WASHINGTON -- Full disclosure right upfront: I'm a proud life member of the National Rifle Association. I am on the NRA's board of directors and serve as chairman of the organization's Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee. I have owned and used firearms most of my life, and I can read. Unlike some in Washington, I don't believe that the 27 words above -- the Second Amendment of our Constitution -- have anything to do with "gun rights." Guns don't have rights. I do. So do you.
Fifty-two years ago, like tens of millions before and since, I raised my right hand and took an oath of enlistment in our armed forces, pledging to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." I promised I would "bear true faith and allegiance to the same." Notably, the words promise loyalty not to a political party or a particular individual but to the Constitution, which enshrines our liberties and the limits and responsibilities of those who govern us like no other foundational document on earth.
Unfortunately, in the aftermath of recent carnage in a Colorado movie theater and a rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut, some now insist that "We the People" must accept some alterations in how we interpret the "archaic" language contained in our Constitution. On Jan. 9, after a meeting with "gun safety advocates" and "victims groups," Vice President Joe Biden -- head of the "White House task force on gun violence" -- said the Obama administration is "determined to take action" and then added: "The president is going to act. There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet."
Those words -- "executive orders, executive action" -- used in conjunction with constitutionally protected rights and liberties, ought to alarm us all. They used to frighten Barack Obama. On Oct. 2, 2007, then-Sen. Obama railed against what he called the abuse of executive powers perpetrated by President George W. Bush in his administration's efforts to protect the American people from acts of terror by radical Islamists. Apparently, the current occupant of the Oval Office has overcome his early concerns about chief executives exceeding their authority.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.