Martin P. Schweitzer
Retired Brigadier General, United States Army
Gun Control – Really?

Gun Control – Really?

The recent Executive Orders reference gun control provided an opportunity for an informed dialogue across all forms of media to include social networking sites.  Instead of a dialogue that should have been led by our civilian leaders, we were instead exposed to extreme positions on both sides of the aisle – neither of which reflects reality, enhanced existing divisions, and added opaqueness to something that needs transparency.  Here are my thoughts.  The effects the President achieved with his recent executive orders are not extreme or illogical.  In my opinion, preventing medically challenged folks who should not possess a fire arm while they are incapacitated is probably not a bad idea.  Nor is it a bad idea to enhance our background checks to ensure criminals don’t get access to guns.   However, my support for the Administration ends there.  There are two primary concerns I have with this Administration as it relates to gun control.  #1 – these actions do not address the problems of gun deaths that we are watching on TV despite the representation by the administration and its “talking heads” that the effect of these Executive Orders will reduce gun violence – it won’t.  Will any of these actions stop or reduce the killings in Chicago, New York, DC, Los Angeles?   No.  Yet if you listen to the Administration and TV stations that are more favorable to this administration policy positions, then it is clear that the “talking points” indicate these measures will have an impact.  Or if you listen to the stations that are not favorable to this Administration positions you would believe that we have to “turn in our weapons”.  In either case – we are not addressing the problem of gun deaths in America.  Simply political B.S.  #2.  The manner in which the administration used to change existing law.  I cannot understand why the administration issued the Executive Order that “touches” the Constitution without first exhausting every avenue with Congress and establishing a dialogue with the American people.  Neither occurred before the decision was made and the Orders issued.   I get it that the administration and Congress are not the easiest places to create effects and nor do they apparently work well together – but it is their job to do the “hard work” and attempt to get it done.     I don’t have an issue with this POTUS (or any POTUS) using the “Executive Pen” to get things done; I do have an issue when he/she or the administration did not exhaust the avenues with Congress and the American people prior to cutting corners.  Make no mistake about it, the use of Executive Orders is cutting corners because it is apparently “too hard” to work through problems.  Congress and the Administration are both to blame for this lack of collaboration resulting in a failure to properly frame the problem for the American people – developing solutions to decrease / eliminate unnecessary gun deaths.  Instead we are re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic by working around the edges of gun violence vs doing something of substance.  We need leadership to frame the problem for the American people without duplicity, political agendas, and extreme representations of positions being represented as fact.

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