Vice President Joe Biden set off alarms across the firearms community with a remark Wednesday that President Barack Obama “is going to act” and that he is looking at issuing “executive orders” or taking “executive action” on guns.
It was such a volatile remark that the Drudge Report ran the headline under images of Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. It also made headlines on The Gun Wire.
This news comes as Biden is preparing to meet Thursday with representatives from the National Rifle Association on Thursday. Examiner has confirmed that NRA officials were in meetings Wednesday about the upcoming talks, at which NRA will reportedly be represented by James Jay Baker, former head of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.
The NRA Board of Directors is coincidentally meeting this week, and the current onslaught of proposed legislation is definitely on their agenda. They are likely talking about not only the president’s revelation over the weekend that he will push for a sweeping ban on so-called “assault weapons,” along with anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s plan to ban rifles, shotguns and even handguns that have a single “military characteristic” and force current owners to register their firearms under the 1934 Federal Firearms Act, same as machine guns.
At the same time, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced he will seek “sweeping” anti-gun legislation, and Iowa State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, a Democrat, reportedly told the Daily Times Herald in Caroll that the government should start confiscating semi-automatic rifles. Here is what the newspaper reported:
"Even if you have them, I think we need to start taking them," Muhlbauer said. "We can't have those out there. Because if they're out there they're just going to get circulated around to the wrong people. Those guns should not be in the public's hands. There are just too many guns."
If such a ban were implemented, Muhlbauer suggested a voluntary buy-back plan. But he would go further if needed.
"If we find them on the street, there's going to have to be some sort of penalty for them," Muhlbauer said. "We just don't need "em out there."
The massive anti-gun offensive was ignited in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy in Connecticut last month.
Meanwhile, Pacific Northwest gun rights activists are already planning a Jan. 19 rally in Olympia, coinciding with Gun Appreciation Day and a Washington Arms Collectors’ gun show in Puyallup. They are also mulling over the proper response to Tuesday’s announcement by anti-gun Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine about a gun “buyback” effort that will launch with transactions under I-5 between Cherry and James streets. This column discussed that here and here.
Biden’s revelation that the White House is considering “executive action” even before meeting with the NRA and other gun and hunting interests sends a signal that whatever happens at the Thursday session, the administration will not be acting “in good faith.” It appears Mr. Obama and his vice president already have their minds made up.
It is reminiscent of 1994 when the Clinton administration had the momentum of a Democrat-controlled Congress to pass the first ban on semi-autos and standard capacity magazines. It appears Obama wants to pass restrictions this year, perhaps in hopes that by November 2014, the public will forget and not do to him what they did 20 years before, by turning Congress over to Republicans and giving him two years of being a very lame duck.