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Why is our president bypassing Congress?

January 18, 2013

Michelle Berry, A Fresh Perspective
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama laid out his plans to curb gun violence.
These plans include 23 different executive orders that he plans to enforce. These are orders that he can put into effect that will bypass Congress completely. Among the orders are as follows:
•Issuing a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system
•Improving incentives for the states to share information with the federal background check system
•Proposing rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun
•Launching a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign
•Issuing a presidential memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations
•Providing law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations
•Issuing a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence
•Releasing a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities
•Developing model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship, and institutions of higher education
•Launching a national dialogue led by Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on mental health
I will say after reviewing some of these particular orders, some of them don’t sound all that bad to me.
I do believe law enforcement officers, first responders, and those in the school system should be trained to handle violent situations in the event they happen. I even think running background checks on individuals before returning seized guns is a good idea. We don’t need to be putting guns back into violent hands.
Health care providers shouldn’t have to feel at fear for their safety in reporting violent situations, and having emergency response plans in place for public places is a good idea. All of these things would be beneficial.
However, the fact that there are so many orders bothers me. And what bothers me further is that our president feels like he has to completely bypass Congress to make anything happen.
I’m not sure what his reasoning is for doing so. I know he has expressed his frustration in the past with Congress getting anything done, considering how divided it is between the two parties. That may be a reason right there.
However, our president does not have the right to pass laws. Under the Constitution, Congress is the one that passes the laws. Our president can certainly veto these laws, but the power to create laws does not lie with him. He is to execute the instruction of Congress. That is his job as President.
I can understand if the president wanted to put a few of these through under his own power. There are some that I don’t think require a congressional vote. However, as a whole package, I think it would have been wise for him to propose this legislation to Congress and then let it go through the proper channels. Congress might have come up with some ideas that never crossed the president’s mind.
The incident in Newtown, Conn., is fresh on the minds of many people, and I can certainly understand that. It is an event that rocked this entire nation to the core. I know it rocked our president. That was obvious from the words he spoke following what happened.
However, I don’t agree with how he is taking action. I understand him putting a package together with some things he sees as beneficial, but he needs to take it through the proper channels. He needs to give Congress a voice. More importantly, he needs to give American people a voice. Gun control is a sensitive issue and if he knows what is good for him, he had better not take it lightly.

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