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Bridget Johnson


January 29, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today that President Obama is open to using an executive action to push through gun-control and/or associated mental health measures that haven’t found approval in Congress.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), one of the top proponents of new gun-control measures in Congress, noted that Obama only made a “very brief” reference to gun violence in his State of the Union address.

“But I hope, and I hope you will join me in the view that the president remains completely committed to ending gun violence in this country, adopting common sense sensible measures like background checks and mental health initiatives; a ban on straw purchases and illegal trafficking,” Blumenthal said to Holder at the Justice Department oversight hearing.

“The bill that was before us unfortunately failed to pass, but I’d like your commitment on behalf of the administration that he remains resolutely and steadfastly in support of these initiatives.”

“Yes, we do still have that commitment,” Holder responded, adding that “if the American people, legislators, members of Congress, had had the ability to be with me” when he visited the scene of the Newtown shooting “to walk through those classrooms and see the caked blood, to see the tufts of carpet that I didn’t quite understand when I first saw it – the carpet picked up. And then I realized that that was – those were bullets – where bullets had gone through and picked up the carpet. If people had seen the crime scene search pictures of those little angels, I suspect that the outcome of our – that effort that we mounted last year would have been different.”

“Our resolve remains the same. My resolve is as firm as it was back then. And I think what we should also understand is that the vast majority of the American people still want those common sense gun safety measures that we advanced last year. Our commitment is real and we will revisit these issues,” the attorney general added.

“And on the subject of the use of the president’s authority, my hope is – and I would argue that he take whatever action is possible, as he has done in a number of steps already and as you have done in trying to clarify the mental health issues that have to be reported to the NIC system, my hope is that additional measures, executive actions are contemplated under that authority,” Blumenthal continued.

“The president – it is his intention to again try to work with Congress, but in the absence of meaningful action to explore all the possibilities and use all the powers that he has to, frankly, just protect the American people,” Holder replied.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked Holder to explain the constitutional authority under which Obama has decided to grab his pen and paper in lieu of the legislative branch.

“Well, there have been consultations done with the Justice Department,” Holder said before Lee interjected, “It would be very helpful for you to release legal analysis produced by the Office of Legal Counsel, or whoever is advising the president on these issues.”

“[The president] has made far less use of his executive power at this point in his administration than some of his predecessors have and he will only do so, as I indicated previously, where he is unable to work with Congress to do things together,” Holder said.

Lee said he “respectfully but forcefully” disagreed with Holder’s assertion.

“When you look at the quality – not just the quantity, but the quality – the nature of the executive orders that he has issued, he has usurped an extraordinary amount of authority within the executive branch,” the senator continued. “This is not precedented. And I point to the delay – the unilateral delay – lawless delay, in my opinion, of the employer mandate as an example of this.”

Lee called for the Department of Justice to release documents that explain the executive action decision “so that the American people can be aware of what’s happening and on what basis [the President] is claiming that authority.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. PERIOD
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
From: The Fifth Amendment, Self-Incrimination, and Gun Registration.
Clayton Cramer

"In Haynes v. U.S. (1968), a Miles Edward Haynes appealed his conviction for unlawful possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun. His argument was ingenious: since he was a convicted felon at the time he was arrested on the shotgun charge, he could not legally possess a firearm. Haynes further argued that for a convicted felon to register a gun, especially a short-barreled shotgun, was effectively an announcement to the government that he was breaking the law. If he did register it, as 26 U.S.C. sec.5841 required, he was incriminating himself; but if he did not register it, the government would punish him for possessing an unregistered firearm -- a violation of 26 U.S.C. sec.5851. Consequently, his Fifth Amendment protection against self- incrimination ("No person... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself") was being violated -- he would be punished if he registered it, and punished if he did not register it. While the Court acknowledged that there were circumstances where a person might register such a weapon without having violated the prohibition on illegal possession or transfer, both the prosecution and the Court acknowledged such circumstances were "uncommon." The Court concluded:

"We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm under sec.5841 or for possession of an unregistered firearm under sec.5851."

Gun registration is about one thing...the government knowing who has a case the government decides that you don't really need it.

Everything else they say is a lie.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama knows he is skirting the Constitution with his executive orders, and that any order infringing on the Second Amendment would trigger a Constitutional Crisis which could only be resolved by the Supreme Court. The odds are good that the resolution of such a crisis would result in diminishing his authority even further.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (64)
All Comments   (64)
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This is sound and fury signifying nothing. Any attempt to impose meaningful gun control would face massive court challenges and widespread non-compliance. I don't think the President is eager to demonstrate his inability to enforce such an order, so I doubt it will be issued.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They hand out clean needles and crack pipes to addicts, deny children whose parents are not caught up in their lunch payments.
Legalizing Marijuana and illegal immigration while plotting and planning to disarm the citizens.
They ban guns to save the children yet are bending over backwards to make abortion/baby killing free and legal up to a year.
These people are nuts and in any other time would be treated as such.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I do not trust Holder in any capacity.
I would not trust him to turn my back on him if we were alone in the same room.
The No Limit POTUS may succeed in his quest to disarm law abiding American's but him and Bill Ayers would have to kill 25 to 50 million American's to accomplish this.
That may be the plan but as in the Arab spring things do not always go as planned and Syria is a good example of the crisis gun confiscation would bring.
Yes, other nation's will supply the Freedom fighters with arms, not civilian arms either much as Obama supplies the jihadi's with their arms.
If the liberals wish to turn their nation into a larger more vicious Syria then all the POTUS needs to do is use executive privilege to take away the second amendment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dear Mr. Holder:
Go tell your boos he can take his Executive Orders, every last one of them, fold them until they are all corners, and put them where the sun doesn't shine. If he can find it with yours and Reid's noses in the way.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Disarming the citizen is the final step before tyranny.

