Vice President Joe Biden indicated today that Barack Obama will, if needed, take “executive action to combat gun violence” (as Politico put it) in response to the Newtown, Conn. school shooting. What this means is that the president will take action on gun control — despite there being no evidence that more restrictions will curb gun violence.
Abusing executive power is hardly new for the president. He did so when involving the United States in military action in Libya without congressional consent; with his college loans and mortgage bailouts; when he directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act; when he empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to effectively institute legislation Democrats hadn’t been able to pass; and when he decided to install four recess appointments when the Senate wasn’t in recess.
Without knowing what the president has in mind, though, it’s probably a bit premature (always premature, actually) to start the Hitler and Stalin comparisons, but that’s exactly what Drudge has done (see above).
According to The Hill:
The Washington Post recently reported that the White House is weighing a broad approach on gun control that would go beyond bans on assault weapons and high-capacity clips that have garnered attention in the past. The Post said the Biden group was considering universal background checks for gun buyers and a national database to track the movement and sale of weapons that would be sure to be opposed by the NRA.
If that’s the case, the chances of anything passing through the House (or even the Senate) is remote. Executive power might be the only way to “get something done.” It’s difficult to imagine what that would be, though.