While the media mostly fawned over President Obama’s announcement of executive orders on gun control, one terrifying tidbit was generally ignored: The plan to strip tens of thousands of retirees of their Second Amendment rights is still on track. To recap, the Obama administration plans to add the names of 75,000 Social Security beneficiaries per year to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) administrated by the FBI, effectively prohibiting them from owning firearms.
The individuals reported to NICS will be those deemed incompetent to own a gun—yet the primary instrument for determining who ends up on such a list will be the record that someone has designated a representative payee to handle their benefits. Many seniors use this method because of convenience, not incompetence; they certainly never meant to sign away their constitutional right to bear arms in the process.
Senate Schedules Hearing To Review Executive Orders
President Obama is already facing a potential challenge to his executive action on gun control from the legislative branch. Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee U.S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to testify at a hearing scheduled for January 28. Since Shelby’s subcommittee is responsible for allocating funds for the Department of Justice, its opposition could make it difficult for the president to accomplish his goals.
“Let me be clear: I will not sit idly by and allow the Department to implement unlawful, unconstitutional actions,” Shelby wrote to Lynch. He further noted that his subcommittee had already allocated extra funding to the Department of Justice. “While I expect to review the Department’s request for future programs and funding, I also expect that your plan to execute the funding Congress provided for FY 2016 will be consistent with the enacted law—not the whims of the president or his administration.”
Indiana Eyes Pro-Gun Bills, Including “Permitless” Carry
A new legislative session in Indiana has given rise to a number of pro-gun bills, with legislators seemingly working to counteract the influence of President Obama’s executive orders on gun control. Perhaps most significant is a bill introduced by Rep. Jim Lucas, R-69, which would allow state residents to carry a firearm without applying for a permit. Carry permits would still be offered in order to take advantage of reciprocity agreements with other states. “It’s time to start returning people’s rights,” Lucas said of his legislation.
Other bills would allow firearms on state property, including public universities; remove a timed prohibition on gun permits for people who committed minor alcohol-related offenses; and institute a $100 tax credit for individuals who take a firearms safety course. Lucas expressed optimism, noting that, “Seventy-three members in the House have an A rating with the NRA. Indiana is a very gun-friendly state.”
News Polls Show Americans Unimpressed With New Gun Control
Informal polling conducted by CNN, The Seattle Times and WFSB in Washington, D.C., are all reporting a strong rejection of President Obama’s new executive action on guns—despite the liberal slant of many of their readers. The president’s announcement of the new gun-control plans has not been the slam-dunk with voters that he seems to have been hoping for.
“The American people do not need more emotional, condescending lectures that are completely devoid of facts,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Alan Gottlieb, said in a press statement, “Once again his actions have backfired. Ironically, he’s the reason more people are buying more firearms.” While President Obama and like-minded politicians delude listeners—and possibly themselves—with phony statistics about “90 percent” of Americans wanting expanded background checks, figures like these suggest that the majority may actually oppose such measures.
Obama’s Gun Control “Town Hall” Really A Closed-Door Meeting
Town hall meetings have traditionally been open to the public as a way to give all stakeholders the opportunity to make their voices heard. But in the case of Obama’s gun-control town hall event yesterday at George Mason University, it was made clear to the public—including students at the university—that they were not welcome.
According to RedAlertPolitics.com, students received an email stating, “This is an invitation-only event. No tickets are available.” The email then informed them that the entire building hosting the event would be closed, before reiterating, “The event is not open to the public.”
The student who submitted the email, John Hill, speculated that the closed-door policy was a result of the president not wanting to answer the hard questions about gun control. We’re inclined to agree. If the president really believed his gun-control policies had any chance of success, he wouldn’t be afraid to open the debate to both sides.
Detroit Mugger Makes The Wrong Choice
A man on the west side of Detroit was approached by a suspect who allegedly pulled a gun and demanded his money. The intended victim, who is the holder of a valid concealed pistol license, declined and produced his own firearm instead. The two opened fire on each other, which ended with the suspect being shot and transported to the hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.
No further details were immediately available regarding the aftermath of the incident, but this joins a notable series of defensive gun uses taking place in Detroit as armed citizens take their safety into their own hands.