Matt HealeySaturday,26 January 2013

The Snap:

There are a lot of contentious issues that are currently being debated. Hotly debated. Additionally, the country is very divided, and so the issues have become very emotional. This is not simply a commentary on the last 4 years. It has been building since 1992. One of the negative side effects has been the rejection of the rule of law.

The Download:

The most recent example of this is the debate over guns. I am personally in favor of the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. I think that the argument against it does not hold up to scrutiny as I have written here. Regardless, the issue should be debated in congress and voted on. This is the democratic process. Then, if legislation is passed, it needs to be enforced. The problem is that a growing number of law enforcement officials have declared that they will not enforce laws that they do not think are constitutional. Note that they are not choosing to enforce laws that the Supreme Court thinks are unconditional, just laws that they think are unconstitutional. This is a greater threat to a free society than the breathless accusations that Obama is a dictator. If someone thinks the law is unconstitutional, then challenge it in court — and the supreme court will decide the constitutionality.

Now I understand that in addition to the debate over gun regulation, Obama also issued a series of executive orders on guns. There — see — executive orders — clearly he is a dictator! Wait, let’s look at the executive orders. Here they are:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

Tell me which of these are unconstitutional? No really, if you think some are, please comment on which regulations and why they are violations of the 2nd Amendment. I don’t see it. But if there is something, let me know.

The problem is that the issue goes further than just the current issue. There is an increasing trend by officials to simply ignore laws that you don’t like. This started with Roy Moore deciding that he would ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling that his display of the 10 commandments was unconstitutional. He substituted his judgment for that of the court. Several governors are refusing to implement the Affordable Care Act because they think it is unconstitutional, despite the fact that the court has ruled that it is constitutional. Once again, individuals substitution their judgement for that of the Court. Individuals need to follow democratically passed laws. What is currently happening is that the minority party has confused dictatorship with, as Jon Stewart described, the uncomfortable burning sensation of losing elections.

Hat Tips:

NRA argument, Law Enforcement, Obama Executive Orders, Roy Moore, GOP Governors, Jon Stewart, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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