American essayist and civil rights leader James A. Baldwin once quipped, “The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.” This poignant reflection of a man in the forefront what appeared at the time to be a seemingly impossible movement for racial equality, once may have served as a warning to the government that it should fear the people it oppresses. Today, however, Baldwin’s statement serves as a warning to citizens that the real object of their fear should be politicians no longer facing the risk of reelection. President Barack Obama, now comfortably ensconced in his second term, is a man with nothing to lose — and citizens have good reason to be worried.
Late last week, buried beneath stories about Syria and the Administration’s drums of war, were two little-noticed Executive Actions, which announced yet another attempt by Obama to curtail Second Amendment rights. The announcement by the White House and the Justice Department was typically misleading. “Today, the Administration is announcing a new policy of denying requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the United States to private entities,” the White House declared piously. It added, gratuitously and erroneously, that “this new policy will help keep military-grade firearms off our streets.” The Executive Action effectively eliminates the ability of licensed importers to supply U.S. collectors and historical gun enthusiasts with legal, U.S.-made “relic” firearms more than 50-years old, and which obviously (at least to anyone with even a passing familiarity with firearms) present no threat to public safety whatsoever.
Last week’s executive actions are not the first attempt by the Obama administration to make an end run around Congress in an effort to enact unconstitutional policies; nor will they be the last. The responsibility, therefore, to stop Obama’s campaign against gun rights falls to the citizenry, which must move their representatives in the Congress to stop it. A good starting point is the “Collectible Firearms Protection Act” (H.R. 2247), which will help restore the right of lawfully licensed dealers to import historically significant firearms; and of law-abiding citizens to possess them.