by Max Brantley
“President Obama has tried time and time again to strip law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights and each time, Congress has stood up for the Constitution.
Now, since President Obama couldn’t get his entire gun control agenda through Congress, he wants to use the regulatory process to implement it in pieces.
What he calls ‘common sense’ steps to reduce gun violence will do little to curb violent crime and certainly would not have prevented a single one of the tragic mass shootings our nation has recently endured.
The Senate has attempted to take real action to reduce gun violence by considering measures that would prevent terrorists from obtaining firearms, incentivize states to provide mental health records for background checks, and criminalize straw purchasing and weapons trafficking in a responsible way. Unfortunately, the President’s own party blocked these real common sense measures from moving forward in the Senate.
If the President wanted to take a serious approach to reducing violent crime, he would work with Congress to pass real mental health reform and violent crime reduction initiatives and he would instruct the Justice Department to do more to enforce the laws already on the books. Last year, federal prosecutors brought 25 percent fewer gun cases up for prosecution than they did during the final year of George W. Bush’s Administration.
Instead, he has proposed more window dressing and red tape that will increase the burden on law-abiding citizens and infringe on their Constitutionally-protected rights. This is not a serious proposal. It is little more than politicking and a last-ditch legacy-building effort.
As the details of these proposals are released, my colleagues and I will work to ensure that mandates that strip Second Amendment rights away from law-abiding Americans are not implemented.”
Former prosecutor and U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge, who is running for the U.S. Senate, issued the following statement in response to President Obama proposing a series of executive orders on gun violence:
"I disagree with the President bypassing Congress, but I also blame a dysfunctional Congress that has failed to act. Everyone in Washington should do their jobs and enact bipartisan legislation that defends and secures the rights of lawful gun owners under the Second Amendment and makes it tougher for criminals, those with mental health conditions, and terrorists to obtain weapons.
"As a senator and a strong advocate for the Second Amendment, I would work to encourage what I did as a prosecutor: enforcing the gun laws already on the books. I would also work to find long-term legislative solutions that improve the background check system, strengthen mental health treatment in this country and keep weapons out of the hands of suspected terrorists — and all while defending the constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens."