You might not recognize this Paul Ryan (R-WI) from the Speaker who today accused President Obama of nefarious doings over gun control executive orders that Ryan hasn’t actually read yet. Because they haven’t been unveiled yet. But they will be centered around tightening background checks.
There was a time not so long ago, before he became Speaker but after he ran unsuccessfully for Vice President, when now Speaker Ryan thought addressing gun show loopholes was totally reasonable.
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published in January of 2013, then Rep. Paul Ryan discussed background checks at gun shows and said the loopholes were a “fair and reasonable” issue. He even said it was “obvious” it should be addressed.
“I think we should look into someone who is not legally allowed to buy a gun going to — buying one, and let’s figure that out. I think we need to find out how to close these loopholes, and do it in such a way that we don’t infringe on Second Amendment rights.”
Close the loopholes. Did you hear that? That was then Congressman Ryan agreeing with President Obama’s general plans regarding gun control.
Ryan admitted that he didn’t know how to make this work (maybe he should see President Obama, who does) and then pivoted to the old “it will be worked out in committee” canard which translates to this is never happening, but he did say the issue was very reasonable. He reinforced it by saying when he first joined Congress, this issue came up and he thought then that they should address these loopholes. So not a one-off for now Speaker Ryan.
When pushed on the closing gun show loopholes, Ryan said he thought “That’s a fair and reasonable — I think is a very reasonable
problem, I mean and that’s obvious and I think we should look at how to do that.”
But now? Now, without even knowing the details of the plan, Ryan is outraged on behalf of the NRA’s right to promote children killing more people with guns last year in the US than Muslim terrorists. “it’s a new day” Paul Ryan showed Republicans’ willingness to be sane and debate policy issues by accusing President Obama of “a dangerous level of executive overreach,” warning that “the country will not stand for it.”
This doesn’t seem any different than former Speaker Boehner in terms of pandering to extremists, so it’s unclear how Speaker Ryan is ushering in a new “day” in the People’s House as he claims.
Out of the gate the Speaker framed the issue as Obama coming for everyone’s guns, his statement claiming it was “in response to reports that the president intends to take executive action to restrict gun ownership in America”. Ryan left out restrict guns from people who shouldn’t legally be able to have a gun. But Republicans can’t come out and admit that they are supporting and defending selling guns legally to terrorists, so the goal posts had to be moved again.
Ryan accused Obama of coming after law abiding citizens:
“Ever since he was a candidate, President Obama’s dismissiveness toward Americans who value the Second Amendment has been well-documented. He acts as if the right to bear arms is something to be tolerated, when in truth – as the Supreme Court reaffirmed in 2008 – it is fundamental. The same goes for the Constitution and its limits on executive power.
“We all are pained by the recent atrocities in our country, but no change the president is reportedly considering would have prevented them. We have seen consistently that an underlying cause of these attacks has been mental illness, and we should look at ways to address this problem. We should also better enforce the laws we have on the books now to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals. Instead, the president is again targeting law-abiding citizens, intruding further into innocent Americans’ lives. At a time when the country wants the president to lead the fight against radical Islamic terror, this is yet another attempt to divide and distract from his failed policies.
“While we don’t yet know the details of the plan, the president is at minimum subverting the legislative branch, and potentially overturning its will. His proposals to restrict gun rights were debated by the United States Senate, and they were rejected. No president should be able to reverse legislative failure by executive fiat, not even incrementally. The American people deserve a president who will respect their constitutional rights – all of them. This is a dangerous level of executive overreach, and the country will not stand for it.”
Republicans already hate what President Obama is going to do, which surely will tweak existing law regarding gun sales (thus closing loopholes is likely) and are sure he’s violating the law…
Speaker Ryan was for addressing background check loopholes at gun shows until he was against it. He’s against it now, as Speaker of the House of Radical Nihilism, which is bursting with Republican NRA extremists claiming to represent the “people”.
This is no new day in the People’s House. It’s still the NRA’s day in the People’s House, thanks to Paul Ryan.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.