Gun control and the government’s abuse of power

Terry Garlock's picture

My objection to the current gun control effort in Washington, D.C., is only half about guns. The other half is about abuse of power. No matter which side of the gun debate you favor, you should be concerned.

Obama is not alone in trampling the Constitution. He is joined by Congress and former Republican and Democrat administrations alike, but this president has pushed hard on the abuse of power envelope. He has crossed the line a number of times and just this past week two judges advanced court cases against President Obama’s overreach.

On Friday, a federal appeals court ruled the President violated the Constitution when he filled National Labor Relations Board vacancies by recess appointments. The problem was Obama knowingly made the recess appointments while Congress was not actually in recess. A mere technicality, some would argue, but a three-judge panel ruled the President exceeded his authority by measures of “... not only logic and language, but also constitutional history ...”

Presidents in recent decades have over-used recess appointments to circumvent the “advise and consent” role of Senate approval of high level appointments, especially when the opposition party is deeply opposed to the president’s selected candidate. Now the rulings of the NLRB in recent months are in question since the board did not legally have a quorum.

My opinion? No party should circumvent the Constitutional process. Chief Judge David Sentelle wrote for the court, “Allowing the President to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers.” Two of the three judges wrote that Presidents may not hold vacancies and later fill them by appointment during Congressional recess, but may only use that power if the vacancy itself occurs during recess, a turnabout from the practice in recent decades. That surprise ruling makes so much sense, I wonder if it will actually be enforced in Washington.

Elsewhere this past week, Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Conner ruled that 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and officers have standing in the lawsuit they filed against their own agency.

You may recall that President Obama instructed ICE not to enforce immigration law as written, but to apply waivers on deportation proceedings based on criteria he defined, thereby granting his personal royal pass to all but those with dangerous criminal records. His imperial rationale for this breach of separation of powers? Prosecutorial discretion.

You probably know that phrase, but let me go out on a limb here and predict that when this case is adjudicated we might hear in the deciding opinion something about prosecutorial discretion being applicable to an individual case, not to a class of millions of people and thereby gutting the law by fiat.

So what happened? ICE instructed their people to follow the President’s Constitution-busting orders. They were to violate federal law or face ICE disciplinary action, and these 10 agents and officers objected and filed a lawsuit.

My opinion? The President offered the DREAM Act to ease up immigration enforcement on young people who have been in the country for a while, but it was rejected by Congress. So he waved his imperial wand to make it happen without Congress and called it “prosecutorial discretion.”

The real shame here is there was no protest of Obama’s abuse of power by government watchdogs who are sworn to uphold the Constitution, like the Attorney General. It was left to these ICE employees to incur personal expense and risk to their careers to file a lawsuit while the rest of us wait for the years it will take for this case to bubble up to the Supreme Court for a final ruling. There must be a better way.

What does any of this have to do with gun control? Bear with me.

My guess is the Assault Weapon ban bill introduced by Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.) will not get legs, and even if passed by some miracle there would be little risk the government would make any attempts to confiscate existing guns. So your guns and mine are likely safe – for now.

What bothers me most is the dishonesty and deception applied by our own government, presently gun control advocates, with little regard for Constitutional limits. And we cannot forget dereliction of duty by the mainstream media, itself a hotbed of gun control advocacy.

For example, anyone willing to spend half an hour online studying FBI crime statistics can verify that violent crime in the U.S. has dropped by half in the last 20 years. Stated a different way, violent crime was twice as bad 20 years ago as now, and a little more research shows that Great Britain, the often-mentioned land of banned guns, has a violent crime rate much higher than ours. But you don’t hear such inconvenient facts reported in the gun debates.

Another ignored fact is that unusually high crime in the U.S. is focused in urban pockets. Confronting it openly would be explosive given the racial social issues entailed, like a 70 percent single mother birth rate that starts inescapable cycles of poverty and despair, not exactly the ingredients for social stability and good citizenship.

You also don’t hear that in crimes with guns less than 3.5 percent are committed with rifles, of which “assault rifles” (ARs) are a subset. And yet, ARs are the focus of gun control advocates’ fury, likely just one step in a long but concealed list of gun control intentions.

