Paul’s Bill Would Recognize Executive Orders as “Advisory Only”
President Obama has on many occasions stated during his time in office that he wants to unilaterally enact gun control measures, but Rand Paul has other plans. The Junior Senator from Kentucky has introduced legislation which would label any Executive Order as “advisory only” until Congress has voted to approve the same measure. It would also allow any state official, member of Congress or person affected by an executive action on gun control to launch a civil lawsuit.
The move by Senator Paul exemplifies his commitment to both the Second Amendment and the Separation of Powers. While no date has yet been set for a vote, the proposed bill is expected to be placed on the Senate calendar in January. Paul’s plan makes sense, as President Obama seems more eager to take action on guns with each new tragedy.
No topic has been more contentious in recent American politics than the topic of gun control. Though many left-leaning groups and politicians seem keen on explaining the importance of never surrendering civil liberties due to fear, there appears a disconnect on the topic of guns. Even though so many of the massacres on American soil occur in so-called “gun-free zones,” the President and those on his side of the aisle continually attempt to exploit heinous acts for political gain.
Somewhat ironically, many of these same “progressives” have (rightfully) taken to the streets to cover the epidemic of police misconduct across the country. Otherwise an issue wherein libertarians can seemingly find common ground, there seems to be a disconnect concerning these leftists’ distrust of the state. While so many recognize that a government monopoly on force can be quite detrimental to peace, they apparently do not comprehend the parallel monopoly on artillery.
Simply put, there is no such thing as gun “control”— there is only centralization of firearms. When guns are taken, they are removed from law-abiding citizens, leaving those weapons in the hands of only two classes of persons: those engaging in criminal activity and those who work for the state. With that in mind, it is also important to note the historical use of gun centralization to empower totalitarian governments.
For example, following the Boston Tea Party, the British made it more difficult for colonists to bear arms by banning firearm and gunpowder importation. This was in large part because in order to enforce many of the British policies, gun control was a necessity. In one instance, British soldiers attempted to disrupt an illegal town meeting in Salem only to retreat when 3,000 armed Americans arrived.
Another example is that in the South, prior to the Civil War, black Americans had not been permitted to have guns. Many of them possessed these weapons for the first time during the War, either in the course of their service to the Union or in underground markets. Black Codes after the War prohibited Black Americans from owning guns, and the Ku Klux Klan had gun control as one of its most important agenda items.
By fighting against gun control, Rand Paul is taking a stand for the entire Bill of Rights, just as he has so often explained during his Presidential campaign. Paul understands the significance of the Constitution and the principles which it embodies: a guarantee against mob rule and in favor of the protection of individual rights.
Just like his stances on criminal justice and the War on Drugs, Senator Paul wishes to protect those who are most vulnerable from the excesses of government. His leadership on this important issue is commendable, and shows that his beliefs are more than just rhetoric.