Boots & Sabers

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0645, 05 Jan 16

Obama goes after 2nd Amendment rights

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here you go:

Previous presidents were rightly relegated to lame duck status in their final year of office as members of Congress begin to look ahead to the next president’s priorities. Fresh off his annual vacation in Hawaii, President Barack Obama has found a way to overcome his lame duck status by simply usurping Congress and unilaterally taking action on his priorities.

After months of study on how to undermine federal law and centuries of constitutional protections, the president is planning to roll out a series of executive actions designed to undermine Americans’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. While Obama has not revealed the specifics yet, anti-Second Amendment zealots close to the administration are saying that he will take executive action to enact regulations on the private sales of firearms and dump more money into enforcement agencies.

Obama is justifying his executive overreach by complaining that Congress has failed to act on gun control in the wake of highly publicized murders committed with firearms over the past few years. There are two things wrong with Obama’s justification. First, Congress did act. In the wake of the killings in Newtown, several gun control bills were offered and, after consideration and debate, Congress said no. What Obama is frustrated by is not that Congress failed to act, but that they did not do what Obama wanted.

The second problem with Obama’s justification for action is that it is no justification at all. Nowhere in our Constitution does it allow the executive branch to make law because the Legislative branch decided not to. In fact, our Constitution intentionally set up a process that requires both houses of the legislative branch and the executive branch to all act to pass a law. That system of checks and balances was designed by our founders to protect the liberties of Americans from the ravages of tyrannical rule. In this case, Obama’s agenda was checked. He did not like it, so he is planning to act unilaterally. Such are the actions of a tyrant.

The main action Obama plans to take is to manipulate rules and legal definitions to require background checks on the private sale of firearms. Obama will spin this action by saying he is “closing the gun-show loophole.” The so-called gun-show loophole is an invention of the anti-Second Amendment zealots to stir up opposition.

There are only three types of firearms sales. The first are sales by licensed firearms dealers. These sales are already heavily regulated and the sellers are required to conduct a background check before releasing the firearm to the buyer. Incidentally, the vast majority of sellers at gun shows are licensed dealers that already conduct background checks — as are online sellers.

The second kind of firearm sales are the illegal ones. Even in private sales, it is illegal for felons and crooks to purchase a firearm for the purpose of committing a crime, but it happens all the time. The vast majority of the crimes committed with guns are committed by a relatively small minority of repeat criminal offenders using firearms that are obtained illegally, possessed illegally, or both. The executive action Obama is planning to make will have absolutely no impact on these kinds of sales.

The third kind of firearm sales are private sales. These sales are anything from the investor who sells the occasional firearm out of her collection to the guy who trades his old shotgun for his neighbor’s snow blower. The law does not require a background check in these sales, but the anti-Second Amendment activists want to change that. The executive actions Obama is planning to make are targeting these kinds of sales with more regulations and cost, even though guns used in crimes are rarely obtained in these kinds of sales.

The reason that anti-Second Amendment folks target private firearm sales for regulation is because it would create a de facto national gun registry. Americans have rightly opposed efforts to create a national gun registry in the past because it is a precursor to all kinds of onerous restrictions, including outright gun confiscation. It is vastly more difficult for the government to confiscate what it does not know people have.

Lest we forget, the founders did not write the Second Amendment into our Constitution to preserve our right to hunt or protect ourselves. The reason for the Second Amendment is written right into the Declaration of Independence: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” The Second Amendment is one of those new guards.

In a nutshell, the actions Obama wants to take will not actually do anything to combat the problem of crimes committed with firearms that he cites as the reason for acting. And we have a president who is acting to unilaterally and unconstitutionally restrict the people’s constitutional right that was specifically put in place to protect the people from presidents acting unilaterally and unconstitutionally.

Obama may only have a year left in office, but he can do immeasurable damage to our nation and our liberties in that time that will take years to undo — if ever.


0645, 05 January 2016


  1. John Foust

    You say you want a revolution? We’d all love to see the plan.


    I hope this dosen’t “rend the fabric of Western Society” So exactly where does the Constitution guarantee the right to sell guns from a card table at the Waukesha Expo Center?

  3. Kevin Scheunemann


    Actually, it does “rend the fabric of Western civilization”.

    This shows an ultimate liberal contempt for law abiding, good, citizens wanting to stand up to criminal evil and terrorist evil.



    How does selling guns from a card table at the Waukesha Expo Center without a background check constitute “citizens wanting to stand up to criminal evil and terrorist evil.” It sounds more to me like a bunch of profiteers wraping themselves in the flag to continue selling guns without concern to the consequences.

  5. old baldy


    Didn’t some wise man warn us that the next threat to America would be from folks wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross?

