A president unleashed.
President Barack Obama, who swore he would "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" when he joined the U.S. Senate in 2005, and that he would "to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States" when he entered the White House in 2009, now stands ready, according to his vice president, to consider "19 steps ... (he) can take himself using executive action."
The administration's intent could not be more clear. It wants to bureaucratically create a de facto repeal of as much of the Second Amendment's clearly stated and correctly interpreted individual "right of the people to keep and bear Arms" as possible by January 20, 2017 -- and if that requires shredding what's left of the Constitution's separation of powers, so be it.
The clear-eyed among us warned that this day might come in 2008 if Obama won the presidency that year. During that campaign, Obama tried to quiet a group of skeptics at a Pennsylvania campaign stop, first by claiming: "If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it." That wasn't particularly persuasive, nor was his next line, which predictably did not get the press attention it should have: "Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress." It's now clear that he mostly doesn't care about how many "votes in Congress" he has.
In 2012, we further warned that reelecting the most visceral opponent of the fundamental human right of self-defense ever to occupy the White House to a second term would exponentially increase the danger to our free exercise of that basic right. Now Obama has won his last election (or so we hope), while bragging that "the American people have spoken." Hardly. 50.61 percent of voters pulled the lever for Obama despite his being opposed by the worst Republican candidate in my lifetime; fewer than 27 percent of all voting-age adults voted for him, a decline from four years earlier. Nonetheless, it remains the case that Obama has four more years to figure out how to gut the Second Amendment -- something which has been one of his overarching goals for at least the better part of two decades.
It is reasonable to believe -- in fact, there's really no other rational alternative explanation -- that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, who in 1995 told a sympathetic audience that the nation's leaders should "really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way," believed that Operation Fast and Furious would be that brainwashing vehicle. As Ben Shapiro -- yes, the same guy who ran circles around CNN's gun-grabbing Piers Morgan last week -- wrote at Breitbart.com in March of last year:
... (In) the Fast and Furious scandal ... the Attorney General apparently gave the go-ahead to an operation that funneled guns to the drug cartels – guns later used in the murder of U.S. citizens. ... [I]t surely was not a simple sting operation – and critics have long suspected that the program was designed to stir up anger at gun distribution inside the U.S. in order to provide support for gun control.
Fast and Furious was "not a simple sting operation," simply because the detailed movements of most and possibly all of the "funneled guns" weren't tracked. Instead, as Univision reported in October, the law enforcement "logic" was as follows: "If the weapons were used to kill in Mexico, then (police), in the crime scenes, could establish who acquired them." In other words, it was an operation in which what ended being a body count of at least 300 Mexicans, including a group of innocent teenagers at a birthday party, was sloughed off as collateral damage.
On the U.S. side of the border, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's murderer used a Fast and Furious gun, and the Justice Department has admitted that it was "aware of 11 (other) instances" where a Fast and Furious firearm "was recovered in connection with a crime of violence in the United States." Completing the conspiratorial circle, Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News revealed in December 2011 that "the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation 'Fast and Furious' to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales."
At his Tuesday press conference, Obama did not correct a reporter who wanted him to call the recent spike in gun and ammunition sales "irrational," instead calling it the result of "a fear that's fanned by those who are worried about the possibility of any legislation getting out there."
That fear is far from irrational. Those who have called for gun confiscation or mandatory buybacks include New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Iowa State Representative Dan Muhlbauer, and the queen of confiscation, Dianne Feinstein. The California Senator recently proposed "a program to purchase weapons from gun owners, a proposal that could be compulsory."
In 1995, Feinstein bemoaned her failure to take everyone's guns, saying:
If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States, for an outright ban, picking up every of them -- Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in -- I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here.
There's no reason whatsoever to believe that Feinstein feels any differently now.
More to the point, Barack Obama's track record is so littered with over-the-top opposition to the right of self-defense that it would take at least another full column to enumerate all of the outrageous examples. One will suffice to demonstrate how deep-seated his hostility is.
Beginning in 1999, as described by David T. Hardy in October 2008, the Joyce Foundation, with Obama serving as one of its directors, began a campaign to stack the influential Chicago-Kent Law Review with articles claiming that the Constitution does not confer an individual right to bear arms. It pointedly rejected offers from writers wishing to promote the opposite view.
This may seem a mundane matter, but Hardy pointed out that "When judges cannot rely upon past decisions, they sometimes turn to law review articles." He also noted that the Foundation almost got its wish:
The Joyce directorate’s plan almost succeeded. The individual rights view won out in the Heller Supreme Court appeal, but only by 5-4. The four dissenters were persuaded in part by Joyce-funded writings, down to relying on an article which misled them on critical historical documents.
Having lost that fight, Obama now claims he always held the individual rights view of the Second Amendment ...
No, he doesn't.
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