On March 30 of last year, President Obama dropped in to greet Sarah Brady, who was meeting with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Sarah is the wife of Jim Brady, the former White House Press Secretary under Reagan, who was shot but not killed in an assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981. The Bradys subsequently became strong supporters of gun control. According to Brady, the President brought up the issue of gun control “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda. [The President said,] ‘I just want you to know that we are working on [additional limits on gun ownership]. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.'”
Thanks to the efforts of freedom advocates such as John Lott, Obama’s efforts to stay under the radar are now glistening in the sunlight. Lott reviewed an unsettling and lengthy list of Obama’s “processes,” starting with the President’s intention to ignore at least 20 parts of the 2012 omnibus spending bill that he signed into law last week. Using the controversial and likely unconstitutional “signing statements,” Obama said, “I have advised Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility…such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient.” Buried in the 1,200-page bill was a restriction that bars health officials from using taxpayer funds to lobby for gun control. To rub it in, Obama iterated his position: “Our spending decisions shall not be treated as dependent on the approval of congressional committees.” In plain English, the President just told Congress to go jump—he was going to do what he wanted to do, regardless.
When the authorized officer determines that a site or area on BLM [Bureau of Land Management]-managed lands used on a regular basis for recreational shooting is creating a public disturbance…the authorized officer will close the affected area.”
Again, in plain English, an unelected official, authorized by an illegal agency of the executive branch currently under the control of the Obama administration, can, at his own discretion, without congressional oversight, make an arbitrary decision that affects hundreds or thousands of sovereign citizens wanting to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Of course, it was all explained away in the soft, gauzy, almost plausible response from the BLM: “It’s not so much a safety issue. It’s a social conflict issue,” according to Frank Jenks, a BLM spokesman. He said that urbanites “freak out” when they hear shooting on public lands, and the BLM certainly must do something about people freaking out.
Within 24 hours gun owners complained, to little avail. The offensive “language” of the new regulations was merely going to be “redrafted.”
So much furor over Operation Fast and Furious has arisen that it has, for the moment, stalled the hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nomination of far-left anti-gun advocate Andrew Traver (currently head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives [still known as ATF]) office in Obama’s city of brotherly muggings—Chicago) for the position of head of the federal ATF. Senator Chuck Grassley, the committee’s ranking Republican, said that if the President really wanted someone to fill the slot that has been open for years, he could certainly send up someone less “controversial.” But the President likes Traver, and is leaving his nomination on hold for a more favorable time.
As far as Attorney General Eric Holder is concerned, he is adamant about remaining in the Obama administration despite pressure from gun owners and others who are greatly alarmed and angered at his denial of any knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious, and then his admission that, yes, he really did know about it and he is very mad and is going to see that those responsible face the consequences, etc. With a resolution of “no confidence” gaining increasing traction in the House (at last count, 91 Congressmen have signed it), Holder, instead of stepping down, said instead that not only is he going to stay through at least the first of Obama’s presidential terms, but he is blaming such resistance on the fact that he and Obama are African-Americans. Holder accused those behind the movement to force him to resign as frequently “conflating things, conveniently leaving some stuff out, construing things to make it seem not quite what it was…. This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him, both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”
Besides, Holder added, “I think that people, despite my law enforcement background, view me as taking these consistently progressive stands, and I think that, philosophically, there is a desire to get at that person. But I think the stands I have taken are totally consistent with a person who is looking at things realistically, factually.” (Emphasis added.)
Lott then reminded his readers that the “small arms treaty” over at the United Nations is still pending, and still a threat to private gun ownership in the United States. Tom Mason, who represented the World Forum on the Future of Sports Shooting at a recent UN conference, said that “the treaty is a significant threat to gun owners. I think the biggest threat may be the body that would administer the treaty—the Implementation Support Unit.” The vague rubbery language of the treaty, if passed by the Senate, would allow the forced registration of all weapons currently owned privately by American citizens. Last month, 50 Senators signed a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that they would not support the treaty if it were offered as a bill, which, for the moment at least, makes it a dead issue as it would take a two-thirds majority of the Senate to ratify it. However, this is the same Senate that just voted for the scandalous NDAA with only 13 Senators opposed.
According to Lott, the biggest threat for gun owners is the Supreme Court. If Obama is reelected, there is an excellent chance that conservative Antonin Scalia and moderate Anthony Kennedy, now in their late 70s, will be replaced by judges with outlooks similar to justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. That would easily tip the court from 5-4 in favor of private gun ownership to 6-3 against. And during a second term Obama could, according to Lott, “end up appointing over half the federal judges.”
Just because the President is attempting to operate “under the radar” doesn’t mean that he doesn’t intend to achieve exactly the goal he had as Senator from Illinois: “I don’t believe that people should be able to own guns,” he once declared. How similar that is to Adolph Hitler, who said: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”