Dear President Obama:
Both Attorney General Eric Holder and Vice President Joe Biden have said you are weighing using “executive action” to implement gun registration and licensing beyond even the ban on semi-automatic firearms proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein and others.
When the National Firearms Act passed in 1934, Congress still understood that it didn’t have the power under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to regulate Title II weapons, so it imposed a tax – an exorbitant tax, perhaps, but still a tax. Since then, however, overbroad interpretations of its power to regulate “interstate commerce” have become the norm, and Congress now feels free to legislate gun laws.
IT’S CALLED ‘USURPATION OF POWER,’ MR. PRESIDENT
“usurpation: …the unlawful or violent seizure of a throne, power, etc.” – Webster’s Dictionary
Apparently, however, even congressional usurpation of power is no longer sufficient for you: What you now threaten violates Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution. Since you seem to have forgotten it, here it is:
“All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.”
Is your usurpation of power by circumventing the legislative process a bid to turn our Republic into an autocracy? What will be your next Executive Order? Will it give you another four – or perhaps forty – years in the White House?
IT’S NOT ABOUT GUNS, IT’S ABOUT FREEDOM
Do you expect the American people to take so lightly this assault on their freedom?
They won’t, Mr. President. Millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens will refuse to comply, and by so doing become criminals. But I suspect you know that, don’t you? Maybe that is exactly what you want because, as George Orwell noted in his book “1984,” government has no control over the law-abiding; it can only control people who violate existing law, such as it may be.
And what happens next, Mr. President? Do S.W.A.T. teams break into the homes of our citizens at night to confiscate arms and arrest offenders? Make no mistake: That is what enforcing this law will require.
And what happens when, inevitably, some resist? Do you honestly believe people will go peacefully into bondage? How many will die as the direct result of your actions?
There is no need to send the Secret Service to my door, Mr. President (although I suspect you might anyway). I am not advocating violence; I am merely saying what others are afraid to.
The real question, Mr. President, is whether you so hunger for power that you are willing to foment what might be the next American Revolution. Will that be your enduring legacy?
At the Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidus I, facing demands by the numerically superior Persian army for the Spartans to surrender their arms, responded with what is now expressed as “Molon labe.”
It means, “Come and get them.”
Armatissimi e liberissimi,
F. Paul Valone II
President, Grass Roots North Carolina
Executive Director, Rights Watch International