From the rule of law to rule by Big Brother

Jeffrey T. Kuhner

President Obama is abusing his power and usurping congressional authority. He is replacing the rule of law with arbitrary rule, ignoring the constitutional limits upon his power. This is the real meaning of his assault on the Second Amendment.

On Wednesday, Mr. Obama released his proposals to curb gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. Surrounded by schoolchildren, the president announced the most sweeping gun-control package in decades. His reforms have three policy objectives: implement universal background checks on gun owners, ban so-called assault weapons, and place strong limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines. In short, his goal is to roll back gun rights.

President Barack Obama is flanked by young children as he signs a gun control executive order on Jan. 16. /Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Moreover, the president is issuing 23 executive orders to combat gun violence. Their primary purpose is to bolster the federal government’s system for background checks. The orders expand the nanny state, further undermining individual liberties. All gun owners will be registered in a national computer database. Hence, Big Brother will know which U.S. citizens own guns and how many. We are one step closer to achieving what liberals truly crave: the confiscation of all firearms. If the government can identify all gun owners and how many weapons they have, then an all-out gun grab becomes possible.

Mr. Obama’s proposals would have done nothing — absolutely nothing — to prevent the shootings in Newtown, Conn. They are simply smoke and mirrors to advance the radical leftist gun control agenda. Shooter Adam Lanza’s mother passed a comprehensive background check. The shooter killed his mother before taking her AR-15 rifle and several handguns to unleash his diabolical rage.

The sad truth is that the Newtown massacre occurred for one reason: An evil, mentally ill man snapped and slaughtered 20 children and six adults. Lanza should have been receiving serious psychiatric treatment. He wasn’t. His mother should have properly secured and stored her weapons, and not had him practice regularly at the firing range. She didn’t. That was the lethal cocktail that sparked the tragedy. The government cannot abolish bad parenting or severe mental illness — at least not in a free society.

There is only one policy prescription that can help prevent school shootings: placing armed guards in every school. School districts should hire trained professionals, especially former military personnel, who will patrol school grounds and exercise deadly force if an armed intruder threatens students. This would serve as a massive deterrent, substantially reducing the likelihood of Sandy Hook-style massacres happening again.

Instead, Mr. Obama and his media allies are exploiting the dead children of Newtown to eviscerate the Second Amendment. Liberals’ hostility toward gun rights is based upon their hatred of limited government and individual freedom. The Constitution clashes with their dream of utopian collectivism.

Hence, a disarmed citizenry is fundamental to their drive to erect a powerful, centralized socialist state. Stripping away the Second Amendment would remove another major obstacle to the rise of big-government progressivism. By monopolizing force, the state would have nearly complete control over citizens. This is why our Founding Fathers championed gun ownership as the linchpin of a self-governing republic.

Moreover, it is why Mr. Obama is politicizing the Sandy Hook shooting. He realizes that comprehensive gun control will take America one giant step closer to a European-style social democracy. He wants to do this even if it means trampling upon the Constitution and usurping power.

His executive orders are illegal and unconstitutional. The president has no authority — not a scintilla — to unilaterally regulate or limit gun ownership or violate the Second Amendment. Such acts are strictly the purview of Congress and the courts. Moreover, his order using Obamacare as a vehicle to essentially deputize doctors, enabling them to ask patients whether they have firearms, is a blatant abuse of executive power. He is turning doctors into agents of the federal government.

Tea Party Republicans are finally waking up to Mr. Obama’s game. Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas has warned that he may file articles of impeachment. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is rightly comparing the president to a “king or monarch.” Mr. Obama is acting as though he is above the law. He isn’t.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio commentator in Boston.