The rank and file of GOP needs to defend against the one who just came out as a dictator. And if GOP wins Senate there should be proceedings for immediate impeachment.

Essentially someone who believes himself to be a dictator has stated he will implement a Marxist doctrine and bypass our laws.

Essentially he thinks it is his duty to interfere with the top
companies and dictate how they should interview and who they should hire. He has set mandates for health care providers in private practice to follow "for the good of all." Some might call these actions taking over "means of production." The essence of Marxist doctrine.

Essentially he believes non citizens should be granted citizenship for breaking our laws when they should be deported. He doesn't believe in our laws. The Progressive doesn't bother with laws. The Progressive believes one should support another even if the other isn't a member of
our country. He believes those breaking our laws should be rewarded and given safe haven as well as benefits from our monies. A global Marxist doctrine.

Essentially he thinks all deviant behavior should be
accepted--gay marriage, gay marriage and adoption, transgender marriage and any other abnormal lifestyles should not only be accepted by celebrated as norm. He believes in the breakdown of the family unit which is essential for a nation to survive.

Essentially he believes in Islam as he supports our enemies in Syria. He places members of the Muslim Brotherhood in key positions in his administration.

Essentially he believes in massive government funded entitlement instead of self determination. Another key component of Marxism And now that Congress won't cooperate with him he states he will push his Marxist agenda forward anyway.

I have predicted what will happen with this mindset and lack of will in the American people. The same result that happened in 1917 Russia to ancient Rome and Israel. We will collapse. We will either collapse into tyranny or Civil War.This is probably the last chance and civility needs to be discarded with this tyrant. And if GOP doesn't want to make the stand then the last option comes to the table. When a President, whether Bush or Obama oversteps his bounds then the people are bound to revolt. This wasn't just prophesied by me. There were other writers who once believed the same based on the same history I research.

They were Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the Founding Fathers.

Charles Hurst. Author of THE SECOND FALL. An offbeat story of Armageddon. And creator of THE RUNNINGWOLF EZINE
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They keep pretending that the only thing these public shootings have in common is the guns. They conveniently leave out that the shooters are all on antidepressants, that they are all democrats and that they all take place in gun free zones. Yes the democrat part surprised me too, I expected at least a couple republicans. They also ignore that the most violent cities are gun free and run by democrats. There is that pesky democrat word again. The problem is that if a criminal wants to use a gun he looks for a unarmed people to use it on. A gun free zone is an advertisement saying these victims won't be able to protect themselves. If I were to walk in a violent neighborhood with a realistic looking toy gun on my hip, I would probably be safer than with no weapon. My father has been in two situations where having a gun might have saved his life. One where a man came after him with an ax, the other where he walked in on three teens robbing him. In both instances he didn't even need to fire a shot, once the gun was seen the confrontation was under control till police arrived. In the case with the teens they turned there lives around, something they wouldn't have been able to do very easily if they had stabbed my father with the knives they had available. Guns are tools not toys, just like cars and chainsaws. They all need to be treated with the same respect. We don't need politicians taking away our gun rights. Australia made that mistake and the violent crime rates went up.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“But I hope, and I hope you will join me in the view that the president remains completely committed to ending gun violence in this country, adopting common sense sensible measures like background checks and mental health initiatives; a ban on straw purchases and illegal trafficking...”

My God. Where does one begin?
Background checks. Yes, we got that. Straw purchases? They're already illegal, and have been for a long time. A BAN on illegal trafficking? What, you want to take something illegal and make it even illegaller? How about a bold new initiative to stop crime in its tracks by requiring every police officer to say "pretty please"? Or how about a law that makes it illegal for criminals to go back on pinky promises?

"Ending gun violence in this country". You mean like the New Yorkers who were recently shot mistakenly by NYPD officers? What laws does the President have in mind for them?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The anti gun crowd has consistently failed to demonstrate how any of their proposed gun control regulations could possibly have prevented Newtown or any of the other rare though horrible mass shootings. Their efforts are and always have been to pass any law that hinders legal access to firearms by the common citizen. When those have no positive effect they simply come back to the table demanding further steps toward the real goal of citizen disarmament.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"any order infringing on the Second Amendment would trigger a Constitutional Crisis which could only be resolved by the Supreme Court"

I respectfully disagree. I think the Constitutional Crisis would be resolved well before the Supreme Court would have to get involved.

In particular, an executive order seriously impinging on the Second Amendment would be one of the very few constitutional violations that would be enough to get us passive conservatives off our butts and into the streets. Millions would descend on Washington, DC and engage in mass demonstrations, if not mass civil disobedience, and force a confrontation that the Administration couldn't possibly win, and that it would back down from before the Court had to get involved.

That's why -- unless it's even denser than I think it is -- I think the Obama Administration *won't* take any extreme action against the Second Amendment. Holder's statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee are mostly hot air, designed to keep their rabid leftist base rabid and happy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Problem solved in 1968.

"Today we begin to disarm the criminal and the careless and the insane. All of our people who are deeply concerned in this country about law and order should hail this day.
- Lyndon Johnson when he signed the 1968 GCA into law.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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