If President Obama attempts to impose new restrictions on guns by executive order, not Congress, what can individuals do? I asked constitutional attorney John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute, "a nonprofit conservative legal organization dedicated to the defense of civil, especially religious, liberties and human rights." "Even if the president has the authority to issue the executive order," Whitehead replied by email, "the order may not violate the Constitution's guarantees to individual liberty. If the order resulted in restrictions on gun ownership or possession that go beyond what is allowed under the Second Amendment, individuals who are harmed by the order could sue to have the order declared unconstitutional."
We need to hear more stories of how law-abiding gun owners have managed to thwart criminals. As the predictable assault of anti-gun TV ads begins, the National Rifle Association should create its own ads with gun owners telling their stories of self-defense and crime prevention.
You know rational thinking is lacking when Pravda, Russia's communist political newspaper, makes sense. In a recent article, Stanislav Mishin writes that after the Bolsheviks seized Moscow in 1917, they promised to leave alone the well-armed citizens if they did not interfere. "They did not and for that were asked afterwards," writes Mishin, "to come register themselves and their weapons, whereupon they were promptly shot."
The Second Amendment was written to protect citizens from tyrannical government and to preserve our liberties. It's not primarily for the protection of hunters and target shooters, though they are included. Those politicians who wish to ignore the Constitution are the ones who need to be controlled, not law-abiding gun owners.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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