Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the reaction to President Obama’s executive orders on gun regulation Tuesday was that the opponents of these measures focused their rage on the president without acknowledging facts– or, for that matter, the victims of gun violence all over this country.
They call it a violation of the Second Amendment, but Obama’s orders only serve to expand existing gun laws. In fact, the executive orders are, in many cases, merely guidance for federal agencies. Many of these orders require additional measures that a Republican-led Congress is unlikely to pass.
We certainly agree with the president’s orders to enhance background check requirements for gun dealers, hiring additional FBI personnel to examine background checks and invest in mental health care. But as the president himself acknowledged Tuesday, these orders only go so far.
Congress must stand up and act to act legislatively if this country truly desires to curb the gun violence plaguing it from Atlantic to Pacific, from city to town, in high schools, movie theaters, housing complexes and everywhere else.
Here in New York City, our heavily Democratic Congressional delegation desires greater gun laws that protect Americans. We urge our readers to reach out to them and thank them for standing up for safety and urge them to continue fighting for a safer country where the freedom to worship, to assemble, to speak freely, to publish and to live isn’t trumped by the freedom to bear arms.
Republicans, meanwhile, must dismiss the hyperbolic rhetoric from its legislative leaders and TV pundits about Obama “coming for your guns.” Gun regulations of any kind are not violations of the Second Amendment. Even Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush previously supported background checks.
Would the National Rifle Association call them liberal cowards?