Another fact routinely obscured is that the REAL assault weapons, machine guns that fire at a high rate of speed on automatic, have been banned since 1934. The ARs you and I can buy are only cosmetically similar but are limited in rate of fire to no more than a deer rifle or handgun, and the long-banned automatic fire is the only “military style” feature that matters.

Nevertheless, the gun control bill before the Senate takes advantage of public confusion and focuses on ARs even though ARs are not the problem. Meanwhile some elements of the real problem are ignored since the President and his Democrat supporters are rather silent on the culture of violence encouraged by a Hollywood movie industry that makes a lot of money, some of which finds its way to Democrat campaign coffers. Imagine that.

And please don’t miss this, because you won’t hear it on TV news. Sen. Feinstein’s bill bans 158 specific weapons while exempting more than 2,200 weapons for hunting and sporting purposes. Beware the exemption list for two reasons.

First, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution says nothing about hunting or sporting, but it appears we who thought we had God-given rights are now expected to genuflect to Sen. Feinstein for granting us a hunting or sporting pass on her list of exempted weapons.

Second, the list of exempted guns is a Trojan Horse quietly slipped under the radar. Call me a conspiracy nut if you will, but if this bill passed I would expect the future effect of the exemption list to become a barrier to gun makers introducing new models and features, unless of course they somehow document the new model has been approved by Sen. Feinstein’s minions. That official bottleneck would be a gun controller’s dream.

Even though the AR ban bill likely will fail this time, it is fair to ask 2nd Amendment adherents like me whether a 10-round magazine limit and tighter background check rules would be too much to ask? That seems reasonable to me so long as the fine print is carefully screened for traps.

But here is the rub with so many of us: so long as there remains a single gun left to ban, no matter how much or little is tightened up “this time,” we stand on a slippery slope on which gun control advocates will surely have the “next round” of gun ban legislation, polished and waiting in the wings, poised for yet another try in the emotional aftermath of the next high-profile shooting and media frenzy. Because compromise will settle nothing, many on my side will refuse to budge.

Meanwhile, the real things that have gone wrong in America will likely continue unimpeded: we teach relativism now instead of values; Hollywood movies promote cheap thrills, self-gratification and little respect for others; video games immerse young minds into imaginary worlds of extreme violence and depravity; hard work and slow gains fail to meet unrealistic expectations of our youth; fame and wealth are glorified over character and achievement; and morality is trumped by the pop culture version of what is “cool.”

While our culture rots from within, we have to hope our kids are sufficiently strong of heart to reject easy and popular choices, choosing instead the tougher path with lifetime rewards.

And consider this. When our kids make good choices even though they are difficult, they are outperforming by leaps and bounds our national leaders who can’t even curtail spending money we don’t have, much less communicate with us honestly on important matters like the Constitution, separation of powers, and the real issues of gun control.

Those politicians will continue their daily games of deception and ineptitude so long as we drink their Kool-Aid and vote for them.

[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is terry@garlock1.com.]

conditon55
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Nice Try

What about the Ronald Reagan numbers ?

Also, the obstructionist approach hit the apex with Ourt good Friend Newt. He perfected the approach.

Me point is that the ploys are played out because the motivations behind it are obvious.....

I ageee with your statments that congress needs to mature up and advocate for the people the government and the nation.

There are ways to work the agenda without constantly trying to submarine the President when he is with the other party.

There is some overriding motivation there where thier politic trumps the interests of our nation with the folks who hold real power in this country that I do not understand.

Davids mom
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CSPAN

I watched the Senate hearing, switching channels between commercials . I got tired of commentators breaking in to explain to me what I just heard - and preventing me from hearing others. . . so I switched to CSPAN. There I was allowed to hear all participants without commercials and/or comments. I heard sincere people expressing their opinions and answering questions based on their perspective . I heard areas of agreement on the issue of gun control. I hope that our leaders will use common sense and act on those areas of agreement. According to history, that is what our founding fathers and past leaders have done.

conditon55
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Recess Guns

Regarding recess appointments. You are right, it has been abused. Wikipedia and COngressional Research Service, what ever that is sayPresident Ronald Reagan made 240 recess appointments, President George H. W. Bush made 77 recess appointments, President Bill Clinton made 139 recess appointments. President George W. Bush made 171 recess appointments, and as of January 5, 2012, President Barack Obama had made only 32 recess appointments.

