The 8 Gun-Nuttiest Freakouts Over the Prospect of Obama Issuing a Few Modest Executive Orders
Editor's note: On Wednesday, Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions he'll take to address gun violence. They can be found here. None of them include banning any firearms.
With an eye on a Republican-controlled House that doesn't give a damn about public opinion, Barack Obama announced that he'd consider using executive orders to make very modest improvements to our weak gun safety laws. Mother Jones laid out what can be done without Congress passing new legislation, and for those of us in the reality-based community, the key word here is “modest.” Obama can order that existing laws be better enforced, appoint a full-time director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, require employees of gun stores to undergo background checks and gun dealers to report thefts, and other tweaks of that nature (you can read the full list here).
But for the New Right, steeped in apocalyptic rhetoric about how Obama's jackbooted zombie-ACORN thugs are going to throw them into FEMA camps at any moment, these kinds of technocratic patches will lead inevitably to Pol Pot's killing fields. Some seem ready to lead a scrappy bunch of teens armed with AR15s into the hills to go full Red Dawn – Wolverines!
Here are eight of the most unhinged reactions we've seen this week.
1. Affirming Godwin's Law
Did I say all of this is like Pol Pot's killing fields? Sorry – must be my liberal bias showing. Fortunately, we have Fox to put it all in the proper perspective. Lars Larson appeared on the “news” channel to bring this nuanced analysis: "It will be, '[give us] your papers please,' like Nazi Germany," he said.
And then there's the always-reliable Drudge...
In a country that houses its crazies in the House of Representatives, it would be odd not to begin a policy debate with an impeachment threat. And House Republicans aren't about to disappoint us. On Monday, Rep Steve Stockman, R-Texas, said any executive order beefing up background checks or whatever would pose an “existential threat” to the nation, and vowed to file a resolution of impeachement. According to Talking-Points Memo, Stockman said:
“The President’s actions are not just an attack on the Constitution and a violation of his sworn oath of office -- they are a direct attack on Americans that place all of us in danger,” Stockman said in the statement. “If the President is allowed to suspend constitutional rights on his own personal whims, our free republic has effectively ceased to exist.”
Stockman is no doubt yet another “constitutional conservative” who has no clue what's in the Constitution. Article II, Section 4 allows the president to be impeached for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors – not not using the power vested in his office to do things right-wingers really don't like.
3. Armchair Revolutionaries Are Cleaning Their Muskets
Revolution is in the air! At least in Mathew Barber's mother's basement, where he must compose his nuanced arguments for Clownhall. In a recent post, he threatened to go all 1776 on your ass if you even cast a sideways glance at his shooting irons.
Marvel at the delusions...
See, the left’s totalitarian brand of “gun control” has nothing to do with controlling guns – or bad guys. Rather, it has everything to do with controlling – disarming – the law-abiding masses. It’s not about protecting the innocents. It’s about rendering the innocents defenseless.
Crap, he's onto us now.
I was disgusted – physically sickened, in fact – when Barack Obama, president of these Divided States of America, shamelessly exploited the Sandy Hook memorial service to lay the groundwork for his unconstitutional gun-confiscation scheme. It was slimy to the extreme.
Physically sickened. No drama queens here.
I really, really hope this president and his authoritarian cohorts in Congress will slow down, take a deep breath and realize that, right now, they’re playing a very dangerous game of chicken. If they try what I think they might, but hope they don’t, I fear this nation – already on the precipice of widespread civil unrest and economic disaster – might finally spiral into to utter chaos, into a second civil war.
But then again, that may be exactly what they have in mind.
Did I mention that we're talking about things like not letting gun dealers who lose their licenses keep selling guns?
Of course, Barber wasn't alone. Larry Klayman, a birther legal analyst, wrote:
Obama’s threats to use executive orders to remove or curtail our right to bear arms constitutes the final straw. It is in effect a declaration of war against the American people and our way of life. The irony today, as it was in 1776, is that that these miscalculations by our rulers will in the end serve to be their own undoing and result in our liberation from their evil clutches. Let us pray that Obama and Biden and the likes of Pelosi and Reid are so stupid as to carry through with their threats, so that the masses will finally be provoked to rise up as they did in colonial times.
These are but two examples among hundreds. And they always seem to forget that the words “well regulated” appear right there in the Second Amendment!
4. Who Needs An Organized Militia?
Matt Barber and Larry Klayman may fancy themselves manly men, but James Yeager, the CEO of a company called Tactical Response, took it a step further and just threatened to start shooting people, perhaps randomly, in a widely viewed YouTube video.
