Sometimes executive overreach needs a little help.
Even as he prepares to take action on gun violence on his own authority, President Obama could turn to another source of potential source of executive action: The nation’s governors.
The White House is in talks with governors and other state and local officials as part of a bottom-up strategy to better enforce gun laws at both the state and local level. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Vice President Biden has been leading the talks, which are focused on “steps they can take to try to reduce gun violence in their communities.”
The state-and-local approach to guns is another example of a strategy that’s been a unique part of the “fourth quarter” of the Obama presidency. Unable to get his policies through Congress, he’s increasingly using aggressive outreach to states and cities to raise the minimum wage, require paid time off, expand preschool programs and offer more affordable college options.
“I think what people are realizing, and I have realized as governor, is that we have a tremendous number of tools at our disposal to take action,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat who signed an executive order on guns in October. It required gun tracing for all guns used in crimes, started a gun crime tip line and banned guns in state office buildings.
The first thing that comes to mind is that there can’t be that many governors out there who would be amenable to helping President Obama with his pet project in his final year of office. Thirty two states have Republican governors right now and there aren’t a lot of warm fuzzies floating between them and the White House.
For the most part, the states that do have Democratic governors have pretty onerous gun laws already. McAuliffe is probably quoted here because he is an anomaly in that regard. He says the White House has been supportive, but his own legislature isn’t that thrilled.
Even in the most liberal states, it’s difficult to get a blank check on gun control.
Because it’s not popular with regular Americans, a point this president is incapable of grasping.
If, as is mentioned early in the article, this is just a push to get current laws enforced better, then the administration is admitting that we pro-Second Amendment types are right: there are already plenty of laws, they just need to be enforced.
This won’t end well for President Obama. He’s driven by a need to not keep losing on this issue, so he’s making up his own rules, and they probably won’t last long once he is out of office.