Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/17/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Obama could stop a lot of violence, but it wouldn't be politically profitable.

Presidents can be controversial figures. In bids to impose their policy, particularly when faced with hostile legislatures, they use a variety of measures to achieve what they feel is important. Obama acted in this time-honored tradition yesterday by unilaterally imposing a series of directives and clarifications on federal gun policy.

If Obama wanted to make America safe, there's a lot he could do better.

If Obama wanted to make America safe, there's a lot he could do better.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/17/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obama, guns, shootings, executive orders, assault weapons, ban, Second Amendment


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Blaming Congressional gridlock, Obama delivered a memorandum containing 23 executive actions designed to tighten gun regulations. He also called on Congress to ban assault rifle sales, to limit the size of ammunition clips, and to mandate background checks on all gun sales. He also called for greater cooperation and information sharing between agencies to make background checks more effective.

Naturally, greatly upsets strong Second Amendment advocates.

While presidents do operate using executive orders and "clarifications" Obama appears to be doing more high-profile work by this means. Reuters quoted William Howell, a University of Chicago expert on presidential powers who said of the Obama administration, "Increasingly, what we're seeing is a lot of the policy-making apparatus of the federal government shifting to the executive branch."

In all fairness, Obama has faced one of the most gridlocked legislatures in recent history. Congress is still without a budget, nor has it taken action on the debt ceiling or on a number of issues from postal reform to the farm bill.

According to statistics, Obama has not issued more executive orders than any other president before himself. Both Clinton and Bush previously issued around 300 such orders during their two terms. Obama is just shy of 150, so he appears on pace to match. However, the weight of his executive orders is what has people fuming.

Obama has bypassed congress several times, and at least a couple of his decisions have been highly controversial. In October 2011, Obama ordered the Justice Department to stand down from enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act, proclaiming it unconstitutional. This was outrageous to many because decreeing existing law unconstitutional is the duty of the judiciary, not Obama.

He has also ruled by edict, his most stunning example being the Health and Human Services mandate, which was imposed by Kathleen Sebelius, to require private employers to pay the full cost for contraception and abortifacients for those women who request it. Many Americans balked at this, saying it would compel employers to violate their conscience by compelling them to pay for inherently immoral procedures.

While Obama's desire to make the country safer from gun violence is laudable, his methods are highly controversial. The issue of gun control is sacred to many Americans for a variety of reasons. Many Americans retain firearms for personal protection, while others keep them for sport, or simply enjoy collecting. Firearms have a long American tradition dating back to the colonial era.

For these reasons, any attempt by a president or congress to reduce gun freedom is typically met with resistance. Adding to the complication is the interpretation of the Second Amendment and what sounds like an inherent conflict between the allowance for the existence of a "well-regulated militia," which some argue is satisfied by the National Guard, versus "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Such ambiguity brings constitutional scholars into the debate on both sides.

The Supreme Court has thus far repeatedly upheld the right of ordinary  Americans, without membership in a militia, to keep firearms.

Perhaps most frustratingly, the administration continues to emphasize the threat of gun violence in America while itself selling automatic weapons to drug cartels that returned to American streets via the failed Fast and Furious operation, and still drops bombs and high-power weaponry on people overseas. Many of those victims end up being innocents classified as "collateral damage."

If the administration were serious about stopping violence, it could be done both easily and rapidly.

First, Obama could stop violence against the unborn as well as treading upon the conscience of employers by reversing the HHS edict. Second, bring to a swift close the armed violence perpetuated by the Administration overseas, using force only against clear and present dangers to the American people. Finally, compile the savings from ceasing military action overseas and put that money into communities where gun violence is endemic.

Federal funds spent on better education, as well as mental health and social services, especially in neighborhoods where violence is high, would do a lot more to save lives than reducing the lawful size of ammunition clips.

