So, with a year left in office and mass shootings and gun deaths reaching epidemic proportions, President Barack Obama did what many Americans have called for since 20 little children and their courageous teachers were slaughtered like animals in their classrooms; “grow a pair” and take executive action to preserve innocent American lives. Of course, many Americans knew that in the past when the President just talked about gun safety measures Republicans and their NRA patriot gun fanatics reacted as if their children were being butchered alive and sacrificed to Satan the Devil, so the GOP outrage was highly anticipated.
This is about more than just gun proliferation. Since Republicans have reacted like rabid animals to every executive action this President has taken, their blind rage yesterday was just business as usual. Republicans are, after all, the gun-toting party of angry white guys opposing anything an African American man in the Oval Office proposes; even when Republicans admit the President’s actions do not amount to much at all.
Yesterday it was reported everywhere that Republicans were frothing at the mouth and girding their loins for war against the President’s gun safety actions even though by their own admission there is really nothing significant fight about. One Republican who was too terrified of the NRA to identify himself said, “Frankly, our initial review of the president’s orders is there is not a lot of substance there, but the party is under enormous pressure from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun zealots to take a stand and wage war against President Obama.”
Apparently, what has the NRA, anti-government insurgents, and Republicans in Congress and state legislatures incapacitated with ire is the President’s proposal to hire additional FBI staffers to expedite the process of background checks for new gun purchases, expand background checks, and require gun dealers to notify authorities when they “lose gun shipments” during transit. The President also requested additional funding for mental health services. As Republicans privately said, there is little in the President’s orders that will have much substantive effect, but that is not what they are telling their base.
The sum total of guns the government will confiscate from Americans due to the President’s actions is zero; exactly the same number of guns seized before the President took executive actions Republicans admit lack any real substance. But to hear Republicans wail and gnash their teeth, the President unilaterally abolished the Second Amendment, ordered all gun owners drawn and quartered, and NRA members handed over to ISIS for televised beheading. Republicans have announced that there is “no action off the table to combat Obama’s actions,” and under orders from the National Rifle Association the GOP in Congress and state legislatures will “use every tool in the toolkit to stop him!”
The newly hirsute House Speaker Paul Ryan was incensed that this President dared use executive action again after Republicans have threatened him in the past for acting like he was the President. Ryan said that Barack Obama’s “executive actions are another form of regulatory intimidation to undermine Americans’ liberty and purposely violate the Second Amendment;” the one and only amendment that actually includes the term “well-regulated” in the text. Ryan also vowed that as part of the Republican Party’s vigilant oversight, the Koch Congress will take the President to court to put a stop to this African American President from exercising executive authority; especially in violation of orders from the National Rifle Association.
Some of the Republican, “on the table,” battle plans include legislation nullifying executive actions by a Black President, closing down the Federal Aviation Administration, defund the Department of Justice, block funding for new FBI hires, and rejecting funding for mental health services to prevent disturbed Americans from obtaining guns to slaughter innocent people. In fact, one specific Republican, Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), said his solution to reducing the number of mass shootings is improving the mental healthcare system with increased funding and hiring an assistant secretary for mental health.
But because President Obama called for additional mental health funding as part of a solution to reduce the number of mass shootings, Murphy said he is skeptical; because “increasing funding for mental health services will only result in more lives lost” to mass shootings. It is a bizarre statement from an NRA advocate, but Republicans did say that “everything to combat Obama’s executive actions are on the table.” The table is full because Republicans and the NRA claim these attempts lacking substance by a President to preserve American lives are executive overreach, a vicious attack on gun owners’ liberty, and just might prevent more mass shootings; something the NRA is vehemently opposed to because every new mass shooting sends guns sales through the roof.
As Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said yesterday, the Republican criticisms of the President’s gun safety policies are motivated “by profits, not principles.” Hoyer also stated the obvious that nothing in the President’s actions are “threats to the Second Amendment” and that in no way will background checks or increased funding for mental health “take away people’s guns. Period!” Hoyer cited precisely what the Republican faux outrage, dire warnings and fear mongering are all about; “it’s unfounded fear fomented by those who profit from that fear;” the NRA, gun manufacturers and dealers, and Republicans in the employ of the gun industry.
It is beyond refute that the President’s executive actions on gun safety do, as Republicans privately admit, “lack real substance” and are really more symbolic about his commitment to preserve innocent American lives. Let’s face it, with way more guns in America than people, background checks for new gun purchases or increased funding for mental health will not keep any of the hundreds-of-millions of guns in circulation away from “bad guys;” especially when mass shooters’ guns are legally purchased. However, the Republican outrage is not about gun safety, bad guys, good guys, mental health, or protecting Americans’ lives; it is about an African American President acting like the President and failing to obey the National Rifle Association’s prohibition on even talking about gun safety. A serious crime according to gun-crazed American the NRA insists intimidates gun patriots and undermines their liberty; even when there is very little substance to the new measures.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.