in firearms may find themselves violating federal law if they sell a very small number of guns in a given time period. Everyone who in any and every way “transfers” a gun to another would be a federal felon if they did not have a federal background check done on the potential buyer. This would require massive amounts of paperwork and various proofs that the background check was done. Most such proposed laws also establish gun registries, but are never honestly called that. Hand a gun to your son at the range, gift a gun to a relative, loan a gun to a female friend being pursued by a stalker, and do it without the government’s prior knowledge and express permission, and you’re a federal felon.
There is no evidence to suggest that such laws would in any way decrease crime or so much as inconvenience criminals. This is about power and the intimidation of the law abiding. It’s about infringing as far as possible on an unalienable, fundamental right.
All across America, survivors of gun violence and those who lost a child, a parent, a spouse to gun violence are forced to mark such awful anniversaries every single day,’ Obama said. ‘Yet Congress still hasn’t done anything to prevent what happened to them from happening to other families.’ [skip]
‘Three years ago, a bipartisan, commonsense bill would have required background checks for virtually everyone who buys a gun,’ Obama said Friday. ‘This policy was supported by some 90 percent of the American people. It was supported by a majority of NRA households. But the gun lobby mobilized against it. And the Senate blocked it.
When Mr. Obama’s lips are moving, one can be reasonably certain he is lying, and that’s the case here. Congress has refused to enact Mr. Obama’s gun control desires because they will do nothing to save lives or prevent crimes, and for Democrats, are political suicide. Even Democrats have admitted as much. Ninety percent of the American people most certainly do not want universal background checks–when they understand what Mr. Obama and other gun banners mean by that. That statistic is entirely misleading and false and Mr. Obama knows it. Were it true, what would stand in the way of enacting it?
And what of the evil and all-powerful NRA that “mobilized” to stop the pure Mr. Obama’s desires to save the American public, the teachers and parents and children imploring him to do what he wants to do in the first place?
The NRA, 5 million actual, dues-paying members and increasing daily, is the largest and most powerful organization in America. It has earned that reputation and political power because it is America’s oldest and foremost gun training and safety organization, because of the size of its genuine–not exaggerated–membership, because it defends a fundamental, unalienable constitutional right–something few lobbying organizations can claim–and because its members are well informed and willing to vote to support their rights and the Constitution.
The Constitution allows that too, which is something else that irks Mr. Obama specifically and progressives generally.
Recently, Mr. Obama admitted that gun laws can’t stop all crimes, but he asked what if we could stop one? His point was that if we can potentially stop even one crime, we must enact his federal gun legislation. Here too we see the difference between reality and Obamaworld.
All of life is a matter of weighing risks. Electricity is powerful, dangerous and potentially deadly, and many people each year are seriously injured, even killed in electrical accidents. Yet we recognize that the benefits far outweigh the risks and develop even more electrical appliances each year. Motor vehicles kill hundreds of thousands, and banning them would, without question, save far more than a single life, and even prevent many crimes, but the risk/benefit equation keeps us rolling. Barack Obama has lauded the Chevy Volt, and claimed he’d buy one after he left office (I wouldn’t be holding my breath on that one; all Obama promises have expiration dates), yet it’s a car, and its battery is so dangerous and potentially deadly–they catch fire and explode too!–dealerships and first responders have been issued special tools and instructions to avoid electrocution when dealing with a Volt battery in normal maintenance and when a Volt is involved in an accident. Ban all Volts and other electric vehicles and we could surely save at least one life, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one either.
Making the “if we save only one life” or “if we prevent only one crime” argument is not only stupid, it’s indicative of dishonesty or living in a fantasy world.
By the end of the coming week, we should see exactly what Mr. Obama has in mind. Whatever it is, we can be certain of several things: it will once again produce a run on guns, ammunition and accessories. It will continue to make some kinds of ammunition–particularly .22 LR scarce and expensive. It will be unlawful and/or unconstitutional. It will do nothing to increase public safety or reduce crime (gun law enforcement has dramatically declined during the Obama Administration). It will succeed only in making life harder for the law-abiding, and will make instant federal felons out of honest Americans with no criminal intent. It will be sold arrogantly and dishonestly.
And perhaps most importantly, most Americans will choose, quietly, to disobey. The Constitution is respected in flyover country. Gun control is never about safety or crime prevention. It’s about political advantage and power, about control over the lives of others. As Mao Tse-Tung, perhaps the greatest mass murderer is history, said:
Every Communist must grasp the truth: ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
One may be certain, as little history as Mr. Obama accurately understands, he understands that.