Too Much Freedom? Trouble Brews When Gov’t Rations Rights

By Larry Keane

President-elect Joe Biden had a rare moment of clarity when it comes to gun control. He’s got a really big obstacle, called the Constitution.

The president-elect spoke with civil rights leaders in a virtual meeting. An unknown individual recorded the session and the media got a hold of it. What President-elect Biden admitted was enlightening.

“I am not going to violate the Constitution. Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds…there is a Constitution,” President-elect Biden is heard telling the meeting attendees. “Our only hope and the way to deal with it is, where I have executive authority, I will use it to undo every single damn thing this guy [President Donald Trump] has done by executive authority, but I’m not going to exercise executive authority where it’s a question, where I can come along and say, ‘I can do away with assault weapons.’ There’s no executive authority to do away that.”

Not a King

Short answer: President-elect Biden knows he’s not a king. He can’t rule over subjects. He must govern his fellow citizens and the document that gives him that authority also limits him from unilaterally grabbing up rights from American citizens – also known as “the People.”

The American Republic was structured this way by the Founders for this very reason. The Executive Branch is charged with running the country, but its authority is checked by the Legislative Branch, or Congress. Its also checked by the Judicial Branch, which itself, is checked by the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch. No single branch of the three pillars of government gets full sway. It’s called the Separation of Powers doctrine. The Founders built it this way so all three are accountable to “the People” who put them in a position to represent their interests and there are checks and balances on each branch of government.

That’s why President-elect Biden also lectured those on his virtual meeting to cool the heated “defund the police” rhetoric. It’s not helping his cause to win over the final two U.S. Senate seats, which would give him a unified Legislative Branch that’s aligned with the goals of the Executive Branch.

In other words, President-elect Biden was telling the civil rights leaders to slow their roll with vilifying cops, so they can get the final seats needed to flip the Senate. Then, they can ram through whatever legislation they want, including blowing up the filibuster, packing the U.S. Supreme Court and enacting unconstitutional gun control laws.

SEE ALSO: Mexico Proves More Gun Control Does Not Mean Less Crime

“I just raise it with you to think about how much do we push between now and January 5 – we need those two seats – about police reform. But I guarantee you, there will be a full-blown commission. I guarantee you it’s a major, major, major element,” President-elect Biden said.

That doesn’t mean an incoming administration is deferring out of respect for the U.S. Constitution. It is just the opposite. He is telling his supporters to lay low, bide their time and those gun control promises from the campaign trail will come if they can deliver U.S. Senate seats allied with their cause.

Gun control supporters are growing impatient. Antigun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety is demanding a “raft” of gun control immediately. They don’t care about the Constitution, protected rights or the legislative process. Specifically, they want to criminalize private firearm transfers, regulate precursor firearm parts and funnel tax dollars into federal studies to back their claims for more gun control. They would have President-elect Biden use Executive Orders to force these changes without the consent of Congress. Just yesterday both President-elect Biden and vice-president-elect Harris called for Congress to pass “common sense” gun control.

Sounds Autocratic

One columnist, Bambi Majumdar, appearing on the website MultiBriefs, wrote that Biden-Harris administration gun control is “…not going to be a problem for law-abiding gun owners. The problem would only exist for troublemakers. Biden, a gun owner himself, supports a stricter interpretation of the Second Amendment. His focus isn’t banning all guns but assault weapons…”

Majumdar claims the gun confiscation plans presented on the campaign trail aren’t a problem because they only affect the owners of the 20 million-plus modern sporting rifles in circulation today, the most popular selling centerfire rifle that’s used daily for lawful purposes. President-elect Biden claimed to own two shotguns – a claim he made when he berated a union worker for questioning his Second Amendment commitments – but no one has seen them. He did once advise people to buy a shotgun, and told his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, to “fire two blasts” if there’s a perceived threat. There are photos of him in a squirt gun battle with his grandchildren. There’s no proof, to our knowledge, he’s part of the gun-owning community.

Majumdar has other infringements both she and the president-elect think aren’t problematic, including rationing gun sales, banning the manufacture, sale and import of standard capacity magazines, criminalizing private firearm sales and banning online ammunition and firearm sales, even though those firearm transfers must be completed in a face-to-face transaction with a proceed approval from the FBI. These are among the ideas that are being bantered about for executive action. That means gun control by edict.