What is interesting to me is the crying and whining from the GOP about a tool that is one of their own favorite approaches to side step a responsible approach to government. And this is no isolated case.
The problem in this case is that the party wants to preach to me about right and wrong, but they do not want the rules to apply to them. And they definitely do not want the other guy to get away with the same crap that they want to get away with. The problem is the Obama case is that the GOP understood clearly how the thing works so they concocketed a scheme to artifically keep the senate in session. Pathetic. It turns voters off.
How this in their minds equates to leadership or good governece or advocating for the people is beyond comprehension. It is none of those things.

It is the same with guns. I want my rights, and they are not god given, but I do not want to have to shoulder any responsiblity that goes with it. Holy crap, really ? Responsiblity to my family, to the community, to the society.

People in America have been brain washed by morons to take bizarre positions that are indefensible. My favorite is "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Pathetic. That is the pound of cure mythology. First, it never works. Next, We need a ounce of cure. Something proactive.

Background checks are insufficent. Why? Too many times, the first offense the killers make, is the grandious mass killing.

So I agree with you. The only real answer is to remove the lines "right to bear arms" from the constitution so we can enact sensible reforms, or add the lines "right to bear arms where the own bears the proportionate responsiblity that goes with owning leathal weapons."

A while back there was an article in the Citizen wher in the 1970s the kids in rural PA took thieer hunting rifles to High school during season. Awesome. But, That was essenstially a country that no longer exists.

RKS
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condition55-Guns
conditon55 wrote:

People in America have been brain washed by morons to take bizarre positions that are indefensible. My favorite is "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Pathetic. That is the pound of cure mythology. First, it never works. Next, We need a ounce of cure. Something proactive.

Amen. It's the most insane phrase I have heard in a long time. You are not alone in your thoughts on gun control, but the libs of this county don't feel like being harassed by the right wing wack jobs on here who only want to fling mud and be rude, so we stay quiet most of the time.

Spyglass
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What would you propose? How to stop an attack?

What is your idea for the best way to stop a person with a gun intending to do others harm? Specifically one trying to get into your house? Forget the gun for a moment, how about just a big guy breaking in your home with a ball bat? Or one after a local Judge at work? Or someone storming into the Police Office?

Keep in mind it is already ILLEGAL to attempt to break into someone's house/place of work intending to do harm....so obviously this person doesn't respond to the laws that you and I hopefully respect.

Davids mom
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Spyglass

An intriguing question - and frightening! A group of neighbors discussed this. We reviewed some of the scenarios that have been in the news. We realized that in most cases, when intruders have entered the home, there is no place to hide! Those who have a gun in the home discussed how they have to figure out easy access to the weapon, yet not within easy reach of young children. Many agreed to always have the cell phone on their person in case their alarm system has been diactivated. We had to admire the 'sister' who held an intruder at bay with a machete! We noted that almost none of the 'home invaders' had an assault weapon. (There is still confusion about the identification of military assault weapons.). Our current thinking:
1. A good alarm system
2. A good watch dog
3. Cooperative and watchful neighbors
4. A weapon that you would use and is accessible. (training required!)
5. A plan!!!
We're arranging a meeting with our Neighborhood Watch group and local law enforcement.

Spyglass
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It is hard to beat good neighbors

for keeping an eye on things....no doubt about it.

S. Lindsey
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Better to be silent and thought a fool...

...oh never mind.

RKS
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S.Lindsey - talking
S. Lindsey wrote:

...oh never mind.

King James Version — "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise."

S. Lindsey
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Hmmm..just one of many more to come C55
conditon55 wrote:

People in America have been brain washed by morons to take bizarre positions that are indefensible. My favorite is "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Pathetic. That is the pound of cure mythology. First, it never works. Next, We need a ounce of cure. Something proactive.

So C55 just a question here do we have Police? Cause I was just wondering just who you might think those "Good Guy with Guns" are and are you saying the Police are not a deterrent to crime?

lion
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Good guys and guns

"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

A former Navy Seal and another man were shot and killed at a gun range in Texas.

