Biden says Obama will issue executive order on guns

Wow. I don’t know whether Joe Biden is being — excuse the seeming pun — a loose cannon again, or whether the president is really considering this (or both), but I pass it on:

(Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday the White House is determined to act quickly to curb gun violence and will explore all avenues – including executive orders that would not require approval by Congress – to try to prevent incidents like last month’s massacre at a Connecticut school.

Kicking off a series of meetings on gun violence, Biden said the administration would work with gun-control advocates and gun-rights supporters to build a consensus on restrictions. But he made clear thatPresident Barack Obama is prepared to act on his own if necessary.

“We are not going to get caught up in the notion that unless we can do everything, we’re going to do nothing. It’s critically important that we act,” said Biden, who will meet on Thursday with pro-gun groups including the National Rifle Association, which claims 4 million members and is the gun lobby’s most powerful organization…

“There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet,” Biden said, adding that Obama is conferring with Attorney General Eric Holder on potential action…

It this is true, this would be a stunningly bold move by the president on an issue of great concern to the nation that our Congress has demonstrated for decades that it is unwilling or unable to address.

But, wow: The reaction he would likely engender from the really serious pro-gun people out there hardly bears thinking about. On the one hand, this shouldn’t be a shock to them, since they (and only they) have believed all along that “That Obama’s gonna come after our guns” — even though, before Newtown and his pledge to do something in response to it, the president has shown little or no interest in their guns. Which is why they went on a gun-and-ammo shopping spree after he was elected.

But that doesn’t mean their reaction won’t be visceral to any unilateral action by the president, however limited. It would be, to them, the realization of their darkest forebodings.

So is the president really willing to go down that road? Maybe. And maybe Joe doesn’t know what he’s talking about…

Wait a second. That was the Reuters story. In The Washington Post, Biden sounds a lot more definite about this:

Vice President Biden vowed Wednesday that President Obama will use executive action where he can to help stop gun violence as part of  the White House’s response to the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn.

“The president is going to act,” Biden said during brief remarks to reporters before meeting with victims of gun violence and firearm safety groups…

26 thoughts on “Biden says Obama will issue executive order on guns

  1. Steven Davis II

    Want to see what it looks like to see 4 million people totally flip out?

    I’m guessing if it does happen we’ll see Obama’s Secret Service detail running to the nearest McDonalds asking for a job application.

  2. Norm Ivey

    The President has been cautious and deliberate in almost everything he has done since he took office. The idea that he might issue an executive order strong enough to have any impact seems remote and out of character. Instead, this sounds more like VPOTUS speaking a little faster than his brain is working.

    Any thoughts on what kind of order he could issue if he were inclined to do so? An executive order couldn’t confiscate guns or prohibit the sale of any type of gun. I don’t think an order could require background checks at gun shows. Maybe an order could impact the availability of ammo? Or an order requiring some sort of mental health screening to buy a gun? Or an enticement to encourage people to report individuals who might be sick enough to go on a rampage?

    1. Steven Davis II

      You mean like issuing executive orders for nation-wide energency issues such as pay raises for Congress?

  3. Mark Stewart


    … suggesting that assassination is a not unreasonable reaction is not advocating a dissenting viewpoint it is, in fact, irresponsible. As there are over 300 million people in this country, maybe we really aren’t all that concerned about what the far fringe thinks.

    At the end of the day, this country will still have nearly as many guns as it does people. Sadly.

    1. Steven Davis II

      Why did I know someone would twist this into an issue where they’d say I was suggesting an assassination attempt. It’s like you had this card handy waiting to throw it on the table.

  4. tavis micklash

    On the surface I want to start panicing.

    In the end it just sounds like posturing for a NRA showdown. Play ball or we will Huff and Puff and blow your house down.

    If there is anything this congress could unite against it would be a unilateral move by the President against guns. The President doesn’t need to run again, but congress does. I think even the senate would turn on him. It would definitely blow any political currency he has and honestly I think he has other plans he would rather do.

    In reality I think they are kinda limited. Heller was pretty clear on protecting the right to have a handgun at the house. Seizing private property by executive order would be hinky as well.

