In a piece for the Huffington Post, Earl Ofari Hutchinson explains the benefits and complications of such an approach, but ultimately he concludes that the ball is in Congress’ court.
Dozens of Democratic lawmakers implored President Obama to simply issue executive orders toughening gun curbs. They made their impassioned plea three years before the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. They and others will make even more impassioned pleas to Obama to put his executive pen to paper and enact one or more measures that put some clamps on the types of guns that can be bought and sold and who can get them. He almost certainly will back California Senator Diane Feinstein’s bill to reinstate the 1994 ban on assault weapons. But Feinstein won’t reintroduce the bill until sometime next year. And then the fight to get passage will be long and drawn out.
In the meantime, Obama could heed the lawmaker’s pleas and follow the precedent of Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush and issue executive orders on gun curbs. Bush in 1989 used the 1968 Gun Control Act to ban the import of assault rifles …
… But one problem is still Congress. It has absolutely refused to even utter the words gun control for nearly a decade. Every bill that would have imposed gun curbs has been summarily buried in a house or senate committee. The gun lobby is a big reason for this. But the even bigger reason is a weak public will to press legislators on gun curbs. Another problem is the gun culture. It is deep, long-standing and permissive. Millions have bought into the line that an assault weapons ban is just a short step to banning all guns. Yet another problem is the delusion that guns are a necessity to defend liberties supposedly under assault from liberal Democrats and Obama …
If Obama issues executive orders toughening gun curbs he would and should be applauded for it. But the ball is still in Congress and the public’s court to do everything possible to prevent another Sandy Hook massacre.
Read Earl Ofari Hutchinson’s entire piece at the Huffington Post.
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