If there were ever a place that had "good guys with guns" it would probably be at a gun range in Texas but that did not deter or stop the killer.

Maybe more guns are not the answer.

AtHomeGym
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lion & shooting

Do you understand that the shooter was a former Marine who suffered from PTSD and that Kyle and his friend had taken him to the range in hopes of helping him with his problem? So we have another case of someone with a known mental issue committing the crime--on two fellow former military members who were trying to help him. And you'd like to blame the gun?

Davids mom
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'blame the gun?

I blame those who are using the 'gun' for political purposes - instead of turning our expertise to helping those who are suffering from mental illness. His two buddies obviously did not have that expertise. What a shame and a waste of American talent and greatness.

S. Lindsey
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Have you sent this to Obama?

Just wondering...

PTC Observer
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S. Lindsey - Conditon55

Conditon55 suffers from the liberal disease of living in an imperfect world with a "perfect vision". In order to attain their "perfection" the liberals use the power of the government to force others to yield to their will. Naturally, this comes at the expense of our freedoms but it is a necessary sacrifice to the liberal vision of "perfection".

It is the liberal god that Conditon55 wants us to worship and forget God and His endowment of Natural Rights. Life, Liberty and Property and the protection of these Rights is our duty as free men. This includes the use of arms in our self defense of these Natural Rights, which are individual but inseparable.

The idea that we should surrender our arms because there are those among us that are imperfect, is a symptom the liberal disease. Nothing more.

PTC Observer
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condition55

You're right our rights are not "god given", they are God given.

If you remove, the Second Amendment or remove "right to bear arms", it is meaningless. Our rights are God Given.

If you think you can wipe out one of the Bill of Rights, well you and your buddies across the nation should just try. Any Amendment can be stricken or changed, but rights cannot be removed by any document including the Constitution.

tgarlock
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Nice try, condition 55 . . .

. . . but mere numbers don't tell the whole story. You forgot to mention that the Senate was a monumental roadblock to Bush's Judicial appointments, making a cottage industry out of holds in committee and blocking them from even coming to a vote while vacancies piled up.

Even so, when the Democrat Senate leader held "pro forma" Senate sessions to further block presidential recess appointments, Bush respected the Senate's turf even though they were playing games and refrained from making recess appointments under those conditions. Obama ignored the lines between the executive and the senate and went ahead with recess appointments despite the "pro forma" sessions being held to keep the Senate out of recess.

Just part of a broad pattern of this president stretching the power of the executive beyond the founders' intent and beyond precedent.

Keep spinning while Obama creates deeper division among the people to suit his own purposes, violates his oath of office by choosing laws of the land to ignore and using executive orders and regulations to accomplish what he cannot by the proper path of legislation through Congress.

Terry Garlock

lion
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AR-15 and baby showers

At the Senate hearings on gun control today, a gun advocate (a woman) argued that a AR-15 is the perfect weapon for a mother to have to protect herself and her baby.

So this solves one of our major problems--what to give a prospective mother for a baby shower?

The answer is a AR-15. She and her baby will then be happy and safe forever.

PTC Observer
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Baby and the AR-15 Lion

Well I hope the baby is not due too soon, you see there aren't any AR-15's out there, sold out, and they will be sold out for the next year or so.

Gun control laws or the threat of gun control laws simply cause a run on the supply of guns. Now that's what I call gun "control".

Jose4
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Single mother problem created by insane drug war

Before you criticize the single mothers entering a life of dependency on a safety net, consider the draconian marijuana laws that were designed to put young blacks into prison. While single mothers are receiving welfare payments from the state, the state is receiving payment for the slave labor performed by the missing husband. A freedom of information act request reveals a staggering number of prisoners in Georgia for marijuana offenses. The list was partial due to a program that conceals the real number.

Georgia's marijuana laws essentially re-instated slavery in the last state to abolish slavery. Marijuana will eventually be legalized some day in the State of Georgia, just like alcohol was eventually legalized.

suggarfoot
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before you wrote your thoughts ....

did you possibly use a little of hubbie's waki tobacci?

Mike King
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Jose4

Slave labor? I would agree that the 'war on drugs' is a lost hope, but slave labor appears to be quite a stretch.

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