‘I Will Not Comply’ Rally: ‘If You Want To Own A Bazooka, You Can Own A Bazooka’

Above, Sam Wilson, carrying a rifle on his back, waits on the Capitol grounds to address the crowd.According to the Seattle Times, in a bizarre role reversal, organizers of the “I Will Not Comply” pro-gun rally in Olympia Washington on Saturday, December 13th blamed events like the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut on people trying to regulate firearms.

Demonstrators denounced a law expanding gun-purchase background checks that was approved last month by Washington voters.

Initiative 594, which voters passed by a 19-point margin, expands background checks to people buying firearms in private sales or exchanging them in a transfer.

Since the 1990s, federal law has mandated background checks for people buying guns through licensed dealers at gun shops, but not for private sales at gun shows or similar events.

School shootings around the country have spurred tighter gun laws, some enacted by state legislators, or in the case of I-594, by popular vote.

In a strange twist of logic, rally organizer Gavin Seim blamed events like the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut on people trying to regulate firearms.

When he spoke to the crowd, he said, “The people that are trying to take our guns are the ones that are causing events where children and families and people are lost,” said Seim, who ran unsuccessfully this year for U.S. Congress.

Washington State Patrol put the crowd at about 1,000 people; Seim estimated 1,500.

While on stage, Seim burned his state concealed-weapons permit and advocated that people should buy tanks and bazookas if they wanted them.

“If you want to own a bazooka, you can own a bazooka,” Seim said to cheers.

The crowd ranged from people with concerns over I-594’s language about unlawful gun transfers to others who thought it was a step toward gun registration.  Still others saw the law as an indication of America coming under the sway of a United Nations plan to strip the country of its freedoms.

Others said they worried that I-594 was a symptom of a larger sort of creeping government overreach.  “My rights are being infringed…,” said attendee Robert Henry.

Apparently, Robert’s right to own a Bazooka is being infringed…

Is This President ‘Not Allowed’ To Make Executive Orders?

The idea that the president is not allowed to create executive orders seems absurd.

According to HowStuffWorks, “Executive orders have been used by every American president since George Washington to lead the nation through times of war, to respond to natural disasters and economic crises, to encourage or discourage regulation by federal agencies, to promote civil rights, or in the case of the Japanese internment camps, to revoke civil rights. Executive orders can also be used by governors to direct state agencies, often in response to emergencies, but also to promote the governor’s own regulatory and social policies.”

So apparently, executive orders have been used by every president since George Washington.

Well, has the President made “too many” executive orders?

According to the chart above, the President has issued fewer executive orders per year than any since prior to FDR.

According to Talking Points Memo, his overall number of  executive orders come out to “less than 0.1 for every day he’s been in office. FDR, by comparison, was cranking out close to one per day as he faced the Great Depression and World War II. The first half of the 20th century was the prime time for execution action, at least when measured by executive orders per day in office.”

TPM does state that the simple totals “cannot account for the scope and tangible impact of individual executive orders or incorporate other elements of executive power,” which is understandable.

Don’t Republicans need to prove that the President’s executive orders have been too broad in scope?  Shouldn’t they try to make that case?  What are they waiting for?

It is clear that every president since Washington has the authority to issue executive orders, and President Obama has issued far fewer than most other presidents in recent times.

One more question:  is the President allowed to issue executive orders on the subject of immigration?

As noted in a previous post, according to the New Republic, both Presidents Reagan and Bush took executive action on immigration (as Obama wants to). The Atlantic’s David Frum wrote about Reagan’s executive actions on immigration. “Reagan and Bush acted in conjunction with Congress and in furtherance of a congressional purpose,” Frum writes. “Nobody wanted to deport the still-illegal husband of a newly legalized wife.

“Reagan’s (relatively small) and Bush’s (rather larger) executive actions tidied up these anomalies.”

In other words, it would be unfair if Reagan and Bush deported children and spouses of newly-legalized immigrants. In fact, Bush’s executive action was called the “family fairness” program.

According to USA Today, the younger George W. Bush “…issued a number of small-bore executive orders — to expedite citizenship for immigrants in the military, or to defer deportation for students affected by Hurricane Katrina…”

So it seems pretty clear that every president is allowed to make executive actions and that Obama has made fewer than most presidents since World War II.  It is also clear that Reagan and both Bushes created executive actions on immigration policy.  So that must also be legal.

The question is:  what are the grounds for a lawsuit, impeachment, or the claims of lawlessness?

Republicans have not made their case for how executive orders on immigration – or other policies – are illegal.  This is especially true since Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush all made executive orders on immigration.

Obviously, the only thing left is that the President’s executive orders have possibly been too broad in scope.

However, according to the New York Times, “(m)ost of the major elements of the president’s plan are based on longstanding legal precedents that give the executive branch the right to exercise ‘prosecutorial discretion’ in how it enforces the laws. That was the basis of a 2012 decision to protect from deportation the so-called Dreamers, who came to the United States as young children. The new announcement will be based on a similar legal theory, officials said.” [The New York Times,11/13/14]

If so, then Republicans need to prove that his executive orders have been too large in scope.  Enough of the broad language about how he’s a “king” and an “emperor.”  Get to it and prove this point.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/presidents-most-executive-orders

http://people.howstuffworks.com/executive-order.htm

http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/11/13/right-wing-media-wrong-about-the-legality-of-th/201553

House Appropriations Committee: Defunding Executive Actions On Immigration ‘Impossible’

US President Barack Obama at Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 37th Annual Awards Gala

According to The Hill, it would not be possible to defund President Obama’s executive actions on immigration through a government spending bill, the House Appropriations Committee said Thursday.

In a statement released by Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) before Obama’s scheduled national address, the committee said the primary agency responsible for implementing Obama’s actions is funded entirely by user fees.

As a result, the committee said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency would be able to continue to collect fees and carry out its operations even if the government shut down.

“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications,” the committee said in a statement. “Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘defund’ the agency.”

Sources:

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/224837-appropriations-panel-defunding-immigration-order-impossible