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From The Editor | Actually, Congress Did Take Action; They Said No

From The Editor | Actually, Congress Did Take Action; They Said No

The idea perpetuated by anti-gunners—even some within President Barack Obama’s own administration—that the president’s executive action on guns is necessary because Congress has “failed” in addressing gun violence is just another figment of gun-banners’ imagination.

Josh Earnest, the president’s press secretary, made the claim right up to when the content of the executive orders was announced. “We should not be distracted from the fact that the reason the president is taking these actions is because Congress has utterly failed in their responsibility to do so,” Earnest said Jan. 4.What Obama and his anti-gun cronies really mean when criticizing Congress for a “lack of action” is that Congress hasn’t acted in exactly the way they wanted.

A day earlier, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett pushed the same idea when she said, “They (Congress) have made it very clear they are not going to act, and the president is doing what is well within his executive authority to do so.”

The so-called “mainstream” media likes to tout this “fact,” too.

A San Jose Mercury News headline last Wednesday shouted, “Obama’s executive order on guns came only after Congress failed to act.” And an Oakland Tribune op-ed headline parroted the same talking point: “Congress’ failure to act brought Obama’s executive order on guns.”

Forgive me for being blunt, but that’s an outright lie.

Fact is, members of Congress are elected by citizens from their states and home districts to go to Washington, D.C., to represent those citizens, or constituents. And while it doesn’t always work as planned, the input of constituents is immensely important to those representatives. After all, they rely on those same constituents to re-elect them to office the next time around, so voting the way the majority of their constituents want them to is critical.

On the matter of more restrictive gun control measures introduced by anti-gun legislators and supported by President Obama during his presidency, Congress has repeatedly voted against such actions. These “no” votes on proposed gun control measures are not a “lack of action”—rather they are an action taken by a majority of legislators who represent the majority of their constituents back home.

In truth, it shouldn’t be a surprise to the gun-banners that they consistently lose these battles. The Second Amendment is important to many Americans. A 2015 Gallup poll revealed that 56 percent of Americans think the nation would be safer if more people carried legal concealed firearms. Heck, a mid-December ABC News/Washington Post poll even found that public support for banning so-called “assault weapons” (actually semi-auto rifles) has dropped to the lowest levels in 20 years. And according to a CNN/ORC poll released in late December, 62 percent of respondents disapprove of President Obama’s handling of gun control. A 2015 Gallup poll revealed that 56 percent of Americans think the nation would be safer if more people carried legal concealed firearms.

Gun-ban proponents can’t blame it on the “gun lobby,” either. While the NRA is extremely effective in lobbying against bills that would curtail Second Amendment rights, it is the Association’s grassroots members—5 million strong—that drive the movement, and most Americans understand that. A Rasmussen poll conducted Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2015, asked individuals, “[t]he NRA supports gun policies that make all Americans safer. Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with this statement?” A full 61 percent of respondents stated that they agreed with the statement, with over a third of all respondents saying they strongly agreed. 

What Obama and his anti-gun cronies really mean when criticizing Congress for a “lack of action” is that Congress hasn’t acted in exactly the way they wanted. In a nutshell, they’re angry because Congress didn’t pass their proposed restrictions. They are referring to their repeated losses in Congress as a “failure to act,” when in fact it is just the opposite.

Of course, the way to continue beating back gun-banners is to keep electing congressmen and women who support our Second Amendment-protected rights. That’s why all NRA members—and all American gun owners—must put Freedom First between now and November. There’s never been a more important time to mobilize all pro-gun voters to do their part to ensure the future of the Second Amendment.