While the President’s new executive orders on guns is the current target for all the heated rhetoric, both the left and right are missing the mark and ignoring the impact that federal judges will have on the gun legislation debate.
Shortly after the President surrounded himself with children at a signing ceremony for his 23 new executive orders on guns (while simultaneously reprimanding the NRA for using kids as pawns in a political fight), the media and the left predictably adopted their favorite Obama descriptors for the measure, “bold” and “historic,” while the right defensively shunned Obama’s actions as an affront to the Constitution.
But both the left and the right are over-reacting to President Obama’s orders and other proposals aimed at reducing gun violence.
Upon closer inspection, and in keeping with this White House’s tradition of making a lot of noise on important issues without actually doing anything to address them (see deficit), Obama’s executive orders on guns are not particularly daring. For example, the President’s demand that the Consumer Product Safety Commission review safety standards for gun locks and safes is fairly dull.
In reality, the President punted to Congress on everything contentious, such as potential gun bans, which appears to be an unusual acknowledgement by the administration that the President’s independent Constitutional authority in most domestic matters is extremely sparse. And despite all the media-imagined momentum for new gun control measures, it’s unlikely Congress will approve any of Obama’s proposals.
So forget the White House and Congress for a moment; the real battle over guns and the Second Amendment will be in America’s courts.
To some extent, conservatives have been taking their eyes off the ball the past several years. Voters can reject their congressional representatives once every two years, but they’re stuck with bad Federal judges for life.
Consider these shocking facts: in his first four years in office, President Obama appointed two Supreme Court Justices, 30 appellate court judges and 141 district court judges. That means Obama has already appointed a little less than a fifth of all federal judges. If that trend continues through Obama’s second term in office, his appointees would make up about 40 percent of all federal judges by 2016.
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