    Keep up the good work.

  6. Kevin Scheunemann


    Name one violent act this new executive order will prevent?

    We will stop more violent acts by doing backround checks on immigrants from Syria…but administration does not care to do that.

    That is what I mean by liberal “contempt” for the citizens that are here.

  7. old baldy


    “Name one violent act this new executive order will prevent?”. Explain how you can “name” something that never happened? Missed that day in Logic 101, eh?

    “We will stop more violent acts by doing backround checks on immigrants from Syria…”. Proof?

  8. Kevin Scheunemann


    The executive order re-defining who is a gun seller.

    Try to keep up.



    I don’t see how this inconviences any anymore than requiring a hunting license or a real estate license. Should we trust our safety to people that can’t be bothered to conduct a legal and above board business. All this so Bob and Rocco can rent more tables? (I heard that Rocco is black!!!! How can we trust him???)

  10. Kevin Scheunemann


    Where do we stop?

    I can see soda sellers being lumped in with drug dealers by executive order.

    If we can just save one life, we can make everything illegal by dictatorial power.

    That is what liberals truly crave: authoritarian dictatorship.

  11. Kevin Scheunemann

    Personally, I think hunting and real estate licenses are a waste of time.

    They do little to nothing to improve the quality of either activity.

  12. Mark Maley

    England has it right and we have it dead wrong on guns

    If the government turns on the people ,
    Owens guns and everyone else’s don’t stand a prayer

    If Texas secede’s and the government invades Texas , Goodbye Texas

  13. old baldy


    Since you can’t respond with a cogent answer you change the subject. Another juvenile attempt. Try to keep up.

  14. Dan

    Never having been to the Waukesha Expo, do they actually have card tables there?
    And if so, how many people have gone out and committed violence after buying a gun from the Waukesha Expo gun show from a person who had a card table?
    Please cite the examples please.

  15. Mark Maley

    Executive orders given. Out
    GW Bush 291
    T Roosevelt 1000

    so TR was 5 X more lawless than Obama, if you’re keeping score

  16. Mark Maley

    I forgot one.
    The Emancipation Proclimation .

  17. Mike

    Our President is trying anything he can to separate due process from the right to own firearms. The NO FLY list got a lot of pushback so we are back to the mental health issue. There is no due process involved in taking firearms away from anyone a doctor has concerns about or SSI and VA benefits recipients that have a payee.

    There will be pushback and some otherwise peaceable people will be killed when an attempt is made to enforce this unconstitutional mandate.

    In the 20th century there were ~ 8-12 million homicides, but there were 262 million citizens killed by their own government. and it looks like the left will save just one life if they have to kill a million gun owners to do it.

  18. Pat

    “In the 20th century there were ~ 8-12 million homicides, but there were 262 million citizens killed by their own government.”

    I’m not disputing what you’re saying, but would like to see a link provided to support the data you are quoting please. Thanks.

  19. Kevin Scheunemann


    LLincoln? You congratulate a Republican freeing the slaves from their Democrat Party slavemasters?

    That’s the one executive order I’d support, without reservation.

    It re-affirm’s constitutional rights, rather than taking them away.

  20. Mark Maley

    Kev ,
    You are observant and on your game :)

    The Republicans were on the moral high ground then and in the Wilson administration , even basic civil rights were agin pulled back by Democrats

    That changed in 1965 , when Republicans voted en masse against the Civil Rights act

    The roles have been reversed since then .

  21. Mark Maley

    Mike ,

    I would be much more apt to buy the mental Health concerns if those in charge of Congress were offering up legislation to address that issue .

    Mental health is always mentioned after mass gun violence and then absolutely nothing is done to address it

  22. Dan

    Gee baldy, you won’t respond to my answer.
    What a damn wimp and blow hard.

  23. old baldy

    fake dan:

    I guess it takes one to know one, eh ?

  24. Dan

    Umm, not fake Dan, sorry.
    Just shows you make up things and can’t back it up.

  25. old baldy

    real dan:

    I didn’t ask you a question that you had to answer. If so refresh our memories.

  26. Dan

    You put it out there and I chose to respond.
    Now, answer the question or shut up.

  27. old baldy


    I don’t know what you are talking about. Your only comment on this thread, a question actually, is regarding card tables at the Waukesha Expo. Never been there, don’t plan to be in the near future. Good enough?

  28. Pat

    “Here is the link for the figures on genocides. I think the homicide info is there also.”

    Thanks for the link. It was interesting, but I don’t understand the link between that and the argument against background checks. Can you explain?

  29. Dan

    I’m sorry baldy, and I owe you an apology. I confused you with Bystander.
    I am sorry.

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