Congress Voting Down Gun Control Is Not License For The President To Do Whatever He Wants

barack obama gun control

There’s a letter to the editor in the Jamestown Sun today responding to my recent newspaper column about President Barack Obama’s actions on gun control (read it here in the Grand Forks Herald).

In my column I argued that the policy overreach of the executive branch – up to and including Obama’s actions on gun control – promote divisiveness in our country because they divert around the people’s representatives in Congress.

“The accusation of presidential overreach is ridiculous,” letter writer Charles Linderman writes in rebuttal. “The president is trying to improve the application of existing law. He has asked the Congress several times to take action. They sit on their hands and do nothing while innocent people are killed.”

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I’m not sure why anyone would think that Congress voting down gun control proposals is somehow license for the executive branch to do what it likes anyway without legislative approval.[/mks_pullquote]

The idea that gun control is going to stop, or even substantially reduce, murder is a little ridiculous, but let’s set that aside for a moment and focus on the question of presidential overreach.

I’m not sure why anyone would think that Congress voting down gun control proposals is somehow license for the executive branch to do what it likes anyway without legislative approval. As a way to illustrate why it’s so inappropriate, let’s consider an alternate scenario.

Recently majorities in Congress sent a repeal of Obamacare to President Obama’s desk for signature. “President Barack Obama vetoed a measure to repeal most of his signature healthcare law on Friday, releasing a statement that extolled the virtues of his biggest domestic policy achievement while excoriating Republicans for trying to dismantle it,” the  Insurance Journal reported of that legislation’s fate.

Now imagine that Congress chose to ignore the president’s refusal to sign their legislation and went ahead with dismantling Obamacare anyway. Would there not be howls of outrage from the left? Accusations of legislative overreach? Of course there would be.

Which is exactly why Congress should do no such thing. We have a process in place for making laws in this country, and that process requires involvement from our President. And Congress cannot and must not use the President’s refusal to act as license to just do what they want anyway.

Whatever your position on gun control, why on earth would we think it’s ok for the President to implement that sort of policy without legislative approval?

If people like Mr. Linderman do not like the outcomes from Congress on gun control they are free to try and elect different people to Congress. Though I’d point out that gun control failed in Congress even when there was a Democrat majority, and that attempting to pass gun control is probably part of the reason we now have a Republican majority.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

Related posts

Top