And then the state of Tennessee determined that he was a crank and a menace, and yanked his conceal carry permit. Oddly, he didn't go all Rambo on them! Nobody had to pry his concealed carry permit from his cold, dead hands. Instead, he appeared in another video, chastened and with his lawyer at his side, to explain that, hey, it was all a big misunderstanding.
5. Sandy Hook Truthers Emerge
This latest push for some new gun controls is obviously a result of the horrific bloodbath at Sandy Hook elementary school, in which 20 small children were killed with a Bushmaster.
And when the New Right doesn't like an objective reality, they just create their own – like with manmade climate change.
Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald reported last week that there are now “Sandy Hook Truthers,” who think the whole thing was staged – or maybe that Obama shot those kids himself – as a premise to take away their precious guns.
Seitz-Wald followed up this week with the tale of Gene Rosen, a man who sheltered six students and a bus driver who had fled Sandy Hook. Seitz-Wald writes, “He brought them inside and gave them food and juice and toys. He called their parents. He sat with them and listened to their shocked accounts of what had happened just down the street inside Sandy Hook Elementary, close enough that Rosen heard the gunshots.”
And then he gave a few media interviews.
Here's what happened next:
“I don’t know what to do,” sighed Gene Rosen. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’” Someone posted a photo of his house online. There have been phony Google+ and YouTube accounts created in his name, messages on white supremacist message boards ridiculing the “emotional Jewish guy,” and dozens of blog posts and videos “exposing” him as a fraud. One email purporting to be a business inquiry taunted: “How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting.’ What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?”
“The quantity of the material is overwhelming,” he said. So much so that a friend shields him from most of it by doing daily sweeps of the Web so Rosen doesn’t have to. His wife is worried for their safety. He’s logged every email and every call, and consulted with a retired state police officer, who took the complaint seriously but said police probably can’t do anything at the moment; he plans to do the same with the FBI.
It turns out that this is pretty common silliness – there are apparently Sikh Temple Truthers, Aurora Truthers, etc.
6. You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party (With Hand Grenades)
Occasionally, one comes upon a local sheriff who believes that he is the ultimate law of the land. These are members of the "sovereign citizens movement," who find special hidden clauses in the Constitution that legal scholars have missed for over 200 years. You may remember one of these nutjobs up in New Hampshire who made news by promising to use deadly force to stop legal abortions a few months back.
One of these very special sheriffs can be found down in Jackson County, Kentucky. Denny Peyman told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he has a “moral obligation” to ignore any new gun laws because of the Constitution!
“The sheriff has more power than the federal people,” Peyman said Saturday at a press conference. “They need to go back and study that. We’re a commonwealth, I can ask the federal people to leave and they have to leave. I can ask state people to leave and they have to leave.”
Peyman said he was even open to allowing people to own hand grenades “if it was necessary for self protection.”
Hey, you never know.
Peyman also seems to have decided that he doesn't need to fork over payroll taxes, or heed the rulings of local courts. According to the Herald Leader, “the court has called for an investigation and has set up a county police department. Peyman said he now has no deputies.” Sad trombone!
Oh, and there's another one of these totalitarian sheriffs in Washington State.
7. Take Your AR15 On a Nice Little Stroll
Warren Drouin and Steven Boyce appear to be a couple fries short of a Happy Meal. The duo thought it was a fine idea, with memories of the last mass shooting fresh in everyone's minds, to take a stroll through Portland with a couple of assault rifles.
"We support everyone's constitutional rights, but we ask that they exercise them responsibly," Simpson told the Associated Press.
"Anyone walking around with a visible firearm is going to generate calls from concerned citizens that we have to respond to. That takes resources away from potentially more serious incidents."
Neither Drouin nor Boyce, both 22, seemed interested in those concerns.
"We're not threatening anyone," he told KPTV-TV. "We don't have that kind of criminal behavior."
Drouin told the station that he hoped people would approach them to talk rather than calling police.
Yeah, approaching these nutjobs rather than calling the cops would be about as stupid as ... walking around Portland with a couple of assault rifles.
Remember, kids, you have the right to jam a large prawn up your nose, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to jam a large prawn up your nose!
8. And, Of Course, You ALWAYS Gotta Buy More Guns
Firearms manufacturers are laughing at all of this craziness -- all the way to the bank. “US Gun Sales Soar,” reads dozens of headlines. Nothing unusual about that – gun and ammunition sales soared after Obama's election, and then again after his re-election.
Gun-nuts, who, thankfully, represent a tiny minority of gun owners, are apparently among the most gullible marks around. They believe any huckster who tells them the scary negro president is coming for their guns, and just hurry right out to blow their cash on more weapons and ammo that they don't need. What a great racket for the NRA's true constituency.