President Barack Obama should not attempt to initiate gun control legislation through executive orders. On policy issues, it is the responsibility of Congress to pass laws and the president to sign them.
We're concerned with this cavalier statement made by the president on Monday. "I'm confident there are some steps we can take that don't require legislation and that are within my authority as president."
Moving any administration-sponsored gun control law through executive fiat, even if it has majority support by the populace, would be an incorrect use of the powers of the presidency. President Obama understands that, as do Democrats in Congress. They need to resist this urge to supersede the democratic process.
The right of Americans to have firearms is found in the Constitution. There is certainly the right to debate how far that right extends. There are bans on certain types of weapons. There was an assault weapons ban in the past. However, these limits on the Second Amendment need to come from Congress, not one man's whims. Such action is more typical of a despot, not a leader.
Also, passions of how the Second Amendment is defined are high among Americans. We need a bipartisan consensus in crafting gun control laws in order for those laws to be widely accepted. President Obama does not have a good reputation for working with either party in Congress. It's about time he improved those skills and not resort to bypassing Congress. Presidential leadership is essential on this issue.