“King Barack,” Executive Orders, and Gun Control

Senator Rand Paul suggests that the president’s use of an executive order to attempt to curb gun violence is unconstitutional.  Do you agree?

14 responses to ““King Barack,” Executive Orders, and Gun Control”

  1. Lizzie1 says :

    I think that Congress’s inability to compromise calls for such a matter. Maybe just the threat of an executive order will cause Republicans and Democrats to work together, but either way, something has to be done. Also, I don’t think it’s unconstitutional because the executive order wouldn’t be getting rid of all guns, just issuing better gun control.

  2. andreaj7 says :

    I would say that the use of an executive order to attempt to curb gun violence is unconstitutional, even though executive orders are not in accordance with the U.S Constitution. This isn’t the first time a president has used an executive order to get things done. For example, FDR used an executive order to intern Japanese Americans. Though this executive order in my opinion was more discriminatory rather than preventative, some are meant to get something done quicker rather than having to go through Congress, a legislative branch known to impede the process of making bills law.

  3. Naiyah1 says :

    I think that Senator Paul is incorrect in saying that the President’s use of the executive order would be unconstitutional. The constitution gives the executive this power, and past president’s have used this in circumstances that were extreme or very important to the people. The President would not even have to do this if Congress could agree, so really they have brought this on themselves. Ultimately, however, it is up to the Supreme Court to determine whether or not this act would be constitutional or not.

  4. AkhilP7 says :

    This idea of bypassing Congress by issuing executive orders is absurd. The point of Congress is to ensure that legislation on issues that are highly salient is bipartisan. By issuing an executive order, Obama would be abusing his power and forcing his views on the rest of the United States. So in a sense, I do agree with Senator Paul’s statement. The more we issue executive orders, the better the chances are of abusing that power.

  5. 4thomas says :

    I could not agree with Rand Paul, one of my favorite politicians, more. I do not believe President Obama has malicious intent in acting as a King, however I do feel that an executive order dealing with gun control is unconstitutional and an over reaching of the lines on executive power. President Obama wants to enforce stricter gun control, which directly connects to the second amendment, without any congressional say; I do not know if there is a better example of unconstitutional than this. I believe in the power of an executive order, but in this case, the power is being abused and I hope that Rand Paul and other politicians can prevent this unconstitutional order from occurring.

  6. megweck1 says :

    The idea of an executive order leaves a lot to be desired as far as clarity is concerned- however, people can debate all they want but an executive order is just that- an order and not a debate. I feel that this is an issue that I support, so I am in favor of the President issuing an executive order. However, if I did not support it I would have problems with the order. I believe that this particular issue highlights the purpose of an executive order- to balance out power between Congress and the President. This specific issue involves the safety of the United States, which I believe is of utmost importance, and thereby justifies the order. But I think there needs to be more specificity in regards to what is and is not constitutional for executive orders.

  7. Tanya4 says :

    As we have discussed in class, the president really does not have that much power. But as president of the United States he should have the power to pass an order. I do understand the other side, that thinks that its almost monarchial for him to issue an executive order. But I do support this initiative and thus I support Obama in his efforts. I also think executive order was a power granted to the president, that many other president have utilized it before for both good and bad. Thus it is fair for president Obama to use it. Is it his best option? Maybe not, but if he wants to get something done, going through the polarized gridlocked congress might not be the best bet.

  8. nyle4 says :

    The president can propose plans to congress and speak about an issue all he wants but using an executive order in such a way is, in every way, unconstitutional. He cannot take advantage of mass hysteria in order to have his actions overlooked. It is not within his powers to use executive orders to pass such sweeping, federal laws. Especially with something that is legally considered to be a state issue. While he has the best intentions, it can be said what he is doing is slightly tyrannical without the consent.

  9. BenLev4 says :

    An executive order in this case in completely unconstitutional, and morally wrong. The fact that the President can order a unilateral decision on such a controversial topic belittles the constitution and democracy. No President, Republican or Democrat, should abuse such powers, and completely bypass the system we have fought for and formed for centuries. As we read in Lanahan “The President’s job is to preside. And presidents preside most effectively over this diverse country by pursuing centrism rather than riling partisans. Using slim majorities to impose radical changes on the country violates he implicit democratic contract between the leader and the people.”

  10. katiepetrino4 says :

    There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what these executive orders actually entail. Calling them ridiculous or suggesting that they overstep the president’s power is a little silly. Most of the orders revolve around safety measures and how to improve programs already in place. Not a single order even implies that the big, bad government is about to come and steal your guns. “King Barack?” Please.

    List of the orders: http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Obama-guns-executive-orders/2013/01/16/id/471689

  11. Chad4 says :

    Before I talk about executive orders, I just want to point out one thing about Republicans and gun control. If the Republicans are serious about reforming the party and removing the label of “The Stupid Party” as Gov. Bobby Jindal refers to it, the Republicans need to stop voting down bills on stricter gun control. No person should need a gun unless it is for hunting purposes or to have one in their home for safety if they feel it is needed. There is no need to protect assault weapons. Now, as for presidential power, I think that President Obama has overstepped his powers by using executives orders. In this case, it would be unconstitutional for President Obama to use his powers to bypass Congress. I think the Republicans should embrace some of these gun control measures on their own so that it can be passed through Congress.

  12. thetuck1 says :

    There are questions today surrounding gun rights. With more and more shootings and other similar tragedies occurring lately, it is becoming more evident that there ought to be reform surrounding gun laws. I am not necessarily pro-gun, and I agree that things ought to change. However, the right to bear arms is a clear part of the constitution; it may be something that needs more restriction, but it is not something that we can simply shrug off. For the president to issue an order restricting gun rights, be it in part or entirely, would be depriving Americans of a right clearly in the constitution. For that reason, it is surely unconstitutional. Gun reform ought to be done the right way: in Congress, through the legislative process, or perhaps even the amendment process.

  13. jenchen1 says :

    I think a better question is, does it matter? Whether or not executive orders are constitutional, they’re happening and will be happening as long as the SCOTUS doesn’t rule against it, But if/when that happens, we need to deal with executive orders. And despite Katie’s post on the orders not being serious, I don’t think the severity of the order matters. The power itself is overwhelming. Because there are no restrictions on executive orders, anything could happen. The fact that a president can order the internment of Americans without anything stopping him/her is honestly terrifying. I believe that it can be interrupted either constitutional or not depending on what you want to believe, because the Consitution is great in that it can be super specific and extremely vague at the same time.

  14. sophiae7 says :

    Like many have mentioned the idea of the president having the power of being able to issue an executive order is indeed a little terrifying. But at the same time I think it is very important for the President to have a way to bypass Congress. I mean, after all we did elect him to be President of the United States. I think it’s unfortunate that the debate over executive orders usually comes at a highly partisan time, just like the debate over gun control.

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