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Old September 1, 2013, 06:14 PM   #76
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan
...The Congress has the power to amend and or repeal either or both. While the president might veto legislation including legislation directing the repeal of existing statutes, The Congress is not without powers of it's own. The question is, in my view, does The Congress have the guts,...
The members of Congress will do what they perceive the people who elected them want them to do.

Often those who tend to be the most dissatisfied with the way the process is working are forgetting their own role in the process. We select the government. How effective are you at influencing your neighbors, the people in your community, your co-workers, etc., to join you in selecting representatives who will further the goals and values important to you?
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Old September 1, 2013, 06:43 PM   #77
Tom Servo
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The members of Congress will do what they perceive the people who elected them want them to do.
That's very, very true, and I remind people of that when they gripe at me about happenings in Washington they don't like.

That said, Congress doesn't really have much of a say in the matter we're discussing. They gave the authority to the ATF to act on certain matters with autonomy back in 1968. This is one of those things.

In better circumstances, we might be able to reverse some of that authority, but I don't see Congress intervening at the current time.
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Old September 1, 2013, 07:00 PM   #78
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo
...That said, Congress doesn't really have much of a say in the matter we're discussing. They gave the authority to the ATF to act on certain matters with autonomy back in 1968. This is one of those things...
And that's true as well.

I think alan's point was that in theory Congress could change that. But as you correctly point out, Congress won't, because, among other things, the Administration's actions here have enough public support.
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Old September 1, 2013, 07:44 PM   #79
thallub
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Quote:
I think alan's point was that in theory Congress could change that. But as you correctly point out, Congress won't, because, among other things, the Administration's actions here have enough public support

The GCA 1968 is what it is. Despite promises made during the runup to recent congressional elections, i don't ever see the US congress changing that law. This admininstration and those that follow will continue to nibble away at our Second Amendment rights citing the "sporting purposes" clause of the GCA 1968.
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Old September 1, 2013, 08:48 PM   #80
Tom Servo
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Quote:
among other things, the Administration's actions here have enough public support.
I'm not sure in this case. The general public isn't all that interested in gun control, and things like NFA trust are fairly obscure to the layman.

Quote:
Despite promises made during the runup to recent congressional elections, i don't ever see the US congress changing that law. This admininstration and those that follow will continue to nibble away at our Second Amendment rights citing the "sporting purposes" clause of the GCA 1968.
I don't remember hearing about gutting the GCA. I don't think we'll have the clout for that for quite some time.

In any case, the administration doesn't have to do the nibbling. Nor does Congress. The ATF can do that all by their little lonesomes.
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Old September 1, 2013, 09:24 PM   #81
alan
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Frank:

You pose an entirely reasonable question.
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Old September 1, 2013, 09:31 PM   #82
alan
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Tom:

What The Congress gives, The Congress can take away.

As to the administrations having the public's support, I wonder about that, especially IF note the caps there, media ever started telling the truth about guns and gun control, a situation that there are likely 4 chances of coming to fruition. Fat, Slim, Little and No, still stranger things have happened, I think, or should I say, I hope..
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Old September 1, 2013, 09:42 PM   #83
alan
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Frank & thallub both say that there is enough public support for the administrations actions, so The Congress, notwithstanding what are at least in theory it's powers, will do nothing.

I wonder about that as I question whether lack of public interest and understanding/knowledge can correctly be described as "public support", though it might work out to that effect, sad to note. Here I may be engaging in wishful thinking, I still wonder.
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Old September 1, 2013, 11:50 PM   #84
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Quote:
As to the administrations having the public's support, I wonder about that, especially IF note the caps there, media ever started telling the truth about guns and gun control, a situation that there are likely 4 chances of coming to fruition. Fat, Slim, Little and No, still stranger things have happened, I think, or should I say, I hope..
Alan, I think this administration does have public support almost no matter what. I agree that he has been lobbed softballs by the media, for the most part, and no one wants to dig too deep into truth. This is especially true when we bring up gun control because, like it or not, it is a favorite pet issue of a lot of people. As to the administrations public support, look at it this way. They have weathered the Benghazi issue, the IRS political enemy targeting scandal, the NSA wiretapping scandal, the fast and furious scandal, the Solyndra issue, issuing subpoena's to obtain phone records of half of the AP's office, and many other issues. Not only have they weathered this, but public opinion is still pretty stable. The media hasn't exactly given the administration a pass on everything, either. If they gave a full pass, then we wouldn't know about any of this stuff .

I must say that Obama has been spared any serious scrutiny several times now by saying "I wasn't aware." This post isn't meant to be political, just pointing out facts.
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Old September 2, 2013, 03:55 PM   #85
alan
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5whiskey , a brief excerpt from your post, where you wrote in part,

Alan, I think this administration does have public support almost no matter what.

Respecting other points you mentioned, that this administration retains any degree of public support strikes me as truly amazing, for one might say the following re this, of "the public".

The Obama administration, in my view, continues to pour you know what on the heads of the public. Notwithstanding the fact that both umbrellas and a suitable concrete shelter are immediately at hand, the public stands there, as if it was welded to the ground. Amazing, truly amazing.
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Old September 2, 2013, 05:47 PM   #86
Vanya
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Let's stick to the topic at hand, please. This isn't the venue for a general critique of the current administration.
..............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKSa
Can someone who understand how the presidential/executive powers work explain how the president has the authority to selectively ban imports without using executive orders?
He doesn't have to. The ATF has that authority on their own. All the President has to do is make the suggestion.
In this case, he's not making a "suggestion," exactly.