Unfortunately, such actions do not promise to bear as much near-term political profit, which would be inconsistent with how politics work in America. Perhaps that's another good reason to keep our rights just as they are.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

'You have to know who your enemy is' Downplaying and mislabling Islamic extremism is a dangerous path for the U.S. Watch

Image of Islamic extremism is terrorism, it is not simply criminal conduct.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Obama administration refuses to acknowledge the terrorism attacks around the world for what it is, Islamic extremism. This blatant disregard of the real problem can be harmful for the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Secretary of State, John Kerry was ... continue reading


Striking back at the Dems! Koch brothers allocate nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS for 2016 presidential race Watch

Image of David Koch, one of the leaders of a political action network that has the monetary power to spend hundreds of millions on political races.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems the Koch brothers have no plans to ease their political spending habits in 2015, as top officials in the brothers' political network released a budget of $889 million to be spent on the vast political network ahead of the 2016 presidential race. LOS ... continue reading


Turning off spigot: Obama aims to possessively guard oil-rich Alaskan coastline from development Watch

Image of Alaska's coastal plain has been at the center of a fight between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the U.S. for a very long time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just because there's been relief at the corner gas pump doesn't mean that the United States won't need any more oil in the near future - far from it. As such, many are infuriated that U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to designate the vast majority of Alaska's ... continue reading


And the field gets thicker! Rubio joins Bush, Romney, Walker and Christie as 2016 presidential hopeful Watch

Image of Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida may be crafting a campaign team for a potential 2016 bid.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A fifth Republican is making noise that could be interpreted as intent to make a 2016 presidential run. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Florida Senator Marco Rubio is possibly gathering a campaign team, planning out a slew of state visits starting in February, and ... continue reading


Scott Walker enters the 2016 Republican nomination ring with speech attacking Obama's failed policies Watch

Image of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave a speech in Iowa, a move which may put him in the running for the Republican nomination.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may have been the first Republicans to make it clear-though still unofficial-that they intend to run for the Republican nomination in 2016, but ... continue reading


Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney hold summit meeting: Are they plotting election strategy? Watch

Image of There have been stories in a number of outlets that Jeb Bush proposed the meeting weeks ago, in order to thank Mitt Romney for his past party leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are having a summit meeting. The meeting will be in Utah. Speculation swirls about what the meeting will entail. Some GOP party officials hope "the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns ... continue reading


An average of 27 late-term abortions happen every day in the United States; the bill to protect the unborn from this cruel pain was dramatically dropped by the GOP Watch

Image of 10,000 babies are killed each year through late-term abortions.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An estimated 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year through late-term abortions. This averages out to 27.4 abortions taking place 20 weeks or later per day or 1.14 per hour, according to the Congressional Budget Office. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pain ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Pope Francis, Politics, and Catholic Social teaching Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone - Fidelity to the Gospel requires that we be able to prophetically challenge the positions of all political parties, and that our loyalty to Christ and his teaching supersedes our loyalty to any political party, although such loyalties are not per se incompatible with being a Christian.

By Matt C. Abbott

It remains true that the right to life is the most fundamental right and that the duty to defend it is a more urgent priority than other social justice priorities. But to what extent that fact helps or hurts a political party depends upon the party, and his ... continue reading


President Obama fiercely hits the country with proposed $320 billion tax hike, explained in his annual State of the Union Watch

Image of Obama plans on spending his remaining two years in office helping the middle class experience the prosperity of the recovery.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two years before President Obama's departure, he has vowed to spend his remaining time "playing offense." In his annual State of the Union, Obama will address his proposal to increase tax hikes on America's "one percent." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Parts ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder denounced as 'coward' and 'hypocrite' by former FBI agent Watch

Image of A former FBI agent says that Attorney General Eric Holder has used the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former FBI agent K. Dee McCown, who left the agency in 2008, has written a strong letter to Attorney General Eric Holder where McKown denounces Holder as a "coward" and a "hypocrite." McCown says he was compelled to write after the shooting deaths of two New ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:11-18
11 Every priest stands at his duties every day, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:1-20
1 Again he began to teach them by the lakeside, but ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 28th, 2015 Image

St. Thomas Aquinas
January 28: St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, patron of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter