President Obama using Joe Biden as his mouthpiece is not unexpectedly making noise that he will implement gun control measures through the use of the Executive Order. Obama has been sending out messages about his commitment to restrict gun ownership by Americans since early in his first term. He has hinted at taking action to institute tight restrictions on guns and ammunition during conversations with liberal foreign heads of state and United Nations representatives. He has openly supported the UN Arms Treaty which mandates international restrictions of small arms and ammunition. Hillary Clinton, his sitting Secretary of State, has been reported to have supported more rigid gun control during diplomatic appearances with foreign dignitaries.
The tragedy of the Sandy Hook killings of school children has whipped up an emotional frenzy for immediate government action to make the possibility of future incidents go away and Obama is not above using the death of children to further his own social agenda.
Never mind the guarantee of the Second Amendment of the Constitution to ensure the right of the citizens to protect themselves from criminals and an out of control government, the president warns of usurping powers not endowed to the Executive Office and issuing gun control regulations through Executive Order to federal agencies such as the EPA and Homeland Security that are under his control all without Congressional approval.
Vice President Joe Biden, who has been charged by President Obama with running the task force to prevent situations like the Sandy Hook massacre, announced that he wouldn't be raising legislative solutions at all.
Instead, he said that President Obama might simply declare his preferred gun policy the law of the nation.
Talking to the drooling press, Biden announced, "The president is going to act. There are executive orders; there's executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet. But we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required."
He said last month's Newtown, Conn., tragedy - which took the lives of 20 elementary school children - "touched the heart of the American people so profoundly" and "requires immediate, urgent action."
It is unclear what specific executive orders Obama is contemplating, though one Democratic aide with insight into the talks said Obama could sidestep Congress and bolster federally funded mental-health programs.
Biden sat beside Attorney General Eric Holder as he met at the White House with gun-control leaders, including the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, along with victims of gun violence, including survivors of the Virginia Tech University shooting and the stepfather of a victim in last summer's Aurora, Colo., shooting.
"I want to make clear that we're not going to get caught up in the notion that, unless we can do everything, we're going to do nothing," Biden said. "It's critically important we act."
Biden talked also about taking responsible action. "As the president said, if your actions result in only saving one life, they're worth taking. But I'm convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of Americans and take thousands of people out of harm's way if we act responsibly."
A "moral issue?" Nonsense. It's a constitutional issue and Biden is deliberately ratcheting up the rhetoric to hysterical levels. And if you save "one life" and take "thousands of people out of harm's way," what about the thousands of armed citizens who save lives - their own, their families, and bystanders - by having the ability to defend themselves?
Of far more importance than any executive order Obama might issue is the obvious administration strategy of turning this into an emotional debate so that people won't think logically of the consequences. To do this, they will invoke Newtown every chance they get. They know they will lose a debate on the merits and facts. But they have a chance if they exploit the Newtown dead and scare people into pressuring congress to adopt bad legislation.
Executive orders have long been a staple of American governance - but not for use in crafting completely new policy. The Constitution merely talks of "executive power" and states that the executive branch shall "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Major actions, up to and including war, have been conducted through executive order - but not without an authorization from Congress, even if that authorization was not an out-and-out declaration of war.
We have four years to survive through this administration with the struggle to come out on the other side with our Constitutional rights and freedoms intact. This will be a very dangerous precedent should Executive Orders be used to bypass Congress and the Constitution. I fear for where it might lead.
I implore you to contact our Senators and Congressman this week and let it be known that you will not stand for the president to act outside the Constitution and without approval of Congress and the American people. One man cannot rule and dictate to the country.
William Perugino is active in local and regional politics and can be reached at email@example.com.