And They Say We Are Paranoid

Gun rights activists have often been accused of being paranoid when it comes to President Obama and guns. His supporters like to point out that that he signed into law the bill that allowed concealed carry in National Parks. Moreover, they note he hasn’t proposed any new assault weapons (sic) ban or similar gun control measures so our distrust of him must either be racism or paranoia.

I would have to agree with them that he did sign the bill allowing concealed carry in National Parks and that he hasn’t proposed a new AWB. However, the former was signed because it was attached to a bill regulating credit cards that the President wanted and the latter is because he seems to have learned from the experience of Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Gore, you may remember, lost his home state of Tennessee in the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush in part due to the gun control measures of the Clinton Administration.

It is neither racist nor paranoid to believe that a president who, in an unscripted moment, said that we in the gun culture were bitterly clinging to our guns and religion might seek alternative ways of enacting more gun control. We were given an inkling of that last year when Mr. Obama told Sarah Brady of the Brady Campaign that he would be working on gun control measures “under the radar.”

More confirmation of the president’s mindset came when he asked Russian President Medvedev to be patient on missile defense because he would be able to be more “flexible” after the election. While this “flexibility” depends upon his re-election, the odds are at least 50-50 that he will (unfortunately) serve a second term.

Senator Obama was highly critical of the Bush Administration’s use of signing statements, recess appointments, and executive orders. Since being elected, President Obama has made use of all three in his pursuit of his agenda.

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal had a feature article entitled “Obama Shifts View of Executive Power.” The article notes that despite his campaign pledge to roll back executive power, just the opposite has happened.

The allure of executive power, it turns out, is hard to resist. Most every chief executive has found ways to escape the shackles of the legislature and expand the power of the presidency. Three years into his first term, Mr. Obama has developed his own expansive view of going it alone, asserting new executive powers and challenging members of Congress in both parties.

“He’s using executive orders as a political tool—’I can’t work with this Congress so I’m going to do it myself,'” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), who has worked with the White House on selective issues.

In the past, most clashes about executive power were about national security and foreign policy. What makes the Obama Administration different is that they are using executive power to push their domestic agenda as well. Moreover, they are not shy about about it.

Today, Mr. Obama’s use of executive power is a central part of a re-election pitch that is trying to draw a contrast with congressional inaction. It even has a catch phrase—”we can’t wait”—and senior White House aides meet about once a week to look for executive actions they can take on their own, officials said. …

But in an interview, White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler acknowledged Mr. Obama has developed a broader view of executive power since he was a senator. In explaining the shift, she cited the nature of the office.

“Many issues that he deals with are just on him, where the Congress doesn’t bear the burden in the same way,” she said. “Until one experiences that first hand, it is difficult to appreciate fully how you need flexibility in a lot of circumstances.”

Vice President Joe Biden, behind his facade as the court jester of the Obama Administration, has often signaled the administration’s thoughts on an issue. Yesterday, on CBS’s Face the Nation, he gave a solid indication that the Obama Administration might well use the Trayvon Martin case to push gun control.

Mr. Biden, who was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee for eight years, said that the Martin case underscores the need to ensure public safety in accordance with current gun laws.

“The idea that there’s this overwhelming additional security in the ownership and carrying concealed and deadly weapons… I think it’s the premise, not the constitutional right, but the premise that it makes people safer is one that I’m not so sure of,” Biden said.

As Ben Shapiro said in a critique of Biden’s performance on,

But that’s been the two-barreled liberal agenda throughout this debate: first, raise the specter of race; second, crack down on guns. The left isn’t all that interested in what happens with George Zimmerman – if they cared, they’d stop tainting the jury pool – but they are interested in making political hay out of the killing. And Joe Biden is just following in his boss’ footsteps.

I don’t think it is paranoia to say I expect moves on gun control legislation if Obama is re-elected. I’m just not sure what we can expect before the election in terms of executive orders and other regulations regarding firearms but let’s just say I’m wary.