The president is the chief executive of the executive branch, of which the ATF is a part, so he has the authority to direct its operations. When Congress gave the ATF the power to regulate imports of firearms, it implicitly gave the president the power to direct said regulation.This is generally accomplished by means of executive memoranda, which are legally binding and constitute orders concerning the policies of the ATF and other federal agencies.

As I understand it, an executive action is pretty much anything the president does within his authority as head of the executive branch, but that authority isn't at all well defined. Executive actions may set policy, or they may be wishes, as were many of the 23 that Mr. Obama promulgated last winter, or suggestions for such actions; they may be challenged in court or by Congress.

Executive orders, on the other hand, are actual directives signed by the president and published in the Congressional Record, and they carry the force of law. The requirement that they be published means that they're also more exposed to public scrutiny, which may account for Mr. Obama's reluctance to use them.
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Last edited by Vanya; September 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM. Reason: too many words.
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Old September 2, 2013, 10:23 PM   #87
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanya
...Executive orders, on the other hand, are actual directives signed by the president and published in the Congressional Record,...
And through the courtesy of a member on THR, here is a link to an Executive Order on executive orders.
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Old September 2, 2013, 11:16 PM   #88
alan
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Re the current discussion on Executive Orders/Executive Actions and related matters, including questions of public support for administration antics concerning firearms, the following is a copy of thoughts I today directed to my two U.S. Senators, Robert Casey and Pat Toomey and my congressman, Keith Rothfus. Senator Casey's web site, for some reason does not come up at senate.gov however I will try again tomorrow.

My comments are offered, without copy write, to any who might wish to use them, perhaps as a template for expressing their own thoughts to elected officials. Should my comments strike anyone as over lengthy, my late father often said that the thing I loved above all else was the sound of my own voice. Enough said.

Essentially, post WW2 federal law in this field amounts to two pieces of legislation. One of these is the Gun Control act of 1968, the other is the so-called Safe Streets Act enacted a couple of years later. The so called “sporting purposes test”, governing the importation semi-automatic arms was mentioned in both pieces of legislation, though in-so-far as I can tell, neither sport nor sporting purposes nor readily adaptable thereto are anywhere actually defined in the referenced legislation, legislation enforced by, as it is currently known, the BATFE, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an agency whose record could quite reasonably be described as “checkered”.

In any case, the above referenced legislation, the enforcement of which was vested in a bureaucratic agency, one that has repeatedly shown itself hostile to the rights of Americans under The Second Amendment, was based on the then perceived need to legislatively “do something”, re the antics of criminals, people who by definition, do not obey the law. The above referenced legislation vested in political appointees, the Secretary of Treasury and The Attorney General, the power to essentially, by decree, create legislation that might well never, by itself, have passed congressional muster. Re these stalwarts, the following question remains. Do they know the difference between the breach end and the muzzle end of a firearm. Same question could and should be directed toward the bureaucrats in charge at the BATFE, an honest answer most likely being NO they don‘t, that is assuming that an honest answer could be obtained.

To it’s everlasting shame, The Congress has not acted to check the ongoing abuse of power/authority so often displayed by the BATFE, AKA the ATF, nor has it acted to curb abuse of the overly broad authority it granted to political appointees, The Secretary and the Attorney General. It also seems to have forgotten the oath of office that individual member of both the House and Senate undertake, that being “to uphold, support and defend the constitution”. Looking at current situations, the thing grows worse, as evidenced by the current administrations anti gun/anti gun rights ploys, it‘s “executive actions/executive orders“, on which The Congress looks with seemingly benign neglect, to stay within the bounds of polite conversation.

It is sometimes said that the administration “has public support“ respecting it‘s anti gun/antigun rights antics. I submit sir that this could not be more wrong. It is also claimed that, as it perceives that the public supports administration antics, that The Congress will do nothing to check the extra constitutional antics of Obama et al. I here state, without reservation, that this line of thought could not be more wrong. While, in some quarters, there is support for administration antics, likewise, some segments of the public would cheer the president’s declaration that “the earth was flat”, I submit that there is little public support for the extra constitutional antics of the present administration..

So sir, at this point, I, your constituent, solicit your immediate action directed toward correcting the foolishness that was legislation based on :

1. The alleged need to “do something”, doing something unfortunately never including a realistic look at real problems and such steps as might ameroliate them.

2. Granting virtually unlimited power to political appointees, The Secretary and The Attorney General.

3. Allowing a run away mob, the BATFE as it is currently known, to run roughshod over the constitutional rights of law abiding Americans.

Should it turn out that you are unwilling to take the requisite action, at the very least, I submit that you owe your constituents a detailed explanation of why you are unwilling to take the requisite and most sorely needed, not to mention long overdue action.
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Old September 3, 2013, 12:12 AM   #89
JohnKSa
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It's a good commentary. Unfortunately, letters to officials need to be very short and pithy to have any effect.

If you can't get the point across in a medium length paragraph, or maybe two short paragraphs, you can't get the point across at all. Because anything longer than that simply won't be read.
First sentence: This is why I'm writing to you and here's what I plan to say.

Middle 2 or 3 sentences to explain in more detail and provide supporting information. These may be replaced or partially replaced with a short list of brief bullets.

Last sentence: Now that we're on the same page, here's what I want.
If you end up with more than about 200 words, it needs to be condensed.
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