  5. Silence

    Lock and load, boys. Make sure you have several spare loaded magazines. Safety off, keep your rifle at the low ready position. Maintain proper dispersion as we cross the line of departure, now move out!

    1. Steven Davis II

      “Lock and load, boys.” – CHECK
      “Make sure you have several spare loaded magazines.” – CHECK
      ” Safety off” – CHECK

  6. Juan Caruso

    According to Dr. Kevin Dutton’s study:

    The following jobs have the highest rate of psychopaths:

    1. Chief Executive Officer
    2. Lawyer
    3. Media (Television/Radio)
    4. Salesperson
    5. Surgeon
    6. Journalist
    7. Police officer
    8. Clergy person
    9. Chef
    10. Civil servant

    While chefs come in 9th out of ten, the incidence pf psychopathic journalists are is higher at 6th pace, with lawyers (Hmm!) not surprisingly in second place. Gun control anyone?

    1. Silence

      Juan, Is there a causal relationship between one’s job and being a psychopath? Are CEO’s more likely to become psychopaths, or are psychopaths more likely to rise to be the CEO?
      Oddly, I didn’t see “Postal Worker” anywhere on there, so the study is likely incomplete.

  7. Kathryn Fenner

    9th out of ten rated is not the same as ninth out of all jobs. Sure, sociopaths will be more attracted to prestigious jobs, and ones where personal charm will advance you. I expect there are zero sociopaths who are Walmart greeters, or even Walmart employees below the executive level.

    Sociopaths are not more likely to use guns. They don’t have to. Their lack of personal scruples makes it easier to just work the system to their advantage.

  8. Brad Warthen Post author

    Well, it’s been whole lot of years since I took abnormal psych in school, but from what I’ve read over the years, “psychopath” doesn’t necessarily mean what we popularly think it means. It’s not necessarily a serial killer.

    In his book On Killing, Dave Grossman actually sort of equates the 2 percent of men who are likely to be psychopaths with the 2 percent of men who actually will kill in combat and not have a problem with it — who will do their jobs as soldiers, then go home and live normal lives and not be any more violent in their civilian lives than the norm. (As I’ve written before, one of the premises of the book is that historically, very few — 15 percent or so — of soldiers actually fired their weapons when engaged with the enemy, and only a very few of those aimed to kill. Something that had changed radically in Vietnam, as we adopted new operant conditioning training methods, and increased the fire rate to about 90 percent.)

    Or, if they are not the same group (psychopaths and unrepentant soldiers unlikely to suffer from PTSD), there is at least the coincidence that they represent roughly the same proportion of the population…

  9. Brad Warthen Post author

    … if I understand his implication correctly, the kind of veteran who goes postal and gets violent back on the homefront is probably more likely to be one of the much greater number of soldiers who had a strong aversion to killing, and therefore suffered from PTSD — NOT the 2 percent…

  10. barry

    Much ado about nothing- as usual.

    Executive orders usually can’t be implemented unless there is money behind it. The House isn’t going to approrpriate any money for such a thing.

    I am not sure if I am “SERIOUS PRO GUN.” I’m not sure what that means. I proudly own several handguns and I enjoy shooting them. I also have a German made 22 my grandfather bought in Germany during WW2. I enjoyed hunting with it when I use to hunt, and I am glad I have it now.

    I am also considering buying a home defense shotgun- which I am excited about (as several people that I know have recently had their homes broken into in the middle of the night -with them in their home- the latest happening earlier this week at 4:45 am in the morning with 3 kids in their beds).

    1. Silence

      barry – I’m just going to tease you a little. “ grandfather bought in Germany during WW2.” – Come right this way, G.I, we have an excellend selection of zwei und zwanzig’s for you to browse while you are here invading der Reich.

  11. Kathryn Fenner

    Psychopath and sociopath are the same thing: known known as antisocial personality disorder. Nothing is ever their fault; the rules don’t apply to them; they don’t care about anyone but themselves, except insofar as others can benefit them…..they can be quite charming, to manipulate you into doing what they want.


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