**Previously published by Michael “Vass” Vasquez at Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner.com **
Consistently, Americans have shared their voices on the issues of gun control and gun restriction legislation, especially via Executive Order. Based on the actions of President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and many Democrats, the assumption would be that they are acting on the will of the people. The reality is that on many of the specifics the opposite is true.
There is no question that Democrats have long been the Party seeking limitations on the 2nd Amendment. Under the Obama Administration that effort has moved from campaign promises and debate on the floor of Congress to unilateral Executive Branch action. First in 2013, and most recently in January 2016, President Obama has used Executive Orders to circumvent Congress to impose what many feel are his partisan political views. As reported on January 10, 2016, President Obama will use an empty seat at the State of the Union Address to further that message.
But the public has largely resisted efforts of Democrats to sway their view of the 2nd Amendment. Recent polls by both Rasmussen on likely voters, and a CNN general poll, show a consensus of thought. Majorities clearly feel that Democrats are on the wrong side of this issue. Additional polls confirm the public feels that the issue of public safety is not being addressed.
In the Rasmussen poll, as reported January 8, 2016, shows that likely voters oppose the unilateral Executive Orders and exclusion of Congress in creating gun control laws by 58%. A clear 79% believe that the President should work with Congress in creating gun restriction legislation. Continuing a long-term trend, 50% of likely voters believe that stricter gun control laws are not needed. Perhaps the biggest rebuke of the latest round of Executive Orders is that 59% of likely voters believe that additional federal oversight of gun sales will be ineffective in reducing gun violence.
Vice President Biden admitted in 2013 that Executive Orders would not reduce gun violence. That admission was confirmed in the mass shootings that followed. That understanding that the Obama Administration and Democrats are on the wrong path was confirmed in the CNN poll released January 7, 2016. In that poll 55% responded that the actions of President Obama have the nation on the wrong direction – a view that has been consistent since December of 2013. Worse 57% believe that the new Executive Orders will be ineffective in protecting the public.
In fact, since January 2013, majorities of those polled by CNN have opposed the gun control policies of President Obama. The most recent result of 53% opposition outpaces support by 10%.A clear 54% of those in the CNN poll feel that the unilateral action of President Obama was the wrong way to implement the gun control measures on online gun purchases. This mirrors a 2014 poll reacting to President Obama’s unilateral immigration Executive Orders. Clearly Americans disapprove of circumventing Congress in creating law.
Not only do Americans largely disapprove of using Executive Orders to create law, they do not trust Government to enforce these de facto laws. According to a Rasmussen poll in 2013 (the last time this question was asked) 62% noted their distrust of the Government enforcement. Only 26% felt fair enforcement could be relied upon.
In other polls President Obama and Democrats push to sell the 2nd Amendment as only relevant for hunting and a danger to home defense seems to have equally failed. In an Investor’s Business Daily poll released January 8, 2016, a clear 72% responded in favor to the question,
“Is the Second Amendment still relevant and necessary?“
The consensus appears to be that Americans want their voices, via Congress, clearly stated in any approach to address gun control. The use of Executive Orders, and the nature of what these Executive Orders are targeting, is considered both a waste and potentially a biased enforcement by the federal Government. It is unclear how this may affect the 2016 presidential race, but in many congressional races (such as the NY 22nd congressional race) the 2nd Amendment and laws affecting it are shaping up to be a critical issue for voters. After the State of the Union Address, with the partisan message via empty chair pushing for an emotional response, the issue is sure to get even more attention. But whether this will be the emotional response to finally change the public opinion will be seen in polls shortly after the event.