Majumdar is wrong, and she knows it. President-elect Biden knows these are radical overreaches of a Chief Executive who would be drafting these orders beyond the scope of his authority. Yet, that’s what he campaigned on. Americans, by his estimation, have too much freedom and need to be reined in. He told America he was the one to do it. Now, he’s being expected to deliver.

When a leader acts alone without the consent of “the People,” it’s dictatorial. It’s despotic. It’s tyranny. Ironically, it is the entire reason the Second Amendment was protected by the Constitution. It’s was to protect the people when a leader ignored their rights.

Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • vannie April 13, 2022, 3:29 pm

    Assault weapons ?? That might include knives, hammers, fists, cars and anything else a judge decides. That would certainly make us a freer society – right ?

  • Ej harbet December 27, 2020, 4:15 pm

    We’ll miss grandpa badfinger after
    Commielah gives him a spritz of supercovid

  • JoeUSooner December 18, 2020, 11:18 am

    Those circus clowns in Biden’s tent cannot even DEFINE the (mythical) term “assault weapons.” There is no such thing in the real world… those “assault weapons” only exist in the DemocRats’ universe of unicorns, rainbows, and magic dust.

    * Warning to DemocRats (socialists, progressives, collectivists, or whatever the hell they are calling themselves THIS week) – do not even attempt to drag conservatives into your worthless fantasies.
    The results will not please you.

  • Stephen December 18, 2020, 10:24 am

    What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty …. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.”
    – Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, I Annals of Congress 750, August 17, 1789

  • Gomer December 18, 2020, 7:28 am

    No matter what Coal Bucket Biden tells you, it doesn’t matter. His and Sen Roundheels’ handlers are the ones calling the shots here. CB doesn’t dare go against them. Fact is, he’s not got the mental acuity to buck them anyway. If he doesn’t carry the water, they’ll force him out. kaMALa is just so glad to be there that she’ll do whatever they tell her to do. The Senate MUST be held, or our republic is at serious peril.

  • Ronnie D Stidham December 18, 2020, 7:06 am

    Power corrupts, absolute power, well lets hope it doesn’t exist. Its like a cancer for those who strive for power, give in a little, they want it all, till nothing else is left to take. Bowing down is not in my DNA.

  • michael December 18, 2020, 4:42 am

    I am guarenteed INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES in the US Constitution. And plan on exercising them if need be. I don’t care how many firearms Biden supposedly owns. It doesn’t weigh in on my liberties. FREEDOM ! The criminal should be in jail. Along with his cronies. What was Bidens knowledge on fast & furious ? Sgt Shultz defense ?

    • JRB December 19, 2020, 10:35 pm

      You are given your freedom by Almighty God, not the Constitution. The Constitution merely acknowledges this and guarantees it.

  • I Love Freedom December 18, 2020, 12:50 am

    Beijing Biden is a Fraud President that cheated to win the election and he has no respect for the 2nd Amendment liberties of the people. Be prepared for an all out assault on the right to keep and bear arms come January 2021 until he is gone. Harris is no better either. Biden also wants to allow lawsuits to sue the gun manufacturers that sell to common citizens. If he gets his way most gun manufacturers will go out of existence with lawsuit after lawsuit that will drive them bankrupt.

  • Mark N. December 17, 2020, 1:57 am

    So what he will do is label the “gun violence epidemic” a “national health emergency” and use that as a ruse to call for the voluntary turn in/confiscation of firearms. If the president/governors can shut down the economy to fight Covid-19, why can’t they take draconian measures to “stop” the “epidemic” of gun violence? Just wait and see. Universal registration/back ground checks, one gun a month rationing, ammo rationing and background checks a la California, these will be proposed, some will be implemented.

    At this point, without 60 votes in the Senate, Biden has to know he will be unable to legislate any of his gun control proposals, Even if he wins Georgia, he will have to get rid of the filibuster rule (60 votes needed to invoke cloture) in order to see anything passed, same as when Trump held a majority in both houses but could not get his bills voted on.

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